Tortuguero

Beauty from afar

The region of turtles, as the name Tortuguero translates from Spanish, is one of the most remote parts of Costa Rica. It can get crowded and overflown by tourists during the nesting season, but it is also the crude rawness of the natural beauty that it’s hard to resist. Here you can have your very own jungle-like experience, hike around the majestic national park, admire the diversity of wildlife, and enjoy the feeling of remoteness. And also, see some of the most important species of turtles.

Tortuguero Rainbow - Looking south-west along main channel from the public dock at Costa Rica's famos ecological preserve.

This short and informative travel guide will help you find your way around.

Things to see and do in Tortuguero

Tortuguero National Park

..is pretty much the main reason why people travel to this wet, rainy and often muddy region. The park is a river system, so the best way to fully experience it is to take a boat tour. You can also hike as there are a few trails. But nothing can compare to the animal kingdom of the park. Besides turtles, you’ll be able to see sloths, tiny frogs, howler monkeys, and all the other wildlife.

Turtle everything

If you want to see them laying eggs on the beach or watch as the babies make their first crawl to the sea, take a guided tour. Although many species live here, green turtles are the most common. You can learn more about these animals at the Caribbean Conservation Corporation Visitor’s Center and Museum.

Canoeing

Sightseeing boat with unidentified people visiting National Park in Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Canouing is a great alternative to the canal tours by boat. You can rent a canoe and explore the waters the way you want it.

Turtle Hill

Turtle Hill is the highest point of the Caribbean Costa Rica. A 10-minute boat ride from the village will take you its foothills, and then you’ll need around 2 hours to reach the summit where you’ll be rewarded with an amazing view.

Travel Costs

Accommodation

Prices for hostels start at around 10$ for a shared room and 21$ for a single room. If you’re traveling with a tent, you can camp on the beach for free, or go to one of the campgrounds. Prices for a hotel room start from 19$ per night. Free breakfast isn’t that common, but most places provide free WiFi. There aren’t many options, so you better plan ahead and book your stay in advance if using Airbnb. Expect to pay around 35$ to enjoy a privacy of having an entire apartment to yourself. Lodges cost around 28$ per night.

Food and drinks

you’ll need around 6$ for a basic meal. Food is quite pricey, and it’s even hard to find restaurants in the town. However, you shouldn’t worry as most accommodations provide meals for you.

Transportation

Water taxis are your answer, and they cost less than 2$ per person. Another cost you need to calculate into your travel is the entering fee to the park you need to pay upon arrival. It costs roughly 15$. As you can only reach Tortuguero by water or air, most lodges arrange a pick-up and provide transportation around the canals. An average price of a one-way flight from San Jose to the area is between 90-128$.

Sights

Birdwatching tours cost around 21$, canopy tours around 30$ per person, and canoeing prices range from 6-10$. Entrance fee to the park will cost you some 15$ and a night boat tour around 21$ per person. Entrance fee for the Caribbean Conservation Corporation Visitor’s Center and Museum costs less than a dollar, and everything they get goes back to the turtles and their protection.

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Pictures of Tortuguero

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