Tortuguero National Park

Caribbean

Adjacent to the Barra del Colorado National Wildlife Refuge is the more well-known and frequented Tortuguero National Park, the most important nesting site of the green sea turtle on Costa Rica's Atlantic side. Tortuguero, which means "region of turtles" in Spanish, is home to four of the world's eight species of green sea turtle including Leatherback, Olive Ridley, Loggerhead, and Hawksbill turtles.

Tortuguero National Park protects 46,815 acres (18,946 ha) of natural wildlife habitat including over twenty miles of coastline in which the turtles lay eggs. The park is also home to a variety of animal species including jaguars, macaws, tapirs, over 300 species of birds, reptiles, and other mammals. A number of manatees call Tortuguero their home as well, though they are difficult to spot. The park offers great views of local fauna from either trailside or boat, and guides are available to help visitors navigate the marshland.

The characteristic rain of Costa Rica's Limon province is even more pronounced near Tortuguero, where rainfall ranges from 165 to 200 inches (500 to 600 cm) annually, distinguishing the region as one of the wettest in the country. Marshland, swamps, lagoons, and sluggish rivers all feed off of the nonstop rains. Added to the mix is off-the-charts humidity that thickens the air, helping the plant life flourish.

Visitors can observe sea turtles lay eggs after sundown when the turtles begin their arribadas. Because of conservation efforts, turtles have made a huge comeback to the park. The breeding season for the green sea turtle is March to October, however stragglers can be found up and down the coast throughout the year. Leatherbacks lay eggs from February to July, allowing visitors the ability to see the arribadas year-round.

Boat travel is the primary method of navigating the park's rugged terrain, and trails can be reached via boat for those interested in hiking. Boats are cheap for hire, as are guides who can help you to find nesting turtles, hiking trails, or the best spots to fish. Many companies offer organized tours of the park as well. As far as these go, price most often correlates with comfort and organization. However, budget travelers should not shy away from the cheaper options.

Getting to the park can be an inconvenience. A small airport north of Tortuguero village is the easiest way of visiting the region, while those in Puerto Limon can elect to travel in passenger boat from the nearby port at Moin.

The town of Tortuguero offers visitors of all budgets a chance to stay in a variety of accommodations. Hotel reservations should be made in advance due to limited space.

Nearby Lodging

 

Aninga Lodge

Tortuguero

Bar

Free Breakfast

Restaurant

Swimming Pool

& More

4.5 / 5.0
From$454

Aninga Lodge

A neat place to stay in a truly exotic location, Aninga Lodge offers private cabins connected by raised walkways. Keep a lookout for birds, mammals, and other animals...

4.5 / 5.0
Rooms and Rates

Evergreen Lodge

Tortuguero

Bar

Restaurant

Swimming Pool

Wireless Internet

& More

4.5 / 5.0
From$454

Evergreen Lodge

The Evergreen Lodge is located in the northeastern corner of Tortuguero. This hotel has eco-friendly accommodations and is surrounded by nature.

4.5 / 5.0
Rooms and Rates

Pachira Lodge

Tortuguero

Bar

Jacuzzi

Restaurant

Swimming Pool

Wireless Internet

& More

4.5 / 5.0
From$454

Pachira Lodge

The Pachira Lodge is located on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica near the National Park of Tortuguero. The lodge is surrounded by a network of very scenic canals and is...

4.5 / 5.0
Rooms and Rates

Hotel Mawamba

Tortuguero

Bar

Free Breakfast

Jacuzzi

Restaurant

Swimming Pool

& More

4.6 / 5.0
From$456

Hotel Mawamba

Hotel Mawamba is located on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica in Tortuguero. Tortuguero is a navigable network of lake and canals that cross the National Park from...

4.6 / 5.0
Rooms and Rates

Manatus Hotel

Tortuguero

Air Conditioning

Bar

Cable TV

Free Breakfast

Restaurant

& More

4.7 / 5.0
From$566

Manatus Hotel

Manatus Hotel is an all-inclusive hotel in Tortuguero National Park. It is located between the canal and the coast.

4.7 / 5.0
Rooms and Rates

Laguna Lodge

Tortuguero

Bar

Restaurant

Swimming Pool

Wireless Internet

& More

4.5 / 5.0
From$459

Laguna Lodge

Laguna Lodge lies along Costa Rica's northern Caribbean Zone, an exclusive location on a narrow strip of land between the sea on one side and the Tortuguero-Lagoon on...

4.5 / 5.0
Rooms and Rates

Tortuga Lodge and Gardens

Tortuguero

Bar

Restaurant

Swimming Pool

& More

4.8 / 5.0
From$212

Tortuga Lodge and Gardens

The Tortuga Lodge and Gardens is on Costa Rica's northeast Caribbean coast, just offshore of the port town of Limon. Limon is a lively town with a distinct Jamaican...

4.8 / 5.0
Rooms and Rates

Turtle Beach Lodge

Tortuguero

Bar

Restaurant

Swimming Pool

& More

4.4 / 5.0
From$290

Turtle Beach Lodge

Turtle Beach Lodge is located in the Province of Limon in the Tortuguero National Park. Getting to Tortuguero is a wondrous trip as you need to use a plane or boat to...

4.4 / 5.0
Rooms and Rates

Wildlife Sightings