18 May 2018
Great family fun can be had at Tortuga Island, just under an hour boat ride from Los Sueños Marina
Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula shelters Tortuga and Alcatraz Islands, known collectively as Isla Tortuga, from the stronger winds and currents of the Pacific. Here, the island’s coconut palm-lined white-sand beaches meet crystal blue waters for a picture postcard paradise and an extraordinary day out for everyone in the family.
Catamarans and cruisers depart from Los Sueños Marina and Jacó for the short cruise across the gentle waters of the Nicoya Gulf. The journey is also an opportunity to spot any whales or dolphins that are in the neighborhood.
On arrival, visitors are spoiled for choice. For a small charge, sun loungers and umbrellas are available on the beach for anyone wanting to soak up the sun with the ocean at hand for a refreshing dip. Concessionaires also have a supply of sea kayaks, paddle and boogie boards, and snorkel gear for rental. Visitors can ride in a glas- bottomed boat or the banana boats the island is known for or indulge in a bit of beach volleyball.
The island is also a nature preserve and hikers can climb into the hills along a short nature trail through thick rainforest to the island’s summit for a chance to spot the tropical birds and other animals that live on the island. The adventurous can take the short way down the hill via zipline through the canopy.
The volcanic reefs offshore are prime snorkeling and diving territory. There are 3 shipwrecks for divers to explore. The colorful tropical reefs and the crystal clear surrounding waters are home to rays, eels, octopi, angelfish, porcupine fish, and, of course, the sea turtles that give the island its name.
The trip to Tortuga is a full-day out. Plan to spend as many as 5 hours on the island. Some cruises include side trips to neighboring islands: Cedros, Jesusita, Guayabo, San Lucas Island, formerly a high-security prison, and others.
Tours vary by operator; in most cases including lunch that ranges from a box lunch to a full gourmet meal. Depending on departure time from the mainland, some tours provide a dockside breakfast before casting off. Other tours highlight the spectacular Pacific sunsets with cocktails on the voyage home. Once on board, fresh fruit, water, and non-alcoholic beverages are usually available at no extra charge, with adult beverages available for purchase. Minimum age restrictions may apply.
HRG staff can answer your questions and help you find the right operator for your family.