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“A great jungle adventure!”
Review of Turtle Beach Lodge

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Turtle Beach Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Colorado
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“A great jungle adventure!”
Reviewed 18 October 2008

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!

  • Liked — The sheer wonder of exploration WITHOUT a
  • Disliked — The food became slightly repetitive after a few days
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 2RovingWanderers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
San Diego
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2008

We had planned to go to Tortuguero the day after arriving in San Jose and I am so glad we did! We were picked up in the morning by our driver and introduced to our tour guide, Michael. We did not know at that point that he would be our guide for the entire 3 day/2 night experience!

On our drive we stopped at the Chiquita banana "factory" and took some wonderful pictures of the banana trees. After a ride on a bumpy rocky road, we arrived at the boats which would take us to the lodge. We boarded a boat with about 80 other passengers headed to Turtle Beach. It was a beautiful ride to the lodge down rivers and canals filled with wildlife. I could not believe how far away from civilization we were going!

We arrived at the dock and were greeted with a tropical juice drink. Check in process was smooth and the resort and grounds were immaculate. The resort is rugged, and you feel as if you are right in the jungle. There are no windows, just screens, but it is wonderful to hear the jungle noises and ocean all day & night. Soon after our arrival we went on a 1 hour boat ride to the city of Tortuguero for shopping. Not much time allowed there!

Michael, our guide, informed us that we would need to be at the dock at 6:00 am for our jungle cruise. While it seemed kind of early at the time, I do have to say that waking up early to see wildlife is sooo worth it. We also went on a nature walk that day. Michael was very intelligent and personable, and certainly knew a lot about plants and animals of the region. Some of the wildlife we saw: howler monkeys, cayman, turtles, poison dart frogs, and many kinds of birds. The rest of the day we spent at the turtle shaped pool, relaxing and reading in the hammocks, and walking along the beautiful beach that was steps from our room. That night we went back to the town of Tortuguero to see the sea turtles laying eggs on the beach. Even though we only saw one turtle, I was amazed by the turtle's size and very impressed by the whole experience.

We all ate together at long tables family style, which I enjoyed. After being around the same people for a few days you get to know the other travelers and have some interesting conversations. The food was "comida tipica" and I always found enough to eat. The fruit was the best part about each meal!

The reason I enjoyed going to Turtle Beach first was because everything was taken care of, and when you first get to a foreign country you need something like that. They do have internet but there are no TVs in the rooms (I didn't miss it anyway). The service and experience at Turtle Beach was awesome. If you are looking to seriously get away from it all, this is the place to go.

  • Liked — The adventure!
  • Disliked — Nothing!
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank kndertchr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2008

My dad and I stayed at The Turtle Beach Lodge for 3 nights and enoyed ourselves amongst the property. The staff was very friendly and helpful. The food was good and the fruit drinks were AMAZING!! The rooms were huge and very comfortable! Instead of falling asleep to blasting music you will enjoy the background music of frogs chirping for their mates that was truly incredible. Our guide throughout our stay was Mario and he was so awsome! He is passionate about the environment and conservation for his country and rainforest. The pool is so cute because it is not huge and in the shape of a sea turtle. The three meals a day are provided at certain times and usually consist of rice beans, potatoes, one meat, veggies and salad or coleslaw. The tutle beach lodge also has 2 computers for internet access and only costs $5.00 for your entire stay and unlimited access! Plastic boots are provided for your protection when going on the hikes and trust me you will need them!! The beach at night is protected by Johnathon. You will feel very safe while staying at the lodge!

For the environmentally friendly traveller you will enjoy:

1. Fan cooled rooms instead of airconditioning with open air
concept

2. Included hike amogst the rainforest in the back of the lodge

3. No shampoo or conditioner provided therefore you can bring
your own biodegradable toiletires

4. Only one TV in the lodge

5. They re-use the towels in the room

6. No plastic cups are used at the lodge only glass!

7. The laundry is washed in biodegradable detergent

8. CFL light bulbs are located throughout the lodge and in the
rooms

9. All signs throughout the lodge are made from driftwood
collected on the beach

10. The actual lodges are built by sustainable wood resources

(Please encourage the management to continue using environmentally friendly products and detergent and soaps EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS!)

The beach directly in front of the hotel is cleaned everymorning but I must warn you that as soon as you walk two minutes from the lodge you will encounter the most disgusting and polluted beach! I was so upset to see thousands of plastic bottles, bags, ropes and beer cans. I was completely shocked and cried myself to sleep knowing that this is one of the most critically important beaches for nesting sea turtles. Needless to say my dad and I talked to Tom, the owner, and he informed me that all of the garbage comes from the town of Limon and from the ocean when people and cruise ships dump their garbage into the sea. Tom told us that he and the managers were thinking of setting up a beach cleanup station for guests who would like to help clean up the garbage! My dad and I of course were so thrilled to hear that. We were provided garbage bags and gloves from the Turtle Beach Lodge and did the best we could to clean up the beach. IF YOU GO TO TURLE BEACH LODGE PLEASE PLEASE OFFER YOUR HELP TO CLEAN UP THE BEACH AND ENCOURANGE THE OWNER AND MANAGERS TO GO THROUGH WITH THE CLEAN UP STATION IN THE LOBBY! EVERY LITTLE PIECE OF PLASTIC YOU CAN PICK UP WILL SAVE THE LIVES OF COUNTLESS MARINE CREATURES ESPECIALLY THE CRITICALLY ENDANGERED LEATHERBACK TURTLES WHO MISTAKE PLASTIC BAGS IN THE OCEAN FOR JELLYFISH AND DIE.

When visiting the turtle beach lodge please remember that you are in a critically fragile ecosystem and please be respectful. Bring biodegradable soaps and shampoos, dont bring plastic bags and please stay on the trail when walking through the rainforest. If we all do our part we can help save the ecosystem!

Going on the tutle hike at night is a must. My dad and I went two nights in a row and had the honor of watching two green sea turtles lay her eggs! Unfortunately poaching is still such a huge problem in Tortuguero so please talk to the locals and let them know how important the sea turtles and their eggs are because if the tutles are gone so will the tourism!


In all my dad and I had a great time at the Turtle Beach Lodge! We will definitely be back and when we do I hope to see the most beautiful and cleanest beach in the world for my favourite species the sea turtle! PLEASE OFFER TO HELP CLEAN UP THE BEACH WHEN YOU VISIT! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

  • Liked — Their environmentall friendly practises, friendly staff and willingness to help the ecosystem
  • Disliked — Although it is not their fault, the beach surrounding the lodge is full of garbage and pastic bags. It was very upsetting to know that the government does not care about the state of their beaches where sea turtles lay their eggs!
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank AB5Safaris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Munich, Germany
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2008

The hotel is located just in the middle of the jungle, between the Caribbean sea and the channels of Tortuguero. The cabins has no TV, no phone... only the sound of nature. Good service, nice and helpful staff. Really great guide who made us feel the passion for nature, congratulations Hurben! We lived an authentic adventure.

  • Liked — Nature
  • Disliked — Shower pressure
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank JelenMadrid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KY
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2007

Turtle Beach Lodge..."Where the jungle meets the sea" This place has something for everyone. From walking on the beach to zip-lining through the jungle. The wildlife is abundant. The beauty even more so. You can go for a kayak ride or simply hang out by the turtle shaped pool. The tour through the jungle will remind you of the awesome power of the natural world. The tour guides are extremely informative. The food is amazing. The atmosphere perfect. Truly a paradise. Best vacation I have ever had! Highly recommended.

Stayed September 2007
Helpful?
5 Thank Fairyduster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 October 2007

This was my first trip to Costa Rica and Turtle Beach Lodge was the first place we stayed. It was also the coolest place we stayed on our entire trip. From our guide to the rest of the staff to our rooms to our food, we could not have asked for a better experience!

You ARE in the jungle and amazingly, all supplies are brought in by boat. If you are looking for a high end fancy resort, you should probably not stay anywhere in Tortuguero...but...if you are looking for a unique experience, with both ocean and jungle, I don't think you will find a better place. We saw monkeys, caimen, all kinds of birds, sloths and plants I have never seen before. The ocean was gorgeous and fun to play in. The rooms are fine and very clean, but the best part was how friendly and helpful everyone was.

I hope to go back to Costa Rica again and if I do, I will stay here again!

  • Liked — The people
  • Disliked — The internet was really, really slow
  • Stayed May 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank mreck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Indiana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 October 2007

An informative guide met us in San Jose and he kept us busy our whole week at Turtle Beach Lodge resort. Mario, our guide, lead us on hikes giving us an educational adventure on the medicinal properties and delicacies of the edible plants in the jungle. He was fun and our group was drawn to do things and eat things we never would have dreamed of otherwise. If anyone wanted to see something or do something, he would make sure we did it. He was great!

Everything was optional, so you could hang out in hammocks watching the Carribean tide roll in or take a kayak trip up the canals checking out the jungle.


It was Turtle Egg Laying season and we had a great trip after dark with Mario and watched a huge turtle laying her eggs.

We ziplined thru the canopy trees at a nearby recreational siteat a very reasonable price and it was incredible!



The food was exquisite, prepared by a chef, inclusive of exotic fruits, as well as your finest fish and chicken, etc. and served three times a day in a relaxed, beautiful thatched roof cafe.

Outside our bedroom window, it was so peaceful and remote listening to the holler monkeys and birds.

In the evening, we relaxed in a bar with a pool table and large sitting area and listened to great music after a busy day.

All of the workers in the lodge were the nicest people and went to great lengths to make sure everyone was accommodated.
I was moved how helpful they were regardless of the language barrier.

I will send a few pictures under a different page of our trip.

Thanks for a great trip

Barb E.

Stayed September 2007
Helpful?
5 Thank MikeEIndiana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Turtle Beach Lodge

Property: Turtle Beach Lodge
Address: Cano Palma, Tortuguero 1, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Tortuguero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 35 Speciality Lodging in Tortuguero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Turtle Beach Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 55
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 
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Also Known As:
Turtle Beach Hotel Tortuguero

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