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Tortuguero National Park
Coastal Caribbean Lowlands with Litoral Canals

Tortuguero National Park

Tortugero Canals
Tortuguero National Park is one of the most visited destinations in the country. The small town of Tortuguero is found on a very narrow strip of land with the Caribbean Sea on the East and the Tortuguero Lagoon on the West. Most lodges in the area are located around the lagoon area. This remote location can only be reached by boat or plane.

A lot of the forest in the area is second growth mainly because it suffered the effects of selective cutting a few decades ago. Some of the canals in the area were artificially created to extract the big logs from the area, they were being pulled out with boats. The Tropical Almond Tree (Dypetrix panamensis) survived the logging as they would sink, thanks to this Great Green Macaws still find their main source of food in the area and of course it was important for the preservation of the tree itself.

One of the most famous aspects of Tortuguero is to be the most important nesting site for Green Sea Turtles in the Western Hemisphere. The conservation efforts began in the early 70ís by Dr. Archie Carr who was responsible for creating awareness in the Costa Rican Government for protecting the area and putting it under the category of National Park. The Caribbean Conservation Corporation CCC came in with Dr. Archie Carr and followed up the efforts of preserving and educating in Tortuguero.

Tortugero Canals
Other turtles that lay their eggs here are Loggerhead, Leatherback and Hawksbill. The best time to visit for seeing Turtles is between July and October, being September and October the best to find the Green Sea Turtles.

Birding can be complicated here if you are not with the right person or boat. Tropical Feathers can arrange staying in any of the good lodges here and arrange birding outings with a good local guide that do our tour in the area. Daryl offers a small boat that once in narrow canals is powered by an quiet electric engine which makes birding fascinating. Let us know in advance and we will be happy to help.

The minimum time to spend in Tortuguero would be 3 days, you would spend one day getting to the location and one day going out. Try having two full days in the area.

Some of the specialties include:

Purple-throated Fruitcrow
Green-and-Rufous Kingfisher
American Pygmy-Kingfisher
Rufescent Tiger-Heron
Agami Heron
Green Ibis
Crane Hawk
Hook-billed Kite
Crested Eagle
Great Green Macaw
Great Potoo
Brown-capped Tyrannulet
Purple-throated Fruitcrow
White-fronted Nunbird
Western Slaty-Antshrike
Great Curassow
Greater Ani

Violaceous Trogon
In the past years and also with very recent sightings Harpy Eagle

Other common birds are White Hawk, King Vulture, Black-necked Stilts, Roseate Spoonbills, Purple Gallinule, Northern Jacana, Anhinga, Neotropic Cormorant, Whimbrel, Sanderling, Keel-billed Toucan, Black-mandibled Toucan, White-collared Manakin, Gartered Trogon, Olive-crowned Yellowthroat.

Tropical Feathers can help you arrange this visit to Tortuguero National Park, arrange transportation, book your flights, coordinate your boat explorations in the canals and even provide you with a guide to accompany you in your trip. Laguna Lodge is a good place to stay as you have access to the beach and the lagoon of Tortuguero.

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