Fodor's Expert Review Lapa Ríos

Road to Carate, 20 km (12 miles) south of Puerto Jiménez, Cabo Matapalo, Puntarenas, Costa Rica Fodor's Choice

This is the first and still the most spectacular eco-lodge in Costa Rica, set in a vast, private nature reserve brimming with wildlife. Lapa Ríos has won numerous awards for its mix of sustainability, conservation, service, and guest comfort. After catching your breath when you see the view from the lodge's high, breezy jungle ridge, your next sharp intake may be when you see the bill. However, exceptional service, including morning coffee brought to your cabin at 6 am, goes a long way to justifying the high price tag, along with the fact that all on-site tours are included in the price, as is transportation to and from Puerto Jiménez. Spacious, airy cabins built of gleaming hardwoods blend indigenous motifs with bold, contemporary design elements. Four-poster queen or king beds, with luxury mattresses, are layered with fabrics made by local artisans. Bathrooms are fresh and modern, with blissful indoor showers and double vessel sinks. Outdoor garden showers also have hot water, along with views onto the private teak terraces where you can view passing monkeys, roosting toucans, and plenty of scarlet macaws—the lodge's namesakes—all from your lounge chair. A new, totally secluded cabin has an unbeatable ocean view. There's a good-sized pool, with ocean view, plus a massage hut and a yoga deck. Meals here are all à la carte, served in a dramatically lighted, round rancho under a soaring thatch roof. The menu includes lots of seafood, exotic fruits and vegetables, and mouthwatering desserts. Resident naturalist guides lead tours through the lodge's pristine wilderness and to nearby beaches on foot or on horseback. Don't miss the free sustainability tour called Pigs, Twigs, and Garbage, which highlights the resort's eco-friendly commitment, including pigs' contribution to energy fuels. If you don't like to climb stairs, request a cabin close to the main lodge.

PROS

  • excellent, professional service
  • price includes tours and transportation and all à la carte meals
  • retains local flavor with friendly, well-trained staff

CONS

  • many steps to climb to most cabins
  • steep trail to beach, but there is a shuttle service
  • most cabins are duplex, attached to one other cabin

QUICK FACTS

B&B/Inn
Green, Service, Views
Quiet
Near the beach
$$$$

HOTEL INFO

Phones: -2735–5130

HOTEL DETAILS

Rate Includes: 17 cabinas, All-inclusive

What’s Nearby