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All-Day Expedition to Tortuguero National Park from San José

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San José, Costa Rica

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Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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icon12 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 1 more
Good for avoiding crowds

Keeping you safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Face masks required for travelers in public areas
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Face masks provided for travelers
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
Gear/equipment sanitized between use
Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
Guides required to regularly wash hands
Regular temperature checks for staff
Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
More questions?
(888) 651-9785

Overview

Explore the natural beauty and protected wildlife of Costa Rica’s Tortuguero National Park with a full-day guided tour from San Jose. Cruise through freshwater rivers on a boat — the only way to access the inner reaches of this beautiful nature reserve. Learn about the park’s incredible biodiversity from your naturalist guide, and visit a green sea turtle nesting site. Take a break from your exploration to savor lunch at the eco-chic Evergreen Lodge surrounded by views of a lush tropical forest.
  • See nesting sites of Costa Rica’s green sea turtle (tortuga verde)
  • Learn about a variety of flora and fauna from your expert guide
  • Spot wildlife such as spider, howler and capuchin monkeys
  • Enjoy complimentary breakfast and eat lunch at Evergreen Lodge with views of the surrounding jungle
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off included
Lunch
Breakfast
English speaking guide
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Transport by private vehicle
Gratuities
Food and drinks, unless specified

Departure Point

San José Province, San José, Costa Rica

Traveler pickup is offered
On the arrival at the hotel the tour guide is going to ask in the reception of the hotel for the client

Departure Time

6:30 AM

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
Nestled within an archipelago of volcanic islands, Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica is known for its rich biodiversity and is home to 11 distinct habitats including mangroves, rain forests, lagoons and beaches. This protected tropical reserve offers visitors the chance to see an incredible array of native Costa Rican plants and wildlife. Your full-day tour begins with pickup at your San Jose hotel, followed by a savory breakfast stop at Rancho Roberto’s restaurant in Guapiles.

Continuing on, you’ll pass through the beautiful Braulio Carrillo National Park, a sprawling mountainous reserve dotted with waterfalls and rivers. At a banana plantation near Tortuguero Village, trade in your minivan for a boat, as Tortuguero National Park is only accessible by water. Enjoy a leisurely cruise along the park’s scenic freshwater creeks and lagoons, where you may spot many tropical birds in the surrounding flora.

After about an hour, the creeks will open up into a network of broader canals that traverse mangrove swamps and marshy islands. Explore these lush waterways while learning about the park’s history and diverse ecosystems. Keep an eye out for aquatic life like river otters, spectacled caiman and the occasional endangered West Indian manatee, plus surrounding jungle creatures like sloths, capuchin and howler monkeys, and a variety of reptiles.

Disembark for a midday lunch at the Evergreen Lodge. Enjoy delicious Costa Rican cuisine in an open-air dining room surrounded by a lovely, lush jungle landscape. After lunch, head back out onto the water to continue exploring the park’s diverse habitats. Visit the black sand beaches that provide an important breeding and nesting ground for Costa Rica’s endangered green sea turtles, and learn how the park’s conservation efforts have helped bring this species back from the brink of extinction.

After several hours of exploring the park’s beaches and canals, begin the boat ride back to the park entrance and your waiting vehicle. Relax and enjoy the passing scenery on the drive back to your San Jose hotel.
Itinerary
Pass By:  
Gray Line Costa Rica
Meet your guide upon pickup from your San Jose hotel and stop for breakfast at Rancho Roberto's in Guapiles. After your meal, you'll travel through the Braulio Carrillo National Park, one of Costa Rica’s largest national parks. Pass numerous rivers, waterfalls and mountains covered in dense forests on your drive, until you reach a banana plantation. Here, board a boat and set sail for Tortuguero National Park. Since there are no roads to the park from Tortuguero village, access to the vast network of freshwater lagoons and creeks is by boat. Ride for approximately one hour to reach the canals and keep an eye out for all kind of birds in the lush vegetation along the way. Tortuguero, meaning ‘turtle catcher,’ formed from an archipelago of volcanic islands where high rainfall eventually created the bio-diverse wetlands – great for nature lovers! During your 3-hour boat tour of Tortuguero National Park, your expert guide will be on hand to teach you about the history and wildlife as you cruise between the marshy isles. Midday, you’ll have time for a lunch break at Evergreen Lodge, located just five minutes by boat from the entrance to the park. Under the high ceilings of the lovely main dining room, enjoy the ambiance that complements the surrounding jungle landscape. Get an up-close look at the park's great variety of flora and fauna as you ride among the canals. If you’re lucky, you might spot such wildlife as the spectacled caiman, southern river otter and possibly even the endangered West Indian manatee. The park is also home to sloths, howler and capuchin monkeys, tiny frogs and green iguanas. The secluded, black-sand beaches of Tortuguero National Park are some of the most important breeding grounds for the green sea turtle. These ancient reptiles once neared extinction as adults were hunted for their meat and their eggs were taken. You'll get the chance to see the sites where the green sea turtles nest and learn from your guide about the park’s efforts to protect this important species. After exploring the national park, enjoy a return 1-hour boat ride to dry land and then board your coach for the trip back to San Jose, where you’ll be dropped off at your hotel in the evening.
Pass By:  
Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo
we head into the mountains of Braulio Carrillo National Park, where steep slopes are covered with thick cloud forest and beautiful waterfalls can be seen from the road. After crossing Braulio Carrillo, we will enjoy a delicious Costa Rican typical breakfast. Then we continue to a Banana Plantation, where your guide will explain the process of growing and exporting this fruit.
Stop At:  
Tortuguero National Park
Covering 29000 hectares. Tortuguero is one of the most important nesting sites of Chelonia Midas, the green sea turtle. Tortuguero’s forests and waterways are home for many endangered mammals such as sloths, monkeys, agoutis, coatimundis and manatees. There are also abundant birds, such as toucans, trogons, egrets, herons and aninghas, as well as crocodiles, turtles and countless colorful butterflies, including the blue morpho. You will enjoy a hearty typical buffet lunch to please the hungriest of appetites. After lunch you will take a walk through the Tortuguero Village, where you will have the opportunity to learn about the history of the town and its inhabitants.
Duration: 4 hours 
Admission Ticket Included
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • A minimum of two passengers are required for the tour to commence. There is a possibility of cancellation after confirmation if there is not enough passengers to meet requirements. In the event of this occurring, you will be offered an alternative or full refund
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Infant seats available
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Gray Line Tours Costa Rica

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during All-Day Expedition to Tortuguero National Park from San José?
A:
The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Face masks provided for travelers
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by All-Day Expedition to Tortuguero National Park from San José.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during All-Day Expedition to Tortuguero National Park from San José?
A:
The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by All-Day Expedition to Tortuguero National Park from San José.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during All-Day Expedition to Tortuguero National Park from San José?
A:
The policies on social distancing are:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by All-Day Expedition to Tortuguero National Park from San José.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during All-Day Expedition to Tortuguero National Park from San José?
A:
The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by All-Day Expedition to Tortuguero National Park from San José.

Traveler Photos

Traveler Tips


  • "A trip on a minivan, then on a motor boat, a walk in the park make this long trip not very tedious." See review
  • "When there are 4 adults in the tour party a 30 difference really helps." See review

Reviews

4.0
star-4
142 Reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-10 of 142 reviews
star-4
Seeing a sloth with its baby
Ted_Z
, Mar 2020
The tour guide was very knowledgeable! We saw a lot of beautiful landscape! The breakfast and lunch were delicious. The boat trip was very enjoyable. We saw a few animals and lots of birds. I would recommend to taking a pair of binoculars! It was a long day, but, well worth it!
icon Response from Host , Mar 2020
Dear Ted_Z, We're happy you had a fantastic time with us! We hope you visit us again soon!
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star-1
Avoid this company
Ryan_W
, Feb 2020
The tour itself and location was great. The tour company and guide were terrible. First, it is advertised as an A/C van. The van is very dated, legroom is worse than an airplane and they never turned on the A/C, they said it had something to do with the van being underpowered, we were unclear. Which leads me to the next issue. The tour guide only spoke very basic English. He often misunderstood our very simple questions about what time to meet or even were to find the bathroom. He was hard to understand and even though we could not understand him well we did notice he was reading to us from a children’s coloring book. The guide spent most of his time Socializing with the Spanish speaking in the group and answered a ton of their questions. English was an afterthought and he did not attempt to include us in conversations at all. Maybe you’ll be lucky and get another guide, but we were not fortunate. We used other tour agencies in Costa Rica and they were great.
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star-5
Totally worth it
Travelerj38
, Nov 2019
I had very good experience. Guid was very knowledgeable. The nature was nice. Excellent experience!!
icon Response from Host , Nov 2019
Dear Travelerj38, we really appreciate your review! We hope you continue traveling with Gray Line Costa Rica!
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star-5
Great Guide
givier
, May 2019
Our Guide Jorden made this Trip. We did not see much due to low waters & off season but Jorden was very knowable about the areas and kept us well informed. And it was FUN. we had a great time.
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star-1
Don't do this as a one day tour!
Journey33892539062
, Feb 2019
This tour should not be offered as a one day tour. You spend around 7 hours travelling, and only 4 hours in Tortuguero actually seeing things. The tour departed around 45 minutes late, and there was a lot of traffic. Arrived back to San Jose just after 7pm. You do not see any turtles in February, which was the main selling point for me. It does not state on the itinerary that Feb is the off season. The banana plantation was simply looking at some bananas growing while we drove passed in the bus. When we arrived, we took a boat to the main village, which was nice for around 30 mins weaving through the lush greenery, but then got a bit boring. On the return boat the sailer really struggled to get us back in low tides, in very hot weather. You spend nearly 3 hours in the boat in total, which is far too long! After lunch you are told to just walk around the hotel for 45 mins (this is away from the nice village part) which is a massive waste of time! On the way there, we stopped for 30 mins for breakfast, losing more time, this seems unnecessary and took up time which could have been spent in Tortuguero. Lunch was very nice food. Saw one sloth (at the side of the road), some birds, couple of lizards and iguanas, and a baby crocodile - very limited wildlife. NO TURTLES. We spent 30 mins on the beach, and around 15 mins walking through Tortuguero Village. This was the highlight, and Tortuguero itself seems very nice, relaxed and chilled, a little bit touristy, but less so compared to places like Manuel Antonio, Monteverde and La Fortuna. I wish I would have booked an overnight stay, as I feel it was needed to appreciate the place. The tour guide also speaks multiple languages, which is fine, but means everything is told in Spanish and English, so you miss out on hearing more. I would not recommend booking this trip as the one day offering from San Jose (certainly not in February). Book it yourself and spend at least one night there.
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star-5
Very interesting visit to the Caribbean...
Brandy B
, Oct 2018
Very interesting visit to the Caribbean side of the country.
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star-5
Amazing, saw lots of wildlife...
Cristina P
, Apr 2018
Amazing, saw lots of wildlife. Knowledgable tour guides. Nice lunch.
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star-5
This is a great place to spend the...
Christin L
, Apr 2018
This is a great place to spend the day and we had the most awesome guide - German sounds like Herman. He showed us so many things, was extremely knowledgeable about Costa Rica and just seemed to enjoy spending the day with the group.
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star-4
This tour shows the beauty and...
avksentievv
, Mar 2018
This tour shows the beauty and richness of Costa Rica's nature. A trip on a minivan, then on a motor boat, a walk in the park make this long trip not very tedious. The childhood memories from Jules Verne's books came to mind when they sailed along a narrow, winding river through a magnificent jungle. It should be borne in mind that turtles can be seen only at certain times of the year, we did not see them, but without them there were many interesting things.
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star-3
This trip was somewhere between 3...
mmmilk
, Mar 2018
This trip was somewhere between 3 and 4 stars. Not bad, not great, but had potential. The bus transportation to Torguguero was pretty rough. The mini-bus itself was okay, but the A/C was broken driver wasn't aware until that day, and there were a lot of construction delays, traffic, and rough roads. Exhausting, with a trip that was long anyway. It turned out to be a 15-hour day. The boat ride to the actual park was terrific. We didn't see much wildlife at all, just 1 sloth, 2 caiman, 1 croc, and a bunch of lizards. And some birds, and maybe 2 monkeys. Would love to see the area when it's more active. Our guide was very informative and pointed out things we would have missed. But he did have to say everything twice, because we had a multi-lingual group. Enjoyed the meals included. Can't blame the tour company for a less-than-perfect day, because you can't make up wildlife that's not visible, or control the traffic ...
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Product code: 3171SJO_TNP

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