Tortugero National Park in Costa Rico’s Limon province is “Pura Vita” at its most pura.
While the province of Limon on Costa Rica’s Carribean coast doesn’t draw the crowds of Arenal, Guanacaste, or the Manuel Antonio areas, it’s really better that way. The province offers some of the most pristine rainforests in Central America and offers a panoply of wildlife still unjaded by the onlooking tourists. The Park is also the nesting ground for the endangered Green Turtle.
The lack of infrastructure serves the park well. There are canals and river inlets which provide egress for the tourist boats, but the wildlife has free reign. The park also has over twenty miles of beaches which are turtle nesting grounds. The best time to see the turtles is in mid-July to mid-August. Sadly, I wasn’t in Costa Rica at that time, but it is a major bucket list item for me.
The area has a wide range of accommodations from Hostels starting at about $20 US, to about $60 for a lodge. Expect more during the Turtle Season (Jul-Aug) Could be much higher if you are seeking amenities. The nearest city is Tortuguero. They have the usual tourist needs (shops, restaurants, supplies) but the city still retains some charm to it.
Scenes from Tortuguero Village
The Park is worth a visit at any time of the year, but I feel it would be worth the extra crowds (and cash) to see the turtles. I will definitely not miss seeing them again. The Pacific side of Costa Rica offers more accessibility and some not to be missed sights but make sure Tortuguero National Park on the Carribean side is also on your list. You won’t regret it.