Turtle Beach Lodge

After two visits to Tortuguero at the Laguna Lodge (2010 & 2016), I felt I needed a change or to at least see what one of the other lodges is like. After an internet search I chose Turtle Beach Lodge. Two out of a total of about 12 to 15 is not the total picture but I at least can compare these two and I like them both. Laguna is larger, housing about 300 people while Turtle Beach houses about 150, depending on how many persons to a room of course, but that is the dining room sizes. Larger is not always better.   🙂

Its been 3 years since at Laguna, but I vaguely remember their food being better or at least a lot more choices beyond the typical Tico food buffet at Turtle Beach where you get rice & beans at every meal plus “mixed vegetables” (boiled cabbage & a few other veggies) along with a change in meat from fish, chicken, pork and beef in rotation for both lunch and dinner and one little meatless pasta. Turtle’s salad bar is skimpier than Laguna’s and had more flies. So overall I remember Laguna having better food.

Housing is very similar in both with basic screened-in cabins, camp-like firm beds, and a ceiling fan plus basic bathroom. Both have a swimming pool and beach access, while Turtle also has a pool table in the bar and most of the buildings seemed newer or more modern. Both have WiFi only in the public areas (dining room, lobby, bar, etc.) They are about the same with the same tours, nature and wildlife offerings and jungle living experience. Though Turtle Beach excels on the canoe or kayak option with their private canal.

I would be hard pressed to recommend one over the other though I lean toward my most recent experience with Turtle Beach, being smaller where you get to know the staff better and I easily got a private birding tour that included the guide paddling me in a canoe while I photographed. I did not ask for that at Laguna but it is probable there too. I also like Turtle Beach’s private canal better than Laguna being on the main river. And I stayed 3 nights at Turtle Beach which really makes a difference over the one night or two night stays before! To get the most out of a place you need more time there and that is my approach everywhere now, with 6 nights more common at other lodges.

Bottom line is that Turtle Beach edges out Laguna Lodge in all but the food which was better at Laguna. Now here are a lot of shots from Turtle Beach Lodge in four slideshows by my categories:

My Room

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Lodge Facilities

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Private Canal & Boat Dock

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Art on the Grounds

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The wilderness is healing, a therapy for the soul.   

~Nicholas Kristof


See my 2019 Tortuguero Turtle Beach Lodge Visit Gallery for more on this exciting rainforest trip!

Or the Turtle Beach Lodge hotel website

Or my photo book on 3 visits to TORTUGUERO, The Amazon of Costa Rica


A Chat with Nat Geo’s “Untamed Costa Rica” Producer

“Costa Rica has one of the few places in the world where a wild ocean and a wild forest can converge simultaneously with one another.”          ~Filipe DeAndrade

¡Pura Vida!

Walking Snaps Today

Walking by Alajuela Cathedral this morning
I was struck by this beautiful flowering shrub.
Cell phone snap

Walking through Atenas later today, I caught this Blue-crowned Motmot
with my cellphone in someone’s yard. I did have to crop in a bit on this one.

It was a very busy day today and I did not get everything accomplished that I intended, but did get a lot done. Tomorrow Cristian and his crew come to finish my garden and add some trees and shrubs to my yard. You will probably hear about them tomorrow! And eventually I will get around to making and showing some photos of my new house. A busy two weeks!

By the way, Trip Advisor, for which I write reviews, has just published its “Top 10 Beaches in Central America” list and 8 of them are in Costa Rica! Or see the actual Trip Advisor site listing where you have to hit the arrow to scroll through the photos of each beach.  Makes me want to reconsider living at a beach, but probably not! 🙂  Beaches are hotter, more humid, and more expensive for living. I can get to a beach in 2 hours or less any time I want to.

Interested in the Nicaragua Canal? Click to read the latest news and how construction has begun. 

Will Costa Rica Be Surrounded by Canals?

Everyone knows that Panama is just south of Costa Rica with one of the busiest and most important canals in the world that many American businesses have greatly profited from. Now Nicaragua, just north of Costa Rica is planning an even longer and wider canal – or should I say that China is planning a canal there that will of course greatly help the economy of Nicaragua, but of China even more, just like the U.S. profited most from the Panama Canal. They break ground on the Nicaraguan Canal in December. 

It will go not far north of the Costa Rica border
through Lake Nicaragua, largest Central American lake.

Those of us who care about the environment and clean water are opposed to it, but “green” people still don’t have that much influence in the world, beyond Costa Rica that is. In contrast to the U.S., China and Nicaragua, Cost Rica is one of the greenest and most ecologically sound countries in the world with 25% of its land set aside as National Parks and reserves. They planning to become the first carbon-neutral country in the world and already produce about half their electricity with renewable sources. Ecology and preservation of nature is one of many reasons I’m moving there. Hopefully the neighbor to the north won’t let greed spoil our pristine Costa Rican environment with spillover affects through overlapping rivers and forests.