Tortuguero National Park, Limon

The stunning Tortuguero National Park, which means ‘Region of the Turtles’ in Spanish, is located on Costa Rica’s beautiful Carribean coast in the northeast region of the country. Within this 19,000 hectare park is a 22 mile long strip of beach beginning from the mouth of the River Tortuguero south to Parismina, that is a key nesting area for leatherback, hawksbill, and loggerhead sea turtles from March to mid-October. This nesting period known as the arribadas occurs when the moon is fading. Therefore, to protect the turtles, nobody is allowed onto the beach unaccompanied after 6:00 pm. Visitors must enter the park with a certified guide during this time to view the turtles. Another great way to see the turtles nest is from a boat, canoe, or kayak off shore, so as not to disturb the turtles during their nesting or mating period.

Declared a national park in 1970 to protect the green turtle population of the world from extinction, this park is also a wildlife sanctuary for monkeys, jaguars, green macaws, tapirs, and a variety of other mammals, birds and reptiles. Primarily a rainforest, the park also has 11 different ecological habitats that include costal shrubs, swamps and evergreen forests. Mostly an alluvial plain, the flora and fauna found here are among the most diverse in the country. As the weather is warm, humid and rainy throughout the year, the best time to visit Tortuguero National Park is February, April and November, which are the three driest months of the year.


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