Fodor's Expert Review Copa de Arbol Beach & Rainforest Resort

Along coastal path, one beach north of Playa Caletas, Drake, Puntarenas, Costa Rica Fodor's Choice

The newest kid on the beach block, Copa de Arbol is ultraluxurious, ultracool (comes with air-conditioning), ultraexpensive, and idyllically sited between crashing ocean surf and dense jungle, right on the Coastal Path walking trail that connects Drake Bay to Corcovado. Two-story, thatch-roofed houses scattered around the landscaped property have an open-air seating area or porch with hammocks at ground level. Stairs lead up to high-ceilinged, spacious rooms, decorated in muted earth tones with vaguely Asian touches: Buddha statues, cotton-print bedspreads from India, Balinese carved mirror frames. Luckily, you can turn off the a/c and throw open screened windows to let in the sounds, scents, and breezes that let you know you really are in Costa Rica. Bathrooms are exquisite, with good lighting, overhead fans, and square showerheads that deliver truly tropical deluges. Two large, adjoining deluxe suites are aimed at families and groups of friends. Paths winding through a maze of hibiscus hedges in the landscaped garden lead to a small, four-tiered pool: hot tub on top, descending by steep stairs to two plunge pools with ocean views, and a kiddie-deep pool at the bottom. At meal time you leave your shoes at the bottom of a staircase that climbs to the barefoot-only, second-story restaurant with an excellent view of garden, beach, and ocean. Service is attentive and friendly here, with a homey touch provided by self-serve coffee and stacks of specialty teas, along with home-baked cookies and cinnamon rolls. The food is average, not very imaginative or tropical, with the notable exception of excellent salads. The overall feeling here is more hotel than nature lodge. All the usual snorkeling, nature, and wildlife tours are available, along with kayaks and paddleboards. Or you can just head off along the Coastal Path and create your own adventure.


  • comfort, hotel-like luxury in the jungle
  • idyllic location


  • accessible only by boat (with a wet landing) or on foot
  • boat transportation and tours not included, making price high, relative to other area lodges
  • lots of steps to negotiate
  • cascading pool is dramatic but not very good for swimming


On the beach


Phones: -8935–1212


9 luxury cabins, 2 deluxe duplex suites
Rate Includes: All-inclusive

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