Tortuguero Getting There
Secluded in the tropical rainforest along the Caribbean coast, Tortuguero is surrounded by water. Visitors can either fly-in or arrive by boat on one of the many ferries that depart from Cariari, La Pavona, Cano Blanco and Moin docks.
Alternatively, guests at one of Tortuguero's all-inclusive lodges have transportation from San Jose via the ecolodge's private shuttle bus and flat-bottomed river boat included in the package.
Nature Air is a Costa Rica private domestic airline that has daily flights to Tortuguero from San Jose at 6:00 a.m.. Rates and schedules depend on the season; travelers should check for current schedules and prices.
Bus / Boat
All buses to Cariari or Limon stop at the Gran Terminal del Caribe station in San Jose at Avenida 13 and Calle Central. 2222-0610 / 2221-7990 / 2221-2596
From San Jose via Cariari
The cheapest and most common route to Tortuguero is through Cariari and La Pavona.
From San Jose: Buses depart for Cariari (approximately $2.30) from San Jose’s Gran Terminal del Caribe station. The trip takes less than two hours and stops in Guapiles for a bathroom break. From Cariari, buy a ticket to La Pavona (about $1.75) at the central bus terminal. Boats depart for Tortuguero from La Pavona. These public water taxis (approximately $2.80) are timed to meet the buses, so you won't have to wait for long.
From San Jose via Moin
Take the 6:30 a.m. bus to Limon (about $3.30) from Gran Terminal del Caribe station. If possible, purchase your ticket a day in advance as the bus is often full. From Limon, take a taxi to the docks in Moin where boats depart for the Tortuguero canals (the JAPDEVA docks). The cost is roughly $7 for the six-mile trip to the docks.
In Moin, boat fares can vary from $30 to $50 per person. These are water taxis that don’t have a set daily schedule. The return trip to Moin departs Tortuguero at around 10:00 a.m and arrives in Moin before 1:00 p.m. This will give you plenty of time to get back to San Jose during daylight hours.