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Featured in National Geographic Tours of a Lifetime, 2012

Private Turtle Nesting Expedition, with Gourmet Barbecue or Picnic Dinner

An evening of spontaneous adventures

(July-October only)
Private Expedition w/Gourmet Barbecue Dinner Private Expedition w/Picnic Dinner
Minimum 2 Guests: $369Minimum 2 Guests: $259
Minimum 3 Guests: $339Minimum 3 Guests: $239
Minimum 4 Guests: $319Minimum 4 Guests: $219
Minimum 5 Guests: $279Minimum 5 Guests: $199
Duration: 6 hoursDuration: 6 hours
After dinner under the stars, walk on a secluded beach to observe sea turtle nesting. Reserve early, this is a private tour with limited availability. Maximum of 8 guests. Available July to October only.

IMPORTANT: Be sure to imprint what you will experience in your memory because photography is not allowed on this tour.

You'll depart Tortuga Lodge at approximately 5:00 PM. Come dressed in dark clothing so as not to be visible when walking the beach searching for a nesting turtle.

Your guide will take you south on the one hour boat ride to the Jaloba Ranger Station in Tortuguero National Park. On the way your guide will stop so you can take in the sights - as many creatures make their way to their homes for the night and others begin to wake and forage.

Depending on what you’ve chosen, you’ll have the following dinner experience:

Turtle Celebration Picnic Menu Turtle Celebration Gourmet Barbecue Dinner

After dinner, finding your turtle

After dinner, your private guide will take you on a 10 minute boat ride to the mouth of the Jaloba River where you will disembark and begin to walk the beach.

Your guide will first ask you to stand still and close your eyes for several minutes, when you open them again, your eyes will have gotten used to the darkness and you will be ready to begin your walk. That is very important because flashlights scare the turtles and are not allowed. How long you walk depends on how quickly you find a turtle, you might see one within 5 minutes and you might have to walk for 45 minutes or more.

While your primary objective is to witness the nesting process of the Atlantic Green Sea Turtle, you will also have the opportunity to observe the stars in the Caribbean sky, the bioluminescence on the waves, and if you're really lucky you may see a sign of jaguar coming to the beach in search of turtle as well. It's not unusual to find their tracks in the sand. (Yes, it's safe.)

Once you or your guide spots our leading lady coming up to lay her eggs, you will sit on the beach waiting for her to find a spot that has just the right location and texture of sand. When she is satisfied, she will begin to dig and when her nest cavity has reached the depth she requires she will begin to lay her eggs. It is not until the laying of her eggs has begun that you will be able to approach her. At that point she enters a trance and is no longer disturbed by anything. Quietly you will kneel near her and observe this inspiring process.

Once she is done, she will slowly begin to cover up and compact her nest. She will then turn and laboriously make her way back to the ocean.

Flipper tracks are the only sign left by the previous night’s visitors, but you will have been there to watch her.

Your little private group can stay on the beach until 10pm, when the park service requires that we leave the beach. You might want to watch another turtle. You can take in more experiences…

You'll experience the turtles on the deserted beach, the night, the stars, the tracks of other forest creatures that came to hunt turtles, and the luminescence of the waves. You may pinch yourself to make sure it's not a dream.

You might get back to the lodge around 11pm.

Who should go on a Private Nesting Tour?

The Private Nesting Tour is not for everyone.

Walking for two hours or more on the beach in the dark can be scary and tiring. Though we will cancel the tour and refund the full price if we think it will be raining too hard for the experience to be enjoyable, it is a common occurrence for their to be torrential rain at sometime during the tour. This could happen when you are on the beach an hours walk from the boat. Anybody in normal physical shape and a sense of adventure can take part in this tour. If what my friend Richard Bangs calls, “the unfathomable shadows where the wild things are,” resonates with you, if you are seeking a sense of awe and even vulnerability, don’t miss this experience. But be prepared to be uncomfortable at some point and quite tired when you get back to Lodge.

This experience is not for children under 11 years old unless they are unusually brave and hardy.

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Tortuga Lodge & Gardens
Lodge : 011 (+506) 2709-8136
Office: 011 (+506) 2257-0766
Fax: 011 (+506) 2257-1665


Across from the airstrip 1 mile north of the Town of Tortuguero, Tortuguero, Costa Rica.
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no smoking

Smokers Be Aware!
Costa Rica has recently passed one of the strictest smoking regulations in the world; hotels are 100% SMOKE FREE.
If you are a guest at the hotel, and want to smoke, by law you are required to leave the property. This means that you have to be taken by boat across the river to the beach. Boats are available most of the time but not all the time, you may have to wait (10 minutes – 2 hours) for a boat to return to the lodge before you can be taken across.
Boats are NOT available to take you to a place where you can smoke at night. We realize that this is very inconvenient, but it’s the law. There is an $800 fine for breaking this law.

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