Tortuguero National Park

Tortuguero got its name from the hundreds of turtles that come to lay their eggs on the beach. Several species of turtles like the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), and the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)have come to these beaches for thousands of years.

Tortuguero is a village, a beach, and a national park. A village and the beaches are on strip of land that has a network of water canals on one side and the Caribbean sea on the other. An environment rich in lush vegetation, wildlife, and natural beauty.

The village is pretty, clean, and its people are kind and very adapted to the tourists and nature lovers that constantly come to enjoy the tours, food, crafts, and other services offered.

Tortuguero is one of the regions with the heaviest rainfall in Costa Rica (about 5.000-6,000 mm. / year). The park has an extension of 18.946 hectares.
Its wilderness areas are so varied that 11 different habitats have been identified in the park.

There is an abundance of fauna, especially with regards to monkeys. fish, anurans (with 60 species identified to date) and birds (with 309 species recorded).

Some of the mammals that make their home in the area are:

(Tapirus bairdil)
(Felis onca)
(Felis parda1is)
(Potos flavus)
Collared peccary
(Tayassu tajacu)
Neotropical river otter
(Lutra longicaudus)
(Eira barbara)
(Bassaricyon gabbii)
Three-toed sloth (Bradypus variegatus)
(Galictis vittata)
(Agouti paca)
White-faced monkey
(Cebus capucinus)
Spider monkey
(Ateles geoffroyi)
Howler monkey
(Alouatta paiiata)

During certain times of the year, spectacular migrations of birds that nest in North America can be seen from the coast.

A natural network of scenic and navigable waterways crosses the park from southeast to northwest. These channels and marshes are the habitat of 7 species of land turtles which can be seen sunning themselves on logs in the middle of the water or on the islands of floating vegetation. These waterways also provide excellent observation posts for different species of waterfowl.

They also shelter the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), one of the most endangered Caribbean species.

Tortuguero is also the habitat for crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus), a great variety of crustaceans, and about 30 species of freshwater fish, including the gar (Atractosteus tropicus). considered to be a living fossil, eel (Ophichthus sp.), and bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas) which can grow up to 3 meters long.

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Tortuguero Canals
Tortuguero Canals

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