A wildlife holiday in Costa Rica would not be as complete or rewarding without a visit to Tortuguero National Park. Despite its remote location, the park remains the third most visited in the country due to its large biological diversity, varied landscapes and stunning scenery. While the park is only accessible via boat or plane, a visit to the 200,000 acres of tropical wet forests, lagoons, swamps, marshes and beaches is well worth the effort.
The flora and fauna found within the Tortuguero National Park is both beautiful and varied. A wildlife holiday in Costa Rica offers up many opportunities to see a range of magnificent species – including some endangered ones – and the park is home to tapirs, Manatees, Jaguars and the Great Green Macaw. The park has also received worldwide attention for its preservation of the nesting grounds of sea turtles, which return to its beaches each year. Every year, from July through September, the park closes its 22 miles of beaches from dusk to dawn to protect the nesting Green Turtles, as well as other seasonal visitors such as Leatherback, Hawksbill and Loggerhead Turtles.
Over 375 different species of birds inhabit the Tortuguero National Park, including the famous canopy-dwelling keel billed, Collard Aracari and Chestnut Mandible Toucans. A wildlife holiday in Costa Rica here can be especially rewarding for bird watchers, as the park also boasts a large number of forest floor dwelling fowl species, including Boat-billed Heron, Crested Guans and Northern Jacanas.
Wildlife from Above and Below
Other mammals that can be sighted in the national park include three of the four Costa Rican species of monkeys, including the Capuchin, Spider and Howler monkeys. Below the forest’s dense canopy live 125 mammal species and over 124 different kinds of reptiles. Wildlife in the area includes squirrel, Manatees, fresh water otters, Green Iguanas and Basilisk Lizard; as well, 17 Jaguars have been recorded living in the park.
Tortuguero National Park is one of the best locations to visit during a wildlife holiday in Costa Rica. The exotic and varied wildlife available to be seen within the park will be extremely rewarding, especially with the opportunities to see so many endangered species within one location. National parks and preserves protect over 25% of the country’s landmass and, consequently, the local eco-tourism industry continues to thrive. The conservation efforts and unspoilt scenery of the Tortuguero National Park ensures that any wildlife lover will have an immensely gratifying and awe-inspiring experience.