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“A Rare Gem!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rios Tropicales Lodge

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Rios Tropicales Lodge
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3.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Pacuare River, Siquirres, Costa Rica   |  
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GreenLeadersGold level
Los Angeles, California
18 reviews 18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“A Rare Gem!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2012

I could have stayed for days looking out on the Pacuare from my hammock swing! Being the non-adventure seeker of the family (the Mom of boys in their 20"s) I was not looking forward to this part of the trip where we were to river raft down to our lodge which had no accessability to any roads. It poured the entire rafting trip and dripping wet we rounded a bend and there was this GEM built into the side of the river and the mountain. We had a deluxe room which was amazing with a beautiful slate bathroom, open air mesh windows and an incredable view of the river. The rushing sound of the water musically lulled me to sleep and I experienced one of the most peaceful nights slumber which will be remembered for a long time. The downfall was that we only stayed one night - you have to go for a minimum of two and plan on absorbing the tranquility of the surroundings for an extra day or more. The only negatives were 1) no hot water and 2) While we were sleeping, it rained all night and the river rose a foot making it non-navigatible, forcing us to hike out straight up a mountain and then approximately 2 miles in knee deep mud. Not for wimps, yet I'd go back in a heartbeat!!

Room Tip: Deluxe rooms are the best especially with a river view.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiosTropicales, Owner at Rios Tropicales Lodge, responded to this review, February 14, 2013
Dear Regi B, Appreciating your comments about your experience with us on the Overnight trip to the Pacuare River. Specially when there is need to improve on aspects, like no hot water, which we have always responded promptly. Sleeping at the Lodge with the "3D sound of water" is marvelous! Let us know next time you decide to come down.


Fernando Esquivel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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58 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2011

We stopped at Costa Rica on a cruise to Panama Canal. Coach journey from cruise terminal was over an hour and felt like 10 minutes! The guide on the coach was excellent, funny, relaxed and informal. (He was also our skipper on the water)
On arrival at the centre, there was a welcoming cup of excellent coffee, before heading to the river.
The whitewater rafting was fun, exhilerating! and the scenry and bird/wildlife magnificient.

On return to the centre, there was a superb lunch with a range of food to suit even the fussy eaters!

A huge thank you to the staff for a fabulous, friendly and exciting experience, and the additional cd is worth every penny (delivered to my door back home in Scotland within 3 weeks!
Don't miss the opportunity!!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chevy Chase, MD
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2011

When we got to the operation center for our rafting trip it was raining. We were told that the water level was too high to raft into the lodge, but we could hike in. We agreed to do so...our first mistake. The van took us to a dirt road. We then changed to a pickup truck older than any of you. We drove for about 20 minutes and were dropped...nowhere, where we began our hike. The first 20 minutes or so was on a washed out road with mud up to our calves. I was wearing tivas which stuck in the muck and slid off my feet. One of the guides took off his shoes and gave them to me. I gratefully accepted. We then found ourselves at the top of a path that led down, down, down to the river. 750 steps later with a rope bridge crossing and many ups and downs, we arrived at the lodge.

It was quite nice! Our private rooms overlooked the river and with a hot shower behind us we felt terrific. It was still raining. We had a good dinner, retired early and looked forward to the next day hiking to waterfalls, swimming in clear pools and generally enjoying the spectacular scenery. It was still raining.

The next morning the river was higher than the day before but we set out on the planned hike. Did I mention that we were the only people at this lodge that can accommodate over 100? (We later found out that all the other groups had been cancelled). Anyway, it had stopped raining and we set out. Thirty minutes into the walk it started raining again. Downpour, Buckets, Torrential. We continued on hoping to reach the waterfall, but the bridge was washed away and the feeder streams were overflowing, so we turned around arriving back at the lodge drenched, but still in good spirits. We were still hoping to raft the gorge the next day.

Now the condensed version: Night fell. Rain increased. Trees fell. Paths washed away. More rain, More rain. Generator failed. No water. More rain. Tree fell. Limbs pierced side of cabin next to ours. Snakes fled their holes. We spent the night thinking we would be washed away in a mud slide or devoured by snakes fleeing the deluge.

Morning came. Obviously the river had risen so there was to be no rafting. The only way out was to hike back up the mountain, another 750 steps, long paths, downpour, mud. At the top of the trail, horses were waiting to take us to the paved road. Seems that the dirt road had washed away and the only way out was on horseback.

Room Tip: Check the weather report before you go
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  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brampton, Canada
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2011

I did the 3 day trip with 2 nights on the river. Was given a 7.30 time which was changed to 7.10 the day before pickup. They arrived at 8am saying it was because of the traffic in San Jose. I guess they weren't expecting there to be traffic in San Jose during rush hour. Went to the operations center and had an omelette, juice and coffee for breakfast plus fresh fruits. Packed up for the rafting trip. They have a shop where you can buy things like Chums to keep your glasses in place and other things for the river. Everyone was transported down to the river where we put on life jackets and helmets and were given safety instructions before setting off. There was 4 people plus the guide in each boat. The day trippers I think are usually 6 per boat. Went through some small rapids and stopped for lunch on the side of the river. Went up a small stream with small swimming pools and a waterfall while the guides prepared lunch. Lunch was sandwiches (you put on what you want) and fresh fruits. (pineapple, watermelon and cantaloupe) After lunch we rafted for about another hour and arrived at the lodge. The rest of the day was free for the 3 day people. I think the 2 day people did the ziplining and a hike. They have hammicks there and a happy hour at 5. They had a punch drink the first day and pina colada's the second. Beer and wine was available for an extra charge next door. I was in the $355 cabins for 2 nights. They were sort of like Swiss Family Robinson and back from the river. There was a noisy stream running behind the cabins. There was a more fancy lodge closer to the river. It is not available on the rios tropicales website as far as I can tell. The people I know that stayed there booked through an outside tour agency. If you want the nicest lodge (made out of logs instead of wooden boards and closer to the river) then you should inquire with them before booking to make sure that you will get that. The lights in the bathroom of my room didn't work and there were no hot showers. IT was one of the rooms with private bathroom. The food was very good there. It was more tourist food than costa rican. I think it did have rice and beans the one morning but there was also sausages and scrambled eggs and fresh fruit and coffee. Coffee was ready an hour before breakfast. The second day had bacon instead of sausage. The scrambled eggs were very good. They were not the typical costa rican scrambled eggs that seem to be beat while they are being cooked. The one lunch at the lodge was a vegetarian spagetti and was good but probably my least favorite meal. Dinner the first night was chicken mixed with rice and was good. The second night was lightly breaded tilapia and was also very good. Overall, the food was some of the best I had in costa rica. Did a couple of hikes the second day. One to a natural waterslide and the other to a neat waterfall with a swimming pool beneath it. The 2 day people did this also so you get more time to relax on the 3 day but don't really do more. On the last morning, we did the ziplining. You can only do this once, I was told. There are 4 ziplines. It is a very small course. Worth $20 maybe. The last line goes by the river and was the best one. After that we rafted downstream to another waterfall and swimming place. We were there about 5 minutes and then left when more rafters from Aventuras Naturales showed up. We went downstream only abit and then the guides waited for Aventuras to come because they wanted to shoot the next stretch of rapids in a larger group. After that we waited on the river side for 30 mins waiting for the day trippers to catch up to us. Had lunch abit further downstream with the daytrippers. Then finished the final stretch of river. Went through a nice gorge. Most people jumped out of the boat there. There was one place where the guide took the raft through the rapids backwards which was fun. Another place, the guide kept spinning the raft through the rapids which was also fun. Finished around 3.30 to 4 pm and back to the rafting center. Took a cold shower and changed. The bus for overnighters with luggage room went to La Fortuna. I was the only overnight person going back to San Jose so I was put on the day tripper bus. Had to squeeze my suitcase down the aisle of the bus and then just leave it in the aisle when I sat down. Bus left around 4.30pm and came into San Jose around 6pm. I booked a place west of the airport that they don't go to but they told me before I booked that they would drop me at Hampton Inn by the airport. The guide told me he would leave me at the Marriot instead and I could take a taxi from there. The bus didn't get there until around 7.30. I got a taxi from there which ended up costing double what I figured. The Marriot was farther away then I expected and the taxi driver liked to pretend he didn't know where he was going so he could run up the meter. So basically it was a good rafting trip but not very restful after the transfer out. I think the $99 for 1 day is good value and $70 for the 2nd night is good value. The 1st night on the river for an extra $186 is overpriced.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
20 reviews 20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2010

My husband and I spent 3 days/2nights with Rios Tropicales. The rafting on the Pacuare was awesome! There is nothing like rafting into the middle of nowhere, pulling off to the river bank and helping unload supplies for the next couple nights. The lodge is beautiful. We hiked, swam in waterfalls and rafted. The Pacuare is a really beautiful river. The staff (especially Ronald and Tito) is awesome. Feel free to contact me with any specific questions or for more information. We had a blast!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2009

We took the three day trip and stayed two nights at the Rios Tropicales Lodge. We were very happy that we didn't take the two day trip, because our extra day of hiking was our favorite part. Our guides were wonderful people. Not only were they helpful, but they were truly people we became friends with. Albert and Ronald were our guides and I just can't say enough nice things about them.

The lodge is quiet...well kinda. The jungle is very loud with all the bugs and such, but you won't hear any televisions, or bustling city life type of noises. The value of the trip is unreal. They fed us everday....there was a happy hour every evening and they were nice enough to make non-alcholic drinks for me. Our rooms were clean. We truly explored the jungle with our guides. We swam in five different waterfall pools. Amazing. We would do it all over again.

I was worried about rafting....because I had never rafted before, but it was fine. Just keep rowing and it turns out just fine. Older people will struggle if you aren't mobile......and the hikes were strenuous. I was in shape and they were moderately challenging.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bartlesville, Oklahoma
20 reviews 20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2009

Beware - standard rooms are NOTHING like the premium rooms! Don't believe the website.

We had a group of 7 and we booked the PREMIUM rooms back in May. We confirmed this reservation with Melissa one week prior to arriving and she confirmed it. We were to have the 3rd floor closest to the river - nicest rooms with slate bathroom. When we arrived, our rooms were not what we reserved. We were given very dark, spartan rooms, the same as a state park would have, dark walls, 1 piece shower enclosure and occasionally no hot water, away from the river. Our guide tried to get his boss to fix the problem, but they would not honor their commitment. The premium rooms remained empty the first night we were there. I had asked our guide if we could at least have them one night and he said no.

Come to find out, the office staff "bumped" us for a group of 18 Microsoft people. They got our rooms. They floated in the next day. They basically let this group take over the lodge. After they arrived, they strung electrical cords all over the public areas to play loud music, they drank all night, one guy almost passed out in the garden next to our table (someone had to drag him out of the garden) and someone vomited all over the public toilet. It was still there the next morning. They took over all the common areas so we barely had a place to sit for dinner. We could not use the dining hall, the hammocks, the balcony. We simply had a small area that we were confined to.

The response from Melissa at RiosTropicales to my complaints was that the staff "had a different perspective" and I feel like she is calling me a liar. Microsoft people ruined the evening for us but RiosTropicales doesn't care. There was no apology or even acknowledgement about giving away our rooms and there was no apology or acknowledgement about us having to tolerate Microsoft's behavior. There was no acknowledgement about the deceitful website photos regarding their rooms.

Would I go back to this place or use Rios Tropicales? Probably not - you can't trust the office staff and everything has to go thru them.

They did refund $35 per person for their "mistake". MISTAKE! Yea, right!

The guides, however, were fabulous and did everything they could to help us have a great time. I have no complaints about them at all. It is sad that they work for this sorry outfit, though!

Be prepared - the office staff doesn't care about small groups. They only care about the larger groups. They also could care less about your complaints!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rios Tropicales Lodge

Address: Pacuare River, Siquirres, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Siquirres
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Siquirres
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Rios Tropicales Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our multi-day trips treat you to an exceptional adventure vacation experience combining rafting on the Pacuare with a stay at our remote "Eco-Lodge", tucked in the rainforest on the banks of the river. A trip of pure magic, unsurpassed beauty, wildlife and ravishing rapids; Pacuare is the quintessential tropical river. Along its course lay several densely vegetated gorges, which shelter, jaguars, ocelots, monkeys, sloths and an incredible variety of birds. Also found within these gorges, is some of the best whitewater in the world. "at its lodge, hammock-filled, thatch-roofed huts, offering dorm and honeymoon style rooms, surround an even larger thatch-roofed lodge net to a gurgling waterfall linking the huts to the lodge’s open-walled dining room, bar and reading room are bamboo-railed boardwalks that make wearing anything but river sandals sacrilegious. Don’t get so comfortable in the reading room’s hammock; however, that you miss the cocktail-hour bell; in true jungle fashion, all apres-paddle drinks are served in coconut shells." (Paddler magazine article, jan./feb.1999, edb). ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rios Tropicales Hotel Siquirres
Rios Tropicales Lodge Costa Rica/Siquirres

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