Reaching Tortuguero can be especially challenging. The small fishing village and resorts are actually within the Tortuguero National Park, and the entire area is surrounded by the tropical rainforest. There are no roads to Tortuguero, so the only way in is by boat or airplane.

The small Tortuguero airport is about two miles outside of the town, and this is the primary way of getting to the village and nearby resorts. The flights are almost all from San Jose City, and even private and chartered planes will likely have to land at San Jose City first and then continue on to Tortuguero, which is essentially for customs reasons. The airport does offer limited commercial service, but do keep the weather in mind when you’re traveling as the sudden rain can delay flights.

Additionally, however many of the local resorts and hotels can arrange their own private chartered flights for guests. So this should be an option. From the airport they can arrange transport by boat to get you to the resort. It takes a bit of extra planning to get to Tortuguero, but when you’re sitting on the beach gazing at the world famous turtles that call this area home, you’ll know its worth it.

Here is some more specific info on how to arrive and leave:

Getting to Tortuguero

Leaving Tortuguero

Note: Public transportation is considered to be very safe in Costa Rica. Overhead compartments are good for small bags and below-deck storage compartments are safe for larger bags, but you should ALWAYS carry items of value with you at your seat.

NOTE: A few transportation operators and tour companies along the way will attempt to convince you that their way is the only way, they have the only place to buy tickets, or that your prefered hotel is full (which may or may not be true, call for reservations), the truth is, there are many options for hotel accomodations, various travel options (listed here), tons of restaurants, and all of the options are very reliable. You have the right to choose your own travel plans, and change when you want to.