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country Costa Rica
duration 3 nights
attribute All meals
attribute Hotel

Tortuguero National Park

Your adventure starts at your hotel in San José where you will be picked up to travel by bus and boat to Tortuguero National Park. This area is often compared to the Amazon region, because of its stunning nature, winding rivers and vibrant wildlife. In Tortuguero, there’s a great chance you’ll spot at least various bird species, monkeys and caimans! The name Tortuguero actually means ‘turtle hunter’ and refers to historic times, when it was still legal to hunt turtles.

Nowadays this is prohibited and the beach of Tortuguero National Park is a protected area and the main nesting spot for sea turtles such as the green turtle, leatherback, hawksbill and loggerhead. Between July and September, you can book a guided tour in the evening to experience this phenomenon yourself.

  • Relaxed start of your trip
  • Transport to and from Tortuguero
  • 8 meals
  • 2 tours
  • Entree Nationale Park ($15 pp)

Wildlife paradise

Wildlife paradise

Early in the morning, when the jungle awakes, you’ve got the best chance to spot wild animals. The weather is not too hot yet and the animals are busy scoring their breakfast for that day. Accompanied by a trained guide, you can book a ‘wake up tour’ by boat, exploring the narrow canals of Tortuguero. Tortuguero National Park is one of the few places in Costa Rica where the endangered green macaw is still being spotted in the wild. Besides, the pink spoonbill that comes to hibernate in Costa Rica, is regularly spotted on the shore. In addition, kingfishers, snake-neck birds and herons are often seen. There is also a good chance that you will encounter monkeys, sloths, river-tailed turtles and/or iguanas.

Rasta culture

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Rasta culture

In the afternoon your guide shows you around in the small village of Tortuguero. The brightly colored houses and rasta culture give the place a relaxed atmosphere and you’ll hear caribbean music everywhere. Most of the residents are of Jamaican origin. The food is delicious and the people nice and helpful. A lovely village to unwind!

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Van Buggenhout family

In Tortuguero, we booked a tour to see the sea turtles nesting on the beach. We were very lucky that a turtle decided to nest very close to where we were standing. We could see everything from up close and it was truly unforgettable. This all happened on the birthday of our daughter, a great surprise! As requested, a birthday cake was prepared for our daugther as well. The whole restaurant sang for her and we gave everybody a piece of the very big 😊 cake, thank for that nice suprise!

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Neutkens-Scholten family

Great place, beautiful lodge surrounded by beautiful flowers, trees, birds and animals. Lovely pool and good food. Nice start of our holiday! We booked the early morning boat tour. We have seen a lot with our guide Alexander. Monkeys, caimans, toucans, basilisk, sloth, a boa constrictor and last but not least a dolphin swam with our boat! In the village, we found there’s a wonderful Caribbean atmosphere.

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Clemens and Simone Berendse

We already enjoyed the trip to Tortuguero by bus and boat, very special! Great tour guide and nice group to spend time with for two days. Guided tour in the national park was very nice, we saw and experienced a lot.

Hotel located in a beautiful spot.  Very nice rooms and pool. The restaurant was fine but to us the least special. Buffet style is not quite our thing.

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Corrie and Annemiek

The journey to San José went very well. By coach and by boat to Laguna and Lodge. Sebastian was a good tour guide. En route lunched and visited a butterfly garden (behind the restaurant where the lunch was). After lunch continues with the bus to the boat. All well arranged and went well.

Sebastiaan guided the group not only during the trip but also during the excursions: through the waters along the mangrove forests and to the village of Tortuguero. In Laguna Lodge, we ate well (breakfast, lunch and dinner-buffet), and enjoyed the pool, the beautiful garden where we saw different animals (birds, bats, iguanas). We made a nice walk in the resort and along the beach of the Caribbean Sea. From the lodge, you can also walk to the village of Tortuguero.

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De Weerdt family

Beautiful spot, but rather touristy. Room a bit small for 4 people, but clean and tidy.

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Rob and Anja Jacques

This lodge was very nice, thanks to the hospitable staff, nice room, good food, location and beautiful surroundings. Our guide Daniel was fantastic and we had a nice click with the other travellers in our group. All in all a great start of our holiday.

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Van der Wal / Lely family

Beautiful lodge, nice cabins near the sea. We had a lot of rain, but we borrowed boots from the lodge. Food was adequate / good.
We saw a lot of animals during the tours. We have done the evening tour extra, highly recommended, you will see many animals that you do not see during the day. Because of the uncertainty about the turtles on the beach (we did not see any for two evenings) we did not book this tour. Nevertheless, a beautiful area to visit.

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Linda W.

To me, Tortuguero was one of the most beautiful destinations in Costa Rica. You can spot an unbelievable amount of  beautiful animals here. Ara’s flying over your pool, turtles, sloths, monkeys and many more beautiful birds. Our guide Carlos did a great job. The food was also very good.

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Jelle, Margreet, Stijn and Hidde

The boat tours through the national park were beautiful and our last evening memorable, because we spotted a turtle on the beach laying her eggs.

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Wiebe, Franciske, Marrit and Rigt

Great to be able to sit back and relax in the bus, enjoying our ride to Tortuguero. For the last kilometers, the bus drove an unpaved road in a beautiful environment. Then we stepped on the boat for the last part of our journey, which was also nice. In the hotel we were warmly welcomed,  excellent rooms, a beautiful sea nearby, good food and friendly service. The guide was not intrusive and did a great job. He accompanied us on a tour to the village. The next day we did two excursions by boat, exploring the national park. We had a lot of rainfall in the morning. We were fortunate that a large adult turtle was released during our visit. These days we experienced as a pleasant start, everything was well arranged and our stay here was a great way to get into the holiday mood!

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Dennis and Lindsay

It was great to visit Tortuguero in the beginning our holiday in Costa Rica. In this we could already see something of the country without having to drive ourselves and our stay here was super nice!

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Ton and Jolanda

Long bus and boat trip, friendly tour guide with a lot of knowledge. Lodge is a beautiful tourist resort. Friendly staff. great cocktails at the pool and great food. Touristy, but not too much. Great place to start your holiday and to learn a lot about Costa Rica and its nature.

What to spot in Tortuguero?

Tip from Marlou:

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Tip from Marlou:

Are you still looking for an eye-catcher in your living room? You might not expect it, but in the middle of the village of Tortuguero there’s a beautiful shop selling stylish art (no cheap souvenirs / knick-knacks!) made of local and natural materials and driftwood. The artist is a Swiss woman who has been living in Tortuguero for years now.

The following destinations are close to this travel package:

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Discover volcano Arenal from La Fortuna
The Arenal volcano is one of the seven active volcanoes in Costa Rica. The little town of La Fortuna at its foot has developed into an important travel destination and offers a wide variety of restaurant, shops and bars, but also great tours.
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Explore underwater wildlife in Cahuita
Cahuita is a charming Carribean town. From your hotel you walk to the beach in some 20 minutes. If you're a water sports fan, there's great swimming, snorkeling and diving here. Expore the coast either by car or by bike and to get to know the indigenous locals is a truly unique experience as well.
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Explore San José from fabulous boutique hotel
Hotel Grano de Oro is a fabulous boutique hotel in the centre of San Jose. The Canadian owners have been living in Costa Rica for more than 25 years now and have developed a deep respect for the local community they work with and live in. In the hotel you'll easily encounter their love for the city's traditions and history. It's truly a great place to stay!
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Stay at a real ‘finca’ in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui
Finca Sura is a typical Costa Rican family run farm. Don Rodolfo, his wife Doña Rosa and their 8 adult children will warmly welcome you at the finca and will happily share their lives with you for a couple of days. You will stay in basic, but comfortable bungalows and the culinary skills of Doña Rosa will pamper your tastebuds and make these few days unforgettable. Experience the true Pura Vida of Costa Rica here at Finca Sura!
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The best chocolate in authentic Sarapiqui
Sarapiqui was originally a small town on the banks of the Sarapiqui River. In the region you find many cacao, coffee, pineapple and banana plantations. Join Jean-Pierre, the Belgian owner of the lodge you're staying, on his tour and learn more about the history of cacao and chocolate!
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Relax and unwind on the beach of Manzanillo
Manzanillo is the southernmost village at the Caribbean coast, near Panama. The public road ends here and around the village, you find beautiful, pristine beaches. The coastal atmosphere is above all relaxed: enjoy the good food, music and the beach of course! Your home in Manzanillo is a beautifully designed, hand-made jungle house with fully equipped kitchen. It offers you the full jungle experience at a stone's throw from the beach!
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Stay with the native Bribri Indians
A trip to the Bri Bri indigenous community is an unforgettable adventure! You travel by boat to a tiny village near the border with Panama where the indigenous community will warmly welcome you and show you what their daily life looks like. You'll stay at a local family home and learn more about (among others) the art of making chocolate, the use of medicinal plants and how to build your own thatched roof! Enjoy this unique insight into the traditional culture in Costa Rica.
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Surfing on the Caribbean coast in relaxed Playa Cocles
Playa Cocles is a small beach town and popular destination for surfers and backpackers alike. From here, exploring the Caribbean coast is easy. Puerto Viejo, with its bars, restaurants and nightlife is nearby and you can also follow the road down to Manzanillo and enjoy the beautiful, quiet beaches.
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Start your trip in the center of San José
San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica and here you usually arrive and start your holiday. Even though the city might be the least interesting destination of your trip, it is definitely worthwhile to explore. There are a few great (free) city tours and the neighbourhoods of Barrio Escalante, Dent and Amon are really up and coming and provide a great local offer of nice bars, restaurants and boutiques.

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