We had an amazing time in Tortuguero. Honestly, everyone should visit at least once in their life and book a place like Mawamba Lodge. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not really a resort-type person. Although this place had aspects similar to a resort like the scenery, amenities and excellent customer service, everything about our stay felt much more natural. We were in the rainforest, after all! We experienced wildlife adventure that a normal resort would never have.
Tortuguero was a magical place in Costa Rica. But our stay at Mawamba Lodge was so special and packed full of fun activities that I knew I had to dedicate an entire blog post for this.
Please note that this post is solely about my three days on the grounds of Mawamba Lodge. I’ve written A Wildlife Jungle Safari Around Tortugero National Park which describes our boat tour through Tortuguero National Park. Just as good of a read!
Scenic Journey to Mawamba Lodge
Getting to Tortuguero was an enjoyable and scenic journey. Not to mention, hassle-free.
We booked an all-inclusive package with Mawamba Lodge for 3 days and 2 nights, which included both land and boat transportation from San Jose to Tortugueros (and back). Did I mention that you have to take a boat (or plane) to reach this place?
Since half the journey was on gravel roads, the bus ride was bumpy. But Tortuguero was well worth the minor aches and pains it took to get there! We meandered through mountains and even got a brief lesson on banana plantations, until we finally reached the boat dock for Tortuguero. From there, we drifted through the canals in a narrow, flat-bottom boat.
Once we arrived to Mawamba Lodge, we were welcomed with complimentary cocktails! Pura vida!
Living Amongst the Wildlife
Dan and I were luckily upgraded to their superior room, a beautiful casita! Usually two parties will share one cabin (split in the middle). However, we got this baby all to ourselves! To top it off, our cabin was placed at the very end to give us more privacy. We were spoiled further with a luxurious bathtub. This was a great place to celebrate our recent engagement!
I have a feeling that Mauricio, their kind executive salesmen who went above and beyond to help me plan my trip, had something to do with this generous upgrade. Thank you, Mauricio!
Even if you don’t stay at the superior cabin, the standard rooms are just as beautiful. Mawamba kept all their lodges extremely clean and authentic. We even noticed their cleaning lady sweeping the ceilings! It’s the little details that really win us over! Seriously, Mawamba all the way!
We were tired from a long day of travel but happy now that we’ve seen our cabin!
Something to note about cabin-living
At Mawamba, there is no air conditioning, wifi, or tv to distract you from the wildlife. This is the norm in Tortuguero. After all, isn’t the whole point of visiting Costa Rica to enjoy the nature? Please don’t be put off by this. There is a ceiling fan which you can have on all day. Furthermore, the temperature drops at night, making it more comfortable for you to sleep. And the windows have screen covers, so bugs shouldn’t bother you!
Exploring the Grounds of Mawamba
Forget Tortuguero National Park! (I’m only half kidding). Walking around the grounds of Mawamba felt like a jungle safari in itself. There were several varieties of flora to admire and plenty of wildlife to spot like exotic birds, sloths, monkeys and iguanas in the treetops!
As mentioned above, there’s no wifi in the cabins. However, if you need the internet to research your next destination, contact family members or answer work emails etc, you can do so at this resting area by the pool! Speaking of the pool…
Swimming in Safe Waters
Mawamba is almost surrounded by water since it is nestled on a fine strip of land between the Caribbean Ocean and Tortuguero River. We were right next to Tortuguero Beach! However, it’s not safe to swim here due to riptides.
When we had downtime, we swam in the pool instead. The water was warm and there was a fun little waterfall rolling in from the edge.
Wild Animal Sightings
Now onto the fun wildlife section. Mawamba Lodge has 15 acres of land in which tropical animals call home. As part of our tour, the guides took us on a walk through Mawamba Park. We searched for animals then entered two greenhouses full of frogs and butterflies. Below are only a few of the many animals we saw.
Look at this adorable red eyed tree frog! Apparently, these frogs are nocturnal. It woke up to our big eager eyes, then slowly walk to the other side of the leaf for privacy and fell back asleep. Isn’t that the cutest thing you have ever seen from an amphibian?!
We ended each day with a beautiful view of the sunset right outside our cabin.