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Tortuguero wildlife vs Cahuita, etc??

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Mar 4th, 2012, 06:44 AM
  #1
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Tortuguero wildlife vs Cahuita, etc??

Hi CR Fodorites - I have been following the CR forum for awhile but never posted prior to my trip. Now that I'm IN Costa Rica I have a question! Heading out to the Caribbean coast today to hang down in the Puerto Viejo area. While there, we plan to visit the Cahuita National Park and possibly the Jaguar Rescue and/or to see the sloths. While on the east coast, we DO have the time to squeeze in a one-nighter in Tortuguero. My question is, since as far as I can tell they're not doing turtle tours this time of year (I read that the leatherbacks' nesting season starts end of Feb/early March but most things I looked into said tours were not in season right now), is it worth making the trip up there if (fingers crossed) we will have seen a good bit of wildlife down at the other parks we'll be visiting? I realize taking the trip on the canals is a unique experience but as it seems to be at least a 3 hr boat ride back and forth is it worth doing for one night knowing that it's not turtle season? Better to save for another time or will we be missing a chance to see something else really unusual that we wouldn't have a shot to see at Cahuita, etc? Any input would be much appreciated!!!!
babykaroo is offline  
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Mar 4th, 2012, 09:58 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: May 2007
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We did see a ton of wildlife there if that helps you make your decision - crocs, otters, caimans, monkeys, blue morphos, poison dart frogs, and lots of amazing birds including roseate spoonbills, toucans, trogans, etc. We loved the area, but since it's a long trip to get there, I personally would probably only go if we could stay two nights, but totally up to your own personal decision. Seeing the turtles was a real highlight, so I'd be inclined to go back in turtle season and stay a couple of nights if you think you'd make it back that way again.
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Mar 4th, 2012, 01:42 PM
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I think the wildlife is very hit or miss in Tortuguero. Or maybe it's just when you happen to be there. We were there in July and it was turtle nesting season. I think the turtle nesting was the absolute highlight and I would go back for that in a heartbeat. But were it not for that, there was nothing we saw in Tortuguero that we didn't see anywhere else. But that being said, it's a very unique area being only accessible by boat and all of the canals. I enjoyed my experience there, but probably wouldn't make the trip for only one night if it wasn't turtle season.
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Mar 5th, 2012, 09:05 AM
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I've been to Tortuguero twice, neither time was turtle nesting season and I loved it - so much wildlife, quite amazing. But, I don't think I would go for one night only. You spend several hours on your second day of a two night stay on various canal tours and you would miss most of that. Since you'll be seeing wildlife in PV/Cahuita area, I would say go back when you have more time.
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Mar 5th, 2012, 10:07 AM
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We were there in July too. We had an amazing guide - that never hurts.
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Mar 6th, 2012, 08:21 AM
  #6
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Thanks for the input everyone. We've heeded your advice and decided to set it aside for next time; definitely not something that we'd want to have to rush through. (And it's always good to leave yourself a fascinating incentive to come back and visit CR!) Now I can only hope that it stops pouring for our Cahuita tour today!
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