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“Nature at its finest.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Laguna Lodge Tortuguero

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Laguna Lodge Tortuguero
3.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Tortuguero, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Blairsville, GA
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Nature at its finest.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

If you're going to Laguna Lodge to be close to nature, it's wonderful. The grounds themselves have a butterfly garden, frog habitat, geckos, and bats that cling to the inside of one area in the "welcome center." With the river on one side and the coastline on the other of the property, you see shorebirds, wading birds, and other tropical birds on the property. The boisterous Oropendula flies in and out of hanging nests in the palms. Two nice pools. The grounds are clean and well-kept; the meals average to good. There are no vending machines for drinks or snacks; all food must be purchased at the restaurant or bar area. The rooms reminded me of The Parent Trap or camp we went to as youngsters. Very thin walls. Very modest design; bathroom not well lighted for applying any type of makeup. Fairly rustic, but clean. It's a go!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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414 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
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English first
Nashville, Tennessee
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2013

We hadn't quite been sure what to expect, but this was a wonderful trip. Yuri picked us up early at our hotel in San Jose and drove us to a nice restaurant for breakfast -- there's a butterfly garden in the back yard of the restaurant -- don't miss it! I'll review that place separately.
We were supposed to have met 3 other people at the restaurant but they never showed up so Yuri was our private guide for three days!
We took the boat to the lodge -- were met with cool wet washcloths to cleanse our faces and hands and fruit drinks. Our rooms were right next to the butterfly garden and frog garden and swimming pool We were three generations and everybody loved the pool. There is a separate pool for adults, so we had it to ourselves since we had 3 kids.
It was wonderful listening to the ocean waves and the frogs while falling asleep..... then awakening to birds.... Can't swim in the ocean, but it was only about 2 minutes walk from our rooms. The food and drinks were great great great -- the tours of the botanical garden, national park and village of Tortuguero were great great great! The only disappointment was the hannock pavillion. It's right next to a workshop apparently so I think I could hear a circular saw the whole time I was trying to rest.
If you are lucky, you will get Yuri -- it is AMAZING how he could find the blue jean frog -- the sloths -- the monkeys -- the red-eyed green tree frog -- the birds........ We LOVED this place and Yuri!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

Way too over priced for what you actually get, absolutely nothing to do, and the "tour guides" are everything but tour guides. First, I paid way to much to be basically camping, and sharing a room with a friend we literally paid 350 dollars for the worlds worst hotel/nightmare. We have been studying in Costa Rica for 6 weeks and this was our last weekend in Costa Rica, we live in Heredia right next to San Jose and we told they would only pick us up from San Jose. So we had to stay in a hotel for the night and got picked up at 5:30am, after we went to go pick up other travelers and then went TO HEREDIA, RIGHT BY WHERE WE LIVE. Then we had to sit through a 3 hour bus ride, with our "tour guide" talking the ENTIRE TIME! Upon arriving to the Lodge I was disappointed. They said we could either go on a hike or go on a city hour at 3. The group that chose the hike found it, its not a hike, it's a walk through their botanical garden that you can do whenever you want, and the "city tour" was a 3 minute boat ride then the tour guide saying, "you have an hour and a half, meet back here." We were only staying 2 days and 1 night due to school on Monday and the whole time we were there they singled us out and made us feel unwelcome. At night, you got dinner at 7 then after there was literally nothing to do there without spending more money. The alcohol was expensive, and if you want to go see the turtles there's an extra 30 dollar charge. Then they said there was a canal tour included. Nope that was ten dollars extra. Our beds had ants all over them and that place was not sanitary. Unless you are looking for an over priced nightmare I don't suggest going.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Valencia, California
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013 via mobile

I stayed at Laguna Lodge with Caravan. Tortuguero was a highlight of the trip, so much so I am going again in December, before Caravan takes Tortuguero off their itinerary in 2014. Laguna Lodge has a great location, on a slice of land between the main canal and the beach. You can even walk to town from the lodge. Because Laguna is next to the beach, you can walk out there at any time, unlike lodges across the canal where you must take a boat. The whimsical, Antonin Gaudi inspired mosaic and tile architecture (a giant conch shell is the reception building) is wonderful. The buffet food was delicious, and the open air dining area right on the water was beautiful. There are two pools, one of which has an island and waterfall. The rooms have a safe, and there is free wi-fi in the lobby. There are even two resident dogs to hang out with. I would highly recommend Laguna, in fact, I made sure when booking my return trip with Caravan, that I was on the group that stayed here instead of at another lodge.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Dayton, Ohio
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

The positives- they have red eyed tree frogs on the property, theycome out at 5.30 pm, in may. there are nesting montezuma orependulas on the property. i have never been able to observe these birds at such close proximity anywhere else. Boat trips were pretty good, in nearby preserves. There are apparently no ac in tortuguero due to ecological reasons. Our room was hot and humid throughout the day and night. There was one fan in one corner of the room. We took 3 showers a day and swam to keep cool. Be careful in the bathroom- some body traveling in our group slipped and fell. There are no hospitals with X-ray machines in the area. Make sure you put towels down. There is a beach, but you can't swim in it due to sharks.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Top Contributor
166 reviews 166 reviews
150 hotel reviews
Reviews in 147 cities Reviews in 147 cities
104 helpful votes 104 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

This is a very basic lodge. There are rustic cabins with rocking chairs on the porches and the grounds are pleasant with trees, flowers and animal life. There is a swimming pool. Be careful in the bathroom. There is a step down into the shower. Plus, the humidity is such that the floor may not be completely dry from the cleaning person. There is no air conditioning. There is a fan. The climate is hot and humid and no chance to escape it. The dining room was very good. Wi-Fi works sporadically. No television; no phone. Cell phones do not always work. This is the best way to see Tortuguero National Park, however.. Don't forget your sunscreen and bug spray!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

Our visit to Tortuguero and the Laguna Lodge was part of a vacation planned by Anywhere Costa Rica (see the seperate review of ACR). My best advice is, if you are insistent on seeing the Caribbean side of Costa Rica consider flying to Tortuguero! The Laguna Lodge is right near to the airstrip and all incoming/outgoing aircraft pass, very loudly, directly overtop of the resort.

The Laguna Lodge is "okay"...nothing terible, but has little to commend it. The bungalows are small but fairly comfortable and clean. The dining room serves standard buffet-style food, with some grilled-to-order options available at different times. The office staff were fairly indifferent. The dining room staff, however, were friendly and welcoming.

The swimming pools are very nice, and we spent most of our time at the Laguna Lodge playing in the pool, after the ordeal of getting to Tortuguero. We were told that it was not safe to swim in the ocean, due to the jelly fish and sharks :). The beach was very pretty!

We did do some of the optional tours - a shopping trip to Tortuguero and a tour boat trip through the canals looking for wildlife (we did see a distant monkey).

In my opinion, there are much more interesting and accessible areas to visit in Costa Rica than Tortuguero, given the challenges of getting there (unless you fly in). Perhaps things are different in turtle hatching season! The Laguna Lodge is adequate for a couple of nights but I wouldn't want to stay there longer than that.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LagunaT, Manager at Laguna Lodge Tortuguero, responded to this review, May 29, 2013
Dear Legalm0m,
Thank you very much for your comments, we assure you we will be taking them all into account.

We would like to let you know a little bit of our background.
Tortuguero beach is the most important nesting site of the endangered green turtle in the Western Hemisphere. Giant leatherback, hawksbill, and loggerhead turtles also nest here. The park now includes over 19,000 hectares (46,900 acres) and protects 22 miles of nesting beach from the mouth of the Tortuguero River south to Parismina. The park, and the Barra del Colorado Wildlife Refuge to the north, comprise the largest remaining adjoining tract of lowland wet tropical forest on Costa Rica's Atlantic Coast. The national park ecosystem has more than 400 species of trees and about 2,200 species of other plants, 4 species of monkeys, over 300 species of birds and hundreds of species making this a wildlife sanctuary.

Our lodge, was built with the intention of providing tourists from all over the world an unique experience in the rainforest. Located in the National Park, the only access to the lodge is by boat through the astonishing rainforest canals, or by plane.

Our accommodations are designed to be environmentally friendly to cause the less impact possible to nature.

We use biodegradable products for cleaning the rooms, in the kitchen and the laundry. Our rooms do not count with AC, TV or telephone so we avoid any type of pollution. We have electric fans in each of our rooms.

This is a trip for nature lovers who look for a completely different experience from what they would find in any other place, we are the second most important place in the western hemisphere for green turtle nesting.

Regards,

Adriana Mesen
Sales Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Laguna Lodge Tortuguero

Address: Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Tortuguero
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Tortuguero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Laguna Lodge Tortuguero 3*
Number of rooms: 52
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Also Known As:
Laguna Lodge Tortuguero Hotel Tortuguero
Laguna Lodge Tortuguero Costa Rica

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