Tortuga Island

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Costa Rica

Tortuga Island Reviews

blime84 blime84
4 reviews
Tortuga ISLAND!!!! - JUST LIKE Pirates, or not, but damn cool for the price Dec 29, 2008
My whole trip to Costa Rica was planned on the fly. I had no reservations. Only a car rental and a return plane ticket. In my opinion this is the best way to travel around Costa Rica. I would do a whole travel blog, but I did too much for me to write it all at once, so I figure that instead, I will write reviews of various cool things I did and hopefully my trip will be fully blogged in a couple of weeks.

Ok, now to get to the Tortuga Island boat trip... How I got there:

Well, we arrived in Costa Rica on a Sunday morning, picked up our car rental and drove to the closest developed beach town on the pacific(Jaco). Jaco was my home base for the first 4 days of my trip. During this time I went to various places within 1-2 hours of Jaco(ATV rentals, Canopy tours, Manuel Antonio, Playa Hermosa, etc...). After 4 days, I was ready for some place new. Upon the advice of the hotel worker, I took the ferry from Puntarenas to Paquera(1 hour ferry ride) and then drove to the sleepy town of Montezuma. I had 3 days, 2 nights to spend in Montezuma, so on my first day there, I booked a trip to Tortuga Island for my 2nd day. The trips are available from Jaco as well, but cost about double the price and are not nearly as cool(they throw you on a big boat with many people). In Montezuma they had several trip operators. I booked with the one across the street from the market and "Soda" cafe. The cost of the trip was $40 and it was a full day trip leaving at 9:00 and coming back at 4:30 with lunch included.

The Trip:

I arrived at the tour operator at 8:45 and waited for our group to arrive(the boat holds a max of 12 people, our tour was 6 people and 2 guides). By 9:10 we had walked to the beach and were boarding our skiff(the walk was about 2 minutes). We were on our way by 9:20. The ride to Tortuga was about 40 minutes. The waters were calm and the scenery was amazing(the coast line was beautiful plus there was a waterfall and a sea cave we went by). After 40 minutes, we were off the coast of Tortuga and its sister uninhabited Island. We dropped off the first mate with the food(he was doing the bbq) and went back in. The captain of our skiff found a great spot for snorkeling and threw the anchor over. We spent the next 45-60 minutes in the water looking at a whole bunch of tropical fish. All the equipment was provided(fins, mask, and snorkel). I entertained myself by swimming with the fish, trying to touch them, and swimming around the little islands we were docked between(there are many little islands, or large rocks off the coast of the island). The coolest thing I saw was a rather large sting ray(about 6 feet wide). After the snorkeling, we docked the boat on the island and offloaded drinks(all the beer you wanted was provided as well, included in the cost... some of the other groups especially from jaco try to charge for all these things separately) The first mate was in the process of making our bbq lunch(you have the option of chicken or fish, with fish being the default, you have to request chicken if you don't eat fish). We got to spend several hours on the island. There were a bunch of chairs for sunning, a small souvenir shop(waste of money in my opinion) with a power generator as there is no power or running water on the island, a large macaw(parrot), a wild pig, and some volleyball nets as well as the bbq pits for the various tour groups. The island was great. We got to rest up from the swimming on the beach, then we ate a great bbq lunch with a fruit plate for desert. While waiting for the food to digest I played with the wild pig and parrot(the parrot would try to eat anything you handed it and the pig was trying to sleep so I would try to wake it up and pick it up(with no success in the latter). After we digested, we were taken to a new place to snorkel for another 30-40 minutes. Afterwards, we returned to the beach on Tortuga island for another hour. there we had some beers and relaxed until it was time to go. Around 3:30, we boarded the boat and headed back to the town of Montezuma. We arrived back at about 4:10... 20 minutes earlier than planned, but I had no problem with that. Overall I had a great time and I thought it was totally worth the $40 for the full day trip. It also gave me a chance to practice my spanish since the guide barely spoke english and I was one of the only ones on the boat who spoke spanish(plus I like talking to the locals, gives me a feel for the area)...I found out my guide liked to indulge in some herbal refreshments, so for his tip we had a relaxation session to end off the day. It was nice and sunny the whole time. GREAT EXPERIENCE OVERALL and GREAT VALUE.
View from the island's beach
me on the way to the island
Montezuma. I booked the trip from …
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