TORTUGUERO COSTA RICA
For many people, Tortuguero Costa Rica is the highlight of their Costa Rica vacation and, despite its remoteness, this Caribbean park is truly one of Costa Rica’s Seven Wonders.
And a great Costa Rica adventure, too.
Set aside as a sanctuary in 1963 and declared a national park in 1970, it’s the largest breeding sanctuary in the Western Hemisphere for magnificent sea turtles, some of which weigh 1,300 pounds!
And, every year, thousands make a trip to Costa Rica to nest.
Though they’ve been around since before the dinosaurs and were once very common in all the oceans except the arctic, today every species is seriously endangered.
Tortuguero provides critical nesting areas over a 30 km. stretch of beach for four of the seven sea turtle species and thousands of people go there each year to witness a real spectacle of nature.
Every year up to 30,000 green sea turtles lay their eggs on the seemingly endless beaches of Tortuguero between June and October (September is the best month).
But, don’t worry. If your Costa Rica vacation is anytime between February and October, one or more species will be on the beaches at night. And, hawksbills lay sporadically throughout the year.
When you travel to the Land of Pura Vida, bear in mind that the only way of reaching Tortuguero Costa Rica is by boat or small airplane.
The plane trip takes about half an hour from San Jose and the boat ride takes some three hours of so, but there will be lots to see.
If you want to take a boat, go to Limon, a small city on the Caribbean and head out from there. You can also drive to Limon in your car rental, take a plane or bus from San Jose, or go as part of a tour.
As you drive from San Jose you might want to take a bit of time and visit Turrialba Volcano. Tortuguero is a hot, humid, and very rainy part of Costa Rica, though most of the rains come in the afternoon or evening.
And, though famous for its sea turtles, the park offers much more to eco tourists.
In fact, it provides some of the finest areas in the country for wildlife viewing.
Many people on their Costa Rica vacations see flocks of parrots flying overhead, magnificent huge, brightly colored macaws, monkeys and sloths in the trees.
There are caimans in the water, bright red poisonous frogs and tropical snakes in the trees along the shore.
The park also has every species of wild cat in the country, including jaguars, pumas, and ocelots.
And, if you’re a sport fisherman, you’re in luck here!
This is world-class Costa Rica fishing country with incredible numbers of giant tarpon, snook, and just about every other big game fish you can think of.
When I say big, it’s not an exaggeration: Costa Rica holds over 100 world records for sports fish.
By the way, did I mention there are some big bugs, too?
Perhaps they’ll join you for cocktails on your Tortuguero Costa Rica vacation.
Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica
Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica is north of Limon on the Caribbean coast. Tortuguero National Park beaches are the major nesting area of the green sea turtle in Costa Rica. Nesting season stretches from July into the middle of October, when thousands of turtles arrive to lay eggs
Tortugueros Winding Waterways.
Tortugero ParkTours take boat rides on dugout through the natural inland waterways, where you may spy even more wildlife all year ’round. Sloths, Howler and Spider and Capuchin monkeys, toucans and butterflies. You can take a guide or just paddle around on your own. Either way, a leisurely trip through these canals is one of the most relaxing things you can do in the entire country. Just be sure to bring bug spray, and be sure to use it.
Of course, some people would rather catch the fish than merely observe them. The tarpon action is some of the best on the planet, and several fishing outfits can hook you up
Camping Out and Swimming.
Camping is permitted, but it gets very wet here even when it’s not rainy season. Also, the grounds are strewn with deadly snakes. Swimming in the shark-infested waters off the main beach is also not a great idea. If the sharks don’t get you, the severe rip tide of the surf will.
This is a water world kind of place where all transportation is by boat. Boats depart for Tortuguero from Limon and Barra Colorado. You may also take a boat from Moin.