Turismo, General

The Real Deal with Costa Rica’s Isla Tortuga

The abundance of outdoor activities hosted by Jaco never ceases to amaze. Did you know, from Jaco you have access to a gorgeous island filled with jet skis, kayaks, banana boats, volleyball, tropical fish to snorkel with, and loungers? Let me share with you my recent experience at Isla Tortuga.

My day started with a gorgeous one and a half hour boat ride from Playa Herradura where I observed jumping manta rays, a dolphin surfing our bow, and the gorgeous pacific lulling me into a relaxed state. As we approached the palm fringed island the water color transitioned from a deep sapphire to a lighter topaz. The boat anchored 100 feet off shore utilizing a smaller taxi boat to deliver us to to shore.

There was something for everyone on this small island. There were those that escaped to the shade for a tropical siesta, and others who charged over the water 60 mph on a jet ski. I enjoyed a combination of resting, swimming, snorkeling, eating, and people watching. The snorkeling was by far my favorite part of the trip. The fish were colorful masterpieces that swarmed around me, clearly used to being fed. If you have kids, make sure and stick close, at times there is a bit of a current that sweeps you around the large rock that marks our snorkeling zone.

My second favorite part of the day was when a local man arrived onshore with his rustic canoe filled with scallops he had just dove for. He sold ceviche for ₵1000 colones (less than $2 USD). Watching him open, clean, and dice the scallops then add onion, lime juice, and chilero (a hot sauce) was a definite cultural treat! He served each masterpiece with a smile that seemed as if he was sharing a secret from his culture with you.

There were a few things that I would have wished were different. My wife is vegetarian and my tour operator had almost no vegetarian options. She was left with only rice to sustain her for an all day tour in the sun! So, check with the tour operator if you have any diet restrictions. Also, each activity had a price to pay. A lounger was $7, a kayak cost $5 per person, etc. I had hoped that non-motorized sports would have been included, but had I known ahead of time that they are not, I may have had a healthier expectation. My guides explained that the rentals were owned by the island and not the individual tour operators.

Overall, Isla Tortuga is a great way to spend a day.Watch the two minute recap of the day below:

 

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