Tortuguero National Park picture
Tortuguero National Park
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Courtesy Visit Costa Rica

Key Info

Caribbean Coast

Details

Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing Type
More than Full Day Time to Spend
3.8scorecard
  • 3.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Tortuguero National Park sits tucked away in a northeastern pocket of the Caribbean coast. Tied to Costa Rica's mainland by weaving rivers and canals, this isolated park lures nature-seekers looking for a remote piece of jungle paradise. The park houses white-faced monkeys, toucans, jaguars, bright lizards, red-eyed frogs and blue morpho butterflies.

Recent travelers suggest exploring the park by boat to marvel at its beautiful landscape and animals. Plus, at various times during the year, visitors can spot sea turtles – green, leatherback, hawksbill and loggerhead – nesting in the area. If you want to witness turtle nesting, plan a visit between early March and mid-October. Turtle nesting walks can be arranged through a licensed guide. Past visitors praised Tortuguero Tours and Tortuguero Eco Experiences.

To avoid the region's humidity and rain, visit between February and March. The shortest way to get to Tortuguero is via a domestic flight, offered daily from San Jose's Tobías Bolaños International Airport to Tortuguero. For those who don't mind long journeys, the park is also reachable by car and ferry ride. For more information, consult our guide to Getting Around Costa Rica. The park welcomes visitors every day from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Admission to the park costs $15 per adult. 

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Nicoya Peninsula
Arenal Volcano
Type
Time to Spend
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#1 Nicoya Peninsula

The Nicoya Peninsula's sparkling 80-mile shoreline boasts beach-centric towns with cream-colored shores and dense forests. Half of the peninsula is found in the Guanacaste province, while the other half sits in the Puntarenas province. Nosara Beach's powdery sands line the Nicoya Peninsula's western edge. You'll also find fishing and cattle-ranching communities east of the rustic coastline. After a significant rise in tourism that began in the 1970s, an influx of restaurants and hotels have enticed visitors to the peninsula's sandy coast.

Recent travelers highlight Nosara Beach's gorgeous sunsets, colorful fish and turquoise waters as ideal for surfers and beach lovers alike. But be warned: shade is minimal (and it gets hot!) and the undertow can be challenging; sunset walks on the beach are highly encouraged. Other hot spots include Mal País and Montezuma, a charming coastal town that boasts affordable hotel accommodations and untamed splendors, like magnificent waterfalls and gentle cerulean waves.

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