Sheyla Santamaria, Resort Management

Sheyla Santamaria

Sheyla Santamaria
Interim Resort Manager of Tortuga Lodge and Gardens,
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Costa Rica Expeditions

Arriving in beautiful Tortuguero National Park area, we were welcomed by Sheyla, the interim resort manager of Tortuga Lodge and Gardens. Tortuguero, Costa Rica is a National Wildlife Refuge located 30 minutes by plane from San Jose, the capitol of Costa Rica.


Sheyla grew up in Costa Rica and after completing high school, she went to the US to study English. When she returned to Costa Rica, she studied and completed a 1 year course in the history of Costa Rica and the natural life of Costa Rica to qualify for a tour guide license.

After she received her license, she conducted tours in Costa Rica and caught the eye of the management of Tortuga Lodge and was recruited to work as an assistant manager.

Sheyla says “I have to be very hands on. You can’t sit at a desk; you have to do a little of everything.”  She has the daunting task of overseeing a lodge with 27 guest rooms and about 30 employees. She is responsible for managing the housekeeping staff, grounds personal, kitchen, reservations and operations of boats. Because the lodge is on an island she greets the boats as they arrive and welcomes the guests with her warm personality.

She says the most exciting part of her job is meeting all of the people. The most difficult is managing and giving constructive criticism to employees without hurting anyone’s feelings.

Sheyla says the qualities necessary to be good at her job are being organized, being active/hands on, liking people and inspiring the employees to keep achieving a high quality standard.

When Sheyla has time, she loves socializing with friends, reading, and hiking.  During the low season when she is not working as a guide, she teaches English to Costa Rican children.

Sheyla’s Favorite Book

Tropical Plants of Costa Rica