Welcome to the Avellanas Fan Club

Email us your pics and comments to info@lastortugashotel.com

Even if you didn't get to hang with Avellanas, send us your favorite pics from your vacation, anyway!

"Avellanas Under Driftwood"
Pic sent in by Bob Yarchoam, NIH, Bethesda, MD.

{… scroll to the bottom to read about the classification and origin of our dear coast pup}


We recently joined Facebook so you can find us at:


See you there, friends!!!!


Avellanas and fav' guest Paula from Vancouver , sporting her new Avellanas Fan Club hat.
Just two chicas hanging out, working on their tans!!



     Our French Canadian guests, Lawrence and Nic, embarking on a canoe tour
up the Tamarindo Estuary with Tortugas guide Jonathan, January 2011
Pic provided by Barame (Bear) Oso

Just some of the fauna Bear, Emmi, Lawrence, and Nic saw on their canoe trip:


..... and, of course:

a cuddly croc . . .

. . . and tour guide Jonathan showing off.


a pic from Bear's boat trip to Ollie's Point, Feb. 2011


Carrie, we loved staying at your place. Thank you. We had a wonderful time, loved the food at your hotel and the mango margaritas! :)
The Chaplo Family
Mike, Debbie, Courtney and Ryan
March 2011
PS. Darcie and Mark were so right about how wonderful your hotel and staff are!


We had a great time.
You have a wonderful hotel and staff
Roberta F., March 2011


Carrie and Louis,

Wow!!!! What can we say but THANK YOU both for such a wonderful time in Playa Granda! It was everything we would ever have dreamed of. Your staff,hospitality,personal care for us and our family were amazing. Thank you so much for the alvacodas,bread,board and help in every way. We loved Greek 7 and hope to put a down payment soon for the future. I would move down full time if I could figure a way to have my girls and grandson there as well!

Michael,Moon,Anna,Samatha,Lauren,Linda all had a great time and appreciated everything as well.

I still get cold chills thinking about that sat morning freaky event. I was sitting on beach getting ready to surf that last morning and you all were already in water I think. I felt a 180 degree change from offshore to on shore wind (slight) and in a matter of 2-3 minutes the tide dropped 200-300 yards back into basin and back to high.. I had just finished saying my morning prayers and another surfer came up to me and said "did u see that" "what should we do" ? I told him too late to do anything but enjoy and go surfing. Dianne came down a few minutes later and had the same thing happen again while I was in water. I did not realize what was happening the second time while in water. I get cold chills thinking about it. We are really hearing a lot of news now and it is devasting to Japan and its people.The nuclear reactors are worse everyday and they have removed all workers but 50 from the meltdown.


PS Temp low 40's and NE wind 15-25 knots here at home. I'm already missing paradise!

Mark and Dianne Bruton
Apt. guests February/March 2011 and TSUNAMI WAVE RIDERS!!!

Mark. Stylin'.

Some of the wildlife Mark & Dianne encountered on their vacation .

. . . and some of their neighbors stopping by Greek 7 for a visit.


HI Carrie and Louis.

Just a fast hi and we are back safe and sound. My son and I had a wonderful time and will surely recommend your gracious hospitality and Las Tortugas to all who inquire at my shop. We had sooooo much fun and will surely try to bring my wife and daughter next year. Thank you again.
Regards, Dean Poore, Jan. 2011


We had a great time at Las Tortugas January 12th - 17th. The place was just what I wanted. As Louis has his passion with turtles I have mine with dogs and loved Avellanas. Your beach was beautiful. We took a canoeing trip with the cutie Jonathan and he was a great guide. It was our second trip to Costa Rica but my favorite yet. Your husband was so funny. Very personable and full of stories. Your staff pleasant.  Again thank you so much.
Jo Reed, Rand Reed, Kirsten Reed, Sherri Crane and Larry Crane, January 2011.

PS can you give out the mango margarita recipe........I LOVED it.


Hi Carrie,

I just wanted to thank you and Louis for all the incredible set up that you have in CR. We loved our staying and we are already planning our next coming in march or april...

Our first experience was extremely positive. The location of your facilities is perfect, I was able to surf everyday and Virginia was enjoying the pool and sun... Also I want to note the profesionalism and warmth of your staff. They are all extremely helpful and are doing an amazing job. I want to note to you that Johanna at the reception is doing an amazing job by helping us with all our demands from taxi, rentals, fruits, ... She is just amazing.

'In global ... I don't remember when was the last time that I was so relaxed ...

Best wishes, 

Ivan and Virginia, January 2011


We stayed at Tortugas last December. Awesome!
Here’s a pic of me with Avellanas!
Dax K. , Jackson, Wyoming


Thanks for a great time.
While there i took pics of a dog on the beach and drew a few sketches.
Well the other day I was telling my friends about the place we stayed at
and how we met this great cat named Lewis Wilson. We all started talking about
how we wanted to go back there someday and decided that October this year would be that year!
My wife will be contacting you in this regard, but I wanted to share a few images of that dog since I found a page dedicated to AVELLANAS.
I was so thrilled to learn that we can come back and hang with her and the rad surf again.
dan + monique merk
Lovers of the Lighthouse at Las Tortugas

photo by dan merk

sketch by dan merk. awesome.


Finally had a few minutes to share our thoughts about our stay at Las Tortugas!  We had a fabulous time. We especially appreciated having Sandra as our new friend all week.  She knew what we needed even before we did!
Everyone was great. The food was fabulous!
- Mike and Sharon Spillman
Wallingford. PA

The Spillmans and their new Costa Rican friend Sandra!


Dear Carrie & Louis

We had a fabulous time at Playa Grande, the hotel Las Tortugas has a fantastic atmosphere about it and we were
made to feel extremely welcome at all times.
Chris & Emma, Cornwall, England
March, 2010



Chet Martinussen,
Workin' it at Grande
(A force to be reckoned with in just a few short years!)




Carrie, Louis-
Its Scott - just wanted to say we had a great time! cant wait to come back to Grande. the Light House apt was nice - thanks for everything. . .
I took tons of photos and have already started to work the images into my paintings. I have an art show this summer and plan on using many of the Costa Rica photos as reference - you would have fun looking at the finished paintings - they will be on: <http://www.sawbladedesign.com>www.sawbladedesign.com eventually. . .
Hope our paths cross again some day.
Scott Saw

Scott Saw & Tara,
Witch's Rock boat trip.

Playa Grande Morning
-Scott Saw


i just wanted to let you know that we had an amazing time during our stay in
playa grande. everyone at the hotel was so friendly and helpful and made
our trip even better. we will definitely pass the word to nature conscious
travellers and plan to make it there again in the future!!
thanks again,
erin hall and amber welsh



Sunset cocktail hour with the summer crowd at Las Tortugas. A daily ritual in Playa Grande.



Ben, Marie, & Avellanas: Good to the last drop.



The Tight Family, Christmas 2006
Delaney, Dave (Dad), Maddie, Janet (Mom), & Sophie



Turtle Brother Spike Wilson stylin' in front of the Hotel

Spike's sidekick Claudie
. . . Claudie Who?


Blauvelt, Beuche, & Co., Thanksgiving

"Hi Carrie & Louis, . . . I cannot tell you enough what a great time we all had. We are already
planning our next trip there. You guys, your staff, your hotel, your vibe
made our trip. Thanksgiving dinner was so special.
I missed your hotel when we left for Nosara....."
-Jeanne Beuche, LA, Calif.

Russell on a pretty Grande left . . . making Avellanas proud!



Steve Smith, a las Tortugas regular!



Dear Carrie and Louis Wilson,
I just wanted to thank you and your staff for your abosolutely amazing hospitality.  I have been back in Texas for a day now and am still stoked on my stay at Hotel Las Tortugas.  I have been all over the world and have stayed in the "Ritziest" hotels but have never had such a great experience as I did with your "close knit" staff.  I will never forget your beautiful place, the beautiful beach and those beautiful people.  The people of Playa Grande are amazing.  I think they are some of the nicest people in the world.  I will definitely be back to stay at your hotel and I will recommend it to anyone I ever speak with about Costa Rica.

Pura Vida,
Mike Walsh
Dallas, TX



Avellanas on Punta Carbon.
(pic sent in by Jane)


Jane and Avellanas at Playa Carbon
. . . two peas in a clam shell.


"Dudes at Witch's"
Pic sent in by Gary Green

Gary Green:
"We recently stayed at your hotel; Just wanted you to know that we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. You gave us some great tips on when to go to Ollie's Point as well as some other surf spots. Everyone at the hotel was very nice and made our stay there a pleasant one."


Dinner time! Compliments of Hank



Hanks' lil' bro Hunter lounging with Avellanas.



I just wanted to take a moment to
thank you for a wonderful stay at your hotel. As you may recall, we spent
3 nights with you last week before driving down to Nosara. We enjoyed Las
Tortugas so much that we cut our trip down south short, so that we could return
for 2 additional nights. ; I spent 25 years living in Hawaii (growing up in
the tourism industry) and have traveled to a number of other destination
locations throughout the world and I have to say that you truly have something
special there in Playa Grande. Your staff is phenomenal. Sergio went out
of his way to assist us in any way possible and we enjoyed talking with Alexi
(sp?) and the rest of the employees- this makes all the difference in a
vacation experience. Also, the fact that you sit in front of a phenomenal
beach break does not hurt! As we were leaving on Saturday
morning, our car had a dead battery. We really appreciated your help and
the staff who seemed happy to come out and help us push the car down the street
for a jump-start. We will highly recommend your property whenever possible
and are already contemplating our return in the spring.Thanks again for the hospitality and
a great week!
Jeff and Elizabeth Howard
Park City, Utah



SurfBob and son, Mark,
discussing another great session at Grande.



. . . and our New England college students on Springbreak from Bowdoin:



GNS8 Boys from Ocean City, New Jersey
Las Tortugas Apartment guests


Ryder Chicos at Grande
Pics by Raul.

Lil' Bro Tom: Sequence.

Nice. . . erm. . . wetsuit, Craig. (cough, cough)


All Star Turtle/Ryder Brother Mike bottom turning in Paradise


Hey Carrie and Lewis (sic),
I know we haven't sent you any pictures yet but Lewis took one of the
three of us at breakfast one morning. Your web page is still plastered with
the Ryder Bros., and we all know that that isn't going to attract the ladies
to Playa Grande. Just checking in on you, we had a great time last week.
Jamie (Hill and Dan)
Wrightsville Beach, NC

Jamie, Dan, & Hill: The Banana Pancake Boys
(aka, Lady Killers)


Ken Roberts Family Group Pic in the Parking Lot, Last Morning


Tyler: Tailsliding at Grande


Please extend our thanks to the staff for the wonderful food and service we received during our stay.  Patricia and I had a wonderful time!  We are already planning our next visit to Costa Rica with Patricia's parents.  We will definitely include a stay at your hotel in our travel plans& and I plan to learn how to surf!!!
 Thanks so much!
~David & Patricia Fenrick


"Hi Carrie . . .
Doug and I had such a great time in Costa Rica,
thanks in no small part to meeting you folks and your
- Paul Shephard, San Francisco


Dear Carrie . . . I hope that you had a great Christmas, and that
your new year will be full of health and happiness for you and Louis. Thanks again for
looking after us so well.
-Barbara O'Brien, Washington, DC


Hi Carrie. . . If Louis is still feeling punk perhaps it will improve him to learn our
family considered your place the nicest of the many nice places we
stayed in Costa Rica.
Cheers,Tom Perry, MD
Vancouver, B.C.


Hi Carrie,
 Just a quick note to send in our picture of Avellanas and to let you know what a great vacation we had at Las Tortugas.  We'll definitely be back and we haven't stopped bragging about the place to all our friends.
Jennifer Couling 


Rasta Robby
Backside bottom turning on a clean, fun day at Grande.
Peeps from Rasta Robby: "Louis is my hero!!!"



Surf Bob, National Institutes of Health Surf Team.
. . . Cruisin'!!



Mark and little brother, John: Barrelled
. . . well, erm, almost.

Peeps from Family SurfBob [which includes Boogie fanatics Mark & John (pictured above) and mom, Giovanna]: "Wanted to let you know the whole family had a wonderful time. The
place is wonderful. All enjoyed surfing and boogie boarding in the
big surf, and you and your staff made us feel at home. It was one of
our best vacations ever!"



Windy Weaver, coming back for more!


Peeps from Bubber (yes, Bubber): "Hey, Ya'll, I just wanted to thank you and every single person on the staff . . . for a wonderful week at your place. We had a great time, all of us, and we decided that it was our best CR trip ever. . .
PS--Be sure to give Avellanas a good scratch behind her left ear for me."

"Working On Her Tan"
-pic sent in by Bubber


Peeps from Jerry Weaver: "Thanks for putting up with us (especially Bubber).
We had fun surfing and meeting all of you. We will be back soon . . . You guys are great!"

       Jerry Weaver killing it at Playa Grande.


     My stay in CR was wonderful! 
I made many recommendations to all my freinds & family to stay at the Hotel Las Tortugas!
Chet Canlas 


Peeps from Vicki:
"Just wanted to thank you so much for all of your help with our visit. The directions were greatly appreciated - a lifesaver! Our room #10 was perfect, better than expected. Your staff was helpful & friendly and the food delicious!
We had a wonderful time and plan to return."


Mike V. - Just learning. Third day out at Grande .


"I just wanted you to know that we had a great time at your hotel last week.
I really enjoyed your hospitality and the laid-back atmosphere was awesome.
Your staff was great too. Say hello to Shirley for me. I'm glad you and
your friends enjoyed the Dorado we caught. Your cook did a great job
preparing the fish."


Answer Lizard
(Pic from SurfBob, taken from Hotel Restaurant window)



Avellanas' lost friend, "Stinky", the Dead Parrot Fish.


Lewis [sic], I did want to thank you for your tremendous
hospitality. We'll be recommending your place to all our friends and hope to
come back next September with a larger group(if you've got the space).
Please thank Kari [sic]for me as well.
Breaux Walker


hey guys,
this is a belated note from florida to thank you for the great stay we had
with you guys last month. my name is drew, i was with the group who stayed
at the light house and then in the hotel for 8 or 9 days. you guys gave us a
great rate and we had such a good time. thanks to you and your staff for such
great hospitality. carrie, thanks also for making us reservations in san
jose. the italian mob joint that we stayed at was great. we actually ended
up getting two flat tires our last day in san jose, so it was a pretty crazy
adventure trying to get those taken care of. anyway, i just got my film
developed and my friend nate is going to send you some of mine and his pics.
they are pretty funny. hope things are going great fro you guys! thanks for
your friend,
drew russell



Parting Shot




The Classification:

Strayus Avellanas Adoptus : 1. The taxonomic designation for "lucky dog", the extant organism of the genus Stray.  2. The in-house mut of Hotel Las Tortugas.

The Origin:

 Avellanas was found three years ago at Playa Avellanas, the surf break that is now her namesake, located 45 minutes to our south, by a couple from San Francisco spending a few months vacationing in Playa Grande.  Inveterate dog-lovers (to wit, they brought three retired racing Greyhounds to Costa Rica with them for the summer), JC and D immediately took to the starving, mangy pup only a childless couple with obvious "issues" could love.  A trip to the vet for shots and a summary "spaying", numerous banana-shampoo baths, and a soothing Pacific sunset later, our dear Coast Pup was soon enjoying her new found home here at the Big Beach.

Three months later, JC & D inevitably had to return to their busy Stateside life . . . sans Avellanas. In good faith, she was given to a resident friend.

. . . Sigh.

One long year later, the yet again abandoned pup was hanging with a yet another transitorily-residing couple from Northern California, this time from Lake Tahoe. Not knowing Avellanas' history, let alone her name, this couple--in good faith, however limited in good sense--took her to the vet for yet another spaying. Being the smart dog she is, Avellanas shed their company the very next day.

Now with us for almost two years, we here at Hotel Las Tortugas can indeed boast that we have no intention of spaying Avellanas for her third time. Though she has obvious abandonement issues, a healthy distrust of the modern phenomenon commonly known as human "intelligence", a loathing for the backseat of cars, and an approach-avoidance complex towards those bearing imported canned dogfood, Avellanas does indeed seem to being enjoying her most recentlhy adopted home here at Las Tortugas. The hotel life seems to suit her: Knowing that the revolving door will soon replace the present humanoids with a new batch that has no claim--intentioned, or real--on her twice-removed ovaries, Avellanas thoroughly enjoys the hotel guests, especially those that like to walk the beach to the north venturing as far as the tide pools of Playa Carbon.

If we all behave, perhaps she'll stay with us for awhile.