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Why can't I decide? Lapa Rios vs Bosque del Cabo vs Iguana Lodge

Why can't I decide? Lapa Rios vs Bosque del Cabo vs Iguana Lodge

Old Mar 18th, 2010, 03:23 AM
  #1  
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Why can't I decide? Lapa Rios vs Bosque del Cabo vs Iguana Lodge

It's 3amPDT and I am lying awake trying to decide between these three great properties. There are advantages/disadvantages to staying at each and I just can't make up my mind! (Hardly the worst problem to have, I know.) BdC is a Fodorite favorite, and it sounds great; there are many positive things said about Iguana Lodge; but there are zero posts about Lapa Rios since like 2008, which makes me wonder about it. Random facts:
Hubby and I are two slightly out of shape, 40ish somethings, have been to Costa Rica before, and are travelling in early May. We'll be flying to Quepos from Puerto Jimenez after our three-night stay. Budget isn't of huge concern - although I'd like to think we're getting some bang for our buck - and reports of good food at the property would be a plus.
I'm leaning toward Iguana Lodge as it seems like the easiest place to do excursions from and from which to get to an early morning flight when it's time to go. Previous posts about all the wildlife at BdC were appealing at first but then I read the one about seeing a snake in the dining room?!? Yikes. And did I read there are no screens in the windows there? I'm about how difficult it would be to get from the more remote BdC for a 710am flight. (This flight is direct on Nature Air.) Comments on this issue would be super helpful.
No one has said anything on the board about Lapa Rios for a very long time. It looks like a great property, but I trust the recommendations here and there aren't any for LR, plus there's the same issue with the early - a.m. departure. Hubby favors Lapa Rios.
Decision-making is NOT my friend. In general, we're looking forward to seeing wildlife, maybe relaxing a bit by the pool, kayaking would be good and it seems the wildlife sanctuary gets lots of positive comments.
Last time I checked each property was available.
So, the big question ...where to stay?
Thoughts, comments, a push in the right direction are most appreciated!
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 03:25 AM
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Clarification: Should be I'm 'worried' about the difficulty of getting from BdC to Puerto Jimenez for a 710 am flight to Quepos. Remember it's 3am here!
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 05:06 AM
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I've made early flights from BdC many times, is not a problem, they do it all the time, every day. On the Osa most guests are usually up by 530am anyway.

There are screens at BdC, except for the doors which are louvered. There are no screens at the big rental house Muramar, but that doesn't sound like what you'll be renting.

Snakes have been seen near the restaurant at BdC, on the trails, on the road etc. That's not particular to any lodge on the Osa, you're going to find that possibility anywhere. That said, it's also incredibly rare. I did see a small foot long snake one night on the steps during a torrential downpour, he seemed just to want to get out of the rain like the rest of us, and was very cool to see rather than a nuisance.

I prefer Bosque myself due to many factors, one major one being the amount of land and the trails they have. At Iguana you will need to book hikes with someone to really go exploring as they don't really have the land for a trail system; at Lapa Rios they do have some trails but you have to sign up for them the day before, you just can't wander about them as you choose. Bosque has several well-kept trails that you are free to explore when you want, as often you want. Or you can relax on your patio or in the restaurant and wait for it all to go by, it usually does.

So personally, I've always stayed at Bosque due to the extensive trail system and it's almost half cheaper than LR. Plus the many extras - great food, great staff and owners, beautiful views and incredible wildlife on the property.
tully is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2010, 05:13 AM
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Thank you, Tully! You're already tipping the scales in favor of Bosque del Cabo!
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 06:13 AM
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We've only been to BdC, but we loved it. Our cabin definitely had screened windows and also louvered shutters for privacy. Food was great! Like tully said, snakes are going to be at any place you choose; we didn't see any at all though. I think LR isn't more popular because its more expensive.
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 06:52 AM
  #6  
 
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They are both great for me for more of an upscale luxury

EcoLodge feel whic it sounds like you want

better beach digs...

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...odge-Corcovado...

Either 1 top ranked

but check recent TA reviews on both carefully...

they kind of say it all...
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 08:14 AM
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I had the same dilemma and ended up splitting time between Iguana and BDC. I had looked at Lapas too, but once I saw all the stairs to climb back and forth from the room to the restaurant and visa versa, BDC it was. Plus the cost was a lot more reasonable at BDC.

That being said, if you want to hike, commune with nature, etc. stay at BDC.

If you want to relax at the beach, go to the wildlife sanctuary and do more water things, stay at Iguana. I really liked both places and would go back to either in a heartbeat.

If you do stay at Iguana, make sure you as for an upstairs cabina, the views from the balcony will be much better. We were downstairs, not bad, but more jungle like.

And, btw, we saw lots of wildlife during out stay at Iguana too.

Another idea, since your flight is so early, why not first 2 nights at BDC, then move to Iguana for a night (which is 10 minutes from the airport vs. 45 from BDC).
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 01:26 PM
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I would DEFINITELY go with Lapa Rios. While Iguana Lodge and Bosque del Cabo are very beautiful places (I would go with Bosque out of those two), Lapa Rios is by far superior. The food is a lot better, the rooms have spectacular views, the tours are a bit more organized and in general, they seem to be a bit more committed to the concept of sustainability. Hope this helps!
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 01:55 PM
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If you want more of a beach lodge with easier access to tours outside the lodge then Iguana Lodge might be a better choice.

If you have enough days then a split between Bosque del Cabo and Iguana Lodge is a good way to go. As far as choosing one over another that's a difficult decision for sure!

I considered Lapa Rios my first trip to the Osa, but chose Bosque del Cabo and have never considered LR since. BDC is all around amazing. LR might be a little more lux in the cabina area and I guess they deliver coffee to you in the morning, but geez you sure do pay $$$$ for it! Since I'm never in my cabina (except for on the porch having an Imperial taking in the spectacular views) paying more for shinier wood doesn't really make sense to me. Being that at LR you can't hike all the trails on your own is also a "miss". BDC offers some of the best cuisine you will find in Costa Rica, the staff is awesome and the owners have committed themselves wholeheartedly to sustainability and preserving the Osa.
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 02:05 PM
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Millay, I guess I don't get your comparison - the tours we did at BdC were very well organized, the food was delicious, and we had a beautiful ocean view from our cabin. How are the people at Lapa more committed to the concept of sustainability?
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 03:52 PM
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I'll throw in El Remanso to the mix, just to make it harder for you It's literally next door to BdC. It's probably #1 in terms of sustainability, but BdC is way up there too (in fact, El Remanso's sustainability person helped BdC become more sustainable last year).

Though I would actually return to BdC (and hope to), El Remanso does have its appeal. Not as much land, but it's a beautiful place (and with slightly more luxe cabin options over BdC at the same price, if that matters).

Also, just my two cents, but I wouldn't worry about that extra 30 or 40 minutes to get to the airport. I wouldn't base my decision on that.
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 03:58 PM
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Also, just another quick thought: you describe yourselves as slightly out of shape (though I'm sure this all relative), but the trails and general grounds at BdC are MUCH flatter than at El Remanso (and maybe, from what it sounds like, than Lapa Rios). Everything at El Remanso is pretty much up or down -- while a lot of BdC is relatively flat (with the exception of the Pacific Trail -- oy! -- and some parts of the other trails). Maybe something to consider -- it is hot and humid!
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Old Mar 18th, 2010, 06:18 PM
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jenn, I'd go over to tripadvisor too and look at all the pics and just see what's most appealing to you. They're really all great places.
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Old Mar 21st, 2010, 08:56 PM
  #14  
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Many, many thanks to everyone for their input. I have decided - drum roll - on Lapa Rios. What a difficult decision! It was learning about Lapa Rios that first attracted me to that part of the country, so I thought I'd go with it, trusting my first instinct as it were. Our itinerary for this trip will be one night in SJO near the airport; three nights Lapa Rios; three nights Manuel Antonio at Si Como No; two nights Finca Rosa Blanca; two nights Nayara in Arenal; three nights Capitan Suizo and home from Liberia. Itinerary is set; flights booked; now must just decide what to wear! Thanks for everyone's help!
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Old Mar 22nd, 2010, 07:32 AM
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Wow, you're staying at a lot of great places. You'll have a blast.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2010, 03:43 PM
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Sounds like a really great trip to some really beautiful! I would give Arenal 3-4 nights at least (adding a night in Osa, maybe skipping Tamarindo) because they're such unique areas, but sounds like you've done a lot of research so maybe Arenal just doesn't appeal to you as much.

Have a wonderful time!
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Old Mar 23rd, 2010, 08:41 PM
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We have to leave from LIR, so we want to end chillin' on the beach up there. We've been to Arenal twice and Osa once already and something had to give. Someday I'll make it to BdC - although after seeing all of Joe's snake pictures I'm not so sure I want to go! I'd also like to go stay at Punta Islita someday. I guess I should finish my third trip before I start planning my fourth...
Actually next up will probably be Belize. Such a big world
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