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Tortuga Island (Isla Tortuga)
Tortuga Island (Isla Tortuga)

Tortuga Island (Isla Tortuga)

star-4.5
53 Reviews

The Basics

While a mix of activities, such as hiking, canopy tours, and pickup volleyball games keep visitors well entertained on land, most travelers visit Tortuga Island for its waters. The volcanic reef surrounding the island is home to diverse wildlife, such as moray eels, spinner dolphins, and octopi—plus three shipwrecks—which make it a great spot to snorkel or dive.

Tortuga Island is an ideal day trip destination, with day trip cruises typically running from San Jose and Jaco on mainland Costa Rica and allowing visitors to glide past some of the 23 islands scattered around the Gulf of Nicoya. Opt for a glass-bottom boat or sea kayak tour for a chance to admire the underwater scenery without getting wet

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Recent reviews from experiences in Jaco

star-5
Great day trip
Luta_P, Aug 2021
Full Day Tour to Tortuga Island from San José
We had a great experience on this day trip. Everything was on time and very clean. The staff was great, very attentive and provided information about the region and islands on the bus and on the boat.
star-5
Interesting
Alessandra_C, Sep 2021
Tortuga Island Cruises From San José
The best part was certainly the super service offered by the crew on board and on the beach! And the real 5 hours spent on the island. The island is nice, but I expected actually a better, clear water.. It was very dirty instead for a Caribbean island.
star-5
Snorkle for more'kle
Kathleen_W, Aug 2021
Full Day Tour to Tortuga Island from San José
It's was a wonderful tour. Food was good beach was awesome and water was clear. Snorkeling and banana boat pull was fun. We had a great time
star-5
Paradise!
Jackie_B, Aug 2021
Full Day Tour to Tortuga Island from Jaco
Love the colors of the water and the boat ride was amazing with spectacular views. The entire was extremely professional and friendly! Loved every minute! Will definitely go again!
star-5
Worth it
WCH, Aug 2021
Full Day Tour to Tortuga Island from Jaco
The boat ride was comfortable and the staff did a great job of providing refreshments considering the need for C-19 restriction. The food that was provided on the island was much better than I expected considering the island is not a resort with a real kitchen. The hotel pick up in Jaco was included worth it considering the distance involved.
star-5
The staff and crew were excellent. Please note that this is an all day trip, more than 12 hours.
Jollica_T, Aug 2021
Full Day Tour to Tortuga Island from San José
The beach has wonderful views. Bring snacks and a light breakfast. The breakfast on the tour does not suffice. The lunch however was very good.
star-5
Day in Paradise
Miles_B, Jun 2021
Tortuga Island Cruises From San José
Tortuga Island is a paradise! You couldn't imagine a place so beautiful. Lots of activities offered on the island for an amazing price. We snorkeled, Jet Skiied, paddleboarded and had great food, a full day in the sun, and relaxed. The staff was unbelievably nice and the drinks were well priced. Can't recommend this enough
star-5
An unforgettable boat trip
Kestutis_B, Mar 2021
Tortuga Island Day Tour, Puntarenas.
Fun crew, interesting stories, beautiful sights and a very tasty lunch :) All the best on one ship: the best captain, the best assistant and the best guide. Puravida guys :)
star-5
A truly complete tour
Maria_G, Jul 2021
Full Day Tour to Tortuga Island from Jaco
Excellent experience. Great amount of activities and fun. Lunch delicious and entertainment appropriate.
star-5
Good experience
Farhana_R, Jul 2021
Full Day Tour to Tortuga Island from San José
Finally saw the sun for the first time, skip the breakfast it’s just a ham sandwich, which I did specify that we do not eat pork, the tour guide wasn’t informed about it, lunch was good, great vibes and super friendly tour
star-5
A great way to experience Isla La Tortuga
Charles_M, Jul 2021
Full Day Tour to Tortuga Island from Jaco
We had a great time! The boat was comfortable, the crew was great at service and the DJ music aboard was great! The setup of beach chairs, a great lunch with DJ music and great service by the crew really made this a memorable experience for our trip to Isla La Tortuga.
star-5
Worth every penny
Melissa_A, Jul 2021
Full Day Tour to Tortuga Island from Jaco
the ride to and from the dock was pretty long and the ride on the boat back was long but the experience was beautiful! It is a full day tour that includes snorkeling when you get to the private island! They kept us fed and the drinks coming, however the alcoholic drinks aren’t free. The staff was kind & a lot of fun!

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Beach chairs and umbrellas are available for rent.

  • Bars, restaurants, and local vendors offer food and drinks.

  • Bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen for protection from the sun.

  • Tortuga Island is kid-friendly, and the day cruises to the island are popular among families.

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How to Get There

Tortuga Island is located just off the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, close to the Curu Wildlife Refuge, and is only accessible by boat. Operators depart from a variety of ports, including Jaco, Montezuma, Puntarenas, and San Jose. Most boat trips include snorkeling, meals, and hotel pickup and drop-off.

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When to Get There

Tortuga Island is open year-round, with peak season running from late December through January. The island is only accessible via day tour, as there is no lodging on Tortuga. Though the official average of 120 visitors per week seems delightfully low, be aware that on weekends and in December and January, those numbers spike.

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Turtle Islands

Tortuga Island is actually comprised of two islands, Alcatraz and Tolinga, but just about everyone refers to them as Isla Tortuga, or Turtle Island, named after the area’s most popular wildlife resident.

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