Fodor's Expert Review La Paloma Lodge

On Drake Bay, Drake, Puntarenas, 60503, Costa Rica Fodor's Choice

Sweeping ocean views, impeccably appointed accommodations, and lots of tropical-foliage privacy make this lodge the area's most romantic option. Planted in an exquisite jungle garden on a ridge jutting into the Pacific, the elegant, spacious wooden ranchos (small houses), placed strategically for total privacy, have bedroom lofts, spiffy bathrooms, and large, breezy porches with wicker furniture. Interiors are enlivened with local artisan touches, from ceramic sink basins painted with flowers and birds to glass-topped side tables showcasing local shells. All accommodations here have air-conditioning. Nos. 1 and 3, aptly called "sunset ranchos," have the best sea views. Four superior rooms in a shared building are spacious and luxurious, with king-size beds, jungle, garden, and ocean views. Room D has a wraparound deck overlooking an expanse of jungle, delighting bird-watchers. Service here is personal, enthusiastic, and polished. Take a dip in the small pool, or head down the hill to Playa Cocolito, a gem of a beach. Diving trips and certification courses, river kayaking, and nature tours with private guides are among the activities. The flower-filled, fan-cooled restaurant serves excellent tropical fare, and there's always afternoon tea and home-baked treats—the carrot cake is a standout. Sophisticated, four-course dinners—with vegetarian options—are served at a long communal table, giving guests a chance to meet and share experiences. Red or white wine (or beer) is poured at dinner. The lodge has the added luxury of electricity (and hair dryers). Wi-Fi is available in the main lodge and in cabin "A" closest to the Club House. There's a three-night minimum stay ($1,170 to $1,385 per person), a package that includes all meals and two tours.


  • ocean views and easy access to beach
  • great service
  • interesting guests from all over the world


  • steep, long climbs to some ranchos
  • small pool
  • three-night minimum stay


Near the beach


Phones: 2239–0954-office in San José | 2775–1684-lodge


11 rooms
Rate Includes: Closed Sept. and Oct., All-Inclusive

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