Tortuguero Canal
Tortuguero Canal
4.5
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
About
Duration: 2-3 hours
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Top ways to experience Tortuguero Canal

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles425 reviews
Excellent
242
Very good
121
Average
49
Poor
10
Terrible
3

CTProf
Las Vegas78 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2014 • Couples
Phillip, our guide, showed us more wildlife in an hour than we saw in multiple hours in the rain forest tour.

I would recommend taking a taxi to this location. Doing so will save you huge money compared to taking a cruise ship excursion and will even save you quite a lot of money compared to using one of the tour companies who merely serve as your taxi service to the canal.

We saw multiple sloths, crocodiles, lizards that walk on water, various kinds of crabs, herons, egrets and multiple types of monkeys. Our guide was eager to make certain that everyone got a great view of the wildlife.
Written May 13, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Allan_Journeys
Jacksonville, FL309 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2016 • Couples
We visited the Tortuguero Canals as part of an excursion from a cruise ship. The journey to the canals was a stark contrast to the actual boat tour in the wildlife preserve. The port city of Limon can only be described as a slum with some of the worst conditions you can imagine. Never mind the glossy photos, it was terrible. Then on the bus ride we passed one garbage strewn site after another, along the road side. There was no sense at all of a conservation minded approach. On the other hand, the wildlife preserve and boat tour were wonderful. We saw howler monkeys, tree sloths and many other species. The tour boat guide made frequent stops of interest and often swung the boat around so both sides could have photo ops. A fresh fruit lunch was provided and the overall experience was quite memorable. But in the end it was hard to reconcile all the advertising of a green country with the abject poverty and filth. It seems you have to ignore a lot, in order to enjoy the good bits. The wildlife experience is probably worth it, but be prepared for a downside enroute, that is never mentioned in the promotional literature.
Written January 9, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

2OldSalts
Seattle, WA243 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2012 • Couples
Recuperating from a hip replacement, my husband and I were looking for an excursion that was a bit more laid back. That is exactly what we received while visiting the Tortuguero Canals. Although I enjoy experiencing the wildlife of remote locations, this was a bit too laid back for us.

Wile visiting during the rainy season in November, I was hesitant to choose a mountainous excursion where the rains would be more prevalent. What I didn't realize was that we would be sight seeing the same bird at each bend of the canal. Having visited after recent rains, the most adventure we had was dislodging a damn of river debris at the railroad trestle. The remainder of the trip we saw very little wildlife; lots of snowy egrets, a couple of blue butterflies, and a number of birds common to the US. We did spot one White Face monkey and heard a couple of Howler monkeys. There were a couple Toucans and sloth in the far distance. Nothing that the camera was able to capture with any interest. We were however, lucky to complete the 1 1/2 tour before the rains began. The boat awning would have been a blessing in the event we had needed it.

The only refreshment we received was a well appreciated stop at the transfer point from boat to bus. A couple local vendors had set up a market area to purchase items. The items were the same that could be found back at the dock for about the same price. So if you don't see what you like, or can't make up your mind, you will have another opportunity at the docks. The food consisted of fish, fruit and beverage. After a ride through the jungle, although messy, it was a refreshing surprise. Take a package of wipes with you.

The bus ride back to the cruise ship included a stop at the banana plantation. Stop is literal. The bus stopped, the driver got out, went into the bushes and grabbed a banana plant and returned to the bus to show us what it looked like. There was no getting out, exploring the area, and returning to the bus with some fabulous photos.

Had I to do it over again, I would consider the tram ride up the mountain or maybe just some time at a local resort beach. However, I had heard the tram was a disappointment as well. Get on, ride up and back, and its over. It is possible that the season lends itself to minimal wildlife and exploration. However, it also seems that the operator could have been better prepared by offering the option of allowing some education and more photo ops (yes, they turned the boat to allow the best possible sightings). The jungle must include more than than snow egerts at every turn. Educate tourist on the medicinal benefits found in the jungle, highlight some of the area history, tell us about your country and what makes it so magnificent. What foods are found in the jungle? Talk about the poisonous dangers that exists and how they may impact life. While you have a captured audience, educate, educate, educate!

I would have expected Holland America to provide a more interesting and qualified operator. I knew better and next time will listen to my own advice and find my own excursion. NOTE: Don't pay the cruise line their percentage to give you below par service.
Written December 28, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Johneo_ca
Toronto, Canada243 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2012 • Couples
I have now taken a trip on the canal on two occasions. If you travel with one of the trips booked through a cruise line you will go on quite a large boat (80+) but if not it will likely seat 6-12 people. You are likely to see a lot of wildlife. You will definitely seen several types of birds, but most likely iguanas, sloths and monkeys. You will probably also see turtles and alligators all within a short space of time. The trip on the canal has a big wow factor.

One small problem is that the toilets at the small boat dock are some of the worst I have ever experienced - be warned.
Written February 5, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Anthony S
Brisbane, Australia1,857 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Couples
We spent a very pleasant hour on a boat along the canal. Even in the heat of the day the experience was most pleasant with a cool breeze.

The boat was comfortable and there was enough to see along the banks of the canal, caimans, iguanas and birds.

As a part of a days excursion from Puerto Limon I would highly recommend it.
Written April 27, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dobergirl2
Sarasota, FL255 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Couples
Our private tour (for 2) in a small boat made the trip fantastic. Our guide was able to get the smaller boat into areas where the larger ones couldn't easily go, and we saw an amazing array of wildlife. Our guide pointed out a lizard that runs on water, a sloth dining in an overhead tree, a cayman and a crocodile, beautiful waterbirds, and many other types of wildlife. Of course, they're all in the wild, so nothing is guaranteed, but with a good guide you'll see them -- this canal is teeming with wildlife! Our guide was able to maneuver our small boat for the best pictures and camera angles, and we got them! We arrived on a cruise ship, and when we saw the animals disappearing as their larger boats approached and staying for countless photos for our small craft, we knew we had made the right decision. We booked our tour through Caribbean Tropical Tour, which has recently changed its name from Tortuguero Wildlife Tours. After talking with other cruise guests, we knew that we had had the best experience that day on the canal.
Written April 20, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rebecca T
Florence, SC14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
A group of 13 booked a Tortuguero Jungle/canal tour aboard the Riverboat Francesca with Capt. Modesto Watson. His wife, Fran, went above and beyond to accommodate us..even lining up a bilingual bus driver for us. Our capt met us at the docks and went above and beyond to point out many wildlife along the canal. We saw sloths, howler monkeys, numerous crocodiles and caiman, birds, flora, "Jesus" lizards and iguana. This was a 4 hour tour and was well worth the money. Definitely look up their website and give them a shot...Tortuguero Nature Tours. You won't be sorry.
Written July 9, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Byrdie122
Beverly Hills, FL420 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2013 • Friends
This was an excursion offered by the Island Princess ship on our way to Panama Canal. The train ride was interesting as was the boat ride in the canal, our boat spent 45 minutes looking at one small green iguana....I don't think we went more than a half mile in this canal total. Somewhat disappointing for us. The visit to the banana plantation was very interesting and informative. Would we take this excursion again? No I can't say that we would.
Written December 14, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Puppy71
Dubai64 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2013 • Family
We went in the afternoon just before lunch and were told that the best time to visit is in the morning because its cool in the morning and thats when the animals will be out and about, so you'll get to see more wildlife then. Despite going in the afternoon, we did get to see some howler monkeys, loads of iguanas, a Jesus Christ lizard, a few crocodiles, lots of birds and even a couple of sloths - although they were so high up in the trees you would need binoculars to see them properly. I would highly recommend doing this but I would suggest doing it in the morning.
Written May 21, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tlynn63
Cincinnati, OH702 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2013 • Couples
We took this tour through our cruise ship, Holland America, and were not disappointed. The pontoon type boat had a covering from the sun (and rain) and the driver was able to manuever it so that people on both sides of the boat had a good view although we were invited on several occasions to come to the front of the boat for a better view. Our guide and driver were excellent and spotted crocodiles, bats, sloth, howler monkeys, and many birds and lizards. We had taken along a small pair of binoculars which was helpful. The canal was calm and the plants along side it were beautiful. For any nature lover, I would recommend a ride on the Tortuguero Canal.
Written April 29, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Tortuguero Canal - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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