The Northern Caribbean and Tortuguero
Tortuguero, known as Costa Rica’s Amazon, is one of the most gorgeous, remote paradises in the country. Located as far North as you can get on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, this area is only accessible by boat or plane, due to its tricky terrain. In addition to over 20 miles (32 km) of coastline, this region is crisscrossed by miles of canals, lagoons, rivers, and swamps. This secluded coastline is perfect for nature and relaxation, offering activities such as boat and kayak tours that allow people to see as much wildlife as possible. The town of Tortuguero is a carless, tight-knit community near the Tortuguero National Park.
The Geography and Wildlife of Tortuguero
As its name suggests (in Spanish), Tortuguero is particularly famous for its turtle (tortuga) nesting grounds. Every year between February and July, green sea turtles come to lay their eggs on the beach, hatching months later. In the rainforest, you can find several species of felines, including jaguars and ocelots, if you’re lucky. Monkeys and birds inhabit the treetops, and caimans and crocodiles love the lagoons and rivers.
The average elevation of this region is 0-330 feet (0-100 meters)
Explore More About Tortuguero
What to Do Around Tortuguero
- Canal boat tours
- Turtle sighting
- Night walks
- Wildlife sighting
Types of Travelers Who’ll Enjoy Tortuguero
Tortuguero is a great place for people who seek contact with nature, enjoy beautiful landscapes, incredible sunsets, and the tranquility of being far from civilization. You can enjoy adventures with your family, be close to wildlife and enjoy the beauty of the Caribbean.
The History and Culture of Tortuguero
This area has been the site of a lot of natural exploitation, historically, which makes its current conservation so important. Jamaican and other Caribbean people started coming to the area to work on the coconut and cacao plantations, while the United States started harvesting the precious hardwood found in its trees. Since the end of the 20th century, tourism has been growing in this area and with it, deep respect for the conservation of Tortuguero’s incredible natural resources, flora, and fauna.
Where is Tortuguero Located?
90 minutes from the Pavona docks, which are around 3.5 hours from Juan Santamaria Airport (79 miles/128 km)
90 minutes from the Pavona docks, which are around 6 hours from Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia (196 miles/317 km))
*Times are approximate and dependent on the time of day and other factors.
Highlights of Tortuguero
Here's why people take the time to travel to remote Tortuguero:
Tortuguero National Park: Boat or kayak through miles of lagoons through over 300 square km of the secondary rainforest as you look out for hundreds of species of birds and wildlife.
Tortuguero Town: This little town is home to just over 1000 inhabitants and does not have a single car in it, making for a close-knit, picturesque Caribbean village with a lot of personalities and crowd-free streets.
Green Sea Turtles: These beautiful large turtles generally come to the shores of Tortuguero to nest between February and July, with eggs hatching 50-70 days later with hundreds of little turtles scurrying to the ocean to start their lives. This is a highly protected animal in the Tortuguero area.