Getting there & away
The journey by boat to Tortuguero can take anywhere from 1½ hours to five hours, depending on how often the boat stops to observe the copious wildlife along the way (many tours also stop for lunch). Indeed, it is worth taking your time. As you wind your way through these jungle canals, you are likely to spot howler monkeys, morelot’s crocodiles, both two- and three-toed sloths and an amazing array of waterbirds.
While this route is often used by tourist boats, it is not necessarily a regular transportation route to Tortuguero or Parismina (boats rarely go to Barra del Colorado). When canals north of Moín are blocked by water hyacinths or logjams, the route might be closed altogether. Schedules exist in theory only and they change frequently, depending on the boatload. If you are feeling lucky, you can just show up in Moín in the morning and try to get on one of the outgoing tour boats. But you are better off making a reservation in advance.
Associación de Boteros de los Canales de Tortuguero (Abacat; 360 7325; US$30; 10am) In theory, Abacat operates a daily collective to Tortuguero, although it may not run if there are not enough passengers.
Caribbean Tropical Tours (William Guerrero) (371 2323; firstname.lastname@example.org) A highly recommended tour guide, with excellent sloth-spotting skills.
Viajes al Tortuguero (Benjamin Gomez) (795 0937; email@example.com; one way/round trip US$30/50; 9:30-10am) A member of the association of Boteros Independente de Moín. Again, the schedule is subject to change if there are not enough passengers.
Tracasa buses to Moín from Puerto Limón (US$0.25, 20 minutes) depart from Terminal Caribeño hourly from 5:30am to 6:30pm. Get off the bus before it goes over the bridge. If you are driving, it’s worth leaving your car in a guarded lot in Limón.