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“Magical jungle hideaway - a perfect blend of form and function.”
Review of El Arbol

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El Arbol
LaFayette, New York
Level Contributor
1 review
“Magical jungle hideaway — a perfect blend of form and function.”
Reviewed 6 January 2011

El Arbol was the primary reason we chose Costa Rica for our 2010 holiday vacation. We stayed there on the last 5 days of our 2 week trip, and it exceeded all of our expectations from what we had read/seen online. Gracious hosts Jan and Marjolein were helpful and knowledgeable. They live in their own jungle lodge on stilts just 100 meters away, but out of sight and sound, which made our experience truly private and unique. The design of the lodge itself is elegantly and harmoniously blended with its surroundings. Sustainably built and maintained, El Arbol truly combines the feeling of being in the middle of a dense, lush, life-filled jungle with the luxury and comfort of modern accommodations. There's a plethora of activities and tours to be booked, but we loved the space so much that it seemed like most of our time was spent at the lodge itself, enjoying a nice bath in the jacuzzi, or sitting/hanging on the swing chair and hammock on the balcony, reading a book, gazing in amazement at the flora and fauna that abounds. There were plenty of restaurants and local "soda's" near by, but we also utilized the simple and well equipped kitchen and cooked up our own feasts—Mopri's Pescadaro (a local fish market in Puerto Viejo) was a daily stop for us.
My only complaint is that we couldn't stay longer...but we'll definitely be back!

Be sure to check out the amazing Jaguar Rescue Center nearby; up close and personal with monkeys, sloths, toucans, snakes, and so much more!

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank jmz007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
2 reviews
Reviewed 21 October 2010

We stayed here for 3 nights with my wife and 2 teenage daughters. The tree house is designed by its owner which makes it very different from all the other places we've stayed in Costa Rica. We liked it a lot, especially the bath room with its fancy door and the balcony. You will definitely hear the howler monkeys and with a bit of luck also see them. And also other animals. But do not expect a zoo, where all kind of animals will show up. The hosts were very helpful and can help you out with guides or nice restaurants. Breakfast is not available, but with Manzanillo at short distance and a fully equipped kitchen this shouldn't be a problem.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank koldo50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Klazienaveen
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 16 September 2010

My friend and I were traveling through Costa Rica, and we founded El Arbol! An amazing place in the middle of the Jungle, but with the beach from Manzanillo just minutes away. The houses are well made and with all the comfort you need! The beds where really comfortable, with a extra lage master bed. You could see that everything was blinking and that the cleaning was well done. And don’t forget the bubble bath we stayed in every night! Marjolein and Jan-Hein are really friendly people and helped us with everything! Our tip is to hire a bike from aquamor. You can bike everywhere. you can also hire snorkel gear, canoes and tours at aquamor. It was the best stay we had in the whole trip. They had the best hot shower we have had on our stay in Costa Rica. The beaches around are so nice, my favorite was Manzanillo. But you can also go on your bike to Punta Uva or to one of the other beaches! And of course Puerto Viejo is nearby. You can grab the bus from Manzanillo to Puerto Viejo and stall your bike at a aquamor!

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rossahotels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ventura, CA
Level Contributor
24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 September 2010

Of all the pictures of our trip to Costa Rica (and there were many), the ones that most folks marvel at are the pictures of our "Tree House". It was great - lovely and helpful hosts Marilyn and John and their sweet son Rebel; jacuzzi tub; fabulous balcony with the most comfortable basket chair ever; a parade of wildlife that never ends; great kitchen with the BEST cooking utensils and kitchenware I've ever had in a rental - heavy duty pots and pans and sharp knives and nice wine glasses and good coffee mugs. Clean as clean can be - and every 3rd day maid service. Massage arranged in our living room. Sunrise and coffee on the balcony: watching Blue Morphos flutter through our private little glade. Sunset and cocktails on the balcony: watching listening to all THREE kinds of monkeys pass throught the property. Then a friendly gouti made his way by. Then the bats. Then our nightly serenade and lullaby of crickets, frogs and rain on the roof. Our family of four started calling this "home" right away.

Some candid comments and advice - as other reviewers have said, for any areas of Costa Rica by the ocean, bring fast drying clothes and shoes. Flashlights or headlamps or both are a must for getting around at night. Since we had a family of 4 and the kids slept downstairs, a fan on that level would have been great - we kept the beautiful glass doors open but on calm nights, it was still quite warm with no breeze blowing. Mom and Dad upstairs with the fan were just fine however! And speaking of the upstairs bedroom - it should be noted that the lower 1/3 wall of the second floor is completely open to the downstairs and even a bit to the jacuzzi bathroom - PERfect for a romantic couple, but for a mom and dad looking for vacation privacy, not so much. ;-) Still, we had a great time with many wonderful memories.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank VenturaPLT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Monica, California
1 review
Reviewed 31 August 2010

I was originally planning our vacation(myself and 8 year old) with a group of friends. Last minute all pulled out. After months of researching I came across El Arbor and fell in love with the idea of staying in a remote place in the jungle. Well I decided to continue with my adventure and booked this house for 4 nights, 5 days at El Arbor.

It was a Fantastic experience. Just myself and my daughter stayed in one of the houses and felt so safe, relaxed and exposed to such peace and wonderful sounds of the jungle. The couple who run the place live approx 500 yards from the house and was super helpful giving me ideas on tours, even able to book for me. They were even kind enough to offer us a ride to town; hence we didn't have a car.

I love El Arbor and Manzanillo, my daugther said it was the best place we stayed during our 10 day excursion throughout Costa Rica.

The house was fabulous, peaceful and gave me a great opportunities to be with my daughter and spend good quality time.

I would recommend renting a Golf Cart, car or something if you plan on being out at night unless you hire a taxi. I wouldn't recommend walking to El Arbor at night; it is the jungle.

We were both very very sad to leave El Arbor and talked about our next trip on our plane ride back home. this is the place to be if you want tranquility, great jungle experience, cozy house!! I love El Arbor... Thanks for making our trip just that much more wonderful....xoxo

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank mzcawfee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
Reviewed 13 May 2010

El Arbol is the place to stay if you are in to nature and want to experience the true feeling and beauty of Puerto Viego, Costa Rica. The owners are very polite and very driven people with one common interest and that is to give you the experience of a lifetime. I want to thank them for that and hope to return soon.

Arjen

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank whateverxxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Traverse City, Michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 May 2010

El Arbol is a wonderful place to stay, truly a jungle paradise! As nature lovers waking up (and going to bed with) to monkey's (howler, white faced, and spider monkey's), sloth, countless birds (tucans, humming birds and MORE!) and butterflies is a magical experience. The 5 minute bike ride to Manzanillo beach is a beautiful trip, as is the 20 minute bike ride to Punta Uva. It was along this bike ride that we were exposed to countless birds, lizzards and other various critters, all would have been missed if traveling by car. El Arbol is in an ideal location, fusing privacy and ease of getting into town. No car rental needed to stay at this location, bikes and public transportation (bus) is all you need, creating a stress free traveling experience.

The owners of El Arbol live in another house built on the property and are always available to answer questions, offer advise and yet never interfere. Mango, the owners rescue dog, is also available to lead you on a hike and provides endless entertainment; she was a wonderful addition to the vacation!

The house is beautifully constructed with a very romantic and private feel, the Jacuzzi tub was a fun and luxurious touch. We spent most of our time on the balcony, lounging and looking at animals, in the hammock and basket chairs. It is a wonderful view. We had beautiful weather while on our honeymoon, mostly sun with a few evenings of rain and one full day of thunderstorms. The storm was an awesome experience, rain sounds so cool in the jungle adn the smell is intoxicating (in a good way *laugh)! If you never left the property you would have a wonderful Costa Rican vacation full of wildlife, fun and romance.

We fell in love with Costa Rica on our honeymoon, thanks in part to El Arbol! We would recommend this location to anyone considering staying in this part of Costa Rica and if we ever are lucky enough to visit this country again, we would stay at El Arbol!

TIPS/SUGGESTIONS:
It is damp all the time, it feels amazing on your skin- like a spa. BUT bring fast drying clothing! Think work-out clothes, swim trunks, cotton sundresses, flip-flops, Teva's. Thick cotton shorts, knits etc will not dry if/when they get wet. We put everything electronic in zip-loc baggies (digital camera's, ipod, etc.) and had no problems with anything. As there is no tv or radio in the house (not needed) we brought an ipod speaker set which was a nice option, though not used much due to the awesome nature noises occuring all the time!

Bring a head-lamp or flashlight for being out at night

Bug Spray (OFF! worked great for us) is a good idea if you plan on hiking in th jungle or being out after dark. Overall bugs were not an issue and we left the house open 24-7.

Rent bikes, not cars. Driving in Costa Rica is crazy, CRAZY! For long distance traveling take the public bus, it is easy, cheap and best of all you can't get lost!

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank A_K_Buckner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Arbol

Property: El Arbol
Address: 400 m oeste de RECOPE Manzanillo | opp. Recope, Manzanillo, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 7304, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #24 of 103 Speciality Lodging in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Vacation house & jungle villa rental.Fascinating jungle experience in the middle of the Caribbean rainforest of Costa Rica! Our distinguished lodge on 16+ acres of private property is situated in the Gandoca Manzanillo wildlife refuge, with the beautiful Caribbean sea less then a mile away. You will stay in one of our luxurious, fully equipped houses on stilts. Experience the jungle like never before. Have the monkeys waiting outside your window as you wake up to the sounds of tropical birds singing (more than 100 species counted on our property). There are sloths, nosebears, other mammals, frogs, and so much more…Let comfort surround you while you are relaxing in the Costa Rican rain forest, drinking a good bottle of wine on your jungle porch. Have a massage, walk our private nature tracks or relax at the creek that runs through the property. Go on one of the many excursions we can arrange for you. Visit the picture perfect & quiet Caribbean beaches just a few minutes away! Venture into Cahuita National park or the Gandoca Manzanillo wildlife refuge. Enjoy a night out in the bustling beach town of Puerto Viejo (9 miles away). But most of all look forward to waking up in a jungle paradise that seems to have been created especially for you… ... more   less 
Also Known As:
El Arbol Costa Rica/Limon

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