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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. Tortuguero is as well the most important nesting place for green turtles in the western hemisphere. Leatherback, hawksbill and loggerhead turtles arrive as well in small numbers.


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 breakfast or can be booked individually.

The Tour Package includes:

  • 2 nights at Icaco/los Amigos/Casa marbella standard, all  rooms have  private bathroom, hot water and fan
  • breakfast
  • canoe tour (3 hours)
  • rainforest hike (2,5 hours)
Price: 115 $ per person in double room.
Turtle tours are offered only in season (July to October). Add 35 $ p.p. + 6 $ p.p to the package  National park entrance has to be booked online at , sector Canales. The turtle beach is divided in different sectors, some are far and it is necesary to go by boat 5 $ p.p.
  • Rooms can be upgraded:  Cabinas el Icaco with AC, Carey AC 155 $ p.p   
  • la Casona 150 $  p.p. (Pool/AC) (2025 new price 155 $)
  • Tortuguero Natural, Miss Miriam 120 $ p.p.
  • Casa Marbella Superior 140 $ p.p
  • Miss Junie Hotel (Pool) , downstairs 135 $ p.p, upstairs 150 $ p.p.
  • It is possible  to arrange a direct transfer (private bus and boat) from San José,  cost: one way 65 $ + tax, pickup at your San Jose Hotel,  breakfast  included
  • Boatrip from  Moin one way 35 $ p.p.
  • Transfers from/to Arenal 60 $ p.p. one way
  • Tortuguero Hill is open , a nice tour you can do by yourself, please book your ticket, sector El Cerro
  • without accomodation: canoe & hike 65 $ pp + entrance, turtle tour 35 $ pp + 6  $ pp turtlepermit
  • please add  to all prices 13 % of tax, if you pay cash you will get a discount


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 way 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. 
The Pavona bus normally is crowded and stops all over. You can buy the bus ticket directly in the bus (1200 Col) ,Boatdrivers expect bus/cars at la Pavona, Boat costs 4000 Col p.p.  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 4.30 pm

connection from Tortuguero-Pavona: 5 am, 9 am, 11 am and 3 pm

If you are travelling without car  I recommend you can to a nice combination: arrive from Moin and depart  to Cariari.

Parking is safe at the dock of Moin or  in La Pavona (10 $ per night).  
 If you wish I can sent you a route map Guapiles-Pavona.

I recommend staying minimum two nights in Tortuguero. If you wish to do your tours with me, please  mail in advance.  Reservation only  by mail

if you are in Tortuguero we can comunicate via whats app 00506 27098004

Recently many touragencies try to sell you tours in Pavona, many work with not-licensed guide. As well most hotels sell their bookings-reservation to agencies. Please do not support this, there are plenty of independant agencies and guides in town.

Bring: raincoat, hat, sun cream, insect repellent, trekking shoes, binoculars ( a plus for all tours in Costa Rica), camera, dark clothes during turtle season, cash, Tortuguero has no bank and no ATM..
In the wet season  it is better to wear rubberboots during foresthike . In town you can rent rubberboots for  2/3 $.  


Barbara Hartung

 whats app: 00506 27098004

Tortuguero   Turtles    Rainforest   Photos