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“Short stay at the Jungle Tarpon Lodge”

Jungle Tarpon Lodge
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Jungle Tarpon Lodge
Ranked #7 of 8 Hotels in Tortuguero
Reviewed 19 March 2015

We spent 4 days in early March at the Jungle Tarpon Lodge as part of a 10 day trip to Costa Rica. We traveled with another couple and went here so that the guys could tarpon fish. We flew into San Jose, stayed overnight at a city hotel and then were picked up in the early morning and driven in a comfortable van, east to the Caribbean coast, where staff from the lodge were waiting to take us up river to the lodge. One of the nicest features of the lodge are the staff who work there. All were very friendly and tried hard to be helpful in every way they could. Only a few speak English however, which from my perspective was great and makes for a much more authentic cultural experience, but some may find it a drawback. Angelo, the manager lived in Canada for a number of years as a teen and speaks English as well as I, and the other fishing/eco tour guide, Eugene, also has very good English ability, so communication was never a problem. The rooms at the lodge are very large, with two queen size beds but very little in the way of clothes hanging space. We found the beds to be very comfortable. There are large screened windows to allow a breeze and both a standing fan and a ceiling fan helped keep us comfortable. The bathroom was reasonably sized too and hotter water for showers than I expected there might be. It is definitely a fishing lodge, nothing fancy, but everything was clean and comfortable. There were also rocking chairs to sit on the veranda outside of our rooms. Another of the great aspects of the lodge was the meals. The two women who run the kitchen are great chefs and we ate really well. There was always more food than necessary and enough variety at every meal so that even my husband who mostly doesn't eat meat, had plenty to choose from. There is always bottled water, soda and beer for whenever you wanted. I also liked how the fishing was scheduled here - they go out in the am and in the afternoon, returning after each trip for a meal which meant I could go fishing for half of a day and stay behind with my book for the other half. Sadly, the ocean did not cooperate while we were there - it was never smooth enough to get out there and fish for tarpon, but that's not something the lodge can control. At least once, the ladies went out in a separate boat for an eco tour, or an animal safari on water and were delighted and amazed at how easily Eugene could spot animals that were amazingly well camouflaged. The biggest drawback to the lodge for the ladies was that there was no where you could go on foot from the lodge. No beach to walk, no safe place to hike etc. so you have to be prepared to entertain yourself if you're not going fishing. It was no problem for us. Thanks Jungle Tarpon for a nice intro to Costa Rica.

  • Stayed: March 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Service
1  Thank readitseeit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4 - 10 of 10 reviews

Reviewed 11 November 2014

I'm not sure whether I should start with the the roofs that leaked in several of the six rooms they have, or mention the fact that we didn't have hot water for the first two days of our trip or begin with the drywall and paint chipped off of the walls of my room in 14 separate spots. Then again, I could start with the screened windows with no glass in my room or the room upstairs with glass windows and no screens or perhaps the dining pavilion where 4 of the 12 light bulbs worked inside filthy light fixtures. I have pictures to prove all of this should anyone ask. The rooms have no chairs for sitting, some have neither a closet nor shelves. The beds are simple bed frames with mattresses and no box springs or mattress pads. We were given no shampoo for showers and a thin towel each day. I wasn't expecting high-end but I was expecting humane. We also battled plumbing problems the entire week we were there.

I will say that the staff does the best they can with the few resources the owner appears to give them. The staff is friendly and attentive. The food, although not spectacular, is adequate. The open and free cerveza bar they claim to have is nothing more than a refrigerator the guests have access to 24x7. We frequently had to ask the staff to restock beer, waters and juices. We also experienced mechanical problems with two of the boats on different occasions.

The fishing was decent although we got conflicting stories as to when the best time was to go. The lodge owner told us early November while others at the lodge told us the best fishing was in September. Upon our arrival in early November, many of the other lodges in the area were surprisingly quiet. We paid a heck of a lot of money and didn't come close to getting an equal value in return.

Be aware that if it's too rough to get out past the breakers and you can't fish, there's no cable TV, no internet, no phones or entertainment of any kind available.

Room Tip: By best advice on how to obtain a good room? DON'T STAY THERE!
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  • Stayed: November 2014, travelled with friends
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5  Thank MIT629
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2014

Be careful when dealing with this lodge. They offer a special. Then after you book hotels and air fare, they say that what is offered is incorrect, and double the price. When you call they confirm special. Say they will send invoice, then bait and switch.

Typical bait and switch

Room Tip: don't go Call us at 602-321-0489 wii give details
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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5  Thank laura m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2011

Jungle Tarpon Lodge is an excellent place to go! My Uncle Mike and friend Mark Grisham traveled there at the beginning of October and stayed 3 nights. We had zero complaints and many good stories to come back with from there. The fishing,food, and service was top notch. Angelo is the best captain I have ever had and I have been on a lot of fishing trips. Thank you
Colin Juliette-Missouri

Room Tip: all the rooms were nice
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Colin J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2011

We just returned from a visit to the Jungle Tarpon Lodge in Costa Rica (11/2011) and it was awesome. Angelo the lodge manager was an extremely helpful and knowledgeable fishing guide. Although our trip was mainly for fishing we found the river blown out and Tarpon not so hungry so Angelo took us on a trip through the jungle via boat and a tour of his village, Parsimina. And the food was just as advertised, wholesome, healthy and great tasting. The entire staff could not have been more helpful and the accommodations were great. The only hiccup on our trip was when we arrived in San Jose our luggage did not but Angelo convinced us to travel to the lodge and he would handle the luggage issue and he did. It was delivered to the lodge later that evening.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Worf W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2011

there is no place for a zero rating. totally false advertising. room only had 2 beds and a table,no chairs and was lit by 2 incandescant bulbs,and a reading light. bathroom was moldy,dirty,and one bulb for light. no curtains on bathroom windows,and the room had thin,poor quality ones that barely stopped the light. we had beans and rice 11 of 12 meals, coimmercial spaghetti the other. advertised as lobster,fresh fish, etc. we had porkchops twice,chicken enchiladas,and the commercial spaghetti for our 4 dinners.the 100 acres is really about 2 that are accessible to you. NO POOL> the lagoon is a muddy inlet off the very muddy river and is barely big enough for the boat.,however small they were. fishing was in 1 approx 14ft jon boat and you had to sit in 3-5 ft breakers to fish,or troll in the river,where we were run off by armed park guards. ocean fishing in a small boat,no live well,a d smelled of gas fumes the entire time.happy hour was advertised.we had none.just 2 bottles of vodka(one flavored),no mix,one type of beer,and no hors d'oerves as advertised.there is so much more,but if you value your dollars and vacation time dont waste it on this dive.the same folks own great alaska fishing, and i would be leary of them also.you talk to the same guy no matter which you choose.wish someone had warned us.

Room Tip: sure.dont book any of them and save yourself.
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  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank hugh s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrew H, General Manager at Jungle Tarpon Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 16 November 2011

Following a low price Two for One trip, a writer wrote a tough review of our lodge. Earlier and later TA reviews of the same trip gave us 4 & 5 out of 5 stars. Our prices are about 60% of the nearby competition. The guest said nothing while at the lodge & tipped well. The writer demanded a 50% refund or threatened derogatory postings on TA. We proffered a refund of $420. The refund was refused and he turned the complaint into American Express, which denied his claim. He turned the complaint in again to American Express and it was again denied. He cashed the refund check. He then sent a follow up e mail demanding $2000, not $420. He offered to send no further bad reviews and to rescind the subject review if he received the $2000.
I think that says it all. We have built our reputation on customer service, including refunds when justified. We thought it only fair that we post the Rest of the Story.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2007

Went to the Jungle Tarpon Lodge and had a great time. The Lodge is nice, ( be careful though, when it rains, and it does, the rooms tend to leak and you play musical beds). The food was great and the people were awesome. I did the eco tours and my husband did the fishing. I must say I made out better than he. Did some kayaking and saw Sloths, Monkeys, crocodiles, many different species of birds, butterflies and frogs. The fishing was not as great. Could not get out to the sea, due to high waves or low tide and nothing biting in the canals. Saw a lot of Tarpon roll, but none were hungry. The guides they have seem to know the area and were with us at all times. Would recommend the Lodge and plan to go again.

  • Stayed: March 2007, travelled with family
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4  Thank trickyshoes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Jungle Tarpon Lodge

Address: Parsimina River lagoon | southern end of Tortuguero National Park, Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Tortuguero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 8 Hotels in Tortuguero
Price Range: $251 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Jungle Tarpon Lodge is located near the entrance of Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica's most famous jungle wilderness and home to an incredible array of birds, animals and nesting Turtles. The lodge caters only to small and intimate groups of Tarpon fishermen and wilderness adventurers. Three to seven day packages provide Caribbean offshore and jungle river angling, all surrounded by the beauty of Costa Rica's most famous National Park. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Jungle Tarpon Lodge Costa Rica/Tortuguero

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