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“Rustic Eco Adventure” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Finca Luna Nueva Lodge

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Finca Luna Nueva Lodge
3.0 of 5 Lodge   |   San Isidro de Penas Blancas, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 158-4400, Costa Rica   |  
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Morristown, NJ
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Rustic Eco Adventure”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013 via mobile

We drove (5 hours) from Liberia to explore the Arenal area. Finca Luna Nueva Lodge was our base. The lodge is about a 1/2 drive south from La Fortuna. It feels very remote - and reminded me of summer camp as a kid (except for it is much more exotic). The accomodations are relatively basic & rustic (stayed in a bungalow).

The pool was refreshing and clean.

The food is grown right on the property, relatively simple & pure.

What makes this Eco-Lodge so special is the people & the connection to earth. You feel absolutely grounded & alive while you are there. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there.

A special thank you to Ismael on the Farm tour, he is very friendly & knowledgeable! Also, thank you to Marisa at the front desk. And Olga, thank you for arranging yoga for us - our class was so grounding and enjoyable.

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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242 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (77)
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English first
Kingsport, Tennessee
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

If you are looking for typical American hotel lodging, don't stay here. If you are looking for a beautiful, unique rainforest experience, however, don't miss Luna Nueva! I have stayed at Finca Luna Nueva twice--once with my mother and teenage daughter and most recently with 3 women clients who I took as part of a holistic wellness program. My stay was for 3 nights both times. Casa Luna And Casa Sombra both offer nice eco lodge rooms--pleasant, clean, and rustic, and make you feel like you are in a giant treehouse. I strongly recommend a nap in a hammock. Toucans and hummingbirds make regular stops in nearby trees, and you may spot the occasional monkey or sloth. As far as the comments about noise, I would say that Casa Sombra and some of the individual cabins are located further away from the hustle and bustle, and might offer more evening silence, but the trade off is a longer walk to WiFi access, pool, and dining--depends on your priorities. The food is prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients, many of which are produced on the property. There is plenty to choose from, and meals almost always offer something new to try. Since ginger and turmeric are the primary "crops" grown at Luna Nueva, many recipes feature these two super foods. The demand for their cookbook indicates that most people love the meals served at Luna Nueva. The various farm tours are interesting and educational. Steven Farrell is an amazingly knowledgeable resource and his tours are not to be missed. I would say he is the college professor you always wished you would have had. Exceptionally high praise for Ismael and his tours, as well. His passion for the preservation of the rainforest is contagious, and his friendly manner makes for an especially fun learning experience. After experiencing a rain forest tour somewhere else, my clients' comments were unanimously, "after Ismael, no one else can measure up." I have been on every tour offered, and will probably repeat most, if not all of them in the future. Everyone at Luna Nueva goes out of their way to make your stay as pleasant as possible. The pool is great, as is the chemical free hot tub. There is a peaceful yoga studio located out of the way that offers the perfect yoga environment. Massage therapist, Kinga, is amazing, and will leave you wishing you could have a massage every day. The best thing I can offer to anyone considering a visit to Luna Nueva is this: my clients were all new to eco travel and we visited several places during our stay in Costa Rica. Luna Nueva headed their list of "must go" places. I am a single middle aged woman and would be very comfortable staying there alone. FYI: I suspect a 4 wheel drive might be necessary during rainy season, but my small rental car has easily gotten me there during my past two dry season visits. I would call the lodge to confirm if in doubt.

Room Tip: Individual private cabins offer privacy and quiet. Family cabins are more accessible for kids and a...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 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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Calgary
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

Spent 4 nights here in Jan 2013. Our cabin was rustic but comfortable and adjacent to primary rainforest. We appreciated the in-room coffee! Our night rainforest hike was quite amazing and Ismael, our guide, was astoundingly knowledgable. We also enjoyed the farm tour and medicinal plant tour. All the staff were friendly and we enjoyed the delicious and healthy restaurant meals with much of the food grown or raised on site. Had a lot of fun creating pizzas for the wood oven one night. It is about 25 minutes from La Fortuna so tours with Dafasio cost a bit extra for pick-up and drop off (I believe $20 pp). We viewed lots of birds and wildlife here. Enjoyed a massage as well. This is a great spot to relax, explore and just chill in the rainforest.

Room Tip: the cabins are somewhat rustic but quiet and pretty much in or adjacent to the rainforest.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

Spent two nights here at the end of February and stayed above the common area in one of four rooms. The stay was wonderful. The rooms are spacious and clean. The furnishing are sparse but appropriate for the location, no TV but WiFi access. The place is about 3 KM off the paved road out of La Fortuna and about 16 km from the town. We had a 4x4 and were on a driving trip. I would not reccomernd this place if you do not have wheels, unless, of course, you want to escape it all and stay on the property, in which cases it is beautiful.

There is a pool, and whirlpool and small spa. There are trails and a small working farm and a tower to survey the surrounding woods. All was clean and working and the staff attentaive and helpful. The bird watching, right from the balconey in front of your room, is wonderful. There is food prepared on site in the kitchen and healthy fair is the order of the day.

On the down side, the construction is of local wood and is beautiful to the eye, however, there is no sound proofing between rooms. The walls are the thickness of the boards used, as is the floor. Noise travels and this includeds simple conversation through the simple walls. For us Sat, night was a little noisey, and no one was being unreasonable; while Sunday night was perfect with just the natural sounds of the rain forest to entertain.

All said, we enjoyed our stay very much and would return if in the area again.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Magog, Canada
Top Contributor
550 reviews 550 reviews
146 hotel reviews
Reviews in 151 cities Reviews in 151 cities
296 helpful votes 296 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

This place offers a very relaxing environment. It is in the middle of the forest, stress free. The grounds are well kept, the pool is nice and the hammock on the veranda are nice. There is obviously no tv.
Despite these positive comments, this was our worst sleep on the trip so far. The problem is mostly the paper-thin walls. You can clearly hear everything in the next room including the snoring. As we do not go o bed a early as other people (about 10pm), we had to whisper in our room in order not to disturb others. The ground floor is an open area with some tables. You also hear people talking there as you can even see the light between the boards of the floor of the room. Obviously, the same happens in the morning.
As for the food, we only tried breakfast which was so-so.
Our room was large and we could sometimes catch the wifi signal which is supposed to only be available in the main area. The bathroom and shower were ok altlhough lighting is poor as in the rest of the room. No hairdryer if you care about this. No AC either which was not aproblem at this time of the year although it could help remove the heavy humudity.
You definitely need a 4x4 for the 2.5km dirt road leading to the place.
Understand that you are in the middle of the forest. This mean a 30-minute drive to La Fortuna.
Finally, staff was friendly and price is reasonable.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Colorado
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

What a special place. We loved the hammocks outside our room, the sometimes-open smoothie bar (where we also enjoyed freshly-made chocolate one-time!), the pool (the waterfall feature in the pool was a huge hit with our 5-year-old, the forest, the farm, and most-of-all, the people: Ishmael, the guide for our farm tour (and generally helpful person around the property!), the wait staff, the housekeepers and front desk staff, and Steven, the owner and specialist/educator in biodynamic farming as well as (I believe) Central American ethnobotany. (We only took the farm tour, but if we were to go again, we’d also take a night tour and the medicinal plant tour.) Our stay was one of the highlights of our trip to Costa Rica and was the location of our best “wildlife” sighting – a three-toed sloth that had just finished his, ahem, once-weekly potty break on the ground and was looking for another tree to climb. There is a cool tower next to the Registration desk that you can climb to get a nice view of the surroundings, and it even has a hammock on top! There are some interesting hiking trails through the jungle that are fun to explore and they recommended we wear the rubber boots they supply for free to protect one’s feet from any mud or creepy crawlies we might encounter (which we didn’t see). The food was delicious and healthy. This place was so good we didn’t want to leave!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Boston, Massachusetts
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

We had been to Finca Luna Nueva for a farm tour and lunch last year, which were both fabulous, and this trip we had the pleasure of staying at the lodge for five nights. If you enjoy nature, organic food, and simple elegance then this is the place for you. There are several hikes available at the lodge including a tour of the farm itself where you can see where your dinner comes from, as well as day and night hikes into the rainforest. Ismael is a fabulous guide for all ages. He is incredibly knowledgeable and has very sharp eyes! He is sensitive to older hikers as well as fun and inspiring for children. We found all of the staff at Luna Nueva to be helpful and kind. This trip included my mother who enjoyed relaxing on the porch and viewing the toucans, my children who loved bottle feeding the baby pigs, and myself who enjoyed sloth viewing while swimming. The lodge is off the beaten path, but is an easy 20-30 minute ride away from La Fortuna where great zip lining, rafting, and horseback riding awaits. The staff is very helpful with arranging tours and transportation off site. Spa services are also available. You wont find manicures or martinis, but you will find massages, acupuncture, reflexology, etc. given by a very gifted and knowledgeable practitioner. You will leave Luna Nueva feeling much healthier and calmer than when you arrived!

Room Tip: Family bungalows include two separate bedrooms as well as additional beds in the porch area. Very ni...
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Finca Luna Nueva Lodge

Address: San Isidro de Penas Blancas, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 158-4400, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 56 Specialty Lodging in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Finca Luna Nueva Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Finca Luna Nueva Lodge is a sustainable rainforest eco-lodge hotel, offering an intimate experience of primary rainforest together with a certified organic biodynamic farm and also we have Certification for Sustainable Tourism in Costa Rica. N 2003 we decided to take our promotion of sustainable practices to the next level by building several beautiful eco-lodges using fallen timber from the farm. Since then we have added a 50 foot high observation tower, a solar heated Jacuzzi, an ozonated swimming pool, and a handicapped accessible rainforest trail. Now you can experience the Costa Rican rainforest, learn about our farm's sustainable practices and relax in our rustic yet luxurious accommodations. Walk through well-groomed rain forest trails on our guided farm tours and hikes, eat gourmet meals prepared from our fresh organic garden produce, and witness the majesty of the Arenal Volcano. For adventure activity enthusiasts, we are located only 30 minutes from La Fortuna, the adventure capital of Costa Rica, and home of world famous Arenal Volcano. La Fortuna is a must see destination for anyone seeking a thrill, and our experienced staff will be more than happy to schedule all of your activities and tours for you. With 14 rooms and 40 beds, accommodations can be made for both the traveler looking for an intimate getaway as well as housing for large groups and conferences. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Finca Luna Nueva Lodge Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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