On Costa Rica’s northern Caribbean coast, more than 245 kilometers from San Jose’s capital, lies the quaint and isolated fishing village of Tortuguero.
Away from the mainland, life here has been adapted in a peaceful way. With a local population of only 2000 people, there are no external influences and the main way into the city is through a complex network of waterways. These waterways serve as the lifeline of the community, supplying goods and goods to villagers and tourists alike.
The region’s very high rainfall (6 feet per year) and high humidity make Tortuguero one of the most biologically rich places in all of Costa Rica. The national park boasts more than 300 species of birds and 60 species of mammals, including the rare and rare jaguar. Because of this rich biodiversity, many refer to Tortuguero as “the Amazon of Costa Rica.”
Unlike other parks in Costa Rica, sneaking through jungle trails can actually get in the way. Instead, one of the best ways to observe wildlife is to hit the waterways.
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Visit Tortuguero National Park
History of Tortuguero
The town of Tortuguero is thought to have been founded by a Colombian family in 1930, almost 100 years ago. Before long, the area fell victim to deforestation and exploitation.
A few decades ago, tortuguero was rampant with poachers and hunters. Locals will collect valuable bounty turtle eggs, as well as bushmeat, the meat of wild animals found in the surrounding jungle. Many people think that sea turtle eggs are an aphrodisiac, but this is just a myth.
Roughly translated as “catching turtles” in Spanish, locals coined the term Tortuguero after seeing the huge numbers of sea turtles nesting here on the beaches. By the 1950s, local settlers had nearly exhausted their natural resources and the tortoise species was nearly extinct.
After dedicated research and conservation by University of Florida scholar Dr. Archie Carr, Tortuguero was designated a Turtle Nest Sanctuary in 1963. A few years later, in 1970, the area was named a national park. The park itself now spans over 46,000 acres, which includes a variety of habitats including mangrove forests, beaches, lowland rainforests, freshwater rivers, and coastal systems.
Tortuguero Travel Forum
Sea Turtle Watching
Without a doubt, one of the area’s main attractions is the sea turtles. On the shores of Tortuguero, visitors can spot four of the seven sea turtles found in the world’s oceans: green sea turtles, Leatherback’s, Hawksbill turtles and occasionally Loggerhead turtles.
The best time to see these marine reptile flocks is from July to October, with August being the best month. Sea turtle sightings are a must on your list of things to do in Tortuguero, as all types of turtles are still considered endangered.
To fully understand sea turtles, visit the Caribbean Conservation Center (CCC). For a $1 entrance fee, researchers and volunteers share interesting information about sea turtles around Tortuguero.
inspection: Tortuguero’s Turtle Nest Sightseeing Tour
The best way to truly appreciate Tortuguero’s pristine beauty is to visit the many freshwater canals and tributaries that run around Tortuguero. Many species of Tortuguero have adapted to river life. The most common animals are caiman, turtles, herons, and monkeys.
A variety of tour companies operate in major cities and offer exciting wildlife-watching excursions from unique perspectives. Choose from solo kayak, multi-person canoe or group river boat excursions.
Each has its own advantages, but kayaking is one of the most popular options. This allows individuals to explore narrow waterways rich in vegetation and nature.
you will like Tortuguero National Park Canoe Tour.
Twilight is a time of mystery and wonder. Species hiding during the day now venture out into the world. Many of the animals around Tortuguero can only be observed at night, and the best way to see them is to book a guided night tour.
Often accompanied by bilingual and knowledgeable guides, they take you into the wilderness of Tortuguero (seasonal) through open trails to look for nocturnal inhabitants such as sloths, snakes, raccoons, frogs and turtles.
You may be interested. night walk.
Perhaps one of Tortuguero’s most important sites, its beaches provide a haven for many species of turtles that come to lay their eggs at night.
The beach is vast and stretches for several kilometers to the national park. It may not be the most stunningly beautiful beaches in Costa Rica, but the undeveloped landscape is home to a variety of wildlife. If you’re lucky, you might even get a glimpse of a jaguar footprint!
A word of warning, this beach is not suitable for swimming. Many locals venture to the sea, but it is not recommended. Fatal rip currents have claimed the lives of many tourists.
How to get to Tortuguero National Park
Tortuguero is definitely not accessible. However, if you are staying in Costa Rica for a while, you should definitely visit this place.
Driving is not possible due to remote location. Rather, you have two viable options. For those on a tighter budget, take a bus from the capital city of San Jose to La Favona. If you are traveling from Arenal or other inland destinations, you can also take a bus to La Pavona. For those coming from the Caribbean, take a bus to Gathering Harbor.
You will need to take a boat from Moin or La Pavona to Tortuguero. Depending on the hotel package, a private boat may be waiting.
If not, there are plenty of public boats that take tourists to the main town of Tortuguero. Boats typically carry 10-25 people, including locals to and from the mainland.
The journey from the port of La Pavona takes about 1.5 hours. This is where your adventure begins as your boat meanders peacefully through lush canals. Keep an eye out for the canopy as you drive through dense rainforest. Trips from Moin take longer and take around 4 hours.
For those not concerned about the budget, there is an option to fly directly from San Jose to the small runway in Tortuguero. The main advantage of this trip is that there is a jet lag as the trip only lasts a total of 30-60 minutes. One of the most popular airlines is Sansa Airlines, a Costa Rica domestic service. Prices start at $70.
Where to stay in Tortuguero National Park
A large but eco-friendly resort, Pachira Lodge is nestled among 34 acres of exotic flora and fauna. Conveniently located just 3 minutes from the main city and 5 minutes boat ride to the entrance of Tortuguero National Park.
The Lodge boasts overnight packages and offers class services including transfers, food, and tours from San Jose. A great way to immerse yourself in your Tortuguero adventures without the stress. Check out the links below to learn more about pricing and offers.
If you want to add a touch of luxury to a true jungle experience, head to Mawamba Lodge. A prime example of how luxury does not require sacrificing the environment, Mawamba uses biodigesters and locally sourced products to recycle energy with low impact on Tortuguero’s fragile ecosystem.
Mawamba is ideally located on the land strip between the Caribbean Sea and the Tortuguero Canal and offers great views. Rooms have private patios and hammocks with spectacular views of the rainforest.
Have you been to Tortuguero National Park?
You may also like my other posts about Costa Rica.
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