Tortuguero, Costa Rica Tours | Evergreen lodge | Visit Tortuguero
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Tortuguero is one of the most remote places in Costa Rica and is only accessible by boat or plane. The major public road/river routes to get here are through Moín (close to Limón), La Pavona (north of Cariari) and Caño Blanco (accessible through Siquirres).
There is an inexpensive public bus/boat route that can be used to get from San Jose to Tortuguero. Take the 9:00AM direct bus from from San Jose to Cariari, which leaves from the Gran Caribe bus terminal. The bus arrives at the long distance bus terminal in Cariari around 11:00AM. Sometimes the bus to La Pavona/La Suerte meets you there, but otherwise walk 5 blocks north to the local bus terminal and buy a bus ticket to La Pavona/La Suerte. This bus leaves at 11:30AM and takes you to the river at La Pavona/La Suerte, where you transfer to a public boat that will reach Tortuguero around 3:00PM. Inside the restaurant is a ticket office where you must buy a ticket before boarding the boat. Use the restrooms here, as the boat trip can take up to 2 hours if the river is low.
The public bus has been robbed by armed robbers at least twice. It is advised to travel together at the same time with other tourist buses and boats, when you have a police escort, because a gang of armed robbers has attacked solo buses. A tourist boat traveling alone from Tortuguero to Pavona dock was robbed on December 9, 2013 by armed robbers on the river.
To return, catch the 5:30AM, 11:00AM or 2:30PM public boat from Tortuguero and follow these directions in reverse. The total cost one-way should be around — .40 for the bus to Cariari, for the bus to La Pavona/La Suerte and .20 for the boat to Tortuguero. Beware of touts selling packaged trips along the way, who will tell you that the boats aren’t running, the hotels are full, the route isn’t safe, and so on — anything to get you to buy into their “deals”. Touts also meet the water taxi in Tortuguero and will offer to “help” you find a hotel.
A quicker but more expensive option is to fly into Tortuguero. Nature Air offer daily flights from San José, out of Tobias Bolanos International Airport (SYQ) in Pavas at 6:15AM and arrives in Tortuguero at 6:45AM. The return flight arrives in Pavas at 7:20am.
If you choose to stay at one of the lodges, land/water transportation to and from Tortuguero is usually included in the package rates.
See in Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Tortuguero National Park
Turtle hatching / turtle egg laying
Tortuguerovillage – Official Website, . This is the town’s official website, built by Peace Corps volunteers, with information provided by the business owners themselves. It has many of the local places to stay, local shops, tour operators, travel information (instructions on how to get here for less), maps of the town area, reservations, National Park info, turtle tour information, and the famous top things to do in the area list.