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re: Recommendations for stay in Tortuguero?

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san pedro
posts: 74
reviews: 31
re: Recommendations for stay in Tortuguero?

Suggestions for place to stay where they arrange transportation from San Jose and have a tour where you actually could see the turtles in late July?

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
posts: 4,063
reviews: 95
11. Re: re: Recommendations for stay in Tortuguero?

Hattiesburg, we stayed at Tortuga Lodge. Most people go from San Jose. We did a guided tour of the canals and also went out at night to do the turtle viewing. That's done by lottery, and they assign you to a certain area, a certain time, etc. Be sure to bring something dark to wear. They don't want you to wear light colors because it can confuse the turtles. We stayed two nights with our package. Other than those tours, we just relaxed and enjoyed the pool and the grounds. Tortuguero had a lot of mosquitoes when we were there, so I'd recommend packing repellent. It's a great area with a lot of wildlife. In addition to monkeys, turtles, crocs, bats, toucans, etc. we saw lots of poison dart frogs at the hotel. Since our tour consisted of just the two of us, we were able to get some good photos. We had a lot of rain when we were there. You may want to pack some books and magazines just in case. Tortuga Lodge has great service and great food.

Hattiesburg...
posts: 16
reviews: 10
12. Re: re: Recommendations for stay in Tortuguero?

I am going to Tortuguero in July with my 11 year old granddaughter. The travel agent thought that the Tortuga Lodge was more for couples--romantic--etc., than the Mawamba Lodge. What do you suggest?

Costa Rica
posts: 19,565
reviews: 23
13. Re: re: Recommendations for stay in Tortuguero?

I don't think there is any lodging in Tortuguero that I would classify as "more for couples--- romantic." The most important thing is to stay somewhere near the village and not "across the water" at one of the remote places that will require a boat trip to go anywhere.

Keep in mind that in Tortuguero, you have two kinds of lodging: Package or All-Inclusive and "Independent." The package deals typically include transportation, lodging, most meals and at least one tour. If you travel independently, you have a wide choice of lodging, make your own transportation arrangements and eat where you like. You also arrange whatever tours you like - or ask your lodging to do it for you.

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
posts: 4,063
reviews: 95
14. Re: re: Recommendations for stay in Tortuguero?

Hattiesburg, I think Tortuga Lodge is nicer than some of the other lodges, more upscale with more emphasis on service and individualized attention. Maybe that's what your agent is referring too. For example, they have candles on the table at dinner, and we ate out along the water under the moonlight. We did see families there while we were there though. At the time we stayed there they had a ping pong table and some games in the lobby for kids. I certainly think you and your granddaughter would enjoy it. There's not really much to the town itself, so we just went with the lodge with the highest rating and best reviews. We ate dinner one night next to a family that had three kids, and they were all writing in journals about their day. You might consider buying some of those laminated wildlife cards for your gd; we've seen a lot of families with those, and the kids love using them to identify the wildlife.

Costa Rica
posts: 19,565
reviews: 23
15. Re: re: Recommendations for stay in Tortuguero?

Things to do in Tortuguero:

Visit the Conservation station, a project of Archie Carr who was a turtle conservationist and worked with the people in Tortuguero.

Take a hike through the terrestrial portion of the National Park.

Walk around the village and just soak up the daily lives of the people who live there and imagine what it would be like with no cars, no streets and everything brought in by boat.

Maybe talk to the people who live there - most of them speak English.

Have a choice of restaurants.

Walk the beach.

Really, there are "two ways" to visit Tortuguero and you will need to decide which one fits you best.

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
posts: 4,063
reviews: 95
16. Re: re: Recommendations for stay in Tortuguero?

One thing I forgot to mention, at one time the Tortuga Lodge was offering a chance to meet with school children to help teach them English, nothing too formal I don't think, but it might be something fun for the two of you if they're still doing it. Maybe it would help you learn some Spanish too.

Barrie, Canada
posts: 1,642
reviews: 33
17. Re: re: Recommendations for stay in Tortuguero?

I don't thisk the hiking trails in the National Park are open anymore. For sure you can no longer hike to the lookout point!

Hattiesburg...
posts: 16
reviews: 10
18. Re: re: Recommendations for stay in Tortuguero?

Thanks so much for your comments. We will also be going to the Arenal area and Manuel Antonio. Do you have suggestions as to activities in those areas, or is there a "must see" area that we are missing? Thanks for your help.

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
posts: 4,063
reviews: 95
19. Re: re: Recommendations for stay in Tortuguero?

The Arenal area has lots to do. We've gone hiking at the Hanging Bridges, the volcano, and the waterfall. Done the Cano Negro tour and Penas Blancas river float to see wildlife. Done a sunset boat tour of the lake. Visited Proyecto Asis animal rescue center and fed the monkeys, sloth, and macaws there. Ziplined at Sky Trek and rafted with Rios Tropicales. Also visited the hot springs - Tabacon and Eco Termales are both nice. Visit the websites of Sunset Tours and Desafio to explore more options; both are great companies. You won't run out of things to do. The volcano is really amazing to see, but sometimes it gets obscured by fog. No current lava flow. There's also caving at the Venado Caves, but we haven't done that yet. We did canyoneering/waterfall rappeling on a recent trip and loved it - the La Roca tour through Sunset Tours if you're up for it.

For us the biggest draw of MA was the beautiful beach inside the park. If you do a guided tour of the park, you're likely to see a lot of fairly tame wildlife. We sailed and snorkeled. Snorkeling wasn't very good due to lots of sediment in the water. There's also the mangrove tour and horseback riding. Lots of good restaurants in the area with pretty sunset views. The park is closed on Mondays. Sounds like you have a nice trip shaping up.

20. Re: re: Recommendations for stay in Tortuguero?

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