Tortuguero National Park - Best Tours & Trips 2019

34 trips to Tortuguero National Park tours from 21 tour companies. 6 reviews. 5.0/5 avg rating.
Tortuguero National Park is known for its pristine white and black sand beaches (created from volcanic ash), peaceful lagoons and rivers, and being one of the best places in the world to watch sea turtles nest and hatch. There are no roads to Tortuguero -- if you want to access this wildlife hotspot, you will have to take a boat or plane!
All Tortuguero National Park tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages.
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Travel Style Travel Style Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.

Trip Type Trip Type Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.

Itinerary Focus

Lodging Level Lodging Level Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.

Price From*

$ 419 $ 3,585

Price Per Day

Trip Length

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Physical Level Physical Level Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.

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Solo Friendly Solo Friendly Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.

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Colorful Costa Rica

SmarTours
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
9 days
$ 211 / day
$ 1,899
From : $ 4,827
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Visit Tortuguero Village
  • See the Arenal Volcano
  • Explore Monteverde Cloud Forest
  • Visit to Curi-Cancha Forest Reserve
  • See the Oxcart Factory in Sarchi
Visits:
Arenal Volcano, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
View Trip

Pura Vida in Costa Rica

9 days
$ 377 / day
$ 3,395
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Raft the Río Pacuare, considered by many to be one of the top 10 most beautiful whitewater rivers in the world
  • Zip-line your way through a private rainforest reserve and explore secluded channels by kayak in Tortuguero National Park
  • Take a forest hike near stunning Arenal Volcano and paddle the mystical waters of Lake Arenal
  • Spot a variety of wildlife, including monkeys, iguanas, sloths, toucans, and caimans
  • Enjoy a seamless, flexible, non-stop water park adventure—it's great value and perfect for families!
Visits:
Arenal Volcano, Caribbean, Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
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Costa Rica Wildlife Holiday

14 days
$ 256 / day
$ 3,585
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  •  Relish the diverse flora and fauna of Costa Rica
  • Benefit from the expertise of your naturalist guide
  • Explore by boat and on foot
  • Travel to less-visited parks and reserves
  • Experience a nocturnal walk in the rainforest
  • Sample the produce at the end of a chocolate tour!
  • See the lovely beaches of Manuel Antonio
Visits:
Corcovado National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park, San José, Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
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The Best of Costa Rica Independent Adventure

G Adventures
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
10 days
$ 105 / day
$ 1,049
From : $ 1,290
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Spot monkeys and tropical wildlife along the tortuguero canals
  • Relax on the pacific coast
  • Get active in the arenal volcano region
  • Soak in relaxing hot springs after a hard day of play
Visits:
Arenal Volcano, San José, Guanacaste, Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
View Trip

Explore Costa Rica

G Adventures
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
14 days
$ 146 / day
$ 2,039
From : $ 2,508
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Hear a lecture from a researcher at the monteverde institute
  • Learn how to make tortillas during a visit to a local family home
  • Spot wildlife while cruising the canals of tortuguero
  • Enjoy spectacular volcano views while soaking in hot springs
  • Learn all about sea turtles with an expert from the sea turtle conservancy
Visits:
Manuel Antonio National Park, San José, Tortuguero National Park, Caribbean, Costa Rica
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Costa Rica on Two Wheels

Explore!
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
14 days
$ 217 / day
$ 3,040
From : $ 4,104
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level : N/A
  • N/A
  • Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Coast to Coast - Discover the diversity of Costa Rica by bike
    • Tortuguero - Cruise the jungle waterways and explore the rainforest in search of abundant wildlife in this 'mini Amazon'
    • Nature and wildlife - The opportunity to see sloths, monkeys and brightly coloured frogs, together with some of Costa Rica's spectacular birdlife
    • Volcanoes - Admire the classic cone-shape of Arenal and the hot springs of Miravalles
    • Manuel Antonio - Walk jungle trails and tropical beaches with resident iguanas and Capuchin monkeys
    Visits:
    Arenal Volcano, Caribbean, Guanacaste, Manuel Antonio National Park, San José, Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
    View Trip

    Costa Rica - Coast to Coast

    Explore!
    Preferred
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    15 days
    $ 227 / day
    $ 3,320
    From : $ 4,604
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
    Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Nature and wildlife - The opportunity to see sloths, monkeys and brightly coloured frogs, together with some of Costa Rica's spectacular birdlife
    • Volcanoes - Admire the classic cone-shape of Arenal and the vastness of Poas
    • Tortuguero - Cruise the jungle waterways and explore the rainforest in search of abundant wildlife in this 'mini Amazon'
    • Monteverde - Search for the beautiful quetzal in this remarkable cloudforest reserve
    • Manuel Antonio - Share the stunning white-sand beaches with sun-bathing iguanas and Capuchin monkeys
    Visits:
    Manuel Antonio National Park, Arenal Volcano, Caribbean, Central America, Guanacaste, Pacific Ocean, Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
    View Trip

    Costa Rica: Wildlife Safari

    Discover Corps
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    8 days
    $ 374 / day
    $ 2,995
    From : $ 4,043
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
    Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Canoe the winding waterways of Tortuguero National Park
    • Come face-to-face with injured toucans, sloths, and monkeys at a local conservation center
    • Tour the world-leading La Selva Biological Station in the rainforest
    • Spot howler and white-faced monkeys while rafting the Sarapiqui River
    • Experience a Costa Rican cooking class
    Visits:
    Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
    View Trip

    Family Rainforest Adventure

    Explore!
    Preferred
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    14 days
    $ 214 / day
    $ 2,830
    From : $ 4,037
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
    Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Volcanoes - Discover active volcanoes and gigantic craters
    • Wildlife - Look out for some of the world's weirdest and most wonderful creatures, such as howler monkeys, sloths and beautifully-coloured birds
    • Monteverde - 'Fly' through the canopy of this cloud forest; Spot the famous quetzal bird
    • Jungle - Cruise along the waterways of the Tortuguero 'mini Amazon'
    • Golden beaches - Share the beach with sun-bathing iguanas and capuchin monkeys in Manuel Antonio National Park
    • Guayabo - Visit an ancient Indian ceremonial site
    Visits:
    Caribbean, Manuel Antonio National Park, Central America, Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
    View Trip

    Nature & Adventure Package

    Project Expedition
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    7 days
    $ 168 / day
    $ 1,174
    From : $ 1,644
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
    Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
    Lodging Level : You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
    Highlights
    • Visit Tortuguero National Park and enjoy boating tours
    • Arenal Volcano National Park and surrounding rainforests
    • Zipline and relax in natural hot springs
    • Hotels with a lot of amenities like private gardens, pools, spas, and bars
    Visits:
    Arenal Volcano, Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
    View Trip

    Explore Costa Rica

    Explore!
    Preferred
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    15 days
    $ 175 / day
    $ 2,550
    From : $ 3,537
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
    Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Nature and wildlife - The opportunity to see sloths, monkeys and brightly coloured frogs, together with some of Costa Rica's spectacular birdlife
    • Volcanoes - Admire the classic cone-shape of Arenal and the vastness of Poas
    • Tortuguero - Cruise the jungle waterways and explore the rainforest in search of abundant wildlife in this 'mini Amazon'
    • Monteverde - Search for the beautiful quetzal in this remarkable cloudforest reserve
    • Manuel Antonio - Share the stunning white-sand beaches with sun-bathing iguanas and Capuchin monkeys
    Visits:
    Manuel Antonio National Park, Arenal Volcano, Caribbean, Central America, Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
    View Trip

    Tortuguero National Park Tour – 4-Day Independe ...

    G Adventures
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    4 days
    $ 105 / day
    $ 419
    From : $ 566
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
    Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Cruise the canals in search of wildlife
    • Hike through the pristine environment of tortuguero national park
    • Search for sea turtles when in season
    Visits:
    San José, Tortuguero National Park, Caribbean, Costa Rica
    View Trip

    Costa Rica Explorer

    12 days
    $ 1,539
    Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
    Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Arrive in Costa Rica's capital San Jose and tour a few of the city's highlights including the neoclassical Teatro Nacional.
    • Watch thousands of turtles nest at Tortuguero National Park, then tour its canals and village!
    • Explore the secret waterfalls and rainforests of Bajos del Toro, one of the most beautiful areas in the country.
    • Hike, bike, and see the elusive Resplendent quetzal bird at Arenal Volcano and its national park.
    • Learn to surf in Guanacaste, a northwestern province on the Pacific known for its pristine beaches and perfect waves!
    Visits:
    Arenal Volcano, Guanacaste, San José, Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
    View Trip

    Natural Wonders of Costa Rica with Guanacaste

    11 days
    $ 234 / day
    $ 2,579
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
    Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
    Highlights
    • Cariari: Tour a banana plantation
    • Tortuguero national park: Guided cruise through the canals to view wildlife; guided walk through the rainforest; naturalist talkSARAPIQU
    • Arenal : Guided sightseeing of Arenal Volcano National Park; sightseeing of La Fortuna town; and visit Tabacón Hot Springs
    • Monteverde: Visit the Sky Walk hanging bridges; guided visit of Children’s Eternal Rainforest; Ecological Sancturary tour and cooking lesson; farewell dinner
    • Sarchi: Shop for souvenirsGUANACASTE
    • Grab your camera and swimsuit, and get ready for a wonderful vacation to Costa Rica! Witness bountiful wildlife in their natural habitat, enjoy relaxing dips in ecothermal hot springs, and learn about the Costa Rican culture on this thrilling adventure
    • Among the many highlights of this tour is Tortuguero National Park, where you’ll take a boat ride along remote, unspoiled sections of the park to view wildlife
    Visits:
    Arenal Volcano, Central America, Guanacaste, Tortuguero National Park, Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica
    View Trip

    Natural Wonders of Costa Rica with Manuel Antonio

    11 days
    $ 244 / day
    $ 2,679
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
    Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
    Highlights
    • Cariari: Tour a banana plantation
    • Tortuguero national park: Guided cruise through the canals to view wildlife; guided walk through the rainforest; naturalist talkSARAPIQU
    • Arenal : Guided sightseeing of Arenal Volcano National Park; sightseeing of La Fortuna town; and visit Tabacón Hot Springs
    • Monteverde: Visit the Sky Walk hanging bridges; guided visit of Children’s Eternal Rainforest; Ecological Sancturary tour and cooking lesson; farewell dinner
    • Sarchi: Shop for souvenirsMANUEL ANTONIO
    • Grab your camera and swimsuit, and get ready for a marvelous vacation to Costa Rica! Witness bountiful wildlife in their natural habitat, enjoy relaxing dips in ecothermal hot springs, and learn about the Costa Rican culture on this thrilling adventure
    • Among the many highlights of this tour is Tortuguero National Park, where you’ll take a boat ride along remote, unspoiled sections of the park to view wildlife
    Visits:
    Arenal Volcano, Central America, Manuel Antonio National Park, Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
    View Trip
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    Top Tortuguero National Park Experiences and Attractions

    Top Tortuguero National Park Experiences

    Kayaking through the quiet, jungle canals in Tortuguero National Park.

    Seeing dozens of massive, green sea turtles come ashore and lay their eggs.

    Watching endangered Great Green Macaws soar overhead while birdwatching.

    Learning about Tortuguero’s unique turtle populations in the Turtle Conservancy Museum.

    Spotting sleeping sloths, clamoring monkeys, red-eyed tree frogs, and even tapirs on a wildlife walking tour of the Tortuguero’s National Park.

    Relaxing in Tortuguero Village and learning about the vibrant townspeople and their history.

    Ziplining through the jungle canopy at a breathtaking speed.


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    Tortuguero National Park Trip Reviews

    6 Tortuguero National Park Tour Reviews - Summary 100% Recommend

    5.0 out of 5
    Excellent 6
    Great 0
    Average 0
    Disappointing 0
    Terrible 0
    Value
    5.0
    Guide
    5.0
    Activities
    5.0
    Lodging
    5.0
    Transportation
    5.0
    Meals
    5.0

    Tour Reviews Write a Review

    The Pura Vida trip was an outstanding family vacation

    5.0
    • Value 5.0
    • Guide 5.0
    • Activities 5.0
    • Lodging 5.0
    • Transportation 5.0
    • Meals 5.0

    With teenage children, we wanted to do something that would satisfy all of us. There was enough fun activities to keep us active and enough down time for us to relax. We were pushed outside our comfort zone, but the outstanding staff was there to encourage us and cheer us on.

    Read more
    Operator MT Sobek (Mountain Travel Sobek)

    Tortuguero National Park Tours and Travel Guide

    Tortuguero National Park Attractions & Landmarks Guide

    Turtle Season in Tortuguero National Park

    One of the best reasons to visit Tortuguero National Park is to get an up close encounter with a sea turtle in the wild. Sea turtles can be seen individually all year round, though you can find nesting turtles during certain seasons.

    Green Sea turtles and Hawksbill turtles nest between July and October (the peak of the season being in August), and Leatherback sea turtles nest between February to April. Tortuguero has the second largest Green Sea turtle nesting site in the entire world.

    The best way to make sure you see either adult sea turtles nesting, or the incredible sight of hundreds of baby turtles hatching and racing to sea, is to book a guided tour. A knowledgeable tour guide will be able to tell you exactly what time and which night to go to the beach to watch the miraculous event occur.

    Your tour to Tortuguero may even include a chance to interact and learn about sea turtle conservation efforts from local groups, like Las Playitas. This may just be one way that your tour can be considered an eco, or environmentally sustainable tour.

    Top 5 Activities in Tortuguero

    Even if you visit outside of the turtle nesting season, there are still tons of activities to take part in.

    1. Canal Tours through the rainforests of Tortuguero. This is likely to be pencilled into your tour time, but if it’s not and you given your own time to roam, you can also kayak or canoe these passages on your own.

    2. Wildlife walks and rainforest tours. Walking along the park’s raised pathways is another great way to spot animals and learn about them from your experienced tour guide.

    3. Birdwatching tours. Even if you aren’t an ornithologist, you will gain an appreciation for the diversity and beauty of the different kinds of birds in the park.

    4. Visit the Sea Turtle Conservancy Museum. This small museum by the entrance of the National Park only costs $2 to enter, and provides a detailed summary of all of the sea turtle species which frequent the park.

    5. Zipline through the jungle canopy. Combine your ecotourism with an adventure experience, and learn for yourself why Costa Rica’s ziplines are renowned worldwide.

    Eco Tours in Tortuguero

    Many tours to Tortuguero can be classified as “eco tours” because they help support a National Park and wildlife sanctuary. Eco tours are, in general, tours which visit natural areas and make significant efforts to leave a low impact, and act environmentally responsible.

    One part of your eco tour may include staying in an eco lodge. These are particularly popular in Costa Rica, which benefits greatly from ecotourism, and as a result sees the benefit in preserving their natural resources. An eco lodge is a greener form of housing, usually located in a remote, wilderness setting. The best eco lodges also forge relationships, and give back to, the local community.

    Tortuguero Cultural & Historical Tours

    Outside of the National Park, Tortuguero Village is the small village that supports tourist activity to the park. It is a completely unmodernized (and “untainted,” in local opinion), and an environmentally-focused community. Although your tour to Tortuguero will undoubtedly visit the National Park and have a natural focus, going on a cultural tour of Tortuguero will likely take you to this small village.

    Tortuguero Village has strong Afro-Caribbean roots, and prides itself on not having cars. The first electric generator was brought to the island in 1982. A cultural tour of the area will educate you on the town’s history, from a small settlement, to its heyday as logging town, to becoming the archetype for an environmentally conscious community.

    Top Tortuguero National Park Travel Companies

    Things to Know Before You Go

    Tortuguero on your Tour of Costa Rica

    Tortuguero National Park is a popular way to dive in depth into the natural wonders of Costa Rica. For this reason, it is often a stop on grander tours of Costa Rica as a whole, and even on tours that include other countries. Popular combinations include tours of Costa Rica and other Central American countries, like , Cuba, and Guatemala.

    The longer tours are a great way to get a better feel of Central America as a whole, and enrich your Costa Rica trip with cultural and adventure activities, instead of focusing on simply observing wildlife. On the other hand, if you have spent multiple days racing between archaeological ruins and soaking up extensive histories, or been bouncing between heart-racing zip lining and bungy jumping activities, Tortuguero is the perfect, relaxing break on your trip.  

    Tortuguero National Park Weather

    The entire Tortuguero Conservation Area is a tropical climate, so you can expect warm weather (temperatures are generally in the mid-80’s Fahrenheit) and humidity and no matter the time of year. There is consistent rain year round, although September is technically the driest month of the year, though you should still pack a rain jacket if you visit then!

    What to Wear in Tortuguero

    Because of the likelihood of rain, you should definitely pack a light rain jacket, or consider buying a poncho. A pair of closed-toe shoes, like sneakers, and sandals will work for most of your needs. Tortuguero lodges are also notorious for their rentals of rubber rain boots (“wellies”) if you are concerned about packing the bulky, waterproof item.

    Because it can be cooler in the morning and in the evenings, make sure to pack light layers you can easily put on or remove. Synthetic and lightweight materials are preferred, since they will do best in the strong humidity and dry quickly after rain.

    Also make sure to bring a bathing suit! Although the ocean is restricted for swimming within the National Park, and you will probably want to avoid the caiman in the canals, your accommodation will probably have a pool, and there are public beaches.

    Birdwatching Tours in Tortuguero

    Although turtles at Tortuguero’s namesake, and most well known attraction, there is also an incredible abundance of other wildlife. This extends to birds -- there are over 300 species of birds in this small part of Costa Rica, making it one of the best destinations for birders.

    A trip to Tortuguero is a great way to catch a glimpse at migrating birds, as well as a long list of local residents. To bird inside of the park, the best (and really only way) to catch a glimpse at some birds is to take a flat bottom boat through the various water canals in the rainforest on a guided, birdwatching tour.

    However, there are still many habitats around the park, and probably your lodging, to go look for birds as well. Most birders split their time between the park, and outside habitats (including rice fields, transition zones, and the beaches) in this way.

    Some of the highlights in this area include six different species of kingfisher, harpy eagles, sungrebes, tiger herons, king vulture, great green macaws, resplendent quetzales, toucans, various flycatchers, and many more.

    All Tortuguero National Park tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 5.0 for all Tortuguero National Park trips.

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