Pachira Lodge (Meals Included)

Overall 88.8% (232 Guest Ratings)

Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Pahira Lodge is one of the places you'll never forget. Located only five minutes from the Tortuguero National Park entrance, it is in the heart of the rainforest. The rustic bungalows of the eco-lodge are spread out between lush tropical gardens and jungle. The experience begins at the boat dock where you board a boat and cruise through the canals to the lodge. Your stay includes a visit to the community of Tortuguero as well as a guided boat safari the next day. But the wildlife is also right at the lodge, so you may see caimans, monkeys, or colorful frogs before even looking for them! Pachira is an affordable lodge for families or couples and a great place to stay on your vacation to Tortuguero.

Sample Itinerary
  • 2 nights at Pachira Lodge
  • Tortuguero Town Tour - Pachira Lodge
  • Tortuguero Canal Tour - Pachira Lodge
Starting at $287 per person*

*Sample rates are per person, double occupancy [Oct dates]

Customize & Reserve Now

Mawamba Lodge (Meals Included)

Overall 94.2% (11 Guest Ratings)

Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Mawamba Lodge is a specialty lodge with fewer rooms than most other Tortuguero lodges. Their focus is attention to detail with more guides and smaller groups. Rooms are basic but comfortable. The facilities provide everything you would want out of a remote eco-lodge. The guided tours are fantastic with abundant wildlife observation opportunities. The lodge also offers groomed trails to explore the jungle on your own. Mawamba includes both a town tour and a canal boat safari during your stay. With top-notch naturalist guides and a warm and welcoming staff, Mawamba Lodge is sure to steal your heart in the wilds of Tortuguero!

Sample Itinerary
  • 2 nights at Mawamba Lodge
  • Tortuguero Town Tour - Mawamba Lodge
  • Tortuguero Canal Tour - Mawamba Lodge
Starting at $282 per person*

*Sample rates are per person, double occupancy [Oct dates]

Customize & Reserve Now

Laguna Lodge (Meals Included)

Overall 91.9% (11 Guest Ratings)

Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Immersed in the jungle and tropical gardens, Laguna Lodge, sits on a narrow strip of land between the Caribbean Sea and Tortuguero Canals. The rooms provide the basics for a comfortable no-frills stay. The grounds are meticulously maintained and often frequented by rare and exotic animals. Guests can enjoy the large free-form swimming pool, groomed wildlife trails, frog pond, restaurant, bars, and so much more. Similar to other Tortuguero lodges, Laguna Lodge offers a complimentary tour of the town and also a boat safari through the canals. Laguna Lodge and Tortuguero are sure to be a highlight of your vacation. Reserve your stay today!

Sample Itinerary
  • 2 nights at Laguna Lodge
  • Tortuguero Town Tour - Laguna Lodge
  • Tortuguero Canal Tour - Laguna Lodge
Starting at $275 per person*

*Sample rates are per person, double occupancy [Oct dates]

Customize & Reserve Now

Tortuguero Offers Some of the Best Eco-lodges in Costa Rica

Tortuguero is the land of no frills eco-lodges specializing in wilderness experiences. It isn't for everybody but perfect for true ecotourists willing to sacrifice comfort for the experience. The focus here is nature, education, and the environment. The most popular lodges such as Pachira Lodge, Mawamba Lodge, and Laguna Lodge provide amazing experiences in natural settings but do not offer conveniences such as television and air conditioning. In fact, Manatus Hotel is the only lodge in Tortuguero that offers in-room AC and TV! It's also the only lodge that can be considered luxurious (in an eco-lodge sense!). Most Tortuguero lodges exclusively offer packages including round trip transportation from San Jose and tours to the village and a boat safari.

Explore the Wilds of Tortuguero

Wildlife observation is the name of the game in Tortuguero, and the lodges are ready to cater. Unlike most other Costa Rica destinations, the lodges of Tortuguero include a selection of tours and activities in the price. Most include a town and canal tour in addition to a brief stop at a pineapple or banana plantation on the way. The Tortuguero town tour is an enlightening way to learn about the culture of this remote village. The Tortuguero Canal tour is taken by boat, allowing you to observe wildlife in its natural habitat without disturbing the rare and often endangered animals. Additional activities such as turtle nesting tours (mid-July through September and only available at the time of check-in at the lodge) come at an added cost and vary by the lodge.

Getting to or Tortuguero

Tortuguero is only accessible by a combination of land and boat or a domestic flight. Most lodges include round-trip land and boat transportation from San Jose, which takes around 6 hours including multiple stops for food and pineapple or banana plantations.  Flights take considerably less time (around 1 hour), but come with strict luggage limitations and added cost. With careful coordination and planning, it is possible to connect with transfers to other destinations from Guapiles. Give us a call to help arrange this for you, 1.866.853.9426.

What areas should I combine with Tortuguero on my trip to Costa Rica?

The chances are likely that if you've made it this far, Tortuguero is a good fit for your Costa Rican vacation. Now it's time to decide what other destinations to pair with it. The most common places to combine with Tortuguero are Arenal Volcano, the beaches of the southern Caribbean, and Sarapiqui.

The southern Caribbean is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Jungles are lush and teaming with wildlife. Cahuita National Park and Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge are excellent places for nature hikes and snorkeling. There is a strong Rasta vibe on the southern Caribbean. The atmosphere tends to be more casual and laid back. Buildings and houses are often painted in bright colors adding to the beautiful scenery. You won't find any all-inclusive resorts or even resorts for the matter. The Caribbean is home to smaller hotels, usually bungalow style. Many do not offer air conditioning or television. Life is simple on the Costa Caribe. Cahuita is okay, but most travelers choose to visit Puerto Viejo and the beaches south including Cocles, Chaquita, and Punta Uva where there is more to do, see and experience. Connecting with Tortuguero can be a little tricky but is possible. Depending on your lodge, you can meet a transfer either in Guapiles or Siquirres. Siquirres is better than Guapiles as it's closer to your end destination. From Tortuguero, you'll take the boat and the lodge provided transfer to Siquirres or Guapiles. Then you'll meet your awaiting transfer to the southern Caribbean. Of course, reservations are necessary. Most visitors to the southern Caribbean stay for three to five nights. 

Sarapiqui is a great place to combine with Tortuguero for more wildlife and local culture. The region is wedged between vast biological corridors including Braulio Carrillo National Park, La Selva Biological Station, and Maquenque Wildlife Refuge. Similar to Tortuguero, the no-frills lodges in Sarapiqui focus on wildlife and experience over comfort. Sarapiqui is around four hours from Tortuguero, and you will need to make special arrangements for transportation. Most visitors stay for two to three nights.

Arenal Volcano is an excellent destination to connect with Tortuguero on your Costa Rica vacation. Hot springs and eco-resorts are lined up in front of the conical volcano. Costa Rica's best adventure activities and tour operators are here. Adventurers and thrill-seekers can choose from activities like canopy zip line, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, ATV rides, waterfall rappelling, cave exploration, hiking, and much more. Those looking for nature activities will enjoy the hangings bridges, safari float, Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge (similar to Tortuguero), or a visit to La Fortuna Waterfalls. And that's just the tip of the iceberg! Arenal is a spectacular destination for just about anybody. It is around five hours from Tortuguero but worth the effort. Most visitors stay for three to four nights.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I visit?

Two nights is the ideal stay. The area is often hot, humid, and rainy. Most lodges recommend their 3-days, 2-nights packages which are loaded with value. The 3-night packages usually do not include an activity on the last day.

What should I do with my rental car?

By now you should know that you cannot drive to Tortuguero. You can only go by boat or plane. Most lodges depart from the Cano Blanco dock, where there is also a fenced parking area with security. We can help with the latest information and coordination if you contact us in advance.

When will I find the best prices?

May through November

What is the weather like?

Tortuguero is a hot, humid, and rainy area. Daytime temperatures often exceed 90 degrees. Night time temps are usually around 15 degrees cooler. It is always damp, and rain is practically inevitable, no matter what time of the year you visit. The driest months are March, April, September, and October. The rainiest months are December and January. No matter when you travel, be prepared for hot, humid, and wet conditions.

Which airport should I use?

Travelers to Tortuguero should use San Jose Airport (SJO). The lodges offer transportation to and from most major San Jose hotels. The pick up is early in the morning, so it’s best to choose and airport hotel for the night before you go to Tortuguero if coming from San Jose. Similarly, if you are returning to San Jose before leaving Costa Rica, stay at an airport hotel on your last night. 

Is Tortuguero a good fit for me?

Tortuguero is not right for everybody but is perfect for ecotourists that prefer a remote wildlife experience over a fancy hotel. To access Tortuguero, you have to drive several hours from most destinations and then take a boat ride for over an hour. The lodges are spread out throughout the canals, so in most cases, when you arrive, you will only have access to the lodge property aside from organized tours that leave the lodge. There is no nightlife or shopping. Tortuguero is in a remote wild area with lots insects and reptiles. It is also hot, humid, and rainy. There is only one lodge in the area that provides television and air conditioning and generally, all other lodges are quite simple. On the flip side; Tortuguero is a fantastic place to observe wildlife in its natural habitat. There are more rare and endangered species than anywhere else in Costa Rica aside from Corcovado National Park which is even more remote!

Where is Tortuguero?

Tortuguero is in northeast Costa Rica along the Caribbean coast. You cannot drive there as there are no roads through the jungle wetlands.

Location

Latitude: N 10°32'34.05". Longitude: W 84°29'47.18"

Unsure of what to do? Let us make you a free custom trip plan!