La Mariposa or Lapa Rios and more

Sep 20th, 2001, 04:08 PM
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La Mariposa or Lapa Rios and more

I am planning to go to Costa Rica in November for 10 days and everyone writing here, especially Lisa, have caused me to reconsider my itinerary.
My plan is a bit different, stay one night at the Grano De Oro in the city, one night up at the Volcano, and a couple of nights in Heredia, at the Finca Rosa Blanca, to see the coffee country.

On to the pacific coast, I had planned to stay at La Mariposa for 5 nights, but now I am considering both Villa Calletas and/or Lapa Rios (also probably staying at Finca only one night).
My concern, I am a bit afraid of bugs, mostly spiders and bees. Is Lapa Rios open air? I don't want to miss an incredible experience, but I admit, while I am interested in seeing monkeys and birds and such, I am not a hiker (at least not for more than an afternoon), I am a beach lover, an eater, and possibly, a white water rafter. But maybe because I have not been in the rainforest before.
Also, is Manuel Antonio really redundant if you are going to be in the Osa Peninsula, or is it a good idea to spend a few nights at each?
any thoughts?
Sep 20th, 2001, 05:09 PM
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we were in CR in August (our 2nd trip there). As to La Mariposa, I hear very conflicting reports, but mostly people are disappointed. We did not stay there, but stayed at Si Como No, which we enjoyed very much. La Mariposa has a great location and the views from there are just spectacular. I saw it only from the outside but I was not terribly impressed with it.
We spent 3 nights at Lapa Rios and if you are afraid of bugs, it may not be the right place for you. It is all open air, with screens and no glas. The types of screens they use are different than the ones you see in US, they allow a variety of smaller insects in. You need to sleep under a mosquito net there, and you can expect a variety of insects to get into your bungalow.
If you get one of bungalows that are far from the lodge (we were in the very last one), there is plenty of hiking just to get to the restaurant for meals and to the pool. If you are a beach lover then the beach at Lapa Rios will disappoint you (although it is a very beautiful wild beach). The food at Lapa Rios is great and the opportunities for viewing wildlife are tremendous but it sounds like you would be happier at Manuel Antonio where the beaches are beautiful or even further north on Nicoya Penninsula.
I posted a report after our trip in August on this forum, it shouldn't be hard to find. You will find more detail there about the Manuel Antonio area, Lapa Rios and Tamarindo.
Have a great trip.
Sep 20th, 2001, 07:38 PM
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My wife & I visited CR for our honeymoon. Stayed at La Mariposa in M.A., then Finca Rosa Blanca, then Tabacon Lodge near Arenal, then Fonda Vela in Monteverde, ending up in Capital Suizo/Tamarindo. We stopped for drinks at Calletas -seemed very luxurious & nice, if a bit more pricey.
Don't know about bugs, but we really enjoyed La Mariposa. Hardly anyone was there when we stayed. Our bungalow was wonderful. Rooms in the hotel building seemed a little less private, but shared the amazing views. Eating dinner at Si Como No, found it a little too "Hollywood" for our tastes. Recent facelift made it stand off/out too much among the other more-local-feeling places on the hill.

For more specific answers, I'd highly recommend contacting Rico Tours. They set up our package & know a great deal @ Costa Rica & it's resorts first hand. -Down to little details like which bungalow had the best view, where to eat, etc.

[email protected]

You'll enjoy Costa Rica no matter where you stay while you're there! Have fun.
-Chris H.
Sep 21st, 2001, 07:40 AM
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While I loved Lapa Rios, I'm not sure it's the place for someone who's really afraid of bugs. We did not find it to be horribly buggy, but did find a very large spider in our shower one night (as Woody Allen would say, it was the size of a Buick).

You might be more comfortable at one of the resorts near Manuel Antonio that has air conditioning and therefore fewer bugs. That way you can get the "wilderness experience" in the park and return to the comfort of your room at night without worrying about bugs too much.

Regarding La Mariposa, we chose not to stay there because several guidebooks we consulted indicated that it had gone downhill and was coasting on its reputation -- but this was a couple of years ago, and who knows, maybe it has improved since then. By all accounts it has wonderful views.

We stayed at Si Como No and enjoyed it although I do agree with the person who said that some of the design elements are a little too obtrusive (e.g. bright yellow railings on the sides of paths), but that was nothing too major. Rooms very comfortable, lots of wildlife, helpful staff, good restaurants, nice pool.

I will say that no matter where you stay, you will likely encounter some bugs, and when you're outside you will definitely see them. Some of them are gorgeous (especially the butterflies, moths, dragonflies, and even some surprisingly pretty spiders with bright colors like yellow), some of them are fascinating (leaf-cutter ants), and some of them are just everywhere (more species of ants in more massive quantities than I've ever seen anywhere).

We did see lots of bees in Manuel Antonio National Park and in the rainforest near Lapa Rios but they never bothered us and neither of us were stung.
Sep 21st, 2001, 09:51 AM
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Thank you so much for all your helpful information. The Brady Bunch episode where the tarantula was in the bed was, after all, a TV show. I think I have to just suck it up and deal with the bugs, or I might miss a really great experience. I might do four days in Manuel Antonio, and just two at Lapa Rios, just in case.

Thanks again everyone, I really appreciate the help.

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