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Turtle tour

uk
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Turtle tour

We will be in Tortuguero in 2 weeks time and were wondering whether there have been any successful turtle nesting tours recently as a previous TA contributor commented that there had not been many turtles spotted in July due to lots of rain?Also should we book a night tour in advance or can we wait until we get to Tortuguero?Any recommendations for good tour guides would be gratefully received.Many thanks

Costa Rica
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1. Re: Turtle tour

Frankly, I don't think the turtles are put off by rain. I mean..... they swim in the ocean...??!

The lack of turtle sightings could be just part of a normal cycle or some kind of thing that we don't quite understand. It also could be that they came ashore later in the night and no one saw them. Or... something else.

As for booking in advance -- really not necessary. Just book your turtle tour when you check in -- ALL lodging in Tortuguero can arrange this and some have their own guides who will take you.

Of course, as with any wildlife, sightings are never guaranteed.

Edited: 04 August 2014, 00:04
San Jose, Costa Rica
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2. Re: Turtle tour

Once in Tortuvuero ask about the turtle arrivals....do not book or pay in advance...some companies once they have the money...can be hard to immposible to get a penny back...

Always deal direct with Travel services providers....avoid big web sites full of information...web sites design to sell no really to inform...always ask for full break downs..

roadadvisor

Edited: 04 August 2014, 02:17
La Fortuna de San...
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3. Re: Turtle tour

This is normally the season to see turtles in Tortuguero. We go every few years in August or September and haven't been let down yet. I agree with the others to wait until you arrive. Each of the lodges has their own guides.

uk
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4. Re: Turtle tour

Thanks for your reply.I guess you have a good point re the rain-I hadn't thought of that!Hopefully we will be lucky and get to see them nesting as that would be something very special!

Wolverhampton...
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5. Re: Turtle tour

Please excuse the hijack of this thread. We are looking at going there in July this year however our trip has come out very expensive as we are going to the Osa Peninsula too (after Arenal and Monteverde). We love wildlife so this is the perfect place to us however are the Turtles really worth what could cost us over £1000/$1500 to see? Are they really that amazing?

Costa Rica
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6. Re: Turtle tour

Why would it cost you over 1000 GBP to see the turtles in Tortuguero? That's doesn't have to be the case.

Wolverhampton...
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7. Re: Turtle tour

It's our honeymoon and seems to be the least favourable place for good hotels. It would also be our first night there so we were looking at tortugua lodge for a good start to our vacation. The package comes in around $1400 plus the extra for the turtles and transfer to Arenal afterwards.

Edited: 14 January 2015, 23:37
Costa Rica
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8. Re: Turtle tour

No and no.

I don't know where you would be coming from -- but take a look at this.

1. Book Casa Marbella which is on the river/lagoon, serves a nice breakfast overlooking the river and has comfortable rooms. Around $60-$70 a night. Plan on two nights.

2. For transport, you can get a shared van shuttle from either the Arenal area or the San Jose area. Around $55-$65. The shuttle will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the boat landing at Pavona. The public boat will take you to Tortuguero -- it costs about $3.

3. Turtle tours all go at night and they are around $25 - $30.

4. For meals, there is a choice of several restaurants. My favorite is the Buddha Cafe which is right on the river and serves excellent food. Figure $15 each for meals.

5. You can hike the National Park -- admission is $15, I think, but it might be $12. (It's recently changed.) There are other options for "things to do" and one of my favorite things is to take a canoe and just paddle around the area. Lots to see and enjoy.

Take a look here for more information: www.tortuguerovillage.com

So doing it this way, your total is around $US 400.

Edited: 14 January 2015, 23:59
Wolverhampton...
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9. Re: Turtle tour

Thank you for your help on this!!

So do you think it's definately worth the extra time? Is it an incredible site. Obviously no cameras are allowed so hard to guess what it's like...

Costa Rica
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10. Re: Turtle tour

This is how it happens:

You are "picked up" by your guide at your hotel. He/she has gone to the National Park late that afternoon to get a permit to take people on the tour. There are typically two tours per night: One earlier at around 8 pm and one later at around 10 pm.

You will then walk down a simple trail to a "gathering point" where your group and other groups congregate and the guides get additional information. (Points along the beach are marked with numbered markers, so the "turtle spotter" will assign various groups to various areas.)

With your guide, you walk to your assigned area. As you walk out onto this wild beach, you hear the waves, smell the ocean and look up to a sky so filled with stars, it's stunning.

Then, it is dependent on the turtles. If one is ashore and already digging, 4 or 5 of you will be allowed to go near with your guide. No -- there are no cameras allowed and no loud talking. The main goal is to not disturb the turtle.

So you see this giant sea turtle, using those flippers that are unwieldy on the land, to dig and throw sand to make a hole for the eggs. Then she will begin laying the hundreds of eggs. The guide will have a flashlight with a red lamp (the turtle can't see red) and will focus the light on the egg-laying. After laying the eggs, the turtle covers the nest and moves back to the ocean.

It's quite an experience and you will have to bring home only the memory and not a photo or a video.