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.

Tortuguero Costa Rica

Tortuguero National Park Experts

Tortuguero National Park is you MUST Stop while in Costa Rica. Discover its Network of canals, lagoons and dense rainforests and see the turtles hatch.The park stretches north along the Caribbean coast up to the village of Tortuguero, which has a small population of around 500, no cars, and is located on a relatively narrow spit of land between the beach and a canal. Just north of Tortuguero are the various lodges and hotels. All these sections consist of a canal running parallel to the beach on the east, and fed by a maze of serpentine streams and channels from the west.

The best to visit the national park

Packages

Apart from the boat tours along the canals of the national park (or even beyond), you can walk along the pristine beach, or visit the simple Tortuguero village and the Caribbean Conservation Corporation´s visitor center and turtle museum. If energetic, you can also climb the only hill in the area, the short but steep 150m high Cerro Tortuguero, for a great scenic view of the canals and ocean. (But beware a fer de lance usually lying on the path uphill, which apparently the local guides know about!). The canals around the national park, and also the ocean, also provide good fishing.

Tropical rainforests, canals

Tortuguero National Park Experts

One of the major world-renowned attractions of the park is turtles, from February to October for several species. The park is the most important hatchery in the western Caribbean for green sea turtles, but 3 other species nest at Tortuguero - hawksbill, loggerhead,and giant leatherback.

Visitor info

Tortuguero National Park Experts

Visitor info - We recommend at least 2 nights, preferably 3 nights. Bring insect repellent, sun tan lotion and a light sweater or windbreak. You will need raingear (ponchos, rubber boots, umbrellas etc) but these are almost always provided by the lodge. For tours, or climbing Cerro Tortuguero, a guide is advisable as otherwise you will not spot much wildlife. Your lodge usually provides the guide. You should bring films, although in an emergency these are usually available in Tortuguero village or even in your lodge. All lodges have plenty of boats available for tours, and you can either go on a fixed tour with others, or on a private tour (more expensive). Boats and canoes are also available for rental, with or without local guide, at the village.

Getting to Tortuguero

Packages

Getting there - Many Tortuguero lodges have return transport from San Jose included in the package. This often includes the option to fly one of the legs.Otherwise visitors can choose to take a boat from Moin (beside Limon), drive to Cano Blanco (1 1/2 hours from Siquirres) to be picked up by a lodge's boat, or fly to Tortuguero village. The drive to Moin from San Jose takes 3-4 hours. You can go by Gray Line bus, by taxi, take a domestic flight to the airport of Limon or to Tortuguero, or drive by rented car (the trip through the Braulio Carrillo national park down the mountain is particularly attractive). 4x4 is not essential but is recommended if you intend to try out some of the gravel roads. Turtles in Costa Rica - 5 species of turtle swim vast distances to lay their eggs on the same tropical beaches in Costa Rica. They do this without fail each year, following an unchanged habit of centuries. In 1954 the world’s first turtle research station was founded by the Caribbean Conservation Corporation at Tortuguero . CCH has since spearheaded the protection of turtles with another 3 conservation sites at Las Baulas National Marine Park, at Ostional National Wildlife Refuge, and Gandoca-Manzanillo wildlife refuge. The species are leatherbacks, Pacific olive ridleys, greens, loggerheads and hawksbills. Of these, the ridleys are the easiest to see. Visitors can gain access to see turtles, but must follow strict guidelines and often should be accompanied by a qualified guide. Here is a nesting guide by location: The park lies on a plain, the ancient Nicaraguan Trench, which was filled with sediments 7 million years ago. The 19,000 hectar park is a delta mosaic on an alluvial plain right beside the Caribbean coast. The park has 11 ecological habitats, from high rainforest to herbaceous marsh communities. The park protects a vital nestling ground for green sea turtles (June-October), giant leatherback turtles (Mid February-July), female hawksbill turtles (July-October). The wildlife is rich and diverse; birds (of which 309 species have been identified), amphibians (of which 60 species have been observed), reptiles (110) and mammals (60). Some of the species in the park include the howler, white-faced capuchin and spider monkeys, the jaguar, the ocelot, manatees, macaw, turkey vulture, black hawk and much more... Tortuguero - 50km northwest of Puerto Limon. - Opening hours: Daily from 8:00-16:00. - It may change without notice. - Admission: US$ 6.00 approximately, per person