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“Over the Top! Exceeded our wildest expectations....”

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Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge
Ranked #4 of 12 Hotels in Golfito
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 17 July 2014

My family spent four nights at Playa Nicuesa - and from the moment we arrived we were captivated. A Coati greeted us as we arrived at the lodge - and throughout our visit, we saw dozens of animals - White faced monkeys, three toed sloths, leaf-cutter ants, golden orb weaver spiders... I went on the briefest of fishing excursions and got into a run of Barracuda, catching a mess for dinner. Oh, and the meals - every meal was lovingly prepared from scratch every day - breads were made at one meal for the next - and every day presented a bounty of fruit either on the table cut simply or blended into smoothies or just iced drinks... The staff was so attentive and yet low profile. While the rooms are exposed to the air (which is great by the way) the cleaning staff still made the rooms seem Hilton fresh.... A highlight for me was the waterfall hike - on the way we saw monkeys and birds of all sorts - and our guide saw a Puma harassing a wild fowl... at the top of the mountain, we arrived to an ice cold spring fed pool for swimming - just the 5 of us... It was remarkable. If you have any interest in the outdoors, and particularly if you are interested in sustainable models for tourism, you must travel to this place. We will be back for sure. I don't want to ruin your experience, so that's enough detail... There is no place like this.

Room Tip: I don't think there is a bad cabin. Ask for one close to the ocean so you can hear the waves cr...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Scott S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NicuesaLodge, Owner at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2014

We are truly pleased that you and your family enjoyed your time at Nicuesa Lodge. You gave just enough detail in your review to inform and entice other travelers ... thank you! Thanks also for catching dinner one night for everyone! We are most grateful for your sincere appreciation of the "essence" of Nicuesa. We look forward to having you visit us again.

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88 - 94 of 267 reviews

Reviewed 17 July 2014

It is increasingly popular these days to attach the title "Eco-lodge" to boutique hotels. Playa Nicuesa is the real deal--walking the walk and talking the talk--with a hard-working on-site Sustainibility Coordinator and top to bottom dedication to preserving the incredible beauty of the surrounding beach and rainforest. It is paradise without sacrificing your principles. It is so beautiful, peaceful and yet thrilling with the prodigious wealth of flora and fauna to see every time you look out your cabin. We were awakened early by the Howler monkeys and macaws, then treated to another fabulous meal prepared by the talented kitchen staff. The gifted young chef created lovely meals featuring food fresh from the property (either garden, forest or ocean). Every meal was a revelation. I would 'bird-watch' while my family climbed to the mountain waterfall. We hiked constantly, snorkeled, fished, kayaked, swam, hung out in the hammocks and explored to our heart's content. There was yoga and massage on the beach with the incomparable Moli, terrific; informative tours from super-guides Jose and Carlos; cooling storms in the afternoon; appetizers and drinks in the evening with Cesar and the staff; more great meals and then falling asleep to the sound of the waves. In just four days we saw countless birds (I made a 2 page list),agoutis,geckos,dolphins,lizards that run on water, a trantula,bats,several types of monkeys,racoons,a mama and baby sloth,frogs,zillions of fish, coatis, snakes, and lots of cool bugs. The grounds are resplendent, the staff are exceptional and the location cannot be beat. I would go again in a heartbeat--truly one of the best vacations we have ever had. Go! Relax! Rejoice!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Leesa D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NicuesaLodge, Owner at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2014

Thank you for your marvelous review! We feel blessed to have found our little paradise at Playa Nicuesa, and do our best to preserve it sustainably in harmony with the Earth. Thank you for appreciating our hard work. We'll be sure to let our staff know you mentioned them honorably. Please visit us again!

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Reviewed 6 July 2014

If you are looking to experience the Costa Rican rainforest and all its natural beauty with gracious hospitality and attentive service- then look no further! Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is the place for you! We apologize that our review is long overdue since our family visited Nicuesa in August, 2012. Were were traveling as a family of 4 with our two daughters ages 12 and 14. We have traveled extensively but Nicuesa stands out as a unique experience! Nicuesa provides the rare opportunity to stay IN the rainforest but also has a small beach with swimming and kayaking. I especially appreciated the opportunity to cool off by swimming in the beautiful Golfo Dulce after a full morning of rainforest activity. Plus, the rainforest can feel a little "closed in" at times so it was nice to be able to see horizon at the beach. Our family loved the waterfall adventure (challenging), Mangrove kayak tour (amazing) and Nature Sanctuary tour (we were charmed by Sweetie the monkey and the other wildlife at the center). All of these excursions were private so it was just our family and a guide. The guides were knowledgeable, helpful and great with adults and our kids! We not only learned so much from them about the rainforest and its nature, but also had the opportunity to learn about Costa Rican culture. Truly, every staff member at Nicuesa was incredibly friendly, helpful and provided an outstanding level of attentiveness and service. One evening before dinner I asked the bartender if he was serving the same "special" drink he had made the previous evening. He wasn't planning to, but without my realizing it, he went to the garden, picked the fruit he needed then returned to the bar and blended up my special drink! Amazing! And this type of service was pretty typical of what we experienced at Nicuesa. Yes, it is hot and humid, especially in August. We had purchased quick dry fabric shirts and shorts which worked well. We also kept our clothing in the containers provided in the closets and that helped keep our clothes drier- everything just gets very moist from the humidity. I was concerned about going to the rainforest during the rainy season but would do it again without reservation! The Tucan Cabin was very comfortable and closest to the main building. We still felt it was extremely private. The ceiling fans kept us cool at night and we slept well. The howler monkeys woke us at dawn- and it was an incredible experience lying in bed, listening to the sounds of the jungle waking up. My husband is a bird watcher and took many walks on Nicuesa's trails. We also went on the night time "bug tour" which was fascinating. The food was delicious and plentiful! Our older daughter is allergic to peanuts and they accommodated her allergy without a hitch. One teenage boy from another family was a picky eater and he was served plain pasta and other specially requested food. Yes, of course there are bugs and you will see huge golden orb spiders spinning webs near the trails and trails of leafcutter ants near the path to your cabin. To us this was fascinating and part of why we wanted to visit the rainforest. But in terms of bothersome insects, we hardly had any insects in our cabin and the mosquitos are worse at home! Four nights was perfect for us. Although we seldom repeat vacations we would love to return to Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge! It you are looking for a bit of an adventure, to experience nature up-close, but at the same time would appreciate personal and attentive service, then you will love Nicuesa!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank ConnecticutPatH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NicuesaLodge, Owner at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2014

Wow! We really appreciate your fantastic review of Nicuesa Lodge! We're thrilled that your family's trip with us was so memorable that the experiences are fresh in your mind, even 2 years later. Thanks a lot for writing about us on TripAdvisor. You are always welcome back any time.

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Reviewed 12 June 2014

I am not the typical outdoor type, however my recent visit to the Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge was a very pleasant experience. The boat ride from Golfito , where we parked the car, to the lodge by boat was done very efficiently and we had the added pleasure of seeing a few dolphins along the way. Our cabin set in the rainforest was very comfortable, it had mosquito netting over the bed and the shutters that stood open during the day could be closed at night as one wished. Meals were in the main Lodge, family style and was prepared from locally grown fruit and vegetables and freshly caught fish. The staff is very efficient and helpful and the guides that take guests to the different activities very knowledgeable and friendly.
Guests can arrive either by car in Golfito where the parking is secure, or they can fly in to a nearby airport, either way the trip to the Lodge is by boat. While parking fees are at the guests expense the boat transfer is included in the rate, as are the 3 meals each day.
Activities included are kayaking, snorkeling, hikes into the rainforest, and bird watching, Yoga classes are offered at an additional cost.
I highly recommend this Eco Lodge where everyone can enjoy a rainforest adventure at their own pace. I am already looking forward to a return visit.

Room Tip: Our cabin for 2 people was not far from the main Lodge which is the hub of the place, and it was als...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Mona G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NicuesaLodge, Owner at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 30 June 2014

Thank you for visiting us at Playa Nicuesa, and for taking the time to write about us on TripAdvisor! We really appreciate your detailed travel tips for future guests; they let others know what to expect from a firsthand traveler. Invaluable information! We welcome you back to Playa Nicuesa anytime you want!

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Reviewed 15 May 2014

My husband and I have been married for 4 years and since I have been in school and working full time pretty much since we got married, so this was our graduation celebration trip! After saving for a vacation and building a great deal of anticipation, Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge still exceeded our expectations! My favorite aspect is simply that you are plopped down in the wild jungle completely separated from the city! You can only access it by boat because there are no roads at all that reach Playa Nicuesa! While this may sound a little scary and rugged, it was spectacular. We never felt unsafe and thoroughly enjoyed watching wildlife around us go on as if we were not even there.
We stayed for 5 days (May 5-10) and were not ready to leave when Saturday came! We stayed in the Mango house. We did not have many neighbors while we were there, but we really enjoyed being on the second floor, feeling sort of "up in the trees". I think we probably had fewer critters crawling around our room as well. We absolutely loved the community feel with the family style dinner table at each meal where you can share experiences with others. If you would rather have privacy, however, there are smaller dating-style tables to the side.
It is important to know before you go that it IS THE RAINFOREST, so there will be rain and bugs, but honestly we were bothered by neither. In the morning, it is really easy to wake up early with the sunlight and jungle noises. We had a tour each day and were delighted each day to realize that when the tour was over we always had at least 1/2 a day left to enjoy ourselves swimming at the dock, laying on the beach or hiking the trails! We did the Mangrove river kayaking tour, the botanical gardens (you can get there by kayak or boat), waterfall hike (our favorite), and fishing tour. We had an absolute blast on each tour and made a couple friends that we tried to coordinate our adventures with, which made it even more fun!
We were in the beginning of rainy season, so if you are concerned about the weather in May, this is what we experienced: almost every single day we had bright sunshine from about 5am to 2-2:30pm, a few hours of rain in the afternoon (perfect for nap time) and then usually enough daylight for an afternoon adventure before dinner.
The open air showers are really cool. We did close our shaded doors (there are still some open slats in them that you can partially close) before going to dinner to minimize the entrance of animals, but we honestly didn't had a problem! We did have one large gecco who traversed the rafters at night, but by the end of the trip, whenever I heard him (Guillermo is his name) calling to his buddy out in the jungle, we would laugh instead of get startled because we sort of grew fond of him and his funny habits. Spraying down your mosquito net with repellant at night also helps with the bugs. Honestly, though, the place is so amazing that you hardly notice the insects! And oftentimes, if you do, they are interesting enough that you are glad to have found them!
We also loved every person we met on staff and the service was great. The chef at the lodge is certainly gifted at what he does. Every meal was really fresh and healthy, oftentimes using produce from the land or fish caught in the gulf (but there is always a delicious alternative option if you don't like fish). My husband and I always chose opposite options for each meal so we always got to taste both ;). They minimize the use of processed sugar and honestly, by the 3rd day my pallate was completely changed for the better. We also grew in our appreciation for the need for an ecologically sounds lifestyle while we were there!
Overall, this is the best vacation we have ever been on and hope to come back someday. If you are looking for a place that you can balance lazy with adventurous in whatever proportion you choose day to day, this is the place for you!

Room Tip: I recommend the Mango house (especially second level) for anyone who is a little uneasy about totaly...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Lindsay K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NicuesaLodge, Owner at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 19 May 2014

We are truly honored to be the destination you chose for your graduation celebration trip! And we are thrilled to have exceeded your expectations! Your review is so thorough -- we couldn't have said it better ourselves. Thank you for taking the time to write your memories so that other future guests know what it is like at Playa Nicuesa. We are certain everyone will find your travel tips invaluable. You are welcome back anytime you want, and you can keep up on our news on our website Rainforest Blog.

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Reviewed 14 May 2014

We spent three nights at Nicuesa and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Starting with the landing in Golfito and boat ride up the coast to the lodge - a great way to get acclimated. Accomodations were very nice, staff were all very friendly, the nature guides were very knowledgeable and the pace was very relaxing. We did one activity each of the three days, did a night hike that was fascinating and still had plenty of time to relax and enjoy the beautiful setting. The scale of the lodge is nice as you get to know the other guests (from all over the world) through happy hour and the family style dinners at one long table. A Costa Rican rainforest version of a dude ranch. Our children ranged in age from 16 to 10 and they really enjoyed the time at Nicuesa.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Tim W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NicuesaLodge, Owner at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 19 May 2014

Thank you for visiting Nicuesa with your family. We're happy to give you a great Costa Rica experience. Thank you too for your kind comments ... we'll pass on your compliments to our staff. We welcome you back!

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Reviewed 13 May 2014

Our group spent 3 nights here and had the best time. The staff is small, friendly, and very helpful. Our excursions (snorkeling and hiking to the waterfall) went off without a hitch. We stayed in the Mango Guesthouse and enjoyed the closeness of the rainforest. A wonderful property that I highly recommend!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Kristy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NicuesaLodge, Owner at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 19 May 2014

Thank you very much for your great review! We're happy you enjoyed your stay with us. We always recommend that people spend 3 or more days with us to really get into the experience. We hope you can come back and visit us again sometime.

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Additional Information about Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge

Address: Parque Nacional Piedras Blancas, Golfito 1000, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Golfito
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Golfito
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Golfito
Price Range: £288 - £422 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Playa Nicuesa is an environmentally-friendly eco-lodge set on a 165-acre private rainforest preserve on the undeveloped Pacific Coast of Golfo Dulce in southern Costa Rica. Our jungle & sea location provides a unique adventure and nature vacation: the front yard is a gulf right off the Pacific Ocean, and the backyard consists of thousands of acres of pristine tropical rainforest. Overall, the experience embraces conservation and harmony with the natural environment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Hotel Golfito
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Golfito
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge Costa Rica/Golfito

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