Costa Rica: routes through Central America, from San José to Tortuguero National Park

For years Costa Rica has been a pending issue, finally this year it has become a reality, for 15 days we have traveled the country, going from the Caribbean to the Pacific. Indeed, 15 days are not enough for everything, but to know that you have to return. In this series of posts, I collect the sites that I liked the most and that should be part of the journey you take if you “get” to this part of the world 🙂 the first landing you make in Costa Rica likely is to be in its capital, San José, and then go to Tortuguero if so, I leave you some recommendations:

On Route (Costa Rica)

The National Park Tortuguero is located in the northwest of the country, to reach it can only do by water or air. From the capital of San José, then, taking a domestic flight to Tortuguero will take 27 minutes (it has a very small runway without a control tower, so flights arrive during the day); and, you’ll have to go by road first and then by boat taxi across the Rio de la Suerte if the latter option (from San Jose to Quapiles and from here to the pier Pavona, in this grab point the boat and for 1 hour 1:30 minutes you will go down the Suerte river) you can perfectly take 4:30 hours.

National Park Tortuguero 

You will pass through towns such as Cariari or Santa Rosa, without special interest, beyond the provisioning and/or coffee break, but you will have had time to familiarize yourself with the landscape (impressive banana plantations) and enjoy the Tortuguero lagoon. As you will do the tour along the Suerte River, you will surely be able to enjoy alligators, monkeys, iguanas, and herons… a show.

Arrival at the destination: Tortuguero

Once you arrive at your destination you will live in an incredible environment, no matter the lodge you stay in, you will find all kinds of wild flora and fauna camouflaged with the environment (toucans, monkeys, frogs, iguanas, sloths, raccoons, etc), those that are hitting the Caribbean Sea (All Ranking Lodge, Laguna Lodge or Mawamba Lodge) are 5 minutes from the beach. It is not a beach (black sand) designed for bathing (there are sharks) but it is ideal for a good walk. This beach is where the turtles arrive (the species of this area of ​​the Caribbean: green turtle, leatherback turtle, and hawksbill turtle ) to lay their eggs at night and until early morning.

Arrival at the destination: Tortuguero

Tortuguero

To experience the National Park, you will be able to do it by touring its canals in boats, where you will enjoy the colors and sounds of its primary forests. A good recommendation (which will also be done at your lodge ) is to wake up at 5:00 am to tour its channels for two hours and see how the fauna wakes up and “exhibits” on the edge of the tree branches, in the glasses or the water. You have to hire this tour in advance at the park (approximately $ 25) and the guide will buy the access tickets, if you have a sunny day it will be an incredible experience. You will be able to see dolphins in search of the sea, iguanas, monkeys, a good number of aquatic birds (blue heron, water cock, etc.), and waders.

Green Turtles & Spawning in Tortuguero National Park

Green Turtles

Turtles

 

At night, is when you will be able to see the spawning of the green sea turtles, this park is considered the most important place for the breeding of this type of turtle. The excursions are made at night, in small groups (no more than 10 people) and from 8:00 p.m. (which is when the sea turtles usually come out to spawn). You will only be able to do this experience with an authorized guide, for a maximum of two hours, where you will be able to see their different spawning phases (if you are very lucky): leaving the sea, making the hole where the eggs will be laid, laying the eggs, covered and returned to the sea. The cost is $ 30 per person.

A very good option is to get up very early (4:30 – 5:00 am at this time it has already dawned) and you will be able to see how many of them return to the sea, here the park guards will be more permissive and you can take some photos of them. It is a real luxury to be able to see how these turtles of more than one meter lay up to 120 eggs at one time.

If you opt for this option, you will likely catch the turtles in the phase of covering the eggs and returning to the sea, if so, something basic that is always forgotten, I do not know why, but it is like a deja vudo not use the flash of the camera/mobile to take the photo, it looks very good, and if you don’t hold on; be silent, remember, you are not in a bullfight in which you comment on the playout loud; You don’t have to jump on top of yourself to take your photo, keep a reasonable space to take it; When you leave for the sea, basic, leave it room, at that point, they are exhausted after so much effort, in short, primary school, but surprising to see how it is the first thing that is forgotten. See live to a Green turtle Costa Rica, it is a gift of nature, do not be zote, and if not, stay asleep, then in Google, you will be able to see many photos of these “bugs”.

The Town of Tortuguero

Surely, part of the stay in Tortuguero is to pass through its town, it is not especially interesting (it is located on the southern edge of the entrance to the Tortuguero National Park, but it does deserve a walk through the souvenir stalls, stalls of food and the botanical garden at the end of the main street.

The Town of Tortuguero

Town of Tortuguero

Do not forget…

Mosquitoes are going to be your friends, whether you like it or not, you are surrounded by jungle and there is a lot of humidity so you need a repellent and an after bite. Although the climate is very changeable (it is very likely that to the question of whether the weather forecast for the area is known, the answer is: “here we do not handle that, the weather changes a lot”) take a protector even if you see that it does not there is the sun Costa Rica, if it comes out, it hits hard; Wear long pants (preferably, because as you are prone to mosquito bites, they fry you here), the water can be perfectly drunk … and little else, the rest is up to you 😉

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