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Tortuguero National Park

Practical information on Tortuguero National Park

  • Family
  • Encounters with locals
  • Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
  • Hiking / Trekking
  • River
  • Sustainable Tourism
  • Essential
4 / 5 - 6 reviews
How to get there
Seven hours by bus or boat from San José
When to go
All year round
Minimum stay
2 to 3 days

Reviews of Tortuguero National Park

Eva Martin Seasoned Traveller
181 written opinions

A National Park situated on the Carribean coast and probably one of the most humid places on earth. 

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My suggestion:

When you visit, make sure you're well equipped - water and sun-proof clothes: gore-tex shoes, k-way jacket and desert hat. You may not look cool, but in this climate you'll be needing these!

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My review

The Tortuguero National Park is the third most popular tourist destination in the country and worth the trip to see it. There's no way in by foot - to visit this incredible region you'll need to go by boat or small plane. Eleven habitats co-exist, so you can expect to see a wide variety of plant and animal life.

The biggest attraction is when the turtles lay their eggs and, later, when they hatch. I was there out of season, so missed this sight, but even so I wasn't disappointed by what I saw around me. Whatever you do, exploring the tropical diversity of the park by taking a hike through the forest and/or a river trip is a great idea!

The scenery is surprising and magical. It's not every day that you drink your morning coffee or take an early walk in mangroves. And, as the forest wakes up, you'll find yourself surrounded by caimans, tropical birds and playful monkeys...an incredible way to wake up and one I wish I could do every day! So yes, whatever the season, think about staying longer in Costa Rica so that you get the chance to visit this little corner of paradise.

As for the village named after the park, it is small and idyllic. Situated on a sandbank between the river and the sea, swimming's not possible, as the sea is too rough. And no use taking your surfboard - the sharks will mistake you for a turtle!

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Eva Martin Seasoned Traveller
181 written opinions

A National Park situated on the Carribean coast and probably one of the most humid places on earth. 

EndFragment

My suggestion:

When you visit, make sure you're well equipped - water and sun-proof clothes: gore-tex shoes, k-way jacket and desert hat. You may not look cool, but in this climate you'll be needing these!

EndFragment
My review

The Tortuguero National Park is the third most popular tourist destination in the country and worth the trip to see it. There's no way in by foot - to visit this incredible region you'll need to go by boat or small plane. Eleven habitats co-exist, so you can expect to see a wide variety of plant and animal life.

The biggest attraction is when the turtles lay their eggs and, later, when they hatch. I was there out of season, so missed this sight, but even so I wasn't disappointed by what I saw around me. Whatever you do, exploring the tropical diversity of the park by taking a hike through the forest and/or a river trip is a great idea!

The scenery is surprising and magical. It's not every day that you drink your morning coffee or take an early walk in mangroves. And, as the forest wakes up, you'll find yourself surrounded by caimans, tropical birds and playful monkeys...an incredible way to wake up and one I wish I could do every day! So yes, whatever the season, think about staying longer in Costa Rica so that you get the chance to visit this little corner of paradise.

As for the village named after the park, it is small and idyllic. Situated on a sandbank between the river and the sea, swimming's not possible, as the sea is too rough. And no use taking your surfboard - the sharks will mistake you for a turtle!

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Alicia Munoz Seasoned Traveller
87 written opinions

In a virtually uninhabited area, this coastal National Park is in the province of Limon on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. 

My suggestion:
Going on an adventure on Tortuguero Park needs a little preparation beforehand. There are lots of hikes to go on to see the fabulous flora and fauna...but there are some dangers to be thought about.
My review

This park is superb but also hostile, with rainforest, marshes, beaches, and lakes. Its tropical climate is very wet (6,300 mm of rain a year) and it's generally recommended not to swim off the beaches because of the currents and the sharks...personally, I didn't even bother to paddle as I'd found much nicer water elsewhere during my trip to Costa Rica.

Environmentally speaking, Tortuguero is internationally famous for the richness of its ecosystem. The park has several sea turtle nesting areas (Loggerhead turtles, Green turtles, and the impressive Leatherback turtles). Unfortunately, they are also poached, something which the government and local associations are trying to prevent as best they can.

Alicia Munoz Seasoned Traveller
87 written opinions

In a virtually uninhabited area, this coastal National Park is in the province of Limon on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. 

My suggestion:
Going on an adventure on Tortuguero Park needs a little preparation beforehand. There are lots of hikes to go on to see the fabulous flora and fauna...but there are some dangers to be thought about.
My review

This park is superb but also hostile, with rainforest, marshes, beaches, and lakes. Its tropical climate is very wet (6,300 mm of rain a year) and it's generally recommended not to swim off the beaches because of the currents and the sharks...personally, I didn't even bother to paddle as I'd found much nicer water elsewhere during my trip to Costa Rica.

Environmentally speaking, Tortuguero is internationally famous for the richness of its ecosystem. The park has several sea turtle nesting areas (Loggerhead turtles, Green turtles, and the impressive Leatherback turtles). Unfortunately, they are also poached, something which the government and local associations are trying to prevent as best they can.

sonia goupil Seasoned Traveller
12 written opinions

Tortuguero is located on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast. It is a small village on the edge of the Tortuguero National Park, which is THE main tourist attraction in the area and an ideal place for family activities.

My suggestion:
Need a change of scenery and an opportunity to take it easy and relax? Spend a night in the village of Tortuguero whilst you arrange your excursion to the natural environment of the national park
My review

The excursion to the Tortuguero National Park was fantastic, thanks to the guide, who was passionate about what he did and had the eye of an eagle: caimans, plumed basilisk lizards, tortoises, birds, fish and sloths put on their show all along the canoe trip through the park. As well as the magnificent landscapes the park offers, it's a relaxing and rejuvenating place.

After my excursion along the canals of Tortuguero, I then just simply passed a few hours in the village of the same name, and I really loved the spirit of that little lost village. I love these kinds of places, ideal as they are for recharging your batteries, spending time isolated from hectic places, and enjoying surprising encounters, to say the least.

sonia goupil Seasoned Traveller
12 written opinions

Tortuguero is located on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast. It is a small village on the edge of the Tortuguero National Park, which is THE main tourist attraction in the area and an ideal place for family activities.

My suggestion:
Need a change of scenery and an opportunity to take it easy and relax? Spend a night in the village of Tortuguero whilst you arrange your excursion to the natural environment of the national park
My review

The excursion to the Tortuguero National Park was fantastic, thanks to the guide, who was passionate about what he did and had the eye of an eagle: caimans, plumed basilisk lizards, tortoises, birds, fish and sloths put on their show all along the canoe trip through the park. As well as the magnificent landscapes the park offers, it's a relaxing and rejuvenating place.

After my excursion along the canals of Tortuguero, I then just simply passed a few hours in the village of the same name, and I really loved the spirit of that little lost village. I love these kinds of places, ideal as they are for recharging your batteries, spending time isolated from hectic places, and enjoying surprising encounters, to say the least.

Tours and travel ideas Tortuguero National Park