• Introduction:

Mawamba Lodge is the perfect base for exploring the rich biodiversity of the area around Parque Nacional Tortuguero. This popular national park offers a good introduction to the typical rainforest wildlife and is a hotspot for birding in Costa Rica. With its front yard being the Tortuguero canals and its backyard the Carribean Sea and surrounded by tropical vegetation, Mawamba Lodge is the right spot for the true Tortuguero-feeling…

• Location:

Mawamba Lodge is located about 1 km north of th village of Tortuguero and right at the edge of the Parque Nacional Tortuguero in the northeastern part of Costa Rica. The only way to get to Tortuguero is by boat or by plane. The typical route to Tortuguero is by car or bus from San José ascending the modern highway nr 32 all the way till Siquirres, followed by about 40 km unpaved roads through pasturelands and bananaplantations untill getting to Caño Blanco, from where the boat is taken for the last hour to 1,5 hours to Tortuguero. Leaving early from San José it normally takes till 1:00 pm to reach Tortuguero this way. It is a beautifull journey passing by some great scenery. The alternive option is to fly in. There are daily flight from San José to Tortuguero (and back). It will reduce your trivel time significantly to only about 45 minutes.

• Facilities:

Mawamba Lodge offers 54 standard rooms and 4 more spaceous superior rooms. All come with private bathroom and hot water, a ceiling fan and a small porch with 2 chairs with garden views. There is a refreshing swimming pool, a buffet-style restaurant, bar and a souvenir shop. All is set in beautifull tropical gardens with on one side the Tortuguero Canals and the other side direct acces to  the Carribean Sea. On the grounds of Mawamba Lodge there is a butterfly garden and frog garden, with exclusive acces for hotelguests free of charge.

• Birding and wildlife attractions:

The Tortuguero area offers good birding where  the typical rainforestbirds of the Carribean lowlands can be seen together with many waterbirds. This makes the area a favorite for  birding tours in Costa Rica. The Mawamba Lodge gardens and forest edge is always worth spending a few hours in the morning and can be very productive with chances for both Keel-billed and Chesntut-mandibled Toucan, Collared Aracari, Slaty-tailed and Violaceous (Garthered) Trogon. Red-lored, Mealy and White-crowned Parrots and Orange-chinned Parakeets are seen regularry foraging in the garden trees. Many Flycatchers and Tanagers like Passerini’s and Golden-hooded Tanagers are common, and so are Masked Tityra, Montezuma Oropendola and Black-cowled Oriole. White-collared Manakins have various leks on the property. The more interesting birds however should be looked for in the national park. The only acces to this park is by motorboat along the various canals. Birdwatching from a slow moving boat is actually very realxed and can be quite productive. During the boattours it is hard to miss the many Anhinga’s and other waterbirds like Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron and others. Bare-throated Tiger-heron is also common and even the rare Rufescent Tiger-heron can be seen on some occasions. Besides that all 6 Kingfisher species of the country can be seen in Tortuguero. The real highlights of Tortuguero however are the shy Sungrebe, often seen swimming quietly along riveredge, the Green-and-rufous Kingfisher, a though species that likes to hang out in quiet small, shaded canals, and the stunning Agami Heron: an extremely shy bird that will need a lot of luck and patience to observe it. Scanning the shaded wateredge of the smaller less traveled waterways is your best option…Besides that Tortuguero is a fairly good place for the observation of the endangered Great Green Macaws thanks to its abundance of many wild almond trees, the macaw’s favorite food. Also Great Potoo is aroud; this bird is extremely hard to see since it is a master of camouflage, but sometimes the capitains or local guides know the location of their stake-outs… Purple-throated Fruitcrows and Green Ibis are other species that are relatively easy in Tortuguero, but very hard anywhere else. It is also wort mentioning that Parque Nacional Tortuguero, (together with Parque Nacional Corcovado) has recent reports of sightings of Crested Eagles and even Harpey Eagles. Besides many Costa Rica birds, Tortuguero is also the home of an amazing variety of other animals. Mostly seen on the boattours are up to 3 species of monkeys, 2 species of sloths, Spectacled Caimans, Green Iguana’s, Emerald Basilisks, Strawberry Poisson Dart Frogs. However the Tortuguero area is most famous for being the most important nesting sitefor the Green Sea Turtle in the Western Hemisphere. Other turtles that lay there eggs on the beach of Tortuguero are Loggerhead, Leatherbacks and Hawksbill Turtles. During besting season (June – October) it is possible to take a guided nighthike to see the female turtles come to shore to lay their eggs.

Important to know is that in the standard packages Mawamba Lodge (and others) offer guided boat-tours to explore the canals of Parque Nacional Tortuguero come included. However you will be sitting with other hotelguests in the same boat (maximum 16) and attention will be given to not only to birds but many other aspexts of the fauna and flora of the area. Arartinga Tours however will be glad to asist you in arranging a specialized private birding tour with quiet boats and specialized birding guides