I had a love/hate relationship with this place. The location is pretty great because it's right on the beach close to the border of the national park. There are some nice hammocks to chill in and the staff was friendly and overall very helpful. But I had a very difficult time with my room. I didn't see the interior of any other room, but mine was nothing more than a concrete cube with a bed in it and a rotating fan affixed to the wall. The roof is metal and there is one small window with a thick screen that does not allow for any air flow whatsoever. It was by far the hottest place I stayed in in my whole 3 weeks in Costa Rica. The room was like an oven during the day and did not cool down at night until about 3am. Sleeping for me was impossible. I don't know what all the other hotels are like in Tortuguero - but it seems that for such a hot place it would make more sense to construct homes and hotels that are more open and airy with thatched roof instead of corrugated metal. I was so hot here and sleep deprived that it ruined my stay in Tortuguero. But I'm sensitive to extreme heat so that's not to say that someone else would be just fine with this discomfort.
About the turtle tours:
I used the a guide from the hotel for the turtle tour and absolutely did not like him. It was a two hour window we were supposed to have to be on the beach and experience the turtles laying their eggs. The guide for our small group rushed from one stop to the next at breakneck speed to see the turtles. There was no time to linger and really experience and process this magnificent thing we were seeing- it was like two minutes with the red light focused on the turtle and the guide saying " ok, you see the turtle going back to the ocean? You see?ok, let's go!"' Then a rush down the beach to find one laying eggs. Then the same: " ok you see the eggs coming out? You see? Ok. let's move!" There were two other large groups behind us waiting to crouch down and see.. Then we sat in the dark waiting for a turn to see again... There was a distinct feelingbthatvtherecwerecturltlescalll around us coming and going from the ocean but we just were forced to stay still in the dark waiting among a crowd of people to see this one animal. We got a quick opportunity to crouch down again seeing the turtle cover up the eggs with her flippers. After 60 seconds, I said, " we should have a look at her face because it's incredible to see the tears the turtle produces that protect her eyes from the sand- and we can see and hear her breathing" his response was , "Ok, later. You see the camouflage of the eggs? You see? Ok let's go!" We got up and he raced off down the beach to the trail that led us back to the village.
Many other groups were still lingering on the beach and talking about what they were seeing and experiencing. It felt as if our group did not get the same opportunity to linger- we were hustled back as soon as possible, having spent one hour running around, instead of using the two hour window for a more leisurely, immersive experience that I paid for.
All and all the beach felt chaotic with too many groups crowded around one turtle and not enough time to enjoy and learn about the animals that you were there for. I don't know if other tour agencies or guides would handle it differently. A staff member at the Turtle Conservation Center in town recommended a place called " Roots"'that have certified guides that I was told were of better quality.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located right on the beach with: Free WIFI, hot water, fans, room with satellite TV, hammock ranch, laundry services, telephone & fax services, restaurant services, tour information, secure, and most importantly very clean. ... more less
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