The uniquely canal-based national park of Tortuguero is as beautiful as it is remote. From San José, Costa Rica’s capital and main hub, the trip entails a 4-hour drive and a 90-minute motor boat ride. Laguna Lodge simplifies the effort by picking guests up from the airport or hotel and providing comfortable transportation for every leg of the journey. Breakfast or lunch is provided in Guápiles, the halfway point of the bus ride. The day-long transportation endeavor is narrated by a knowledgeable guide who points out the two rivers converging at Braulio Carrillo National Park, explains the banana harvesting process as the bus passes plantations, and identifies wildlife that appear by the highway. Once guests arrive at the eco lodge, they are met with gorgeous gardens, all-wood rooms with fans that rotate 360 degrees, two swimming pools (one family-friendly, one with a full bar), an extensive buffet for each meal, and a full agenda of guided tours. Watch sunset from the riverside patio or sunrise from the black sand beach, but heed the staff's warning to stay out of the water at both—hungry crocs are not a desired addition to anyone's itinerary.