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.

“Paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat

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 La Fortuna de San Carlos
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
Save
You added Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat to your Saves list
500 meters south of Super Kiki, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Danville, Kentucky
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2014

We have been to Leaves and Lizards twice. It is gorgeous and the food is outstanding. We traveled with our group so I have seen all of the cabins as well as the Hacienda and they are all very clean and well decorated with attention to detail. They all have views of the volcano. I loved working with the driver Steven he took care of my students for four days. The kitchen staff was sweet and so helpful, especially Dori. The birds here are terrific. And I highly recommend the horseback riding. They do an outstanding job of helping new riders learn and experienced riders get the most of their time on the trails. The assistant manager Oscar was a little rude.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
CostaRicaSteveandDeb, Owner at Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat, responded to this review, August 2, 2014
Thank you for your kind words! It is always a pleasure to repeat guests.
We are sorry you found Oscar less than courteous during your visit. He certainly will take note of your comment.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

497 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    444
    41
    9
    2
    1
See reviews for
239
146
21
10
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    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 (116)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Hillsborough, North Carolina
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

Leaves and Lizards was our first stop on our 10-day vacation. We couldn't have asked for a better way to start. Our driver Steven from the retreat picked us up from the airport and stopped during the long drive to treat us with Pipa (fresh water from a green coconut) and a fresh pineapple. The roads leading to the retreat are extremely rough and pass through a residential area, which had me a little nervous until we reached our retreat and our cabin (The Mariposa). L and L is beautifully landscaped and brimming with beautiful, tropical plants and stunning views of Arenal Volcano. Pictures of our cabin do not do it justice. We were beyond happy with the way our cabin was presented to us at check-in. There were beautiful, fresh flowers sprinkled on our beds, towel swans, fresh milk and juice from the farm in our fridge, and 2 complimentary Costa Rican beers for us to sample. Our cabin had outdoor seating, where we loved to sit and watch the tropical birds from the comfort of our hammock or hanging chairs.
The retreat isn't for everyone, though, as the owners are upfront about on their website. As they state, there's no a/c, wifi, telephone, or tv in the rooms (there is wifi in the restaurant, though). It feels a bit like summer camp, but in the best ways possible. We enjoyed reconnecting with nature and since we didn't rent a car, we were forced to get some much-needed exercise during our hikes to the restaurant and the front office. We slept with our windows open every night, and were comfortable (and even a bit chilly one morning). We enjoyed waking up to the sounds of the rainforest.
There are plenty of activities at the retreat and in the area to keep you active as well. Our family took the half-day horse-riding with Enrique and his team, which was one of the highlights of our vacation. Enrique and Chito were our entertaining guides and were amazing at instructing us and helping us see the animals of the rainforest (we saw 2 sloths!). Chito rode with our 4 y.o. son, and even though he spoke minimal to no English, he was so kind and gentle to our son that he talked about/missed Chito for days.
Last, but not least, what makes L and L so special is the amazing staff. Hazel was so helpful during our stay and addressed every need with which we came to her. The restaurant staff are prepared delicious food during our stay and were very kind and attentive to our family whenever we dined there, especially Dora at breakfast. You get a sense when you stay at L and L that the people working there are one big, happy family. We would go back and stay any time!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
CostaRicaSteveandDeb, Owner at Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat, responded to this review, August 2, 2014
Colleen, thank you so much for your beautiful review! I means more to us than you know. We always feel honored to provide our guests with an authentic experience.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Englewood, Florida
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

This is our third time to Costa Rica. First stay at Leaves and Lizards. Our family enjoyed our experience very much and would definitely return. The room was good with a beautiful view. Very clean and well decorated. Food was excellent. The parrot was special, and our granddaughter loved him and the horse back riding. Every morning she went to collect eggs and milk the cow. Steve has a terrific staff. Very helpful, friendly, and ready to assist. A great staff like this is what makes your experience a pleasure. I can understand how some quests consider driving here a problem. However, this is typical Costa Rica. Yes, it is rocky and bumpy driving but this is part of the experience and challenge. We will certainly include Leaves and Lizards in next trip to Costa Rica.

Room Tip: Coca is perfect.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

You really feel like your deep in the heart of Costa Rica. Your in the middle of nature at its most beautiful site Leaves and Lizards. You can walk anywhere at night as long as you have a flash light. Never worrying about bugs or people. The Costa Rican culture is the finest and most sincere you will ever meet. The rooms all have excellent views of the Arenal volcano. Even some monkeys are heard in the jungle near by. I believe this is my fifth time here. I will return again this year because the staff the owners the food and the experience, Are exactly what I'm looking for.

Room Tip: Any cottage is quiet, all cottages have great views.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

My wife booked this place based on the rave reviews on Trip Advisor. We had a good experience but I couldn't help but feel that its over priced compared to the resorts down the road. First of all, this place is a retreat and not a resort. The prices here are a little higher than resorts so I was expecting an incredible experience given there are limited dining options and no TV, in-room internet, swimming pool, A/C or phone. The staff is outstanding, grounds beautifully manicured and the bungalows are beautiful and have great views of the volcano. I couldn't figure out why there is a premium to be here given the rustic charm. By rustic, I mean that biting insects are everywhere - you are in a jungle and a few will get in your room, even if you keep the door closed. The road to the facility and between the bungalows is a gravel road with baseball sized rocks and pot holes on a steep mountain grade. In keeping with the theme, there are no lights at night, so even with a 4X4, I was nervous about returning to bungalow after nightfall and accidentally falling over. Given the lack of resort style amenities, I would expect the cost structure to be less, it would make sense for prices to be lower if not on par with the resorts.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
CostaRicaSteveandDeb, Owner at Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat, responded to this review, July 22, 2014
We value this visitors comments and appreciate his input. As a Retreat, we strive to maintain and create atmosphere that fosters a connection back to nature, that allows our guests to experience Costa Rica. Our staff strives to maintain high quality personalized service and our food is all made (and some grown on site) fresh to order. We are a small operation, in order to continue to provide these services, we have to set our rates to pay for these expenses. If we put in lights everywhere, TV's, paved roads, WiFi in the rooms, A/C we would be like a resort anywhere. Before guests come to Leaves and Lizards, we thoroughly explain in our email exchanges and on our website what we are all about. We are not the place for everyone.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maidenhead, UK
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014

L&L is an excellent example of a successful business run by resident owners who have put so much love and attention into every inch of the property. It is evident from your arrival to departure that it is important that you enjoy your stay and gain a full and varied experience of the local area. It is well managed and impeccably presented.

The information provided before your arrival is very helpful. The road map provides a choice of routes and useful tips on what to expect. We experienced all three routes during our stay in Costa Rica and I would recommend the scenic drive as the countryside is beautiful. The truck route is slow but has the interesting towns of Grecia and Zarcero en-route which are worth checking out. The fast route had better road surfaces and less traffic, but ascends in to the cloud forest which can make visibility difficult.

Driving in Costa Rica is easy, unlike some European countries. My experience of Costa Rican drivers is very positive on the whole. Driving allows you to stop when we you see things of interest. I thoroughly recommend Vamos Car Rental recommended by the lodge. The representative was punctual and spoke excellent English. He spent some time going through the rental agreement and gave us tips on driving in Costa Rica. He also explained how to use the sat nav and the complimentary phone, which was far from my experience of international companies where you are merely directed to a car lot. They are cheaper because the cars are not new but there is no point having a new car in Costa Rica.

We rose every morning at 05.30 to the chorus of beautiful birds whilst watching Arenal Volcano reveal itself and if you are lucky the caldera appears with a backdrop of white fluffy clouds.

The restaurant staff are delightful and check your preferences before serving you. Nothing appears to be too much trouble. The set menu is varied and where possible the ingredients are fresh from the farm. Everything is well prepared and presented.

The bird feeders next to the restaurant attract a multitude of birds that seemed oblivious to our presence. We have some fantastic photos and video of them squabbling over their share of bananas. Birds of all varieties abound around the property, perching in the tree in front of the cabins making for easy viewing. The highlight were the beautiful collared aracaries.

We spent some time in and around the lodge. Our cabin (Vulcan Cabin) provided us with the tranquillity we sought. The site has been planted extremely well with trees and interesting flowering shrubs. The room was large and had all the facilities you need with little extras such as fresh milk and a refreshing fruit juice daily. We drove to the river which is not too far away and paddled in the warm water. There is a small beach area where you can picnic if others have not beaten you to it. It provides welcome shelter from the heat.


We stayed at L&L at the beginning of our holiday so we had nothing to compare it with but having stayed at more expensive establishments elsewhere in Cost Rica I now realise what a wonderful place this is and worth every penny. Such a unique experience with great attention to detail and excellent, friendly staff who go out of their way to ensure you enjoy your time at L&L.

I have no criticism of this wonderful property or its staff but I would like to have had a bigger bed!

Room Tip: Volcano, Toucan and Monkey cabins are on a hill with superb views of volcano
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Weatherford, Texas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014

This was our second trip to L&L, the first being my our honeymoon. After that visit we decided it was a great trip for the entire family of six. Our kids are older from 11-16 and despite the fact that we worried about the retreat aspects of no A/C, no TV, or other "distractions" everyone had a spectacular time. This year we went in mid-June--rainy season. This was also a concern, but it was not an issue at all. Yes it rains frequently, but the duration is general short and occurs at night. As before the owners and staff were AWESOME. The food is wonderful, the setting is spectacular and the overall experience is authentic and wonderful. I highly suggest partaking in the activities onsite; the horseback riding and trip to the Tico farm. Obviously, the other excursons were experiences we got to share with our children that they will never forget.

Room Tip: With the family of six we stayed in the Hummingbird Hacienda. Our teenager slept on the foldout and...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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 Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat

Address: 500 meters south of Super Kiki, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#4 Business Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#4 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#5 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 8
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

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.