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“Incredibly Special Place and People!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rafiki Safari Lodge

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Rafiki Safari Lodge
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2.5 of 5 Lodge   |   16 Km from Pacific Coastal highway, Rio Savegre, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Wellesley, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Incredibly Special Place and People!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2013

My family took a 10 day trip to Costa Rica back in August. We stayed at some very nice hotels in Arenal and Manuel Antonio regions at the beginning and end of the trip. In the middle, we stayed 3 nights at Rafiki Safari Lodge and 1 night at the Rafiki Beach Camp. While we enjoyed the full 10 days in Costa Rica, the time we spent at Rafiki was truly amazing and what we remember (and miss) the most.

During our time at Rafiki, we rode horses from the lodge to where we began a white water rafting trip. The next day we took an aqua hike. We had the same guide for all the activities. Randell was from the local village and was simply fantastic! We had a great time with him in the water and learning about the jungle. We swam in waterfall pools and jumped off ledges. My kids will NEVER forget these adventures and our wonderful guide.

I loved waking up early to sit on the porch with freshly made coffee to watch and photograph the jungle as all the birds and animals awoke.

The food at Rafiki was great as well. For each meal, we had 2 options. Each was well-prepared and delicious. The warm chocolate souffle was a real treat on a cool night in the jungle.

The tents were quite nice. Much nicer than we expected with real beds, full bath, and hot showers. We loved falling asleep and waking up to the sound of the jungle.

The owners and all the staff were very welcoming and gracious. We had time to get to know them all personally and that added to the overall wonderful experience.

Finally, we spent 1 night at the Rafiki Beach Camp run by the owner's brother. That was truly special as well. There, we enjoyed the nearly pool and nearly private beach. We also took an early morning kayaking tour of the mangroves. Even after we moved to a tradition hotel to end our trip as planned, the owner helped arrange a personal guide for touring Manuel Antonio national park and a professional surf instructor -- saving us literally hundreds of dollars from what the other hotel would have charged us!

We HIGHLY recommend Rafiki who wants a real taste of the Costa Rican jungle while enjoying wonderful food, people, and adventures. We loved our activities in the jungle and on the river and then being able to stay in the jungle in a beautiful lodge. I tell everyone at home who will listen about Rafiki!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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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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 (32)
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English first
key west
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

I live here in Costa Rica, and own my own very small lodge/retreat. We just got back from taking six friends to Rafiki for a fantastic day of horseback riding and awesome white water rafting.
Not is this only my personal favorite way to spend an adventure day, but when our friends only had one free day I insisted that this was the one thing that they would need to do to get a real feeling for what makes Costa Rica so special. On top of that, we have sent practically every couple who have stayed with us at our retreat to take a ride with Rafiki as well.
This is a family run lodge who really and truly care about your experience. As well, they have a very special involvement with their surrounding community, and their surrounding environment.
Their guides who they use on the river are exceptional, truly exceptional and I always leave, exhausted, but with a big smile on my face knowing for sure that I will be returning.

Room Tip: Go on the water slide!!!!
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

This company should be at the TOP OF YOUR LIST for things to do in Costa Rica.

My boyfriend and I traveled to Costa Rica for a week's vacation recently, with another couple. It was our first time going, but the other couple had visited before. They were set on whitewater rafting as one of our "adventures", which they'd done before in a different part of the country. We ended up booking with Rafiki Safari Lodge and Tour co. for our rafting experience.

Rafiki was fantastic. They picked us up from our hotel and drove us about 1.5 hours South and East into the jungle. Riding along, we had no idea what awaited us. We rode up to the most beautiful idyllic valley I've ever seen (see attached picture). There we met Loki, one of the owners of the Lodge and a fantastic human being. He showed us around the property, talked with us about Costa Rican life, and got us prepped for the main event.

We were driven down to the river where we were taught about rafting basics, how not to get hurt, different commands that the guides would give us, etc. Then it was on to the river, myself and my friend in one raft with Loki, our boyfriend/husband in another raft with their guide Randal. Talk about fun! I have to say I'm not much for roller coasters and the like, so I was a little nervous about rafting for the first time. But I had a blast!! Loki was the best, super professional, always made me feel safe. Randal was also great, really knew his stuff and put the boys through their paces. Our trip took us 13 km down the river, and we stopped for a delicious lunch in the middle of the jungle about halfway through. Our guides also brought us to an amazing waterfall for a look around, and some photo opp's (see second picture).

Not only is Rafiki a wonderful touring company, but they are also heavily invested in and connected with the community and the people of Costa Rica. Loki and Randal were both highly knowledgeable and well-versed in the natural surroundings, and Randal's family has been in the area for generations. Needless to say we were pleasantly surprised with Rafiki and what great friends we made in Loki and Randal.

A big thanks to Rafiki for all the great work you do, and for showing us such a wonderful time!! If anyone reading this is interested in "glamping" (picture a five-star hotel bathroom attached to a tented sleeping area), Rafiki has NINE of them and a full dining/bar facility. They can organize a whole week's worth of activities and entertainment for your vacationing pleasure. We will definitely be visiting again!

-Arissa Bright

Room Tip: Didn't actually stay here, just came for the rafting. But how can you go wrong with a luxury sle...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

Rafiki Safari Lodge was the highlight of our trip. We stayed for three nights and enjoyed everybit of it. Janel was so very accommodating to the needs of our three families and our different schedules. My family was very leary of staying in a tent as we are usually hotel people but, we found that it was a great experience. The food was absolutely wonderful. We did the Aqua Hike and white water rafting. Our guides Allan and Ronald made sure that we had a great time. The water slide definately kept the kids busy when we were not on any other adventure.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

Rafiki Lodge was the highlight of my week long trip to Costa Rica. We didn't stay there but Loki, one of our guides, came all the way to our rental property, jumped in one of our rental cars and provided directions to the lodge. He even came back with us to show us how to get home! The place itself is absolutely breathtaking. The views, the scenery were all picturesque. We came to the lodge to go whitewater rating and had an absolute blast doing so. They were able to accommodate our large group of 17 people. After some trips down the waterslide, and a delicious breakfast of either pancakes or traditional rice and beans, we were off with our guides for a safety lesson. The guides really made us feel safe as there was at least 1 guide per raft. An hour or so into our ride, we stopped and hiked up a hill for an amazing lunch. The rain started and turned our Category 2/3 raft ride into a 4/5. The guides kept their cool and made sure we felt safe the whole time. We had to end a bit early since the river got so fast but the experience in all was fantastic. While we waited for the bus to pick us up, the guides made a shelter from the rafts to keep us dry. I can't say enough about how great the staff and the great experience at Rafiki. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone staying in Costa Rica.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013

Stayed for 3 nights. Family and girls aged 11 and 14. White water rafting amazing, riding and hiking just lovely. Luxury tents are clean and well looked after- can sleep 4. Meals good, staff kind and calm. Bring a tough (? Old) swimsuit for the water slide - it's very fast....

We had 2 tents for the family - next time would do one as only used it to sleep!!! Loved the hummingbirds and toucans.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Healdsburg, CA
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

We traveled for a week in Costa Rica with a small group and stayed at three different locations. Rafiki Safari was our favorite hands down - we were there for 3 nights in late January 2013. First of all, it's gorgeous. The food is wonderful
and the setting is enchanting. Our tent accommodations were lovely, private and reminded us of a recent trip to Africa. Sitting on the veranda with a second cup of coffee after breakfast and watching birds come to a feeding station loaded with fruit was exciting. The large, colorful Toucans were the most exciting to see and watch! Watching them hold and eat banana with their huge bills was amazing. We rafted the river and swam under the waterfall ~ what a good time we had! We highly recommend Rafiki Safari Lodge!

  • Stayed January 2013, 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.
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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 #28 of 441 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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