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“A beautiful lodge in the heart of the rainforest!”
Review of Pachira Lodge

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Pachira Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 August 2007

We just got back from a trip to Costa Rica with Caravan tours. Our first major stop after we left San Jose was this out-of-the-way rainforest lodge that you can only get to by boat (1.5 hour boat ride) after traveling down the 2-hour gravel "Costa Rica massage" road. The lodge is all wood, beautifully carved with tile details and open-air everything. They have individual rooms (like a cabin) along elevated boardwalks. There is a very nice bar area, pool with waterfall and spa where you can get fabulous 1-hour relaxing massages that are well worth the price ($40 per person!). The lodge is directly on the canal with views of the water. The staff there is the friendliest we had on our entire trip and amazingly accomodating. We had a band there one night with dancing and a limbo contest- it was a lot of fun. There are many things to do there: go on canal wildlife-viewing tours (all by boat), fishing, zip-lining, sea turtle viewing (you go at night to see the turtles come to shore and lay their eggs) and a few other activities. The rooms are like a typical cabin but there is a bathroom with hot shower and flush toilet. The walls are covered in screened windows with blinds. The beds aren't the most comfortable but the experience of being in the heart of the rainforest makes up for it. The Howler monkeys, strange-sounding birds, frogs and other critters that can be seen and heard there is just phenomenal! The monkeys are very special and you will get some great shots of them in the trees everywhere in and around this lodge. The food was great there too. The only complaint I have is that there is no air-conditioning in the rooms, only a ceiling fan and boy is it hot and humid!!! If you go during their winter "the rainier season" like July and August, it can be tough, if not impossible to sleep at night because everything is damp and you are constantly sweating. I think I took 3 showers a day there! If you can stand the heat and humidity, this is truly a lovely place to stay, rich with wildlife and a wonderfully friendly resort right on the Caribbean coast.

  • Stayed: July 2007
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8  Thank yodabogota
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 June 2007

My husband and I stayed here for 2 nights and enjoyed it very much, in spite of the lack of air conditioning. The lodge provides bus and boat transportation from San Jose. We were met with a refreshing juice drink while waiting for our room assignments. The rooms have lots of windows, screened but without glass to allow maximum airflow, and a ceiling fan. By bedtime, it had cooled down to a comfortable sleeping temperature. Bring your own shampoo, hairdryer, etc., as the lodge does not provide those little amenities. All meals are served buffet style. The food is not excellent, but also not bad; I'd classify it as middle-of-the-road cafeteria fare. The fresh tropical fruits at breakfast are a plus. There is a swimming pool, and a bar serving beer and mixed drinks (alcoholic beverages were not included in the package price). But the real reason to come here is the wildlife. Birds, howler monkeys, iguanas, and crabs were right on the hotel property, and on the jungle walk and boat trip (included in our stay) we saw snakes, frogs, basilisk lizards and more. We also arranged for a private guided kayak tour (not part of Pachira's regular package, but arranged by Horizontes Tours, the company that booked our entire Costa Rica vacation) where we saw even more wildlife in a very peaceful setting.

  • Stayed: May 2007, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank BonB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2007

We stayed at the adjacent property which is also part of the Pachira lodge but is referred to as Anhinga (although everything in the room - i.e. soap etc said Pachira lodge). The original Pachira lodge has bigger buildings with what looked like 4 rooms per building. The Anhinga part of Pachira has individual cabins/lodges which are set higher up on stilts. The cabins are very basic with a ceiling fan, no glass on the windows (just screens), warm water in the shower, only cold water at the sink and some shelves for storage.

Our room had 1 double bed and 1 single bed. The room seemed fairly clean, but the sheets on the double bed were really old and ridden with "pilling". The sheets on the single bed were just fine. The beds were comfortable but there was no mattress pad on either bed, and with the amount that people probably sweat out there with no a/c, it seems that the mattresses are probably pretty disgusting.... I just tried not to think about it.

We went with a group and the first thing I noticed was that I was killing bugs left and right within the first 30 minutes of check in. People thought the bugs were probably termites (looked like big 1" ants with wings). I talked with other people in our group who didn't have nearly the bug problem we did, so I went to talk with Pablo, the manager. Pablo is probably about 20 years old and should definitely NOT be managing anything!!!! I told him that I expected to be killing some bugs out here, but the number of these bugs coming into our room made me think there was a nest or something. He pretty much "blew me off", and told me that I was in the jungle so I should expect bugs. I went back to the room and looked more carefully, and sure enough, there was a hole in the wall right up against the side of the sink that these things were swarming in/out of. I plugged it with tissue each day and this definitely helped. When I told Pablo about it, he was all defensive and a real "jerk"!!

I also had some difficulty getting an extra key to work in our lock, so I asked Pablo if he could come take a look. He was just sitting outside visiting with some of the other staff and didn't want to get up to take a look. I pretty much had to insist that he come because I needed something out of my room. He grudgingly got up (even though he was doing absolutely nothing but visiting with some employees). This is a man that should NOT be managing a lodge. And believe me, I was very polite and nice each time I went to him for help.

The place is quite attractive and I'd definitely recommend it - but don't expect luxury, remember you're in the jungle. It's realistic to expect a few bugs, but not swarms of them in your room (I knew there was a nest or something wrong, because I had talked with many other people in my group).

The food was quite good, but several people in our group got sick from something while staying here (and we had purified water dispensers outside that we were told to use, so I'm guessing it was something to do with the food). The setting is really lovely and the rest of the staff was very nice!

  • Stayed: April 2007
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2  Thank Julie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2007

We loved this place. Howler monkeys sat on your roof, capuchins scrambling through the trees, toucans at dawn - brilliant! The food is decent, the accommodation is good I think for a jungle lodge. Rooms were a decent size with private bathrooms, hot water showers, and ceiling fans (no air conditioning in places like this).
The bar does a mean pina colada, and the staff were all very nice.

The excursions are good, we saw tons of wildlife, and it is worth getting up stupidly early for some really good bird encounters.

Bring mosquito coils!

The zip lining here is worth doing if you are going on later to Monteverde as it's good practice, gets you used to it and sets you up nicely for when you get really high up in the clud forest.
If you come here after Monteverde I wouldn't bother having a go - it's in a different league.

  • Stayed: December 2006
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2  Thank oscar.t.d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2007

What I mean by my title, "this is a lodge" is only meant to warn you that this is a lodge in the rain forest, not a luxury resort. For the price, I think it was great fun and a good value--you get a room to stay in, all your meals, and great tour guides. Be prepared, the rooms are very basic. No A/C, hot water in the shower, but not at the sink, beds are not the greatest. But hey, you don't come here for luxury, you come for the rain forest. Overall, we really enjoyed our stay here. We saw the most monkeys of our entire Costa Rican vacation right here at Pachira--spider and howler monkeys. Sometimes it sounds like those howler monkeys are on the roof of your bungalow. Cool!

We did the 2 night package, which I recommend, because 1 night is pretty brief for the time it takes to get here. We were picked up at our hotel at 6:30 am by a van and taken to another spot where we got on a large, comfortable tourist bus. They stop at a restaurant for a nice breakfast on the way. On the bus you meet your guides, who will be with your group for the rest of the stay. Ours were Luis and Jorge, who were friendly and enthusiastic certified tour guides, and very proud of Costa Rica. I liked that. The drive on the bus is pretty interesting, through a cloud forest, and coffee and banana plantations. The bus takes you to the docks (bathrooms, snacks), where you get on the boats that take you to the lodge. On the way, you see lots of birds and maybe a few other things if you're lucky. It's a pleasant trip.

Pachira lodge is a pretty setting, very beautifully landscaped, with the bungalows spread out throughout the grounds. There is a very nice pool and bar area (one night there was music). While you are there, your package includes another trip on the canals, a hike in Tortuguero Park, and a stop at the town of Tortuguero (not much of a town). We didn't see turtles because it was not the season.

Another thing I liked is that you don't feel taken advantage of, given that you are a captive audience. For example, there is no gift shop at Pachira pushing souvenirs, and I thought the drinks at the bar were very reasonably priced, considering you have no other option.

The food at the buffet is about the quality of a good cafeteria, with breakfast being the best meal. Service was average, but I also came to realize that the staff works a very long day, and I felt kind of bad about that, because many of the staff are very young girls--15 or 16 years old (maybe they're older, but they looked that young to me), and you see the same ones at all 3 meals. We always left a tip in the tip jar at the buffet. Those young folks work hard.

We really enjoyed the hike through Tortugero rain forest, which lasted about 2 hours. There were 3 guides, so we divided into 3 smaller groups, which I thought was good. A local boy joined our group as a "helper" to our guide, and he helped spot wildlife, including a tiny red poisonous frog, although we didn't see a lot of wildlife. I'm just as interested in the flora, so I enjoyed that. The hike is not strenuous, however, it's pretty mukky, and the lodge provides boots for you to wear--use them, you need them. When we came back out of the forest, we were greeted by the boy's extended family, who were selling drinks and grandma was cutting up coconuts. It might sound touristy and staged, but it turned out to be fun, and I think everyone had a good time. And a beer tasted pretty good at that point. I also suspect this is how this family makes its living. They literally live right there between the edge of the forest and the water in a ramshackle house.

We did 2 extras while at Pachira: a canopy tour--fun, but I suspect not as good as those in Arenal or Monteverde. Also we had a massage at the resort next door, which is walking distance (and we were told owned by the same people). This is a bargain. For $40 each we had a very nice spa experience. I didn't know this was available until we got there and was very glad we took advantage of it.

  • Stayed: December 2006, travelled with family
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13  Thank kentisland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pachira Lodge

Address: Across The Main Canal, Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Tortuguero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 36 Speciality Lodging in Tortuguero
Price Range: $356 - $609 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Pachira Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 88
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The lodge is strategically located only 5 minutes away from the extraordinary Tortuguero National Park, and right across the main "canal" facing the town of Tortuguero. Surrounded by a network of very scenic canals, this is considered one of the most exotic regions of the world, characterized by its rich in flora and fauna. Strategically located. 88 comfortable guest rooms. 14 hectares (34 acres). 5 minutes from Tortuguero National Park main entrance. Stay at one of our comfortable rooms with private bathroom, hot water and ceiling fans. Enjoy all our buffet-style meals that are included. Let's cheers with our wine when for dinner. Be our guest at our bar and enjoy our excelent service. Let us show you this paradise with our bilingual tour guides, during the entire trip. Take advantage of our daily departures from San José, with no minimum of passengers required. Travel safety as we get you around comfortably. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pachira Hotel Tortuguero

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