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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.

Highlights

  • 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

turner

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

The tour is well described by the tour information and the comments from those who have taken it. It was a great tour, but if you visit during the nesting season for the turtles September-October you should stay for at least one night if possible. You don't get to see any turtles on the day trip. It was a fairly long trip form San Jose to the park, and of course the same going back. But it was worth it.

Marc H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

We did the day trip to Tortuguero. We went during the rainy season so be prepared for rain and muddy terrain! Our tour guide Luis was excellent with many years of experience. The breakfast and lunch were both excellent too!

Quinn B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Great guide. The monkeys, sloths, parrots, etc. It was incredible!

Boyd

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

We were unable to take this tour, due to illness, so cannot rate it

Jay J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

It was very fun and a beautiful experience.

Ron

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Wonderful trip. Beautiful day. Relaxing. Eduardo was knowledgeable and made sure we saw the banana plantations, pineapple plantation. Made sure we saw monkeys and lizards. Went to the black sand beaches. Tried Coconut Water. Great experience. They took good car of my 75 year old mother who had the time of her life.

Susan W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

We loved the tour. The guides were very knowledgeable and made the experience fabulous, The only draw back was we were the first to be picked up and the last to be dropped off and their were a lot of pick ups with a lot of waiting for people. Tortuguero National Park was one of my highlights of my trip to Costa Rica

Mary G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

We did a one-day tour, with Viator Great tour -- these people are so well organized. We only had one day no overnight, but others had overnights. They had it all figured out how to work with all these needs. You should probably stay overnight if you have the time, but we're still very glad we went, long day and all. Boat tours, wildlife, rainforest -- you've heard what you'll see already. Costa Rica has such diverse ecosystems! I've been to the cloud forest, the desert, the mountains, and now the rainforest -- wow. So it's definitely worth seeing. The air is so fresh, so rich. Being on the canals is a heavenly break from it all. I do hope the speeds of the boats don't hurt manatees or crocs, but that's my only concern.

Dorothy R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

Excellent. I can't say enough good about this trip. Although it was a long day and the roads were bumpy, it was outstanding and we saw so many animals and learned so much! Our breakfast and lunch stops were great and our tour guide, Bernie, was the best! Outstanding!!!

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.

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