The Most Rewarding Family Adventure Travel Experience in Costa Rica

The Most Rewarding Family Adventure Travel Experience in Costa Rica




Getting to Tortuguero National Park is quite an adventure! Tortuguero National Park lies on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, and though we had heard that it features an incredible variety of wildlife in a near-jungle setting, we were going for the main allurement – to see turtles nesting their eggs along the coastline.

To this end, we headed south. We began our trip to Tortuguero with an incredible excursion by the mountains and farm lands replete with banana fields. Our real adventure began shortly after reaching Puerto Limon, the capital town of Limon Province. Little did we know that from here on, a spectacular trip awaited us?

There are no roads to Tortuguero, so we took the only possible route – boating by the lush canals. This was part of the adventure. A near 2 hour boat trip rule us by the Canal de Tortuguero and by some dramatically rainforests at the edges of the swamps. Shortly after pushing off the dock, a crocodile caught our attention. The kids were especially excited as he was just a bit too close for comfort. Competing with the crocodile, Howler and Spider monkeys were staging a noisy show in the treetops. A sloth flaunted his cuddly koala-like side. There were turtles and birds of every variety – egrets, herons and toucans flying overhead. At every bend in the river, a surprise awaited us. As there is no human settlement, character truly dominates here.

As we neared Tortuguero town, the rainforest gave way to expansive white beaches, the perfect nesting ground for the sea turtles. Tortuguero National Park was produced to protect and preserve its turtle residents – Green Sea Turtles, Hawksbill, Leatherback and Loggerheads. On our own in the afternoon, we explored tiny Tortuguero town, a truly magical little village. There are no cars here, only bikes and boats. Walking paths extend by the village and into the National Park. We started out on a self-guided walk by the Los Raudales character Trail to reach a pictureque point of magnificent vistas – the azure ocean, the near-blinding white beaches and the sight of groups crashing against the rocks.

The next morning we chose to take a guided ecotour by the park’s canals. Tortuguero National Park hosts a network of dramatically black water canals where we spotted all kinds of monkeys and other birds, in addition as an abundance of marine life. Our guide pointed out the sloths, spider and capuchin monkeys which would have been lost to us among the thick vegetation. We spotted a large iguana nearly dropping from a tree precariously, and a Jesus lizard, famous for its ability to run on the water. Cruising by the canals covered completely by the canopy of the rainforest, the plant and animal life found here is unimaginable.

In the evening, we were all especially excited, anticipating our turtle nesting walk. To the waning moon and in complete darkness, we made our way, single file, to the beach. The sounds of crashing groups and the smell of salt in the humid air gave evidence to our direction in the black night. The dimmed red light of our guide led the way, as the sand gave way under us.

Suddenly a huge Green Sea Turtle loomed ahead, its sheer size impressive. Unaware of our presence, the turtle inhaled and with every exhale, it laid between 2-4 bluish eggs. It seems these turtles lay between 200-300 eggs at a time, but very few survive. After dropping the eggs, the turtles hide the eggs in the sand. The sight of this natural course of action which has been going on for thousands of years was incredible to observe. For the kids especially it was an experience which left them with their mouths agape.

On our final morning, we clambered up Tortuguero Island Mountain with our guide, where we saw rubber trees, strangler trees, bright red poison dart frogs, a cave of vampire bats and termite labyrinth. We learned about natural rainforest healing plants and took in the whole of this magnificent island.

Tortuguero is Costa Rica’s breathtaking jungle. A trip here is a not-too-be-missed adventure into a min-Amazon.




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