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“Wonderful jungle experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tortugal

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Tortugal
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Rio Dulce, Guatemala   |  
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La Jolla,
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Wonderful jungle experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

We can't stop telling our friends and family how fantastic our trip to Tortugal was. We are sailors who flew down to explore for future. We will definitely return! The beauty of the jungle , sounds and birds greeted us every morning. We had no problem with Mosquitos. The staff was friendly and helpful. The food was great!

We loved Casita Elegante with it's huge patio. We didn't want to leave!

Room Tip: Casita elegante peaceful and beautifully decorated. There is a luxury hotel in Livingston , Villa...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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136 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    77
    44
    5
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

I stayed at Tortugal with my husband for a long weekend. We booked a bungalow for 3 nights.

Tortugal is basically as beautiful as the website makes it look - the rooms are not quite as "fancy" as they appear online but the location is great. The restaurant and common areas overlook the rivers. Shared restrooms are very clean, as is the sundeck and other seating areas. Rio Dulce as a location met my expectations, and Tortugal was a good place to stay while there.

Room:

The bed was comfortable, a huge plus for Guatemala! We had plenty of room in the bungalows, there were shelves to keep our bags and also an extra bed plus the queen where we slept. The bathroom was also plenty big. Hot water did not work consistently, I took two cold showers. My husband was smart enough to go and use the "dorm" bathroom, where he had a hot shower, so I'm disappointed that for the extra money on a bungalow we didn't have consistent hot water.

The walls between the bungalows are also EXTREMELY THIN. From Bungalow 2, our neighbor's toilet must have been exactly opposite our bed's headboard. This meant we woke up in the middle of the night for unpleasant toilet sounds. :-\ I know they are using local materials to build the rooms, but I would think they could at least mitigate toilet sounds from crossing into the next room.

Service:

Everyone at Tortugal was super friendly, they recommended a boat driver we should use and he was also friendly. No complaints there - I did neglect to tell them about the hot water because I don't like being a pain, but I realize I should have told them, their response would help me to evaluate the service.

Atmosphere:

As mentioned above, the place is beautiful. It does have a mix of boaters and general travellers, and everyone was very friendly. There are a few free boats every day and the boat drivers were punctual and friendly as well!

Food:

Food was decent. Mostly we ate breakfasts in the restaurant, plus one dinner. It felt a bit more expensive than most places in Guatemala are, but then again it is a touristy spot. You could save some money and eat better by walking into Fronteras and eating/drinking at Sundog.

I was tempted to give this place 3 stars based on our room situation (TOILET!!) but the property itself is 4 stars. If you stay in a bungalow, choose number 3 -- I think it is the only one where the bedroom doesn't connect to a bathroom. We could hear our neighbors from Bungalow 1 snoring in the middle of the night so we might have been their nosy bathroom neighbors!

Room Tip: The bedrooms in Bungalows 1 and 2 have a toilet near your head!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Orient
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

My wife and I were able to spend four nights here in early November. We found all of the staff to be outstanding people and it seemed that they were working all of the time to insure that our questions on things to do were answered and to serve us in whatever way we asked. This hotel's clientele seems to be a mix of adventure sailors who are stopping here for a while ( or keeping their boats here as second homes) and the overland travelers, like us, looking for a good place to relax while exploring this area of Guatemala. Even the big, pit-bull cross, dog and the resident cats are friendly. The drinks are cold and the simple food from the restaurant is fresh and good. The language heard mostly is English but is was being spoken by people from the US, Canada, Germany, Scotland, Holland, Brazil, and certainly, Guatemala. There were plenty of traveler stories to be heard and there are a few interesting side trips available if one desires to arrange them. There are trips up to Tikal and over to Copan and Quirigua' ruins, and to a local hot water falls, and to a local scenic canyon, plus a chance to walk, ride or paddle a kayak or canoe to the restored old Spanish-anti pirate-fort nearby. We particularly
enjoyed the day trip down to the coastal town of Livingston since it provided us an opportunity to see a little bit of the Rio Dulce and its famous canyon. The birds are flying everywhere, the mosquitoes were almost non-existent at this time and the night rains were really great sounding on our bungalow.

Room Tip: We enjoyed our bungalow and really never saw any of the other accomodations
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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daphnetortugal, Owner at Tortugal, responded to this review, November 16, 2012
I really appreciate your taking the time to write such a comprehensive review and for sharing your impressions of Tortugal. Thank you for being our guest. Daphne (owner)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tacoma, Washington
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

We had a brief 2 night (too short) stay at the lodge Oct 21 and 22 in one of the Torre rooms which are private with shared bath. Room was simple, clean and spacious, had a ceiling fan and comfortable queen sized bed with mosquito netting. Mosquitos were few and far between though. Shower in that area's shared bath was not warm, but one(s) down where the washer and dryers are locared was very hot. Food was good, and staff was very friendly and helpful. They arranged a reliableand friendly captain with his boat (making the calls on our behalf) for us to take down to Livingston and back. We arrived in Rio Dulce town in a rental car and were able to leave it in the parking lot at Bruno's bar/restaurant/marina having paid a few Q a nite to the restaurant. Tortugal sent a boat to get us and our luggage for free. They have a few free boat shuttles a day to and from Rio Dulce. Tortugal has a marina and provides water for the holding tanks of the boats, so ALL the water is drinkable. I definately recommend this place. Of all places we stayed, this was my favorite, could have hung here for a while...

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

Perfect mix of relaxing atmosphere, nice quality, caribbean vibe, beautiful location and tasteful setting. The place has a lot of amenities without giving up on its original charm: solid wifi, pool table, free kayak use, creative swimming area, affordable good food, nice cocktail selection, quiet lounge areas, helpful staff, tastefully furnished rooms, good bathrooms, it also feels very safe. the marina fits nicely into the small bungalow complex and adds an international touch of transient sailors. Slightly off center location is a plus since the village itself is not an optimal place to stay. hotel ferry transport is available on request. bottom line, we stayed 3 days and had a really good time.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salem, Oregon, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2012

On our way back from Tikal, we stopped at Rio Dulce and were greeted by a young Englishman there to pick us up by boat to Tortugal. Our friend Viktor recommended Tortugal and called ahead to reserve rooms and have us picked up. We are all very glad he did. Rhum guided us to the hotel and we were amazed by the comfort and beauty of the location and grounds. We surely did not expect the great service and hospitality of the staff, but it was most welcome after a long van ride. We stayed in Bungalow 1 and our girls in one of the upper rooms, and our sleep was peaceful with the sounds of the fauna and the breeze from the river. Thank you again for the hospitality and service.
Mike- thanks for the morning conversation over coffee and I wanted to let you know that we found the room key and I am mailing it back to you. Thanks for the great experience! We will have to come back and stay longer for all the things we missed seeing around Rio Dulce.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

Having traveled throughout Guatemala, this was a wonderful, relaxing place to stay. This is a great place for downtime and day excursions. The bungalows were clean and comfortable. Fortunately there was a ceiling fan to keep the bungalow cool from the jungle humidity. Even the three La Tortugal cats had their own "kitty cabana." The ducks were fun to watch line up and waddle after the employee feeding them. The restaurant served great food. The staff was helpful. I was disappointed in the shape of the kayaks, especially the on-their-last-leg paddles. All the same, it was fun kayaking in the mangroves where the flora is amazing.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tortugal

Address: Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Phone Number:
Location: Guatemala > Izabal Department > Rio Dulce
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 15 Specialty Lodging in Rio Dulce
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tortugal is your little piece of paradise at the edge of Guatemala, set 22 miles across the mountains from the Caribbean Ocean. We are firmly out of reach from hurricanes, and yet Belize, Honduras and Mexico are just a short sail away.Tortugal is a welcoming and tranquil place where your worries float down river. All of our guests will find our lodgings elegantly simple, comfortable, clean and graciously quiet. Our hotel prices will fit all budgets, from a single bed in our hostel to an entire home for rent by the day, week or month.We have a wonderful restaurant/bar at the edge of the river. Homemade food made fresh every day. Adventures abound: from kayaking and swimming on the river, to exploring local caves and geo-thermal waterfalls.The Rio Dulce region is located on La Ruta Maya, the an ancient Mayan pathway. By land one can travel easily by bus to most anywhere in Central America and Mexico. Rio Dulce is just 45 minutes away from the border of Honduras at Los Encuentros, and 4/12 hours away from all of the following: The Mexican border just below Palenque; San Ignacio, Belize; and the fabulous ruins of Tikal in northern Guatemala or Copan just across the border in Honduras. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Tortugal Guatemala/Rio Dulce

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