Overall positive experience at La Leona Ecolodge with some minor disappointments.
If you want to get off the beaten path, away from tourists, away from PEOPLE! and enjoy unspoiled nature, this is the place for you.
When flying from SJO to PJ, take into account that it will take at least 2 -1/2 hours to get to La Leona from PJ. There is a group van to Carate once a day, but we arrived late, and so we paid for an individual driver (about $60 u.s., arranged in PJ). We had to wait for a 2nd plane with one of our backpacks, so we did not leave P.J. until about 4, arriving Carate around 6, then walking the beach in the dark. This was mostly ok, but we did not have our flashlights unpacked, so we walked by moonlight . A guide with a horse and cart met us at Carate to help with bags. (Staff and driver have two-way radio.)
The lodge is solar-powered except for a generator for the freezer. Paths are lit by candlelight each night. Everything is recycled. There is plumbing. The tents were very comfortable, but it was 40 C (100 F) in April, so we were REALLY hot. We had a private bath, which was nice, but still had to wear shoes due to ants and lizards. The shared baths were not bad at all, but I wouldn't want to go out there at night.
Due to it being off season (April 12) there were no guides or kayaking as we had hoped. I was told I was supposed to have arranged that before leaving P.J.
The heat was so oppressive I was seriously concerned about heat exhaustion in myself or my 12 year old son. Tried to hike in Corvocado National Park (bring exact change for entrance fee), but it was too hot. Spent the rest of the day in the small aboveground pool. Saw macaws, monkeys, coati, plenty of spiders and lizards and crabs.
Not much for kids to do--my son was intimidated by the wildlife, afraid of the mountain crabs that populated the beach, so he mainly hung around camp. Camp Owner Adrian was extremely kind to try to befriend my son and encourage him to explore a little more. He took us on a brief night hike on the beach to see phosphorescent plankton and shrimp. Oh, the stars!!! You definitely had the sense that you were off the beaten track and seeing untouched parts of C.R.
I would recommend more books and a few more board games--maybe in different languages--most were in German. Maps of C.R. and Corvocado National Park would be nice. There are about 50 hammocks at this lodge, two for every guest I'd say. I enjoyed swinging in the shade and reading a paperback I found at the lodge.
Guests were ecclectic-photographers from Italy, family with infant from Germany, school teachers from Rhode Island, journalist from Costa Rica.
The food was excellent- cash bar. Water is fresh mountain water, it tasted fine, but I developed symptoms for the first time even after 3 weeks in Costa Rica. Hard to say if it was the water or the heat.
The highlight of the trip was renting a horse and riding the beach at sunset. Totally alone, breathtaking views.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We are located at the entrance of Corcovado National Park, on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica, nestled in the most beautiful, primary rainforest and surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. Come and see for yourself what paradise looks like, and enjoy all the attention and accommodations of a lavish stay in the wild! Prepare yourself to embark on the journey of a lifetime! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- La Leona Eco Hotel Corcovado National Park
- La Leona Eco Lodge Costa Rica/Carate