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“An unforgettable experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rafiki Safari Lodge

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Rafiki Safari Lodge
2.5 of 5 Lodge   |   16 Km from Pacific Coastal highway, Rio Savegre, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Quincy, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“An unforgettable experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

As a family, we have traveled to quite a few places and nothing comes close to the experience we had here. My two children, ages 16 and 10, enjoyed it as much as my husband and I. We stayed for two nights as part of a package which included horseback riding to the river, and then the rafting back to the lodge. I can't say enough about our guides, who were knowledgeable and fun and always had safety as a priority. The horseback riding is good for beginners, but anyone more advanced might be a little bored since the horses walked the whole time. The rafting was definitely the best part of the adventure. I was nervous about having my youngest child fall into the river but eventually got over it, especially after everyone at one point ended up in the water. I certainly felt like we were in safe hands the whole time, and it was quite a thrill! We had an amazing lunch provided by Rafiki halfway through the trip (complete with a bathroom in the middle of the jungle - how great is that?) The lodge itself is in a beautiful setting, and the luxury tents are clean and comfortable with a huge bathroom attached. It was a little unsettling to be reminded to use flashlights after dusk when you walk back to your tent due to the possibility of snakes, but I never saw one. So long as you stick to the path and remember to zip up your tent you should be fine. The staff and owners of the resort were amazingly attentive without being too intrusive, and we enjoyed the family atmosphere. We were there for the third week of August and were the only guests during our stay, which was initially a little odd to us. However, it is the start of the rainy season, which probably scares people away. It didn't affect our plans as it tended to rain in the afternoons and mornings were hot and sunny. There wasn't much to do after dinner except go back to your tent, but we were tired after our long day so it wasn't a big deal. The road to get to Rafiki is long and bumpy, so if you plan to go for the rafting or other adventures, it would make sense to stay there rather than trying to travel back and forth in the same day. Also, the food was fantastic and makes it worth the stay. It was very fresh and delicious; always two choices and they were attentive to the needs of my youngest who was a picky eater. However, that being said, there were no chicken nuggets or fries so he had to learn how to be flexible on his end, too! Our host Ralene was very helpful in arranging for our transport back and forth to the resort since we did not rent a car. All in all, we loved it and were very glad that we squeezed it into our week of traveling from one end of Costa Rica to the other.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Aromas, California
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012 via mobile

We did not stay here but we took the white water rafting tour. Our 7 and 8 year old boys fell in love with the rafting and the place.... which we would have stayed at if we had known about it before. The water slide to the pool is FANTASTIC. Our boys could have done this all day and my husband and I could just hang out at the bar above it watching them. So relaxing and the staff is wonderful. If you go on the rafting trip be sure to buy the photos the very talented photographer takes. One of them will be your best Christmas card ever!

Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alajuela, Costa Rica
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2012

What an amazing place, amazing people, breathtaking scenery and unmatched hospitality!! If you're looking for a unique and truly memorable experience set in the rainforest, with unforgettable adventures, this is the place to go. I live in Costa Rica, work as a travel agent here, and get to stay at all of the wonderful hotels around the country as part of my job. This has to be in my top 3 favorite places of all time. Thank you for such an amazing experience. I will be back soon!! Can't wait to do the beach version!! Mil gracias, amigos de Rafiki!!

Room Tip: Rooms 1 and 2 have amazing views of the lake and are close to the main area/restaurant.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winter Park, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2012

All the reviews of this place don't lie, don't exaggerate. Everything, I mean everything is what you expect on vacation. What really stands out, and it's hard to pick just a few, is the food, the Savegre river, and the hospitality of Loki and his family. If they serve their South African fare, you are in luck! And Loki is an awesome, sincere and very friendly host and river guide. My wife and I went rafting on the river and kayaking to the ocean with him. I highly recommend both, but especially the kayaking trip! Overall, I highly recommend Rafiki without any reservations!

  • Stayed June 2012, 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2012

This place is a mountain paradise. I loved the clouds rolling silently through the canyon, the hot tub in the rain was wonderful, the slide and running water was great, horse riding and class 3 rapids. Fun for the whole family, all this and hydro electric and wifi, perfect blend of jungle and creature comforts.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Ringgold, GA
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2012

After driving past the sign for Rafiki more than 6 times on our way back and forth to Domincal, we decided to venture up the mountain to check out the mystery. Let me say that this was perhaps the BEST decision we made on our trip to Costa Rica. The road is definitely bumpy (car massage anybody?) but well, WELL worth the trip. When we arrived, we were graciously welcomed by the owner's daughter-in-law who took us on a tour of the property. Although the folks at Rafiki knew we had lodging elsewhere, they still offered us the opportunity to hang out and enjoy their facilities for the day. We (husband, 2-year old, and 5-year old, and me) spent the whole afternoon enjoying the jacuzzi and waterslide!!! Plus, they made the BEST homemade tortillas we had in CR. It was a PHENOMENAL time enjoying the company of other patrons and the owners (who happened to be some of the most hospitable people we've ever encountered)!!! We loved our time at Rafiki SO much that we returned the next day for a whitewater rafting trip. The staff at Rafiki set us up with a top-notch Nanny, Sadie, so that we could take our 5 year-old on the river and leave the 2 year-old safely at the lodge. It was PERFECT!!!! I think EVERYTHING about Rafiki is top-notch!!! Sometimes with children you worry about fitting in, but the folks here were super sweet with our kids and went out of their way to make them have a VERY enjoyable experiernce. In fact, they even delived my son's inflatable arm swimmers to our hotel in Manuel Antonio when we accidently left them there (which was exactly 1 hour away). I can't believe the service!!!! We are certainly going to stay at Rafiki on our next trip to CR.

Room Tip: Because we didn't actually sleep on site, I did not rate the sleep quality, rooms, room service...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Key West, Florida
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2012

We really enjoyed our vist to Rafiki. Believe me when I say from the very beginning ( by this I mean the six mile road leading to this adventure) to the end of your visit( guess what- the road), your will find a great place to hang out and have a great time.

This is a family run business. They try very hard to provide a fun and laid back vacation. The class 2 level river rafting trip had a few moments of pure panic but is was mostly a easy ride.

Food was ok one night and 5 star the other night. Drinks were priced right.

We had the honey moon tent. Try to get this. It's worth the extra money. The owners add a few touches that will make you smile. I will say no more.

If you want to see and feel what's it like to be off the beaten track, to sit back and let some dedicated friendly people show you what life can be in Costa Rica, then stop here. I recommend a two night one day visit. Get there around 4 PM and relax. Then take the horse ride to the river for the rafting the next day. You be tired so the rest of the day is time to sit back.

Now- about the horse. Every time my wife makes me ride a horse, the horse takes me for a ride to where ever it wants to walk or run too. This horse was nice. Thank god because this two hour horse ride is straight up and then down many times.

Add rafiki to your visit to CR.

Room Tip: Do not make this a one day trip with your rental car. I rented a small econey car and I had concern...
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  • Stayed July 2012, 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.

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Additional Information about Rafiki Safari Lodge

Address: 16 Km from Pacific Coastal highway, Rio Savegre, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 436 Specialty lodging in Province of Puntarenas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Rafiki Safari Lodge 2.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rafiki is a sustainable adventure lodge located in the Savegre Valley of Costa Rica. The lodge sits on 840 acres of tropical forest. Rafiki specializes in custom white water rafting, horseback riding and hiking trips. Guests sleep in imported luxury Safari Tents which feature hydro electric fans and lights. Each tent sits on a raised hardwood platform, has a deluxe bathroom with glass showers heated with fire. The units also have a private porch with rocking chairs looking over the Savegre Valley. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rafiki Safari Hotel Province Of Puntarenas
Rafiki Safari Lodge Costa Rica/Province Of Puntarenas

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