Firstly, do not go here if you are not an outdoor person. This is most definitely an outdoor experience.
That being said, I loved it. I had a room with three single beds, which, from what it sounds like, is the format for all rooms. The beds are a bit on the firmer side, which is really the only thing I didn't like about it.
The lodge is sandwiched in between the canal on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other, so it is very humid there, and everything is just slightly damp at all times, but not enough to be of any inconvenience. However, if you turn on your ceiling fan, things tend to feel drier.
If you've ever been camping at a beach, then you'll understand the experience.
There is no swimming either in the canal or in the ocean, because there are things in both that are higher up in the food chain than you, but the lodge has a very beautiful pool, which is the much better swimming option. It is located between the dining plaza and the bar, so it is a great place to socialize.
The only way to get here is by boat, so if you're afraid of the water, I do not recommend it. But I must say, the boat rides were always fantastic. There is no way you can go on a boat ride and not see some kind of wildlife along the trip. The boat drivers are locals, and have been trained since childhood to be able to see even the small things, like a foot-long lizard lounging on a tree branch while speeding through the canal.
All of our meals were included, and the food was fantastic. Again, this is not some gourmet restaurant, but they do have at least four different meal choices from the fully stocked buffet for every meal.
On the lodge grounds are places to see frogs, butterflies, and small turtles. If you go during turtle nesting season, they offer optional night tours. Birds are always around for you to find. There's even a big iguana that seems to live on the grounds there, and is quite used to having its picture taken.
The staff was very friendly, and very real about what you should and should not do. You are a human in the middle of nature's world out there, so it is important that you know your place.
The town of Tortuguero is just a twenty-minute walk away. There you can get souvenirs, eat other food options, and also find a grocery store if you need it.
It was very humid while we were there, so shorts, light tops, and sandals are good attire. However, you will also need a good rain jacket, sunscreen, sunglasses, and mosquito repellant. I never applied my repellant, but others in my group did need it. Some of us were bugged by the bugs, and some of us weren't...I have no idea why.
The area is prone to sudden showers, so the rain jacket or a poncho is a must. You might also want to consider a different pair of pants for each day, in case your pants from the previous day doesn't dry in time.
Sunscreen and sunglasses are good because, even though it is almost always overcast, the UV rays tend to still be strong, and you can still get sunburnt.
If you intend to go on any of the night tours, you will need covered shoes, preferably something that is waterproof.
If you are the outdoorsman, then this is a must. They have planned everything so well, and they have made sure that you are comfortable while there. It is the perfect blend of outdoor activity and serene relaxation. I would definitely do this again if I ever have the opportunity.
- 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