Regions: Caribbean: Tortuguero

Meandering canals through a majestic tropical rainforest; abundant rivers that come alive with a unique wildlife; and still lagoons that reflect the sun and the moon; this, and whole lot more is Tortuguero.

The Tortuguero National Park was created 1975. It’s located only 80km north from the city of Limon, and it’s name, wich can be translated as “abundance of turtles”, is actually the reason why it is famous around the world.

Every year, the hatching of baby sea turtles takes place in this wildlife are.

Protection

The protection of this unique creature was one of the main reason why the park was created. Tortuguero is most important nesting area in the entire Occidental Caribbean region. It´s the place where the four turtle species of the Caribbean Sea come to nest: the giant leatherback turtle; the green turtle (the second largest and the most abundant inside the park); the hawkbill turtle; and the loggerhead turtle (the smallest of all and threatened, due to the value of its shell).

Another important aspect of the park’s creation was the extreme need for protecting the remnants of tropical rain forest, that more than fifty years ago used to cover all of the country’s Northeastern sector.

Water is life. This couldn’t be closer to the truth in Tortuguero. Navigating through the park’s waterways, the visitor can become one with the exuberant flora and fauna that lies around them.

Nature lovers’ delight
The variety of environments that can be found inside the park allow more than 400 species of trees and around 2,200 species of other kinds of plants to grow.

Among the enormous diversity of fauna of Tortuguero, you will find some endangered species of mammals like the jaguar; ocelot; manatee; tayra; sloth; three species of monkeys and tapir (the largest among the animals of the American tropical forest). The natural canals are filled with crocodiles, manatees and otters.

The abundance of living creatures doesn’t stop here. This area is known to contain approximately 50 per cent of the bird and reptile species of Costa Rica. Four hundred and five bird species are accounted for in the region; this overcomes those found in the entire European Union. The diversity of amphibians, reptiles, fish and insects is also impressive.

Hand in hand

Natural trails and beaches allow you to come in direct contact with nature. Some biological stations inside the park are directed by scientist and volunteers. Their objective? To study the different types of animals and birds that can be found, as well as conserving the are keeping the impact of visitors to the minimum.

The communities of Parismina and Tortuguero are right next to the park. Here, you can find facilities like food, lodging, guides, and phone services. Visiting them can be one of your best shots at experiencing the full on Caribbean culture.

Costa Rica Travel: Travel Information & Tips

No matter how beautiful a destination may be, it needs easy access and be reachable within the limitations of an average vacation period. Costa Rica is only two and a half hours away from Miami!