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“Yes, this is the current name!”
Review of Rafiki Beach Camp

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Rafiki Beach Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Yes, this is the current name!”
Reviewed 1 August 2014

Loved this place. The couple who LIVE there and RUN the place (Loki and Mauren) are very chill and helpful. Unfortunately, they did not see much of our booking monies, as we booked through the old name, Bahari Beach Resort - these people own part of it, but now live abroad. Loki's family owns the land and do all the work. I felt a bit duped by the Bahari folks who promised us a "candle light dinner on the beach" upon arrival, which never happened because the local couple never heard - totally fine, though, because it was so wonderful! We were confused when reading previous reviews and thought that Bahari was the new name - nope!! Bahari = old. Rafiki = new, clean tents, nice people.

Of all the places we stayed in Costa Rica, I (surprisingly) like the bathroom of our beach tent the best! It was so spacious; an open concept.

It was helpful that we rented a car so we could go and come as we please, as it is a bit isolated.

Alex, the guy on staff during the day was also amazing.

WONDERFUL place to relax, read a book, float in the pool, and recover from all the touristy activities. Although, Loki is a naturalist and adventure guide and can take you rafting, kayaking, horseback riding, etc. Make sure to visit Marina Ballena first thing one morning. A special treat we had was a bunch of monkeys coming in over our tent through the trees one afternoon!

Room Tip: Book under Rafiki Beach Camp and NOT Bahari Beach Bungalows!
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank zoebrick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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87 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
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  • Any
English first
Central Oregon, Oregon
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 July 2014

What a delight to travel to this resort after staying 5 years ago at Rafiki Safari Lodge. We knew that This was the sister resort to safari lodge and was pleasantly surprised that our host were the same host at the beach resort. It was so much fun to see them again. This was a wonderfully clean, beautiful and safe resort. We woke up to the sound of surf with the beach right out our tent door. The pool was gorgeous and the staff friendly. Great place for all ages!

Room Tip: Ask for the tents closest to the water, you can also add a couple extra beds for families.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank lisabeth50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
Reviewed 29 June 2014

Our one-night stay at Rafiki Beach Camp turned into four. We appreciated the quiet beauty of this secluded paradise and the warm welcome and attentive service from Maureen, Lotjie & Alex. The pool is great for relaxing and bird watching. We saw two toucans! The tent provides the amenities the of a nice hotel (with very comfortable beds!), with the added bonus of being more fun- You are camping at the beach, in total comfort! What tent has a bathroom, porch and a refrigerator?!
A stay at Rafiki Beach Camp (the longer the better!) will show you the true essence of Pura Vida.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Kristy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vallejo, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2014

I hope this isn't a Tripadvisor faux pas, but I wanted to post a second review. We stayed at Rafiki a year ago next month. When we think about our trip we always come back first to how much we loved our stay with Lucky, Mauren and of course, Alex. We stayed at a resort literally attached to Manuel Antonio, which you would think would be the highlight of our vacation, but time spent in complete relaxation at Rafiki is what we enjoyed the most. We wondered the woods and the beaches without a care and have video of a sloth that was 3 feet away, a tribe of monkeys overhead, a crab in our tent the first that Lucky got out for us and had us laughing the whole time. Thanks to Alex coming to show us, we walked 30 feet from our tent one night and watched a turtle lay her eggs. The tent was so beautiful with wood furniture, fresh flowers, tropical art and a real bathroom attached- it was a tropical paradise dream. We took a dip in teh pool, sipped guava and vodka cocktails in the evening and fell asleep to the sound of the waves. Does life get any better than that? Our hosts were always available for a good breakfast, good conversation and great recommendations, like eating at The Happy Lobster down the road. I know that when we return to Costa Rica with our children next time, this is where we will be. To me this seemed to be the 'real' Costa Rica. True pura vida. A big thank you to our hosts for this wonderful experience.

Room Tip: Choose a tent closest to the ocean so you can hear the waves as you fall asleep.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank JenAndAlec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
46 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 May 2014

We stayed at Rafiki Beach Camp for two nights; it was part of our "Super Lekker Package that included a four-night stay at the Rafiki Safari Lodge (an amazing place which I reviewed separately). The Beach Camp has four African-style Safari tents and while all of them face the ocean, two -- including ours -- were closest to the beach. We were lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves! The tent was clean and comfortable and the bathroom/changing room was great -- complete with a lovely and artsy toucan sink. We could sit on our rockers on the porch and look out to the ocean, or try to spot the friendly lizards around us. We ate breakfast in their open air dining area and loved the fact that it had a WiFi hotspot so we could use our iPads.

Matapalo Beach was absolutely gorgeous. We spent two days on the beach and were the only ones there. It was pristine, expansive and secluded with jaw dropping sunsets. We took long beach walks, and went beach combing and found loads of sand dollars. And we couldn't believe how warm the Pacific Ocean was. It was paradise.

The most interesting thing about our stay is how we arrived. Since we didn't have a car we needed transportation from the Rafiki Safari Lodge (about 45 minutes away) to Rafiki Beach Camp. Because the tides were right, we were able to kayak on the Rio Sevegre River, and where the ocean tides met the river, we kayaked right through the forests of mangroves, spotting all sorts of wildlife along the way. This two hours of kayaking was one of the most unique experiences we ever had. Loki (co-owner and manager of the Beach Camp) was our guide and naturalist, and he was a big part of this memorable experience. So was his wife, Mauren, who took us on a little walking trip near the Beach Camp during the day to spot the white-faced capuchin monkeys.

Although only breakfast was served at the Beach Camp, we followed our host Loki's suggestion to eat dinner at a small restaurant nearby: La Langosta Feliz (The Happy Lobster). Since we didn't have a car, Loki arranged for the local taxi driver to pick us up and take us back. Don't be deceived by the looks of this simple, local place: we enjoyed the best lobster we ever had -- bar none. The lobster tails were grilled and they were huge. You could almost share one dinner of lobster tails. We ordered one entree of the tails and another entree of lobster tails and grilled mahi mahi. We ended up taking the mahi mahi back to the Beach Camp. We put it in our little room frig and had it for lunch the next day with fresh fruit. We loved the lobster so much that we went back to La Langosta Feliz the next night and ordered the exact same two entrees so we could have leftover mahi mahi again the next day.

We would love to return to both Rafiki Beach Camp and Rafiki Safari Lodge some day. The Boshoff family (originally from South Africa) has done wonderful things at both properties.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Mimi M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mishawaka, Indiana
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2014

My wife and I just returned from Rafiki Beach Camp. The tents were perfect. The pool and grounds were spotless. Alex makes a fine breakfast and took us on a great Kayak trip with Lunch. The beach is about 12km long and a fine/brown sand. We loved the lack of crowds -- and the place felt very safe. We saw a troop of monkeys and a sloth while at the property -- and we decided to skip Manuel Antonio crowds in favor of taking an aquahike with Rafiki's other property (about 15km away) -- and it was a highlight of our trip. These folks know how to run a nice, clean, and quiet lodge -- and we found the pricing fair and professional. They have an honor system -- where you can take beer/pop/etc. from the fridge and mark it down. I love that kind of stuff -- Lastly, the bathrooms in the tents were secured with locking door and were very clean and high quality (better than most hotels). We will be back.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank George C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nutley, New Jersey
Level Contributor
52 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 February 2014 via mobile

This is one of my favorite places even though I only rated three stars after all it is a tent,but a wonderful tent. The manager has changed and there is no longer a restaurant, but they do have daily breakfast and they are in the process of making a kitchen for the four tents on the property. We have been here three different times and I am always afraid it will close. I love being by the beach and listening to the monkeys and all the birds and falling asleep to the ocean waves. Of course there are always a few "cons" such as needs a little work on the jets in the jacuzzi. A restaurant would be nice, a better lamp in the tent so you could read at night. But nothing major and if you love the Tico life, you will love this little place. So very peaceful and relaxing, isn't that what a vacation is about?

Room Tip: There are only four so it does not matter.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank KathleenLeo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rafiki Beach Camp

Property: Rafiki Beach Camp
Address: 1 Km North of the Soccer Field, Beach Road, Playa Matapalo, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Playa Matapalo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Speciality Lodging in Playa Matapalo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 6
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Rafiki Beach Camp Costa Rica/Playa Matapalo

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