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“A Real Adventure”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Casa Grande

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Casa Grande
Oaxaca, Mexico
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A Real Adventure”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 September 2013

I traveled to the Pacuare Reserve by myself from my home in Mexico. I went as a volunteer. It felt like an adventure just getting there, but I simply followed the instructions that I received from the staff and I was met by taxi and boat without a hitch. It felt magical in the boat on the canal with all the birds and unfamiliar noises and sights and then we arrived, in that lovely spot where the ocean meets the rain forest, a civilized clearing in the jungle with comfortable rooms and an interesting people from all over the world. The fact that there is no electricity enhances the stay. At midnight that first night, as I waited to go out on the turtle patrol, I found myself surrounded by hundreds of toads enjoying the dark wet meadow. Three hours later I was on my stomach on the beach under the light of the moon, watching a green turtle lay 102 eggs. My guide was a young Spanish biologist who tagged the turtle and then relocated the nest to higher ground. Then we wiped away the tracks and headed home, wet, tired and extremely happy. I learned something new every day and saw things that delighted me: heron and kingfisher, a nesting nighthawk, monkey families, scary crocodiles, beautiful iguana. It made me laugh to see the gigantic relatives of my familiar houseplants and I was thrilled to see cacao pods growing on the trees. I spent a week there helping in different ways, I carved and painted a sign, cleaned gear for the biologists, helped out in a kids’ classroom and weeded a pasture. I met people, young and old, from Spain, England, Canada and the States. We communicated in both Spanish and English and I was fascinated to hear the differences in all our accents. Late at night when I close my eyes and think about my visit, I see the turtle, my turtle, swimming in the vast sea, traveling the world and in that way, I swim with her.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled solo
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    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank FisherdelBosque
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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30 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2013

My husband and I recently visited Pacuare Reserve. We were the only guests as it was before the turtle season starts but were curious about the work of the organisation. We subsequently spent several weeks travelling around Costa Rica. Costa Rica is a beautiful country with an evident commitment to environmental tourism. Our stay at Pacuare though was definitely the highlight of our trip. We stayed at Casa Grande at the reserve for two nights. The accommodation is simple and very comfortable. There is no electricity which meant using candle light in the evenings without the usual interruption or noise from gadgets, phones etc. It was also lovely just to go to bed when it got dark to the sound of the ocean and wake up to natural light and sounds of the surrounding wildlife.The staff at Pacuare are very knowledgeable and friendly. We walked into the rainforest with a guide and were fortunate enough to witness sloth, capuchin and howler monkeys, bright red frogs etc. There was also the option of going out onto the river to spot more wildlife which was wonderful. Each meal was provided and was delicious!

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BarseyB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Netherlands
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2012

Pacuare's a great organisation working with nesting turtles on the Caribbean coast. Stayed at Casa Grande (the Big House) for two nights. Beautiful house, great view. Very friendly and knowledgeable staff. As a guest they offer a wide range of activities. You can rest in a hammock, but also participate in various turtle-related activities such as beach patrols at night and excavations of the nests. The reserve also has a trail where you can see a lot of wildlife including monkeys, frogs, birds etc. Great food. I booked through www.turtleprotection.org, directly via their administrative office in San Jose. Tip: bring mosquito repellent.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank JinBee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cincinnati
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2009

I recently went to the private Pacuare Reserve, where my brother and I were the only guests. All the other folks were turtle researchers. As a result, rather than stand in a crowd at a respectful distance from a turtle, we were out on the beach 8 PM - 3 AM, helping to measure and tag leatherbacks, as well as relocate their nests to higher ground. It was an unforgettable experience.

If you want to participate, you need to book through Selva Bananito Lodge, another amazing place well worth visiting a bit farther south.

At Pacuare Reserve, (not the same as the Pacuare River Lodge), we had good food and nice accommodations, (if basic- no electricity and it is designed for research, not slothful tourists!), and the people were very good to us in terms of taking us for hikes, explaining their work, etc. Highly recommended for the adventurous, families with mid-teens and above.

Helpful?
4 Thank OverseasMama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casa Grande

Property: Casa Grande
Address: | Pacuare Nature Reserve, Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Tortuguero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 36 Speciality Lodging in Tortuguero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pacuare Nature Reserve is a magical place inside a tropical rainforest with 6kms of beach and next to a fresh water lagoon. We are the most important nesting site in Costa Rica for the giant critical endangered Leatherback turtle. Your adventure will start as soon as you board the boat and go along the Tortuguero canal. The journey usually takes twenty minutes or more depending on the wildlife we find along the river bank.You will stay in Casa Grande, a beautiful timber house built on pillars to give commanding views, from a huge three sided balcony, overlooking sea and lagoon. It has 3 bedrooms. One has a queen size bed & single bed with ensuite half bathroom. On the other end of the house there is a double and a twin bedroom sharing half bathroom. Solar heated shower is on ground floor. Open plan wood panel kitchen, dining and sitting room located between the bedrooms, with big windows front and back. Often you can see monkeys just behind the house.We have no electricity so it is all candles, lamps and solar lamps in certain areas -very low carbon footprint- Romantic candlelit dinners on the balcony! Enjoy the experience of going to bed to the sound of the ocean and waking up to natural light and sounds of the surrounding wildlife. It's incredible.If you feel like it you can patrol the beach at night with our biologists and beach guards and witness the Leatherbacks nesting process, a life changing experience for some... Or protect the hatchlings when they leave their nest and find their way to the sea. ... more   less 

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