Tortuguero Travel Guide
Tortuguero National Park is located in the Northern Caribbean of Costa Rica. It is a popular destination for tourists from around the world for its diverse flora and fauna and the sea turtles. Tortuguero is warm and humid with abundant wildlife including 57 species of amphibians, 111 species of reptiles, and 60 species of mammals. More than 186 species of birds live in Tortuguero for all or part of the year, a birdwatcher’s paradise. Other animals commonly seen in Tortuguero are fishing bats, three-toed sloths, iguanas, basilisk lizards, poison dart frogs, and howler, white-faced and spider monkeys.
Things to do in Tortuguero
Tortuguero Mountain Hike
On this hike you will learn facts about the area and the plants and animals you will see along the way. Once at the top, you will enjoy a great view of Tortuguero, the canals, the Caribbean Sea, and the towns of San Francisco and Tortuguero.
The Tortuguero Canals
The canals, estuaries and jungle lagoons are the most important attractions in Tortuguero. You can tour around the canals with a local naturalist guide and discover the dense rainforests, local fauna ( monkeys, sloths ) as well as aquatic fauna such as crocodiles and caimans.
Tortuguero town is a very small village set on the main island. It’s only a couple of blocks wide at most and the main street stretches between guest houses, tourist shops, mini-supermarkets and restaurants. No cars are in town.
Tortuguero beach is the most important nesting site of the endangered green turtle in the Western Hemisphere. Giant leatherback, hawksbill, and loggerhead turtles also nest here. The nesting season runs from July to October with the peak in August. The rare and difficult to see Leatherback turtles nest from February to April.
Location and Map
The village of Tortuguero is surrounded by the waters of the Caribbean Ocean and canals and is only accessible by boat or airplane. The roads will take you as far as the towns of La Pavona or Moin. The best way to visit Tortuguero is with a pre-booked package from a local lodge. La Pavona is located 117 km/ 73 miles from San Jose , about a 2 hour 30 minute drive. The boat from Pavona to Tortuguero can take up to 2 hours depending on the tides.