Situated on the northern Caribbean coast the area of Tortuguero is an area of lowland wet tropical forest and mangroves with canals and a volcanic dark-sand beach, which is famous for being the principal nesting site for green, hawksbill, loggerhead and leatherback sea turtles. The National Park can only be reached by boat or small aircraft, but is one of the most visited in Costa Rica. Its climate is hot and humid, its prevailing winds coming from the Caribbean.
The turtles return to this same 22 miles stretch of beach every year to lay their eggs. No-one is quite sure why they prefer this sandy coastline but local people believe that a turtle-shaped volcanic hill at Tortuguero serves as some kind of beacon guiding the turtles back each year (July to October) In addition to the turtles, Tortuguero National Park is a haven for wildlife such as Indian manatees, crocodiles, howler monkeys and over 450 different species of birds.