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TORTUGUERO
   


This is one of the few Costa Rican national parks where walking isn't necessarily the best way to see things. The marked trail along the beach is used mostly for observing turtle nesting, but the best way to see most of the park is from a boat. That doesn't mean you can't get a workout while nature watching; there are plenty of places to rent canoes and kayaks (cayucas or botes).

The area protected by Tortuguero (turtle catcher) National Park was an archipelago of volcanic islands until alluvial sediments from the interior mountains, filled in the spaces and formed a network of marshy islands. Sand piled up where the river deposited land met the sea, and the turtle nesting beaches of Tortuguero formed. The exceptionally high rainfall, and rich environment where the freshwater meets the sea makes the beaches, canals, lagoons and wetlands of Tortuguero areas of exceptional biodiversity, and opportunity for nature lovers.

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