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Tarpon, Manzanillo Costa Rica
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#10 of 22 Specialty lodging in Manzanillo
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3.9
Cleanliness
3.5
Service
4.1
Value
3.5
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Tarpon, Manzanillo Costa Rica
32Reviews2Q+A9Room tips
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Manuel wrote a review Feb 2020
Frauenfeld, Switzerland12 contributions
1771/5000 The Tarpoonville offers very expensive trips for fishing. The money is ok if you go in the season. Unfortunately, the owners are dirty rip-offs. Open the Lodge off-season and sell expensive fishing for large Tarpoon. When booking, Mark was very rude and then they laughed dirty in your face. So "thank you for paying my stay here" They advertise with tarpoon fishing in the sea and sell you this offer for the same price out of season. Simply dirty gringos. You can't be honest with yourself. Out of season it is almost impossible !!! to fish in the sea, which is not calm. They laugh in your face and give you hope, although you then point out that you won't catch anything. Yes, the opportunity was there to fish Tarpoon, but only in the lagoon, where only small Tarpoon and Snoks schwimmen.Das boat goes all the almost under, it did not even rundern times a motor and the guide must manually. Then you do not have the right equipment for Tarpoon there because you do not know this fish. They give you bait and the guide says they are not ok. Then you pay for fishing all day, and what do you do with yourself? you only go fishing for half a day. The staff is very friendly, the food was good, unfortunately they were not so disciplined with the room cleaning etc., it was only cleaned a little. The rooms are otherwise OK, but the shower almost falls apart. For a good 3 nights and 2 days full day fishing 1700fr. paying is simply too expensive if you can't go out into the sea with a motorized boat. I'm going to go tarpoon fishing again, but not with those dirty gringos
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Date of stay: February 2020
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Room Tip: doesn't go there
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JackpotSportFishing wrote a review Mar 2018
Costa Rica1503 contributions16 helpful votes
I have fished at Tarponville on two occasions now and totally loved my time there. Fantastic hosts in Mark and Dolphi, superb food by Mami and an amazing Tarpon fishery just a short boat ride away. On one trip i went alone and fished with other guests and on my first trip my wife and young daughter came along and enjoyed their days on the beaches whilst i fished. There is plenty to do for non fishing guests in the Manzanillo/Puerto Viejo area. Beautiful beach right in front of the lodge where you can chase triggerifsh on fly. Some nice improvements made to the lodge with new AC installed in some of the rooms. If you have a Tarpon on Fly on your bucket list, I cannot recommend Tarponville highly enough.
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Date of stay: May 2017
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Trip type: Traveled solo
Room Tip: Upstairs have AC
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Donicio G wrote a review Jul 2017
4 contributions4 helpful votes
It's my third time down to Tarponville. twice in spring and once in fall. both incredible times I landed tarpon (140lb) biggest. along with massive jacks. i managed to land 7 other species to check off my bucket list. chubs,snapper,trigger,bonefish,permit,cuda,and a shark.! the lodge manager dolphi and staff are very attentive and the new air conditioned rooms (i think they have 2 rooms with a/c) are a delight when coming back from a long day fishing. the food is excellent. being a chef by trade, It's incredible how "mommi" sources her food being so remote. very impressive. and don't forget the famous mojitoes during happy hour. yum! Capt. Mark Martin has really put together a great operation. no wonder why they made a fly film here "Jungles edge" it's a honey hole. be back in this fall guys. cheers.!!
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Date of stay: March 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Peter K wrote a review Apr 2017
Atlanta, Georgia58 contributions12 helpful votes
+1
So you don't have to read to the end: I give this place RAVE REVIEWS - I absolutely loved it, and will be back. I recommend this experience without reservation. I travel internationally extensively, and am lucky enough to have fly fished all over the world at this point. I would rate this trip as easily in my top 3 experiences, rivaled only by Russia and New Zealand. The lodge was well situated amongst the jungle trees of the reserve, and quite adequate; my room was clean and air-conditioned (more than I expected for so remote a destination), and each bed had a mosquito net. I woke each morning to bird song, and howler monkeys, and got up to photograph the sunrise. Food is local in flavor, flavorful and well prepared., and you are looked after by the friendliest team in the kitchen and family-style restaurant by Dolfi and Mommi. I loved the evenings when all sat around the same table and ate, and Mark the owner personally hosted and teased us about the day's successes and failures out in the boats. The fishing: Oh the fishing - I hooked up big Tarpon every day, to the extent that my arms and shoulders ached in the evenings. Many I lost, some were brought to the boat under the guidance of Tony, my guide for the week. (Same guide, whole week - nice touch). Also caught many yellow-finned jacks, some larger than 10 lbs - and their fight is prolonged and brutal on an 11 weight. If you want a shot a big tarpon on the fly, I would say that this place is one of the best choices you can make, particularly if you like personal attention in a relaxed environment. The boats are open Pangas, and worked fine for my style of casting, once I had learned to brace myself with my legs against the bulkhead. The guides really thrive on your success, and will work their butts off for you: Language was never a barrier, and my guide was very experienced and taught me a lot with patience and humility. (And occasionally laughed with me when I screwed up!). Bring two rods (I had an 11 weight Loomis NRX and a Scott Meridian 12 weight). Several rods were broken by others who shared my time there. I found the 11 a touch light, but still manageable. The 12 was perfect, but tiring to cast the whole day - I was still nursing a broken wrist from a couple of months back. The only flies you will lose are on fish - the bottom is clean and open. The best lines for me were full intermediates, and 500 grain fast-sink tip, like you would use for tuna. Use heavy backing, like Hatch 68 - your hands will thank you for it, and wear gloves unless you think multiple bandaids make you look more manly.
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Date of stay: April 2017
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Trip type: Traveled solo
Room Tip: Upstairs room that I had (#2) was great, and equipped with its own Barking Gecko that sang to me...
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idstone wrote a review Apr 2017
Oxford, United Kingdom12 contributions7 helpful votes
The fishing was extremely disappointing. They were there but just not taking. Only 7 hooked by 7 rods in 7 days and then mainly by trawling. The boats are old with no uprights so casting with no support in a strong swell is nigh impossible for older rods and difficult for younger ones. Permit and Bone fishing was given prominence but again nothing and few actual fish seen. The new owner Mark Martin was a very poor host and spent no time with his guests not even at meal times preferring to eat with his assistant. No alternatives were offered although blue water fishing for sail had been mentioned. They do not have the kit for this. The organization was very poor. We were meant to be met at the airport, but no. We were booked into 7 rooms at the Hampton but actually only 5 resulting with an older lady sharing with her niece and husband. Transport for the 5 hours trip went to the wrong hotel. on our return trip hotel rooms again mixed up. The lodge itself is at best rustic badly in need of some tidy up and just basic TLC. All the iron work is very rusty. Our loo smelt worse than an old public urinal and a basin was needed to flush the toilet properly. Only 2 rooms out of 8 with air conditioning. Lighting very poor and I had no mirror hanging space etc The staff were absolutely 1st class led by Dolfi with Mommi in a tiny kitchen who produced good food with lots of fresh fruit. The team had been together for at least 10 years. Dolfi did an excellent job looking after us and organising jungle and bird tours. Mark who does not speak Spanish needs to do some work on his inter personal skills and on providing alternative fishing and activities if fishing is bad. For example there were no maps or tour details available. He should not rely on Dolfi to look after his clients.
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Date of stay: March 2017
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Trip type: Traveled solo
Room Tip: only 2 with air conditioning on the 1st floor
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Cape Cod Bob wrote a review Sep 2016
Cape Cod, Massachusetts5 contributions2 helpful votes
I start by simply stating; this trip exceeded all my hopes and expectations. If you have any hesitations, you shouldn’t. Go! And go to Tarponville! My two friends and I (all male – all over 60) were a little anxious by what we had to bring in order to fish and meet our needs on the water. What I didn’t realize was that we had everything taken care of from the moment we walked of the plane in San Jose to being dropped off again at the same airport a week later. Unexpected care. Tarponville may be in the jungle and considered rustic accommodations – but the treatment and service by the staff is as good as I’ve had in the finest hotels. I cannot say enough about the seamless execution in taking care of our travel, living and fishing needs. I think it important to understanding the review – you have to understand the perspective of the reviewer. I’ve been starting to knock off a few of my buckets from my list and this was a big one. I wanted Tarpon. I wanted my best opportunity to catch and bring one or two to the boat. From my limited research I thought I had the best shot of success fishing outside of the USA. I also needed value on my money. The website for Tarponville does not present itself as wife friendly – so my wife decided not to go. I did go with a friend and his friend, both who have never traveled outside the USA. One a freshwater fly angler – the other a spin caster. Living on Cape Cod, I fish both salt and fresh plus the rivers out west. I instigated this trip and was concerned they would not have the same experience I was to have. They loved it. Did I catch fish, Yes – one fish to the boat every day, except one - and about three hook-ups (or jumpers) each day. I’ve never fished for Tarpon anywhere else – so I cannot say for sure – but I believe it cannot be better than this. We also caught a variety of other species which we brought back to the lodge where our hosts cooked it for us. But be prepared to give most of this away to your captain-guide. They deserve it too. Mike Martin, the American owner, provides a pretty extensive packing list. I would just suggest you concentrate on FLIES and TIPPET/LEADERS. You’re going to break tippet and lose flies. The suggested fly rod is a 12wt. I rented one from Tarponville. I have a 10wt I use locally for Blues, Albies and Stripers. I did not want to spend the money for a 12wt, line and reel for a one-time bucket list outing. But now, after the fact, I think I would buy a 12wt… 1) I think I will it use for other species 2) I think I will fish for Tarpon again – note: the three rods available for rent there, I found not to be suited to my casting style - or ability (you choose). With a better cast (read longer cast) I think I would of even hooked up more. Not all guides are created equal – and if you go with a group using two or more boats and guides, you might consider switching boats each day of fishing. PS: went in September and didn’t get bitten by one mosquito. Didn’t even use bug spray. Long travel days for us from the east coast getting there – but once the adventure started – we just let it unfold – and it did. Awesome. Really Awesome. --- and I’ll bring my wife next time.
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Date of stay: September 2016
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Trip type: Traveled with friends
Room Tip: Rooms above the porch
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marksemail77 wrote a review Sep 2016
San Diego, California2 contributions2 helpful votes
If you are here reading reviews it is because you are showing interest in Tarponville and I welcome you. I am the current owner of Tarponville and took over operations in 2014. When I took over there was A LOT of work to be done to Tarponville, shoot, there wasn't even a sign at the lodge. The lodge was run down, looked abandoned, did not resemble a fishing lodge, rooms where not up to standard and the fishing operation was very unorganized. I am proud to report that Tarponville has made a turn for the better and is proud to be able to offer anglers a world class fishing lodge to visit. With new staff, a new menu, newly remodeled facilities and a newly improved fishery and newly improved guides, we are excited to be spreading the word of our amazing fishery and lodge. Unfortunately with Trip adviser I am unable to erase any old reviews. When it comes to the "NEW" Tarponville, please read the reviews that pertain to the new owner ship and new operations as of 2014... Sincerely, Mark Martin (owner operator)
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Date of stay: September 2016
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Trip type: Traveled solo
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Love2fish949 wrote a review May 2016
Newport Beach, California2 contributions2 helpful votes
I just took my second trip to Tarponville within a year. I first went first last October. Calm seas, jumped 10 big Tarpon (lost them every way imaginable) but got a Permit on my second cast! This is a very special fishery and place. Warm people, great food and a unique experience. You wake up not to an alarm clock, but the howler monkeys in the trees above the lodge. You have your morning coffee walking the beach scanning for tailing trigger fish. I knew after not getting a Tarpon on the fly the first time I'd be back! My second trip just concluded and I took my son this time. While the weather was sketchy at first, the staff at Tarponville made us comfortable, well fed and worked hard to find us fish. As the weather turned, so did the fishing. I got my Tarpon (and another) and watched my son hook a 120LB fish and fight it for close to two hours! The guides are good, they know the water and work hard. You honestly feel like this is one of the last un discovered beach areas around. The Punta Mona/Gandoca coastline has to be one of the prettiest and remote coastlines around. Mark and his team are dialed in. He is a very gracious, hard working host as is all the staff. If you want adventure, a true trophy Tarpon fishery and a Permit flat that is world class, go to Tarponville
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Date of stay: May 2016
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Trip type: Traveled with family
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JCCATL wrote a review Mar 2016
Atlanta, Georgia7 contributions
Dolphi was a great house manager and host. He made sure we had everything we need and when we wanted a ride into Puerto Viejo one night, he got us connected to a driver that was effortless. We went on a 4 day fishing trip and the weather was not great but we still caught some nice fish. There are trigger fish in the rocks on the beach right outside the front door of the lodge, so make sure to take a rod out there at high sun. WE also got rained out one day at 7am, and Dolphi got Florintino to take us on a jungle tour literally in the back yard of this place. We saw sloth's, monkey's, boa constrictor, frogs, lizzards, toucans and tons more. Like I said, this place is a very cool rustic lodge in the middle of the jungle. Not great for families but good for friends/adults.
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Date of stay: March 2016
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Trip type: Traveled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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TimHebbs wrote a review Feb 2016
Durango, Colorado4 contributions6 helpful votes
This review is long over due. My wife and I stayed at Tarponville for a couple nights on our trip to this area so I could try my hand at Tarpon fishing with a fly rod. This is a cool little facility in the jungle that truly immerses you in its environment. Super clean and comfortable rooms and the best hospitality you could hope for from the staff. Dolphi, the manager, is a wonderful resource of info about the area and also great at keeping you informed and in the loop with the guides/meeting times/meal times etc.. The whole staff is the same way. Mommie was running the kitchen when we were there and the food was wonderful. Great, authentic Carribe cooking. She also was a life saver when I came back from my first round of fishing....extremely sea sick! It was not my first time bobbing around in a panga out in the swells, but it got to me for some reason that morning. We came back a little early so I could "regroup" and go back out for my p.m. session. She looked at me and smiled and said "go relax for a bit and come down and see me". I had a feeling I was in for some jungle remedy. She made me some tamarind juice, which I had never had before. It is not very attractive to look at (kind of grey-ish), but it was delicious and instantly made me come around and feel better. I was good to go for my afternoon outing! I can't say enough about how comfortable they made my wife feel when I was out fishing. That meant a lot to me since I did 5 sessions at about four hours apiece. She is not a fisherman and still truly enjoyed the experience. Great hiking trail along the coast through the jungle with wildlife everywhere. It is not for the all inclusive crowd, it is for the curious and adventuresome crowd. It is as comfortable as could be when considering what it takes to run an operation like this where it is located. Be realistic if you are thinking of going there. They will take care of you. The fishing was a bit challenging when I was there. The river was very low and not pushing as much water as my guide liked to see. It also was exceptionally windy the days I was there, compared to much of the rest of our trip, but that's when I was booked so you go for it. I did have 2 shots my first session out, and hooked the second fish solid (est. 70lbs.). It was a wild ride while it lasted. However, my subsequent fishing sessions we just didn't see Tarpon in any numbers let alone within casting range. We did fool around and get some Jacks and a few nice Mackerel. Unfortunately, my guide could not get into the Lagoon system due to the wind basically pushing a beach/sand berm in front of the entrance. It was a BIG panga and too risky to get stuck trying to get in there. Kayaking was out, due to me having a torn up shoulder. That was a bummer because it was the obvious alternative when we couldn't find the big guys out in the swell. So, I was a little bummed that conditions weren't in my favor, but that's fishing. But......there was one more thing to try. Permit fishing up in Cahuita! After my wife and I left Manzanillo, we stayed north of PV, so Mark set me up with his guides for an early morning flats session. Wow! I am a novice bonefisherman. I am o.k. nothing special. In the first hour, I had at least five legitimate shots at fish. Usually more than one at a time with lots of 5 to 8 fish pods. I got my first Permit ever 30 minutes into my session and had at least 3 other strikes. It was the most forgiving Permit fishing I could imagine- simply because you almost never went 15 minutes without having targets to pursue. That keeps you in the game mentally. It's easy to miss spotting your fish if you don't see them frequently. These guys were active and it gave me confidence. That morning, I was solo with a guide and 2 anglers from the lodge came up and took another guide and all three of us anglers landed fish by the end of the the session. It was way cool out there. A huge flat with great structure close to deep water and a nice population of happy fish. Big fun! Don't argue about starting early. The activity was strongest right at sunrise. Caught my fish at 6:15a.m. and it felt like it was 90f already! Mark was great in helping with my planning and is full of info. I will be back for sure. Thanks again for taking such great care of my wife while i was on the water. She would go back with me as well.
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Date of stay: April 2015
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Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Room Tip: Stayed in main lodge building. Good breeze and nice views.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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ALSO KNOWN AS
tarponville hotel manzanillo
LOCATION
Costa RicaProvince of LimonManzanillo
NUMBER OF ROOMS
20
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TARPONVILLE - Lodge Reviews (Costa Rica/Manzanillo)