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Declared National Park in September 1970, and known as Costa Rica’s Little Amazon, this park occupies an area of 312 km2 and is crossed by natural canals. It is the largest nesting area for green turtles in the western Caribbean. In terms of visits received annually, Tortuguero National Park ranks third. Because of its geographical position, it is only accessible by boat or plane.
This park’s ecosystem holds more than 400 tree species and about 2,200 species of other plants, forming dense, green forests that hide many animal species. There are a little more than 300 kinds of birds that will make you hear their songs. Among them are: kingfishers, toucans, blue herons, peacocks, parrots and so on. The 60 species of mammals are mainly: jaguars, three-toed sloths, spider monkeys, howler monkeys, white-headed capuchins, etc. For reptiles and amphibians, among many others, you'll see basilica lizards, iguanas, caimans, crocodiles, poison frogs and many more. The canals that cross the park contain 30 species of freshwater fish, eels, bull sharks and manatees (an endangered animal).
Turtles are the main attraction that makes many people flock to this park. Tortuguero National Park is home to various species of turtles including the green (Chelonia mydas), the leatherback turtle (tortuga baula) and the hawksbill tortoise (Carey tortuga). There is a marked trail along the beach which is mainly used to observe turtle nesting. However, to see these nests, it is imperative to be accompanied by a guide, and this, after 6pm, because no one is allowed to be there without being accompanied by a guide. The best time to visit the park is from March to October. It is open from 6am to 6pm. Enjoy your visit!
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