What We Love
- Arriving at the lodge via white water rafting tour
- Cooling off in the infinity plunge pools that come with the Linda Vista suites
- Romantic dinners for two in the “Nest,” a 60-foot high platform set in the branches of a sacred, century-old tree
What To Know
- Rooms are electricity-free (but have candles and flashlights)
- Rates include transfers from San José and all meals
- Bring extra clothes if you’re traveling in the rainy season (May-December), as you’ll likely be caught in a downpour at some point
- Free WiFi
For those who really want to switch off, Pacuare is the place. With electricity-free rooms and WiFi limited to the lobby (where you’ll also have to charge any devices), where it takes more effort than it’s worth to check email, you’ll undergo a sort of enforced relaxation that’s bound to be beneficial. The surrounding Costa Rican jungle offers a lush backdrop for all that lounging, paddling around in the plunge pool, or reading in your hammock, interspersed with hiking or any of the myriad jungle activities on offer. The open-air Jawa Juü spa, whose treatment tables are set on a terrace above the bubbling Pacuare River, is the place to recover from your exertions. The food is another surprising highlight, with meals created from ingredients grown in the lodge’s own organic garden and an international wine list. The suites themselves, palm-thatched bungalows made from local materials and decorated with traditional crafts, have no windows—only mosquito nets, so the calls of tropical birds and the sound of the river are your constant companions.
In the Area
The lodge is surrounded by 25,000 acres of rainforest, so the activities nearby are all outdoorsy (but non-athletic types need not worry—they can spend their days having organic chocolate massages or banana leaf wraps in the spa). Local guides lead guests on bird-watching quests or in search of exotic flowers. An especially popular hike is to a nearby waterfall, where guests are invited to take a dip in the swimming hole. Adrenaline-lovers are also served well here: excursions also include kayaking the river, going white-water rafting along the excellent rapids, canyoning and rappelling down hills, zip-lining along the rainforest canopy, or horseback riding through the jungle.
How to Get There
My wife and I and our two teenage children had the most amazing time of our life at the Pacuare Lodge. It actually exceeded our expectations. The staff is super amazing, and the 5 star accommodations deep in the rain forest was so WOW. Did I mention the food - really, this place is awesome. While the video's and the website are true to life, being deep in the jungle and seeing their commitment to the climate and the people was beyond those tools to describe. This is one of the most amazing places to visit.
Even if you travel a lot, visiting Pacuare Lodge will still likely be a unique experience. You can raft in and out of the Lodge. Meals are elegantly presented. You can easily disconnect from the outside world and enjoy the peace of the rainforest although the river can be quite loud in places depending on rapids and water level. The bungalow is very spacious and bed comfortable for my husband with a back issue.
All the staff provide exceptional service from arrival to departure and in between. The lodge is very safety conscious and provides at least 2 guides for each tour. Some of the hikes are vigorous and taking a walking stick (provided by the lodge) is helpful while walking along muddy stretches of trails.
We were unfortunately only booked in for 2 nights at this fabulous jungle lodge. We arrived by road(dirt track) and then across the river in a little gondola.
We had a lovely river view chalet with indoor and outdoor showers. The only issue was rain leaked through the roof onto the bed the first night! It took a while for us to explain the bed was very damp and the roof neeed fixing quickly. We were then moved to a bigger villa for our second night which was nice but unfortunate as we loved the original chalet.
We took advantage of the opportunity to go zip lining and rappelling with the staff who were excellent guides and teachers to a couple of slightly more mature guests. I can add it was exhilarating and huge fun.
The bird watching was great in this little oasis as was the food which was some of the best we ate all holiday- a real tribute to the cooks there.
There is also a lovely infinity pool overlooking the river.
We finished our stay by white water rafting @ 21 km down through grade 2,3 and 4 rapids. To say I was nervous was an understatement but the staff were amazing. We had a good safety briefing and he was very clear with the commands whilst rafting. I felt a huge sense of achievement at the finish and what a wonderful way to exit the lodge- truly remarkable.
If you love adventure in remote and beautiful areas then this is not to be missed.
My wife with our three adult children and I spent five days at this most wonderful lodge. We were made to feel welcome even before setting foot on the lodge.
Each of us were looking for different things. Some wanted to explore, some to relax. The beautiful setting and amazing staff made our stay memorable.
They have worked very hard to make this a sustainable place to enjoy the environment and appreciate each other. Yes there is electricity and wifi. But, each guest is given the opportunity to find their idea of beauty and relaxation.
My oldest daughter and I experienced the 5 hour hike to the Cavecar Indigenous village. What an amazing experience to endure the rugged trek through the rainforests and to visit the Cavecar village. My wife spent many hours in the new Infinity swimming pool. Several of us enjoyed the relaxing massages.
There was a great pride and sense of ownership from the staff. We were fortunate to hear some of their stories.
Every meal was exceptional. We got to try out many of the dishes. Just amazing. Our family got a chance to reconvene at most meals. This is something that we have not done regularly since our children lived under one roof. We also spent a number of evenings in the lounge laughing and sipping cocktails before dinner. My favorite cocktail was La Caminata, a uniquely blended Margarita containing crushed mangoes and a dried chiles rub around the glass rim.
My daughters were very curious about how everything got to the lodge (e.g. the beds, furniture, etc.) because there is only water access. The staff conducted a very informative sustainability tour which describes how they obtain and store hydroelectric and solar power; how and where they grow their produce and raise animals for meals as well as composting; transport of materials via the river or across the river. We were in awe of their commitment to a very sustainable way of life.
If you want to experience a beautiful rainforest, exotic wildlife and the warmth of the Costa Rican people make sure you stay at Pacuare Lodge. Pura Vida.
Remote location, great activities, sumptuous food and spectacular service! You can do 2 activities every day - 3 if you include early morning bird-watching. Each activity is provided with personalized guides - no long lines of tourists to wait on. You can do a canopy tour, canyoneer down waterfalls, hike to and swim in beautiful waterfalls or take a longer guided hike to a remote native village, and interact with the primitive Cabecar people. The guides, who also double as the wait-staff are one of the best things about Pacuare Lodge: they are friendly, informative, funny and skilled. We even had a chance to meet one of the owners, Roberto, who was a great host. We went in October, which is a rainy and slow time at the resort (there were approx14 total guests there while we were there), but it only rained some of the time, and usually in the late afternoon or night. No a/c?! you really don't need it - it was between 67-75F for the most part. I highly recommend this resort, and consider staying for more than 2 nights - there is plenty to do!