Since our time in Costa Rica was limited, we decided to make San Jose our home base for the week and book daily tours to see different parts of the country. We found a 1-day tour to Tortuguero National Park through Viator. Our guides picked us up at our hotel at the crack of dawn, and drove us to the boat docks. The park is only accessible by boat, so we set off on a river cruise through the rainforest! If any of you have ever been to Disneyland and rode the Jungle Cruise, I swear, it feels exactly the same.. Except real.
Some highlights of the cruise:
Our guide let us sit on the front of the boat… that was pretty awesome.
After about an hour and a half of cruising the river, we arrived at Tortuguero! Upon landing at the docks, we had to walk through Tortuguero village to get to the beach. The village was quaint, and filled with shops. I would’ve liked to spend some time there looking around, but alas, we were on a tight schedule.
So on to the beach! Tortuguero National Park is located on the Atlantic Ocean side of the country, and the weather and the water were absolutely beautiful. During certain times of the year, green sea turtles use this beach as a nesting ground (hence the name of the park) and the beach is off limits. But this was not that time of the year, so we were able to splash around in the ocean a bit. It really would’ve been cool to see the turtles though.
After our fabulous (albeit brief) beach time, we hopped back on the boat and traveled to one of the many eco-lodges in the park. The lodge offered access to a crazy awesome hiking trail entirely on boardwalks and hanging bridges. This, for me, was probably the highlight of the park. We saw so many animals, and the hanging bridges were so fun to walk on!
The lodge also served us a tasty buffet lunch, which was included in the price of the tour. Then it was back on the boat to begin our journey back to San Jose! Some pics from the ride home:
I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who has a day to spare when traveling to San Jose! Even though we didn’t get to see the sea turtles, there was so much other wildlife, and the river cruise and rainforest hike were both delightful! It was definitely hot though, so be sure to pack lots of sunscreen, water, and a hat! Especially if you have a Celtic complexion like me haha.