This eco lodge is in the heart of Tortuguero National Park, a three hour boat ride from the nearest road. The lodge is set up as all inclusive due to its remoteness. While staying at the hotel, all meals are provided, plus daily boat tours and hikes into the National Park. Although the facilities are very nice and modern, the cabins have no air conditioning so be prepared for hot weather.
Our family stayed at Mawamba Lodge and enjoyed our stay as well as seeing the green turtle mothers, who were at least 38 years old, hauling their 250 lb. bodies hundreds of feet up the dark beach to lay eggs. Our guide, Christobal, spoke only Spanish but found 4 mothers laying. It was the most poinant memory of the entire trip for me. As an especially beautiful event, we also got to see the tiny young turtles recently hatched after being laid 90 days earlier, madly dashing for the ocean. Only 1 in 1000 babies live to reproduce, so, that made seeing the nesting mothers even more spectacular. Viewing the eruption of Arenal from the resturant of the hotel Lost Iguana!
This hotel isn't even listed in Fodor's guide, but we discovered it on the way to the hanging bridges. It is a fabulous place, very euro earthy style. The resturant serves great food and has a magnificent view of the volcano Arenal spewing ancient rocks superheated to 1000 degrees by magma. The contrast of resturant comfort and primal event was singularly striking-not to mention romantic! and we had our 10 yr. old daughter with us!
Flight from Brussel through New York to San Jose
Check-in Hotel San Gildar
Visit a coffee plantation
Transfer to Tortuguero
Check-in Mawamba Lodge
- Bird watching
- Visiting the park by boats over the canals
With 4x4 to La Fortuna
Check-in Hotel Arenal Paraiso
- Horseback riding
- Canopy tour
Visit to Cano Negro (National park near Nicaragua)
From La Fortuna to Monteverde
Check-in El Establo
- Trekking in cloud forest
- Sky Walk in cloud forest
- Guided night tour
From Monteverde to Manuel Antonio
Check-in Hotel Costa Verde
- Relaxing at the pool
- Visit the national park
- Visit Reserva biologica Carara and Quepos
From Manuel Antonio to San Jose Check-in Country Inn & Suites
Flight from San Jose to Brussels
Please help us with 10-day trip to CR.
Lots of questions here. We?'d appreciate any advice you have, but we?re prefacing this by saying we?re adventurous budget travelers and not afraid to rough it a little. We have a 10 day trip planned.
D1 Arrive in San Jose around noon. We have a place to stay in Alajuela at the Vida Tropical Bed and Breakfast.
D2-3 We would like to spend 2 nights in Tortuguero. Any recommendations on how to get there? We?'re independent backpackers, but should we bite the bullet and take a package tour? If not, any recommended lodges there? Any cheaper accommodations than the highly praised Mawamba Lodge?
D4-5, leave Tortuguero early (can you leave early?) and spending 2 nights in Arenal. Any recommended places to stay there? (Arenal Observatory, Arenal Paraiso, Los Lagos, or Arenal Lodge) We?'d like to do a hike or maybe a tour (rafting, zip lines, or something else), anyone know of a good one? Also, what?s the fastest way to Arenal from Tortuguero? Do you have to go back to San Jose and then up to Arenal, or are there any shortcuts?
D6-7 In the morning we head down near San Isidro del general to stay with a Tico family we know. How difficult and time consuming of a trip would that be?
D8-9 We?'d like our final 2 days on the beach along the pacific. We?re thinking about Playa Pelada or perhaps Tamarindo. Thoughts? How are driving conditions going up the coast?
D10 Getting to Liberia and flying out.
Is this spreading ourselves thin and doing way too much? Please give us any advice you can and keep in consideration that we're doing all this on a tight budget.
Many Thanks in Advance,
Kevin & Kim
RE: Please help us with 10-day trip to CR.
Tortuguero is accesssible either by boat or small plane. Part of the trip is "getting there" on the canals by boat. Highly educational and relaxing. The lodges will pick you up at a dock they may specify, and it takes a few hours. We stayed at the Laguna Lodge, and found it both comfortable and entertaining. Most of the trip you described is almost akin to a tour that Caravan Tours hosts. Check them out at www.caravantours.com The cost excluding airfare is $995 dollars American. That's their first stop, the on to Arenal (La Fortuna), Jaco on the Pacific and back to San Jose. It was a great trip, and by the way, included all meals. Luck to you!