The coastal mangrove swamps around Tortugero teem with life, justifying this region's reputation as one of the best eco-tourism destinations in Costa Rica. Tortugero National Park consists of a series of canals and waterways, sweeping back from the coast as far as Tortugero village.
The best way to explore this wetland habitat is by boat, with guided tours and kayaks available for those who want to get to know the area under their own steam. As you glide by, keep your eyes open for sloths and capuchin monkeys in the trees. Some of the more elusive jungle and costal animals also frequent this area with regular sightings of jaguars and the rare West Indian Manatee.
This wildlife bonanza only heats up towards the evening as, by the light of the waning moon, hundreds of turtles drag themselves up the beach to nest between July and October. Guided tours take you on a stroll of the beaches by night to witness this mass exodus of the water, while during the day young turtles can be seen frantically running the gauntlet to return to the sea.