Don’t expect to find any big museums in Tortuguero. The small village doesn’t offer those kinds of attractions; instead you can feel like you’re living in quite a unique place just by visiting. The area is a unique ecosystem and Tortuguero was founded as a national park more than a quarter a century ago, and today is home to 11 different habitats for hundreds of species of birds, and other wildlife including monkey, crocodiles, manatees and lizards.

The most famous attractions are native turtles; hence the area’s name even means “Region of Turtles.” The green turtle population was actually saved because of the national park, as previously nearly all the nesting turtles were used for the making of turtle soup! Now the population has swelled into the thousands, and visitors can come to see the turtle’s nest, and the season lasts from July through October. There are nightly tours for turtle watching, and no cameras or flashlights are permitted. Tours are $10 per person, including guides and tours last from 8pm until 10pm, and from 10pm until midnight. No one is allowed into the nesting sector without a guide after 6pm, and a maximum of 400 people are allowed on the beach per night.