Tortuga Lodge Costa Rica - A Review  Feb 19-21, 2013

On my 55th birthday, I crossed "photographing the birds of Costa Rica" off my bucket list


On the morning of my 55th birthday,
 a twelve seat, single prop airplane
climbed into the rising sun enroute to

Tortuguero Airport, a small landing strip

in Costa Rica’s Caribbean coastal rain forest.










The pilots fly this
forty five minute flight
a few times a week.

For Connie and me,
it was the smallest plane
we had ever been on.

Another thing I can
cross off my bucket list.




The only way in or out is by boat or plane.





We deplaned in a daze, hungry and in need of caffeine.








 The staff whisked our bags
in one direction and us in another.

Omelets and pancakes were being served.





For the next two days we wandered
around in a photographic rain forest haze.

Birds flew from tree to tree,
 startling yet more birds to fly to yet other trees.
I didn’t know where to point my camera(s) next.





Nestled along the Tortuguero River, The Tortuga Lodge
(owned by Costa Rica Expeditions, our tour operator)
shares the river with thousands of
nesting sea turtles,
a ton of toucans,
at least one magnificent frigate bird,
and a three toed sloth or two.






The lodge itself is small, private, and quiet.


Six quad style buildings house the 24 large rooms.

There is no air conditioning, by design. 
The night breeze breathes
through windows with no glass.

There is no TV, and by necessity
adequate cell phone and Wi-Fi
reception (not that I needed it
but it was nice to have).





The rooms are clean and comfortable, the showers warm and the linen soft.





We could taste the humidity
a mix of ocean, river, and rain forest.



We marveled at the vibrant hues and colorful exotic plants.


Blue Morphos fluttered by and monkeys leapt from trees above our heads.




We could find no fault with the property.

Not even the bugs were an issue.

Surprisingly we hardly saw or swatted any.


Perhaps because the birds were eating them all.




An assortment of frogs and unseen insects
serenaded us to sleep with a rain forest lullaby.

An ever present and persistent howler monkey woke us at dawn. 



           Spiders spun intricate webs
           while hummingbirds hovered


and we hadn’t even left the property yet!!!



We could only imagine what the private boat tour would bring.


The service was legendary. 

We had fresh fruit with every meal (watermelon, papaya, and banana).

We were served fantastically refreshing frothy fruit drinks (strawberry, blackberry,
watermelon, star fruit).

We ate lovely local
salads and skewers of beef, chicken and sea
bass prepared




Hot towels and fruity drinks awaited us dockside after every tour. 

On our last night wine was left in our room. 

What a nice touch.




If all that was not enough,

Nadya, our tour coordinator,
surprised us with a special birthday dinner...
...are you ready for this?

Executive Chef, Federico Barrantes,
offered up a private barbeque
under the canopy, along the river's edge,
complete with a most delicious birthday cake.






We felt like royalty not just that night,

but throughout our entire stay. 






Thank you Nadya, Costa Rica Expeditions

and the entire staff at The Tortuga lodge.


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