My family stayed here in two adjoining rooms before high season, so especially on our first day it felt like we had the place to ourselves. We were blessed by very little rain and cool breezes.
The staff actually learns your names and calls you by name, which is sweet, and they have gone out of their way to show us a good time. If we were taking an early trip, they opened early for breakfast, and offered to pack us a lunch. We wanted to take an earlier boat trip, so they arranged it. Granted, being low season and not that many guests in the hotel they can be a bit more flexible.
We went on two boat trips (Caño Harold and Caño Palma) to spot wildlife with Cloyde, who is an amazing guide, and the boat captain can spot a basilisk lizard from 100m no joke. Between the two tours the only animal we didn't see was a jaguar (they are not easy to get a glimpse of). After we got back from the tour, we got a knock on the door and it was Cloyde, who brought us ylang ylang blossoms (which we had talked about on the tour) and showed us some spider monkeys in the trees by the restaurant. Cloyde is knowledgeable and has very interesting stories about Tortuguero, having been born and raised here, and can tell you what it was like living in the jungle and his father hunting for jaguars, but he seems to have taken conservation to heart and has a genuine reverence for the rainforest.
We also took the small trail to see the poison dart frogs, which you are pretty much guaranteed to see. It's muddy and buggy, so make sure you pick up some rubber boots (for free) and bug spray.
The hotel rooms are great, could use more light, but air conditioning is a lifesaver! The private outdoor showers are a nice touch, very cold so nice for a hot day. Didn't seem to have a choice of temperature in the inside shower, so if you want a hot shower stay inside, cold shower go outside. Bed was comfy and the room in general was clean and spacious. The grounds are quite lovely and you can see a wide variety of animals just on the grounds. We saw iguanas, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, and many birds, and poison dart frogs on the trail.
I think if you're here for just a day or two you could stay entertained just by doing the Manatus-provided trips and hanging out at the pool or on the dock sipping cocktails. If you're here for longer, take a water taxi or the Manatus-provided shuttle (certain time of the day) into the village and walk around, or have the hotel staff arrange a canopy tour or a fishing excursion, etc.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Manatus is the only hotel in Tortuguero that offers all the comforts of the modern world in an exotic and wild environment. Our hotel is an oasis of peace surrounded by a real wildlife sanctuary. Experience ecotourism and adventure, and then relax and enjoy the wonderful amenities of our hotel. Come live the Manatus experience! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Manatus Hotel Tortuguero