Isla Tortuga Costa Rica- Turquoise Water Paradise

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Ready for some island relaxation with a slight party vibe? You’ll love Isla Tortuga Costa Rica.

About Tortuga Island Costa Rica

Isla Tortuga is a turquoise water paradise located between the Nicoya Peninsula and the mainland of Costa Rica.

It boasts sandy beaches, turquoise water, and just the right balance between relaxation and a party vibe.

There are many tours to Isla Tortuga, some come from as far away as Manuel Antonio while others come from as close as the Paquera area. It’s one of the more popular excursions in the area.

Tourists arrive at the one main beach, which is surrounded by a nice rainforest where you can take a short walk to see animals.

There are swaying palm trees, fresh coconut water, and the nicest Costa Rican guides you will meet. We loved visiting the island with our kids, who at the time were 3 and 5, and we highly recommend a tour here on your next trip to Costa Rica.

RELATED POST: Costa Rica With Kids- The Complete Guide

Location – Getting There And Away

You’ll need a boat to arrive at Turtle Island, and on the eastern Nicoya Peninsula near Paquera, you’ll have lots of options.

On our way to the island, we were able to stop and see Spider monkeys in an area where they tend to be with their babies.

Many tours offer snorkeling tours or scuba diving on the way as well, although we opted out of this because we were with young children and the ocean area around here was crowded.

On the way home from Isla Tortuga we saw some fun marine life including dolphins chasing our boat, so keep your eye out!

You’ll generally find your tour offers fresh fruit and drinks on the way to the island. From the Paquera it took about 30-45 minutes to arrive.

Things To Do At Isla Tortuga

We chose to just relax on the beach and enjoy the waves, but there is a lot to do at Isla Tortuga, including:

  • Animal sightings– we saw a tapir and congo monkeys
  • Snorkeling
  • Scuba Diving
  • Kayak
  • Hang at the Beach bar
  • Volleyball
  • Paddleboarding
  • Banana Boat

Note that some of these activities include an extra fee on top of your tour, so be sure to ask your guide what is included.


The ultimate list of Spanish phrases for Costa Rica with kids.  


We stayed at the Bahia Rica cabins and came over to the island from there, it’s the area with a bioluminescent bay. You can also leave from an all-inclusive resort such as Hotel Fiesta.

I believe tours even leave from Jaco Beach. This is also a popular day tour for people who arrive to Costa Rica on cruise ships from the United States through Central America. They usually cock in Puntarenas which is just about an hour boat trip away from the island.

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Pina colada in a hollowed out pineapple with the beach in the background.

Your tour should include lunch, as there are no food services on the island. There is a great bar with fun cocktails like this pina colada I drank right out of a coconut!


The only way to get to Isla Tortuga is by taking a tour- unless you somehow have your own boat and can get there on your own. I think there is an entrance fee for private boats.

Otherwise, your accommodations in the Puntarenas or Nicoya Peninsula Area should have a tour operator they use. This is also a popular day trip from San Jose.

If you would like to talk to me about a customized itinerary or specific Costa Rica travel advice for your family, (zero sales- just advice!) check out my “Ask Christa” page for more information on custom Costa Rica trip planning geared towards families.

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Christa Jimenez

Welcome! I’m Christa, a Spanish teacher married to a handsome Costa Rican and mother of two bilingual daughters. We’ve spent over 25 years living in and traveling to Costa Rica with our daughters, and this website is my love letter to all things Costa Rica- and to bilingual parenting too. You can read my full story here. Thanks for stopping by!

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