Four species of sea turtles nest on the 22 miles of Tortuguero beaches, the Loggerhead, Leatherback, Hawksbill and Green turtles. For the Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Tortuguero is the largest nesting site in the Western Hemisphere. For that reason, conservation efforts have an extremely important role to play in the future of the sea turtles that nest here.
There have always been threats to the survival of sea turtles including natural predators on the beach such as raccoons, dogs, crabs, ants and birds of prey. In the ocean tarpon and barracuda prey on hatchling turtles while sharks target adult turtles. However human-caused threats - poaching of eggs, harvesting of adult turtles for meat and contamination of the oceans with plastic bags, fishing nets and petroleum - have put most sea turtle species on the endangered list.
Thanks in large part to one man's efforts, herpetologist Dr. Archie Carr, the villagers of Tortuguero went from selling live turtles, transported on their backs in ships headed for international markets, to receiving training to become guides, taking visitor's out on the beach to see nesting turtles. In the past 6 decades, Tortuguero has evolved into a turtle conservation success story.
During the Green turtle nesting season (late June to mid-October) we can arrange for a local bilingual guide to take you to see the nesting process in the evening. By supporting local guides, the residents of Tortuguero village will continue to protect the turtles and endeavor to reduce the number of nests being poached and turtles being butchered for meat.
For information on the Sea Turtle Conservancy's efforts to protect the sea turtles in Tortuguero, see the following link:
We offer close encounters with the jungle wildlife.
Observing nesting sea turtles is an experience you'll never forget!
Jungle River fishing is simply incredible around the Tortuguero area.
"To the pleasure of all who have witnessed the Riverboat Francesca and its star operators Modesto and Fran this tour is probably Costa Rica's best." Mr. Cartmel has been to the Central American region but once having visited Mexico several times and has been to Cuba, Asia and Europe as well as much of North America. He reports this tour could well be an example for others to learn from. Modesto and Fran have put together an entertainment spectacle which thoroughly engulfs the guest. Publisher Phil Cartmel
Modesto and Fran Watson are highly experienced guides. They know the canals intimately, and with their trained and knowledgeable eyes, the shy inhabitants of the jungle and canals become visible. Modesto's eyes are a local legend — he will ease the boat into the river bank to get a better look at the monkeys he has spotted; or he will cut the engine in a particularly beautiful spot to allow you to appreciate the silence… This is a personal tour, conducted by affable people who know and love the jungle.
Insight Pocket Guide, Costa Rica
Modesto Watson, a local Miskito Indian guide, is legendary for his bird and animal-spotting skills as well as his howler monkey imitations. The family's Riverboat Francesca can take you up the canals for excursions to Tortuguero. Fodor's Costa Rica 2008