4 star rating: Recommended 52 Reviews

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  • Location:San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Duration:12 hours (approx.)

Tortuguero National Park

Explore the natural beauty and protected wildlife of Costa Rica’s Tortuguero National Park with a full-day guided tour from San Jose. Cruise through freshwater rivers on a boat — the only way to access the inner reaches of this beautiful nature reserve. Learn about the park’s incredible biodiversity from your naturalist guide, and visit a green sea turtle nesting site. Take a break from your exploration to savor lunch at the eco-chic Evergreen Lodge surrounded by views of a lush tropical forest.


  • Day trip to Tortuguero National Park from San Jose
  • See nesting sites of Costa Rica’s green sea turtle (tortuga verde)
  • Learn about a variety of flora and fauna from your expert guide
  • Spot wildlife such as spider, howler and capuchin monkeys
  • Enjoy complimentary breakfast and eat lunch at Evergreen Lodge with views of the surrounding jungle
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off included

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Tortuguero National Park

See wildlife in Costa Rica!

Nestled within an archipelago of volcanic islands, Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica is known for its rich biodiversity and is home to 11 distinct habitats including mangroves, rain forests, lagoons and beaches. This protected tropical reserve offers visitors the chance to see an incredible array of native Costa Rican plants and wildlife. Your full-day tour begins with pickup at your San Jose hotel, followed by a savory breakfast stop at Rancho Roberto’s restaurant in Guapiles.

Continuing on, you’ll pass through the beautiful Braulio Carrillo National Park, a sprawling mountainous reserve dotted with waterfalls and rivers. At a banana plantation near Tortuguero Village, trade in your minivan for a boat, as Tortuguero National Park is only accessible by water. Enjoy a leisurely cruise along the park’s scenic freshwater creeks and lagoons, where you may spot many tropical birds in the surrounding flora.

After about an hour, the creeks will open up into a network of broader canals that traverse mangrove swamps and marshy islands. Explore these lush waterways while learning about the park’s history and diverse ecosystems. Keep an eye out for aquatic life like river otters, spectacled caiman and the occasional endangered West Indian manatee, plus surrounding jungle creatures like sloths, capuchin and howler monkeys, and a variety of reptiles.

Disembark for a midday lunch at the Evergreen Lodge. Enjoy delicious Costa Rican cuisine in an open-air dining room surrounded by a lovely, lush jungle landscape. After lunch, head back out onto the water to continue exploring the park’s diverse habitats. Visit the black sand beaches that provide an important breeding and nesting ground for Costa Rica’s endangered green sea turtles, and learn how the park’s conservation efforts have helped bring this species back from the brink of extinction.

After several hours of exploring the park’s beaches and canals, begin the 1-hour boat ride back to the park entrance and your waiting vehicle. Relax and enjoy the passing scenery on the drive back to your San Jose hotel. 

Customer Reviews

Kelly G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

Excellent on every level. The guide and drivers were very experienced and made sure we got the most out of the day. We saw lots of wildlife including sloths, howler and spider monkeys, birds, caiman and reptiles. I thoroughly enjoyed my day and highly recommend it.

Jing Z

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

The whole trip was wonderful, we saw many beautiful plants and some animal along the bus ride to and from the river and the river boat ride. The meals were delicious, our tour guide is very nice and knowledgeable, bus driver and boat captain are very considerate and skillful. My husband and I loved the trip. It is the highlight of our Costa Rica vacation.

Oscar R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

Excellent day trip


5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Great trip and fantastic guide. The guide was an older gentleman, I don't remember his name, but he was really enthusiastic and made the trip very enjoyable. The best parts were the riverboat ride, lunch onshore and walking the boardwalk in the rainforest. The guide pointed out a lot of wildlife, gave us a closeup look at monkeys, a two toed sloth, river birds and reptiles. I did some other tours in Costa Rica with other companies and Viator was definitely the best value for the money!.

Lidia L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

Fantastic! The boat ride up the river and the walk through the rain forrest was amazing. The guide, Luis, was very knowledgeable. Delicious meals provide for breakfast and lunch.

Julia E

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

We really enjoyed our trip to Tortuguero, definitely one of the best days that we spent in Costa Rica. Having the chance to see sloths, turtles, monkeys and more in the wild was a great experience. Highly recommend.

Betty G. R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

Wonderful experience. Very exciting being on the Lucky River and seeing all the wildlife--crocs, blue and tiger herons, howler and whitefaced monkeys, lizard, etc. It really did feel like we were on the Amazon River! Beautiful scenery.Our guide--Louis--was excellent. He was very knowledgeable and personable. Had a great breakfast and a wonderful lunch at the Evergreen Lodge in the jungle. Visiting Tortuguero Town deep in the jungle was an interesting experience. And seeing the beautiful ocean where the turtles come ashore to lay their eggs was exciting! There were many people at the dock getting ready to go on the tour. Somewhat muddy getting from the dock to the boats. All-in-all, this tour was a highlight of our Costa Rica trip!!

Wesley D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2015

great experience


5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2015

Very nice tour. Unfortunately the best time to see Tutles is in August September and then again you need to overnight as they come out to lay their eggs only at night.

Marion M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

It was a really great experience! Our guides spotted soooo many animals - it was amazing! Totally recommend it!

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Tour code: 3171SJO_TNP


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