I just came back from Tortuguero. And just FYI, very few turtles are coming up onto the shore to nest. I was there 2 nights, and they had not seen any nesting activity the few days before. You're allotted the early evening or late evening (10pm-midnight) slot. On our night, the early slot did not see anything. Luckily, we had 2 turtles come up to the beach the night we came. They both started nesting, but both were scared off by something (strange sound, smell). They will abandon the nest and not lay eggs if they notice anything dangerous. I suspect that the guides may have been a little too excited and made too much noise or called us to the beach too early. Not sure. But we were able to see the turtles leave their nest and head back to the shore. At least we saw something, but I've been to Hawaii and snorkeled next to a turtle. So I didn't just want to see a turtle, I wanted to see the nesting process in person.
I was debating to go again the next night, but at $20 a person, for 5 people....I decided not to. I'm glad I didn't, because there were no turtles the next day.
The guide told us that last year, the turtles started coming up mid-June, and this year, they have seen very few sightings. They think it's because of the high water level, lots of rain. It actually rained almost all day the 3 days we were there. There were a couple of hours throughout the day when there was no rain.
In hindsight, I wish we could have skipped Tortuguero all together. It was a long trip from San Jose and then on to Arenal after visiting Tortuguero. There wasn't much to do in the town....lots of touristy gift shops. (We stayed at Casa Marbella). However, we did love eating at Budda Cafe and Wild Ginger. Although I did have a stomach ache after eating at Wild Ginger (may have been the pina colada) but my DH and 3 DD's did not have any stomach issues. We also enjoyed the morning boat tour scheduled by Casa Marbella. We saw all 3 types of monkeys, a two-toed sloth, a Caiman alligator and lots of birds.