Costa Rica is one of the world’s best eco-travel destinations with a collection of incredible ecolodges to match. The tiny country packs a huge amount of biodiversity into a small area, making it the perfect stop for anyone who wants to sleep in the middle of the rainforest, float through mangrove estuaries, and learn about the exciting cloud forest ecosystem. Costa Rica ecolodges are growing in number, and our Experts have compiled a list of their favorites.
El Silencio Lodge & Spa | Bajos del Toro Cloud Forest
Just 2 hours from San Jose is this one-of-a-kind ecolodge that creates a cloud forest experience you won’t find anywhere else. It is not common to find luxury off-the-beaten path, but at El Silencio Lodge & Spa you’ll find upscale cabins and fine dining blended seamlessly with local culture and sustainability. The hotel maintains an organic garden and trout pond from which guests can choose their own ingredients for preparation by the chef. On-site are hiking trails available to all guests, leading to 3 different waterfalls. Excellent bird watching, horseback riding, and coffee tours encapsulate the simple pleasure of the cool, misty cloud forest environment. The hotel is also involved in local affairs. Several of the employees and guides are locals who work as integral players in the operation of the hotel.
Lapa Rios Ecolodge | Puerto Jimenez, Osa Peninsula
The Osa Peninsula is Costa Rica’s most biodiverse destination with no shortage of tropical wildlife to fawn over. At Lapa Rios Ecolodge, you can watch Scarlet Macaws and toucans as you sip coffee on the deck of your private bungalow. The ecolodge is set into the rainforest, offering ocean views, self-guided nature trails, and waterfalls. Guests have the opportunity to learn about the sustainability practices maintained on the premises with a guided tour designed to highlight the importance of maintaining Costa Rica’s gorgeous natural wonders. Though the lodge is surrounded by wildlife and vegetation, this is no tent camp. Lapa Rios combines exceptional service with a unique design to create an upscale rainforest experience.
Rio Perdido Hotel | Bagaces
The newest ecolodge on our list is Rio Perdido, an off-the-beaten-path hotel halfway between the beaches of Guanacaste and the Arenal Volcano. Aside from the sweeping views, guests enjoy the property’s thermal river and mud baths after a day of hiking volcanoes and zip-lining across canyons. The individual bungalows provide rustic, laid-back charm with their simple design and swaying hammocks.
Tortuga Lodge & Gardens | Tortuguero
Tortuguero’s jungle canals are one of the country’s most unique natural attractions. Base yourself at Tortuga Lodge & Gardens to take advantage of the best tours and ensure the most comfortable way to see this Amazon-esque environment. This ecolodge sits along the river so guests can dine, sleep, and swim with a river view. Aside from the obligatory canal tours, Tortuga Lodge also offers fishing and local cultural experiences to round out your stay. The Experts recommend visiting July-October to witness the famous turtle nesting and hatching.
Pacuare Lodge | Pacuare River
From start to finish, the Pacuare Lodge experience is packed with adventure, style, and nature. Adrenaline seekers can spend a day rafting the famous Pacuare River before arriving at the secluded luxury eco-lodge. The experts recommend the honeymoon suite, with its private plunge pool and suspended bridge entrance.
Santa Juana Mountain Lodge | Santa Juana
Santa Juana Mountain Lodge is the newest ecolodge in the Central Pacific region. Described as a “rustic mountain retreat,” it is designed to combine nature and authentic Costa Rican experiences. Here you’ll learn about the agro-culture of Santa Juana and the surrounding region, as well as the hotel’s involvement in conservation and sustainability. The lodge’s cabinas give guests stunning views of the Manuel Antonio National Park and the coastline, which are just a 45-minute drive away.
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