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Lapa Rios or La Leona?

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102 posts
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Lapa Rios or La Leona?

I asked this question on another post, but it was buried in another conversation, so I thought I would repeat it as a separate subject. We are a family of 3 (one teenager) contemplating 5-6 days on Osa and are now trying to decide between La Leona or Lapa Rios. Don't need the "luxury," but willing to spend the money if it makes sense for any reason. We are trying to understand benefits/disadvantages of being located right near Corcovado Park (thus, La Leona). We don't plan to do an overnight in the Park. Any thoughts on Lapa Rios versus La Leona? We are fairly active family, plan on day hikes, etc. and want to experience wildlife as our top priority but also enjoy quiet times sketching pictures or sitting by the water's edge--or swimming, ocean permitting. We won't have a car on Osa. Any thoughts that will help us decide the better location are appreciated.

Grecia, Costa Rica
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for Province of Alajuela
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1. Re: Lapa Rios or La Leona?

For me I would go for Lapa Rios, expensive but it is tough to beat that experience.

Cheers

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102 posts
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2. Re: Lapa Rios or La Leona?

Are you able to describe what part of the experience makes it worth the cost?

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
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3. Re: Lapa Rios or La Leona?

Everything about Lapa Rios is done with nature and the environment in mind. This shows in every aspect of the property, from construction, to environmentally sound business practices, it is just an excellent example of what an eco lodge can be. Expensive though.

The rooms are very nicely designed, the way the lodge is situated you truly feel like you are one with the surrounding rain forest.

There are several nice lodges in the area, but if you have the $$$ I say go for the ultimate luxury eco lodge experience.

Oh, and great food too.

Cheers

Inca

Brooklyn, New York
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4. Re: Lapa Rios or La Leona?

The area around La Leona is stunning, but so is the Cabo Matapalo area. Tons of wildlife to go around. The only think you *might* have the possibility of seeing around La Leona that you might not closer to Cabo Matapalo would be a tapir -- but the chances of seeing one period are sort of slim.

Not having been to Lapa Rios, I can't offer my experiences there, but, if it were me and I were thinking of Lapa Rios, I would actually choose Bosque del Cabo instead. It's just down the road from Lapa Rios.

The reasons are that you can go out on the many trails at BdC without (paying) a guide (and, I think at Lapa Rios you always have to go out with a guide) -- and at BdC you have access to both the Pacific side and the Gulf side of the ocean. I believe it's the only lodge in the area that has access to both sides.

I believe Lapa is a bit more expensive than BdC, and it's possible the cabins are a tad more luxe, but BdC is quite beautiful, and the cabinas are beautiful and comfortable. You can't go wrong with either, but if a guide is indeed always required to walk the trails at Lapa Rios (and maybe you can find out for sure) that would be a deal breaker for me.

Brooklyn, New York
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5. Re: Lapa Rios or La Leona?

And, by the way, I'm not knocking guides! They are essential and everyone should hire one for at least a while, but I wouldn't necessarily like to have to have one for my entire stay -- I just like to be able to get up and go and meander and be on my own schedule.

Bethesda MD
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6. Re: Lapa Rios or La Leona?

Framing the question as Lapa vs. La Leona (rather than as Matapalo vs. Carate) leaves out numerous alternatives. It's not clear whether that's because you've considered others and narrowed your preferences down to two finalists or because you're not aware of the others. If the latter, a little more research would be worthwhile -- I'd start with a visit to soldeosa.com, which among other things has the best local map I could find. I'm not saying that those two aren't great options, only that your options aren't limited to (a) a deluxe lodge above a swimmable beach (Lapa) or (b) a budget lodge near Corcovado on a much rougher beach (La Leona). For example, Encanta La Vida and Ojo del Mar are less expensive lodges in the Matapalo area, while Lookout Inn, Luna Lodge, and ISEAME lodges are non-tent accomodations in the Carate vicinity. For any of these, since you won't have a rental vehicle, if you're considering day trips on your own you should learn about the collectivo schedule and route and figure out how far the lodging is from its route. (For lodgings Encanta La Vida and other lodgings on the Matapalo beach road, that means figuring out the distance back to its junction with the road to Carate.)

No personal experience yet with any of these; caveat emptor. "Matapalo" as used above encompasses what are sometimes labelled as three distinct beaches: Matapalo, Backwash Bay, and Pan Dulce.

Edited: 16 December 2010, 23:16
San Jose, Costa Rica
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7. Re: Lapa Rios or La Leona?

I will choose Lapa Rios...great people to dealt with.

Expensive but the best staff miles around...lovely hard to find anything even close...

La Leona mostly the proximity to the Park...

roadadvisor

Seattle, Washington
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2,505 posts
12 reviews
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8. Re: Lapa Rios or La Leona?

If you want something like Lapa Rios but maybe not so lux you might consider Bosque del Cabo. It's about 5 kilometers from Lapa Rios and as a family you could same some big bucks without losing what you're going for...nature and wildlife. Plus, you can hike all the extensive groomed trails whenever you want, you don't have to take a guide. If do you want to bird or do a night hike though the guides/biologist are top notch. I've been going for years and it never disappoints. The wonderful staff is like one big happy family I see year after year and the food is fabulous! I could go on and on but the wildlife sightings there never disappoint.

9. Re: Lapa Rios or La Leona?

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