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.

“Legendary special place!!!!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Encanta La Vida

We can't find prices for this hotel
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this hotel, but we can search other options in Cabo Matapalo
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Encanta La Vida
Save
You added Encanta La Vida to your Saves list
Cabo Matapalo | Puerto Jiménez, Cabo Matapalo, Costa Rica   |  
  |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Santa Barbara, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Legendary special place!!!!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2011

First of let me say that you are in the middle of the rainforest!! Some of the negative reviews are from people who belong in resorts and are not adventure travelers. Brian (the owner) said it best, "it's really a feat to build a place in the rainforrest and have it last 15-20 years." To that end he has done a great job. This is why I love this place, it is one of the original places, it is historic and Brian is a legend and pioneer. Can you imagine living in an area with no other gringos in the 1980's and building a successful business and the daily challenges that one of the most remote, lush, and most biologically diverse places on the planet. Cabo Matapalo has become a beloved place for myself and my family. I love the beauty and serenity and the ability to completely detach from my daily life in California. Just walking down the road or walking along the beach is amazing. White face, howler, and spider monkeys everywhere. Agoute(sp?) large guine pigs walk along the roads, Boas slyther in the trees, Scalrette Macas fly by, and sloths sloth around. The surf is great too, Encanta rents soft tops and they are great to ride at Pan Dulce. This place is remote so you have to remember that the food is brought in and prepared daily for the guests. The food is great but you do have to eat at the times set by the hotel and eat with other guests but that is great fun. The facilities are clean and the pool and bar are fun. Many people come to the Encanta for food, bar, and conversation. If you are adventurous let your adventure start here!!! The staff is great and each one has their own expertise and knowledge about the area! Great choice for an adventurous stay!!!!

  • Stayed September 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

117 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    92
    15
    6
    4
    0
See reviews for
19
53
9
3
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (28)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Portland
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2011

This place was great of you want to get away from everything and not think about life at all. It's pretty hard to get to any towns with or without a car, so be prepared to chill on the beach or at the pool. I thought the 1/2 day hike was a bit pricey but overall good. Very relaxed atmosphere. Great bartender. Comfy beds. Great massages. Hot, be prepared for that. If you want the best place, get the house, wow, it was great.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2011

Great location if you want an adventuresome, somewhat off the grid experience. The resort is well situated near several beaches, and the staff is really helpful in arranging tours, hikes and excursions - whether you're looking to catch a wave, or go for a night hike full of wildlife. They also delivered my passport to me at the airport when i had forgotten it in the safe - so nice! I really enjoyed my stay here and would recommend it without question!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2011

My friend was married here and I was lucky enough to go. The rooms were beautiful and private, tucked away in the jungle. One day there were monkeys chasing each other on our roof! I got amazing pictures of flowers, surf, monkeys, baby pineapple, bananas and everything else this gorgeous place offered. The staff was very friendly and really wanted to make sure we had what we need. The dining room and bar/pool were easily accessible from every room. The walk to the yoga deck is an adventure alone. I am so happy I had a chance to visit this enchanted place and I will definitely visit again! Thanks Gretchen, Corey, Marvin and everyone else there!!! If you are thinking of staying here....DO IT! You will not be disappointed : )

  • Stayed June 2011
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2011

We're world travelers, and this was our best family vacation. Our family of six, with four older surf-loving sons, enjoyed a perfect March week at Encanta La Vida. All our expectations were met: a unique different family vacation, warm weather, close to the ocean, surfing, amazing wildlife in unspoiled surroundings, adventure, monkeys, and ecotourism local flavor instead of some generic lush hotel. We stayed in the Pole House (three screened bedrooms, open porches), perfect for six, where we could hear the amazing morning ritual of Howler Monkey calls before dawn, the riot of birds after that, and the day was just starting. Encanta La Vida is small and eco-friendly. The website presents the lodge accurately. My online information replies through the Encanta website also brought travel planning help by Isabel and Roberto: our San Jose hotel and taxi arrangements, flights to Puerto Jimenez and taxi transportation to our lodge. The awesome drive to the lodge is a 4 wheel experience/Jeep commercial in the making. Encanta staff is delightful, relaxed, and helpful in making any arrangements for tours, guides, rentals, showing hiking trails, and serving up fresh food and local drinks. The dining area is amazing: no walls with a beautiful view looking out at the rainforest. Surf board rentals on site, with the three beaches a short 5 minute walk through the lush rainforest. You pass the two story open air yoga lodge on the way to the beach, which has an amazing view of the ocean from the second floor. Food was outstanding and plentiful: fresh breads daily, and of course fresh fruit. "Dinner is ready" when the sun has set and everyone is called from the pool area and Monkey Bar to the dining tables. Three table areas to eat in a small group or the long table to talk with other guests who are also in the Osa for adventure. Solar energy during the day. Generators provide low light at night. You're in a minimally developed rainforest-no town or bar to head to, which was great for us. We came to surf and explore as a family, and Encanta had everything we wanted. Most people head out during the day to explore and surf while we were there. We hiked and saw everything: sloth, macaws, monkeys, giant butterflies, bats, one small snake, tree frogs, spiders, agouti, leaf cutter ants on the highway to somewhere. Amazingly, no bugs, no mosquitoes. If you're looking for room service and cable TV, look elsewhere. If you want to really get away, meet people from around the world, and experience the most biodiverse place on earth, Tico style, Encanta La Vida is perfect. Our whole family gave Encanta La Vida a 10 out of 10.

Room Tip: All rooms are outstanding.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2011

I recently spent a week at Encanta La Vida with my family. We are 4 boys all in our 20's and my parents. We all had an amazing time. Encanta La Vida has an amazing set up with the pool, bar, dining area, and different lodging.

We stayed in the pole house. This place was really cool and had great balconies. We would usually sit out on them in the mornings and watch the monkeys in the trees. The rooms are basic but we only were in them to sleep. The beds have mosquito nets nd fans. The nets were not necessary but the fans were.

The pool was nice and the Monkey Bar right next to it was great as well. The staff was all very cool and very friendly. There is also a ping pong table that we ended up using a lot.

Tours: We did the waterfall repel/tree jump tour and the zipline tour. I recommend both. Both tours had great guides who were very knowledgeable and the activities were incredibly fun.

Surfing: The surf is all point break rights with reef/rock bottom. The crowds were not bad most of the time. There are some very good locals but as long as you use proper surf etiquette you should be fine. The bottom almost everywhere is sharp rocks so getting in and out is kind of a pain. I had pretty cut up feet by the end of the week.

Meals: The food was amazing. There was a guest chef, Ian, who has some serious skills in the kitchen. Every meal was amazing. I really liked the large dining table. Everyone at the hotel was very cool and it was nice sharing tips on the surf spots, what tours were good, where some good hikes are, etc. I was worried that 3 meals a day was not going to be enough since I am a young guy and was surfing 2 - 3 times a day, but the meals they provided were definitely fine for my hunger.

All in all, a great trip at a great place.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 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.
Seattle, Washington
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2011

I stayed here just 3 nights with a small group. The food was exquisite... so fresh and beautifully prepared. I had not expected such fabulous food in CR, but the care taken
by the staff at Encanta La Vida was excpetional. I stayed in the "pole house" and awoke
to the sounds of howler monkeys and macaws. From the balcony outside my room I saw
so many kinds of birds and butterflies and a couple kinds of monkeys. Just a short walk
to the beach and also a beauitful "yoga house." Beautiful salt water pool with a great
bar and bartender Marvin who makes fantastic drinks. Gretchen in the office is so friendly
and helpful. I wish we had had more time here and I would love to go back.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Encanta La Vida? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Encanta La Vida

Address: Cabo Matapalo | Puerto Jiménez, Cabo Matapalo, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Cabo Matapalo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Encanta La Vida is an all inclusive jungle retreat located amidst the beautiful beaches of Cabo Matapalo. The hotel offers direct access to amazing wildlife and world class surf, and features a stunning, private salt water swimming pool - the only of its kind in Matapalo! Encanta La Vida is the ideal vacation spot for families, honeymooners, and surfers alike. Garden trails lead you to private cabinas nestled throughout the property. The beautifully landscaped grounds provide privacy and wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities. Our rooms are clean and spacious with queen-sized beds and open decks. Enjoy three DELICIOUS meals a day in the Encanta La Vida restaurant featuring fresh fruits, veggies and meats all locally grown or caught off shore. The hotel bar is located just off the swimming pool and serves up blended tropical drinks and ice cold beer. Encanta La Vida is also a fun and easy destination for family reunions, weddings and yoga groups. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Encanta La Vida Hotel Osa Peninsula
Encanta La Vida Osa

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Encanta La Vida, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.