Tortuguero National Park
Tortuguero is one of Costa Rica's most popular National Parks. It is located in Limon province, on the northeast Atlantic coast of Costa Rica, about 80 kilometers north of the Caribbean city of Limon. The park was established on 1975. The park has an area of 77.032 acres (19.000 hectares of coastal park and 52,000 hectares of marine area), and it’s the protection land of some species of sea turtles; the nesting time is from July to October. Strong Caribbean currents have provided a long, straight 22 miles expanse of beach which is a favored nesting ground for sea turtles, such as the Hawksbill, Loggerheads, Baula, Carey, Cahuama and Pacific Green turtles. The Leatherback, the largest sea turtle species in the world, nests from February to July.
Tortuguero National Park is a wilderness area with great biological variety, rich and diverse, with eleven different defined habitats. These include high rainforest, littoral woodland, slope forest, swamp forest, holillo forest, herbaceous swamp and herbaceous lagoon; a variety of coastal and marine areas. Water is an abundant natural resource with up to 240 inches of rainfall per year. Occasionally, the sediment filled plain is interrupted by forested rolling hills, composed of ancient volcanic cinder cones, such as Tortuguero Hill and the Lomas de Sierpe, which looms over 1,000 feet. An infinite number of interconnected channels, waterways, lagoons and lakes are fed by rivers that carry their inland sediment load to the coast. It is a great area for observing sea turtles (nesting and hatching), bird watching and navigating the canals.
To the north of Tortuguero National Park is the Barra Del Colorado Wildlife Refuge, whose habitats and climate are similar to Tortuguero. The south end of Tortuguero National Park is bordered by the mouth of the Parismina River, and the Cariari National Wetlands. The beaches at Tortuguero and Barra del Colorado are not recommended for swimmers because of its strong and dangerous currents.