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2D1N or 3D2N in Tortuguero

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2D1N or 3D2N in Tortuguero

December is not a turtles season. Is it too long to spend 3 days 2 nights there? or just 1 night 2 days.

Rather than getting the all inclusive hotel package, is it possible that we can book our hotel, walk around on our own and join a canon tour during our stay?

But I think we still need to arrange the transport via a hotel or shuttel company.

Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 8,522
reviews: 58
1. Re: 2D1N or 3D2N in Tortuguero

Locals and tourists alike are travelling to and from Tortuguero every day, so it is easy to arrange your own transportation. There are several non-lodge options in the village of Tortuguero, Casa Marbella one of the best. Everything is close to walk. If renting a kayak use a guide. For more details check www.tortuguerovillage.com. What is "canon tour"? BTW, Casa Marbella offers excellent early morning boat tour with electrical powered (silent) boat.

Since travelling in and out of Tortuguero takes half a day, it is better to calculate 2N1D or 3N2D.

Edited: 9:18 am, November 05, 2012
San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 723
2. Re: 2D1N or 3D2N in Tortuguero

you'll probably be fine with 2 nights, one full day to explore... And yes, www.tortuguerovillage.com has the best info on independent travel and transport to Tortuguero, and Daryl at Casa Marbella is one of the best guides in the area...

Tortuguero, Costa...
posts: 78
3. Re: 2D1N or 3D2N in Tortuguero

You've probably already come and gone from Tortuguero, or made your plans if not, but I'll put my two cents in for other people who might read this post.

I agree with the previous comments. Unless you are arriving or leaving by air, the travel is pretty long to just stay one night. As it isn't turtle season, I would recommend the following: definitely get a morning canoe tour with a guide (or the electric boat with Casa Marbella). If you really enjoyed that, repeat in the afternoon with rented kayaks or canoes. You will see exponentially more wildlife with a guide.

--I do not recommend the Tortuguero Guides Association for several good reasons, but that's another forum topic--

Late morning or early afternoon, you can head to the STC turtle museum for their short video (in a lovely room with many ceiling fans) and interpretive wildlife center. $2 per person. ASVO has a small trail that's great for nocturnal wildlife, since you won't be going on the turtle nesting tour. I think you have to go with a guide. Plus, if you do these two tours you'll be contributing to two of the local biological stations.

Barrie, Canada
posts: 2,450
reviews: 47
4. Re: 2D1N or 3D2N in Tortuguero

Hey Wild Ginger.. what are the odds of seeing baby turtles hatching in December? How best to do this?

Tortuguero, Costa...
posts: 78
5. Re: 2D1N or 3D2N in Tortuguero

Your odds are slim but it's not impossible. You can walk the beach at night or in the early morning, as this time of year there are no restrictions. The hatchlings come out when the temperature of the sand is very cool, so even on cool rainy days you might see them in the daytime. If you are using a white flashlight at night just remember that they use the light reflecting off the ocean to guide them to sea. They will follow your flashlight, so either help guide them the right direction or turn it off once you've found them.

You shouldn't pick up turtles and "help" them to the ocean unless they are seriously lost and going the wrong way. In that case, you should never put them in the water, but bring them to a spot about halfway up the beach and preferably where there aren't visible artificial lights.

I really don't recommend hiring a guide for spotting hatchlings. Not only is it an unnecessary expense, but many guides pay a small fee to a man who digs up nests to show the turtles. I have seen hatchlings that died from baking in the sun because they weren't ready to emerge from the nest. When the temperature is above 35°C their muscles stop working and they can't do anything to get out of the sun.

If you do see anyone digging up nests or otherwise bothering turtles, please report those illegal activities to the national park at the ranger station, located at the far South end of the village. If you are in front of Laguna Lodge you can ask the receptionist to call the national park for you. Try to get the names of the offenders or a good description including what they're wearing.

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 723
6. Re: 2D1N or 3D2N in Tortuguero

thanks Wild Ginger, good info...

Tortuguero, Costa...
posts: 78
7. Re: 2D1N or 3D2N in Tortuguero

Always a pleasure! We talk to many tourists who have made poor decisions based on lack of information, so I hope that participating in the forums can help make more people's CR trips enjoyable and convenient.

Barrie, Canada
posts: 2,450
reviews: 47
8. Re: 2D1N or 3D2N in Tortuguero

Very informative thank you wild ginger. Would a camera flash cause harm? I am usually lucky.

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 44,893
9. Re: 2D1N or 3D2N in Tortuguero

Always good idea hire local guide...they know where to go and what to look for...some jokers around playing Indiana Jones kind of guys...please support local guides


Concord, California
Destination Expert
for Sacramento, Puerto Vallarta
posts: 10,844
reviews: 122
10. Re: 2D1N or 3D2N in Tortuguero

I'll be on a Gate1 tour in early Feb (2 nights in Tortuguero) and we do have a local guide there (paid for by Gate1, I guess) and I do understand that it's not turtle nesting season at that time but I've participated in turtle season on the Bay of Banderas (Pacific Side --- Puerto Vallarta....walking the beaches at night in the summer and then releasing babies in the fall, working with local biologists) but was wondering what to expect in February in Tortuguero.

I have my handy-dandy DK Eyewitness Guide (lovely pictures, mostly) and of course this forum and the full power of the Internet, but can anyone tell me, in general, what to expect during that time? We'll be on the canals and visiting the village and the museum. Will the turtles be there? The Cliff Notes for this tour say "you are likely to see turtles, caimans, monkeys and many tropical birds...." Sure hope so.

Thanks for any tips.