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Tortuga Lodge and Gardens

3.5 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

We stayed at the lodge for 3 nights in late November. We had a great experience from the initial welcome right till we departed. The service provided by all staff was excellent and nothing was too much trouble for them. We are vegetarians and the chef was more than happy to cook a dish for us if we did not fancy the menu choice. The rooms are basic, clean and adequate but the service more than makes up for this.The trip to the National park was great despite the weather. Great location. This is as close to paradise as it gets! Can't recommend this lodge enough.

This is a superb location nestled in the rainforest next to a river and just a crossing away from the Caribbean. From the moment we stepped off the tiny plane in torrential rain the staff were warm and welcoming. We would like to mention the restaurant staff who were highly trained and attentive, and also the guides Norton and Willis who really knew their stuff. Food we found to be superb with more than sufficient choice for a 3 night stay. The atmosphere in the restaurant is relaxed and offers beautiful views of the river, our waiter even pointed out a crocodile swimming near the lodge. The rooms were as described and therefore as expected so not luxury, but a trade off between privacy and first hand jungle experience. However we were deeply disappointed by the noise generated by the building just behind our rooms (16 and 17)which started at dawn and finished at dusk. The noise of the circular saw often competing with the natural sounds of the rainforest. We should have been informed of this before booking as we feel we lost some of the experience due to this disturbance.

From San José we went with a full package for 3 nights and 4 days to the Tortuga Lodge & Gardens. This complete package that is offered via the website of the lodge is pricey but very convenient. The team of Costa Rica Expeditions picked us up at our hotel in San José at 8am and shuttled us to the national airport for a charter flight with a private plane. The flight was fun: 30min. to Tortuguero just the three of us. Great experience. Once we arrived they brought us with a boat from the landing strip in Tortuguero to the lodge. Easy check in. We had an upstairs room which we would recommend for a bit more privacy. The room is simple but good with a balcony to the river and hammocks. The food was excellent all the time. We had three meals a day included. On top water and coffee is free. We had bad luck with the weather, it was raining most of the time. The pool is great but due to the weather we used it just once. Nevertheless we did our three incl. excursions. All excursions were just for our family. A boat trip to the village and a cacao making presentation - okay. A 3h motor boat trip into the National Park - great we saw some wildlife. The best was the 2h kayaking tour through the small canals of the National Park. On the 4th day they brought us back to the small airport in Tortuguero and we flew with a private charter back to San José. The team shuttled us to a rent-a-car company. We asked them to bring us there before the trip. In the end a great experience in a great lodge. If you want to safe money you can arrange the transport on your own. The package is just for the convenience. We can recommend the lodge.

We stayed at Tortuga Lodge in mid November with our 9, 7, and 4 year and we had a great time! We stayed for 3 nights and enjoyed boating and kayaking expeditions through the jungles there along with a night hike. Elvis was our guide and he was great. Very knowledgeable and excited to show us the wildlife around the area. The lodge itself was also great. Located right on the river we felt part of nature the whole time. The food was excellent and lodge staff were friendly and helpful the whole time. I highly recommend checking them out on your trip.

The staff was very informative, pleasant, and helpful. Our guide was Priscilla and she was very in tune with all guests on a tour. She made sure that all saw the animals in the wild and was very patient and informative. And very personable!! The lodge staff was very nice and accommodating! Would definitely stay there again!

This was an absolutely superb escape from reality! Unfortunately the rain had been rather relentless ahead of our arrival and so the trails on site weren’t accessible throughout our stay which was a shame. Having said that, the nature excursion was excellent, allowing us to view monkeys, sloths and caiman along with a whole host of birds in their natural environment. The hotel itself was excellent - calm, clean and spotlessly clean. The staff friendly and helpful on anything and the food exceptional. Thank you to all for a fabulous stay!

Just spent 3 nights here, at the end of a 14 night self drive tour around Costa Rica. Was a little nervous about finding the port of La Pavona to park the car and catch the boat out to Tortuga Town. In the event it was very straightforward and seamless even though the last 10km is an unmade road they do run local buses down it so it's easily driveable. Tried to catch a local co-operative boat (water taxi) but we dropped unlucky and the driver tried to rip me off by tripling the price just as we left so I gout out and waited 2 hours for the next public boat which was very easy. If you are travelling this way, try to time your arrival half an hour before the public boat leaves. The water taxi driver was possibly the only unpleasant person we met during the 4 days we were in the Tortuguero area. After around an hour we arrived at Tortuga town and were lucky enough to see the Tortuga Lodge boat about to leave so the locals shouted at him to wait for us and we transferred straight over to the transfer boat for the 10 minute ride to the Lodge. I wanted a place where I could completely relax for 3 days, hence I chose here and I couldn't have been happier with my choice. The accommodation is great, even though I had a standard room. A nice breeze coming through the insect mesh guarded windows kept the room cool enough, with the fan helping at night. Instant hot water was good in the shower and the wifi connection speed was also amazingly fast for somewhere this remote! The restaurant area that serves breakfast, lunch snacks and dinner is a pleasant spot to look out across the river and the food is good quality (although the selection is limited, they make it clear this is because it reduces wastage as transport costs are expensive to get it all out here.) The pool area is lovely, I spent many an hour relaxing around here under the shade of the trees just watching the odd boat go past on the river. The resident lizards are great fun too, especially watching the 2 boys showing off to the lady lizards! Jumped on the boat across the river to the airstrip a few times (takes a few minutes) and walked down to the beach to Tortuga Town. The beach is almost deserted for most of the hour walk until you get near to the town, where you might see 10 people in the last few hundred metres.Not much in the town apart from a few small supermarkets and some small cafes and bars, but a good spot for a gentle walk. If I was there for a bit longer I'd have got involved in the English volunteering with the local school, there's a big sign in the reception area giving you details if you're interested and have time. All the staff are very friendly and helpful and happy to give you some local tips. I don't give many places 5 star reviews, but this was exactly what I was looking for and so to me was perfect! I'll certainly be returning here, a little piece of heaven.

This was something different for all of us...flying into a private air strip with no tower. Watching the plane being playfully chased by the locals on bikes as it taxied and took back off from the air strip, then taking the water taxi across the river to the lodge- just the first 10 minutes was something we had never experienced. Then checking into our room and being shown around the property to see this little oasis hidden in the jungle. Other reviews talk about the food- which I will agree is very good comparatively, drinks are tasty, and there is always something to do.We did one of the nature tours ran through the lodge but had our kiddos so after a couple hours, started hearing, "when are we gonna be done?" And, "I have to go to the bathroom." The tour was very good but be prepared for direct sun for at least a couple hours. The lodge was started by a gentleman that was also instrumental in helping the local school (In San Francisco, just a 3 minute boat ride away) learn English and help with maintenance costs. You can volunteer at the school for hours-long blocks of time and converse with kids that want to better their English. Our group was a 5-person group of sweet kids varying in ages from 9 to 14. We went and played word hames and asked questions about each other (What's your favorite food; what to you want to be when you grow up; etc...) and then were invited to play a little game of pick-up soccer. If you do that, be prepared to play barefoot on the basketball court. These kids are hardcore. Also, our visit was in November, when the humidity takes a bit of a break and you can get some decent sleep in the windowless, air conditioner-less rooms. Personally, I can't fathom how anyone sleeps in the most hot and humid months here without those creature comforts, but that's just me. I can say that I slept like a baby here. Lastly, the town of Tortuguero is about 10 minutes away (again, only by roads here) and can be accessed for free by the lodge's boat. Keep in mind that the last boat TO the village is at 5, and RETURNS at 5:15. But no problem, if you miss it you can always take a taxi (ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 colones, about $10 to $20) back at any time. There are a few grocery stores and some restaurants if you feel like getting away from the lodge. Overall impression? Loved it. Would have loved it more if we were able to make it here for the turtle hatchling season but that's our fault. This place is special and we'll be telling everyone about how you have to visit Tortuga Lodge.

Excellent , wonderfull , Lodge in the forest , nice people , good food , super bungalow on the first floor , very clean, just one step over the river to walk onnthe beach, nice place to Watch the turtle . Conclusion : EXCELLENT PLACE TO STAY FAR from the BIG TOUR OPERATOR

The service, the people, the restaurant, the tours, the rooms at Tortuga Lodge & Gardens are exceptional. It is the place to go when you visit Tortuguero. Located just In front to the airport but we love the experience arriving by boat.

Across the river Tortuguero Limon

Hotel highlights

  • Free WiFi in rooms and public areas
  • Onsite dining
  • Outdoor pool

Within a short distance of Tortuga Lodge and Gardens are Sea Turtle Conservancy and Cuatro Esquinas Island. This 26-room, 3.5-star resort has a restaurant along with conveniences like an outdoor pool and free in-room WiFi. It's on a river and also close to Tortuguero National Park Office.


Sit down for a leisurely bite to eat at the onsite family restaurant, or enjoy a drink at the bar/lounge. Start each morning off right with cooked-to-order breakfast served for a fee.


Tortuga Lodge and Gardens's 26 rooms provide furnished balconies, ceiling fans, and laptop-compatible safes. Guests can expect to find free WiFi. Hair dryers are also available.

Property features

Tortuga Lodge and Gardens features an outdoor pool, free WiFi in public areas, and coffee in a common area. Front-desk staff can help with tours or tickets, and provide local restaurant recommendations. This resort also has a computer station.

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

95% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 1115 reviews