We traveled across Costa Rica (top to bottom), stayed at numerous places and found this lodge in the lonely planet guide. They offered loads of activities, like rafting and horseback riding (and more). The trip to the lodge was adventurous, with lots of wonderful wildlife to spot, and the roads were easy accessible. Traveling along the road, you imagine going to the end of the world. And when the road ends...you're looking at a little paradise on earth. A big wooden bar/restaurant main lodge, with a palmtree roof, looking out over their huge property, containing beautiful trees and flowers, a view over their lake, 2 horses relaxing in the grass, beautiful butterflies, colorful birds, like toucans, loads of hummingbirds and even rare species of big birds are chilling in the trees. When we walked up to the main lodge, with all the beautiful hand made wooden furniture and chilling hammocks, we met Constant and his wife. They told us that the owner (their son) was on holiday himself, and the lodge was closed.
Never the less, they welcomed us in their home and showed us around. Even though they were in the middle of a small renovation, and the staff had their last working day at that time, they put in the effort to accomodate us. Even the staff was willing to stay on a few days longer. We've never felt more welcome!
The African style tents extending the free standing stone lodges were enormous. They were located between the trees and within nature, to create your own privacy. Two of them even had lake view. The tent part alone, contained 2 single beds and a double bed, with still plenty of space left. The back part was one huge tiled bathroom with toilet and a very big shower cabin. A dream come true! The build of the layered tent, made you feel save and secure. No bugs to haunt you in the night.
The nights were pieceful. You could hear the frogs and other little sounds, but it didn't keep you awake at night.
A beautiful wide patio was attached to the tent, where we enjoyed the early morning birds and squirrels playing in the trees.
Constant and his wife (I won't use her name, because I might spell it wrong), were ever so friendly. They were amazing people to be around with. We had long talks and dinners together. They obviously have a lot of life experience and shared very interesting stories. We were captivated by the conversation as we were enjoying the best meals served by their superb cook Giovannie. His food was not only extremely tastefull and perfectly cooked, but he also made his own salad dressings with fresh herbs. Two different dressings each time and the second day he made two other flavoured dressings. Every meal was carefully prepared, with the table set with beautifull flower creations, using his own creativity every day. Besides Giovanni being the best cook, he was also very modest and super friendly. My husband is spoiled now, because I will never match these 5 star like dinners.
Constant arranged two horses for the next day and a wild water rafting trip. We were stunned about all the things they were willing to do for us, to make our stay memorable. The horse ride with the guide, was not just a boring trail ride. He showed us all kinds of herbs and recognizable pieces of nature, like cinnamon, anise, clove, natural bug protection to rub on your body and even a natural tattoo, which was a leaf of a vern. It had a white powdery side which you could slap onto your arm. We also got some speed out of the horses (if you wanted to of course).
The rafting after the horse ride was also a great experience. We got nice 3-person sized rafts, which makes you experience the rapids much better than a big family raft. We had well trained guides who knew the river as if it was their own. We had some stops at waterfalls where we could swim and relax, and a nice prepared lunch along the river side, by the magical touch of Giovanni. He even baked fresh cookies (I wish I knew his secret recipe). During lunch, we also saw a snake. It was not poisonous, but still vicious. One of the guides was brave enough to pick it up, so we could make a picture.
Back at the lodge we took a 20 minute walk through the rainforrest to see the waterfall (on their property). The lodge uses water from nature to keep a wall sized fish tank filled up, with fish out of their own lake. The fresh water is also been used to run through a natural build stone slide, which is great fun to go down on. It runs through bushes and flowers, and ends up into this cosy pool down on the bottom of the hill.
Unfortunately we had to leave after two nights, because our holiday was running out of days. If we had known about this place, we definately had come earlier. It was the icing on the cake...the best place to stay, with the most friendly people. It felt like being in heaven.
When we were sitting in the plane, I said to my husband: "We forgot something!" I checked our carrier bag and noticed we forgot to take home Giovanni....we will sure miss his 5 star dnners and his friendly smile.
Now that I'm home, I really miss the nice talks with Constant and his wife. I wished they lived around the corner, so we could visit them every now and then.
I hope we will be able to come back one day.
Thanks a lot for these precious memories!