Perfect for travelers looking to hike and observe wildlife, this itinerary starts and ends in San José and includes many of the Caribbean coast's best destinations—including a famous sea turtle nesting site in Tortuguero and Cahuita National Park. Compared to the Pacific Coast, the Caribbean side tends to be less crowded, with more cultural diversity. From nature treks to pristine beaches, this itinerary offers something for everyone who wants to experience splendid scenery with a laid-back feel.
Nighttime Pacific Green Turtle Nesting Experience, Gulf of Papagayo
This was great and a memorable experience (and a short trip from our hotel). First, it is rare to hire on any beach at night with... Read more
I had never done an experience like this. Moses was in contact with our groups, giving us the best chance of seeing turtles. We saw nine.... Read more
We went out at night and saw mothers coming up on the beach to dig holes and lay their eggs. We also saw baby turtles coming... Read more
Our guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. He helped us to find a taxi for the way back which was really great. We saw lots of... Read more
- Register at the ranger station with your passport
- Wait for the turtles to come onshore and observe them digging a hole in the sand
- Witness the mother turtles laying between 65 to 90 eggs
- Observe as the mothers cover their nests with sand to protect their offspring
- Hope for the survival of the pacific green turtle species
Know before you go
4 years old & up
What you'll do
Upon arrival, you'll need to register at the ranger station with your passport before waiting for the turtles to come onshore to nest. Although the tour's departure time will be based on the tides and park rangers' predictions, the turtles operate on their schedule, so you may have to wait for some time.
However, your patience will pay off, and you'll soon witness the incredible spectacle of the green sea turtles coming onshore to lay their eggs. You'll follow the local tour guides to the beach, where you'll observe the enormous mother turtles digging a hole in the sand and laying between 65 to 90 eggs.
As the mothers cover their nests with sand to protect their precious offspring from predators, you'll have the unique opportunity to witness one of nature's most beautiful moments. After a 60-day incubation period, the tiny hatchlings will emerge and make their way to the ocean, becoming yet another small hope for the pacific green turtle's survival as a species.
- Bottle of water
- Naturalist guide
- Entrance fee
Hike to Las Pailas Trails (Rincon de la Vieja Volcano) and La Oropendola Waterfall
Catamaran Sailing Adventure
Snorkeling or Diving at the Catalina Islands
Safari Float Tour on Corobicí River
Embark on a Safari-style tour of the Corobicí River with a naturalist guide. Spend approximately 2 hours floating down the river on a raft boat, admiring the diverse ecosystem and spotting a wide variety of animals and plants. Keep your eyes peeled for crocodiles, the tour's main highlight.
Kayak & Snorkel Tour in Tamarindo Bay
You will paddle out over the azure waters of Playa Tamarindo and eventually reach Capitán Island, located about a 20-minute paddle offshore. There, you'll have the opportunity to do some snorkeling and observe the underwater coral reef, which is home to exotic fish. After snorkeling, you'll return by kayak to the mainland. With short paddling distances involved, this trip is perfect for the entire family, or for introducing your children to kayaking.
Wetlands Boat Ride and Rum Tasting at Hacienda El Viejo
Please note that transportation is not included, but can be added for an additional cost.
Full-day Waterfalls Expedition
Itineraries with Nighttime Pacific Green Turtle Nesting Experience
This two-week nature tour is all about Costa Rica's biodiverse national parks. Begin in Tortuguero, where, depending on the time of year, you can embark on a nighttime turtle nesting tour. In Monteverde, explore the cloud forests via the hanging bridges and ziplines. Manuel Antonio provides the best of both worlds—rainforest and beach scenery–while a tour of the famous Corcovado National Park is a bucket list field trip for nature enthusiasts.