Warmed by the Caribbean Sea, Tortuguero, meaning ‘land of the turtles’, is one of the most important nesting sites in the western hemisphere for the endangered green turtle. But it’s not just turtles to be found in the eleven ecological habitats of Tortuguero’s pristine wildlife park. To get to it, there’s no road access, so we recommend a magical boat trip down the Caribbean Coast canals, passing sloths, monkeys and magnificently coloured flowers on the way. And when you arrive? Witness hatchling turtles shuffle their way over the sand; hike and canoe amongst wildlife teeming mangroves, and get hands-on with conservation projects.
From the coast, head inland and you’ll find a world of banana plantations, cocoa plants and leafy vegetation. With extreme whitewater rafting and kayaking available on the Sarapiqui River, Costa Rica’s lowlands are becoming increasingly popular as an adventure destination. Many thrill seekers set up in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui and use it as a gateway to many fantastic attractions, such as La Selva Biological Station, Poas Volcano and the coast. Because of its natural beauty and biodiversity, the area is a perfect destination for birdwatchers, hikers and horseback riders.
Nature lovers can immerse themselves in the largest butterfly observatory in the world, or wander through gardens filled with the tiny beating wings of hummingbirds. As an area of great conservation, incredible wildlife can be witnessed at every turn; head to the Selva Verde rainforest brimming with tropical lowland amphibians and reptiles, or chill on the Caribbean coast’s southern beaches; the sleep vibe here has its roots in Jamaican culture – with a reggae-loving alternative crowd, surfers and fantastic snorkelling opportunities.
Nestled in the heart of one of the most beautiful regions in the country, the fabulous Pacuare Lodge is a destination in itself – an exotic retreat offering blissful seclusion. The adventure begins before you’ve even arrived, with the resort accessible only by 4X4 and river raft. Watch parakeets fly overhead and explore the alluring rainforest which holds the mystique of fascinating animals, from anteaters and racoons to iguanas and sloths.