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“An amazing place” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula

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Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Osa Peninsula, Cabo Matapalo, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
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Stay five - pay four
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
GreenLeadersGold level
Goff Oak
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“An amazing place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2014

Have just returned from a fortnight in Costa Rica. This hotel was undoubtedly the highlight of my family trip. The setting on a hillside, amidst tropical rainforest, with monkeys and birds coming down to the verandah of each chalet, is stunning. You soon get quite fit walking up to the restaurant, but on the way you see a lot of wildlife!
There is a lovely pool area with visiting Toucans and Iguanas and a fantastic observation deck high above the restaurant.
The hotel cannot do enough for you, the beds were like sleeping on a cloud and the choice of food was more than we could get through. Don't miss the Imperial Beer.
This hotel offers total immersion in nature with a very ecologically friendly bias. Where else would you be picked up from the airstrip by the General Manager and treated to a drive with stops to view wildlife en route.
There is a large selection of guided walks, talks and activities with no pressure. All the guided walks are included and the guides are mostly university graduates who, along with all the hotel staff, are passionate and knowledgeable about their country and its wildlife. If I return to Costa Rica I will spend a week here without hesitation.

Room Tip: If you are fit, go for room 16 in the forest at the bottom, you get the most wildlife. Good room for...
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  • Stayed January 2014, 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.
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438 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (152)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
High Wycombe, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

Absolutely first rate. We agree with all the other positive reviews of this unique place. You do need to be reasonably fit however in order to negotiate the many steps from the rooms to the restaurant (particularly if your room number is #5 +) and to take advantage of the many rain forest activities on offer. The staff our without exception friendly and helpful and the guides are very knowledgeable and able to communicate their enthusiasm for the wildlife and plants. Will never forget the howler monkeys' dawn chorus or the arrival of an iguana at the swimming pool.

Room Tip: The higher the number, the further from reception/restaurant. However the lower numbers do suffer fr...
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  • Stayed January 2014, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omaha, NE
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2014

One Day at Lapa Rios.
Wake up to the howler monkeys outside.
Watch the sunrise over the ocean.
Drink coffee delivered to your room.
Stop to see the toucans feeding in the tree as you go to breakfast.
Have an amazing, made to order breakfast.
Go to your room and put on your hiking boots.
Go for a guided hike....or not.
See dozens of varieties of birds, primary and secondary forest, and other wildlife, either on your hike or from your room's deck.
Have a made to order lunch in the dining room.
Take a siesta on your deck overlooking the ocean.
Decide what you want to do in the late afternoon....beach, zip line, or cultural event (learn about the ecolodge, cooking, bar tending, etc)
Take an outdoor shower after your afternoons activities.
Look for sloth and spider monkeys in your way to supper.
Watch the sunset.
Have a glass of wine. Visit with the staff
Have supper....deliciously prepared for you, as the monkeys watch you from a nearby tree.
Look at pictures you took of macaws, parrots, sloth, four types of monkeys, or frogs.
Go to sleep with the sound of the howler monkeys in the background.

Next day, repeat.
This place is off the grid perfection, if this is what you are looking for.

Thanks, Lapa Rios staff! Well done.

Room Tip: Look at a map and request a room. Some have a hike to the lodge.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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
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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, January 23, 2014
Dear TravelsAlot,
Wow. What a review, or better, what a great poem. A Big Thank You and hug from all of us at Lapa Rios Eco Lodge for this wonderful review. You said it all and so well. The only thing we can wish for is that you come back to the Osa Peninsula soon. Muchas gracias.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, BC
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
91 hotel reviews
Reviews in 85 cities Reviews in 85 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2014

This is one of the most amazing places we have ever been to. It is all about being immersed in nature - with animals and spectacular birds right outside your room, with accommodation that makes you feel at one with nature, with excellent food and great guides...unbeatable.

  • Stayed August 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Somerville, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2014

This was an expensive trip for my husband and me. But well worth it. A spiritual renewal.

Everything is pretty much perfect about this place. But -- this is an eco-lodge and not all the amenities you might be used to are present. No A/C, for example (would have destroyed the ambiance, for sure). But this is all about the outdoors. The rain forest. The wildlife. The beaches.

Our Golfo Dulce-view bungalow was lovely. Loved the outdoor shower, hammock and the gorgeous, bamboo-centric interior. Was cool at night with the fans running and the ocean breeze. Although we were out and about frequently with various guided tours, we did spend time there for few hours on various days, and saw the most wonderful wildlife.

The food is delicious. Very fresh and innovative. The waitstaff is very attentive and friendly. Catch the cooking demos, showcasing some of the recipes used there.

The guides are AMAZING. Definitely enhanced our experience. We were with Valerie, Arlet and Guillermo on various walks. Their widespread knowledge of the animal and plant kingdom were awesome. Birders will have a field day here.

Some of the wildlife we saw either on our own or with guides: Scarlet Macaws (daily - multiple times all over, and in the trees by our cabin); toucans; all four monkeys found in Costa Rica - squirrel, capuchin, spider, howler; agouti; red-eyed tree frog; family of 12 coatis, and many gorgeous birds, reptiles and, well, just can't name them all. And the primary- and secondary-growth rain forest itself was magical. Make sure you catch the evening slide and video shows about the wildlife and other relevant eco-oriented topics.

One will become an early riser there, what with the howlers and birds chirping their morning greeting. Must dos: 5:45am bird walk, night tour, Osa trail, waterfall walk, and individual walk to the "safe" beach. Wish we had time for the Pigs and Twigs tour, which showcases the commitment to sustainability and recycling (methane from pigs used for fuel!).

The only (very slight) negative might be the proximity of the cabins to each other, which are in groups of two. One can hear the neighbors if they are loud. And the property is along a ridge, so walking up to the pool and restaurant can involve steps. Lots of them. We counted 182 each way. However, we didn't mind as we do like the exercise, and there was always something interesting to see on the way up. One can always get a nearer cabin, I suppose.

Never spent much time at the pool, but it was also very lovely.

This may not be an experience for everyone. But, if you do go, you will never forget it.

Room Tip: The lower cabins, maybe after 9, are further away and involve lots of walking up and down. However...
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  • Stayed January 2014, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mt Pleasant, SC
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2014

The staff was very attentive, and we felt at home upon arrival.

Best part of the stay: The guides. Most of my memories are of the enlightening and invigorating learning on the local tours. They are wonderful and included in the cost of the resort.

Birding: paradise. I wasn't, and aren't a Birder yet, but plan to become so prior to growing old because of my experience here.

Elderly: this place is not for you. I'm 45 and sprained my ankle on day one. The staff helped out with an ace wrap and I was fine, but this place is not for anyone who has any hesitation regarding hiking.

Food: Exquisite. Rely on the local seafood. The ceviche is bliss. I still dream of it. If you request food that is not local, you may be disappointed, but why would you do that??

Lodging: If you're not inclined to be serenaded by the jungle, bring ear plugs. This is not a complaint! I loved hearing the monkeys playing at 3 am, but you should be aware that this is not unlikely.

Expensive, but a value because of the guides and the excellent food.

  • Stayed June 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Poughquag, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2013

I'm not even sure where to start. We just returned from our vacation at Lapa Rios and I wish we could go back already. I miss everything about it. I was trying to think back to when I was deciding on where to go and why I picked it. It was to see wildlife. That will not let you down as we were surrounded by monkeys, toucans, macaws, frogs everywhere we went. What I was most hesitant about was the actual bungalow itself. I couldn't really picture what it would be like to stay in the middle of the rainforest. So, to answer any doubts you may have about that- nothing is going to be able to get in to your bungalow (maybe some insects- but nothing you need to worry about.) The bungalows are so beautiful, clean, private. The sheets are made out of bamboo and super comfortable. My favorite part were all the hikes. Lapa Rios even makes those luxurious. They drive you up to the trailhead so you can just walk down. Then, after walking downhill they greet you with ice cold water and a real welcome. The people there are all so friendly. They are happy and want you to be happy as well. Then, after going on the hike you just show up at the restaurant and are treated to a wonderful meal with fresh ingredients. We took a cooking class with the lead chef and I wish I could remember his name because all of the food was excellent. Everyone in the restaurant was great- always asking if there was anything else you'd like. One night they were trying out a new dessert and the woman in charge of it came around and asked how I liked it and wanted to know if I thought it should be included in the future. Hopefully she listened and it is- if so get it- it is a banana dessert with dulce de leche and was amazing. The waterfall hike was my favorite hike as well. We did this with Arette who is great. She gave us boots to wear and hiking sticks to help us through the streams we crossed. We also did several hikes with Guillermo. He would help take photos from me through his telescope and really got excited every time we saw something. He would hear things no one else could and would say- the spider monkeys are approaching and sure enough we'd wait and they'd come. He also went above and beyond by charging my camera battery. I was so excited to be able to take more photos. I can't say enough about every single person who works there. Each person played a part in making our stay special. They even sang happy birthday to me. We also liked how all the hikes are included. So, lots of people would be going on them with us and we got to know the other people staying there. That was a lot of fun. Then you see them later at dinner and it is like reuniting with old friends. That just shows the atmosphere of the place- I think it starts with the friendly staff but then carries over to all the people. Take time while you are there to talk to the staff and the other guests. Each one has an interesting story to tell. Lapa Rios also cares about the environment and they don't just say it to sound good. They take action to help protect our planet and inspire everyone who stays there to do the same. I highly recommend taking the sustainability tour or at least talking to someone about it all. One thing they do is have baby pigs- the leftover food is either composted or fed to the pigs. The methane from the pigs waste is used as energy for the employee housing and the pig is eventually used to feed the staff as well. They use crates instead of boxes. They use reusable water bottles instead of wasting plastic ups. The water is cleaned so it doesn't pollute. The energy sources are natural. Really we need to encourage more hotels and businesses to work to improve the environment (and take actions in our own homes too.) I could go on and on all night...but I have to get back to getting ready for Christmas. Merry Christmas to you all. If you got to the end of this...the bottom line is stop reading reviews and just go. You will be happy you did. Thanks to everyone at Lapa Rios- I hope to see you all again soon!!!

Room Tip: If you have trouble with steps let them know so you get a closer room. I think all will require som...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
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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 
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Also Known As:
Lapa Rios Ecolodge Hotel Playa Matapalo

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