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“Changed our lives!”

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Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
New York City
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Changed our lives!”
Reviewed 31 July 2009

I recently stayed at Lapa Rios with my husband. We had never considered eco-tourism before, but we are converts! You are constantly serenaded by the sounds of the wild - we loved watching the toucans, monkeys, and macaws outside of our beautiful private bungalow. We had an amazing time on the guided tours as well - all the guides are extremely knowledgeable, and each trip is completely different. We especially loved the waterfalls hike, where you hike through streams and go swimming under waterfalls in the jungle. The hotel owns so much property and provides so many interesting activities as well as numerous look out points and tranquil places to just enjoy nature. Everything was so beautiful and remote, easily the best kept secret in Costa Rica!

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank nyctraveler002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (231)
Date | Rating
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English first
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2009

Lapa Rios will always hold a special place in my heart. We stayed for 10 days and each day we had new adventures. Just on the resort property we saw so many types of birds, four types of monkeys, two kinds of sloths, tons of lizards (including Lorenzo, the pool iguana), and more. We ate wonderfully prepared fresh foods, and learned a little spanish from the fantastic workers along the way. The very private balcony was our own piece of heaven and was a great spot for watching the sunrise. We are planning a return visit within the next year.

  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank LGBtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Henderson, NV
Level 3 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2009

I'll make this short and sweet. My husband and I went to Lapa Rios on our honeymoon just over 2 years ago. We still dream about this place!! It was by far our favorite part of our stay in Costa Rica. This place is all about beauty, animals, pure unadulterated adventure, and true romance in the jungle. We loved the food, the juice, the staff, and the scenery. It's really like no other place on earth. There is walking involved and I would highly recommend lots of nylon clothing that dries quickly. Cotton t-shirts just got soggy quickly. Water shoes and hiking sandals would also be nice to have. I laugh at the people that call the beach "mediocre". This is an unspoiled beach, people and no one goes out to mill the sand into powder or set out beach chairs and fruity drinks. We walked down the hill to the beach, enjoying the scenery and animals as we went. The tide pools at the beach are amazing. If you love to explore, this place is for you. We were the only ones on the beach for hours. That's the kind of place this is. I just can't say enough nice things about this place. We also loved the tours - we did the night hike, horseback riding, and the jungle hike.

We can't wait to go back. We think of our Lapa Rios stay quite often and smile at our memories. There aren't many places on earth that we can't wait to get back to. If you have a sense of adventure and the journey is as much fun as the stay for you, you must go here. You won't be disappointed. If you're just into sandy beaches, suntan lotion, and carefully landscaped lawns, please go to Puerto Vallarta and leave the jungle for the rest of us.

  • Stayed April 2007, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank wendiewill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2009

We had the best time at Lapa Rios and would highly recommend it to families with older children. Our bungalow was great, wood floors, white mosquito netted beds and screened windows and no phones or TV's. There was a big deck off the room with a view of the ocean and jungle. Every afternoon a family of squirrel monkeys would visit the tree by our deck. At the same time, there were frequently toucans in the same tree and macaws in the next tree. We saw so much wildlife on the property. Every morning we would awaken to Howler Monkeys. The guides were fantastic. They were incredibly knowledgeable. If you were stuck in the forest, you would want one of these guys with you! We took hikes out to the waterfalls and all around the property. We did a Dolphin tour out on a boat and found ourselves surrounded by a pod of 200 dolphins. Our kids swam along with the dolphins. We went kayaking through a Mangrove forest. The service at Lapa Rios is excellent. The staff was 100% reliable and attentive. All meals are eaten in the main lodge and the food is wonderful and plentiful. They take your order for dinner at Breakfast so that they can plan better for dinner and have less waste. It is an eco-lodge and they will take guests on a tour to explain their sustainable practices. My kids are all very interested in sustainability and really appreciated this aspect. We loved Lapa Rios.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank MHendoSanFrancisco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2009

I am not the outdoorsy type, nor do I have much tolerance for bugs or other critters. I was so concerned about this trip that we nearly cancelled. What a huge mistake that would have been! What a fantastic vacation! Every single thing about our 5 night stay at Lapa Rios was perfect. The rooms were extremely clean and well-kept. The staff clean them twice a day. The wall screens and mosquito nets over the beds were in-tact and clean.

Our patio overlooking the Pacific ocean and rainforest below was the best--we just wish there were two hammocks so my husband and I did not have to trade off using the one provided. We would sit outside, listening to the crashing waves and monkeys and birds. We loved watching the scarlet macaws fly by and eat in the tree adjacent to our bungalow. Pure relaxation.

The food was as good as any five star restaurant we've been to--and we fancy ourselves foodies, so I think this should be given some weight. Seriously: very delicious food at each meal. The fish was incredibly fresh and superbly prepared. And, it all went very well with their fantastic mojitos!

I even enjoyed the hikes! While they are several hours long, in general, there is plenty of stopping and looking around. Because of all the trees, the shade provides some relief from the sun. We saw spider monkeys each day we were at Lapa Rios, and we saw plenty of other amazing animals too. Wow. The hikes weren't too difficult--they are all on trails and the guides are helpful in avoiding potential problems (like army ants that might bite). We really enjoyed these hikes, but we saw plenty of wildlife (monkeys included) on the self-guided trail. FYI, although it is rated as a medium-easy hike, I actually found the waterfall hike more difficult than the Osa or the Ridge hikes. The latter two were more about endurance, whereas the waterfall hike required more climbing on slippery rocks. I'm glad I wore Keen hiking watershoes, but that didn't help too much.

We enjoyed the evening activities. Every night there would be some educational or cultural program. They weren't extravagant, but we enjoyed the low-key nature of them. We especially liked the chocolate presentation (and samples), the dancing kids, and the Osa cat preservation program.

While we visited during the "green season," the weather was beautiful every day. We consider ourselves lucky that it only rained overnight.

Some tips: For our anniversary, my husband and I reserved the waterfall lunch--I highly recommend it! And, we brought flashlights, but we could have just borrowed them from the reception desk. Either way, you'll need something to use at night--I think the rainforest is the darkest place there is. Both hiking and water shoes were very helpful. And, even though there were not too many mosquitoes, I did get about 10 bites. That's not so bad, considering we were there for five days. But, the resort websites says that you don't need spray, but I would definitely recommend it anyway.

Anyway, I loved this trip and would go again if I were to ever return to Costa Rica. We feel like we really found a gem in Lapa Rios.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank kaw3620
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Irvine, CA
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2009

This is a must go to place if you want an upscale eco-resort experience.From the very beginning you are both pampered and educated (but not in a heavy handed way). Wonderful and hardworking staff (Juan, the general manager was especially gracious - our son adored him) takes care of you and teaches you about sustainable travel and how they are taking care of the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. Very good food. Great hikes. Nice pool. We were there over spring break with our 12 year old son and there were other kids but be warned this isn't Disney. There are spiders, snakes, and all kinds of jungle creatures (e.g., monkeys, coatis, frogs, etc etc). The screaming Holler monkeys at 5am are a great alarm clock.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank SustainableTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reno, NV
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 May 2009

We started out honeymoon at Lapa Rios, and it could not have been any better. We were escorted from the Nature Air flight right to the Ecolodge and greeted with fresh blackberry juice. The bungalows were beautiful, and private. We stayed in the last bungalow, which was a hike from the lodge but it had a screen as the shower wall (still private), great views of the ocean and lots of wildlife. The food was excellent, the guava syrup with french toast and the yellow tuna sandwich were our favorites. Lapa Rios offered relaxation (must needed after months of wedding planning), romance, and adventure. We plan to go back in the future. Just a note... this is not really a good place for very large groups or small children.

  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank RenoAmber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula

Property: Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula
Address: Osa Peninsula, Cabo Matapalo, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Cabo Matapalo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3 star — Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula 3*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in a 1000-acre private nature reserve in Central America's last remaining lowland tropical rainforest in Costa Rica, Lapa Rios Ecolodge overlooks the pristine point where the Golfo Dulce meets the wild Pacific Ocean, a destination matching everyone's idea of paradise. Much more than a luxurious eco lodge, Lapa Rios is a model ecotourism project and a sustainable tourism pioneer. Over the years, we have received many awards for social and environmental excellence. Home to a plethora of incredible wildlife, including monkeys, scarlet macaws, pumas, toucans, tree frogs and thousands of other creatures, a trip to Lapa Rios Eco lodges Ecolodges will be the experience of a lifetime. Lapa Rios is one of only 24 National Geographic Unique Eco Lodges of the World ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lapa Rios Ecolodge Hotel Playa Matapalo

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