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“Great location, service and gardens”
Review of Mawamba Lodge

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Mawamba Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 7, 2013

We stayed at Mawamba lodge for 3 days. The location is great, only 15 minutes walk from the main town, lodged between the beach and the main canal. The gardens are very well maintained by a friendly staff, the butterfly & frog gardens are brilliant additions to the hotel, making these elusive animals easy to see and approach.
The rooms are simple yet comfortable, no air conditionning but equiped with very effective ceiling fans. The hamocs in front of each rooms are a great addition, making the place homely and great to relax after the early morning departures.
The pool/bar area is pleasant and well maintained.
Only downside is the food, after visiting the rest of Costa Rica, one cannot help but wonder how such wonderful items can be made to taste so bland. I am very surprised to see some reviews saying that the food is great, the only explanation is that I think that the authors probably haven't tasted the actual Costa Rican cooking...
The visits are well organised however our guide appeared a bit "lazy" in her explanations and didn't seem very happy or passionate about what she was talking about. Luckily enough, the boat captains make up for this lack of enthusiasm! They appear to be the real experts, able to find tiny animals in the most impossible places. If you don't speak spanish, I highly recommend Maurice !

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Jeanne T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 26, 2013

Had a great couple of days at Mawamba Lodge, we loved the Frog & Butterfly gardens and the wonderful bird life. But one of main reasons for visiting this area was to see Macaws and as they are mentioned on the website we were upset to find that it's highly unlikely to see them, we were told it's rare to see even green ones. The rooms are ok but it's certainly not private you can hear everything through the very thin walls, we also had no hot water for our entire stay. We really enjoyed the river boats including the transport to the lodge it was quite an experience and Steven our guide was very knowledgeable. One other thing that would nice there's a shortage of soft comfortable chairs in the bar area, after hours of travelling we craved a nice soft sofa. Overall it was a wonderful experience.

Room Tip: I think all the rooms are the same which is a log cabin terrace.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank PAMRUTH176
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2013

After our long trip from Heathrow via Madrid and an overnight in San Jose we made our way to Mwamba Lodge by coach and then boat which is the only means of transport to this lodge. Our guide, Pierro, was with us for the whole two days and was excellent and great fun. We passed banana and pineapple plantations and stopped for a lovely Costa Rican breakfast of rice and beans with plaintains and fried egg, starting of course with the wonderful pineapple and papaya and finishing with the excellent Costa Rican coffee which was a treat wherever we went. Large pink Iguanas greeted us on arrival at the lodge, followed closely by sights of monkeys in the trees. Very friendly greeting, very good accommodation and all meals buffet style which were good. We had booked our trip through Cox and Kings in England, working with the local company, Travel Excellence, who totally lived up to their name as all our connections worked perfectly. This lodge had wonderful gardens and the howler monkeys were our early morning wake up call which we needed as all activities started early. We took an afternoon boat trip into the village and walked back along the Caribbean beach where the sand was coarse and black. No swimming advised here because of the riptides.

Our second day was spent walking around the gardens of the lodge where they had greenhouses of butterflies and frogs and a pond for turtles. Pierro found a Boa Constrictor hiding in the grounds and draped it around himself to show us all. Snake not that impressed though! Afternoon we took the boat to the National Park. Very beautiful and we saw sloths, a myriad of birds, caimans. Again Pierro was very knowledgeable with excellent English. We met up again after the trip to go on a twilight walk. Torches were provided and we saw lots of insects, but more the wonderful sounds that you only hear at night.

We thoroughly enjoyed our two days at this lodge and would recommend it highly as a worthy visit. We took a small plane from here back to San Jose.

  • Stayed: February 2013
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1  Thank nandpfenn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

My wife and I stayed here with several members of my family and our long term travelling companion from New York. This is one of several lodges offering accommodation to this wonderful area. This was our second visit to this region, seperated by 10 years, but our first stay at Mawamba Lodge.
I was pleased to see that the region had not really changed over the years and was not ruined by over development. The lodge itself is situated right on the river with the sea behind - but swimming is not recommended due to the rough sea and currents. The rooms are simple wooden affairs, but are comfortable and have good showers with hot water. They are not luxurious, but they are more than sufficient and are of a good quality. They are also clean, which is difficult with so much sand around.
Where the lodge scores highly is the food. It is of excellent quality and freshly cooked. There is plenty of choice, salads, fish, meats and veg. Meals are served buffet style, but as everything is freshly cooked this is not an issue. The staff were very pleasant and eager to help.
The grounds are extensive with a large swimming pool. There is a butterfly house and a poison dart frog enclosure also. Another nice touch is the biodegrader which converts the waste material from all the toilets and showers into heat generating methane gas. All the other waste is recycled as part of the lodges and areas ecological policy.
My only small criticism is the music that was very loud coming from the bar area. This went on into the late evening and seemed out of place in an eco lodge where nature came first! This is a minor point, but some people may find it off putting.
Overall Mawamba is a lovely lodge, not too simple and not overly fussy for the area it is situated in. Linked with the excellent boatmen that run the boat tours and the guides it makes an excellent choice for anyone visiting this nature lovers paradise.

Room Tip: Choose a room away from the bar.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Wiggy82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2013

We stayed here 3 days and it was absolutely great. The best part of the trip. Tortuguero itself had a lot of wildlife to see. This lodge had 2 conservatories and a frog conservatory with red-eye tree frogs. We also saw monkeys, iguanas and a sloth at Mawamba.

The room itself was clean and neat. The bathroom had a slight smell, but you're in the jungle so you cannot expect 5-star. Bathrooms had hot water, but it was not consistent in the mornings.

The grounds were kept very neat. The food was fantastic! All meals are included in their package, and all meals were always fresh, with a variety of veg and meat options. Great desserts and fresh fruit. The service was great.

The tours they offered were also great. Once was to the village of Tortuguero, which was a 10min boat ride and then a walk back to the lodge, another to the national park via boat ride. This was a little more than an hour and we saw many different wildlife. The third was a tour of their grounds which you could also do on your own, but with the guide you learned a lot more.

If you bought the pkg, the meals and tours were included, so there were no hidden fees, expect the fee into the national park.

Overall a great stay!

Room Tip: No AC, but the ceiling fan does a good enough job.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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Thank lubthai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2013

At first site when you arrive by boat, you know ths is going to be good. Friendly staff, Great knowledgable guides. So much to see and do, with no cars around. The acomodation is a bit basic, but you are in the " jungle". The food is taken at set times in a open air restaurant along with all other guests that goes to give a great atmosphere. And is of good quality with many options and of course Beans & Rice if you wish. The early morning boat tours and a walk into the local village are a MUST. We were sorry to leave

Room Tip: All rooms appear to have merit
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Brian C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2013

Our first stop in our 11 nights trip to Costa Rica. The lodge is very well located- the lagoon is on one side and the Caribbean Ocean on the other. To get there is part of the adventure: you need to take a boat for the last hour and a half. Therefore it is slow to get there but this makes it also secluded and natural. The lodge gardens are beautiful. There are places to see the butterflies and frogs. Our bedroom was very basic: 3 twin beds, no air conditioning (but a fan), poor lights, But the rocking chair and the hammock on each front porch added a romantic touch. Free Wifi was available near the reception area. The 3 days/2 nights we were there, buffet meals were included in our package. Everything was good and a lot of it was typical Costa Rican food. We went on a boat tour on the canals to see the wildlife and were quite happy with the tour. We saw white face and howler monkeys, turtles, caimans, and different interesting birds.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank DidiD26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mawamba Lodge

Address: Tortuguero Canals, Tortuguero 10980-1000, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Tortuguero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 36 Specialty Lodging in Tortuguero
Price Range: $326 - $474 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Mawamba Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 54
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in the heartland of the lush rainforest of Tortuguero Canals, Costa Rica, Mawamba Lodge and Tortuguero National Park are worth visiting year round. What makes us different? *Unbeatable location on a strip of land between the Tortuguero Canals and the Caribbean Ocean, providing direct access to both * The closest Lodge to Tortuguero town within walking distance (no need to take boats to town) * Free WI FI in selected areas of the hotel * Complimentary safety deposit box in your room * Unlimited free visits to our MAWAMBA PARK: where we offer two butterfly gardens, one iguana and one frog garden. A guided visit is also included in our 3 day / 2 night package * Private nature trais for nature walks * Exciting optional tours including night walks in the forest, kayaking, fishing and the NEW! Katonga floating restaurant for sunset tours or dinners / lunches on board. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mawamba Lodge Tortuguero Hotel Tortuguero
Mawamba Lodge Costa Rica/Tortuguero

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