What is the difference between Tortuguero and Corcovado?

The main rainforest national parks


The Tortuguero National Park and the Corcovado National Park are the two parks that protect the two largest tropical lowland rainforests in Costa Rica. Tortuguero is located in the Caribbean Sea, and protects an endless expanse of tropical forests with huge trees and dense jungles, which are home to endless species of flora and fauna. Tortuguero has a network of natural channels and navigable lagoons, which are very distinctive of the park. Another very important attraction of Tortuguero is that its beaches serve as a nesting site for sea turtles. In particular, the green turtle nests in large numbers on its beaches, during the months of July, August, September and occasionally during part of October. The climate is humid, hot and rainy. It is recommended to visit Tortuguero throughout the year, however, during the turtle nesting season you get an additional gift from Mother Nature. Tortuguero, although located in the Caribbean Sea, does not have beautiful beaches, and these are NOT suitable for bathers. This is one of the factors that differentiate both parks. In general, although it is true they can be compared, both parks have species of unique flora and fauna, because they are in two biological zones, although both rainy and tropical, different.

In comparison with Corcovado:


• Its forests are extremely rich and exuberant, perhaps a little more exuberant compared to Corcovado.

• It has navigable channels which are explored in a boat with guides

• It has the possibility of sighting of nesting and hatching of sea turtles easily from July to part of October.

• It is a little easier to visit Tortuguero and later visit other destinations in the country. It can be easily visited completely in 2 nights and three days.


• Only has one entry site

• Its jungles cannot be explored and there are no extensive trails as there are in Corcovado.

• Although it is true that it is in the sea, its beaches are not beautiful and are not suitable for bathers as they are in Corcovado.


Corcovado National Park is an extensive area of tropical jungles which are considered among the sites with the richest biological biodiversity in the world. Its land is mostly flat, however, it has certain hill formations, which further increases its biodiversity. Like Tortuguero, it has abundant bodies and waterways, including Laguna Corcovado, Laguna Pejeperro, Laguna Pejeperrito, Rio Sirena, Rio Llorona and several more. Only the Rio Sirena is open to visitation. The fauna, as in Tortuguero, is extremely rich and diverse. As in Tortuguero there are Tapirs, Jaguars, Pumas and endless species of birds. One of its main attractions is its marine part, since its coast is extremely beautiful, and although dramatic and wild, the area has options for bathers, especially on the beaches near the park, such as Rio Claro, Playa Preciosa and more. Additionally, if the visitor is interested in the marine part, Corcovado has Isla del Caño, a pristine tropical island with crystal clear waters which can be easily visited and you can dive in its waters. Additionally, the marine fauna is rich and diverse. If Tortuguero has a sea turtle season, Corcovado and Isla del Caño have a Humpback Whale Sighting Season, which come in large numbers from July to September and again during March. There is also an abundance of dolphin species, which reaches 8 species, if both residents and migrants are counted. Although it can be compared with Tortuguero, for being in the Pacific and being in a different bio-region, the species of flora and fauna are different.

In comparison with Tortuguero:


• It has beaches and a coastal area suitable for exploration and swimming.

• Offers the marine part and beaches for your enjoyment

• It has extensive trails to explore its jungles

• It has different entries

• Offers whale and dolphin watching

• Offers more additional tours than Tortuguero

• It is the most diverse place in biology in the world


• Does not have navigable channels

• It is more remote and therefore, it is more expensive than Tortuguero

• It is more difficult to combine it with other destinations in Costa Rica

• It does not have a sea turtle watching season, although it can be seen during the night but in a lesser number


More FAQ about Corcovado and Drake Bay

Top places to visit

Whales and dolphins

During some months of the year, several humpback whales come to the Osa from South America and also from North America.

Sirena Corcovado
Sirena Ranger Station

The most remote ranger station can only be visited traveling by boat from Drkae Bay, or by foot crossing the entire park.

San Pedrillo
San Pedrillo Ranger Station

The northernmost entrance to Corcovado is the most visited entry point. Fauna and flora has increased over the passt few years.