Barra Pacuare is a real off-the-beaten-track destination. This is a great alternative to explore Tortuguero National Park and to see the famous sea turtles of Costa Rica.
From San José, you will travel by bus and boat to your destination near the Rio Pacuare. This trip is already an adventure in itself. To actually get to the lodge, you need to get on a boat and accompanied by a guide, you drive down the Madre de Dios (mother of God) river to the lodge. Along the way there’s already a chance you’ll spot birds, monkeys and other animals.
The lodge where you will stay for the next few days is located in the middle of the jungle near a beautiful lagoon, far away from civilization and other travel destinations. There’s no wifi nor a pool, but there’s plenty to do here and you for sure will not get bored.
Upon your arrival, your guide will take you to Barra de Pacuare, a typical Caribbean village. Here you’ll visit the local school and a small-scale turtle project. During your stay at the lodge, you will also go on a tour to the nearby wetlands, where you can spot countless birds, amphibians and reptiles such as caimans and river turtles.
You’ll spend the night in the middle of the jungle and when nature awakes in the early morning, it is the best time to spot wild animals. The weather is not too hot yet and everybody is busy scoring breakfast. Your guide will take you to the Pacuare reserve, where you will walk around primary tropical rainforest to spot monkeys, snakes and various birds such as the toucan. With a bit of luck, you also see sloths!
In the afternoon you will travel through the Pacuare canals (part of the Tortuguero canals) where caimans, crocodiles, river turtles, sloths, snakes, birds and monkeys live. Afterwards, if you have enough energy left, you can always borrow a kayak to explore the waters yourself or book an extra tour.
If you want to experience the nature of Tortuguero in its purest, natural form, far away from other tourists, then this is your chance!
Our stay here was really enjoyable. The lodge was only accessible by boat and all in all some 15 guests were staying at the hotel. On the way to the lodge, our guide already showed us various wild animals (sloth, poison frogs, monkeys). Do keep in mind the lodge offers basic accommodation. There is not always hot water or electricity and don’t panic when you encounter a spider in your room. We both liked everything a lot, but we understand that this accommodation is not suitable for every traveller. Also, we enjoyed the guided tours. We visited the local turtle project and could help guide baby turtles to the ocean, a very unique experience!
We reallly enjoyed our stay here and Herman, our guide was great! We nicknamed him Freek Vonk sr. after the famous Dutch biologist, and had great fun with him.
Our stay in Barra Pacuare was an absolute highlight! The transfer by boat through the laguna and later on an improvised night tour were really great. We asked if we could visit the ranger station at night to see how the turtles are taken care of. In a few hours our guide not only got everything arranged, but the skipper who was taking us suggested to go and search for crocodiles together. The kitchen staff asked if they could join as well and we all had a great time together. Fantastic!!!
Beautiful location, nice tours. Very friendly staff and super nice guides. It was the intention to visit a school here, but unfortunately that didn’t work out. That was a pity, but 5 stars!
During your stay here you truly are ‘disconnected’ from the digital world. At the lodge, there’s no mobile network and no WiFi. So no emails and now Whatsapp. In this way you’ll have plenty time to connect with nature and explore your surroundings.