Tortuguero in the North Caribbean coast of Costa Rica is a National Park and village in the Northern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. It is quite remote and wild as you can only get there by boat through rivers and canals or by plane and into the local airport.
Tortuguero beach is the primary nesting site of the threatened green turtle in the Western Hemisphere. In this area, you may also find the Giant Leatherback, the Hawksbill, and the Loggerhead turtles in other times of the year and a lesser quantity.
The green turtle population is thought to have become perilously close to extermination in the 1960s when almost every female turtle coming to nest in Tortuguero was taken for the trading market for turtle soup.
In 1959 the Caribbean Conservation Corporation (CCC) was founded mainly to investigate and defend the Caribbean green turtles. Working jointly with the Costa Rican state, CCC helped to declare Tortuguero National Park in 1970, a move that gave security to the turtles and rigorously restricted the number that could be used. With the park set, human expansion along the coast would never exceed the actual village, and the appearance of scientists and the park rangers would control poaching.
The park now covers over 19,000 hectares (46,900 acres) and preserves 22 miles of nesting beach from the exit to the sea of the Tortuguero River south to Parisimina. The park contains the most extensive surviving adjacent tract of lowland wet tropical rainforest on Costa Rica’s Atlantic Coast.
Green Sea Turtles from all over the Caribbean Sea come every night to the dark beach, climb up the sand with a bit of difficulty and once above the tidal line, start digging with their back paws the nest. Once a hole as deep as two feet is made, the turtle begins laying eggs. Sometimes up to a hundred, although the average is 80 eggs.
Once the eggs are laid, the turtle is ready to go back to the ocean. It covers the nest and starts its crawling pace to the water leaving huge tracks on the sands of Tortuguero Beach.
You can witness this ancient process of raw life coming in the area from early July to Late August and even September sometimes.
However, Tortuguero is not only about turtles.
It is a fantastic dimension of breathtaking canals that run throughout the rainforest creating water mirrors and allowing the visitor to see and get into the forest without causing a real impact on the environment of the aquatic trails.
With an abundance of flora and fauna, Tortuguero lives to create awe and joy in all its visitors.
In the area of Tortuguero, there are numerous options to stay and enjoy the remoteness and wilderness.
Sitting on the side of the beach, and enclosed by the canal and the ocean, Mawamba Lodge is an excellent option for those who like to walk on the sand, want to see the daybreak over the sea and love to hear the waves mutinous sounds. It has a couple of small rainforest patches with occasional wildlife sightings.
It is intensely oriented towards sustainability and has its butterfly garden and frog pond.
Sitting on the side of the National Park, in Pachira Lodge you wake up with the howling of monkeys at dawn and stay, with your camera ready, in the alert of toucans, macaws, monkeys and sloths very common in the hotel rainforests.
It is on the other side of the canal (From the town and beach) and to go to the turtle nesting tour, and you have to take a boat to go to the area.
It is the most exclusive in Tortuguero. And the only hotel that offers air-conditioned rooms and tv screens with cable channels in all rooms. As well as a restaurant with an open menu. Sitting as well on the other side of the canal and next to the National Park, you may experience some of the closest and personal contacts with the wildlife and get some fantastic pictures.
In Tortuguero, you can find multiple activities that people in sports, nature lovers, birdwatchers and photographers can thoroughly enjoy.
Glide in the rainforest canals while looking at the abundant wildlife, or kayak in the river and canals and experience the silence of the forest when only paddling is heard as a human sound. Or, go for hikes in fascinating trails filled with natural history. And for bird watchers! Well, this is heaven! Just grab your guide, your list, and your binoculars and spend the day identifying the fantastic multitude of bird species in the region.