Spotlight Costa Rica, Casa Marbella Bed and Breakfast Hotel Tortuguero Costa Rica, A Delightful Place!
“A Simple Place in A Natural Setting”
Casa Marbella Bed and Breakfast is in the heart of Tortuguero village, Costa Rica. Owner Daryl Loth can provide extensive directions on how to get to the inn via a combination of public buses and water taxis. Visitors can ask boats to drop them off on Casa Marbella’s back dock, right on the canal. Local airlines Nature Air and Sansa also serve Tortuguero.
Casa Marbella Bed and Breakfast hotel in Tortuguero Costa Rica offers reasonable room rates. The best rooms are upstairs where you feel the tropical breeze and hear the ocean surf. From July 1 to Oct. 30 and Dec. 1 to April 30, singles are $35, doubles are $40 and triples are $50; the rest of the year, subtract $5. There are also two superior rooms with a canal view on the first and second floor for $50 and $60, respectively, year-round. Contact the inn to inquire about rates for a family room with a double bed and three single beds. Rates include taxes and full breakfast served between 7 and 10 a.m. There are no ATMs in Tortuguero and the inn does not accept credit cards, so plan accordingly.
Loth leads morning boat tours of the canals for $20 (plus $10 admission to Tortuguero National Park) and can arrange evening turtle-spotting tours for $20.
“We run the kind of place we’d want to stay in – clean and laid back,” Loth said.
Loth is being modest. Casa Marbella is an immaculate, relaxing and affordable jewel, run by an owner renowned for his local knowledge. Guests at more expensive lodges might consider whether their pricier accommodations buy them the personal attention or wildlife expertise that a stay at Casa Marbella provides – and that make a visit to Tortuguero such a special experience.
The location of the inn is excellent. It sits right on Tortuguero’s signature canals, at the edge of Tortuguero National Park. The brightly painted green and yellow inn has a kitchen area where guests can conveniently store food and drinks in the refrigerator, use the microwave and borrow from the hotel’s stash of guidebooks.
Overlooking the canal is a covered breakfast area, where guests enjoy hearty breakfast following morning rain forest tours. The kitchen turns out scrambled eggs, pancakes or French toast, juicy mango, guava, watermelon and pineapple slices, toast, orange juice, coffee and tea. Loth said he might add hammocks to this area so guests can relax , read a book or watch the local everyday life of Tortuguero.
The inn is located on Tortuguero’s main road, across the street from the town’s church and within easy walking distance of a number of excellent Caribbean restaurants. Just a few hundred meters away is the beach, where, at night, giant sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. However, the beach is not suitable for swimming. The undertow is too great.
The rooms on the inn’s second level are bright and airy, yellow-and-white curtains framing windows that let in ample sunshine and the sound of the nearby Atlantic Ocean. The downstairs rooms aren’t quite as open but boast high ceilings and can sleep two to three people. Everything is very clean. The rooms have hardwood floors, fans. Some rooms have private baths so you need to be specific when booking.
Internet access is offered in the hotel’s internet cafe.
Loth offers extensive advice and tips – including detailed instructions on traveling to Tortuguero on local buses and boats – and recommending mouthwateringly good restaurants.
Visitors don’t have to stay at Casa Marbella to take Loth’s tours. If he is not available to give a tour, he knows a number of local guides who can.
Loth is up at 4:30 a.m. most mornings to start coffee and prepare his boat for rain forest tours – his favorite kind.
Loth knows where to locate the wildlife and brings guests in close contact with howler, spider and white-faced capuchin monkeys, toucans, caimans, several varieties of heron and more. His enthusiasm is infectious, as he shares stories about the animals’ migration patterns, hunting habits and history in the region – all with a sense of humor and appreciation of the natural surroundings.
Travel tips: Rains a lot here year round…no wet or dry season…so pack a small folding umbrella and a lightweight rain jacket. Good tennis shoes which are comfortable to walk. Mosquito repellent and apply it around 4:30 pm. Do not try to go swimming in ocean, strong rip tides.
Backpack with a bottle of water, bird binoculars, camera, etc.
To learn more about Casa Marbella Tortuguero Costa Rica go to www.casamarbella.tripod.com