Fodor's Expert Review La Paloma Lodge

On Drake Bay, near Drake Bay Wilderness Resort, 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 that will delight bird-watchers. 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 highlight 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 is poured at dinner. The lodge has the added luxury of electricity (and hair dryers) with a generator backup. Service is a highlight here: personal, enthusiastic, and polished. Wi-Fi is available in the main lodge. There's a three-night minimum stay ($1,040 to $1,300 per person), a package that includes all meals and two tours.


  • idyllic tropical setting with ocean views and easy access to beach
  • privacy
  • great service
  • interesting guests from all over the world


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


4 rooms, 7 ranchos
Rate Includes: Closed mid-Sept.–mid-Nov., All meals

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