More information about Tortuguero ...

Climate

Climate

Tortuguero is warm and humid. Daily temperatures average 26 degrees C (79 F) and annual average rainfall is over 5,000 mm (200+ inches). Warm days are tempered by trade winds and cool nights.

Vegetation

Vegetation

Most of the park is low alluvial floodplain (sea level to 20m) which extends far inland, and is occasionally interrupted by isolated volcanic hills of 100-300 m. An intricate network of blackwater canals and creeks dissect palm swamps and mixed rainforest throughout the region. The natural vegetation of the area progresses from the poorly-drained swamp forests in the lowlands near the coast to tropical wet and pre-montane forests further inland at higher elevations. Forest species composition gradually shifts from coastal scrub to huge expanses of Raphia palm swamp and mixed species along waterway margins, to tall multi-layered evergreen forests. Canopy trees may exceed 60 m in height with girths of 1-2 m, some with massive buttressing. Species diversity of both plants and animals is very high here -- among the highest in Costa Rica.

Wildlife

Wildlife

Abundant wildlife inhabits Tortuguero, including 57 species of amphibians, 111 species of reptiles, and 60 species of mammals. More than 300 species of birds live in Tortuguero for all or part of the year. Birdwatchers commonly see keel-billed toucans, slaty tailed trogons, Montezuma oropendulas and a variety of parrots. Birds common along the canals include green and great blue herons, egrets, belted kingfishers, anhingas, jacanas, sun grebes and several species of hawks and kites. Other animals commonly seen are fishing bats, three-toed sloths, iguanas, basilisk lizards, poison dart frogs, and howler, white-faced and spider monkeys. The tracks of river otters, collared peccaries, and Baird's tapirs are often seen on the banks of rivers and canals. Caiman are commonly observed in the waterways, which also are home to gar-fish, manatees, crocodiles, crustaceans, and an occasional bullshark. Jaguars, ocelots, and kinkajous inhabit the park, but are rarely seen.