We went to this resort solely on the basis that in the advertisements expressed a likelihood of seeing wild sloths on the resort. Unfortunately... we never saw one. Granted, this is something the resort cannot control, but it was a disappointment to spend hours each day looking for the little buggers and never seeing a single one. We wish that the resort didn't advertise the sloths in that way. We saw a million birds, bugs and lizards... one capuchin monkey on the last day from a very far distance.
The resort in located in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. This is a beach village.. not fancy by any means. There is a lot of trash on the streets and not the best shopping... but some great food, great drinks and nice sights. We recommend taking a cab (do not bike! the drivers are crazy, I actually got hit by a car once!) down to Punta Uva... it's an amazing beach (allegedly one of the 8 best in the world). Down the same road is the Jaguar Rescue... baby sloths were unbelievable!! So cute. It cost about $15 to get in.
Samasati is very high up a hillside in the rain forest. The staff will drive you up the hill as late as 8pm, but there is a daily shuttle down to Puerto Viejo at 10am and back at 3pm. We were very nervous about snakes but did not see any the whole trip. There were lizards in our bungalow. Bring some seriously powerful bug spray and mosquito bracelets. We made it through the whole trip with only 1 or 2 bites. Also, things do not dry over night... blow drying doesn't really work either.. so bring plenty of clothes. The laundry services was wonderful, quick, and efficient. We recommend stuffing towels under the doors once you shoe all the lizards out... then they cannot come back in.
The staff at the resort are wonderful... so sweet and very relaxed. The food -- well, I didn't like it much but my partner did. It is kind of bland but chock full of vegi's. The fruit (when there is any left) is delicious and apparently grown on the resort. Bring something to entertain yourself... there is nothing to do on the resort once it gets dark. The excursions by day will exhaust you though, so you will probably just want to pass out after you eat dinner.
As for excursions.. we did 2. Horseback riding and river rafting. The horseback riding was not for the weak -- three straight hours of galloping down the beach and through the rain forest. The place the resort has connections with will accommodate for inexperienced riders. The river rafting is unbelievable. Do it on your last day as your means of traveling back to San Jose. The company picks you up at Samasati, drives you to the river, is extremely professional and safe through the whole thing, and then brings you right to your hotel after. This is a full day excursion. They made it seem so scary as they described the safety measures for the river.. but once we got out there it was the best time we have ever had in our entire lives. We will never forget the river rafting. It wasn't ever scary at all. Granted, this does involve some level of athleticism, so if you have any injuries, don't do it.
We were bummed that the resort wouldn't refund us for one of our excursions that we prepaid for that we never used. We never booked it either. We were just so tired we couldn't fit it in. So, another way Samasati as a company bummed us out.
Overall -- if you want to experience a week in the jungle... the loud... raw.. damp.. but, gorgeous jungle... do it.
We never did yoga or massage, so we cannot give feedback on that. The jacuzzi was NOT chlorinated, therefore we did not think getting in it would be a nice experience. Lots of dogs on the resort (apparently the snakes don't like them, or criminals). Lots of tide pools to check out on the beaches in Puerto Viejo. Turtles nest on the beaches at night if you are there during that season. Showers are a little buggy & dark but nothing too bad -- each bungalow has a PRIVATE bathroom (no sharing with other guests). Beds are ok. We didn't sleep too well first night because of the loud animal sounds so bring ear plugs!
We will never forget our time at Samasati.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary Perched on a magical mountain ridge overlooking the Caribbean Sea, Samasati offers guest house bungalow and casita accommodations just minutes away from the beaches of Puerto Viejo. For over 20 years we have hosted world class retreats, workshops, guest artists and travelers like you! Your stay includes delicious gourmet vegetarian buffet served in our renovated open air restaurant with breathtaking views. Also available on site are healing massage treatments, jacuzzi spa, nature trails, waterfall with natural pool, daily yoga classes and a meditation hall. Tours, excursions and beach shuttles to local attractions are arranged daily. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Samasati Nature Retreat Hotel Puerto Viejo
- Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary Costa Rica/Limon