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Wildlife Up Close

Extending north of Limon along the Caribbean coast, the 46,000-acre Tortuguero National Park protects sea turtle nesting beaches and canal-threaded forests. Visitors arrive by one-hour regional flights from San José or via boat trips that double as wildlife tours.

The park is habitat for over 400 avian species, such as toucans, herons, jacanas and macaws. Spider and howler monkeys, otters, caimans and sloths are also common. Tortuguero shares the same spirit of place as the Amazon Basin, but with far higher mammalian concentrations.

Most lodges offer morning and afternoon wildlife viewing tours on the canals, where nature's regenerative powers are in full display. Surprisingly, the impossibly dense tangle of trees lining the shore is almost entirely new growth; this area was almost entirely deforested in the 1960's.

Three species of sea turtles visit the park throughout the year, but the greatest numbers arrive in April (Leatherbacks), July (Hawksbills) and September (Greens). Tortuguero is an indispensable nesting site for Green sea turtles, which lay eggs here from June to October. During these months, nightly guided tours of the nesting areas are allowed.

Guests in Tortuguero stay in canal-side lodges, usually for three nights. We've visited or stayed at each of these lodges, and can help you choose the one that fits your needs.

Mosaico Travel Services arranges personalized travel in Tortuguero and throughout Costa Rica. We organize luxury accommodation, private transportation, domestic flights, and tours with expert guides. Speak with a Mosaico travel planner today at 801.582.2100. We’ll take care of the details.

"I've never felt more strongly the sense of invincible wildness a tropical lowland can evoke as when I stood on the tiny volcanic cone of Cerro Tortuguero and looked northeast across an unbroken expanse of treetops to hazy mountains."

David Rains Wallace