Wanting a "real" jungle experience without the price-tag of the Amazon, we discovered this wonderful lodge located where the jungle meets the Caribbean in northern Costa Rica. Getting there is a fun adventure in itself; two hours by bus (with lunch stop) out of San Jose, followed by a refreshing hour by speedboat through the coastal river/canal system. Both the accommodations and food (served buffet style in a large open-air dining hall) were pretty basic, but if you're looking for a "safe" first-time jungle experience with self-exploration opportunities, Turtle Beach is a great home-base! After you take a guided tour of the jungle, you'll be more than comfortable in exploring the marked trails on your own - and to take advantage of their collection of plastic kayaks or canoes for hours of solo exploration of the gentle, black-water canals, draped in jungle. With a stay at Turtle Beach, you'll see adorable monkeys crashing through the trees during thier late-afternoon "rush hour", an unimaginable array of butterflies, tropical birds and flowers, a poison tree frog or two (who thankfully just ignore people and their cameras!), iguanas, lush rainforest scenery, miles of deserted seashore for hunting seashells and sand dollars, and - if you go in late-July or August - the opportunity to witness the giant sea turtles come out of the sea to lay their eggs - or the eggs hatching with babies scrambling back to the water's edge! And let me add woman-to-woman: I was a little afraid of the idea of both the jungle (what it there's a 50' snake ready to squeeze me to death?) and kayaking at water-level (surely there's a HUGE CROCODILE just waiting to capsize and eat me!), there was nothing that scared me during our five-day stay, and I left completely in awe of the rainforest, with over 800 awesome pictures to show for it!Again, the property is not luxurious, nor is the food; the sea is not conducive to swimming or snorkeling due to riptides...but if you're looking for a great first-time jungle experience, you just may find it, as we did, at Turtle Beach!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The area of Tortuguero is rightfully called The Amazon of Costa Rica because access is only by boat on Jungle Rivers. Turtle Beach Lodge, 5 miles north of the town of Tortuguero, is a secluded resort spanning 175 acres with miles of jungle trails, a meandering private canal, and a half mile of beach adjoining still more isolated beaches. The lodge accommodates approximately 80 guests; assisted by a well trained staff and guides who ease you into an exciting jungle experience. Stay in the beautifully landscaped cabinas, swim in our turtle shaped pool, relax in the adjacent shady hammock hut with food and drink from the restaurant and bar. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Turtle Beach Hotel Tortuguero