Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2014 - September 25th, 2015 Last Updated:
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Introduction

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'.

  • Cruise the canals of Tortuguero in search of wildlife
  • Hike through the pristine environment of Tortuguero National Park
  • Search for sea turtles when in season
Duration: 3 days
Start/Finish City: San José to San José
Service Level: Upgraded
  • All the adventure you want, with a softer landing
  • Handpicked, character-rich accommodations with upgraded amenities services
  • Upgraded and private transport, including flights to maximize time
  • More included meals, activities and transfers
Physical Grading: 2
There'll be some light walking and hiking. Suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
Travel Style: Comfort
Great adventures with a few extra frills along the way.

Looking for a little extra from your adventure but don’t want to skip out on all the genuine experiences? Comfort is your ticket. These trips offer upgraded accommodations and more inclusions while still delivering plenty of freedom to pursue spontaneous situations on your own.

Please note: The Comfort Travel Style is a renamed edition of the G-Plus, our collection of comfort-themed adventures. Same great trips, more descriptive name!

Trip Type: Independent Travel
Independent trips are either entire trips you take privately or solo extensions to a group tour. Local staff are available on standby 24/7.

Itinerary

Route map for Turtles and Tortuguero (TCRT3C)

Day 1 San José/Tortuguero National Park (B,L,D)

Meet your guide at your hotel early in the morning (between 5:30am and 6:30am, depending on your hotel location - ask your sales agent for estimated pickup time) and hit the road to Tortuguero National Park. We stop on the way for a delicious Costa Rican breakfast and visit a banana plantation (time and weather permitting) where we learn about banana processing and packaging. Once you get to the port, hop on board the comfortable lancha (boat) for your incredible journey through the remarkable Tortuguero canals to your jungle lodge.

Tortuguero National Park was created in 1975 to protect the four species of sea turtles which nest along the beaches. Our three-hour boat ride along rivers and canals starts just outside the town of Limón and ends in the village of Tortuguero, near the park perimeter. We may see herons, egrets, spoonbills, as well as amphibians and reptiles like the “Jesus Lizard” (it walks on water) and caimans. The tropical rainforest gives way to prime beaches, ideal nesting grounds for Green, Loggerhead, Hawksbill and Leatherback Turtles. The latter nests from mid-March to June, the rest from July to September. The Caribbean Conservation Centre, just outside of town, is an excellent source of information about the turtles and their tropical habitat.

After lunch take an optional visit to Tortuguero, a small village made up of Hispanic, Miskito Indian (Nicaragua) and Afro-Caribbean people. Enjoy dinner to the sounds of forest at the Turtle Beach Lodge (or similar.

Day 2 Tortuguero National Park (B,L,D)

Join an early guided canal tour and experience the awakening of the jungle surrounding the canals as the animals start their day before returning back to the lodge for breakfast. Later, take a walk through the jungle with your guide, learning about plants, insects, and medicinal uses of both. During nesting season (June-August), a night excursion to see the nesting of the giant turtles is optional and arranged locally.

Please note that you will need to pay a 10USD Tortuguero National Park entrance fee while on tour.

Day 3 Tortuguero National Park/San José (B,L)

After an early morning breakfast it is time to make your return journey back to San José. Travel south, back through steamy jungle canals and natural rivers to the port. Have lunch on the road, returning to your San José hotel between 2 and 5pm, depending on weather and traffic.

What's Included

Guided hikes and boat tours in Tortuguero National Park. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Cruise the canals of Tortuguero in search of wildlife, hike through the pristine environment of Tortuguero National Park, search for sea turtles when in season

Dossier Disclaimer

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.

Itinerary Disclaimer

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.

Important Notes

1) 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) 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.

3) 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.

4) Please note that you will need to pay a 10USD Tortuguero National Park entrance fee while on tour.

4) 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

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, a G Adventures representative, or an expedition team. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.

Meals Included

3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners.

Meals

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.

Meal Budget

Allow USD50-65 for meals and extras not included.

Transport

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.

Local Flights

No local flights included.

Solo Travellers

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.

Accommodation

Turtle Beach Lodge (2 nts).

About Accommodation

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.

Joining Hotel

Start at the hotel of your choice in San José - we provide pick up on Day 1 at approximately 6AM.

Accommodation in Tortuguero only (2 nights):
Turtle Beach Lodge

Joining Instructions

You will be picked up from your San Jose hotel and transferred to Tortuguero via van or bus and boat on Day 1. Please ensure you advise of your hotel information so we can arrange the transfer. The transfer to Tortuguero is approximately 7 hours, and a stop for lunch is included.

Please be sure to advise us at the time of booking which hotel you will be staying at in San José. Accommodation is provided in Tortuguero only (2 nights), so you are responsible for your own hotel in San José prior to the tour.

We recommend that you arrive in San Jose a day early as the transfer 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.

Arrival Complications

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.

Emergency Contact

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 2224 5560
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: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
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 the use of a duffel bag or backpack (whatever you find easiest to carry). A good size daypack is also essential.

Checklist

- USD cash
- Credit and/or debit card (see spending money)
- G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and trip details
- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
- Camera and film
- hand sanitizers/ antibacterial wipes
- Reading/writing material
- Binoculars
- Cover for backpacks
- Windproof/waterproof jacket or poncho
- Small towel and swim wear
- 4 shirts/t-shirts
- Sun hat
- 2 pair of shorts
- 2 pairs of long trousers
- 1 pair of hiking pants/track pants
- Hiking boots/ sturdy walking shoes
- Sport sandals
- Sunblock
- Sunglasses
- Toiletries (biodegradable)
- Watch or alarm clock
- Water bottle
- Pocketknife
- Insect repellant
- Flashlight
- Fleece top
- First aid kit should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, and any extra prescription drugs you may be taking

Laundry

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

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. IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.

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.

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.

Spending Money

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.

Money Exchange

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).

Emergency Fund

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!

Departure Tax

Costa Rica airport exit tax: $29USD

Tipping

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.

Optional Activities

Optional Morning tour: Journey through the canals exploring the jungle wildlife.

Night Turtle 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.

Health

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.

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. 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 our CEO 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. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO 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:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

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.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

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. Our CEOs have 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: 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 your CEO, 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

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Feedback

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 customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.

Special Comments

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.