When Christopher Columbus made his fourth
and final voyage to the New World in 1502,
he landed at Isla Uvita (Spanish for grape), a
tiny island just off the coast what is now the
major port city of Limón. The natives he met
on the mainland were wearing such impressive
gold and jade jewelry that this region
eventually came to be known as Costa Rica,
literally "rich coast," because of the mineral
wealth that the Spaniards imagined must exist
within the territory.

In spite of their insatiable lust for gold and
precious stones and the difficult climatic
conditions of the Atlantic region, the Spanish
conquistadors were never able to bring the
eastern portion of Costa Rica under their
This is the Tortuguero Canal, a jungle waterway that connects the remote Northern Caribbean with the port
city of Limón on Costa Rica's east coast. The best way to travel through the jungle is on the Tortuguero
El Canal Tortuguero
Notice the huge turtle
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Costa Rica