Located in the Caribbean Limón province of Costa Rica, the small village of Tortuguero is found inside the magical 31,187-hectare costal park: Parque Nacional Tortuguero. As the primary Green Sea Turtle nesting site for the entire western half of the Caribbean, it is no wonder that the name Tortuguero literally means “turtle place.” In addition to the Green Sea Turtles, the Leatherback and Hawksbill Sea Turtles nest alongside the wide shorelines. The tiny town is characterized by a network of narrow canals (Canales de Tortuguero) where nature reigns as human settlements are scarce.
Perhaps the quietest destination on the Caribbean coast, Tortuguero is a stunning region featuring the heaviest rainfall in the entire country. Parallel coastal banks have created numerous lakes, channels and marshes, which create the perfect habitat for the overabundance of fish and marine life as sea and land merge. It is easy to see why the area was first inhabited by fisherman whose ocean and jungle fused cuisine continues to be the favorite of local inhabitants.
- ACCESS ROUTES
With no roads leading to this town, Tortuguero is only accessible by plane or boat. Boats embark from Puerto Limón which is a roughly three and a half hour trip through the Canal de Tortuguero and through some amazing areas of rainforests which tower over surrounding swamps. The boat ride is part of the incredible Tortuguero experience where visitors are likely to spot egrets and various other birds flying high above these lowlands.
Tortuguero offers many lodges, cabinas and hotels that accommodate tourists on a budget as well as those who have plenty of cash to spare.
- WHEN TO GO
With an average rainfall of almost 24 inches, there is no dry season in Tortuguero but rainfall is less frequent February, March and October. However, turtles are the main attraction and the best time to spot these wonderful creatures is during peak nesting season: from late July through August (where advance reservations are essential).
- HOW LONG
While the town only offers a museum and visitor center, hiking and canoeing are popular activities in the area. There is also an extremely active wildlife conservation community in Tortuguero, where you can take tours and observe the endangered turtles nesting in the wild. Depending on your travel preferences, we will help you to decide on the length of time for your visit to Tortuguero.
Arenal | Corcovado | Gulf of Papagayo | Jacó | Puerto Viejo | Quepos/Manuel Antonio
San José | Tortuguero | Tamarindo | Santa Elena/Monteverde