Costa Rica Spotlight: Mawamba Lodge and the Little Village of Tortuguero, A Unique Place in Costa Rica Costa
Mawamba Lodge on the Tortuguero Canals of Costa Rica is a very special place. What is so unique about Mawamba Lodge? First of all the setting. It is located between the Caribbean Sea and the Toruguero River, in the mist of a remote jungle. Awake to the sounds of monkeys and tropical song birds. The grounds are covered with exotic tropical flowers and plants, not seen in other areas of Costa Rica . The restaurant is open air surrounded by one thousand shades of green. The food is delicious and fresh, very typical Costa Rican with natural drinks made from fresh pineapple and papaya. Butterflies and humming birds of all colors fly near by. The swimming pool is a great place to take a dip and cool off from the tropical heat. A short walk and we are on the long stretch of black sand beach where the green sea turtle comes at night to lay her eggs. We are lucky that we are here in July, the month when we are certainly sure to see the turtles. If we could stay for 10 weeks we could see the baby turtles hatch and raise up out of the sand and run to the sea. That would be something to see!
The big treat is the tour of the Tortuguero Canals, some of these canals make up part of Tortuguero National Park which was created to preserve this ecosystem of fresh water lagoons, creeks, wetlands and secondary rain forest. The wildlife here is abundant because of it’s remoteness. We see monkeys, crocodiles, jesus christ lizards, turtles, and so many birds.
Situated between the Caribbean Sea and the Tortuguero River, only a mile from the Mawamba Lodge is Tortuguero, a small village which take us back in time. Narrow dirt pathways lead to quaint houses all made of wood and painted in hues of blue, yellow, and red, reflecting the
influence of their neighboring Caribbean Islands. Another pathway leads us to the blue and white one room school house where twenty five students , grades one through six, with one teacher, attend morning classes . We continue our walk which leads us to the ocean with it’s dark sand beachs and loud roar of the waves. And here at night we can see the large green sea turtles laying their eggs in the sand. This community is a self sustaining community. Being very isolated from the rest of the outside world the people live simply. Tourism is the biggest money maker. Here they fish, hunt, and grow a lot of their vegetables, and eat the fruit that grows wild, like bananas, papaya, and pineapple.
Near the waters edge are located several small hotels where we see tourist sitting by the river’s edge drinking coconut juice-from a hole cut in the top of the coconut. No one in a hurry here! No super highways, no jet airplanes. Only the sounds of the river, the ocean, and the rain forest.
The school boat docks nearby. It has brought the school kids up river for their day at school. The are all neatly dressed in navy and white uniforms.
There will never be a shortage of food here, no worry of going hungry. Bananas, coconuts, mangos, papayas, all growing wild and a small vegetable garden in every yard. The unpolluted river is abundant with fresh fish and of course there is no shortage of good drinking water with so many natural springs. Rain falls all year round making all the plants and trees a verdant green. So the people here at Tortuguero led a very simply life. No need for cars because there are no roads, only dirt pathways. This is a real life self sustaining community. We as tourist are privileged to take a peek into their lifestyle and wish we could take a little of it back home with us.
Here at costaricalearn we would like to hear from our readers . What do you think. Have you visited this unique place? comment and replies at the end of this article Thanks.