Short on time but need more of Costa Rica? Tortuguero National Park, home to the Caribbean’s most important breeding ground for endangered green sea turtles is the place for you. Travel from San José through banana plantations to the Caribbean Coast where you’ll catch a boat to Tortuguero. Spend three days exploring the canals, beaches and jungles of this pristine nature reserve in search of turtles, birds, caiman and if you are lucky, the famous “Jesus Lizard.”
Guided hikes and boat tours in Tortuguero National Park. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Cruise the canals in search of wildlife, hike through the pristine environment of Tortuguero National Park, search for sea turtles when in season
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1) PROOF OF DEPARTURE REQUIRED
Costa Rica will not be allowing anyone to enter the country without proof of a departure ticket (bus, airplane, boat, etc.). If you are travelling through a few countries in Central America, you will need to show proof of your itinerary and a departure ticket from your last destination. Please print the itinerary and voucher and bring it with you.
2) WELCOME MEETING
If you arrive between the hours of 9am and 9pm, a G Adventures CEO will meet you for a brief welcome meeting before you head out on your own. Should you arrive before or after these hours, a complete welcome packet will be left for you at your hotel.
3) DAY 1 EARLY DEPARTURE
Your pickup time on Day 1 will be between 5:30 and 6:30am. Please ask your sales agent for the estimated pickup time for your hotel.
4) NIGHT TURTLE TOUR – SEASONAL
Please note you will have the option (June-August) for one night turtle tour during your stay. Since this tour is operated by the National Park and the number of people allowed and tour times are strictly controlled, this tour will be arranged and confirmed for your applicable night once you arrive. This option is paid locally costing 35USD per person. Please be advised photographic and videographic equipment are not allowed and you must wear dark clothing in consideration of the turtles.
5) TORTUGUERO NATIONAL PARK FEE
Please note that you will need to pay a 10USD Tortuguero National Park entrance fee while on tour.
6) WILDLIFE VIEWINGS
Please note that all wildlife viewing is subject to nature and we cannot guarantee you will see specific animals or turtles. While Green turtle nesting season is usually July-September, nature does not always follow a specific calendar.
Group Leader Description
This tour is run by lodge staff and includes local guides for included tours. There is not a G Adventures representative on this tour and any group accompanying you on your day trips is not a G Adventures group. Local guides can provide specific knowledge about the area we are visiting which will add to the overall enjoyment of your trip.
3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. As meals are included in this trip, please advise of any special food preferences at the time of booking.
Shared shuttle/van, boat, walking.
About our Transportation
Land Transfers & Included Tours/activities: Many of the land transfers and included tours will be by private van, car or taxi, while others may be shared with other travellers depending on availability, nature of the activity and destination. For transfers, you may have a local non English-speaking driver only, for included tours, you will be accompanied by an English speaking local guide.
No local flights included.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Jungle lodge (2 nts).
A variety of accommodation standards are available for Independent tours, see your dossier for the accommodation class specific to your tour. Please remember that hotel/lodge/resort standards can be different from what you are used to in your home country, which is part of the appeal of adventure travel.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
You will be picked up from your San Jose hotel and transferred to Tortuguero via van or bus and boat. Please ensure you advise of your hotel information so we can arrange the transfer. Approximately 7 hour transfer and a stop for lunch is included. We recommend that you arrive in San Jose a day early as the shuttle to Tortuguero on Day 1 departs early in the day. Likewise this tour arrives back in San Jose on Day 3 late in the day, so a post night accommodation may be necessary.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Representative (Costa Rica)
During Office hours (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm Local Time): +506 2248 0707 or +506 2258 4756
Saturday (8am-2pm): +506 2248 0707 or +506 2258 4756
Sunday (10am-1pm): +506 2248 0707 or +506 2258 4756
After hours emergency number: +506 8837 6969
G Adventures Office San Jose, Costa Rica
During Office hours (Weekdays 9am-5pm Local Time): +506 4001 8474
After hours emergency number: +506 8322 9140
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage.
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap. Aboard the expedition ships Explorer and Andrea laundry facilities are provided at a charge. Aboard the Amazon Explorer laundry facilities are provided free of charge for each passenger once a week.
Visas and Entry Requirements
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent.
As of November 1st, 2007, the Costa Rica government, requires those entering Costa Rica from certain countries in South America and Sub-Sahara Africa, to have an International Certificate of Vaccination against Yellow Fever. Those affected countries are: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, French Guiana and Venezuela.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollars cash and cards with travellers cheques as backup is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
Costa Rica airport exit tax: $29USD
It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels.
Also at the end of each trip if you felt your Local Guide did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.
Tortuguero National Park
- Tortuguero National Park Guided Night Boat Tour
- Tortuguero Canopy zipline
- Turtle Nesting Night Excursion (Seasonal) (51USD per person)
- Guided Kayak Excursion (35USD per person)
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of a G representative they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure.
Petty theft, bag snatching and muggings have been on the rise in San Jose. Though not common, there are certain precautions you should take when visiting the city. Although the cities visited on our tours are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions, as they are the safest and easiest way to avoid any issues one might encounter on the streets after dark. In addition, always leave your passport (It’s better to carry a photocopy of it instead), credit cards and money that you won’t be using in the hotel. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes in the room, or a general one at reception, this is always the safest method of storing your valuables. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Remember that like in any other city, you should never leave your bags unattended, nor flaunt jewellery, cameras etc . A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Please note that G Adventures has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Stick to the main streets only during the day, and after sundown, please take a taxi. Taxis can be organized from reception of your hotel. Also, take the address of the hotel with you.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Trip Specific Safety
GENERAL: Look after your personal items. Do not leave your valuables visible in a car or hotel room. Lock your hotel room door when you enter and when you leave. Do not carry large amount of cash on you. Avoid displaying flashy jewellery and carry your camera in its pack on your shoulder rather than around your neck. Keep your passport, airline tickets, money, important documents locked up in your room/safe – do not carry it with you.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. G Adventures has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by a G Adventures representative, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at email@example.com and we will send it on to you.
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Please note that whilst turtle sightings are likely during the nesting seasons they are wild animals and seeing a turtle on any given night cannot be guaranteed. Additionally, please note that you will need to pay a 10USD Tortuguero National Park entrance fee while on tour. Please note you will have the option (June-August) for one night turtle tour during your stay. Since this tour is operated by the National Park and the number of people allowed and tour times are strictly controlled, this tour will be arranged and confirmed for your applicable night once you arrive. This option is paid locally costing 35USD per person. Please be advised photographic and videographic equipment are not allowed and you must wear dark clothing in consideration of the turtles.
You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Local guides while at the lodge.
PRODUCT_LINE: TCRT3C, ID: 22980
Day 1: San José/Tortuguero (1B, 1L, 1D)
Enjoy a a delicious Costa Rican breakfast en route as we transfer by road then boat through the famous canals of Tortuguero. This tropical eco-paradise is home to countless bird and animal species, and you will have many opportunities to view and photograph wildlife.
The tropical rainforest gives way to prime secluded beaches, ideal nesting grounds for Green turtles (nesting July-October) and Loggerhead, Hawksbill and Leatherback Turtles (nesting March-June). We cannot guarantee you will see turtles but odds are fairly good from July through October.
Pre-night accommodation in San Jose (not included) is strongly advised as your pickup on Day 1 will be in the early morning. Please speak to your sales agent to book this for you. Should you opt to book your own accommodation, please send us the name of the hotel prior to Day 1 so we can confirm your transport.
Additionally, prior to Day 1, please advise your sales agent of the drop-off point for your transport at the end of your trip from Tortuguero back to San Jose. If you do not advise this, we will automatically drop you off at the same place in San Jose that we picked you up from on Day 1. This cannot be changed on the day of travel.
Welcome Package Hotel
Shared Van (4.00-5.00 hours)
Motorized canoe (1.50 hour(s))
Day 2: Tortuguero (1B, 1L, 1D)
Take advantage of this excellent opportunity to spot a variety of birds, monkeys and other wildlife. In our downtime, relax at the secluded lodge on a hammock or at the pool or beach. Opt to explore the gardens and beach, or go kayaking.
Tortuguero National Park Guided Boat Tour
Guided Jungle Walk
Day 3: Tortuguero/San José (1B, 1L)
After an early morning breakfast, it is time to return to San José, where the tour ends. Have lunch on the road, returning to the capital in the afternoon.
Post tour accommodation in San José (not included) is recommended. Please speak to your sales agent. If you do not advise the drop off point prior to the start of the trip, you will automatically be dropped off at the same place in San Jose that we picked you up from on Day 1. This cannot be changed on the day of travel.
Motorized canoe (1.50 hour(s))
Shared Van (4.00-5.00 hours)