Tortuga Lodge

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We are loving life at the jungle lodge! Our lodge is located on the Atlantic side of Costa Rica, about 12 miles from the Nicaraguan border.  It is located on a canal that parallels the ocean and is only accessible by boat or plane.  It is famous for the sea turtles that nest on the beach here – the word “tortuga” is turtle in Spanish.

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We were a little nervous because our room basically is a screened in porch – no air-conditioning. But we LOVE it!  The idea is to be able to feel and hear the sounds of the jungle.  They have plenty of fans, which keep the breeze going.   And the beds are super comfortable.  The first night, we had a huge rain storm (we are in the rain forest, after all), and it was very romantic to snuggle under the covers as the storm rolled through on the other side of our screen.  (Our room is the lower right one in the picture above – with its own hammock and rocking chairs out front.)

And then very early – we had our own wake-up call with the howler monkeys, who started at around 5:30 am. Time to start the day!

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included in our package, and the restaurant is very good with multiple courses and very creative meals. There is even a little bar by the pool, where we have cocktails before dinner.

And there seems to be plenty to do – we check the whiteboard each day to find out what our next activity will be.

And when we need down time, there is a Hammock House (how cool is that?!) where we can read or nap. Or just walk the property, where we usually spot a few iguanas.  Frank is loving our location, so he can fish – he just has to watch out for crocodiles!

So life in the jungle is good. In our next blog, we’ll venture out on the search for wildlife.


Into the Jungle

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We are swapping the Pacific side of Costa Rica for the Atlantic side and heading to the Caribbean coast – and into the jungle! We are staying at a jungle lodge that is about 12 miles from the Nicaraguan border and only accessible by boat or plane.  There are no roads.  We are a little nervous, as there is also no air-conditioning, and we are sleeping in the equivalent of screened-in porches.  The lodge has excellent reviews (albeit, from National Geographic, which admittedly may have a more rustic taste than we do!).  But we are up for adventure!

We are only allowed 30 pounds total of luggage plus carry-on because the charter plane is so small. We have frantically shed anything superfluous and left with the trusty bellhop at the Marriott in San Jose, our overnight stop to prepare for our jungle trek.

And off we go – rewarded by beautiful views as we descend into Tortuguero.

Our first look at the Tortuguero airport proves that we are indeed in for an adventure.

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Our boat captain meets us and takes us across the canal to the Tortuga Lodge.  It is absolutely beautiful.


Within our first 5 minutes, we are greeted by two ignuanas and a couple of exotic birds. Wow!

We will spend the next several days here off the grid – no TV, no air-conditioning, and no phone service. We will read, go on wildlife tours, and just relax.  Based on our first lunch – coconut papaya salad, fresh snapper with beet coulis, and coconut ice cream – we are in for a treat.

And we have brought along LOTS of sunblock and mosquito spray.

We are ready for the jungle!


Stay tuned for pics of our room . . . .


Sailing in Tamarindo

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We were off the grid for a few days, so back to the blog – still updating the earlier part of our trip.

For our grand finale in Tamarindo, we decided to go sailing.

Larry and Frank met while sailing – Larry had a boat and they had many adventures, including sailing all the way to Maine!.

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Larry met Candy in Singles on Sailboats (SOS), and I met Frank in SOS also. So sailing was a perfect activity for this crew.

We chose the schooner Antares, an 80-foot Sparkman Stephens design moored off of Tamarindo.

The first adventure was to get TO our schooner. We had to wade into the surf to board “pangas” – little motorboats – that whisked us to the Antares, where we had to climb the ladder up to the boat (and were rewarded with rum punches for our efforts!).

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Once aboard, all deck furniture had been removed and replaced with cushions, so everyone found a spot and we were underway. Our captain was from Argentina by way of the Caribbean, where he bought the Antares.  A guitar player entertained us with jokes and songs, and the captain’s three sons came around for drink orders.  The captain’s wife, from South Africa, cooked a delicious 5-course gourmet dinner (really – better than many restaurants – and in the ship’s galley!).

After a rum punch (or two), everyone was happily singing along to the guitar player as we enjoyed the afternoon scenery. Eventually, we anchored near a secluded beach, where we swam and snorkeled to nearby coral.

Then back on board for the final course of our gourmet meal and even dancing – after a few rum punches, it was the “Macarena” all around!

We sailed back to our home beach as the sun was setting.

A perfect farewell to Tamarindo.