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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

Louise L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

What an amazing experience!! We traveled for about an hour and then had a breakfast of eggs, beans and rice, fruit, coffee, and toast! Our tour guide was wonderful to show us as many animals as he could find. We saw a momma and baby sloth and several monkeys as well as many different species of birds. Our trip down the river was peaceful and the rain forest was amazing. After a buffet lunch at the Evergreen Lodge and a walking tour of the village, we traveled back to our hotel in San Jose by boat and bus! The tour was worth everything we paid for it!

Jason B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

This tour is an ALL DAY tour. We were picked up bright and early at 5:25 AM. After picking everyone else up, we headed out of town. About an hour into the trip we stopped for an excellent Costa Rican breakfast of Gallo Pinto, fruit, scrambled eggs, coffee and juice. Before we boarded the bus, our tour guide showed us all a pair of blue jeans tree frogs in the plants out in front of the restaurant. Everyone took pictures and we hit the road. Farther down the road our guide had the bus stop and we all got out to find that he had spotted an mother sloth and baby hanging out in a tree only about 5 feet up next to the road. Once again, we were able to get some really good pictures, and have a very close encounter with the pair We left them alone, just oooohed and aaaaaahed alot. Back on the bus and on to the boat ride to Tortuguero. We saw several different kinds of animals on the ride, the best being a small flock of green Macaws that flew overhead. Tortuguero was not what we expected, but it was a neat little town, definitely driven by tourism since the original industry, banana farming, is long gone. Back on the boat and up the canal a little farther to lunch at one of the resorts in the area. Lunch was buffet style with plenty of options, and all of them were tasty. After lunch we ran into a spider monkey in the trees outside the dining hall eating his lunch. Out came the cameras, and then it was time to load up on the boat and head back to the bus and the ride back to San Jose.

Our tour guide German pronounced Herman and bus driver were excellent. Providing lots of insight and history about the areas we drove through. We are planning on going back to stay for a few days some time in the future, but if you only have a day, I highly recommend this tour.

kedwards01 United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

This was an amazing tour. I am very glad that we chose to do it. It gave us the opportunity to see more of Costa Rica and the national park. The guide was great and the lunch was amazing.

frances.marin

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Our tour guide was German, he was pretty funny and always tried to please the tourists. He had a lot of knowledge about his country and he spoke English and Spanish during the tour. We enjoyed a really good breakfast and lunch; it was delicious. At Tortuguero, we saw cocodriles, alligators and sloth

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.

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