What a fantastic place!
The Tortuguero Lodge is located right on the banks of the Tortuguero Canal and right on the cusp of the wonderful lowland jungles.
We saw all manners of animals on the lodge property including aracari, basilisks, poison dart frogs, vine snakes. Even crocodiles are known to lumber ashore for a nap.
The lodge serves three meals as part of the standard fare and it has a nice bar, a verandah overlooking the water, a hamock room and this gorgeous swimming pool.
Unique Quality: No glass on the windows--it is all open air. The howler monkeys will wake you up at 5:30 a.m.
I knew the rooms would be screened rooms and expected a jungle stay, but I did not expect the beds to be broken down, the rooms to be filthy and the netting on all the windows big enough to let most flying creatures into the room. Because the tap water is undrinkable, they place 5 gallon water jugs/stands near the rooms, but I don’t think they have been cleaned for months and the handles are covered in grime. The dinning staff made us feel like we were bothering them when we requested more water, coffee or a clean fork and the manager was unwilling to help when we complained about the springs/broken-down mattress we were expected to sleep on. We had two rooms (14 & 15 and both rooms had the same issues) and stayed for three nights and we could hardly wait to leave.
The food the first night was horrific and breakfast wasn’t much better. Things with the wait-staff improved when the Travel Channel showed up to film an upcoming episode on the Lodge and its owner. Costa Rica Expeditions flew in their Head Chef, who then prepared the meals for us and a fancier version for the camera. The food improved, but I hope you like all your meats rare because they barely cook it. The food is prepared “family style” which really means no choice, you get what you get and hope that there is enough to go around.
The boat tours were very good all thanks to our excellent guide Norton, the gardens are nice, but the tours are the only reason for staying at Tortuga Lodge. If you are considering a stay in this area, do your research because we saw a lot of other lodges/hotels in the area that we knew nothing about and may have offered nicer accommodations for the price. I would also advise flying in, the 6 hour bus and boat ride to the lodge arrive isn’t enough fun to warrant the trouble/time. We can say that not all of Costa Rica Expedition’s Lodges are like this one, we also stayed at Monteverde Lodge and our stay there was fabulous.
Unique Quality: The pool and hammock area is nice.
My wife and I are thinking of visiting CR in Late September. Is this a good time to go? Where would be a good place to stay? I was hoping for a Bungalow type atmosphere with a pool. Any suggestions for Virgin CR Visitors?
September would not be my first choice of times to go. It is the rainiest of the rainy season. All would not be lost if you still decide to go. You would still have some dry times to get out and see things. This is actually a great time to get to the Caribbean coast. It is their drier time of year. Prices will be great.
Puerto Viejo, Manzanillo, Cahuita are a little different than the rest of CR in that they have a more Jamaican atmosphere but the beaches are nice and there is plenty of wildlife to see. I would not recommend Limon. Further north in Tortuguero there are some lovely places to stay. We stayed at Tortuga Lodge and were very comfortable. Lots of people have enjoyed Mawamba Lodge.
I almost stayed here. The owner of hotelitosisi highly recommended it. I've heard playa grande/palm beach estates is a nice beach to stay at. Near all, yet somewhat removed because you need to cross an estuary to get to the main strip. That keeps the "surfer" bunch on the main strip of tamarindo.
I ended up picking flamingo beach - but where i'm staying is not a bungalow like my second choice in palm beach/playa grande.
oops - heres the bungalow site:
Thank you sooo much. I am taking your advice about the Carribean side of CR.
based on my research, the carribean side is not drier than the pacific side at this time. remember, hurricanes, although don't center around CR, pass through the carribean upto the gulf, not the pacific.
Month Average Highs Average Lows Average Rainfall Humidity
F C F C in. mm %
Jan. 88 31 68 20 12.48 317 87
Feb. 88 31 68 20 8.31 211 87
Mar. 87 31 69 21 9.21 234 85
Apr. 87 31 71 22 10.87 276 85
May 87 31 71 22 11.1 282 87
Jun. 87 31 71 22 11.65 296 88
Jul. 88 31 71 22 16.81 427 89
Aug. 68 20 71 22 12.28 312 88
Sep. 87 31 71 22 5.71 145 87
Oct. 87 31 71 22 8.11 206 87
Nov. 85 29 69 21 15.39 391 89
Dec. 88 31 69 21 17.52 445 88
I chose a city in the central part of the Caribbean to give you an idea of annual weather. This chart is from Costa Rica.com. The fifth column is the annual weather in inches. As you can see Sept is showing only 5.71 inches compared to 17.52 in Dec. The averages for the rest of that area up and down the coast are pretty similar.
Tortuguero, 705 40005, Costa Rica
50mts north of Dr Echandi's Clinic, Tortuguero
Across The Airstrip At, Tortuguero
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
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We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
Address: Across The Airstrip At, Tortuguero, Province of Limon, 6941, Costa Rica