Lapa Rios Eco Lodge
What We Love
- Jetsetter 2015 Best of the Best Finalist: Best Eco-Lodge
- Three meals per day, non-alcoholic and non-mixed drinks and three on-site guided tours are included in the Jetsetter rate
- Lapa Rios’ commitment to the principles of eco-tourism and supporting the local community?
- Experiencing a living model of sustainability ?
- The sounds of howler monkeys, the sights of squirrel monkeys and macaws?
- Bungalows and walkways constructed of local materials and using endemic Suiita palms?
- Stunning sunsets?
- Your private, outdoor garden shower
- READ MORE: Find your perfect Costa Rica vacation
What To Know
- No Internet, phone access or cell phone coverage at the lodge
- Pack light – the internal flight to Puerto Jimenez allows only 25 pounds per person?
- Expect plenty of bugs
- No air conditioning but great natural breezes and ceiling fans?
- Specific dietary requirements must be provided prior to arrival?
- The sole self-guided trail is limiting?
- Guests should be physically fit enough to walk and hike around Lapa Rios?
- A $26 international departure tax must be paid at the airport when leaving Costa Rica
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
When you stay at Lapa Rios Eco Lodge in Puerto Jimenez, you’ll be on the waterfront and convenient to Pan Dulce Beach. This hotel is within the region of Corcovado National Park Office and Puerto Jimenez Pier.
Make yourself at home in one of the 16 guestrooms. Your room comes with a pillowtop bed. Rooms have private furnished balconies. Private bathrooms with showers feature rainfall showerheads and complimentary toiletries.
Pamper yourself with onsite massages or enjoy recreation amenities such as an outdoor pool. Additional amenities include gift shops/newsstands, wedding services, and tour/ticket assistance. Getting to the surf and sand is a breeze with the complimentary beach shuttle.
Enjoy a satisfying meal at a restaurant serving guests of Lapa Rios Eco Lodge. Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge. A complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast is served daily.
Featured amenities include dry cleaning/laundry services, multilingual staff, and luggage storage. A roundtrip airport shuttle is complimentary (available 24 hours).
How to Get There
You never know what awaits you here! On the first night, I was reviewing my pics at 11pm and heard material landing on our roof. I went outside with a flashlight and managed to capture pictures of a Tamadua ripping open a termite nest above our villa. WOW! This was one of the coolest experiences of the trip. After the first night, we asked to be moved to a more remote location (we did not like the noise in rooms 1 and 2). We were kindly relocated to the most remote rooms, 16 and 17. These are about 258 steps (as in steps not paces) from the lodge pool. Traversing this distance by foot takes quite some time, but fortunately, if you call the lodge with the walkie-talkie phone located in the room, you can arrange for a vehicle pick-up. This was perfect for us! The remote location meant even more wildlife and except for a howler monkey moaning at 3:00am, it was peaceful. The remoteness may not suit everyone’s taste. Rooms 16 and 17 are closer to the ocean and down the hillside. The greater the room number, the lower down the hillside you are and the more humid the air. Though more humid, the lower rooms have better views and put you in the thick of the jungle. If you review my pics, you will see that you have the option of an indoor shower and an outdoor one as well. Take the outdoor shower! It is pure bliss to be showering in such a luxuriant environment. The bathroom products are outstanding! We used ex-Officio clothes and when hung outdoors, they dried in hours. As for bug spray, we brought plenty, but in the dry season while we were there, we got few if any bites. The wet season may be a much different story. The food here is sensational and definitely enjoy the incredible, freshly squeezed juices all over Costa Rica; they trounce anything in the US! I would highly recommend the nature walks and the 3:30am departing daytrip to Corcovado Park is well worth the early rise. We awoke that morning to the Howler Monkey at 3:00am. The most spectacular alarm clock ever and it was the only morning he was near our room. Nature is amazing!
The Lodge enjoys a wonderful location, perched on a hill side above the Golfo Dulce. The main building houses the reception area, the restaurant and bar, with the pool located just below. The rooms are spread over the hillside beneath. Some (rooms 12-17) are accessed via a great many steep steps. In the heat and humidity, this can be a challenge. Rooms 3-11 are more accessible, although steps are still involved! We did a number of 'tours', booked at reception. The 'Twigs and Pigs' is especially recommended as it gives an insight into how this remarkable Lodge is run. It should be a blue-print for all aspiring 'eco-lodges' - so many of which just pay lip-service to the idea.
All I can say is “wow”! My husband and I travel a lot but this was our first time out of the United States. Everything at Lapa Rios was perfect! We were met at the small airport by our driver who walked us a few feet to the Lapa Rios Office where we were greeted by another employee with fresh coconut milk and ginger cookies. When we arrived at the lodge we were again greeted by employees with fresh water and cool wet towels. The lodge is beautiful, the views are amazing, it’s extremely clean and the meals are beyond delicious. Our room was cleaned twice a day and our every need was anticipated and met. They arranged all of our excursions and had employees with us at all times. Their guides are amazing. They obviously love what they do. We spent most of the week with Danilo (I am sorry if I didn’t spell his name right). He was great. He loves nature, animals and his culture. Every time he would spot something to show us he would get excited like he was seeing it for the first time. Several mornings we left before breakfast (including the day we left) so the kitchen staff served an early breakfast or packed food for us to take with us. Again, the whole staff is just amazing!
Some people have complained about the steps and no air conditioning. Well, you are in a rain forest and very close to the equator, it’s going to be hot. And we were used to the steps after the second day.
Costa Rica and Lapa Rios are very special. We can’t wait to return!
My wife, teenage daughter, and I stayed for five days in April. I’m told this is the end of the busy season. Upon arrival, members of the staff and a spider monkey greeted us as we clambered out of taxi.
Based on the photos and videos I’d collected, my wife expected jaw-dropping rainforest views and close contact with nature. She was blown away. Lapa Rios is one of those rare establishments where reality outshines the brochure. Being in a place where the rainforest meets the ocean is a thing you need in your life. It’s extraordinary. Words fail... but I will plow ahead, anyway.
We stayed in bungalow 15. Our room was stylish, comfortable, and afforded an excellent view of the sunrise. The design of the space keeps you in constant contact with nature, while still affording a bit of privacy. We were thrilled with it. Ocean breezes cool things off later in the day. Until then, it’s best to hang out near the lodge where the airflow is better. 15 is a long trek from the lodge made a few steps longer because the most direct trail was closed for maintenance. It’s tiring with oddly spaced stairs. Not recommended for the tipsy. After a few days, you learn to deal with it. Pack a bag for the day and stay up top.
This is not the sort of place that gets trashed by spring breakers. Signs of wear and tear around the facilities are minimal. It doesn’t feel like a 30 year old resort. It feels more like the backyard of a really expensive villa.
The staff were delightful. Several have been with the lodge for 20 years or more, which I think speaks well of the management. We had a luggage mishap. My daughter left her purse on the tarmac in Puerto Jimenez. Paula had it returned to us later that afternoon. On the very first day, our server Karol remembered my daughter’s drink order from lunch and offered it again at dinner. Henry taught us to make delicious Costa Rican dishes. Hiking guides Danilo, Edwin, and Jeffrey provided detailed insights into the creatures of the rainforest. I recommend doing at least three of the in-house tours to get the full experience. We added a couple of external tours (there are many) which the staff happily booked for us.
By my daughter’s reckoning, a good pool is a vacation essential. This one graded out as a B+. It was warm, clean, filled with salt water, and the deep end is respectably deep (2.6 meters). The views from the deck are spectacular, just like everywhere else on the property. The pool is small. However, because there are only 17 bungalows, it was seldom crowded. Occasional visits from George the iguana gave the area an added bit of character.
Meals were fresh and well-prepared. There were two or three meals where something was over or undercooked. However, fresh ingredients can hide a multitude of culinary sins. I never tasted a hint of tin can. The selection at each meal was modest. Though, if there is a food you dislike (for example, I hate coconut) you can easily avoid it. We thoroughly enjoyed each dish we tried. The pineapple upside-down cake is the best my wife has tasted. The brownies are also top notch.
I feel as though I’m putting the cart before the horse, though. The rainforest is the star of this show. Being immersed in it makes everything else better. Within two days, we captured closeup moments with scarlet macaws, white-faced monkeys, toucans, iguanas, halloween crabs, a tiny bat-eating boa, and a golden orb weaver spider. From a respectable distance, we watched spider monkeys, squirrel monkeys, a two-toed sloth, a heron, bats, an agouti family, and a white-chested hawk with a name I can’t recall. Lapa Rios is remote and the rainforest does a wonderful job of muffling the sounds of human activity. All you hear is the distant roll of the surf, bird calls, wind in the trees, and howler monkeys.
If you want an immersive rainforest experience, this is probably the best you’ll find without staying in a tent. I am so incredibly happy we were able to share this with our daughter.
Pleasant welcome at the office just outside the airstrip with a welcome drink and biscuit. The drive to the resort was not as bumpy as I expected and there was a friendly welcome at reception with the offer of lunch straight away or an orientation tour of the facilities and our room. We decided to eat first and then take the tour and be shown our room. which was 2, located on the road in just before you get to the main building with reception and the dining room. It had great views over the top of tree canopy to the Pacific and only a slope to the main area not the steps that others had to contend with. It was a large room with insect screens not windows so it did get sticky but two queen sized beds beneath fans were comfortable as were the pillows. It also had good mosquito nets around the bed in case you felt you needed them. Our room had a large deck with sun loungers, chairs, table and a hammock. The outside shower was wonderful with butterflies and humming birds to watch as you washed - which was frequently in the humid heat. Throughout the resort there was drinkable water from taps provided by their own spring. All the staff we met were friendly, helpful and seem committed to the ethos of the resort. The guides were really knowledgeable and informative and we had enjoyable early morning and evening walks seeing many birds. Also highly recommended is the medicinal plant walk where Edwin, who took us, was good company and his knowledge was fantastic which made for a really interesting walk through the rain forest. We saw three types of monkeys within the first few minutes all within 20 metres of each other and the fourth species later in the walk. When we climbed the spiral steps to the observation tower we were lucky enough to see a toucan eating close by, spider monkeys and scarlet macaws flying from a neighbouring tree. You’ll probably find yourself keeping different hours - early awakening by the howler monkeys so early to bed. The early morning drinks order is left outside your door at 6.00. Great quality food is included in the price and there are long hours for each meal because of various tours. Which tours are free is clearly explained and there’s a list on a board in reception but others can be undertaken for an extra charge, There’s a wifi hut with a couple of tables and some chairs that has a high speed connection but it’s only available there. Lots of animals and birds around the resort. Water freely available around at various locations. A couple of negative comments from guests we met were the number of steps from other rooms up to the pool, bar and dining area and no shower caps so, if you don’t always want to wash your hair in the frequent showers that are necessary, remember to bring one yourself.