We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Wonderful Safari Like Experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Save
You added Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula to your Saves list
Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Osa Peninsula, Cabo Matapalo, Costa Rica   |  
  |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Grand Cayman
1 review
“Wonderful Safari Like Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

My wife, two young children and I have recentlyarrived back to reality, after a wonderful time 5 days at Lapa Rios. Extremely welcoming to families, the staff looked after us in every way with great food and views beyond compare. The wildlife is the true highlight in every way - 5 macaws flying overhead and toucans feeding on papaya hanging from a poolside tree is a regular occurence. The guides are informantive and superb in every way, leading hikes throguh out the rainforest. We hired a driver for a few hours one day, and the wilderness reminded me of days on safari at a luxourius camp in Botswana...

A great trip in everyway

Room Tip: Bungalow 7. Great outside shower overlooking the bay and breaking waves...I note that there is not f...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

382 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    341
    32
    7
    2
    0
See reviews for
89
213
11
5
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (123)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Calgary, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

My husband and I and our 2 daughters, aged 6 and 8, enjoyed an unforgettable stay at Lapa Rios from April 5 to 9, 2013. Although we had researched Lapa Rios quite extensively, and thought we had a good idea of what to expect, in this case, our expectations were far exceeded.
The bungalows were clean and well appointed, with gleaming hardwood floors and spectacular views – even from the toilet – of the Golfo Dulce and rainforest. We were in #8, which was just far enough from the lodge to afford privacy, yet close enough to the lodge and pool that we were able to run back for a forgotten camera before starting out on a hike. The sounds from the forest at night and in the early morning, which are easily heard through the screened walls, were extraordinary – from howler monkeys to cicadas, toucans and masked tree frogs.
The staff are extremely friendly, knowledgeable, and accommodating. They took the time to get to know us (and we them), and they were willing to share their own experiences about the forest, the Osa Peninsula, and Costa Rica in general. All of our questions were answered with enthusiasm and any request was met with a smile and a positive outcome.
We had a fantastic time getting to know the other guests, perhaps because we all started with a common interest - experiencing the rainforest. Every time we went into the main lodge, we enthusiastically shared the days’ experiences and adventures.
The on-site tours were informative, and, in my opinion, met the descriptions provided in Lapa Rios’ information quite closely. Our whole family did the night walk (unforgettable with loads of frogs, snakes, spiders, bull frogs, and crabs), and the fascinating Twigs, Pigs and Garbage tour, which provided information about Lapa Rios efforts to maintain a sustainable operation in the rainforest. I also did the Wild Waterfall Hike (which takes you to the primary forest and allows you to swim under a waterfall) and the Matapolo Tour (excellent wildlife viewing from the forest and the beach), both of which were excellent. All the guides we met were extremely knowledgeable and excited to talk about the environment, but I spent most of my time with Valerie, a Tropical Biologist, who was outstanding and happy to answer all my questions.
We thoroughly enjoyed the two external tours that Lapa Rios arranged for us – zip lining and the Dolphin Tour/ Cana Blanca Wildlife Sanctuary. We were a bit nervous about taking our children zip lining for their first time, but the two zip line operators from Bosque Mar were professional and kind, had a good sense of humour, and provided excellent instruction. We had a fabulous time, and even saw three-toed sloths from one of the platforms! Our guide on the dolphin tour (Diego) found us lots and lots of dolphins to watch on our way to Cana Blanca across the Golfo Dulce, and his enthusiasm was delightful.
Perhaps the most unique and meaningful experience for our kids was our time with Carol and the gorgeous creatures at Cana Blanca Animal Sanctuary. It is not often that children are afforded the opportunity to interact with wild animals to this extent, in a safe and respectful environment, and they learned so much about the creatures, the illegal pet trade and the conflict between man and wildlife. Carol is passionate about the animals, the health of the forest ecosystem, and we were honoured to have had a chance to spend time with her.
The pool area was crucial to our kids’ enjoyment. On a couple of occasions, my husband stayed with the kids at the pool while I went hiking. The pool was clean, spacious, and was a great meeting point for all the children visiting at the same time as we were.
We would happily return to Lapa Rios again and can, without hesitation, recommend it to anyone, whether travelling with children, with friends, or with a partner, who wants to learn more about the rainforest while being immersed in one of the most beautiful places we have ever experienced.

Room Tip: All rooms seem to have beautiful views, but if you want to be close to the main lodge without being...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston SC
Top Contributor
139 reviews 139 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

As with most places you visit, there are pros and cons. Here the pros outweigh the cons by a mile. We are in our 60's and 70's and had been warned by previous visitors about bungalow location, so early on, I let them know we needed to be "close" to the pool. We ended up in bungalow #3 which is the first one before you start the 65 stairs up the hill to the reception/dining area. It was somewhat of a haul each time, but our view was outstanding and I would not have traded our spot for anything easier.

this was the second of two resorts we stayed in during our visit to the Osa and the rooms here were just wonderful. Yes, there were some bugs if you left the light on too long, but nothing you might not expect. The openness of the screen walls lets in all the breeze off the ocean and is delightful. It was very hot and humid during our visit, but the breeze helped a lot. Our room was very private with complete coverage on all sides. Being the first room along the path, we did experience some outside noise, but nothing of an irritation and most everyone was in their rooms and asleep early. The more interesting sounds were the Macaws and monkeys along with various bird calls each morning. If you are an early bird, the sunrises were spectacular.

We thoroughly enjoyed the early morning bird walks and photography, which was a primary object of our visit, as well as the beach walk. Being so hot and us older we did not take some of the longer walks in the late morning or mid day. None of this hurt our vacation but know your limits. Guides were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic and so helpful in spotting birds.

All of the staff was very nice and obviously wanted to help in any way. Having said that, the main con was service at meals. Our observation is that in their zeal to use local folks to work at the resort, management could do a better job in training servers what it means to serve. Or it could mean more language training. In their defense, they tried very hard, writing down all we asked for, but we also realized we needed to take it slowly since they would not ask us to repeat, but missed orders certainly meant they were not getting it all down correctly. We are not fussy people and others we dined with had the same observations. At our first meal, we were served, then NEVER saw our server again! They are all so nice, so again, we believe it is training, certainly not that they don't care. They also use local talent for the kitchen and some dishes could use some help, to put it mildly. Hiring a trained chef to train the local folks would be doing them and the resort a favor.

Finally, our visit turned out to be during spring break for schools in the US and about half of those at the resort were young families with young children. We happen to love children and for the most part found them well behaved and really into Eco tourism. So, if this is a concern, think ahead what season your are visiting.

Room Tip: We had no idea what room was being assigned until we got out of our car at the reception. However, t...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

My family (including 2 daughters, ages 12 and 10) stayed at Lapa Rios for 5 nights at the end of March 2013. We had a fabulous time, and feel like we a more authentic Costa Rica experience than if we had gone to a resort at the beaches in the north. The bungalows are comfortable and clean; ours looked out over Pan Dulce beach and the Pacific, and we spent every morning and evening on our deck watching the parrots and macaws flying two by two to the beach or up the valley. Magical. The guided tours are a must -- the guides are knowledgeable and the hikes are so interesting. The food was excellent and there was enough variety to keep us happy for 5 days. The service was impeccable -- every single employee was friendly and willing to help. After I sprained my ankle (my fault entirely), everyone was so solicitous and concerned. Our stay at Lapa Rios was everything we could have hoped for in a family vacation.

Room Tip: Bungalows 1 through 8 are a reasonable walking distance to the lodge. The remaining bungalows are a...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Hanover, New Hampshire
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

My wife and I spent 7 nights in mid-March, our first trip to the Osa Peninsula as well as to Costa Rica. Taking the 12 seater flight from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez was a great start to the adventure as the views of the mountains and coast were breathtaking. We were graciously greeted at the airport by Lapa Rios staff, provided drinks and we were off on a 30 minute private drive to the ecolodge. Again, greeted at the lodge by cold wash cloths (90 degrees and humid) and a cold drink was the beginning of a week of stunning beauty and immersion in the rich bio-diversity of the Osa Peninsula. We chose to stay in bungalow 14 as it was farthest from the lodge and as such, very quiet. Views were beautiful and we got our exercise climbing the 200 plus stairs multiple times per day to get to the main lodge for dining,the pool and meeting place for guided hikes. The bungalows were beautiful if a bit rustic. As such, Lapa Rios may not be for everyone but it was perfect for us. We did not have any problems with insects and other critters getting in while we were there as some have complained of. We were regularly awakened by the howler monkeys who seemed to enjoy the large trees overhanging the bungalow. We could lie in bed, watch the sunrise over the Golfo Dulce while watching the monkeys outside our screened wall. It was quite hot the entire week but we adjusted quite well with a slower pace, much time in the deep shade of the jungle and the regular ocean breezes. All of the staff were wonderful...friendly and helpful. morning coffee outside the door at 6:00 was greatly appreciated as we welcomed in a new day on the private deck. The various hikes and other activities were excellent with knowledgeable guides with discerning eyes to help spot the amazing number of creatures living among the guests. We saw hundreds of monkeys (4 species), numerous snakes, lizards, frogs, insects, sloths and amazing bird life. We particularly enjoyed the night hike with flashlights when the Jungle is REALLY active.... The beaches were beautiful and frequently we had them to ourselves. Some of the beach areas are quite rocky and the stretch of beach with nice sand had a very large surf and strong undertow so these were beaches to walk on, take a quick dip , or to sit and watch the surfers do their thing. Don't think Caribbean. There is also a beautiful pool with spectacular views of the gulf. We took an external dolphin trip run by a local establishment that was great fun. Basically chasing large pods of dolphins and getting to "swim" with them via a board dragged behind the boat the allowed you to go underwater among them...very cool and a real blast. Also snorkeled on the same trip...this excursion was worth the extra charge of 230.00 for 2, shared with two other couples from another nearby lodge. Alone it would have been close to double the cost...We loved the food! No complaints at all. Choices were broad and preparation excellent. No, its not gourmet nor intended to be..Its simply healthy, fresh food with native preparations but always wonderful. Much fruit and vegetables with excellent fish, chicken and beef. Juices were great and unusual. Servings were plentiful. In the end, we completely enjoyed our stay and will return. Go with a sense of adventure and an open mind. We noted a significant number of families with young children but they were all, without exception, well behaved and into the experience of nature, sans i-pad, i-phone, television.. We loved having them there... Thank-you Lapa Rios for everything...

Room Tip: The rooms are basically set up in pairs with a wall between them and right along a gravel or wooden...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, AL
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

We recently returned from a 13 day stay in Costa Rica - our first trip to this beautiful country. We started our trip with a 4 night stay at Lapa Rios. We were not totally sure what to expect, but were hoping for the best as it was a celebration of our 10th anniversary. The day began with a 45 minuets flight from San jose to Puerto Jimenez. It was a SMALL plane with 12 seats, so cockpit doors, and no staff but the 2 pilots, which was an adventure in itself! When we landed on a dirt runway next to a cemetery and a few small buildings we were a bit apprehensive! However, we were warmly greeted by staff from Lapa Rios with fresh green coconuts with straws and a seat in the shade where we could look at the menu and select our dinner. A driver then took us on the 35 minute drive to the lodge. When we arrived the staff greeted us warmly with fresh moist towels and another delicious fruit juice. We were also greeted by a troop of monkeys in the trees above us! The main lodge has the reception, restaurant, and balconies from which you can observe the native animals, birds and insects in comfort. We were provided with flashlights and water bottles to use during our stay. We had a tour of the area and the procedure for signing up for tours was explained. We were then showed our beautiful open air room - I think it was #15...While at the lodge we participated in the Early Birds tour, the waterfall tour, the ridge walk, the mataplao walk,the night walk, and waterfall repelling. We enjoyed all of the tours! The guides were so knowledgeable and eager to share! I also Had a massage with Rita who did an amazing job! The food was fresh and delicious. Is it haute cuisine? No...But that is not what we were expecting. We enjoyed local flavors, produce, and seafood and the wait staff was fun and energetic. At the end of our trip we felt like we had friends in the staff, not just "service people". Everyone was friendly, warm, and beyond helpful. We saw so much wildlife that I cannot even begin to describe it all. We were woken at 5am everyday by the howler monkeys - what a treat! It was great to get up early and enjoy all the birds and wildlife that are so active then. We were very sad to leave Lapa Rios and plan to return with our children as soon as we can afford it! I would HIGHLY recommend Lapa Rios to anyone interested in nature, the rainforest, a small hotel experience, and a slight adventure. This hotel is not for everyone and those not interested in being "off the beaten path" or extravagant meals, pool-side service, and a relaxing vacation by the beach may want to look elsewhere. There are great places in costa rica for all of those things too! The one thing we agreed on as we left Lapa Rios is that we want to tell everyone we know about this special place in the Osa and get them there fast so they can see for themselves how amazing it is! Thank you Lapa Rios for helping us have a dream vacation!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cayuga S, Manager at Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula, responded to this review, April 3, 2013
Dear kdenson,
greetings from the Osa Peninsula and Lapa Rios Eco Lodge. Thank you for taking the time to write such a thorough review of your "dream vacation" experience at our eco resort. We think that your feedback will be very helpful for future travelers. As you very well pointed out, Lapa Rios is not for everybody. But is is paradise found for certain type of travelers. If you are about nature, adventure, sustainability and wildlife and are looking for some creature comforts, great local authentic food, luxurious open air bungalows, excellent guides taking you on nature walks and hikes as well as genuine smiles and service from a local staff, we are eager to have you stay with us. This time of the year, we receive a lot of honeymooners and romantic couples that are celebrating special occasions and that are looking for experiences that go beyond sipping cocktails by a pool. At Lapa Rios, they have the chance to Experience, Learn, Connect and Relax. We hope that you come back soon for another anniversary celebration. All the best.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethesda, Maryland
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

We returned for the third time over 15 years to this wonderful lodge. We were very pleased to find that the lodge remains much as we remembered it. It has wonderful bungalows with gorgeous views and with wildlife all around close at hand. The complimentary hikes are excellent. We especially enjoyed Guillermo who is very knowledgeable about the local bird life and other wildlife. The food was a little disappointing--very good but not excellent--sometimes a bit too many sauces or trying too hard. That said, I though the fish was excellent and there were many choices so that you could try out different meals over a week stay. The restaurant service was rather inconsistent. However, the staff in general was very accomodating and went out of their way to be helpful and responsive. While there we had to deal with a medical problem and the manager could not have been more responsive and helpful in making sure we got the medical attention required promptly. The main disappointment was the amount of road noise from heavy trucks and other vehicles that was not present in the earlier periods we visited. Also there were many families with quite young children which changed the atmosphere a bit. But overall this is still a great place with wonderful hiking and wildlife opportunities all around.

Room Tip: We found number 7 to be an excellent choice. Macaw in the trees many days along with a sloth. If y...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula

Address: Osa Peninsula, Cabo Matapalo, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Cabo Matapalo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula 3*
Number of rooms: 14
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com and Tingo so you can book your Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Lapa Rios Ecolodge Hotel Playa Matapalo

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.