It’s been over a year since Mark and I stayed at Laguna Lodge in Tortuguero, Costa Rica. But we find ourselves constantly reminiscing about our time there. Hence, I want to share the amazingness of Laguna Lodge with you and help you decide if you want to visit during your Costa Rica trip.
If you don’t already have your trip booked, I’m sure I’m convincing you to visit. Check out these resources and tools to help book and plan your trip!
- Booking.com – offers accommodation and unique places
- Vrbo – world’s leading marketplace for vacation rentals
- Hostelworld – global hostel-focused online booking platform
- Wayaway – flight aggregator to find the best rates on airline tickets
- Rentalcars.com – the world’s largest car rental service
- GetYourGuide – find top-rated tours and activities in your destination
We booked our entire Costa Rica trip though Anywhere, which I can’t recommend enough. We spent a few days going back and forth over email with Harold, who took everything we wanted to do and made the perfect 10-day itinerary, which included 2 nights at Laguna Lodge in Tortuguero!
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you make a purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own!
WHERE IS TORTUGUERO
Tortuguero is a village in Limòn, a province on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. The village is located within Tortuguero National Park, both of which are named after turtles (tortuguero means ‘place of turtles’ in Spanish). There’s a special reason for this!
Tortuguero is one of the most important nesting sites in the country for various species of sea turtles. It was declared a national park in 1970 to protect the turtle population. Since then, sea turtle nesting in Tortuguero has increased by 500% and over 20,000 sea turtles nest there every year.
WHY WE CHOSE TORTUGUERO
When deciding places to visit in Costa Rica, we knew we wanted to spend some time in the jungle. After doing some research and learning about Tortuguero – we felt sure it was exactly what we were looking for. The village itself is a rainforest-covered sandbar in the midst of a dense jungle with maze-like canals and hundreds of species of animals. On one side is the Caribbean and the other is a lagoon (with dolphins). Unfortunately you can’t swim in the sea because of the strong currents, or in the lagoon because of caimans.
Along the sandbar are numerous accommodations, including hostels and eco-lodges. In general, the area is most busy during the summer (turtle nesting season) but it’s an incredible, adventure-packed place to visit year round. We went in February, which is one of the driest months of the year. Even so, it rained a few times. It is the rainforest, after all!
HOW TO GET TO TORTUGUERO
You must know, there are NO roads leading to Tortuguero. You can only get as close as 20 miles (32 km). Then, the only way to go is by ferry boat or propeller plane. We took the ferry boat, which is about an hour and a half long ride through the jungle. It’s awesome!
Our tour through Anywhere included all transfers, so we were picked up at our hotel in San Jose at around 5:00 AM and driven three hours to La Pavona, where we got on the ferry boat. (With a stop for breakfast on the way). The ferry boat will take you directly to your accommodation.
Since there are no roads in Tortuguero, the only way to get around is by boat. At Laguna Lodge and other similar accommodations, every visitor is on a set itinerary. This means the days are basically planned out for you, including the activities you do and your meal times. I think the main reason for this has to do with the lack of roads, and therefore not being able to get from place to place without taking a boat. We pretty much followed the itinerary to tee, but it’s really up to you if you want to skip out on certain activities are not.
LET’S TALK ACCOMMODATION
Laguna Lodge is an eco-lodge, which means it’s designed to have the minimum possible impact on the environment. It’s a very unique looking place, in the best way! The rooms are little wooden cabins that really make you feel like you’re living in nature. There is no wifi or service in the rooms, but if you need to connect you can head to the reception area!
Near the reception area there is also a restaurant where you will have all of your meals. All meals are buffet style and there’s a lot to choose from. The food was honestly so delicious, especially the papaya I had at every breakfast.
Additionally, there are a lot of places to hangout. There are two pools and a bunch of hammocks, in addition to the beach. Please be aware that while the beach is a great spot to hangout – you can’t swim in the water as the currents are too strong! If you’re up for something more active, there’s a volleyball court, soccer field, and nature trails. All in all, I absolutely loved the vibe of the accommodation.
ACTIVITIES WE DID AT LAGUNA LODGE TORTUGUERO
Our itinerary for our 3 day, 2 night stay at Laguna Lodge Tortuguero included a visit to the main Tortuguero Village, a safari boat tour through Tortuguero National Park, and a naturalist walk through gardens, trails, and beach. There were also optional activities for additional cost. You can see the full list here. Let me tell you about all the activities we did, in order.
Tortuguero Village Visit
Shortly after we arrived at Laguna Lodge we ate a buffet lunch and jumped on a small boat to head to Tortuguero Village, or the main town. This is where a lot of the locals live, so visiting allows you to learn more about their daily lives and also support their economy by buying food, drinks, and souvenirs. The village was honestly so cute and colorful and we loved wandering around for an hour or two! I got a coconut to drink and also bought a bracelet with a turtle charm.
Nature Awakening Tour
For this tour, we woke up at 5:00 AM to take a two-hour boat ride through the jungle. This was honestly one of the most unique and unforgettable experiences I’ve ever had. We sailed on the water as the sun was rising and the world was waking up. We saw so many animals including sloths, dolphins, and monkeys, as well as learned a ton about the natural surroundings from our guide. We were also offered binoculars to get a better view of the animals, which was especially helpful for the sloths hidden in the trees. At one point, it rained for a few minutes, after which we were blessed with a beautiful rainbow. I am SO glad we woke up for this optional tour, which was about 2 hours long.
Visit to Tortuguero National Park
After breakfast, we hopped back on the boat for a tour of Tortuguero National Park. Our guide led the boat through the winding canals, pointing out incredible flora and fauna and animals along the way. This boat ride was somewhat similar to the one we did early in the morning, but since it was later in the day we saw some different animals like caimans! Still I definitely recommend doing both boat tours as it’s so much fun being out on the water in the jungle and learning about the biodiversity in the area. This tour is also about 2 hours long. Taylor Travelgram Tip: be sure to lather on the sunscreen, especially in your hairline (and/or wear a hat).
Tortuguero Hill Walk
We joined the optional walk up Tortuguero Hill, which is an extinct volcano. We were again taken by boat to the hill and first walked for 15-20 minutes through the rainforest and then started heading up. The walk was easy-moderate and the entire walk is about 1.25 miles (2 km). At the top of the hill you are 119 meters above sea level and you can see all of Tortuguero. The view couldn’t be better! Along the way we also saw reptiles, birds, and insects. So much biodiversity here!
When we got back to the ecolodge we also joined our guide for a walk around the gardens, trails, and beach surrounding the accommodation. It was a great way to end an amazing day exploring the jungle.
WHY WE LOVE LAGUNA LODGE TORTUGUERO
Laguna Lodge Tortuguero is the best place in the world to live out your jungle dreams. We enjoyed every second we spent there and were so happy to explore the Costa Rican jungle in an eco-friendly way. All of the staff associated with Laguna Lodge were so nice and friendly, and we will always remember our guide Sebastian! If you are considering staying at Laguna Lodge Tortuguero, don’t hesitate. This place is perfect!