Fodor's Expert Review Lookout Inn

Main road to Carate, east of Carate landing strip, Carate, Puntarenas, 60702, Costa Rica

This lively, barefoot inn—shoes come off at the bottom step—is set on a precipitous hillside with a spectacular panorama that includes a colorful garden and scarlet macaws foraging in the almond trees that line the beach. Energetic owner Terry Conroy makes sure everyone joins in the fun, and his serene wife, Katya, makes a mean margarita. Steep stairs are plentiful here, including an optional 500-step "Stairway to Heaven" up to an even loftier lookout, where the odd puma has been spotted. Two comfortable rooms in the lodge's main building have huge tiled bathrooms. Wooden tree-house cabins have lots of quirky, imaginative decorating touches, perfect for those who like to get close to nature. The Monkey House cabin is great for families. Less expensive tiki A-frame cabinas sit on 3-meter (10-foot) platforms and share a bathhouse. There's a new penthouse aerie, atop the lodge, with 360-degree views of ocean and forest. Inventive meals with lots of fresh fish are served on two breezy terraces with spectacular views of the coastline. The breakfast buffet is served on a huge two-level patio where monkeys come to feast on bananas. There's also a small, spring-fed plunge pool with a hammock rancho, a yoga deck, a spa, a shaded beach pavilion, and a bird-watching trail through primary forest. The hotel organizes beach and trail rides on horseback. There's Wi-Fi in the lodge lobby.


  • proximity to beach and access on foot to Corcovado Park
  • excellent food
  • party atmosphere


  • very steep climb to lodge and down to beach
  • cabins are quieter than lodge rooms
  • stairs to dining room


On the beach
Casual Chic


Phones: -2735–5431


2 rooms, 4 tree-house cabins, 2 bungalows, 1 penthouse suite, 2 cabins with shared bath
Rate Includes: All meals

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