Overview

Introduction

The high mountains of the central range fall away eastwards through coffee, sugar cane plantations and rain forest to the vast Caribbean plain of banana plantations, marshlands and high, tropical forests to rival those of the Amazon basin.

In Tortuguero National Park, the handful of lodges are set amidst the jungle and the whole area is bordered by miles of forest fringed beach where thousands of Green Turtles lay their eggs between July and October. September and October are the only months to see the whole cycle (egg laying and hatching).

From April to May Leatherbacks also lay in small numbers. Hawksbill nest sporadically from March to October. There are eight species of marine turtles in the world, six nest in Costa Rica. The turtles give Tortuguero National Park its name.

As you travel through the canal waterways, a new sight awaits you round every bend. A vast array of brightly coloured birds, monkeys, sloths, caiman and iguanas surround you. There is beauty, movement and variety everywhere you look. Do not be surprised if you get a knock on your door at your lodge and find a monkey staring right at you!

We recommend that you travel by land and boat to Tortuguero and then return by air to San Jose.

The spectacled caiman averages about 1m in length and can often be seen in Tortuguero whilst out on the canals. The much larger crocodile can be seen near the Carara reserve on the Pacific coast. The bright green basilisk lizard can sometimes be spotted on or near water. Nicknamed ‘Jesus Christ Lizard’, it can literally run across water on its hind legs!

The diverse habitats of Tortuguero National Park provide excellent opportunities to see a huge variety of  birdlife from the waders and sea birds of mangroves and coastal areas, to the more colourful species of the lowland wet-forest. The Great Potoo is a rare nocturnal predator, related to the nightjar whose daytime camouflage gives it the more  fitting epithet; ‘Broken Stick Bird’.

Read more

Traveller Tips

-Hire a canoe to get close and personal with the otters
-Follow the turtles as they lay their eggs under the night sky
-Spot the “Jesus Christ Lizard” walking on water

Useful information

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It is a nature-lover’s paradise. I love the fact that 25% of its land is protected by national parks and reserves. Seeing a puma or a vivid flash of morpho butterflies in Corcovado is a real thrill! Rafting a river is a must!

Lloyd Boutcher
Lloyd Boutcher
Best time to go
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC
Time Difference

GMT - 6hrs

Currency

Costa Rican Colon or US dollar

Language

Spanish

Average flight times

11 hours. BA direct flight from London Gatwick.

  • Average temperature

    Average rainfall

Note: Map is for guidance purposes only.

Talk to our Costa Rica expert

Lloyd Boutcher
Lloyd Boutcher

It is a nature-lover’s paradise. I love the fact that 25% of its land is protected by national parks and reserves. Seeing a puma or a vivid flash of morpho butterflies in Corcovado is a real thrill! Rafting a river is a must!

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Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Tortuguero

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

Required Information

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If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

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