Tortuguero National Park is one of the best places in Costa Rica that you can go birding and see tropical rainforest wildlife by boat. It is known for its beautiful network of canals that run parallel to the Caribbean Sea. Supporting eleven different ecosystems, the park has some of the richest wildlife diversity found in one spot in Costa Rica. The canal tour led by local naturalists will expose you to this abundant biodiversity from the comfort of a covered pontoon boat leisurely exploring these estuaries and all along the banks of the rainforest.
The canals penetrate the jungle providing a relaxing opportunity to learn about what lives in this densely forested area. The lush surrounding rainforest environment is a result of the wet Caribbean climate coupled with a variety of water sources including: canals, freshwater lagoons, wetlands and beaches, combined in one area creating a fusion of different wildlife habitats.
This early morning riverboat ride provides plenty of opportunity to view the many types of wildlife present. Your bilingual guide and professional boat driver with their wealth of information will help you spot and identify tropical plants, animals and birdlife as you gracefully coast down the riverbanks. Hidden within the lush jungle canopy you may find three species of monkeys, two species of sloths, crocodiles, caimans, reptiles, herons and many species of birds.
Although it may take some effort to see them, you will likely hear all kind of exotic birdcalls, forest insects and maybe even the monkeys howling or chattering. Be sure to bring your camera and binoculars for an enhanced viewing experience.
You’ll be spending this 2- 3 hour long tour on a well shaded and well-maintained river boat. There is a canopy over the boat to somewhat protect you from the elements, but please be prepared for the sun or rain by bringing sun screen, a hat and a rain jacket.
Located along the northeastern coast of Costa Rica, Tortuguero is a small sparsely inhabited area with only a handful of hotels, souvenir stores and restaurants. The main attraction here centers around the abundance of flora and fauna found in the rainforest jungle or out on the beach with eleven miles of protected coastline where turtles come to lay their eggs. Tortuguero literally means a place where turtles live.
This half-day tour begins at Pachira Lodge in Tortuguero. Please bring along your camera, binoculars, sunscreen, insect repellent, binoculars and rain gear.
The Tortuguero Canal Tour - Pachira Lodge is available from Tortuguero - Grupo Pachira
Latitude: N 10° 33' 22.8"
Longitude: W 83° 30' 55.45"
Ray Brown is an AMAZING tour guide. We were told this was his first tour in 6 years because there are too many tour guides, but Ray Brown should be getting more tours!
Loved this informative and interesting tour, a good guide Julio.
The guide was wonderful.
Great guide named Marco.
Really fun and interesting.
We would have liked to travel down some of the smaller canals where there was less boat traffic, but I understand they may no longer now offer such access. If not, then it was as good as it could be. It would have been good to know that going into it, because when we were here 18 years ago, the canal tour was far more intimate with the nature.
There was a confusion about park entrance fee. I might have missed it somewhere that I had to pay it separately for it because I thought that it was paid already. The guide started arguing with me and I just said that's fine I just pay it because I do want to go. Again, it could have been my own mistake assuming that it was included in the price.
We saw two monkey species. Many birds and turtles. Once again, Alfonso "Fonzi" was great... As the only English speakers in our cohort of 10, he did an amazing job of keeping us engaged.
A little bit too much disel fume, and due to us sitting in the back, the noise of the boats engine was a little too loud so it was hard to hear the guide. Still a great trip with a lot of exiting wildlife
Fernando!!! he can spot anything hiding!
The rain was part of the problem because then we didn't see much. But it took them a long time to load the boats and was disorganized. The tour guide didn't speak loud enough for us to hear at the back of the boat.
Although the canal tour was excellent (our boat "captain" was constantly on the lookout for wildlife), the weather did not cooperate--it poured rain throughout! We were grateful the boat had good quality ponchos for everyone.
Best Tour! and tourguide!
Saw tons of wildlife and birds, guide was very knowledgeable. First rate for all the tours & guides from Pachira.
The guides did a great job of finding and identifying wildlife. Very nice!
Driver of boat was very helpful in seeing more wildlife.
Saw many animals; our tour guide Marco was very knowledgeable and helpful.
We had a great time- saw lots of wildlife
Our driver and guide were excellent
Wildlife viewing was great.
very good ! the guides in Tortuguero make the difference. They are so good.
Excellent guide and nice to see the canals and the wildlife, even in the rain.
Great wildlife and very knowledgeable guide.
Enjoyable trip. Our guide was very knowledgeable and we saw some cool creatures.
Pretty good. Excellent guide. Loads of wildlife that we could never have spotted on our own. Would have liked a smaller group and more extensive tour, maybe 2-3 hours rather than 90 minutes, and deeper into the park.
Logistics...the tour was changed from day 2 to an hour after our arrival on day 1. This was too soon after our arrival by water.
Again the guide was terrific and made sure we saw all kinds of wildlife.
Marianos was an excellent guide
Same guides as canal tour and they were great-the best we had on this trip. Would have liked to hear a little more about the village
Beautiful. This was my 3rd time and I still loved it.
Tour started a half an hour late due to time needed for guide to stand in line and get our park tickets. It's sort of a strange system the park has, so not necessarily the fault of the tour. We were allowed to go on the morning tour instead of the afternoon which we appreciated. Also, due to morning delay we were given the opportunity to take the afternoon tour as well for no additional charge. Nice gesture.
Again, it was pouring rain, but we enjoyed it and the guides were able to find quite a few animals to see and were very knowledgeable.
Did not see much as it was raining but they did the best they could.
Magical. Wish I'd had a map, known exactly where we were, had gone.
Fabulous tour - one of the best of the trip.