Tortuguero is one of the world’s most important nesting sites for the endangered green sea turtle.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the “Little Amazon” of Costa Rica
Explore Tortuguero! Land of an incredible biological diversity and tropical sanctuary of more than 300 different species of birds and a natural habitat for an amazing array of wildlife. This includes monkeys, crocodiles and iguanas, among many others.
The Tortuguero National Park is one of the most varied parks boasting high rainforests to marshy lands, long stretches of beach; wide open canals perfect for crocodile spotting, and is also one of the most important breeding grounds for the Green Sea Turtle. The wildlife here is rich and diverse with unusually large populations of monkeys, birds and fish.

Getting There:
Tortuguero is located on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. Due to its location, travelers are required to spend the first night in San Jose. Pick up will be approximately at 6am in the morning. The transportation consist of 5 hours ground transfer and 1-hour boat ride. Breakfasts and lunch is including during this journey.

Variety of Activities:
This relatively small town offers a variety of activities like canoeing or kayaking on the river canal to spot creatures such as the caimans, birds, and crocodiles or hiking through various trails great for wildlife viewing and bird watching. Also popular here are fishing and sports fishing tours as well as the zip line and suspension bridges.
One of the awesome experiences in Tortuguero is to visit the nesting beaches and watch the turtles laying eggs or eggs hatching.
Between July-August is the perfect time to take a Costa Rican turtle tour.

Weather:
Weather is characterized by warm, breezy days. November through June are the cooler months. From the middle of July to the end of October is considered the dry season of the area, however you can experience regular rains.

Five species of Turtles:

Green Sea Turtles
Tortuguero National Park is one of the most important Green Turtle nesting sites in the world, making these 300-350-pound endangered giants Costa Rica’s most famous sea turtle. About 22,500 females nest in Tortuguero every year, and prime nesting season runs July-October; July and August, which see the highest nesting activity, are the best months for turtle tours.
Loggerhead Turtles
Small populations of loggerhead Sea Turtles appear in Tortuguero around July-October. The world’s largest hard-shelled turtle, these marine reptiles can reach up to 440 pounds and over three feet long.
Hawskbill Turtles
The critically endangered Hawksbill, named for its hooked beak (similar to a hawk), is more difficult to spot due to its endangered status. If you’re lucky, you may see these magnificent animals on the shores of Tortuguero (March-October).
Leatherback Turtles
Leatherback turtles are one of the world’s most impressive creatures, often reaching a massive 6 feet in length and 1,200 pounds. In most of Costa Rica, leatherback turtles, which are nearly extinct in many parts of the world, nest October-May (Tortuguero from April-November).

Combine with other locations:
After visiting Tortuguero continue your journey to Arenal Volcano area. Due to where Tortuguero is located, most of the time travelers are required to return to San Jose. Transportation is provided from Tortuguero straight to La Fortuna, home of the impressive Arenal Volcano. Transfer duration is approximately five hours. Arenal offers travelers a variety of adventure activities as well as the popular hot springs.

La Fortuna, home of the majestic Arenal Volcano, offers great adventure activities like zip lining, rafting, rappel, waterfall jumping among others.
My family and I decided to travel to Costa Rica this past October for an 8 day vacation. We spent time in Arenal and Tamarindo.

As a member of Costa Rica Deals Now, I have visited the country a few times for work. This was going to be my first time traveling for pleasure and with my family including my 4 year old daughter.

During our 3 nights stay in La Fortuna, I was invited to visit Mistico Arenal Park in order to experience their hanging bridges tour with my family. This was a tour that I never had a chance to do during my last 3 visits to Arenal. I was excited to do this activity and lived it as a traveler who books services with Costa Rica Deals Now.

A GREAT START

The journey started since the moment our driver and guide picked us up. Our guide, Jonni, welcomed us and explained to us how the tour was going to be and what to expect.
He asked my family if there is something we needed during and after the tour in order for him to take into consideration while conducting the tour.
A few minutes after the introduction, Jonni made the driver stop the car and pulled out on the side of the road. He got out of the car pulled out his telescope and showed us a three-toed sloth hanging from a tree. It was incredible to see a sloth living carefree with people walking around. On our way to the tour, our guide was very detailed about everything we were seeing on the route.


MAGICAL PLACE
Afterward, we arrived at Mistico Arenal Park. The view of the valley and Arenal Volcano was stunning. Before getting to the bridges, we walked through the trails of the park that took us deep into the rainforest. Our guide showed us different types of trees, birds, butterflies, monkeys, as well as bats before getting to the first bridges. There are no stairs and the trails have protective railings, and the surface material is anti-slip concrete. The place looks spotless and the richness of the forest impressed us every step of the way.
The highest suspension bridge was at 45 meters high. We stopped in the middle of the bridge to admire the forest from the top. The view was spectacular!
Our daughter had no problem crossing the bridges. It was a real adventure for all of us.
The park also has a waterfall called Morpho Waterfall. We saw the Blue Morpho butterflies flying around the waterfall.
At the end of the trail, we stopped at the mini store for waters, empanadas and some ice cream. The total tour was around 2 hours.
My family was happy and I was pleasantly surprised to know that daughter enjoy the hanging bridges as much as the rest of my family. Our guide Jonni was very knowledgeable and was right on point spotting as many animals as possible.

FOR ALL AGES
To all families traveling with children to La Fortuna, I strongly recommend doing the Mistico Hanging Bridges tour. A tour for all ages, rich in nature and surrounded by a beautiful deep green forest.
We strongly suggest booking the guided tour option for a personalized unique experience.
The hanging bridges tour at Arenal Mistico Park were a truly amazing adventure that my family will always remember.

Important Facts

Information:
Size: 250 hectares of Tropical Rainforest reserve
Precipitation: 2000 – 4000 mm annually
Relative humidity: 80% ~ 92%
Altitude: 500 – 600 meters above sea level

Length of the Main Trail: 2 miles
Bridges: 16 bridges, tunnel and a Waterfall
Duration: 2.5 hours with a guide

Accessible Trail: The park also offers an accessible trail for the visitors with mobility issues. Power mobility scooters are also offered at the park.
Length: 1 mile. Non-slip concrete path.
Tour duration: 45 min with a guide.
Bridges: 6 fixed bridges, optional 2 hanging bridges.

Species
Avifauna: +350 species
Plant life: +700 species
High altitude trees: Yema Huevo, Cirri and Pilon trees
Low altitude trees: Caobilla, Fruta Dorada and Maquenque trees
Others: vines, epiphytes, and herbs
High altitude birds: The bellbird, the Emerald Toucanet
Low altitude birds: Toucans and turkey hens
Migratory birds: Birds of prey (visible between November and February each year)
Mammals: +120 species. Pumas, Jaguars, and Tapirs
Herpetofauna: +250 species. Frogs, snakes, lizards, and mammals such as kinkajous, raccoons, margays, and ocelots.

Forest
At Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park, different ecosystems come together forming a transition vegetation belt with a high level of biodiversity that can be found along the border between two types of forests: upland and lowland, bringing together species from both areas.
Throughout years of evolution, the plant life of the lowland rainforests, typical in Sarapiquí and Tortuguero, has undergone an altitude migration of up to 500-600 meters, allowing it to encounter and interact with upland plant life.
For this reason, the tree canopies at Mistico Park offer a richly diverse environment with a strong presence of various species of epiphyte plants, birds, mammals, butterflies, and much more. These can be observed up close on the hanging bridges.

Recently I went to Monteverde and I can’t describe how awesome this location in Costa Rica is!

Although the entire country offers zip line, I think personally the “Canopy Tour” applies to this location.
Most locations will offer zipping above the tree tops. You get to see different scenery, volcanoes, valleys, waterfalls, etc. While Arenal can offer longer lines and incredible heights and an impressive volcano, in Monteverde, you actually get to zip through the trees! It is an unbelievable experience!

You have to get to each line, like most zip line locations, hiking through some incredibly vegetation and climbing up to a platform. Here is where this zip line experience differs from the rest. In Monteverde you get to zip through the Cloud Forest. This means that there are times that from line to line, you don’t get to see where you are headed. You literally zip blind! It is an incredibly thrilling ride. The other main difference is that, yes, you are high in the tree canopy, but here some of the lines you actually get to zip between the trees. It is absolutely beautiful!

For this region of Costa Rica, whether dry season or wet season, expect rain. It’s the Cloud Forest, you will experience moister. I highly recommend traveling in layers, with dry fit clothes. Things that will be ok getting wet, but more importantly dry quickly!

      

There are locations in Costa Rica that need no explanation and you just have to visit. Tortuguero needs a lot of explaining, but you still have to visit. To visit this region, you need patience. It is a region where it takes 5 hours from San Jose (via ground transportation) and another hour to get you the lodges (via boat). Like previously mentioned, you need patience!

This is the location where you can see the incredible nature that Costa Rica has to offer.
The minute you get to Tortuguero you realize this is no typical location. Especially when you realize that the rustling you hear in the trees and the bushes isn’t what you expect, it’s actually a giant iguana. They are everywhere and they feed well since they are enormous.

The tours that I chose to do where the turtle nesting and mangrove boat ride through the Tortuguero National Park. These tours are controlled by the lodges. First and foremost, the animals and nature dictate the tours. For the nesting tour, we leave the property in the middle of the night to get to a secluded location (pretty sure it was an abandon airfield) and wait until the guide says it’s a go to head to the beach…..did I mention patience? We sat on that airfield for about 2 hours. We just talked to between all the different travelers that were there and enjoyed the beautiful night sky! The stars in this region are amazing since this is a remote amazon location.

When the guide came to collect us, we hiked in the dark towards the beach and what a sight. A giant leather back was digging a hole. It was amazing to witness! Another 20 minutes and she was done and then she started laying her eggs….it was truly unbelievable.

The next day we got to travel through the river and canals of the national park. You get to see so many birds and if you’re really lucky, maybe some white face monkeys will yell at you!
Since this is the amazon of Costa Rica, the weather is hot and can get humid. I totally recommend light layered clothing. Think wind breaker with dry-fit gym clothes, things that you can sweat in or get wet with the occasional rain shower, but that can dry quickly!

When visiting to Costa Rica you have to see the beach right? This location offers both the jungle and the pristine untouched beach of Manuel Antonio. The country offers the most beautiful beaches, but they are not owned by the hotel properties. Costa Rica owns the beaches which makes them all gorgeous and not that polluted with high rise hotel properties. What does this mean for us, the tourist? More nature, nature, nature!


In this National Park you can hear the howler monkeys are you make your way to the beach. The hike is very moderate, as you travel on it with the guide you actually get passed by the locals in flip flops, so there is no need for hiking gear. You could probably do this tour on your own, but you don’t want to. Without the trained eye of the guides, you’ll miss everything, from the Golden Orb Weaver (who knew a spider web could be creepy, incredibly strong, yet gold and beautiful) to the green and black grass hopers and the most hard to find three toad sloths! Get the guide, use the guides! They know their history and the biodiversity that their country offers!

To cap of the visit to this park, I headed off to the beach with the rest of group and what a beach! This beach looks and feels practically untouched. Don’t expect beach chairs or drink stands, they take ecotourism in this park very seriously.

Since this wasn’t a true hard hike, shorts and tank top worked fine over my swim suite. Still though, this is Costa Rica, the greenest place on earth….a small rain jacket won’t hurt!