San Jose

Tortuguero National Park and Canals Day Trip from San Jose

Badge of ExcellenceSan Jose, Costa Rica
Day Trip from San Jose to Tortuguero National Park Canals
  • 12 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
  • Pickup offered
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


If you’re short on time in Costa Rica but want to see the country’s famous biodiversity beyond the concrete capital, this day trip to the Tortuguero National Park is ideal. Travel through the canals and lagoons on a boat and look out for toucans, crocodiles, sloths, iguanas, and much more. The highlight, though, is seeing the sea turtle nesting sites on the beaches, which give the park its name.
  • An easy way to visit Tortuguero from San Jose
  • Breakfast and lunch will be provided
  • National park fees are included
  • Travel in comfort in an air-conditioned vehicle

What's Included

  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • park fees
  • gratitudes

Meeting and Pickup

Pickup points

Select a pickup point

Start time

05:30 AM

Pickup details

We pick up passengers in all Hotels , B&B, Hostels, AirB&B located in San jose downtown, Heredia downtown and Alajuela downtown

What To Expect

Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo (Pass By)

Tortuguero National Park

5 hours Admission Ticket Included

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Infant seats available
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
  • Most travelers can participate
  • We require to get complete name and passport number from every person going in this tour. This is necessary for registering every person to the park ticket's system, otherwise it wouldn't be possible to enter the park. Please add your names plus nationality and passport number. We highly appreciate you to send us this information as soon as possible to avoid eventual troubles like missing the chance to visit the park, as there are limited tickets available everyday
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 30 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Traveler Photos

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Featured review
Great experience! So happy we decided to go. Manual the guide was professional, friendly and very informative. His friendly driver provided, good safe transportation on a very dicey route to and from the Torguero National Park.


47 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 47 reviews
being stood up on one of...
Deborah_N, Apr 2024
being stood up on one of our tours and days that ran 16 hours. i will be in touch not happy want contact with u
Great views good host bad price
JorgedeJess_M, Apr 2024
Great guide (Charlton), amazing views in tortuguero. The tour I liked the most in Costa Rica. Very expensive, though.
Wished there was more free time.
YanLin_Z, Mar 2024
Breakfast and lunch took too long. I rather they gave us free time to walk around the tourist spot. Breakfast was ok, lunch was more delicious. Unfortunately we didn’t see anything amazing on our day and it was really hot. Note: bathroom requires 1 dollar each use when you get to the park.
Best way to see the park
Daniel_N, Mar 2024
Incredible journey through the waterways of an incredible national park. Our guide was great. Highly recommend.
Response from Host, Mar 2024
We are happy to know you enjoyed the excursion. thank you for your comments.. Pura vida
Great Vacation Experience!
John_U, Feb 2024
Great experience! So happy we decided to go. Manual the guide was professional, friendly and very informative. His friendly driver provided, good safe transportation on a very dicey route to and from the Torguero National Park.
Response from Host, Feb 2024
thank you for your comments. We are glad to know that you had such a great time during this excursion. Pura vida
Great way to see some wildlife!
Samantha_C, Feb 2024
I went on this trip with my mom and we had a great time! We ended up having a different tour company cancel our trip last minute, but Destiny Travel was super accommodating and allowed us to switch our original tour to an earlier date. The tour itself was wonderful, we saw all sorts of wildlife including: Toucans, red frogs, iguanas, Caymans, hummingbirds, spider monkeys, and a three-toed sloth! The 500 stair climb might be difficult for some, so that might be something to keep in mind, but we enjoyed the view from the top even though it was pretty cloudy. Tortuguero was a really cute town and the lunch we had was delicious and very filling. The only downside to our trip was the van... if you're on the larger/taller side you're likely going to feel a little cramped. The AC also didn't work well and the back window was stuck and wouldn't open, so the van felt pretty hot and stuffy for most of the day.
Ended up getting a...
Bridget_B, Jan 2024
Ended up getting a private tour with our guide, Ricardo. He was knowledgeable and enthusiastic, pointing out many animals and plants on the tour. Lucked out and had a beautiful day in Tortuguero! There were so many animal sightings, including crocodiles, turtles, a poisonous frog, and both howler and spider monkeys. The hike was beautiful and the ascent to the viewpoint at the top of the volcano was challenging but doable with stairs. The village of Tortuguero was picturesque and lunch was absolutely delicious. My husband couldn't stop praising the fish plate and the fresh watermelon juice hit the spot. Be sure to use bug repellant, though. Highly recommended!
Response from Host, Feb 2024
It is good to know you had such a good time during the excursion. Thank you for sharing your experience.
LutringMoser_M, Jan 2024
Small group, very lovely guide. Very interesting natur and animals, insects. All perfect! Recomended!
Response from Host, Feb 2024
Thank you for your comments. We are glad to know you had a great experience !!
Awesome trip, even got rain in the rainforest!
George_S, Jan 2024
The animals were awesome. Our guide Aturo was the best, he found so many animals. The driver was very professional.
Response from Host, Feb 2024
It is good to know you had such a good time during the excursion. Thank you for sharing your experience.
Best money spent
Brandon_H, Jan 2024
We were blown away by what we were able to see and do in a day. Before we even made it to breakfast, we had already stopped along the road to see sloths and other wildlife. The boat tour was also very impressive. The guide and operator were tremendous in finding wildlife and giving us opportunities to see and photo it. The meals were simple, but very good and authentic. I think if I had to do it again, I would not do the up and back climb to the lookout point, but the fresh coconut water and coconut we bought after were some of the best we have ever had.
Response from Host, Jan 2024
Thank you for sharing your experience during the tour. We are very happy to know that you were satisfied and that you admired the beauties of this place as well as its wildlife.
Great tour
Julie_J, Dec 2023
It was great, breakfast and lunch were good and the places were beautiful, the tour guide, Fran, was very nice and keen to teach us about the country
Response from Host, Dec 2023
We are very happy to know that the tour was to your complete satisfaction and that the guide Francinie did a good job giving her best for the satisfaction of our clients. Pura vida
Don’t recommend
Jason_S, Nov 2023
Absolutely awful tour. We didn’t even get a chance to visit the Caribbean coast and see the famous turtles nesting on the beach. This tour is over-marketed and the reality is you won’t see monkeys or crocodiles on the river cruise but only birds and insects. It was also very unsafe - the driver of the tour bus had an angina attack midway up the mountain ranges and refused to stop driving placing every single passenger at risk of an accident and the bus rolling down the narrow roads and mountains. It was only until we insisted he stop the bus that the tour guide agreed to take over driving duties - they clearly don’t care about customer safety. This tour promises a lot but delivers very little, is heavily overpriced and not worth it.
Response from Host, Nov 2023
Thank you for sharing your comments, which are very important to us. We are very sorry for your rating of the tour. However, I must tell you the following: IN the description of the tour it does not indicate that you will see the turtles nesting on the beach, since this one you mention is a tour that takes place only at night. For this purpose it is necessary to stay in the park for at least 1 night (July to October only), you cannot see the nesting on the one day tour. (during daylight) Regarding what happened on the return trip, we are aware that the driver had a health problem due to something he ate in his lunch and did not feel well. However, our guides are trained to drive vehicles and in this case the guide very responsibly took over the driving of the vehicle to take you back to your Hotel safely. These are things that can happen and cannot be predicted. Once again we regret this situation or rather the misunderstanding with the interpretation of the excursion.
Day Trip Tortuguero
Kathleen_R, Oct 2023
Climbing the mountain to see the view from the top. having a wonderful lunch in town and seeing the wildlife along the river.
Response from Host, Oct 2023
Thank you very much for your comments. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed the tour.
Riding the canals
Robert_J, Jul 2023
We were a tour of my wife and I and our guide Arturo. Arturo was very knowledgeable about the area as well as the country. We did a river ride and saw kingfishers, a crocodile, iguana, and much flora and fauna. This was one of the best tours we went on!
Response from Host, Jul 2023
it is good to know you had a great time with Arturo during this excursion. Thank you for sharing your experience !
Don't waste your money
Laura_J, Jun 2023
The only reason I'm giving this tour 3 stars is because Charlton our guide, and Jose our driver are fabulous. Outside of that the tour was not good, I don't recommend it. The start of the boat ride was nice, but we really didn't see much; A few birds, some caiman and iguanas. But then after the first part of the boat ride there is a long hike up over 600 steps to the top of the hill. It was gorgeous, but it wasn't discussed in the description and I have health problems so I wasn't pleased. Then we go to the town to have lunch and wander around for a while. But the town was very underwhelming. Not worth the ride for sure. Then the boat ride on the way back took almost 2 hours, it was barely moving at a lot of points. We were all ready to get back in the bus so idk what he was doing. Other boats literally lapped us, it was awful. Then to top the day off, the AC went out in the bus on the way home. By far our worst tour in Costa Rica.
Response from Host, Jun 2023
We regret that your experience has not been the best. However, we will review what happened this day since our main objective is the satisfaction of our customers. We appreciate your comments.
Don’t recommend
Michelle_R, Feb 2023
I had very high hopes for the tour, but it ended up being a very long, tiring, sort of uneventful day. The van was WAY too small for 9 total passengers; a family sized van, not a tour van. Very tight. I felt very bad for the people in the back row. Every time we stopped and got out they had to move the seats forward to allow the back and middle passengers to get out. The ride was scary, two lane road, lots of semi trucks. Even the tour guide said “this road very bad, lots of accidents”. WAY too long of a drive. Keep in mind 1/2 your day is spent just driving there and back. The tour guide had pretty broken-English. He tried very hard, but not very charismatic or articulate. We saw very few animals and that was my main goal. A couple small crocodiles along the canal, a couple iguanas, birds, two monkeys on the walk. Just too few animals for all the effort. Tortuguero not exciting, could be skipped, the ocean was cool though. I dreaded getting back in the van at the end of the tour, I think everyone did. I definitely would not recommend this tour to a friend. Just too long of a day, too cramped, I was exhausted.
Response from Host, Mar 2023
We are sorry that the tour did not meet your expectations. We care about the satisfaction of our customers and we will try to improve those details that you mention so that passengers enjoy this experience. Thank you for giving us your comments.
Both the tour guide and...
RW_C, Feb 2023
Both the tour guide and the boat guide were excellent. Saw lots of wildlife. Lunch was very good. Would do the tour again.
Great day trip with superb guide and delicious food
Johanna_K, Aug 2022
We had booked this as a group tour but in the end the two of us had a private good. The guide arrived on time to collect us and was very knowledgeable and spoke very good English. On the boat tour our guide / boat driver spotted some animals we would definitely not have seen on our own. We got a bit unlucky with the weather so unfortunately we didnt see any monkeys as it was constantly raining but that just happens when you travel in the summer months. The lunch provided was excellent and a good vegetarian option was served as well. Would definitely recommend this trip.
Response from Host, Aug 2022
Thank you for sharing your experience. We are glad to hear that everything went well and that you enjoyed the tour.
Very knowledgable guide...
Lena_H, May 2022
Very knowledgable guide who really made an effort to find animal both on the beautiful canal tour and at the rainforest walk.
Response from Host, Jun 2022
we are glad to know that your experience on the tour was the best. Thank you for sharing your impressions.
Motion sickness
atlfergusons, Apr 2022
We saw 3 wild sloths on our way, Carlos and Giovanni stopped the van on the road for us to take pictures. Bring money for bathroom breaks. Food and drinks were good. Bring motion sickness medicines because the van ride round trip is life threatening, Carlos was passING cars on the shoulder, across double lines, and played with the radio while driving. I will say it was a good time and I'm glad we went, but that bucket list has been checked off.
Response from Host, Apr 2022
thank you so much for the feedback . We are glad to know you were able to see as many animals as possible during the excursion. Regarding your comment about the driver, we take seriously the security of our passengers and will be making a follow up on this matter..Muchas gracias !!

From $209.00

Price varies by group size

up to 24 hours before the experience starts (local time)

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