The Tortuguero Canals in Limon
Table of Contents
- The Tortuguero Canals
- Tortuguero National Park
- La Baula Lodge
- Mawamba Lodge
- Laguna Lodge
- Nesting Sea Turtles
Mangroves & Wildlife
In the province of Límon, Costa Rica, the canals of Tortuguero are a dense expanse of wetland marshes and the unique wildlife and vegetation that populates the area.
A Major Wetland Marsh
The Tortuguero National Park takes up an area of 77,032 acres, and much of that is the extremely important mangroves, marshes and wetlands of the Tortuguero Canals. As of March 3rd, 1991, Tortuguero has been recognized by the Ramsar convention as a wetland area of vast significance. When planning a trip here, you’ll find a number of incredible sights to behold as you make your way.
Wildlife at Tortuguero
Some of the wildlife you might encounter while visiting the Tortuguero Canals includes Howler Monkeys, Spectacled Caimans, peacocks, the endangered green macaw and nesting sea turtles for which Tortuguero was named. There three different species of nesting sea turtles that can be found coming into the beaches and mangroves of Tortuguero throughout the year. The Hawksbill Sea Turtle, Green Sea Turtles and the giant Leatherback Sea Turtles all frequent the park.
The Rainy Season isn’t The Only Time it Rains
It rains a lot in Tortuguero, so it would be best to plan accordingly for your trip to the swamps. Along with raingear, you may want to bring a few changes of clothes, binoculars, a swim suit, hiking boots or waterproof footwear and a camera to get shots of your favorite animals (those in the trees and on the boat with you). You’ll be able to enjoy plenty of water related activity including sport fishing, snorkeling and kayaking depending on what you choose to do in the Tortuguero Canals.
How To Get There
The Tortuguero Canals are reachable via boat tour or boat taxi from the embarkation points at Moin and Cariari. It can also be reached through flights from San Jose through the domestic airlines of Nature Air and Sansa Air. The Mawamba Lodge in Tortuguero is the perfect place for you to get out and experience all that the canals have to offer.
Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica
On the Caribbean Coast in the province of Limon, Costa Rica, Tortuguero National Park is known for its sea turtle nesting grounds among other allures, and is an excellent place to have a family adventure while touring the swampland.
11 Different Habitats
Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica is an incredibly diverse place with mangrove swamps, beaches, humid tropical forest and 11 different habitats. Hiking in Tortuguero National Park is not such an easy task, and travelers might be better served by renting a kayak or canoe to get round the wetlands, swamps and marshes. Its landscape makes Tortuguero a key Ramsar site (formally, the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl habitat) thus making it a significant area of research for academics and scientists.
Wildlife in the Park
In Tortuguero National Park you can find lots of wildlife, and, being that the park is primarily a wetland marsh, snakes and waterfowl are prolific among many other animals living in the area. Of some of the birds found in Tortuguero there are the green macaw, (which is endangered), the mountain hen, the peacock, the toucan, the redheaded buzzard, the crab-eating hawk, the purple trogon, the Montezuma golden oriole and Green Macaws who thrive in the area due to the abundance of Almendro trees. Some other animals living in Tortuguero include the jaguar, the ocelot, the tapir, the manatee, the tolomuco, the sloth, the paca, the coati, the raccoon, the honey bear, the otter, three species of monkeys, the bull shark, the bastard grunt, the common snook and the green and common jacks.
Plant Life in the Park
At three hundred and twelve square kilometers, Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica covers a grand space on the Caribean Coastline. This large swath of wetland has a lot of vegetation with over 400 species of trees and 2,200 species of plants. Some of the flora that can be found in Tortuguero consists of the Gavilán, Caobilla, the almendro, the monkey pot tree, and a number of floating aquatic plants such as the genera Azolla, Eichhornia, Hydrocotyle and Salvinia. Realistically, there are still a large number of plant species that remain undiscovered in Tortuguero.
Heading to the Park
Tortuguero is not the easiest park to reach in terms of driving, and travel by boat or plane is a more likely avenue for reaching the park. The domestic airlines of Nature Air and Sansa Air both fly to Tortuguero, and boat trips can be found in the cities of Moin or Cariari. Some items that you may want to bring along with you would include a swim suit, sunscreen, insect repellant, a snorkel, flippers, a scuba mask, scuba gear, an ORU kayak and/or neoprene boots. Travel agents can find great deals and able guides to take your clients to the park with Costa Rica Monkey Tours, also.
Location: Tortuguero National Park
Items to bring: a swim suit, sunscreen, insect repellant, a snorkel, flippers, a scuba mask, scuba gear, an ORU kayak, neoprene boots
Species of fauna: the Gavilán, Caobilla, the almendro, the monkey pot tree, Azolla, Eichhornia, Hydrocotyle, Salvinia
Species of flora: the jaguar, the ocelot, the tapir, the manatee, the tolomuco, the sloth, the paca, the coati, the raccoon, the honey bear, the otter, three species of monkeys, the bull shark, the bastard grunt, the mountain hen, the peacock, the toucan, the redheaded buzzard, the crab-eating hawk, the purple trogon, the Montezuma golden oriole, green macaws
Cities nearby: Tortuguero, Moin, Cariari
Ways to get here: Boat, Plane
La Baula Lodge
The La Baula Lodge is named for the sea turtles that visit the mangrove swamps of Tortuguero. It is an eco adventure lodge where you will be treated to the local cuisine as well as the rustic decor.
This eco lodge is a family run establishment, but the family didn’t actually start in Tortuguero. They have been accommodating guests in Costa Rica for more than thirty years, but they first set up shop in Puntarenas and Monteverde before making their way to the Province of Limon and the Tortuguero Canals. The lodge is yet another example of their desire to make travelers happy.
You can enjoy the gardens and the pool. The restaurant serves up delicious meals throughout the day, but the main feature is the beautiful surroundings. Hop on a boat and enjoy the canals, or head to one of the beaches to see where sea turtles come to lay their eggs.
At the hotel, you’ll find a warm atmosphere as provided by personal service from the family that runs the lodge. The pool is a great place to take a dip, and their is wifi throughout the grounds. You’ll be able to keep up with the world while being far from the hustle and bustle. Laundry service and bilingual guides are available upon request.
You can find daily departure packages from San Jose including transportation by land and boat to La Baula, but you won’t have to worry about that when booking an all inclusive coast to coast tour package with Monkey Tours. Boats and rafts like the one pictured in the video above are available at the port in Moin.
Hotel: La Baula Lodge
Location: Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Rooms & Suites: 45 Units
Amenities & Services: Swimming pool, rustic decor, hammock, rocking chairs, toiletries, butterfly gardens, restaurant
Driving time from San Jose: 2 hrs
Driving time from Liberia: 3 hrs 30 mins
Ways to get there: shuttle, boat, plane, rental car
Contact Information: Website, +506 2711 3030
Mawamba Lodge & Hotel in Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Are you seeking something rustic in a tropical paradise for your next vacation? Mawamba Hotel & Lodge in Tortuguero National Park may be the answer you are looking for. The hotel is in Tortuguero, Costa Rica.
Park Size & Habitants
Tortuguero National Park is a 77,032 acre (31,174 hectare) national park on the eastern seaboard of Costa Rica in the province of Limon. It is the habitat of a variety of species of monkeys, crocodiles, exotic birds of paradise, green sea turtles, marine and aquatic animals and so many kinds of fauna it will sweep you off of your adventure bound trekking boots.
On Site Attractions
Mawamba Hotel and Lodge is a location at the epicenter of this thriving tropical rainforest, and a gateway to the Caribbean coast line of Costa Rica. With 2 butterfly gardens, tropical frog wading pools and trails intertwining through the jungle expanse, Mawamba is an ideal place to set forth upon exploring this remote wonderland. Whether you care to relax in your private bungalow, or take the party outdoors, there will be plenty to see, do and experience.
Amenities & Services
You will find an outdoor swimming pool and a whirlpool hot tub as added features of this hotel in Tortuguero. A 24-hour front desk is open to patrons of the hotel with a bilingual staff. There are flourishing tropical gardens awaiting you, and direct beach access for leisurely walks right outside of the establishment. Every pastoral albeit spacious room here includes wooden decor, and they each come equipped with a private bath for any and all pressing personal needs. The rooms also include a private balcony with a hammock and rocking chairs where you can relax or catch up on a good book that you’ve been waiting to immerse yourself in.
For getting to Mawamba Hotel and Lodge you will find daily departure packages from San Jose including transportation by land and boat. Once you reach the property which is about two to two and a half hours from the capital city of San Jose, a guided visit to the small town of Tortuguero and a boat tour of the Tortuguero canals are also encompassed in the departure packages. Dishes a la carte are available at the on-site restaurant, or you can ask the front desk about meal plans provided by the hotel. Tours and hikes around Tortuguero National Park are included as part of the packages, and children from the age 5 to 11 years old stay for half the regular room rate.
Hotel: Mawamba Lodge & Hotel Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Location: Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Rooms & Suites: 58 Units
Amenities & Services: Swimming pool, hot tub, 24-hour front desk, private balcony, hammock, rocking chairs, wooden décor, toiletries, butterfly gardens
Driving time from San Jose: 2 hrs
Driving time from Liberia: 3 hrs 30 mins
Ways to get there: shuttle, boat, plane, rental car
Contact Information: Website, +506 2293 8181
Laguna Lodge Hotel in Tortuguero Costa Rica
The Caribbean Ocean and the Tortuguero National Park are two natural draws for this Tortuguero hotel in the province of Limon, Costa Rica. The Laguna Lodge Hotel is a quaint and comfortable home away from home on the Caribbean coast.
A Caribbean Retreat
At this fourteen acre establishment, you will find the Caribbean Sea to the east and the canals and lagoons of Tortuguero National Park to the west. Wildlife abounds at the Laguna Lodge, and your bi-lingual tour guide will take you without time constraints to see the immense variety of the indigenous tropical rain forest and marine allures.
Rooms & Amenities
This hotel claims fifty-two furnished rooms with hot water, fans, safes and toiletries in private baths among other amenities. The on-site restaurant caters to local and foreign tastes, and has a strong reputation for delectable dishes in this area of Limon. There is a large bar on one of the lagoons, and a four hundred meter swimming pool with a hydro massaging waterfall. You will also find huts with hammocks to rest in during the day or at night, a swimming pool bar and nine boats allocating lagoon and canal tours and facilitating visitations to the local area.
The National Park
The Laguna Lodge in Tortuguero will act as your entry point into the wondrous Tortuguero National Park. The towering rainforest is a grand abode to animals such as howler monkeys, crocodiles and toucans among its many other classes of species. Tortuguero National Park is also of necessity for preserving the nesting ground of green sea turtles.
This property in the province of Limon, Costa Rica, offers 1, 2 and 3 night stays. Each packaged overnight sojourn in Laguna Lodge is outfitted with tours, food and lodging. The hotel is served by a professional staff that seeks to provide its guests with every comfort desired. The local wildlife may leave you stunned, but the hotel will find you well-rested and well-fed.
Location, Location, Location
The Laguna Lodge is also not far (about an hour and a half to the south) from the small beach town of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, where you can find surf and snorkeling among its other charms. To the west, you will find the capital city of San Jose about 2 hours away by bus or taxi. The mountain city of San Jose will attend to interests in areas related to urban exploits, cosmopolitan fascinations and more.
Hotel: Laguna Lodge Hotel in Tortuguero
Location: Tortuguero National Park in Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Rooms & Suites: 52 Units
Amenities & Services: tours, meal plans, hammocks, swimming pool, hot water, fans, safes, toiletries
Driving time from San Jose: 2 hours
Driving time from Liberia: 2 ½ hours
Ways to get there: plane, bus, rental car, boat
Contact Information: Website, +506 2272 4943
The Ultimate Spot for Nesting Turtles: Tortuguero Costa Rica
The Tortuguero National Park was initially created to aid in providing an established territory for the giants of the testudine order (Leatherback Sea Turtles) to lay their progeny.
How Not To Scare Away the Turtles
When people come to visit the canals of Tortuguero and the small town by the sea, there are many things that they have to learn before embarking on an adventure to watch the nesting sea turtles. Most visitors to the area start by seeing a video about turtle conservation. Later, the boats, which are the only mode of transportation through the canals, take people to see diurnal wildlife. The turtles come to nest by the light of the moon, but the animals that are out in the day are pretty exciting, also.
A Lot of Rain & Wildlife in the Mangroves
Toucans, Howler Monkeys, Capuchins, Alligators and Caiman can be seen while passing through the canals. The Caribbean and the Province of Limon sees more rain than the rest of Costa Rica which is remarkable in that Costa Rica in general sees a lot of rain. Passing the day looking for the animals, and stopping for lunch on the banks of the mangroves of Tortuguero is how most guests fill the day. The main event starts at night.
What to Wear
Tourists begin their night time tour by putting on dark clothes, because Leatherbacks (the largest turtles on earth) and other species get freaked out by bright light. The reflective material of brightly colored shirts can be detrimental to some turtles that want to land and nest. Flashlights with red covers are also used so that the bright yellow hue of normal flashlight doesn’t have a negative impact on the landing sea turtles.
After Sunset & the Full Moon
Once night falls, the beach is approached from the forest and through the canals. The flashlights are turned off upon hitting the beach, and you have to be as quite as possible in order to not frighten the encroaching behemoths. The guides use an infrared light pointed at the rear end, so that guests can get a good look at the turtle as it lays eggs. Turtles come in by the light of the moon with higher frequency, so a full moon night will yield higher numbers.
Tortuguero National Park was established in 1975 as a highly important wetland, nesting area for leatherbacks, habitat for species of marine fowl, alligators, caiman and many more.
Questions & Answers
Is there an entrance fee to Tortuguero National Park?
Yes. It costs ten dollars to enter for adults and $1 for children, but the fees are included in the all-inclusive tours offered by Costa Rica Monkey Tours.
Can you drive to Tortuguero?
The last leg of the trip to Tortuguero must be made by boat, or you can charter a plane with Nature Air or Sansa Air.
When is the best season to see leatherbacks?
Leatherbacks nest year round, but the best season is likely during the dry season. Leatherbacks use the light of the moon to make their way to nesting grounds on the beach and in the swamp. If leatherbacks don’t have the moon light, they may not choose to nest.
Does Costa Rica Monkey Tours go to Tortuguero?
Yes, we have specialized custom packages to Tortuguero, or you can visit the canals on the Coast to Coast tour. The hotels where you can expect to say are top of the line, and the experienced travel guides make the trip really wonderful.