Between July and October the Caribbean beaches provide nesting sites for the Atlantic green turtle. South of Puerto Limón the ocean is more benign, with good surf, lovely sand and coral beaches, and a vibrant Afro-Caribbean culture. This coast is much less visited than the Pacific side and in some areas the ocean has strong currents and many sharks, so is not safe for swimming.
To the north the Tortuguero National Park canals are a popular attraction and several good lodges provide a comfortable base for river exploration. There are some excellent birding opportunities and plenty of alligators and monkeys. The national park is the main nesting area in the Caribbean for green sea turtles who nest on the beaches from July to October.
Puerto Viejo is famous in surfing circles for the Salsa Brava, a hot, fast, explosive wave that breaks over the reef from December through April and again in June and July. It attracts surfers from all over the world. At other times of the year the sea is quiet, particularly inside the reef, and good for snorkeling. South of Puerto Limón the ocean is benign, with good surf, lovely sand and coral beaches, and a vibrant Afro-Caribbean culture.