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Night time turtle watch?

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Fort Collins...
Level Contributor
383 posts
57 reviews
Night time turtle watch?

I've read on a few different sites about taking a tour guide to go see the turtles at night laying eggs at Gandoca. Has anyone done this? If so - with who/how much did it cost? And...is it still the right time of year in about 2 weeks to see anything with turtles - momma's laying eggs or babies hatching? I'd love to see either one.

Although in light of what recently happened, I am a little standoffish about it. …washingtonpost.com/2013-06-04/national/3973… We will have our 9 year old daughter with us, so of course I wouldn't want to do anything while we're there that might put her in harm's way. This whole thing is very sad and makes me a little nervous.

Level Contributor
1,295 posts
65 reviews
21. Re: Night time turtle watch?

What is wrong with you people, why do you not recognize the crime that is and has been taking place in your community for quite some time. FYI I did report my issue and was told that after a few months, if the thief or thieves do not come forward they will drop the case. The same was told my friend when a gold watch got stolen, they will drop the case and the case will be closed. Which means nothing ever gets resolved.

If you will read the reviews I have posted you will find the culprits I refer to, and I will continue to pursue the matter. I thought some of you business owners there had better professionalism than to be attacking an honest poster and past tourist.

I am through with your country and this particular forum so no need to keep sending negative posts to me.

Edited: 7:31 pm, October 04, 2013
Puerto Viejo de...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Level Contributor
2,008 posts
8 reviews
22. Re: Night time turtle watch?

Not recognise the crime?? I believe that this community cannot be accused of that. We have been very open when there were problems, there is an active security committee, the community participates very actively in reporting and helping police and all of us to make the destination even better than it is.

I may have missed something but did have a look at the reviews written by Avholare and can't find anything about "culprits". I hope the promise stands.

Puerto Viejo de...
Level Contributor
435 posts
13 reviews
23. Re: Night time turtle watch?

Ahvolare, the security committee would like to know: Which business was involved? Send a PM if you prefer...

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
44,965 posts
28 reviews
24. Re: Night time turtle watch?

Some people think the world spins around them....of course is crime there...of course some ugly people...of course some people trying to squeeze blood from visitors...my advice...stay as far as you can from ugly no decent people..easy to know who they are...

Just relax...the whole world is not the same and not as it use to be... includes Limon Texas.etc...


Bruges, Belgium
2 posts
25. Re: Night time turtle watch?

We live in Belgium and were in Puerto Viejo on Oct 4th. We got attacked by two men, masked, dressed in black. One had a gun, the other one a knife. It happened on the way to our hotel, at 10 o'clock in the evening, on the main road, 500 m. from the center in the direction of Cocles. It was very close to a still open pizzeria, so it was not somewhere in the middle of nowhere. We are always careful and didn't have much personal belongings with us, and we were not drunk. Luckily we didn't got hurt, we only lost a cell phone, but it could have been worse. For some reason, the attackers stopped and ran away in the bushes. We went to the pizzeria, and while we were still there, maybe 20 minutes later, a young couple was attacked on the same road by the same men ! They were not so lucky, they were put a gun at their head, their money, credit card and phone were stolen. A helpful local man from the pizzeria followed the attackers, they shot at him, luckily they missed.

It took the police almost an hour to arrive, they took us to the police station where we reported everything. The police were so helpless, uninterested, incapable, ...

Back in the hotel we heard of 3 other people being attacked and robbed too the days before, all on the same road. And that's only for 1 hotel during a few days.

To all the people who are saying that Puerto Viejo is a paradise : It's NOT. And by saying this and ignoring the facts, you will only make it worse. In recent years there has been a lot of crime here, much worse than our experiences, but still most of the locals say that the crime has stopped, it's not so bad after all, etc... Face it, crime didn't stop at all.

Of course it's a question of bad luck, being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But in this town too many people are in the wrong place at the same time...

Comparing it to crime in other cities and countries is a pointless argument. We've been in about 40 countries all over the world, also in places that are considered far more dangerous than Costa Rica. There is crime everywhere, but for such a small tiny little "paradise", it's a bit too much.

And the fact that there is crime in other places too, doesn't justify the fact that it's also happening in Puerto Viejo. So open your eyes !

We travelled around for 15 days in Costa Rica, the ticos are really nice people, friendly and always helpful. And despite the frequent showers, broken bridges, landslides, road blocks etc.. we still had a good time. But in Puerto Viejo there are a few big problems :

1) The crime itself ofcourse

2) The police seems to be incapable of handling things.

3) The people who live in Puerto Viejo (or only the tourism business people ?) are minimalizing or even ignoring that these things happen. If they continue like that, within a few years they'll be living in a cult town, populated by a dozen of junks.

Cahuita, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Cahuita
Level Contributor
2,440 posts
16 reviews
26. Re: Night time turtle watch?

Sorry to hear about your terrible experience. I hope that despite the local police's apparent lack of interest or capability in responding to this crime you were able to report the incident. Nowhere is perfect but Puerto Viejo (with or without police support) is fighting crime.

Puerto Viejo de...
Level Contributor
435 posts
13 reviews
27. Re: Night time turtle watch?

First of all I am very sorry for the bad experience you had during your stay in Puerto Viejo. Regardless where in the world, to be assaulted is never a nice experience and of course leaves a bad taste to an overall good time.

I would like to reply to one of the points you pointed out as a problem of Puerto Viejo. Point number 3, the non-involvement or ignorance of business people and locals in regards to crime. This is just not true. Puerto Viejo has probably the best organised community in regards to security and a bunch of us, including myself, have spent a lot of our spare time to deal with this topic. Things may have not improved as much as we would wished they do, but overall they have because there is a community who cares about their visitors. I of course cannot speak for all the businesses but I know that most do!

You are right, we still have crime but we are aware of it. Unfortunately, crime is nothing you can change from one day to the other by arresting a few guys. Short term this may helps but long term you need to start at the roots. One of the most important part is that crime gets reported. Without awareness of something, no measurements can be taken. Please always report a crime, though there may not be direct consequences to the ones who did the crime, your report will help in other aspects: awareness, more resources etc.. By reporting the crimes we were able to raise awareness of the problem and the government finally paid attention to our requests. We can only solve the crime issue by working hand in hand with the officials. This may not always the easiest way but long term the only solution.

Lots of effort has been put into the security of the area by both, community/businesses as well as the police. One of the effort from the community/businesses are the so called Victim Assistance Centres where a victim can go and ask for help. These centres help with translating, organise rides, make calls etc. The current locations of the VAC's are:

Punta Uva: Pulperia Punta Uva

Playa Chiquita: Caribe Sur Real Estate

Cocles: OM Yoga

Puerto Viejo Center: Gecko Trail Adventures/Multicentro

Playa Negra: Gecko Trail Adventures/Banana Azu

Puerto Viejo, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Level Contributor
1,551 posts
40 reviews
28. Re: Night time turtle watch?

Dear Mr Belgium Traveller,

I find your post confusing. It has set off a whole chain of events having us as community members to investigate what happened. We have contacted the police about the night you claim and they are not aware of this. Now, yes we know the police are not the most efficient here compared to developed countries like Belgium. But for a multiple attack incident like you claim here to happen, it would have not went un-noticed.

When we contacted the local Police Chief (who actually we are very impressed with), he pointed out to us that I addressed a similar post on the local security forum requesting information because he had no knowledge of this incident.

He also pointed out that some the language used in this post (even though the other one was in Spanish) was the same. He said he still does not have the information, which is surprising given that the security forum is made up of local residents and businesses engaged in security efforts for the area. In response to no information provided, he pointed out to committee members, there are certain anti-development groups and individuals in the community that spread fear through misinformation in an effort to undermine economic viability.

Now, I can imagine that you can not remember the name of which Pizzeria you went to for help. But can you please give us the name of the hotel that you stayed at so we as the security committee and the police can investigate this and try and find out who might have been responsible.

On another note... I see this is your first post. That is unusual given that you claim that you have visited 40 countries. It seems you have quite a bit of perceived knowledge of the local area. If this is the case, I am sure you will be able to supply us a bit more information about the incident so we can try and do something about it.

If you don't want to post it publicly out of fear, please feel free to PM me. I will follow it up on my own and report back to this thread.

Sincerely, Colin Brownlee.

2 posts
29. Re: Night time turtle watch?

Hello Nicole,

You can contact several people to know abot the Turtle Watching, it could be a company tour operator or local guide. Here you have de details:

Gecko Trail Adventures (find it on internet)

Terravenuras (find it on internet)

Cahuita Tours (find it on internet)

Puerto Viejo de...
1 post
30. Re: Night time turtle watch?

Dag Koen,

I just read your report here about Puerto Viejo and your bad experience, I’am realy very sorry for you.

We are a Belgian couple who made the decision to move to Puerto Viejo, I feel obliged to give some reaction on this message.

Yes, here is crime in Puerto Viejo but what you said about the community and the business owners don’t care or do nothing is NOT true. A lot of these people are absolutly involved with this issue and do what they can to solve this problem. You know, I have lived in Belgium for more than 40 years and know very well that there is a lot of crime too, even in Bruges… just open the Belgian newspaper

So, there is crime everywhere, we come to Puerto Viejo for about 2 years now and live here almost 1 year and we never feel unsafe. Maybe we had luck ?! I don’t know, but we had luck in Belgium too than.

The fact that we have to read it here on tripadvisor is very strange, normaly in our Puerto Viejo community there is a lot of communication about all these things.

Once again I feel very sorry for you about the assault. There is 1 thing that I wish… that crime will stop in Puerto Viejo, in Belgium and all over the world… but this will be a dream…