Stunning Tortuguero Lagoon Nature Reserve
If you are looking for a little something different to do while visiting Puerto Rico, look no further than the Tortuguero Lagoon Nature Reserve. While most nature reserves in the area focus on forest or coastal shrub, the Tortuguero Lagoon Nature Reserve serves to protect this beautiful fresh water lagoon. Laguna Tortuguero is Puerto Rico’s largest natural body of fresh water and as such, it has long been enjoyed by the people of the island both as a water source and as a place to relax enjoy oneself. It has also been used for kayaking and fishing and the natural splendor of the area only serves to enhance any time spent here.
Also known as Reserva Natural Laguna Tortuguero, the reserve is seen as being the fourth most important nature reserve on the island. The lagoon is somewhat unique since it is fed by fresh water springs that pool in the lagoon before flowing out into the sea. Because of the abundance of wildlife that can be found here, Laguna Tortuguero is seen having a lot of ecological importance. The reserve has over 700 species of plants belonging to almost 120 different plant families. You will find grasses, ferns, orchids and other beautiful plants in abundance in this beautiful wilderness area. Of these different species, 144 are classified as being incredibly rare or are even noted as being endangered, so the value of the site simply cannot be overstated. The Tortuguero Lagoon Nature Reserve is carefully controlled by the Department of Natural Resources in Puerto Rico who work hard to ensure the longevity of the area. Geographically, the area is characterized by large bodies of water, swamps and marshlands as well as several small mountains of limestone known as ‘mogotes’.
A number of fresh water crocodiles were recently introduced to the lagoon so camping is strictly prohibited. However, you can still enjoy a variety of activities whilst visiting this great nature reserve. The best place to start is to organize a boat of some sort since most of the flora and fauna in the reserve is most easily seen from the water. Kayaking is still very much an option as is fishing and bird watching. Hiking and mountain biking are also popular activities. Guides are available to take you through the reserve and mountain climbing is available for those who are looking for a bit of an adrenaline rush. So visit this great reserve and discover a whole new side to Puerto Rico.