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Costa Rica

Tortuguero & Caribbean Coast Holidays

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TORTUGUERO? TICK.

A labyrinth of winding canals and thick, mangrove forest, set beside the glittering Caribbean Sea, Tortuguero is a true ‘hidden gem’ of Costa Rica. Hailed for its incredible wildlife scene and volcanic, black-sand beaches, it really is a nature-lover’s dream. For a holiday that’s all about adventure and appreciating Mother Earth’s magnificent creation, Tortuguero is the place to go.

With a name that roughly translates to ‘Land of the Turtles’, it’s no surprise that Tortuguero’s top attraction is a green sea turtle nesting site. Emerging from the crashing waves, these speckled-shell creatures wait until night-time before coming to lay their eggs on the moonlit beach. And, when hatching season comes around, you can see lines of tiny turtles running towards the sea.

The wildlife viewing away from the beach is no less thrilling. Encompassed by a 19,000-hectare national park and only accessible by boat or plane, Tortuguero’s majestic landscape remains almost untouched, with flora and fauna out in abundance. Travelling by canoe through the hidden canals and rivers, you’ll see spider monkeys, sloths, lizards, and brightly-coloured birds perched in the treetops.

After visiting Tortuguero, you may want to extend your holiday by exploring more of Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast. Home to glorious, palm-lined beaches, Jamaican-style eateries and open-air cocktail bars, Talamanca offers a welcomed change of pace. Spend your days catching swells in the pristine ocean and sunbathing on the soft sand, before enjoying the town’s vibrant nightlife.

With endless activities for you to sink your teeth into, from snorkelling and diving, to ziplining and horseback riding, the rest of your journey along the Caribbean Coast can be as action-packed as you’d like. And, of course, wherever you go, you’ll never be too far from some amazing wildlife.

Ready to plan your Tortuguero and Caribbean Coast holiday? Get in touch and speak to one of our Travel Specialists to find out more.

Things to do

Wildlife

The Caribbean Coast

Best time to go

Things to do in Tortuguero

With a population that only just exceeds 1,000, there’s a surprising amount to do around Tortuguero. Full of character and colour, the village itself is well-worth a wander around if you have time. Browse the shops and street stalls in search of some souvenirs, or tuck into some Caribbean-style food at one of the local restaurants.

Show More
Show Less

To continue your culinary adventure, you can head over to Casa Cecropia to make some chocolate. You’ll learn about why the cocoa bean was so important for cultures like the Mayas and the Aztecs, before having a go at grinding your own cocoa on a traditional stone table.
If you’re after a slightly more thrilling kind of activity, a hike up Tortuguero Mountain is just the ticket. You’ll have to climb a few hundred steps to reach the outlook of this ancient volcano, but the incredible views of expansive forest canopies below will make it worth your while.

Show More
Show Less

Tortuguero wildlife

Undoubtedly, the best thing about Tortuguero National Park is the wildlife. A large nesting site for the endangered green sea turtle, this poacher-free paradise is one of the most important places in Costa Rica. You’ll head down to the beach at night, along with your expert guide, to see these 300-pound creatures plod up the sand to lay their eggs. Or, if you visit after nesting season, you might get to see some newly-hatched baby turtles, as they take their first steps towards the sea.

Show More
Show Less

There’s plenty more to see in terms of wildlife here, too. And, the best way to see it all is on a boat tour. Float along the winding canal of the mangrove forest, keeping an eye out for the long-bodied crocodiles that poke their head above the water. It’s also likely you’ll see iguanas, monkeys, sloths and otters, along with countless species of bird. 

Show More
Show Less

Caribbean culture

Heavily influence by Caribbean culture, Talamanca is a lively coastal town that lies around 120 kilometres south of Tortuguero. Famed for its surfing scene and home to gorgeous, golden-sand beaches, it’s the place to go if you’re wanting to do some sunbathing. Or, if you fancy some exploring, you can take a leisurely bike ride through downtown, discovering the palm-lined streets and local landmarks. And, in the evening, why not head to one of the town’s bustling restaurants or bars? Tuck into some jerk chicken, or sip on a cocktail whist listening to some reggaetón.

Show More
Show Less

There are plenty of other coastal spots for you to visit along Costa Rica’s Caribbean side. Just a half hour drive further south from Talamanca is Manzanillo, which is a great location if you’re looking do some snorkelling or diving. Or, you can make your way to the black-sand beaches of Cahuita.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to visit Tortuguero

If you’re planning a holiday to Tortuguero, it’s probably the case that you’re wanting to see some turtles. The best time for this is during the nesting season, but this varies depending on which species you’re wanting to see. For leatherback turtles, May to March is the time to go. Weighing up to 500 kilograms, they’re the largest type of turtle in the world. Or, if you want to catch a glimpse of some green sea turtles, between July and October is your best bet. In November, you’re unlikely to see any full-grown turtles, but you might spot some hatchlings if you’re lucky.

Show More
Show Less

Weather-wise, the temperatures in Tortuguero stay pretty stable all year round. It usually sits between 24°C and 30°C, which is ideal for hiking, biking, and embarking on exciting wildlife tours.

Show More
Show Less

Things to do

Things to do in Tortuguero

With a population that only just exceeds 1,000, there’s a surprising amount to do around Tortuguero. Full of character and colour, the village itself is well-worth a wander around if you have time. Browse the shops and street stalls in search of some souvenirs, or tuck into some Caribbean-style food at one of the local restaurants.

Show More
Show Less

To continue your culinary adventure, you can head over to Casa Cecropia to make some chocolate. You’ll learn about why the cocoa bean was so important for cultures like the Mayas and the Aztecs, before having a go at grinding your own cocoa on a traditional stone table.
If you’re after a slightly more thrilling kind of activity, a hike up Tortuguero Mountain is just the ticket. You’ll have to climb a few hundred steps to reach the outlook of this ancient volcano, but the incredible views of expansive forest canopies below will make it worth your while.

Show More
Show Less

Wildlife

Tortuguero wildlife

Undoubtedly, the best thing about Tortuguero National Park is the wildlife. A large nesting site for the endangered green sea turtle, this poacher-free paradise is one of the most important places in Costa Rica. You’ll head down to the beach at night, along with your expert guide, to see these 300-pound creatures plod up the sand to lay their eggs. Or, if you visit after nesting season, you might get to see some newly-hatched baby turtles, as they take their first steps towards the sea.

Show More
Show Less

There’s plenty more to see in terms of wildlife here, too. And, the best way to see it all is on a boat tour. Float along the winding canal of the mangrove forest, keeping an eye out for the long-bodied crocodiles that poke their head above the water. It’s also likely you’ll see iguanas, monkeys, sloths and otters, along with countless species of bird. 

Show More
Show Less

The Caribbean Coast

Caribbean culture

Heavily influence by Caribbean culture, Talamanca is a lively coastal town that lies around 120 kilometres south of Tortuguero. Famed for its surfing scene and home to gorgeous, golden-sand beaches, it’s the place to go if you’re wanting to do some sunbathing. Or, if you fancy some exploring, you can take a leisurely bike ride through downtown, discovering the palm-lined streets and local landmarks. And, in the evening, why not head to one of the town’s bustling restaurants or bars? Tuck into some jerk chicken, or sip on a cocktail whist listening to some reggaetón.

Show More
Show Less

There are plenty of other coastal spots for you to visit along Costa Rica’s Caribbean side. Just a half hour drive further south from Talamanca is Manzanillo, which is a great location if you’re looking do some snorkelling or diving. Or, you can make your way to the black-sand beaches of Cahuita.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to visit Tortuguero

If you’re planning a holiday to Tortuguero, it’s probably the case that you’re wanting to see some turtles. The best time for this is during the nesting season, but this varies depending on which species you’re wanting to see. For leatherback turtles, May to March is the time to go. Weighing up to 500 kilograms, they’re the largest type of turtle in the world. Or, if you want to catch a glimpse of some green sea turtles, between July and October is your best bet. In November, you’re unlikely to see any full-grown turtles, but you might spot some hatchlings if you’re lucky.

Show More
Show Less

Weather-wise, the temperatures in Tortuguero stay pretty stable all year round. It usually sits between 24°C and 30°C, which is ideal for hiking, biking, and embarking on exciting wildlife tours.

Show More
Show Less

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Our tailor-made packages make it easy for you to discover more of the world.

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Whether you're looking for luxury or simplicity, we've got the perfect holiday for you.

Trust

Travelbag is fully protected by ATOL and ABTA, so your booking is completely secure.

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