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Cerro Chato Eco Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 March 2007

My husband and I visited Costa Rica for 10 days in February 2007, and our stay at the Cerro Chato was one of the highlights of our trip.

I was a bit nervous about booking this hotel, since it is slightly outside of La Fortuna, and we were traveling without a car. However, our lack of transport did not turn out to be a problem. From San Jose, we took a Grayline shuttle to La Fortuna. Unfortunately Grayline will not drop off right at the Cerro Chato (I think that Interbus might). The hotel is about a $2 - $3 cab ride to/from La Fortuna, although we frequently walked (it's a fair hike, at least 30 minutes). We brought a flashlight and felt totally comfortable walking at night. We booked a number of tours through the hotel, including a visit to Arenal National Park, a visit to Baldi hotsprings, and a visit to watch the lava flow at night. Each of these trips included transportation (and in some cases snacks!), and were very reasonably priced. We thoroughly enjoyed the company of Miguel (the owner), who frequently acted as our guide, and is very knowledgeable and passionate about the area. It was nice to stay in a community and have a chance to talk with a real Costa Rican family.

The rooms themselves were basic (but clean); be sure to bring your own toiletries and alarm clock. The price was excellent ($40 / night for two people, including breakfast). Breakfast, which was prepared by Miguel's wife Carmen, was delicious, and was served on a small patio with volcano view. Our room had a small veranda with table, chairs, and a hammock, which we loved. We spent a lot of time lounging in the hammock, which had a great view of the volcano.

All in all we had a great time, and will definitely return if we ever make it back to Costa Rica.

Stayed: March 2007
6  Thank ana51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 6 March 2007

This basic hotel was an excellent and affordable place to stay. The location is perfect, beautifully kept gardens with a unobstructed view of the volcano. It cost $2-3 for a cab ride into town which was worth it for the tranquility.

The breakfast included was an excellent way to start your day. Miguel and Carmen (owners) went out of their way to make sure we felt welcome and had lots of activities to keep us busy.

Highly recommended!

  • Stayed: February 2007, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank kdincanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2007

Cerro Chato is a wonderful lodge for exploring Arenal and environs. Run by Miguel and his wife Carmen (and their 2 kids), it is truly a family-run eco-lodge. Miguel was a suburb host, incredibly helpful, with a great sense of humor and truly interested in making sure our stay (Feb 07) was everything we wanted. He helped us arrange various tours of the area (Arenal National Park, Hanging Bridges, Tabacon, Cano Negro) and even personally drove us to see Arenal Volcano at dusk because he insisted that we had to see the red hot lava flow before we left the next day - and we are so glad that he did. Breakfasts and dinners cooked by Carmen were excellent and their children were a delight, The location is perfect - hiking distance to the waterfalls and wonderful views of Arenal Volcano. Our cabin was clean, comfortable and in a tree-filled setting. Just outside the office are several hummingbird feeders put to good use and the trees are often filled with singing birds. We can't say enough great things about Cerro Chato!!

  • Stayed: February 2007, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank jake-chicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2007

Carmen, the wife of the owner Miguel Zamora, was extremely nice. That was the only highlight. We were two American women of color, and he told us that we should come back with our boyfriends. He was the ONLY Costa Rican that expressed any prejudice to me because I am Muslim. He literally said, "There is no place for your culture here." We had to leave an entire day early because it was that bad, and he did not give our money back.

We arrived at 3PM, and waited until 11PM to talk to him. We told him that we had different needs because we were Muslim, and we wanted to ask him questions. When he finally arrived, he told us "5 minutes" and went into another room to talk to his firends. I thought we were paying customers? Miguel also did not answer our questions. We asked if there was a place where there were private hot springs, and he said no. In reality, at Tabacon Springs, you can get a massage or other body treatments, and then pay a little more money to rinse off in a private hot spring. We asked if there were other hot springs besdes Baldi and Tobacon, and he said no. In reality, across the street from Baldi is a family owned place called Eco-Termanales (there are no signs, just a gate), which serves the best food, and is not as crowded.

The rest of Costa Rica was amazing. The Costa Rican people were very accepting to different cultures, and treated me with love and respect. Nobody, except Miguel Zamora, expressed any sort of bigotry toward me because I am Muslim. So if you are Muslim or can't stand any type of oppression, and you want to go to Costa Rica, don't stay here.

  • Stayed: December 2006, travelled with friends
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7  Thank Hijabicycle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 January 2007

We booked our stay with hostelworld.com. After booking, we immediately got an email from the owner Miguel, asking us about our arrival and giving us information. This is when we booked our taxi-boat-taxi tour to Santa Elena as well.
We arranged to have a (free!!) pickup from the airstrip where our domestic flight Nature Air would bring us. He picked us up and drove us to his beautiful piece of land.
It's a little outside of the village, so no noise from cars or drunk youngsters. Miguel arranges for everything you need! At our arrival we instantly got a bunch of ideas about that afternoon, and we booked a tour (first hiking in the national park and then to one of the hotsprings) and he made sure we were brought there and got picked up afterwords.
Our night was good. Well, we had a warm welcome by some ants, but hey: welcome to the jungle! And then at breakfast, Miguel pointed out the tree a sloth was staying in! He had lived there for two weeks without paying for the dinners or nights!! haha
That morning we had the chance to walk upto the very big waterfall, and the views were beautiful. Walking back we saw the Arenal almost without clouds! it was a special day. That afternoon we had to leave for Santa Elena, but it was a great stay. Thank you Miguel and family!

Stayed: December 2006
6  Thank rodeparaplu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2007

We stayed in Cerro Chato Lodge for 3 days in Novemeber. It was part of a 3 week trip in Costa Rica and we remember it as once of the best places that we stayed in.

The gardens were absolutely beautiful, the breakfasts substantial and most of all: the hosts were excellent. Miguel and Carmen are completely charming. Miguel's english is impeccable and he goes out of his way to make your trip enjoyable. He can arrange tours for you and also manages to get discounts in various places. The accomodation is basic but all that you would want and need from your stay. The rooms are spotless and Carmen will even do your laundry.

We saw lots of wildlife in the gardens including a sloth.

Because it is a family run lodge it offers a true Costa Rican experience that we thoroughly enjoyed.

  • Stayed: November 2006, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank NadineD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 December 2006

We found this place recommended from a guidebook, and it was so fabulous. By far, one of our favorite stays in Costa Rica. Miguel and Carmen are wonderful with their local knowledge, charm, and hospitalitly, we could have not asked for better service. They alwaysy had great recommendations for hikes, or restaurants, andn it was really very lovely. Highly Recommend this place to stay.

  • Stayed: January 2006, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Randi R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cerro Chato Eco Lodge

Address: Road to Rio Fortuna' waterfall | 3 kms southwest from La Fortuna, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos 4417-75, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 76 Speciality Lodging in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range: £32 - £46 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Cerro Chato Eco Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located at the base of the Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica (2.5 kms. from La Fortuna, on the road to Catarata Rio's Fortuna and only 15minutes by car from Tabacon's Hot Springs) with a spectacular view of the southeast side of the volcano, we have the advantage of being at a slightly higher altitude than La Fortuna, thus cooler. Also, we are off the main road enough to avoid the sound of grinding gears that are audible from almost all other hotels. The rooms are very spacious (32m2) with 1 double and 1 single bed, a large private bath with hot water, screened windows, ceiling fans, verandas with table and chairs, and landscaped grounds abundant with tropical flowers and birds. Full breakfast, available lunches, horse rental, laundry, internet service and secure parking lot. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cerro Chato Eco Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Cerro Chato Eco Lodge Costa Rica/La Fortuna De San Carlos

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