Leaves and Lizards was the highlight of our trip to Costa Rica and even the kids (two boys 11 and 12 at the time) said they would rather go back there than going to the beach. The accommodations are wonderful (we stayed at the Monkey cabin), the property is absolutely gorgeous but what made the stay truly exceptional were the owners and the staff of the resort. Debbie was so extremely patient and helpful even before we ever got to the resort by assisting me with planning our trip. She provided all the information that we needed to have the best time in Costa Rica and also recommended the hotel we stayed at in Alajuela (close to San Jose Airport) the first night. La Pura Vida Hotel was wonderful and the owner is a gem. We rented a 4-wheel drive to get around on our own and enjoyed the flexibility and had a great time exploring the country side. Being able to read a map was essential since signs are few and far in between, but the road system is really not that complicated and most roads were comfortable to drive on.
The drive from San Jose to Leaves and Lizards was long but beautiful and even though the hotel is located high in the hills above La Fortuna, we thought it was close enough to all the things we wanted to do and see in the area. We stayed for 5 nights and could have easily stayed longer since there were still things we would have liked to do. We had dinner at the resort most evenings because the food was fabulous and we were simply exhausted from eventful days and enjoyed the family-oriented atmosphere. Our favorite activities were a half-day at the animal rescue center and zip-lining but what makes me dream about going back to L&L was the horseback riding. The horses are so well taken care of and simply wonderful to ride and Debbie really takes her time and helps pairing up the perfect horse with every single rider. The trip to the waterfall was a great family experience and my private ride with Debbie and some of her friends was simply magical culminated by a full-on gallop up the hill through the most picturesque pasture.
All the animals at the resort were quite an experience, wild and tame. A foal was born during our stay, the parrot ate at our breakfast table, the kids milked the cow every morning and my 11-year old fetched eggs and helped feed the horses. If you have animal lovers in the family, this is definitely your place!
Oscar gave the most informative walking tours through the rain forest showing us how to wash our hands with dew collected in a particular plant, Rosa took wonderful care of all our needs during meals. Just thinking about the place makes we want to go back tomorrow! Thank you Leaves and Lizards for memories that will last a lifetime and for being a living testament that gentle tourism works and for making us fall in love with Costa Rica.
(Debbie - if you read this prior to my correction you must have chuckled... still having brain lapses and am mixing up PR with CR ;-) )
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This secluded resort is located on 26 acres with spectacular viewing of the Arenal Volcano near La Fortuna. Enjoy the panoramic vista of Arenal and Cerro Chato from a hammock on your porch or from your comfortable, orthopedic, queen sized beds with Egyptian cotton sheets. Meals prepared using locally grown ingredients at the Lava Lizard on-site dining facility. Guests are invited to help with daily 'chores' on this working farm. Milk a cow, collect eggs for breakfast or groom a horse. Enjoy private horseback riding, professional guide service, on site spa and 2 km of on site nature trails. The vision at Leaves and Lizards is to create the perfect blend of adventure, discovery and tranquility for each guest. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Leaves And Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
- Leaves And Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park