Beautiful vistas of the Tortuguero region open up from the top of Cerro Tortuguero

Hiking Cerro Tortuguero, Tortuguero


Cerro Tortuguero is arguably the Tortuguero region's highlight: a stunning and rare perspective of the surrounding jungle threaded by waterways, plus aerial views of the colorful community of Tortuguero. Most of the scenery on this hike today falls within the Barra del Colorado Refuge. This protected area spans over 200,000 acres (81,177 hectares) and comprises a mix of coastal habitats, lakes, rivers, herbaceous swamps, flooded forests, and rolling hills unique to Costa Rica's Caribbean coast.

You'll start with a boat ride to the Cerro Tortuguero trailhead. Then, follow your seasoned local guide as you trek along a well-maintained trail for a 1.25-mile (2-km) out-and-back hike through dense rainforest foliage to the top of the hill. Though the summit is only 390 ft (119 m) above sea level, the climb up through the jungle is demanding with a significant gradient increase from the surrounding flat jungle! But, reaching the top is utterly worth it. You'll get breathtaking 360-degree views of the Caribbean lowlands encircling the hill with their vast, complex network of rivers fanning out to the horizon. On the way up, creatures you might spot include howler, capuchin, and spider monkeys, plus poison dart frogs, sloths, and several types of wild cats. 

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