Tortuga Lodge & Gardens
The first eco-lodge to open near Tortuguero National Park, the 22-year-old Tortuga Lodge sits in Costa Rica’s “mini-Amazon” on the Atlantic coast, accessible only by boat or plane. The 27 open-air rooms are spread between six modest two-story bungalows that emerge gently from the tropical foliage. Owner Michael Kaye, one of the country’s ecotourism pioneers, is always focused on minimizing the lodge’s intrusion; he also helped launch a program to protect the local beach, the most important nesting ground in the Western Hemisphere of the endangered Atlantic green sea turtle.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.