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Taking a day trip or two from Tortuguero can be a difficult endeavor unless you plan ahead. There are a limited number of flights in and out from the small airport, so you can’t as easily pick up on the whim and head to see something else. However, if you plan ahead you can get to many parts of Costa Rica quite easily. The country is small enough that nothing is particularly far and in fact you can get to many of the best beaches or other attractions in only a couple of hours. In fact, there are few places in the world where you can see the sun rise on the Caribbean and still see the sunset on the Pacific Ocean in the same day.
The capital city of San Jose has numerous attractions, and it is much more cosmopolitan than many other Latin American cities, with fine eating, wide streets and great shopping.
And if you’re looking to see a bit more nature, or more importantly where nature is making comeback then head to the neighboring Barra del Colorado Wildlife Refuge. It is next to the Tortuguero National Park, and was actually almost completely ravaged by loggers, but is today a wetland forest and swamp. There are tours available and it is makes for a fascinating way of seeing how nature can still make a recovery.