We visited Costa Rica December 8 – 17, and planned to spend half of our trip near Arenal and the other half in Guanacaste. Since we would be ending our vacation on the beach we decided to utilize the airport in Liberia.
The drive from Liberia to Lost Iguana is around 3.5 to 4 hours. Since this was our first trip to Costa Rica we opted for a driver and would rent a car after a couple of days. Once you turn towards Arenal from the Pan American highway the road is up and down hills and there are lots of curves. At times it felt like we were on a rollercoaster. We were lucky to see a sloth, toucan and monkey that our driver spotted along the way. You will see lots of signs for the German Bakery and it is a nice place to stop for a quick break and snack.
We arrived at Lost Iguana just as it was getting dark. They loaded our luggage on a golf cart and were ready to take us to our room after checking in. We were in room #10 which is a Luxury Suite and took advantage of the Romance Package. The room was excellent and very large. The bathroom had lots of room and a very large step in shower. In addition to a king size bed you have small kitchen area and a large balcony. We spent a lot of time on the balcony enjoying the rain forest. One afternoon a blue and gold macaw landed on the balcony railing and sat with me for almost an hour.
The service at Lost Iguana is amazing. Since we there before the holiday rush the resort wasn’t crowded and it seemed like we were the only people there. Everywhere we went we were greeted with a smile and every request was taken care of immediately. The front desk was helpful and arranged for our rental car to be delivered, the restaurant staff was outstanding and the chef routinely visited our table to make sure everything was ok. We ended up eating dinner and breakfast every day at the Blue Hibiscus. There was a lot of variety on the menu and everything was cooked and presented perfectly.
The resort itself was part of the rain forest, and you didn’t really see the buildings. We enjoyed relaxing by the pool in the afternoon and the upper pool seemed to get warmer during the day as the hotter water was pumped in. The spa area is very nice and the ambiance is great. There isn’t much of a fitness area, but they do have an elliptical and some weight machines near the spa. They also did some laundry for us one day since we were working up a good sweat on our hiking trips.
For excursions we walked to the Hanging Bridges (buy your tickets at the front desk) and had an enjoyable time. If you ask they will drive you to the Hanging Bridges on one of the golf carts. We also spent most of the day in La Fortuna and the waterfall. The hike down to the waterfall is steep, so you will get a nice workout after you enjoy the water. We also did one of the hikes at the resort. It had rained the evening before so it was humid and the trail was a little muddy. Plus the vegetation is so thick we didn’t see any animals. Not sure it was worth the time and effort.
It is hard to find anything to complain about. The wi-fi didn’t work in our room, so we would sit on the balcony if we wanted to go online. Also, the majority of the TV stations are in Spanish, but you aren’t going to watch much TV. I know some reviews commented on the isolated location of the resort. It is probably about 15-20 minutes to drive to La Fortuna which isn’t too bad from my perspective.
Things I learned as a first time traveler to Costa Rica…
Driving – we had a driver meet us at the airport in Liberia and take us to Arenal. Then we had a rental car delivered to us on the second day and used it the rest of the trip. In the future we will get a car when we arrive, and it will be a larger SUV. This time we had a compact SUV (Jimmy) that served the purpose but was really a hard ride on the dirt/gravel roads. Rental cars are on the pricey side, but it is nice to be able to explore the country. The roads are fine and the signs are good. We only made a couple of wrong turns and those were our fault for not paying attention to the signs.
Money – we didn’t exchange dollars for colones. There was no problem using dollars for purchases and sometimes we received dollars in change and other times we received colones.
Where to go – we split the vacation between Arenal (Lost Iguana) and Guanacaste (Marriott). Both areas were great to visit and there are a lot of activities you can do or just relax at the resort. I spent a lot of time researching on TripAdvisor to narrow down where to stay and get ideas on how to spend our time.
When to go – we traveled from 12/8 – 12/17 and were at the very beginning of the dry season and before the travel picked up closer to the holidays. As a result we had great weather and felt like we had the resorts to ourselves.
- Also Known As:
- Lost Iguana Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
- Lost Iguana Resort And Spa
- Lost Iguana Hotel
- Hotel Lost Iguana
- Lost Iguana Resort & Spa Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Lost Iguana Resort is Arenal's newest hotel, offering luxury accommodations in the rain forest The resort's 100 acre property overlooks the world's most active volcano, Arenal Volcano located near La Fortuna, Costa Rica. A premiere, upscale retreat nestled gently in the jungle, the Lost Iguana Resort only offers rooms with large private balconies overlooking the Arenal Volcano and Arenal River Gorge. All rooms are spacious and well appointed with first-class furnishings, artwork and full amenities. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Expedia, Travelocity, Venere, Olotels, EasyToBook, Tingo and HotelsClick so you can book your Lost Iguana Resort & Spa 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.