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“Cue the Macaws!”
Review of LagunaVista Villas

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LagunaVista Villas
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 July 2013

Have recently returned to the UK with my partner and 23 year old daughter from an amazing 12 day visit to Costa Rica, half of which was spent at Lagunavista Villas near Carate on the Osa Peninsula. Being a nature lover and keen to escape the crowds I had chosen my ultimate Costa Rica destination carefully – and I wasn’t disappointed. Lagunavista Villas is perched on the steep hillside above a beautiful fresh water lagoon just beyond which the Pacific Ocean crashes onto the beach. The view from our villa (and our bed) was unbelievably spectacular and we spent much time just sitting watching the scarlet macaws (and there were many), the pelicans riding the waves, the soaring vultures, innumerable other types of birds, the crocs cruising on the lagoon in the distance, the monkeys, iguanas, jesus-christ lizards, toads, the comical leaf-cutter ants … the list goes on.

We had chosen to drive there from San Jose with a couple of stops along the way to get a feel for Costa Rica. We are pleased that we did that rather than fly in to the tiny strip at Carate. The drive is interesting! (Would highly recommend Ezfind Costa Rica Navsat – it took us straight to most places and was wonderful for finding your way into and out of San Jose - the signposting is somewhat lacking).

The area around Lagunavista has a Disneyesque feel – huge blue butterflies fluttering by, Scarlet Macaws in numbers I would never have believed, wonderful jungle sounds – it was as if someone was releasing these creatures and noises by remote control!

We kayaked, fished, went horse-back riding (how amazing to canter along the wild pacific beach), did a day trip to Corcovado where we saw families of Coaties, Spider Monkeys, Howler Monkeys, White Faced Cappuchins, an Ant Eater, the tail-end of of a Tayra (a huge otter-type creature), an amazing green snake, loads of different birds including a wonderfully characterful Tropical Screech Owl who just looked at us for the 10 minutes we looked at him – and we were only a few feet away! Thrilled to see a Sloth too another day.

We also spent a lot of our time at the absolutely wonderful, wonderful Lagunavista infinity pool. The website photo does not do it justice! It was SO warm and with more views to die for. We were very lucky with the weather too knowing that we were there in what can be rather a wet time of year.

With outdoor bathrooms that open onto the deck (took a bit of getting used to) and the compromises that have to be made with regards to use of electricity Lagunavista Villas may not suit everyone. It is not 5* luxury, but nevertheless, very comfortable and it depends on what you’re looking for. Our rooms were spacious and simply furnished. Could have done with a little more storage for our 6 night stay! The compromises however were not a problem to us (we had our torches), and we feel very privileged to have been somewhere so special, in comfort yet so close to nature.

Room Tip: We had rooms 7 and 8 - would thoroughly recommend - amazing views and plunge pools on decks.
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Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
1  Thank Sallyh164
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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59 - 65 of 95 reviews

Reviewed 10 May 2013

I have now visited Laguna Vista Villas 3 times and find myself wanting to return every chance I can. The hotel is located off the beaten path, yet once you get to the hotel you'll be very happy you made the trac.
The Staff is very friendly and provides excellent service as well as cooking meals, all the meals prepared were great; the fresh seafood caught that day was prepared for my daughter and I was delicious.
The rooms have the most incredible views to the Pacific Ocean and the lagoon. Normally there is a light breeze that blows up the hill side and provides comfortable ventilation in the rooms as well as the rooms having ceiling fans. .
The Villas have incredible open air bathrooms and showers.
The Pool is beautiful and also has incredible views of the Pacific Ocean.
The lagoon provides a great place to Paddle boat, fish, or watch all types of wildlife, we paddle boated the lagoon and than visited a the beach which we had all to ourselves.
So if you have a few days and enjoy a road-trip off the beaten path, than this is your place.
BTW, I have flown into the hotel, and drove to hotel, both are nice, yet I enjoy the drive so I can enjoy the tropical sights along the way.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank PuraVidaTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2013

This part of Costa Rica is hard to get to, but it makes it all the more special. One of a handful of lodges in Playa Carate, which is literally at the end of the road and close to the SE entrance to Corcovado National Park.

LagunaVista sits atop a bluff above a large lagoon with a postcard-perfect barrier beach on the other side. The villas are simple but nice, each with a deck with a multi-million dollar view. The crew that manages the place (owner lives in Italy), while not the most professional looking, is very accomodating, sincere, and does its job very well.

Dinner is served family style in a covered open-air dining area, and was filling. Note that you're 1.5 hours away from the nearest store, so there aren't many other options for meals. There are kayaks to rent to ply the lagoon and visit the beach (you can also walk to the beach in 20-30 minutes), and they have a electrical motor boat for tours of the lagoon. (Gabriel and Freddy took us on a night tour to see crocodiles in the lagoon - we're amazed Freddy still has all 10 fingers).

Wildlife: Plenty of macaws, vultures, lizards, bullfrogs and insects; howler monkeys can be heard; coatis roam the pool area at dusk; a spider monkey or two are in the trees down by the lagoon; crocodiles and caimans in the lagoon, along with flying fish and plenty of wading birds.

Room Tip: Villa #8 has an optimal view, a plunge pool on the deck
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank peppelarson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2013

Nirvana? Paradise? We just returned from 9 perfect days at Laguna Vista Villas, and are still trying to find words to describe this slice of heaven on earth. From the moment we arrived to the moment we had to leave, we were truly blown away. Each day was perfect start nto finish, and the next out did the last. The property is spectacularly gorgeous, and we often felt like we were in Jurassic Park. There were rain forest animals galore and everywhere you look, the views were to die for. Each day we kayaked, hit the magnificent beach for perfect swimming (which was private for as far as the eye could see,) fished VERY successfully, swam in the gorgeous pool, hiked, enjoyed a pitcher of Macho's way too delicious margaritas, and just hung out and relaxed on our private deck with the refreshing plunge pool. We ended each magnificent evening on our deck enjoying the gazillion stars that seemed like we could almost reach out and touch.

Lillian's magical cooking could rival any chef here in L.A., and her ingredients were so fresh and healthy that we acutally returned in better shape than we arrived! Macho and Freddy were attentive and unassuming, and our every need was met with a genuine smile. Daisy made up our room each day and was a real artist with her flowers and clever sheet designs.

Whether you love to be active and on the go, or would rather just sit surrrounded by undescribable beauty and enjoy a good book, this place is for you. We are counting the days until we can return to this amazing place!

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank salliebp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Greg R, Owner at LagunaVista Villas, responded to this reviewResponded 17 August 2013

Thank you for your very kind and generous comments, Sallie. It is extremely gratifying to all of us at LagunaVista to get such positive feedback from one of our guests. We're all looking forward to your return visit and hope your next LagunaVista experience will exceed your first. Thanks again!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2013

Mum and I stayed here end of January. We talk about it with great fondness and would love to return. The villa designs are wonderful. Ours had a huge deck overhung by enormous mango tree, great views, and a most unusual bathroom that was mostly outdoors. We had a 'Jesus Lizard' at our plunge pool every morning, and saw crocodiles, multitudes of birds and even humpbacked whales from our own deck. Loved the pool, which was almost hot, and the raptors swooping overhead. Enjoyed Lillian's cooking and the family-style dining. Gabriel, Freddy and Macho were low-key, very accommodating and quite wonderful. Daisy, I believe, did the fancy flower arrangements on the sheets each day. Parts of the place seem neglected, some common-areas not regularly cleaned, and the kitchen really should be hidden from view or upgraded, but if you're looking for somewhere wonderfully comfortable, remote, quiet and relaxed yet swarming with wildlife, this place is for you. It's a bit of a walk to the beach (wild, misty, hot and empty of people), but staff were happy to take us across the lagoon by boat. Entrance to the park is about 45 minutes walk along the same beach. I loved it.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank janet155019
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2013

After a long 7 hour drive from our home in Esterillos Este, we were greeted by true Tico hospitality and a cold agua pipa at Laguna Vista Villas. Freddie and Macho made us immediately feel welcome. We were allowed to take in the breathtaking views and then shown to our rooms. We were traveling with another couple and so we had booked the two Toucan Villas near the main lodge area so we could be close to the pool and dining/lounge area and have our own dip pools and privacy. We were quite fortunate because we had the entire resort to ourselves which enhanced our experience greatly. Owner Greg made our online reservation process so easy and was there via SKYPE if we had any questions or concerns. The staff went out of their way to make our 3 night stay amazing. They set up our hikes around the property as well as to Corcovado. And Macho took us on a tranquil and fun sunset cruise in the lagoon. We saw spider and squirrel monkeys right on the property as well as talkative Macaws roosting in the trees outside our villas. The food was presented well, tasted great and was quite plentiful. And whether we needed breakfast at 4:30 in the morning before our hikes or asked for a boat ride with only 2 hours notice, they were so accommodating! A few comments that I would make: the rooms need stronger ceiling fans and do not use the mosquito netting around your bed unless you absolutely must. It really blocked the air flow while sleeping and we found that we had no insect problems at all. The only disappointment we had was that we were told as we were starting our hike to Corcovado that the animals are not near Leona this time of year but only in the center of the park near Sirena. But we were not given an option to go to Sirena and we would have hired a boat or a horse or a plane to go to Sirena to get an amazing Corcovado Experience. The hiking in the park was nice and our guide, Eric Fortes, was very educational but we did not see anything but a squirrel in the park and never made it to the waterfall that we were told we would get to visit. We did however see animals and plants and flowers galore when we hiked on the property and in and around Carate. The trails around the property were so much fun but a tad dangerous as they have not been maintained for quite some time. Would definitely stay again at LagunaVista!

Room Tip: The rooms furthest from the main lodge definitely stay cooler during the evening hours when the afte...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank kwkim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2013

We visited Laguna Vista Villas in February, going South from Jaco a little, bustling town in Western Costa Rica; that I would like to return to, on one or another weekend.

By the time we reached Porto Jimenez, the simplicity of rural life contrary to diversity and sophistication of wild life was all present, non of the rhythm that you hear back home, will get to your ears here, so yes, if you are looking for this kind of vacation you are going to be in the right spot.

Then a friend from Japan who was there before, recommended Laguna Vista Villas too.

Laguna Vista Villas borders the Corcovado National Park and the journey, driving from Porto Jimenez didn't take longer than 3 hours, included this or another stop for pictures or a meal.

There is also a flight service operating daily, the distance could easily be done in 10 min by plane but you'll miss much of the country but then once you there, you will really have all this, what you can see on this colorful pictures.

For me somehow, it became more than an ocean front villa, I gave it a special status for its energy, given or coming from a true combination of various factors as the topography of the property, the Laguna - intact with its large water body, the ocean and its animals and the National Park and its animals and plants and its history.

Certainly, necessary to mention are the well, stylishly, comfortably equipped units, where you can relax or do some work, elegant and clean. Airconditioned bedrooms with ceiling hung mosquito netting to protect you at night or anytime you are going to have a nap. Wide, open bathrooms which I really miss now.

The guest house with a wooden veranda and its little bar, then the evening gets cooler and the kitchen in which, I was permitted to cook from time to time.

Necessary to mention 2, then this one you better see on your own: the swimming pool.

Fortunately, I don't exactly remember how long we were there and that is not due to beer but the activities one can do in there or around. I don't know whether you're into hiking or kayaking, fishing or writing, all of it can be done here.

They also have local people working there and their effort is very much appreciated, then I needed a good guide especially on my first steps into the jungle.

Room Tip: Basicly, if you can, look and choose a place that is better than the previous one
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank borderless_country
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about LagunaVista Villas

Address: | Playa Carate, Carate, Corcovado National Park 60702, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Corcovado National Park > Carate
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 6 Speciality Lodging in Carate
Price Range: £104 - £305 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — LagunaVista Villas 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our lodge comprises 8 Mediterranean style villas, a large swimming pool and restaurant. It sits on a small peninsula inside a fresh water lagoon bordering it on three sides and a Pacific Ocean beach 200m across the lagoon, accessible by our boats and kayaks. We run on solar power, our water is from a fresh mountain spring and we produce fresh food daily from our biological garden. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
LagunaVista Villas Costa Rica/Carate

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