This was a return visit to Lost Iguana – the first visit was about 7 years ago. We enjoyed the resort as much this time as we did the last. The rooms are clean and nice, and the view from each – with its own private balcony – is amazing, as all pictures attest to. A note about the rooms: this was a visit during low season and there was a memo in the room about the fact that they do work on the resort during low seasons. Currently, they are in the process of upgrading all rooms the memo said: marble sink tops, new bedding, new furniture, etc. The list was extensive. So, I suppose when we return again (as we will), the rooms will be more modern looking. (Also a note: the memo mentioned they will be closing the pool at some point to retile, so you may want to ask when this is happening if access to the pool matters to you.)
ROOM/ RATES: The low season rates are great – buy two nights, get two free! We booked a Luxury Suite to have a small fridge and coffee in the room, though we never actually used the coffee maker. Another bonus of the luxury suite was a Jacuzzi on your balcony – totally private. We thought this sounded awesome. We never used it! Between going to hot springs at night and the heated pool on premises, it just never seemed worthwhile to use all of the water to fill the Jacuzzi.
FOOD: The daily breakfast provided was good – choice of eggs, French toast, pancakes, “typical” (which is two eggs, gallo pinto (rice and beans), fried plantains, and two small corn tortillas), huevos rancheros, and a couple of other items. So you order a la carte on those items, and there is a buffet for juice, fresh fruit and a few pastries. There was OJ and another juice each day – two days it was watermelon, another soursop….which I LOVED! Coffee is made table side. We ate dinner at the resort two nights – once in the restaurant, once by the pool. At the restaurant, we had a salad ($4), tilapia ($12) and seafood pasta ($16 – I think). The tilapia was good, basic. The seafood pasta my husband had he thinks was made using frozen seafood because he said it was all sort of chewy. We ordered a bottle of wine which was good – they have a lot of Chilean wines, which we like. I think the bottle we ordered was about $30. The bottles are normal restaurant prices for wines. The other night we ate dinner there was by the pool and I asked if there was a burger or sandwich menu and the bartender said that is the lunch menu but said we could order from that if we like, so we did. My husband had a cheeseburger and fries – he said the burger was good; fries were nothing spectacular, but fine. I had a large salad with grilled chicken. The dressing they give you is delicious, sweeter than I usually like, but really good.
DRINKS: by the pool each day, from 3-6, there is happy hour so it is buy one, get one. Drinks are really well priced. Beers at Happy hour were $5 (for 2), mixed drinks were $6 (again, for two). There is a Costa Rican rum they have – Cacique – that is delicious. They also make smoothies and other non-alcoholic drinks
WHAT TO DO on premises: Sit on your balcony and stare at the volcano at any and all times of the day!!!! It is mesmerizing for some odd reason even though it is no longer spewing lava at this time. We enjoy a pool, so loved taking dips at random times of day. There is a gift shop with seemingly fair prices – I bought a wooden salad bowl with servers for $48. They have a hiking trail that splits into two for a longer/shorter hike. We took the long trail. Perhaps the tape blocking the entrance should have been a clue: the trail was almost non-existent at a couple of points (not that we got lost, but we were wondering if we were on it at times. There are spots where steps carved into the trail are completely washed out so you have to sort of haul yourself up. It was a tough hike due to some of these conditions – one of the more rigorous hikes I have done in a while. The staff told us the long loop takes about 2 hours; it took us about 1:15. We are fit and do day hike, just to give you a gauge. The trail winds around the valley, over the river and back. Not a particularly gorgeous train as far as scenic overlooks – though there is one spot where you see the volcano. If you consider a trail in your average state park to be medium to high challenge, this is not a trail for you. If a paved trail is the bane of your existence, do this one.
EXCURSIONS: You can read each of my individual review on the following outfitters/locales individual pages on Trip Advisor. We did Hanging Bridges (which is actually just up the hill from Lost Iguana) – book through the front desk, they get a discounted rate. We had the front desk book all of our excursions, actually. We did zip lining with Ecoglide – were torn between that and Skytrek, but the price (almost half) swayed us, and we loved it. Went to Ecotermales, a return visit, and it was just as nice. Went to Tabacon for massage – did not have a great experience. La Fortuna waterfall is amazing, one of our favorite memories. Hiked around in the National Park (all well groomed, wide trails that are more like walking other than the area near the 1998 lava flow which is lava rock.
FOOD IN LA FORTUNA: we ate dinner at Lava Lounge (see my separate review) and got a take away smoothie from there another day. There are two supermarkets in town – Super Christian and Mega Super - you pass Super Christian on the main road, Mega super is found in going into La Fortuna from Lost Iguana at the point where you have to turn right because the road becomes one way – make the right, then a left and it is right there. We like having yogurt and snacks and beer in our room, these had all we would want.
Tips: Build in time to relax at the resort – the views of the volcano are great, but you also have a chance to talk to staff and other guests. Go during the “rainy” season! We went during the dry season 7 years ago and had more rain and cloudy days than during this visit in the wet season! We never saw the top ¼ of the volcano in dry season due to clouds. This time, we saw the whole volcano every day and night. Most days were brilliantly sunny, one day we had 45 minutes of a light consistent rain in the morning and then another day it down poured for about 2 hours in the afternoon. Other than that, and some rain in the middle of some nights when we were asleep, the weather was glorious. There were less crowds and better rates on air and hotels in the wet season. Car or no car? We rented a car at San Jose airport, as we did last time we were in Costa Rica. It is worth it in our opinion. La Fortuna is about a 25 minute ride and if you want to go out at night or have the ability to get places and see things without arranging transport, it is the only way. (NOTE: There is mandatory (government regulated) insurance you must take when renting in CR that does not come up in the prices of your quote when you use the US websites. Google, for example, “(name of major car rental company and Costa Rica” and you will get their local site that give a quote with all mandatory insurances accounted for. Our US quote for one major agency’s rental was $145ish, the Costa Rican one with all insurances listed was $285. You will get charged all insurances when you get to CR despite what your cheap quote tells you!!! That being said, I think it is worth it when you account for the freedom and the ability to get yourself to excursions. The Ecoglide excursion, less than a 20 minute drive, would have cost us $40 just for transport. Extrapolate those costs out and the rental price is a much better deal. Many cars are manual, but you can get standard. A four wheel drive jeep/SUV was necessary last time we were here, since then, all roads from San Jose to Lost Iguana were fully paved – including the one into the resort. The only non-paved roads we encountered were the ones to La Fortuna waterfall and inside of the National Park.)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.