Fodor's Expert Review Hotel Las Tortugas

Entrance to Leatherback Marine National Park, 33 km (20 miles) north of Tamarindo, Playa Grande, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

With a prime location on the beach, this place is perfect for surfers, nature lovers, and sun worshippers with a range of budgets. The name, which means "the turtles," is no accident; this hotel was designed with turtles in mind. Owner-conservationist Louis Wilson made sure that room and restaurant lights don't shine on the beach, because light disorients the turtles. Rooms are spacious, with good beds, stone floors, terraces, balconies, and colorful tile bathrooms. Las Tortugas accommodates all budgets, with options ranging from spacious suites to economical dorm-style rooms in an annex at the back of the grounds, which we don't recommend unless you want to rough it. They also offer an array of apartments up the hill, some with kitchenettes, that rent by the night, week, or month. All of this adds up to the best value in Playa Grande, and one of the best deals on the Pacific coast. The main surf break is just to the south of the hotel, and turtle tours start at the ranger station next door. Rip currents are a danger on the beach here, which is why many guests prefer the pool shaped like a leatherback turtle (the turtle's head is the kiddie pool). A palm-lined entrance and lush gardens slung with hammocks round out the grounds' appeal. The restaurant serves a good selection of fresh seafood and grilled meat dishes; a beach snack bar has Caribbean-style food and tacos.


  • on the beach
  • friendly owners
  • good value


  • busy location
  • spotty service at times
  • rooms lack amenities


Local Flavor


Phones: 2653–0423


37 units
Rate Includes: No Meals

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