Back > Title

Tortuguero  Turtles   Rainforest   Photos


 I have lived in Tortuguero since 1995. Since I was studying biology, my fascination about the tropical rainforest evolved. In 1988 I participated on a student project in Ecuador in the Amazon. Staying in a small Indian village of the Quechua-Indians in the Rio Napo area, we learned a lot about their way of living and as well the taste of many rainforest animals and plants. In 1989 I received a fellowship to study one year at the University of Săo Paulo, Brazil. After my masters I traveled to Panama and Costa Rica. In Costa Rica I worked as a volunteer in the National Parks. In Tortuguero I was offered a job as a resident biologist at a tourist agency. Today I'm working independent, as well to offer an alternative to mass tourism. Instead of using noisy motorboats I go with traditional canoe and hike in small groups into the rainforest. This is the only manner to observe nature, since you have to open all your senses to know the fascination of the rainforest. As well it is the only way not to destroy the rainforest. During my studies of zoology I studied mainly entomology (insects), but today my passion is the diversity of the rainforest, the interaction between plants and animals and their medicinal use.  

Possible tours:

canoe tour is the best way to go silently into the small canals to observe wildlife.

Hiking allows you another view of the rainforest, its plants and their use,  and as well to observe wildlife, especially the smaller fauna like bats, snakes, frogs, insects, spiders, etc.

I offer also a village walk, considering culture, history, medicinal plants and influence of conservation and tourism in the daily life of Tortuguero people.

Sea turtle nesting tours from June to October (green turtle) and March to June (leatherback).

The tours can be booked as a tour package with lodging and meals or can be booked individually.

The Tour Package includes:

  • 2 nights at  Cabinas Natural / La Casona or el Icaco, rooms have  private bathroom, hot water and fan
  • breakfast
  • canoe tour (3 hours)
  • rainforest hike (2,5 hours)
Price: 95  $ per person in double room, single room plus 5 $ per night.
Turtle tours are offered only in season (July to October).  The village walk will be replaced by turtle tour during turtle season. Tourpackage in turtle season costs 115 $ + 5 $ Turtlepermit.  National Park entrance fee is not included: 15 $ p.p.
  • Rooms can be upgraded:                                                                                                           Cabinas Tortuguero, Casa Marbella, Miss Junie or other,
  • outside of Tortuguero village: Rana Roja Lodge, Mawamba Lodge, Laguna Lodge, Tortuga Lodge
  • It is possible  to arrange a direct transfer (private bus and boat) from San José,  cost: one way 50 $, both way 100 $, including pickup hotel and breakfast 
  • Boatrip from  Moin one way 40 $ p.p., both way 70 $ p.p., 
  • Transfers from/to Arenal 60 $ p.p.
  • Tortuguero Hill is closed by the National Park administration


How to arrive at Tortuguero by yourself?  

All boats from Moín (Limón) to Tortuguero leave at 10 o'clock am.  It is better to reserve the Moin boat in advance, tickets at the dock are more expensive.

A very economic possibility is to arrive from Cariari. You take the bus at 9 am from San Jose to Cariari. In Cariari you take the next bus to La Pavona. Mostly it arrives between 11 and 11.20 am at the same busstation  or it leaves around 11.30 am at the old bus station.
The Pavona bus normally is crowded and stops all over. You can buy the busticket directly in the bus (1000 Col) , the boatticket you buy in the restaurant at La Pavona/Rio Suerte  (1600 Col). Boat leaves at 1 pm.  You arrive in Tortuguero between  2 pm and

other  connections:

Cariari-La Pavona 6  am, La Pavona - Tortuguero 7.30 am
San José - Cariari  6.30 am, Cariari-La Pavona 9 am, La Pavona - Tortuguero 11 am
San José - Cariari  1 pm, Cariari-La Pavona 3 pm, La Pavona - Tortuguero 16.30

connection from Tortuguero-Pavona: 5.30 am, 9 am, 11.00 am and 3 pm

A nice trip is if you combine the Cariari trip with the Moin trip. I recommend you to arrive from Moin and leave to Cariari.

Cars can be left safe at the dock of Moin or  La Pavona/Rio Suerte.  
Road to La Pavona is not easy to find and part is not paved. If you wish I can sent you a route map of la Pavona.

I recommend staying minimum two nights in Tortuguero. If you wish to do your tours with me, please call or mail in advance. Since my groups are very small, I'm often booked.

Bring: raincoat, hat, sun cream, insect repellent, trekking shoes, binoculars, camera, dark clothes during turtle season, cash, Tortuguero has no bank nor ATM.
In the wet season  it is better to wear rubberboots during foresthike . In town you can rent rubberboots for  2 $.  


Barbara Hartung

mobile: (00506) 8842 65 61

Tortuguero   Turtles    Rainforest   Photos