Tortuguero National Park
National Park Tortuguero (translated as 'Region of Turtles') lies on the northeastern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, approximately 50 miles north of the principal Port of Limon. It is a small isolated village accessible only by boat through the canals or domestic flights, and most of the tourists that visit stay at hotels and lodges on the shores of the canals. The National Park was established in 1970 to protect the Tortuguero canal and beach, the most important nesting site of the endangered green turtle in the Western Hemisphere. The green turtle population is believed to have come perilously close to extinction in the 1960s when nearly every female turtle arriving to nest in Paque Nacional Tortuguero was taken for the export market for turtle soup. Thanks to the joint efforts of non-profit organizations, Tortuguero’s villagers, and the government of Costa Rica, some 50,000 tourists visit this national park annually to see nesting turtles. The park now includes over 46,900 acres and protects 22 miles of nesting beaches from the mouth of the Tortuguero River south to Parismina, comprising the largest remaining tract of lowland wet tropical forest on Costa Rica's Atlantic Coast. The weather is warm and humid, with daily temperatures averaging 79 °F and an annual average rainfall of over 200 inches. The village made up of a variety of cultures – Hispanic, Miskito Indian (Nicaragua), and Afro-Caribbean, which makes visiting this national park a fascinating opportunity not only to be immersed in exotic flora and fauna, but also to meet locals and learn about their lifestyle and culture. Ask our travel agents for additional information on booking a tour to Tortuguero.
In Costa Rica, Tortuguero National Park is known as the “Tico Amazon”. A natural system of canals and navigable lagoons (laguna) of great scenic beauty crisscross the park, providing a perfect home for bountiful vegetation and wildlife. The natural vegetation of the area is varied with swamp forests in the lowlands, tropical wet forests and rainforest further inland at higher elevations. Abundant wildlife inhabits Tortuguero, including 57 species of amphibians, 111 species of reptiles, 60 species of mammals and more than 300 species of birds, making it a perfect destination for bird-watching. In guided tours, you will be able to see keel-billed toucans, slaty tailed trogons, Montezuma oropendulas, parrots, green and great blue herons, egrets, belted kingfishers, jacanas, sun grebes and several species of hawks and kites. You can also try a kayak or canoe trip, take walks on the jungle trails or beach, ride horses down the beach, fish in the canals or the sea, and, of course, take night-time walks to search for nesting turtles on the beach. Few places on earth offer so much in such a small location. Contact our staff of travel consultants for the best travel advice and packages you can get.
The beaches in Tortuguero National Park serve as an important nesting site not only for the endangered green turtle, but also for other rare species such as the giant leatherback, hawksbill, and loggerhead turtles. It is common to see manatees or sea cows floating besides river turtles lined up on logs, playful howler, white-faced and spider monkeys waiting for you to snap their picture, three-toed sloths, iguanas and poison dart frogs. Caiman are commonly observed in the waterways, which also are home to crocodiles, about 30 species of freshwater fish including tarpon and snook, and an occasional bull shark. If you are very lucky, on one of the everal trails that weave from beach to forest, you may spot one of the elusive jaguars, ocelots, or kinkajous that call this area their home. We offer different tours which include transportation and accommodations in secluded, rustic lodges surrounded by forest gardens with scattered hammocks among the trees for you to lay back and relax. In your trip to Costa Rica, Tortuguero Canal can be included into your travel plans for a customized vacation package Don’t miss the experience of visiting this incredible destination.