The former Spanish colony of Costa Rica lies in Central America between Nicaragua and Panama. It has a tropical climate all year round. The total population is 4.3 million and the capital and largest city is San Jose. The official language is Spanish and currency is the Costa Rican Colon. Foreign income comes from the export of coffee as well as bananas and pineapples. Another source of income is tourism with 2 million visitors per annum. Large areas of the country has been set aside as protected areas, mostly as national parks. These include the coastal Tortuguero National Park, a nesting area for several species of turtles, and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in the mountains with its huge range of flora and fauna. We visited Costa Rica in November and the rainfall initially was heavy,causing landslides and road closures. We went into the Tortuguero National Park on the north-east coast, an area with no road access so we travelled in by boat and stayed in a jungle lodge. We also visited the Arenal Volcano area and the San Carlos Valley in the north. We visited the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, an area 6000 ft up in the mountains and finally the area near Jaco on the Pacific coast. We also saw the Manuel Antonio National Park and the Tarcoles River, a world famous site for crocodile spotting in the wild. We saw lots of unusual wildlife and the weather was kind after the first few days.