Experience the ecological wonders of Costa Rica’s Atlantic Coast this summer! You’ll discover nature in its most pristine condition. From golden sand beaches to mighty rivers, the opportunities for adventure are limitless. In Tortuguero National Park and neighboring Pacuare Nature Reserve, you can witness the age-old nesting ritual of giant Green, Leatherback, Carey, and Hawksbill turtles. Kayak the mysterious mangroves and canals, or explore the wild and rugged beaches of the area.
Travel in Comfort
You can reach this pristine paradise directly from the Juan Santamaria International Airport. Join us in a secure, private, air-conditioned shuttle bus. The trip takes approximately four hours from the airport. The journey winds down through the Braulio Carillo National Park into the country’s verdant central lowlands. It’s ripe with banana and pineapple plantations and small traditional towns. The watery labyrinth of rivers and canals make access to the region possible! We can also arrange a similar trip from Puerto Viejo or elsewhere on the Caribbean Coast or from the Arenal area. Start in one location and end in the other making it an efficient way to plan your vacation.
Tortugero National Park
Tortuguero National Park is best accessed through the town of Guapiles and the La Pavona dock servicing the park. Guests learn about the area’s history and natural wonders when they leave the capital. Enjoy a delicious traditional breakfast of tropical fruits, eggs, and Caribbean rice and beans en-route. Then take the trek eastward to the dock.
Once on board, enjoy the approximately 1.5 hours covered boat ride. It winds through the otherworldly landscape literally bursting with wildlife! You might see the small and elegant caiman (cousin of the larger crocodile), monkeys, amazing bird species, and a myriad reptiles.
Costa Rican Life
Once you’ve reached your hotel and the charming town of Tortuguero it’s time to explore. Tortuguero’s inhabitants are primarily of Afro-Caribbean decent combined with a mix of Spanish and Indigenous influences. The town’s Caribbean style traditional buildings and homes are colorfully painted. You’ll often hear Patois spoken and the cool melody of Reggae music! Get ready to smell of spicy Jamaican-influenced Creole cuisine in the air (locally known as limonese). Some must-try dishes are Rondon, a spicy seafood soup, spiced-meat Patí, and many other delectable dishes.
Turtles are the main attraction of Tortuguero National Park. Once hunted for their meat and valuable eggs, the locals now make their living from turtle preservation and eco-tourism. Most nesting occurs at night. Visitors must reserve their space in a tour organized by their hotel or directly with the MINAE (Ministry of the Environment and Energy) office in town.
The entire nesting process attracts a lot of attention. When hatchlings make the perilous trek from the egg to the water, many animals are watching. Vultures, raccoons, and even jaguars and other large cats are drawn to the vulnerability of the turtles. This provides an excellent opportunity to see wildlife in action.
Further off- the-beaten-track is Lirio Lodge in Barra de Pacuare, just south of Tortuguero. The lodge is located on the Madre de Dios Lagoo. You’ll find ten guest rooms and additional tent options! There’s a waterside restaurant and bar, hammocks, and numerous trails to explore.
Lirio Lodge uses renewable energy. It has only limited internet reception, making your vacation a truly “disconnected” getaway. Enjoy a freshly prepared traditional breakfast with your stay. All other meals, snacks, and beverages are available at the restaurant and bar. Use the lodge’s kayaks to explore the area! Book a turtle tour, or take the fascinating Canals at Night Tour. Turtle nesting and the overall ecology of the area is similar to Tortuguero National Park.
Costa Rica’s Caribbean Region offers the visitor an opportunity to experience nature and culture unlike anywhere else in the world. Don’t miss it this summer!