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“Fine hostel, bit of a dive of a town”

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Cabinas El Icaco Tortuguero
Ranked #4 of 8 Tortuguero B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Mexico, Missouri
Level 6 Contributor
158 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
“Fine hostel, bit of a dive of a town”
Reviewed June 21, 2012

We were 'recommended' this hostel by what we thought was a representative of the 'associacion de guias' whilst waiting for the bus at Cariari. Turns out he wasn't an independent rep but had called his mate to meet us at the dock upon arrival to take us to Icaco and presumably get the commission - this was a little annoying as we had got chatting to a guide on the boat who also was intent on getting the commission by taking us to the hotel and upon arrival neither man was happy with the situation! Not that it was anything to do with us!

They both walked us to Icaco - we looked at the room, decided to stay, and just left them to fight out the commission amongst themselves. They also wanted us to sit down discuss our tour plan for the next day but we told them to leave us to get our bearings first and we'd find them later if we needed to.

Anyway, Icaco is a pretty basic hostel - two double beds in our room with poor mattresses, TINY bathroom, knees practically touching the door when sitting on the toilet! The rooms are cleaned every day which is good and there each has a little patio area with table and chairs and there are hammocks that you can chill out on whilst looking at the sea/browsing the internet on their wifi.

Our room was $25 - you could get breakfast for an extra $10 but we felt this excessive and just sorted ourselves out.

Incidentally, I have some severe reservations about the 'turtle tours' - but see my other post for this.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank PLPKN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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368 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
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English first
Los Angeles
Level 6 Contributor
136 reviews
95 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2012

Honestly, I don't understand what all that hype is all about and why they are sooo heavily booked all the time, even during the low season.
We just showed up there and they lady said she could accomodate us only for 2 nights (we needed 3), as she is completely booked with the group coming on a third day. Ok, no problem. On a third day we moved to a neighbour's property, hotel "Balcon del Mar" which is a much better option in every aspect (they have mini fridges in a room, very nice and clean communal kitchen, bigger bathrooms) and charge less for essentially the same room.

Anyway, our room was very basic with a tiny bathroom - one person could barely fit in there. No mosquito nets. They charge 5 dollars extra for the breakfast (if you want one) - we opted out. You can not use there kitchen (which was a bummer, since we were travelling with a 2 year old kid). Since our room was facing the house where owners stayed, we were subjected to listen to their TV with them. ((( (hate that)
On a positive side: rooms cleaned daily. Towels changed daily and the maid makes those fancy swans out of them .)) There is a nice little patio with a plastic table/chairs by each room, so you can seat there (if mosquitoes don't get you before).

This property did not work for me at all. Sorry.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank krolikv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Cabinas El Icaco Tortuguero, responded to this review, June 22, 2012
Mrs ,thank you for your comment those are what make us do a better job , No one visit a place that give a bad service to costumers , most of the comments that our possible visitors read coming from people who visit our place twice,we are a B&B so our reasonable rates include breakfast ., For people who arrive with no reservation like you we do our best to hold them in our place , but we need to respect reservation, respect reservation is what make us grow up in the area ,we do not have a kitchen guest but people who needs a fridge or a microwave can use ours.
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Portland, Maine
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2012

I stayed only one night, but El Icaco was great! The breakfast was the best included breakfast I've ever had at a budget hotel/hostel, and the place is literally steps from the ocean, with hammocks looking out on the beach. All this plus a private room with my own bathroom for less than $20 USD and it really can't be beat!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Rebecca K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cholet
2 reviews
Reviewed June 4, 2012

a nice place to stay and very quiet so so good and ready to go back

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank joebarteam49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2012

Arriving in Tortuguero was like a scene from Jurassic Park, after we landed off the local transport (a boat through the canal) we instantly felt like we were in paradise.

First impressions of Hotel El Icaco were really nice, hammocks outside to relax on, a ladder up a coconut tree free for the picking. The room we had was very nice and clean and perfect for our needs including an ensuite bathroom.

The breakfast (included in the price) each morning was really good and everyone was really friendly.

My only tip would be LOOK AROUND for different prices and guides and tours as prices greatly vary across all of the tour operators, and the experiences do as well.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jamie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Langley City, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed April 24, 2012

Anyone traveling to Tortuguero I would strongly recommend staying here. It was $25 a room (there were two of us), very clean, they changed the sheets and gave us fresh towels each day. You are right by the beach and a short walk to town so its nice and quiet. There were hammocks you can lie in and hear the ocean while you read or nap. There was a table and chairs and a little patio area for each room which was awesome, we loved having our own area to sit outside the room. The grounds were very well kept and super clean. The breakfast is an extra $10 and not worth it! Overall, this place was fantastic and I would definitely go back.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank 7Sarah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
74 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed April 16, 2012

I travelled to Tortuguero with the intention of seeing turtles,supposedly one type laying their eggs right now.The hotel staff were lovely, very welcoming and happy to help,but the room was average especially for the price.Lovely breakfast in the morn tho and the owners son walked me to the boat and carried my bag.Hammocks are very cool too.But no turtles, and be prepared for heavy duty,fast walking 6km hike across the beach at breakneck speed looking for said turtles($20),and if you get tired no letting up from Leanordo who will happily tell you you shouldnt have come on the tour, are obv out of shape and are disgusting the rest of the group.Lovely guy.My advice only go in July, when you may actually see a turtle.X

Room Tip: no tip sorry
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Livvyinthestars
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cabinas El Icaco Tortuguero

Property: Cabinas El Icaco Tortuguero
Address: Mtr South From the Soccer Field 200 | Tortuguero Village, Tortuguero 10001, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Tortuguero
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Tortuguero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Cabinas El Icaco Tortuguero 2*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located right on the beach with: Free WIFI, hot water, fans, room with satellite TV, hammock ranch, laundry services, telephone & fax services, restaurant services, tour information, secure, and most importantly very clean. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cabinas El Icaco Tortuguero Costa Rica

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