From March 5-8, 2013, I stayed at Lapa Rios for the second time. The first time was in May/June of 2007. This time was during the dry season and I traveled with a companion of my age (young active 50s). Last time was the wet season and I traveled with my 75 year old mother. Each time we had room 4 (the first time, I also had room 8). Both visits were incredible. This is my favorite place on earth. For my taste, I preferred the wet season. In my 2007 wet season visit, it was dry most of the day but we would get afternoon showers, which cooled everything down, kept the plant life even greener, and got all of the animals excited in the afternoon. Room 4 is fairly close to the restaurant/reception area, but, still requires climbing something like 55 stairs. My mom made it with some difficulty during her stay, and, we found the stairs enough of a deterent to make sure that we took enough items with us when we left the room so that we did not have to unnecessarily make additional trips. In 2007, room 4 would fill up with insects at night. During my recent 2013 visit, hardly a bug could be found in the room. The view is incredible and having coffee delivered at 6 am and sitting on the deck listening to the rainforest wake up is one of my favorite life experiences. The hikes and guides are great, and, I'll defer to the other reviewers. This time, we took the special private airplane trip into Corcovado National Park arranged through the resort. The airplane is a 6 seater that holds the pilot, a guide from the resort, and up to four resort guests. It costs just under $1,200 for a party of 1 to 4. So, if you are a couple and can split with another couple, it costs around $300 a person. (This includes, the plane, the pilot, the guide, transport to/from PJ and lunch). When we arrived at the resort, we saw that another couple had posted a sign looking for another couple to split the costs with them. We agreed to go on our first full day and their last day at the resort. The trip started with a 6 am special breakfast at the resort, with a 6:20 am ride provided by the resort to the Puerto Jimenez airport for a 7:00 airplane ride. We had been told that the pilot had made 15,000 landings at the airstrip in the park. However, that day, he showed up with a broken arm and we got the back-up pilot. The flight last under 20 minutes and we flew over the park and into Estacion Biolgica Sirena. Our guide took us on a three hour hike, where the highlight was seeing a sleeping Tapir. We got up within inches to take pictures. We then took a short lunch break and ate the lunches the resort had packed for us (we had to carry them on the hike). We then finished up with a two hour hike. The pilot then showed up on time for his 2:00 pm pick up. We flew back with seven people on our six person plane, since the petite female ranger requested a ride out in order to avoid a 7 hour hike. Upon safety assurances from the pilot, we all agreed. The return flight was out to the Pacific Ocean and then hugging the coast line into the Gulf of Dulce. We flew directly over the resort (guests remembered hearing our plane) and back to the airport at PJ. We were then driven back to the resort. In short, this resort is great and deserves to be on your bucket list. I checked it off mine twice.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set in a private nature reserve spread over 1,000 acres of Central America's last remaining lowland tropical rainforest in Costa Rica, Lapa Rios Ecolodge overlooks the pristine point where the Golfo Dulce meets the wild Pacific Ocean, a destination matching everyone's idea of paradise. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lapa Rios Ecolodge Hotel Playa Matapalo