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
- Eco friendly
- Free WiFi
- 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
Tucked firmly away in the jungle, between two river canyons, secluded, quiet and peaceful, was one of the most comfortable and well designed cabins I've ever stayed in.
Very VERY excellent service. Great food, in fact I had the best Fettuccine Alfredo I have had in sometime.
Cool activities, including tubing in the canyon, and a volcanic mud bath which was stinky, but an adventure all by itself. Lots of hiking trails, and nextime ziplining the jungle for sure.
The staff was friendly, attentive, and just all around stellar.
We decided to celebrate our anniversary in Rio Perdido, a really nice weekend. The hotel is fantastic, the rooms are comfortable, clean and luxurious. The sound of monkeys and the jungle in the morning take you to a whole new place.
The hotel property is huge, and there are not so many rooms, so even if the hotel was full, you rarely see people around in the thermal river, in the hikes or in any of the activities. It feels like a place for yourself.
The common areas are very nice, with thermal water pools and a great restaurant that serves buffet breakfast and then a la cart lunch and dinner.
We did several of the activities offered at the hotel, from Hikes, canopy and tubing and we had a blast, very exciting, For the tubing you must bring water shoes, we had to buy some at the store. They are really necessary. It seems they have a lot of trails for mountain biking, but we did not try any of them.
The staff at the hotel is very friendly and looking to help you in any possible way. From the servers in the restaurants to the tour guides they all go out of their way to make you feel at home.
We had a fantastic time.
This was an amazing hotel nestled into the beauty of Costa Rica. You will never tire of it’s beauty and great accommodations. You can zip line during the day or take the late night nature hike and end in a surprise zip line back to the hotel in the dark of the night. All was arranged by our concierge Ceaser, who went above and beyond all the time. Then there is the beautiful thermal river where you can always find a little hide away with your partner. When you return from the countless excersiona you are greeted with amazing service. Ask for Aleksander by the pool, he is always ready to refresh your drinks and bring you fresh water and made our stay unforgettable.
My girlfriend Kelly asked me if she could plan a vacation. I said sure. She asked, "beach or mountains?" Surprise me. Let me just tell you, challenge accepted and mission accomplished. She couldn't stand not telling me where we were headed. We elected to stay three nights at the resort. Kelly had purchased the wellness package for both of us which includes yoga, massage, hikes and the like.
We eventually traded my side of the package for the more adventurous stuff like zip lining. So the first day out Kelly left for yoga and massage while I went zip lining. The crew running the zip line were very professional and made the experience really fun. The views are gorgeous. The entire group seemed to have a terrific time. Kelly's reports on the yogi and masseuse (same woman) were positive on both counts.
Later that day we hiked to the thermal river. For me, encountering a geothermally heated spring was a completely new experience. Intellectually I knew they existed. It is another thing entirely to encounter a flowing river of exquisitely clear water that ranges in temperature from (I'm guessing) 100-degree water (not quite as hot as a hot tub) up to 118 degrees (MUCH hotter than a hot tub). You can detect the difference easily as you move up and down the river, depending on your distance from the spring. To avoid my rookie mistake, I suggest that you take drinking water with you. Say three times as much as you anticipate needing. Soaking in the hot river takes it out of you.
The staff at Rio Perdido work very hard to make you feel well cared for and appreciated. The learn your names and were very accommodating with regards to my inability to speak Spanish. However, they do appreciate your attempts to speak Spanish and very considerately correct pronunciation. They certainly speak enough English that you won't starve, get lost or fail to have a terrific time. From our arrival when we were met at the parking lot to the time of our checkout, we never had a concern. The staff works very hard to ensure that you are comfortable, happy and that your expectations are exceeded. If you do go, please say hello to mi amigo, Martinez.
If you plan to drive yourself to Rio Perdido I would suggest the rental of an all-wheel or 4 wheel drive vehicle. The last few miles of the journey will have you wondering if you have made a wrong turn. Spring for cellular data so you can use mapping software. Even printed maps of the country are somewhat difficult to utilize for navigation.
Our journey to Rio Perdido was exceptional. The airport in Liberia is super easy to deal with. Car rental is a bit expensive (although I don't know how they would not be, dealing with foreign drivers and the possibility of loss). It makes using the shuttle service to and from the airport seem much more reasonable.
If you are thinking about it, go.
We only had a few days to get away and headed for Rio Perdido to unplug and soak away life’s stresses. This place did not disappoint! Our first night we were in the center bungalows; which are private, comfortable and have the best shower ever. They are a bit dark at night. Then we opted for the wellness package and stayed in the east bungalows. These are adorable. The hammock chairs suspended reality for hours. They are like comfy little luxury treehouses. My massage was amazing and done by the yoga instructor (who I did yoga with!). I cannot remember her name...probably because I was in such a relaxed state of mind :).
Martinez was a fantastic hiking guide and zip lining pro! Every single staff member made sure we were very well taken care of.
The river....amazing. Nothing in the world like it. Pura vida!! Bring water and maybe some snacks. You can overheat easily especially if you go further up towards the springs. It’s a moderate hike - stay hydrated. This entire river is hot! Paint yourself with mud. This is the very reason I was so drawn to this magical place! The mineral spring was kinda a waste, but the hike was nice.
We enjoyed the food and loved seeing the monkeys in the mornings. This is the only place to eat on the property and stores are far away. It is fairly expensive with no other real options - I don’t consider this a bad thing . The variety was good and the attentive staff takes exceptional care of you.
We can’t wait for our next trip to Costa Rica and will either start or end our adventure here at Rio Perdido! It was so good we will definitely be back!