Things to Do in Tortuguero

Things to do in Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Tortuguero is one of Costa Rica's natural treasures, located on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica and accessible only by boat through rainforest natural canals or by plane.
The area is best known for the sea turtles that come to nest on its beaches, including leatherbacks, loggerheads, and green turtles. It's the turtles that give Tortuguero its name and ensure the area is protected.
Behind the beach, lush rainforest crisscrossed by natural canals and lagoons make for an incredibly remote region that remains undiscovered by many. 
Activities in Tortuguero revolve almost exclusively around nature. That's why people come here, to explore the rainforests and check out the turtles. Here though, exploring the rainforests is mostly done by boat or kayak, and your hotel can arrange that for you.
Fishing is another activity in Tortuguero. Anglers love to come here to catch the tarpon that live in the brackish waters where rivers meet the Caribbean Sea.
There's also a community here, Tortuguero Village, which is a great place to check out a taste of the local Caribbean culture of this remote spot.

FAQs about Tortuguero 


Is Tortuguero worth visiting? 

If you're a nature lover seeking an off-the-beaten-path eco-destination in Costa Rica, then yes, Tortuguero is well worth visiting.
Getting to Tortuguero is an adventure in itself, involving boats and jungle canals. This area is all about the national park and turtle nesting beaches, and is a must for anyone seeking a nature-orientated vacation with wildlife galore.

How many days should you spend in Tortuguero? 

About two or three days is a reasonable time to stay in Tortuguero. You might then want to travel to another region, to experience, say, cloud forests, volcanoes, or beaches. 

What is Tortuguero Costa Rica known for?

It’s mostly known for its rainforests, national park, and turtle nesting beach. Birdwatchers and tarpon anglers also have Tortuguero on their radar. 

Can you swim in Tortuguero? 

This is highly discouraged. Locals will tell you there are crocodiles in the canals and lagoons and sharks in the Caribbean. Stick to the pool, please! 

Where can you see turtles in Tortuguero? 

You can see turtles in Tortuguero on the Caribbean beaches around the area. They're best checked out at night, and in season, it's easy to arrange a tour.

When can you see turtles in Tortuguero?

Turtles come to nest on the beaches of Tortuguero year-round, but some months are better than others. Green turtles make up the majority of turtles who visit here, and they come between July and October. Loggerhead turtles also come during this time.
Hawksbill turtles arrive earlier, around March. They also continue coming until October, so those months of July, August, and September have three types of turtles nesting on the beach.
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