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DIY or Pre-Arranged Lodge

Melbourne, Australia
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44 posts
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DIY or Pre-Arranged Lodge

Hi all. Have read the variety of posts on Tortugero. Am interested in the pro's and con's of doing-it-yourself to/in Tortuguero versus one of the various organised lodges. Apart from having to make your own way there, which seems do-able, what are the other aspects? For example, if you DIY, are there tour offerings or local transport to the Park, out of Tortuguero Village that are easily accessible? I have only read about one cafe in the Village - are there more options? How does being located at one of the Lodges compare to being located in the village?


Punta Uva, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
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6,874 posts
10 reviews
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1. Re: DIY or Pre-Arranged Lodge

Tortuguero is one of those places that is better to have all your tour pre-arranged. there are so many different components to it, that it will take away from your enjoyment time.

While is doable on your own, more enjoyable when pre-booked.

Antigua, Guatemala
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2,958 posts
22 reviews
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2. Re: DIY or Pre-Arranged Lodge


I agree with the above poster.

I've done Tortuguero with a pre arranged trip through Mawamba and it was amazing. They pick you up at your hotel in San Jose, stop for a delicious breakfast, have a boat ready for you, and take you to the lodge. All this with a wonderful guide.

At the lodge, right on the canal, you have a room, have a delicious lunch and go for a tour of the village.

BTW, tons of cafes and yummy restaurants.

At night we had another delicious meal!

The second day we had two tours through the national forest. with all meals included, plus a pool and they have a butterfly garden and a frog pond on the 15 hect. property.

the last day they bring you back with breakfast and lunch.

The reason for the breakdown, is because this is more or less what you'll do anyways.

When we were looking into doing it our selves, you have to take 2 buses, at least, and then hire a boat. Plus, you can't just go into the park, you have to be on a boat. All this takes up a lot of energy to do and at the end if you end up saving $50, you're saving a lot.

It's really worth the prearranged tour!

Actually, I have a post about it our trip:


Hope this helps,

Marina K. Villatoro

Puerto Viejo de...
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435 posts
27 reviews
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3. Re: DIY or Pre-Arranged Lodge

I have been travelling to Tortuguero myself but honestly, I think next time I would do one of the organised trips too. Nothing wrong about going on your own but as long as you don't have lots of time you will end up spending at least the same amount of money but staying in a more basic place. There are some great offers on different lodges with start and end of the tour in San Jose. Exploradores Outdoors also offers an trip with pickup/dropoff in either the Caribbean, Arenal or San Jose. That way you can actually fit your Tortuguero stay perfectly into your travel.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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46,303 posts
35 reviews
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4. Re: DIY or Pre-Arranged Lodge

Get a package...is a lot better and safer...Tortuguero people are nice people...but you do not want to find yourself in the wrong place...some times is to late and ugly...

Just buckle up and enjoy the ride in PARADISE!

Pensacola, Florida
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12,945 posts
55 reviews
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5. Re: DIY or Pre-Arranged Lodge

usually do a package for more seamless experience

www.turtlebeachlodge.com #1 TA rated

www.costaricaexpeditions.com Tortuga Lodge

also nice Mawamba more basic mixed TA reviews...

have fun

6. Re: DIY or Pre-Arranged Lodge

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