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“Absolute paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pacuare Lodge

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Pacuare Lodge
3.5 of 5 Bed and Breakfast   |   Pacuare River, Turrialba 1000, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 9 Turrialba B&B and Inns
Moscow, Russia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Absolute paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2014

We loved it! When I was planning our honeymoon trip and first read about Pacuare lodge, I decided that we absolutely must go there. We didn't regret this decision a second. We loved it from the beginning 'till the end. We chose a 3 days/2 nights option and it was just the right duration of stay for us: enough but not too long.
Getting there by rafts was fun. It was first time for both me and my husband and we enjoyed rafting on a beautiful river in what seemed a middle of nowhere. Rafting from the lodge was even more fun, because there were more serious rapids (class IV).
When we arrived to the lodge, we were upgraded from the garden to a river room in honour of our honeymoon. The room was lovely, private and comfortable. The bed was huge and really comfortable. We also had a very cozy hammock on our porch (see the picture). I loved the fact that there was no electricity and the room was lit by candles at night. I loved the noise of the river running right outside of our bungalow (my husband though didn't like it as much as I did, he is a more sensitive sleeper).
We were actually surprised by the food at the lodge. It was great and very tasty. We really enjoyed every meal we had at Pacuare.
Mu husband insisted we take a bird-watching tour that was fun which turned out to be very interesting (I never thought bird watching could be so much fun). And I did canopy tour, the highlight of which was seeing mother-sloth with the baby-sloth climbing off the tree. We also enjoyed couple SPA treatments and would like to compliment the staff performed them. It was very relaxing and soothing experience.
And the last but not the least – I absolutely have to mention lodge staff. Everyone was super attentive, super helpful and super nice to us. We specifically wanted to say thank you to our guide Luy, he is the best :)
If you go to Costa Rica, you absolutely have to go to Pacuare. It is the experience that is not to be missed. I hope we come back one day :)

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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329 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (97)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Andalucia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2014 via mobile

On a three week trip, travelling to many off the beaten track destinations, this was our joint top favourite along with the Casa Corcovado lodge on the Osa Peninsula. I had never rafted before and am scared of rough water so was a bit apprehensive about the method of arrival - especially after the doom-laden safety briefing on the bus to the river!! I need not have worried. The guides and practical training were superb and to my shock, the experience itself was exhilarating and fun. The thrills of responding instantly to commands to 'lean in' and get 'high side right' to prevent falling out or the raft overturning as you bounced down rapids only added to the excitement. In reality it was probably pretty tame if you had done it before!

I can only second the other reviewers in terms of the stunning location, fabulous suites, amazing birds, great food, wonderful staff and the quality of the activities so No need to add anything there.

Carlos was our main guide, he was calm, competent and instilled great confidence both during rafting and zip wiring, another first. He suited our English national character more than some of the other more yay hey, 'high five' guides doubtless playing to the more outgoing natures of our cousins from across the pond!

We stayed in the a River View suite, the last in the row, so totally private. The suite was very spacious with canopied bed, two terraces, huge bathroom plus outdoor shower. Oddly, no wardrobe space, not even a shelf or hooks! However, a very minor point in an otherwise flawless stay.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Ann Arbor
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2014

We stayed three nights/four days, which was perfect to see and do much of what was available. White-water rafting into and out of a secluded luxury resort was fabulous. We went in early March (the river was low) and class three and four rapids were very manageable, even for a first-time rafter like me. One of the men in our raft had a lightweight fanny-pack for his waterproof iPhone. (In the dry season it still takes a few days to dry out wet fabrics). The fanny-pack gave him chances to take photos when we were in quiet stretches of the river or when we stopped midway and got out on shore. Another couple carried a waterproof Go-Pro that got tucked/wedged into their life-preserver as we encountered rapids. If we return some year to the Pacuara Lodge, I would bring a fanny-pack to carry my iPhone and extra suntan lotion. On the three-hour trip out it was sunny and we all ended up with sunburn, despite applying waterproof lotion just before the trip began. The resort itself is fabulous: beautiful surroundings, well-maintained grounds, luxury cabins with combination safes, comfortable beds, and private outdoor showers that were awesome. There are no lights through most of the grounds and it gets dark early. Staff light candles in your room while you are at dinner, but you will definitely need to bring your own flashlights. This was our first time using lights we could slip around our foreheads (perfect!). We could charge electronics in the manager's cabin but it's a slow charge. We had occasional problems connecting to their wifi (such as when I wanted to let family know we'd arrived). Wifi did work but sometimes we needed to wait and try later. Food at the restaurant was excellent, excepting the evening three of us ordered tuna steaks. None of us could eat the fish and we debated if it had been out in the sun too long (food must be rafted in). Everything else we were served was exceptional. My husband and I both have food sensitivities and they could easily accommodate us. We did learn that every meal you order you must reiterate what you cannot eat (my husband luckily warned me in time about traditional gluten croutons in my soup). So many people manage the food don't assume the cooks will remember dietary restrictions from meal to meal, even if the wait staff write down your name and meal request. One major problem we had was with tipping. The manager just shrugged and said, "Do whatever you want." Conversations with other guests showed we all were confused as to how tips were handled. River guides stayed at the lodge for varying periods of time, waiting tables and serving as activity guides. You can't count on your river guide being there when you leave, so we ended up tipping guides after each activity. Guides never once said, "It's included in the money spent for the activity," but acted like tips were greatly appreciated as part of their living salary. What to do with meals? You were waited on by three or four people each meal; sometimes staff and guides worked in the kitchen, and someone was always staff rafting in and out. On the last day, my husband finally got information out of his guide. The cooks pool and share their tips, as do the wait staff and the cleaning staff. So we could give group tips at the end of our stay to cover those three services. If we had to do it over, we would have brought more cash. We assumed more could be put on charge cards (they prefer you pay cash for extra activities).

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2014

I found Pacuare Lodge in an article from National Geographic. I had to convince my boyfriend to go (the price is a little steep) and promised him he wouldn't regret it.... He didn't! We stayed in the Heleconia Linda Vista suite for 2 nights and had the most unforgettable experience. "Pocas" was our river guide and we definitely lucked out. He took us to all of the cool spots that you wouldn't want to miss and knew everything about everything... and he never wears shoes, which is pretty awesome. The food was amazing... amazing. My boyfriend is a health nut and the pickiest eater and he could not stop raving about it. We did the canopy tour and several hikes and I ended the evening with a massage (definitely recommend one of those). Before dinner, we hung out at the bar and met some amazing people from all over the world. On the way out, Pocas took us to a part of the river where you could jump from one of larger rocks... it was so much fun! All in all it was one of the best trips I have ever been on. The only things that I think could have made the trip better is 1:dry-fit or water-resistant clothing/footwear (I didn't bring any) ... and 2: a longer stay....

Room Tip: The Linda Vistas are the best!
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2014

Stayed at Pacuare Lodge for 3 nights. (If you are going elsewhere after or before Pacuare, remember to pack a bag only for your stay at Pacuare. The rest of your luggage will be stored away from the lodge)We rafted in and can say it was adequate for all ages.
The food was lovely and it varied every evening. We stayed in the Linda Vista suites where we had our private pool and river views! Don't be shy to ask for a lift back to the room as it can be a bit of a tedious walk after a meal and a few wines. Staff was great. Roberto, max, Giovanni, Wilma and the others are a credit to the resort. There is no electricity In the rooms but this makes it a unique experience. The tours we did were great. Bird watching, canyoning and the waterfall hike! All in all shamazing and would definitely recommend it!

Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mobile, Alabama
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2014

We took the whole family to the lodge. Our boys loved it. We only spent 1 night and wish we could have stayed for 2. The food was very yummy and the staff was great. We stayed in the jungle rooms. We had our room with a king size bed and the boys had a room right next to us with 2 queen size beds. We laughed a lot and enjoyed our time in the jungle. We did the zip line and it was ok. I have done better in Costa Rica but it was fun. The only negative thing I have to say about the lodge is the picking up and dropping off of everyone. I am glad the lodge does offer to pick you up but also realize they are offering this for EVERYONE. We were picked up at 5:45 am and by the time we navigated the horrible traffic in San Jose to get everyone else it was at least an hour and a half later before we even left San Jose. I knew there was a drive out to the river but driving around San Jose forever was not what I expected. This could all be solved by having a central meeting place(Ex. Hampton Inn). I have rafted with other companies before and this is what they do. The dropping off of everyone was the same, it took forever! I know this is just a small concern but could be addressed so easily. It is a wonderful and beautiful place and I would recommend it.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Alberta
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

I told my husband if I had read the fine print, I might not have booked our stay here. Somehow I neglected to take on board the fact that arriving to Pacuare involved a 5 km. Raft trip. And departure from Pacuare involved a 25 km.raft trip, up to class IV rapids. And by the end of both these trips, we would be soaked from top to bottom. Even if we managed to stay in the raft! But, missing these experiences would have meant missing the most memorable part of 2 weeks in Costa Rica.

We loved Pacuare. Yes, we loved the rafting. We loved the staff, including the guides who rafted in with us, and then turned into servers when we arrived at the lodge. We loved the food-especially the amazing fruit desserts they created. And especially when you realize that all supplies need to be rafted in as well.
The rooms were private, with huge comfortable beds, and only candles to illuminate them . There was an indoor shower, as well as an outdoor shower (which I didn't use because it looked like it was overlooked quite well by one of the stations of the zipline!)

We stayed three nights, and, although we loved it, in some respects I think two nights might have been enough. I say this because all the activities available at Pacuare, to take part in during your stay, have an additional cost (which I don't think was made completely clear, but I fully admit it may have been me not reading the fine print again). So, the extra cost isn't really the issue so much as the fact that if you aren't interested in the activities on offer, there is very little to do of a self directed nature. We did take the river kayaking excursion (after that white-knuckle experience, I was completely serene about the 25 km. rafting trip to leave!). But we had no interest in ziplining, or horse back riding, etc. I'd love to have seen a little more in the way of hiking trails that you could explore on your own, for example. You can always read, relax, rejuvenate, but, perhaps because we had more or less constant drizzle, we were ready to head out after 3 nights. Everyone needs to read the details of what is available for tours, and decide for themselves how long they might need.

Room Tip: We had a garden view room.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pacuare Lodge

Address: Pacuare River, Turrialba 1000, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Cartago > Turrialba
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 9 B&Bs / Inns in Turrialba
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Pacuare Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A visit to the Pacuare Lodge is a journey to a magical place where the beauty and diversity of tropical nature delight the senses, authentic Costa Rican hospitality makes you feel like part of the family and the outdoor adventures range from exhilarating to sublime. The lodges comfortable bungalows and elegant suites are nestled between a pristine wilderness reserve and the Pacuare River Costa Rica`s most spectacular white water route. It is surrounded by tropical rainforest where colorful birds and butterflies flit through exuberant foliage and the songs of toucans and oropendolas complement the soothing sound of flowing water. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pacuare Hotel Turrialba
Pacuare Lodge Costa Rica/Turrialba

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