It is incredible how there are so many completely unique destinations packed into this little tropical country. For those who have been to the Central Valley, the Pacific coast, or even the Southern Caribbean of Costa Rica, Tortuguero presents a completely different experience.
For one thing, you can’t drive to Tortuguero. How many times in your life have you been to a place without a single car? It is a completely different kind of experience, let me tell you. 100% of people and goods arrive to Tortuguero by boat, even those coming from the airport. As I was cruising down the river on a covered hotel boat, I saw plenty of other boats transporting everything from fresh fruit to concrete construction blocks.
After twisting and turning down the river, you get to the lagoons. There are countless lagoons, rivers, canals, and other waterways crisscrossing the North Caribbean, but the main “streets” are all wide and tranquil. The trees that border these waterways are tall and water plants crowd the edges.
Soon you round the bend and see the little town of Tortuguero where it sits on a narrow strip of land between the main lagoon and the Caribbean Sea. You can literally see both ocean and lagoon at some points. The town itself is colorful and festive. The people here are relaxed. There is no reason to rush.
That is basically the vibe of the whole area. You visit Tortuguero because you want to relax, because you don’t want to rush. The Tortuguero hotels are about resting by the pool, strolling through the tropical gardens, and walking along the beach. You come to this Caribbean paradise for leisurely birdwatching boat tours, placid kayaking, and slow and steady nesting turtles.
For me, my latest trip to Tortuguero was enforced rest. I am a busy person, always working, running around, and doing things. From the minute I got on the boat, I could feel the tension leaving my muscles. I could feel myself melting into the vacation.
I have been all over Costa Rica, from Pacific to Caribbean. Visitors know Costa Rica as a destination for adventure and fun, but Tortuguero reminds us that it is also a destination for natural beauty and simple peace.
Tortuguero is about simple peace.
The locals live this simple peace. It is a priority for the national park that ensures peace to the turtles arriving to nest and for the baby turtles starting their lives. The hotels, restaurants, and tours offer simple peace in all its facets.
If you are looking for the exotic beauty of a Caribbean paradise, Tortuguero offers a completely unique experience.
If you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of life in a remote, natural sanctuary, Tortuguero offers a secluded escape from the rest of the world.
If you are looking for untainted nature and thriving wildlife, Tortuguero offers hundreds of species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds across their protected land.
If you are looking for simple peace, Tortuguero offers the best vacation you have ever had.