Tortuga Island in the Gulf of Nicoya is usually seen as part of a popular day-trip excursion that begins with a bus ride from San Jose to Puntarenas. From there, a boat takes you to the island for a day of snorkeling, paddling or sunbathing on sands as white and soft as fresh-ground sugar. Day excursions also leave from the Nicoya Peninsula.
There are several companies that offer the trip, and most include a hot lunch served on the beach. Among the companies are Calypso Cruises, which also offers day cruises to the Punta Coral Private Reserve (phone 506-2256-2727 or toll-free from the U.S. 855-855-1975; http://www.calypsocruises.com); Bay Island Cruises, a 200 person-capacity catamaran with air-conditioning and a whirlpool (phone 506-2258-3536; http://www.bayislandcruises.com); and Sun Trails, a less-expensive option that offers snorkeling for groups of 10 or more. Phone 506-2642-0808. http://www.montezumatraveladventures.com.
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