Journey back through time and glimpse the fascinating history and culture of Tortuguero Village. This fun and informative two-hour tour begins with a boat ride from the lodge to town. Visit the local school (during weekdays and school year ), and stroll through the Sea Turtle Conservancy center and museum , local artisan shops, a general goods store, and walk down the quaint streets of colorful Afro-Caribbean homes. Guests can purchase locally-made artwork and souvenirs and sample the rich and savory Creole cuisine unique to the area. Return to the lodge by boat.
Get a glimpse of the fascinating history of Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast, steeped in adventure, untamed wilderness, and a blend of exotic cultures. The region’s first inhabitants were the Zambo-Miskito Indians and escaped slaves who lived off the land through subsistence farming, hunting turtles and raiding cacao plantations. The area was later populated by Jamaican immigrants who came to the North Atlantic Coast to work laying the region’s railroad or as laborers for lumber companies and fruit plantations. The vast seasonal migrations of sea turtles to the Tortuguero coastline also attracted nineteenth-century sailors who would purchase the turtle meat, oil, and shell to sell in Europe. Today, Tortuguero’s approximately 1,500 residents have traded turtle hunting for turtle conservation and ecotourism. Most adults work in tourism and conservation-related industries pioneering efforts to preserve the region’s unique cultures, ecosystems, and Costa Rica wildlife. Stop for a chat with the locals and learn about their way of life firsthand.