The park is named after its most important inhabitants - sea turtles. Wildlife, landscapes and nature trips in Tortuguero National Park. Book a boat cruise on the Tortuguero jungle canals for an unforgettable wildlife watching experience. You may also see a massive American crocodile sunning itself on the banks of the river, or the much smaller spectacled caiman lurking right at the surface of the water. Tortuguero is Spanish for 'region of turtles' in English. Here’s an overview of the wonderful wildlife the winding canals of Tortuguero National Park have to offer visitors. Inside its boundaries you’ll find 11 different ecosystems, including riverine habitat, rainforest, mangroves, swamps, lagoons, and beaches. Tortuguero was first protected as a turtle nesting sanctuary in 1963 and the main attraction is the spectacular turtle season. …. Its most famous attraction is the nesting grounds of the endangered sea turtles, which the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC ) established the park to protect in 1975. Caimans are relatively easy to see in the area and sightings are pretty much guaranteed on tours. (More of a visual person? Its canals and rivers are packed with wildlife and lush forests. Part of Tortuguero National Park, it’s on a rainforest-covered sandbar whose beaches are a major nesting site for green turtles. When you consider how many... As the weather gets gloomier, most people start craving sunlight and warmth, even if just for a few weeks. While green sea turtle populations have increased in the area, records suggest there has been a decline in leatherback nests since monitoring began in 1995. In addition, kingfishers, snake-neck birds and herons are often seen. Beyond the coast lies a tropical rainforest crisscrossed by a network of freshwater creeks, canals, and lagoons. US$139,00 per adult. We did see plenty of lizards, including the green iguana, black spiny-tailed iguana, and green basilisk, commonly referred to as the Jesus Christ lizard due to its ability to run on water. Tortuguero National Park is located in a remote corner of the Caribbean coast in Costa Rica. Look out for them sunning themselves on the river banks when on boat trips in the area. Wow!! Today around 20,000 green turtles nest here each year. Of these, 50,284 are marine and 26,653 are terrestrial. The best spot to see them is near Barra de Pacuare, in the southern part of the Tortuguero canals. - Opening hours: Daily from 8:00-16:00. Having a chance to see these remarkable reptiles laying their eggs on the beach is a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience you won’t soon forget. When exposed to light caiman eyes gleam a shining red, creating an unforgettably eerie experience. For the best weather head in September and October. We offer 12 wildlife, landscapes and nature trips through-out Tortuguero National Park having in total 312 reviews. (More of a visual person? As an expert on ecotourism, one of the most common questions I get is, “How do I know which tour operators are truly sustainable?” As with... Solo travel is a rapidly growing trend nowadays, as more and more people are discovering the joys of traveling alone. Sloths, monkeys, hundreds of birds and reptiles. They were thought to be extinct in Costa Rica until a small group was discovered in the remote lagoons of Tortuguero National Park. Estimates suggest there are up to 100 manatees inhabiting the lagoons of Tortuguero and Barra del Colorado. Tortuguero National Parkis a location Sixty species of mammals inhabit the park such as spider monkeys, capuchin monkeys and howler monkeys, jaguar, pumas, ocelots, sloths, river otters, and manatees. OVERVIEW. They work great as natural alarm clocks! The main attraction at Tortuguero is the incredible spectacle of hundreds of green sea turtles clambering onto the beach to lay their eggs. So much wildlife in a fairly small park. Spanning 120 square miles and accessible only by boat or small airplane, the park is bound by 22 miles of Caribbean coastline in the east. To spot them listen closely for leaf rustling and look up at the canopy treetops where they spend most of their time. Later on in the season you may even get the chance to see the newly hatched turtles race to the sea. You can often see them feeding and playing in the trees while traveling by boat. Inside its boundaries you’ll find 11 different ecosystems, including riverine habitat, rainforest, mangroves, swamps, lagoons, and beaches. There are good chances of seeing and even better chances of hearing them when staying at lodges in the forest. Along with his wife, photographer/videographer Mary Gabbett, he is the co-founder of ecotourism/conservation website Green Global Travel and Green Travel Media. In short, a visit to Tortuguero National Park ensures you’ll be completely surrounded by protected wilderness. Exploring these canals and observing the wildlife by boat, kayak, or canoe is a wonderfully relaxing and peaceful way to experience nature. The hawksbill nesting season runs from July to October with a peak in August, although it is possible to see individuals at any time of the year. Traveling down the Tortuguero River and its tributaries feels a bit like a miniature version of the Amazon, with... Mammals. Bridge over the Tortuguero river. Pachira Lodge is just five minutes from the main gate of Tortuguero National Park and offers guests some of the most scenic waterways with unique flora and fauna in the world. Although it is not thought that they present a threat to the population of turtles that nest on Tortuguero’s beaches. Tortuguero is most famous for its, indeed, tortugas, turtles. There’s the striking red of the strawberry poison dart frog, the verdant green of the parachuting red-eyed leaf frog, the coral pinks of the mahogany treefrog, and the bold patterns of the aptly-named Harlequin treefrog. There are several ways to explore Tortuguero National Park. Tortuguero National Park is home to 3 species of monkeys, and I saw them all. - It may change without notice. Nicknamed the ‘Amazon of Costa Rica’ you can find caiman, sloths, howler monkeys, manatees, and even jaguar. Check out our infographic!). Located in the northeastern province of Limón, Tortuguero is a shining example of ecotourism in Costa Rica. The main nesting season runs from July to October. The former come in a kaleidoscope of vivid colors that easily rivals those of Costa Rica’s birds. To the north is the Barra del Colorado Wildlife Refuge, and to the south you’ll find the Cariari National Wetlands and the Sea Turtle Conservancy. Most journeys to Tortuguero National Park begin with a shallow-draft boat ride down the river after which the park was named. A camera trapping study identified 18 individuals within the park suggesting a population density of around 5.8 per 100 km2. Wildlife is abundant in Tortuguero National Park. #16 of 36 Outdoor Activities in Tortuguero "Our guide, Antonio, was very successful finding lots of animals, such as caimans, iguanas, tucans, perezosos, frogs and other." If you’re planning to visit the Tortuguero National Park, be prepared to be amazed. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! And few places represent the best the country has to offer better than Tortuguero National Park, which Zegrahm visits as a stop on their Canal to Cuba expedition. Sightings of these fascinating creatures are frequent year-round – particularly for the brown-throated sloth. The area used to be an archipelago of volcanic islands until sediment from the mountains filled in the spaces and formed a network of marshy islands. Every year from July 1 through September 30, green sea turtles, in addition to hawksbill, leatherback and loggerhead turtles, come to shore to lay their eggs. There are three different kinds of semi-translucent glass frogs; Toads ranging from svelte (the leaf litter toad) to stock (cane toad); and limbless, serpentine amphibians known as, Top 10 Off the Beaten Path Travel Destinations for 2021, Meet the Expert: Ornithologist Pepper Trail, Least Visited Countries: The World's Most Isolated Destinations, Best Travel Credit Card: Earn Rewards & Airline Travel Bonuses, Winter Vacation Ideas: Best Places to Travel in Dec, Jan & Feb, The World's 20 Best Wildlife Parks & Wildlife Tours, Best Gifts for Travelers: Ideas for Men & Women, The World's 10 Best Adventure Travel Companies, Best Solo Travel Destinations In The World | Zegrahm Expeditions, What To Pack For A Cruise - Packing List Ideas | Zegrahm Expeditions, The World's Best Places To Scuba Dive & Snorkel, Where Penguins Live (& The Best Times To See Them There). Looking to explore Tortuguero National Park on a wildlife, landscapes and nature tour? But if you’re exploring the park by boat, you’re much more likely to encounter its reptiles. Typical activities: animal watching, boat trip, jungle trek, kayaking. The former come in a kaleidoscope of vivid colors that easily rivals those of Costa Rica’s birds. Over 150 different species of mammals have been found in Tortuguero National Park. Look out for them feeding at the surface and you might get lucky! If you go during the season chances of seeing this incredible spectacle are pretty much guaranteed (unfortunately we went at the wrong time of year!). So much wildlife in a fairly small park. Its beaches attract thousands of nesting sea turtles. Due to the declining numbers and their solitary nesting habits, encounters with this beautiful species are rare. 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