we did not take the yellow bus from Guabito into Changuinola direct. We got off at the half way point on the bridge over the Rio San San. You should DEFINITELY do this! Enter the office of AAMVECONA upstairs and tell the guy in Spanish that you want a boat to take you to the PLATFORM. He will wake up the boat captain (as they only get 2 or 3 requests per month) and charge you $70/boat plus $5/person with a maximum of 10 people per boat. Please email ahead if you know you are coming on a specific date to [--]. You will put on your life jacket and enter the boat to go down the Rio San San into the San San Pond Sak HUMEDAL (wetlands area). On this river there will be crocodiles, but also the largest population of Manatees (72 of them) in Central America. The Captain and your guide will take you down river to their cabin on the Caribbean (mouth of San San) where you can watch several 20 year old volunteer females digging in the beach for eggs that didn’t hatch and escorting the baby tortoises as they hatch to the water (with the shade from their body). These babies are so cute and I have some pics of them if you want. You can also buy but the only drinks they have are: coffee, warm water and fresh Coconut water from the coconut.
After a brief stop here to visit the tortoises on the beach, you will reboard your boat to go to THE PLATFORM. This deep jungle patform is very cool. The boat guide will hang fresh Bananas and banana leaves from overhanging branches so they are below the platform and at the water surface. This will become Manatee food in about 30-60 minutes. Then the Captain of your motorized canoe will drive under some overhanging branches and place you at the ladder to the platform (deep in the jungle so bring tons of mosquito spray and sunblock). Once the captain turns off his motor, the Manatees will circle around for a while and eventually come to eat your Bananas. On the day we were there, the rain had flooded the river 2 days before so the river was very high. Thus the water was dirty and we only saw noses and branches being tugged on. But usually, the water is clear and you can see their bodies while they eat.
After that we returned to the main office and said goodbye to the boat captain and guide to reboard the yellow bus toward Changuinola on the bridge for another 70 cents.
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