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!