Reserva Playa Tortuga


Set up in 2009 by Costa Rican scientists, this excellent center conducts several important projects, including an inventory of local mammals and monitoring scarlet macaw, monkey and bat populations in the reserve. There's a butterfly garden and educational outreach to show children the importance of protecting wildlife. With advance booking, visitors can get involved in various volunteer activities each day.

Stop by the office to see interesting artefacts, from monkey skulls and toucans' beaks to species of snakes in lab containers. The office has a full schedule of upcoming projects, including crocodile monitoring (which involves night patrols, sometimes capturing crocodiles to tag them) and turtle rescue, during which eggs are brought to the hatchery and, once they are hatched, released back into the wild. Longer research projects with accommodation are also possible; email the office for tailor-made options. The office is along the public road to Playa Tortuga.

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