Mal Pais, Costa Rica was the PERFECT vacation spot and Moana Lodge was the perfect place to stay! The areas has a great mix of activities for those who like to be adventurous but wonderful, secluded beaches for those who just want to relax.
The Moana Lodge would be perfect for a family reunion or a group of friends. The eight rooms/suites ensured a quaint atmosphere and was private enough to enjoy. We were there right before they planned to add the additional suites and restaurant the following year.
We stayed in the Deluxe Leopard room which was just perfect! At times, we could open our windows and see the monkeys above. Breakfast provided an opportunity to chat with other guests. The pool was a great spot to spend the mornings/evenings after returning from your day of activities. You can rent a quad directly from Moana, which we did for the week. Although dusty at times, it was much easier than renting a car and navigating the horrendous roads.
Aidan and Vicki have great recommendations on beaches, restaurants, and anything else that might interest you. They will arrange anything you’d like (fishing, surfing lessons, tours, taxis to the airport (airport is a stretch; landing strip is more like it).
It is definitely worth taking Aidan’s quad tour. He has great knowledge of the peninsula and provides “insider’s” insight throughout the afternoon. The waterfalls are beautiful and worth the trek. Be sure to wear more than flip flops because the rocks can be hard to navigate once your flops are wet.
Fishing was fun and afterwards the guide fillets the fish and wraps them up for you to take home. Surfing lessons from Elery were helpful but a beginner can get tired before the lesson is even over.
We took the quad over to the nature reserve for a hike. We spotted numerous butterflies and birds and a few monkeys. Ironically, when we arrived back at Moana that afternoon there were more monkeys outside our room window than what we saw at the reserve.
Horseback riding was a treat. They actually let you run the horses but be sure you are honest about your riding abilities or you’ll end up on a racer who will scare the wits out of you.
Be sure to take enough cash if possible. The bank can be a nightmare – long lines and tons of paperwork. Moana will pay for all your activities and allow you to pay them directly which is great but you can’t charge it to a credit card as you do your room.
There was a variety of food in the area – from pizza to fresh caught seafood. The soda across the street is delicious but come knowing basic Spanish or you might be out of luck. Most restaurants have an English/Spanish menu so even the novice can navigate.
We have fond memories of this vacation and it has become one of our favorites. Unfortunately, future vacations have been compared to Costa Rica and many have not met the mark. The hospitality and care provided to us at Moana Lodge will always be remembered and we hope others have the opportunity to enjoy its riches.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Moana is a small luxurious ocean view hotel nestled amongst a rich backdrop of wildlife and jungle. Inspired by Africa for its choice of décor, the beautiful rooms offer tranquility and comfort to all of our guests. Enjoy being served breakfast while you gaze out over the Pacific Ocean. Later hang out at the wonderful pool area and fall asleep on a suspended day bed while the waves crash in the background, paradise awaits! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Moana Hotel Mal Pais
- Hotel Moana Costa Rica/Mal Pais