Turtle Nesting & Jungle Canals Region
The Turtle Nesting and Jungle Canals Region consists of a network of freshwater canals and wetland areas bordered by dense rainforest teeming with wildlife. The region's ninety miles of coastline are best known for nesting sea turtles and world-class sport fishing.
Just north of Limon, the tiny village of Tortuguero is located on a narrow strip of land between the Tortuguero River and the Caribbean Sea. The village’s 22 miles of protected beaches comprise the largest nesting site of green sea turtles in the Western Hemisphere. Each year, from July through October, Tortuguero visitors can join a guided tour to observe some of the thousands of giant reptiles nesting on the beach.
No roads lead into the village, only black water canals that are toured by boat. There is an abundance of wildlife and plant diversity in Tortuguero National Park's gallery forests and aquatic trails. Sloths, basilisk lizards, red-eyed tree frogs and caimans, as well as howler, spider and white-faced monkeys are also common.
Roughly one and a half hours by boat from Tortuguero, Barra del Colorado has been voted one of the top ten places to fish in the world. Anglers come from far and wide to fish the 600-meter wide Rio Colorado. The area’s fresh water river system forms a unique habitat that attracts monster tarpon and two species of snook. It is the only place in Costa Rica where 100-plus pound tarpon can be taken year-round.
The region also includes the lowland rainforests of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, a small riverside community located less than 20 miles south of the Nicaraguan border. The town lies at the base of the Cordillera Central Mountain Range and is quickly becoming a popular eco-tourism destination for both wildlife enthusiasts and thrill-seekers. The village of Puerto Viejo (not to be confused with the southern Caribbean town of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca) offers sensational Class III-IV whitewater rafting as well as tranquil safari floats that allow passengers glimpses of caiman, crocodiles, monkeys and sloths along the river banks.