Beautiful Tortuguero River
Beautiful Tortuguero River

Tortuguero National Park in Limon is one of Costa Rica's most beautiful conservation areas. Boasting lush jungles, miles of canals and some of the country's most exotic wildlife, Tortuguero is the ideal place for tourists to enjoy Costa Rica by water. To really appreciate the stunning natural beauty of this national park, take a canoe ride down one of its many canals and rivers.

Tortuguero Canals from the air
Tortuguero Canals from the air

Leisurely Exploration

As a coastal national park, Tortuguero is known for its long, meandering waterways. These canals feed directly into the Caribbean Sea, and offer plenty of opportunities for visitors to explore these serene rivers by canoe. Accompanied by an experienced local guide, you'll set off from the park's ranger station and embark on a peaceful journey upriver. As you progress further down Tortuguero's canals, you'll see all kinds of exotic wildlife, including manatees, caimans, crocodiles and several species of monkey.

Your canoeing adventure doesn't stop at the canal, though. As you make your way through the lush jungles by canoe, stop at the Cano Palma Biological Station, where you can learn more about the delicate ecosystems of the park and the wildlife that inhabits it. Alternatively, if you'd rather stay active, you can disembark at the base of the Tortuguero Hills and hike to the summit of Tortuguero Mountain, which offers commanding views of the rainforest and Caribbean Sea.

Tortuguero Cristal clear waters
Tortuguero Cristal clear waters

Otherworldly Adventure



The best time to set off on a canoeing trip through Tortuguero National Park is in the early morning when the wildlife is at its most active. As you meander down the narrow canals that wind through the park, you'll see many more creatures during the hours after daybreak than you will later in the afternoon.

You and your guide can take your time exploring the silence of the national park, taking in the sights at a much more leisurely pace. Although you can take trips along the park's wider waterways on motorboats, canoeing offers you the chance to see another side of Costa Rica's unspoilt natural beauty. As you navigate the swamps, mangroves and open stretches of canal, it's easy to imagine yourself as an intrepid explorer in search of new civilizations.

Personally, I spend a lot of time in Tortuguero, as several of my brothers and sisters live there. If you see us during your adventure upriver, give us a wave!

Spider monkey jumping over Tortuguero canals
Spider monkey jumping over Tortuguero canals