Tortuguero National Park
Tortuguero was declared a national park on Sept. 24, 1970, and its boundaries were extended three times (1980, 1995 and 1998). Its area has increased from 64,701.45 hectares to 76,937. Of that area, 50,284 hectares are marine territory, and 26,653 are on land. Of the land area, 99% is used for absolute protection of resources, and 1% is used for visitation facilities. The marine area is 100% designated for absolute conservation. Tortuguero National Park (TNP) is located in northeastern Costa Rican and is one of the country’s main tourist icons, internationally recognized for its protection of the largest green turtle nesting beach in the Western Hemisphere. Far-removed from the city and composed of an extensive network of rivers and streams, access is possible only on small boats. Tortuguero National Park is a place like no other, where small communities around the protected area – such as Barra del Tortuguero and San Francisco – still retain their traditions and move around on bicycles as the only means of transportation. All of this makes a trip to Tortuguero a genuine encounter with Caribbean culture. The TNP also is a paradise for research and ecotourism, as the area’s ecosystems are so complex and diverse that visitors can expect anything during tours, from complete tranquility to discovering typical species of flora and fauna that are characteristic to the Costa Rican Caribbean.