One of the country’s main attractions is the 47,000 acres Tortuguero National Park with its innumerous lagoons and canals. It protects a terrestrial area of 18956 hectares and 52265 hectares of marine habitat.
Tortuguero (derived from the Spanish word tortuga = turtle) is one of the most important nesting sites for the Green Sea Turtle, the Leatherback and the Hawksbill Turtle in the whole Caribbean. These are best observed between July and September at night. North of the national park, the village of Tortuguero is located on a narrow land strip. To the west side of the village lies the tranquil Tortuguero lagoon; to the east the Atlantic ocean with a strong surf and sharks, so swimming is not recommended here. In the small canals where the bordering vegetation forms amazing tunnels, nature presents itself from the most beautiful tropical side: Caimans, crocodiles, sweet water turtles, poison-arrow frogs, Basilisk lizards, oropendolas, toucans, Anhingas, Amazon kingfishers, bats, howler monkeys and manatees are just a few examples of Tortuegero’s abundant fauna.
Tortuguero Village and National Park are accessible by boat only, so individual traveling in this area might become difficult. Most of the lodges are offering complete packages including transportation, meals and a tour program from/to San José. For those traveling on a limited time budget, a domestic flight to the Tortugero air-strip could be taken into consideration.