The center was inaugurated during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the park creation.
- Ministry of the Environment courtesy photo -

Published Friday, August 28, 2020

$1.8 million- plus invested in new
Tortuguero National Park
rangers center

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The new center for the park rangers of Tortuguero National Park, located in Limón Province, cost $1,864,371.

According to the Ministry of the Environment, the center covers a total area of 1,800 m2, which includes park ranger and volunteer shelters, a multipurpose room, warehouses and a dock.

The center was inaugurated during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the park creation, said Grettel Vega, director of the National System of Conservation Areas.

The new center will improve the conditions for park rangers and for tourists to have a better experience, said the ministry.

This is the second large investment in a national park announced this week.

On Saturday,
San Lucas Island National Wildlife Refuge reopened to visitors. The boat with the first group of tourists set sail from the port of Puntarenas to the island located in the Gulf of Nicoya.

The First Lady Claudia Dobles in charge of the project of the island improvements and one of the first on the visitor's tour said that the reopening will create "more opportunities for its people.”

The island, which is located in the Pacific off the coast of the city of Puntarenas, covers 500 hectares. It housed a prison for more than 100 years between 1873 and 1991.

The park declared a Wildlife Refuge since 2001, has a spectacular fauna: howler monkeys, spiders, squirrels, armadillos, pheasants, deer, bats, raccoons, anteaters, snakes, crocodiles, and many other species of reptiles and birds, as well as hammerhead sharks, dolphins, stingrays and turtles.

In the walking tour there are sixteen points of Quick Response codes (QR codes) making it the first tourist destination with this technology in the country. By scanning the code, users will be able to find information on the history, flora and fauna found on the trails.

In April 2019, the First Lady Claudia Dobles, announced the project to transform the island into a tourist destination. In the presentation of this project, Dobles said that the island is expected to become a benchmark such as Tortuga Island of the Gulf of Nicoya.

According to the government, the process of reopening the island has been carried out in close coordination with the Puntarenas Chamber of Tourism, in addition to other public institutions.

The improvements on the island have cost approximately $554,480 financed by the Institute of Pacific Ports. Among these improvements are: furniture installation, security improvements in the docking area and Cocos Beach, construction of trails, sanitary services, downtown garbage collection, and water pumping system, building repairs, and the hiring of the park ranger and a 24/7 island police service.

According to the government plan to activate tourism to San Lucas Island, the vision is to make a destination similar to the notorious prison Alcatraz in the San Francisco Bay in California.

Approximately $2.4 million was saved from the budget of various institutions such as the Institute of Tourism and the Institute of Pacific Ports to be applied to the island project.

The plan to reactivate San Lucas Island has been presented in four stages, which will begin with the construction of the new facilities in 2021, said the government.

• The first phase includes the previous studies of the environment and the marketing study.

• The second phase establishes the amount necessary to invest in the infrastructure.

• The third phase contemplates making plans and preparing the respective construction permits.

• The fourth and last phase will be the construction of new facilities.

The tour departs from the port of the Tourism Institute to the island.

Tickets to any national park, as San Lucas or Tortuguero, 
can be purchased via the website of the National System of Conservation Areas, SINAC. A tutorial on how to buy tickets can be found on Youtube in the SINAC YouTube Channel.

What are more tourist sites requiring improvements?
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