What We Love
- Therapeutic thermal river and three toasty resort pools with swim-up bars
- Sustainable modern architecture blends local hardwood, caña brava and steel
- Thoughtful staff members drop off homemade cookies at turn-down time
- READ MORE: Find your perfect Costa Rica vacation
What To Know
- Bungalows are small and somewhat close together, in keeping with nature reserve regulations
- The spa and restaurant complex opened in August 2012, the cabins in December 2013
- In rainy season the property is lush. Come January, trees go bare and the canyon appears
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
To arrive at Rio Perdido is to confront prickly cacti, curious volcanic rock formations and vibrant native trees with delicate red flowers. These natural elements are embraced by the towering, open-air welcome rotunda, which doubles as the spa and restaurant complex and frames the landscape in glistening steel and teak. Cowhide stools, colorful statuettes and avant-garde booths resembling pipe organs lend some flair to an otherwise understated scene.
Bed and Bath
A short walk from the main building, 20 posh little bungalows are huddled together, each propped on stilts to preserve the foliage. Each one features a large balcony with a hammock, a bright accent wall (to match the splash of color on the exterior walls) and colorful throw pillows. The plush white beds are divine, and trundle beds can accommodate a third person. On the walls, framed photographs of trees hang alongside 42-inch TVs and powerful air-conditioning units. The bathrooms are small but adequate, though the hot water is sometimes delayed.
The new chef at Rio Perdido is young and likes to experiment, but you’d never guess it from sampling his mouthwatering pineapple surf-and-turf dish. The ever-expanding menu also includes free breakfast, a wide selection of cocktails (try the mojito with fresh mint) and lots of protein-heavy dishes to satiate après-adventure appetites. The mountain-biking trails are a rush as long as you aren’t a beginner (in which case don’t even think about it). The less extreme canopy tour involves ziplining, canyoning and a Tarzan swing finale, and there are lovely hiking trails, a hanging bridge and a lookout platform. Days conclude with a soak in the toasty, secluded river and a treatment at the spa, which offers five well-practiced massages.
In the Area
Rio Perdido is tucked into a region that is as undiscovered as it gets in Costa Rica. Despite the lack of infrastructure, guests who wander are rewarded. Nearby Las Hornillas offers mud baths and tours of volcanic craters and fumarole sites. About an hour north, the provincial capital of Liberia features colonial architecture and some excellent new restaurants, including the Liberia Café. And between Rio Perdido and Liberia, intrepid travelers may stumble on the dirt road leading to the Llanos de Cortez waterfall, a dramatic cascade and an ideal spot for picnicking and swimming. For those looking for something totally off the wall, there’s Africa Mia, a unique safari experience just south of the capital.
How to Get There
My wife and I spent the first stop on our Costa Rican honeymoon at Rio Perdido and absolutely loved it!!! It is about 90 minutes from Liberia airport by car and is pretty much in the middle of nowhere...which was perfect! [sidenote: we rented a car for our 11-day trip for about $435 - the base price is cheap, but they add on mandatory insurance that drives up the price. For us, it was worth having a car to drive to our 3 different resorts and excursions]
Rio Perdido is a small, intimate resort. Each room is actually a private bungalow. Everything revolves around the main lodge/restaurant/activity hub. We really appreciated that because the staff got to know you by name and catered to our needs without even asking. Everyone was super nice and accommodating. We loved that you could hike around the property and explore the thermal river right there on the property! Not to mention there is wildlife all around! We saw white-faced monkeys near the pool within minutes of arriving and then howler monkeys the next day! Very exciting and really brought the jungle to you!
We spent a lot of our time at the pools. There is a cool, warm, and thermal pool. The thermal pool is also the wetbar, which was our favorite spot. It also had our favorite bartender of the whole trip, Ronald! He was so friendly and definitely made sure we celebrated our honeymoon right!
We were there in August, which is the rainy season / low season in Costa Rica. It was overcast most days and rained part of the day, but didn't really affect what we did. It was a perk for us because there were less people around and on excursions.
TIP: Highly recommend white water rafting on the Tenorio River! Especially in the rainy season when the rapids are flowing! We went to Tenorio Adventure Co and had a blast!
Shout outs to other Rio Perdido staff that made our stay so memorable:
Operation Manager: Randy
Front desk: Jonathan, Emanual
We had a lovely time at Rio Perdido with our family in August. We visited with our three small children and we found the hotel to be extremely accommodating. The staff really were exceptionally friendly and kind and we loved the open spacious, modern rooms that are nestled sensitively into the jungle. The zip wire /canyon tour was a highlight for our trip and the mountain biking with Eric was great too.My son had a small accident and cut his head and the hotel staff were just brilliant, taking him to hospital in Liberia and taking care of all expenses. A truly exceptional service. To be a bit critical, we found the food a little disappointing and we thought there could have been a greater promotion of external activities by the hotel as we quickly ran out of things to do with our young kids. Thermal springs were fun, canyoning was great, white water inflatable ring activity was a bit poor. All in all though a great experience packed with wildlife from howler monkeys to giant Iguana and of course our favourite, the lovely local armadillo. Thank you!
Rio Perdido is a must. A thermal river, totally natural, where we soaked in pools of increasing temperatures as we approached the spring. Imagine floating on your back in warm water, gazing up at the trees moving gently past your eyes. Sublime!