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“Turtle Heaven!!”
Review of La Tortuga Verde

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La Tortuga Verde
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 19, 2013

We LOVE La Tortuga Verde!! CHEAP clean rooms with private bathroom! Ours was ONLY $25/night and the beachfront is GORGEOUS! Hardly anybody on this pristine beautiful Playa El Esteron! Really good vegetarian food for a great price. This place is such a wonderful value for what you can find in the area. We checked out 5 other places and none of them compared to the value at La Tortuga Verde. Tom, the owner has created Shangri La and offers some cool boating and hiking excursions. He is hysterically funny and entertaining and will make your trip extra special!! We stayed 9 days and hesitated to leave it was so perfect but Nicaragua is calling.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank pj f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (222)
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178 - 184 of 222 reviews

Reviewed January 12, 2013

This was one of those moments when one travels without any specific expectations and gets completely blown away. Could have stayed at this resort for a very long time. Totally relaxing, amazing food, much of which came right out of the ocean the very day we ate it. The staff was totally friendly and accommodating all the way to the "vigilante" (the owners name for the night guard) who if he's not in the immediate vicinity when you need something you simply click a light switch near the kitchen twice and he shows up. "I need a bottle of rum, glasses, limes, a coke and some ice"... it's there instantly. Not your traditionally over blown ridiculously fru fru, expensive disneyesque dump. This place is a completely authentic, beautifully designed, comfortable paradise. If your looking for an adventure try getting on one of the owners boat excursions to a nearby island (2 hour boat ride) for lunch, swimming in a private cove, rescuing an injured sea bird, watching turtles swim in the open ocean, buying fresh caught fish from the local fisherman at sunset way out in the ocean... and lest we not forget, constant entertainment from the "gringo" Tom (the resort owner). Check this place out for the time of your life!!!

Room Tip: They are all incredible.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Stan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2013

Should you want to fall off the grid - this is the place to go. The food is fresh and excellent. Tom the owner and designer has done an exceptional job putting this magical place together. And to boot one of the best guides I know.

Boating to the island (can't remember the name of the island - it takes about 2 hours to get there) will be one of the most amazing adventures in your lives. Rescuing injured sea birds, watching turtles swim, buying fresh fish from the fishing boats directly in the Pacific Ocean is incredible. He's incredible. I also have met the most interesting people from around the globe at his resort.

If you want a quiet spot to daydream - La Tortuga has it. Want to swim in the amazing and warm pacific ocean - you can by only having to walk a couple of steps. This is a Surfer's dream spot. There's also a great pool. There's a yoga/workout center too. I could go on and on...you must visit La Tortuga Verde at least once in your life...trust me.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Anthoula K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2012

nice place to chill, tom the owner, an funny and amazing caracter will receive you with open arm.
He ll drag you to his passion of nature, discovering the turtlle and pelicans .
The hotel is nice, wide, the room service a cleaning is awesome maybe too much sometimes .
You can also go surfing to las flores wich is at 1h walk from the hotel . ( right wave only)
the bedroom prices are more than reasonable for what they proposes . the waiter and waitress are very kind too .
food a little exensive

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Alex L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2012

This is the 10th Latin American country I've visited and found people in El Salvador so friendly and welcoming. Unfortunately the staff at Tortuga Verde are none of the above. We felt insulted by the way we were treated by the staff who just sat around browsing the net on computers ignoring people and they were so unhelpful when asking for things, they seemed to be hiding from us! It was ridiculous really, if you want anything you need to seek someone out and we were told ridiculous answers to questions we asked the staf, like roaming around hungry at 8pm after dinner for a snack (which they sell as there is nowhere around) to be rold everything is locked up and no one has the key! The owner was briefly around and seemed not too interested.

The food in the restaurant was very overpriced compared to other places we visited in the country, bordering on extortion and as it is so isolated there is nowhere nearby to eat and naturally outside food is banned. Not too backpacker friendly, which seems to make up most of the travellers we meet down here. The tours people spoke of didn't seem to exist ad people talk about a yoga room- I'd love to know where this was as I couldn't find one!

There were a pretty steady stream of venders from the beach wandering through which meant we felt a bit uncomfortable leaving our things around, and no obvious security.

Really disappointing, the beach there is nice and we had planned to stay for a little while but ended up leaving the next morning.

  • Stayed: July 2012
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5  Thank AlexMLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
latortugaverde, Owner at La Tortuga Verde, responded to this reviewResponded March 18, 2014

Thank you very much for your, call it as you see it, post on trip advisor. We very much appreciate your honestly and agree with with you on many of your observations and have taken steps to improve our facility. We have come to find out that it is true that our staff was spending way to much time on "browsing the net on computers" as you have pointed out. In an attempt to help our staff prepare themselves for the world outside La Tortuga Verde we had furnished the staff with several computers and did so with the understanding that the staff would use these learning devices to better themselves. The staff was always told to remember that the client comes first... always. Obviously their desire to better themselves came in conflict with their job description however i am glad to report that 5 of our employees have learned to read and write Spanish in the last 2 years and our computer for employees program was a direct result of that. I am sure your statement of  " they seemed to be hiding from us" is 100% correct and i hope your can in some way forgive us and embrace the fact you have had a direct effect on 5 illiterate people becoming literate. In addition i am sure you are correct in your statement that "we were told ridiculous answers to questions we asked the staff like roaming around hungry at 8pm after dinner for a snack (which they sell as there is nowhere around) to be told everything is locked up and no one has a key" and your point is very well taken. Just so you'll know we have taken your advice once again and now have an ocean front bar that serves mixed drinks, beers, sodas and fresh made bruschetta, $3,  imported cheese sandwiches $4  and baby shrimp sandwiches $5 all of which are made with special half baked sour dough bread which we bring in from San Salvador and final bake right at the bar in front of you every night until 11pm.

We would like to invite you back to sample the bar menu in the event you find yourself passing this way again in the near future. With respect to your statement that "the food in the restaurant was very overpriced compared to other places we visited in the country, bordering on extortion and as it is so isolated there is nowhere nearby to eat and naturally outside food is banned"  we would like you to know that we have taken your suggestion once again and have created a map of all the neighboring restaurants within walking distance of the property which offer fresh food at budget prices and in addition the hotel has implemented a sandwich menu so you can order fish, chicken, or hamburgers for around $5-$6 a sandwich. 

With respect to your statement "the tours people spoke of didn't seem to exist and people talk about a yoga room- i'd love to know where this was as i couldn't find it" is certainly on point. As per your observation we have created a trip board and offer over 15 different trips ranging in price from a 2 hour jungle walk for $5 per person to an all day open ocean adventure boat trip for $35 per person both of which leave right from the hotel. As for the yoga temple that you "couldn't find" we do apologize as our property is very large and sometimes, even though the yoga room is located right on the beach and is large enough to accommodate 15 people, people do have a hard time finding it and so we have installed a sign  in our outside dining area directing everyone to the yoga temple. In closing i would like to say that we no longer allow outside vendors onto our property except for 3 vendors that are both outside vendors and part time employees and that we offer an armed security guard from 6am to 6pm and an unarmed security person from 6am to 6pm.

Once again thank you so much for helping us make our eco friendly facility even better.. Tom Pollak owner La Tortuga Verde

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2012

Wonderful place to chill out and relax because the resort is on the beach, which is beautiful, the pool is great and the food is fab. Cost was $25 per night for a double with bathroom & AC but there are shared rooms for just $6 per person with their own bathroom & our friends stayed in one of these and they were the only people in there. If you're a surfer or learning to surf the waves are great, you can borrow surf or boogie boards at no cost. Herson was there most of the time and he made sure we had top service, including always putting table cloths on the table! On his day off the service wasn't as good or friendly. The place is a sanctuary for turtles, while we were there the eggs they had laid were protected. It also has taken in an injured pelican called Albert who has a lot of attitude! Fascinating to see a pelican so close up, he's used to people so is not scared of them.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank DizzaDramaQueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 30, 2011

My parents just came back from their trip and they were so amazed with this hotel they did not get to stay there but visited and ate, he says people are so friendly and the place is so relaxing ... I cant wait to go and experience myself!!

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Claudia S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Tortuga Verde

Address: Ocean Rd, El Cuco, El Salvador
Location: El Salvador > San Miguel Department > El Cuco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Specialty Lodging in El Cuco
Price Range: $18 - $20 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Spread over 3 ocean front properties in Playa El Esteron / Playa Las Flores, El Salvador, La Tortuga Verde is dedicated to living a greener lifestyle in harmony with sea turtles, pelicans, and nature. Large screened-in "salas" in each of the private rooms provide the perfect air-flow design for optimum ocean listening as indirect lighting creates the perfect atmosphere for stargazing and observing the turtle habitat. The property boasts over 400 coconut trees and 3 restaurants. The main restaurant specializes in fresh fish, lobster, shrimp, poultry and local plates using only the freshest fruits and vegetables. The vegetarian restaurant uses organic ingredients whenever possible including sting beans, basil, rosemary and mint from our organic garden. Our ocean front bar restaurant offers cold beer, and a wide variety of cocktails. The bar also serves fresh home made pizza and fish, chicken, shrimp or meat bruchettes made with special bread from Guatemala and fresh basil and rosemary from our organic garden. In addition the bar offers 1 special continental meal per night offered in half or full portions. Also Known As: La Tortuga Verde Hotel El Cuco La Tortuga Verde El Salvador/El Cuco ... more   less 
Also Known As:
La Tortuga Verde Hotel El Cuco
La Tortuga Verde El Salvador/El Cuco

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