Costa Rica: What are your favorite eco-lodges?

Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 12:54 PM
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Costa Rica: What are your favorite eco-lodges?

We named 5 we liked in this recent article:http://www.fodors.com/news/story_2992.html

La Selva
Hacienda Guachipelin
Bosque del Río Tigre Lodge
Evergreen Lodge
Rancho Naturalista

Have you stayed at any of the above? Do you have another favorite?
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Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 01:41 PM
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We have only stayed at Rancho Naturalista, but for the birder, this place is phenomenal. Herman, resident guide, although very young, is quite knowledgeable. Kathy, owner, dines with the guests and is entertaining with stories of her years in CR. The food is top notch, under her close supervision. The dated photos don't disturb me a bit as I don't spend much time inside looking at them! And we didn't notice a musty smell to the rooms. We especially like Room #1 for its great view and private balcony.

We are considering Bosque del Rio this summer. If we don't stay in July, we'll make it a priority for next trip.

Bosque del Cabo is very hard to beat--everyone should go once! As you know, it is a favoite of many of the regulars on this board!

Also, La Carolina, although not everyone's cup of tea, certainly appealed to us. The hot tub built into the river and heated with a wood stove, the lack of electricity and candles lighting the primitive cabins and walkways at night, the all Spanish speaking staff, the group meals, the horseback riding, hiking Volcan Tenorio. . .it was a very unique experience!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 01:59 PM
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I'm happy to see La Selva on the list. It rarely gets mentioned in such groupings, but for its ample program of educational activities, it's always been one of my favorites. (Since it's operated by a consortium of universities, no surprise that it focuses so much on education.) Plus, you can be there in about 90 minutes from San Jose via a fairly decent highway. You don't have to navigate the awful roads that Costa Rica is so famous for to get there.
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Old Apr 24th, 2008, 08:37 AM
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We have stayed at Rancho Naturalista. Great birding and great food.

Bosque del Rio Tigre is one of our top places to visit and a trip to the Osa is never complete without a stop there for us. Abraham and Liz are amazing birders and the food is wonderful. We love the cabin.

My father in law was on the board of directors for La Selva and the other OTS areas in the 60's so we have a special place in our hearts for it. We haven't stayed there but have visited many times. We have seen lots of firsts there. It is a wonderful place to go.

Bosque del Cabo is a top Eco lodge in my eyes. Phil and Kim are doing a wonderful job preserving their own area of the Osa as well as being extremely active in the preservation of the rest of the area.
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Old Apr 24th, 2008, 02:36 PM
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I can only comment on where we stayed for only 1 night last November. Casa Rio Blanco just outside Guapiles. Great little place. Cozy cottages, great plant & animal life to observe, trails down to the river to explore plus great hosts. A great experience. We would love to go back.

MY
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Old Apr 24th, 2008, 03:03 PM
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Bosque del Cabo is a favorite of ours. The wildlife there is amazing; we saw all 4 types of monkeys, wild scarlet macaws, toucans, and even an anteater. Our cabin had a beautiful outdoor bathtub that I loved. And the dinners! To have vanilla ice cream and a homemade brownie in the middle of the jungle is spectacular. We also really enjoyed the communal dining in the evening - great to compare notes with our fellow travelers.
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Old Apr 26th, 2008, 11:00 PM
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Ah, does anyone really know what "eco-lodge" means anymore? Well, no matter. Here's my nominations"

Casa Rio Blanco (yep, a second vote for the place near Guapiles)

Tiskita (in Pavón, far southern Costa Rica)

La Amistad (in the highlands above San Vito in Coto Brus)

Belmar (Monteverde's most "eco" eco-lodge)

Rara Avis (proving you can be remote and ecologically correct at the same time)

Selva Bananito (the real thing in Limón)

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Old Apr 27th, 2008, 04:41 AM
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Hmmm...my answer will be pretty predictable

Bosque del Cabo! Long before eco-lodges were the "in" thing they were making common practice of sustainable development.

The lodge sits on hundreds of acres that remain undeveloped, which not only provides a safe haven for the innumerable animals & birds in the area but also gives the guests so many opportunities to see them in their natural habitat.

You won't find noisy generators, blaring tv's or amenity kits at the lodge; but you will note the solar panels spread throughout the property, the howler monkey 'alarm clocks', recycling bins, natural fresh food and a commitment to conservation that is always striving to do even more. Heck, even the straws are bio-degradable!
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 07:58 AM
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radarbarbarian
Could you tell me a bit more about La Amistad? We are looking for someplace for a couple of days after Rancho Naturalit. . .it sounds like my kind of place.

[email protected]
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 07:58 AM
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oops--naturalista!
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 08:44 PM
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shillmac, La Amistad is waaaay off the beaten path, north of San Vito near the Panama border. You make the lodge you "base camp" but time is spent primarily hiking through the primary rainforest of Parque Internacional La Amistad from campsite to campsite. The support team and services are well done, so you need not worry about logistics so much. Quite a nice adventure. You may be the only people on it!

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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 07:27 PM
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That's what I want. I found their website, but it didn't list a price. Do you have a better website that will give more info? Thanks! We'd not have much time, would arrive on the 29th and need to leave by midday on the 31st. But I figure one full day would at least give us an idea of what is there. Very sure we'd want a more extended trip next time around. We love San Vito area.

We'll be coming from Turrialba. Do you think it would be foolish to go so far for 2 nights?
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Old May 1st, 2008, 07:24 AM
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Savegre Lodge in the Talamanca Mountains and Rincon de la Vieja Mountain Lodge.

Jerry
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Old May 14th, 2008, 07:20 PM
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So for 2-3 days which is the best ecolodge....photography primarily, culture, education, tours. La Selva is nice because it's not far from SJO. Has anyone taken their photography workshop?
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Old Jul 13th, 2009, 02:42 PM
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We really liked La Cusinga - not far from civilization, I grant you, but beautiful hiking, a deserted beach, a small waterfall. Very basic "cabins" but glorious views from each little patio with gigantic rocking chairs. My early 20s kids really liked it there - and there was "nothing to do!" Saw monkeys, exquisite spiders, some sort of racoons, butterflies, hummingbirds, etc.We all treasure the memories from there.
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Old Jul 13th, 2009, 04:32 PM
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On the Caribbean coast, Tortuga Lodge is absolutely wonderful - amazing wildlife sightings and very special service and attention to detail. We loved it.
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Old Jul 16th, 2009, 07:45 AM
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Wonderfully peaceful, private, tropical lush, superb restaurant with pool and spa. All tours available through front desk! Just 20 min west of San Juan Int'l airport so great for late arrival/early departure. We stayed at Casita Linda at www.vistadelvalle.com and luved it. WIFI, TV, dvd's, hammocks, full kitchen.
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Old Jul 16th, 2009, 12:30 PM
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Bosque del Cabo is at the top of my list. It's my "happiest place on earth". If you think it's difficult getting there, it's even more difficult to leave.
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Old Dec 7th, 2009, 08:17 AM
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a nice eco lodge in middle of jungle to corcovado is http://www.laleonaecolodge.com
is very clean, have many eco tours and have a excelent client service
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Old Dec 7th, 2009, 04:14 PM
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I like Casa Corcovado. It's very isolated, you need to arrive by boat, and it's right next to Corcovado National Park so you can just hike in. The packages include transportation from San Jose, all meals and daily tours. Nice and professional staff.
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