Lush lawns, orchids, and tropical trees surround this thatched riverside lodge owned by Costa Rica Expeditions and renowned for its nature packages and top-notch, personalized service. Tortuga sets itself apart with its smaller size, and markets itself to a higher-budget clientele than do its major competitors here (Laguna, Mawamba, and Pachira). Most of Tortuga's packages include its own charter flights to Tortuguero, but you can ask for a land/boat combo from San José
as well. Guest rooms are comfortable, with much-appreciated mosquito blinds. The penthouse suite, with two king-size beds and an extra smaller bed, has ample room for a family. The chefs do an excellent job preparing hearty food, which is served family-style rather than in a buffet line as at other lodges. Tortuguero National Park is 20 minutes south by boat. Packages begin at $378 per person.