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“The "Real" Costa Rican Jungle” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge

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Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Parque Nacional Piedras Blancas, Golfito 1000, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 11 Hotels in Golfito
Chicago
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“The "Real" Costa Rican Jungle”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013 via mobile

We have experienced several adventure trips including deep in the Amazon and chimp and gorilla tracking in the jungles of Uganda. Always wanted to go to Costa Rica, but zip lines and spider monkeys eating out of our hand was not what we were looking for. After stumbling across Nicuesa while searching the Internet, and trusting Trip Advisor, I researched the area and read lots of reviews. The gulf and jungle was very intriguing and we were thrilled with our decision to spend 8 nights the end of April. Being primate lovers, we wanted to see and hear the Howlers and they did not disappoint us. We heard them every morning, afternoon and night and saw them within 50 feet of our cabin once. The trails around and on Nicuesa property were excellent and immersed you in the jungle within a minute of the lodge. Saw lots of other Howlers and White Faced Capuchins, Pecary's, Cuati's, Toucans, lots of Macaws and dozens of other birds and wildlife. Accomodations were very nice and housekeeping every day. You are "in the jungle" so you are sharing space with lots of insects, but they do not bother you. The jungle sounds are non stop and mixed with the waves on the beach. In addition to the jungle, the gulf provided more to do than we had anticipated. Fishing, kayaking, dolphin watching, mangrove tour and just relaxing. Because the gulf is so much more protected than the ocean, the waves were very small and many times non existant. We really enjoyed the food as every meal was healthy and plentiful, with most ingredients coming from their own garden. All this was made possible by an excellent staff. From the moment we were met at the airstrip in Golfito until we departed, they did an outstanding job. Take advantage of the guides as you will learn so much more by hearing their stories and listening to their suggestions. We highly recommend!

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NicuesaLodge, Owner at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
Thank you so much for your very detailed, thoughtfully-written review of our Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge. We are especially appreciative of your comments given the wealth of experience you have in jungle travel! We think our eco-lodge is pretty special, and are thrilled that you do too! Thank you also for mentioning our staff and guides -- we are very conscientious in hand-picking our employees and are proud to hear they are doing such a great job.

We welcome you back to Nicuesa any time!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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174 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    142
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    5
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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
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English first
Virginia
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

We stayed here for spring break 2013. We have a 6 year old son. The lodge is set in the rainforest next to a stoney beach. The cabin we stayed in was literally in the rainforest. There are trails that thread through the property that start near the cabins and main lodge. Within minutes, it feels as though you are deep in the rainforest. The main draw for me was the hiking and birding. I was able to birdwatch without a guide and see most of the birds on my wish list for the area. My husband loved the fishing. He fished from the pier and took a fishing tour. Our son loved jumping from the pier, especially at LOW tide (longer drop!). We all loved the guides, esp Gustavo; the bartender- Yooie, the food, the open dining, the open shower in our cabin, the small number of guests, the sustainability tour, the wildlife sanctuary tour, the snorkeling.... I could go on and on. Our son cried when we left, my husband and I felt like crying too.

  • Stayed April 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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Hudson, Wisconsin
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

The boat ride from Puerto Jimenez across Golfo Dulce to the lodge (and back again afterward) in what can best be described as high-powered, sun-shaded, over-sized row boats, is how this adventure began: yes, getting there is, indeed, half the fun. So, our group of (mostly "senior citizen") birders hiked (day... and night, too), kayaked, photographed, Ate hearty, drank moderately (I especially enjoyed sampling some selections from the rum cabinet), engaged in stimulating conversations, some had massages for tired muscles and/or yoga sessions for relaxation and enhanced contemplation... in short, a good time was had by all. No biting bugs for us in March, during the dry season; the wet season would be a different story though. We did experience a nice rain during the last evening of our stay; this brought out an array of interesting rainforest inhabitants, for our viewing pleasure, not seen by us before this shower. I noticed that one of the previous ratings suggested that the prices were too high. Considering the logistics and costs involved regarding supplying this "off of the beaten path" lodge with food, drink and other supplies, the time, energy and maintenance involved regarding the upkeep a facility, such as this, that's constantly subjected to the interminable heat, humidity and downpours of the rainforest...and the fact that it isn't open for business during the height of the rainy season...personally, I don't see how it can be all that profitable for the owners at the rates presently charged; has to be a "labor of love" in part, me thinks. Anyway, Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge was well worth the price of admittance; I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
By the way, best regards to Fernando and all of those who swim with him.

Room Tip: They're all good rooms, but, of course, book a ground-level room in the two-story units if climb...
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  • Stayed March 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Telford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

We were greeted at Golfito by Manuel, a lovely young chap who took as to our boat for the beautiful 20+ minute boat ride out to Nicuesa. We arrived at the small pier where the staff were waiting with wheel barrows which which to move our luggage. Manuel gave us a short tour of Nicuesa and its facilities (including free kayaks, snorkling and fishing gear) and showed us to our cabins. The cabins were amazing - each of them was situated out of the view of any other cabin, made out of wood, with louvred doors which could be opened up completely on 3 sides of the cabin. The cabins were simply but beautifully furnished and the outdoor showers were a great feature.
The main building, housing reception, the bar and dining areas were lovely and comfortably furnished. Each cabin had a verandah with comfortable chairs and a sky chair (a cross between a chair and a hammock). From here we saw coatis, an agouti, a mouse, hummingbirds, crabs and butterflies.
The food was outstanding throughout our stay, with different dishes made from fresh local ingredients - some of the best food we tasted in Costa Rica (which is really saying something as we experienced some wonderful food). The main courses and deserts were freshly prepare/baked on site, often using ingredients from their edible garden.
We took full advantage of the kayaks, which were easy to use as the water in the gulf was as calm as a lake - great for a novice paddler like myself. We also swam in the warm sea a few times each day and watched the Macaws playing in the trees above the beach.
The climate at Nicuesa was very humid (not a problem for me because I love humidity) but the lodge offers a solar drying room to dry out clothing. The sounds of the forest animals and the gentle lapping of the ocean at night were wonderful to listen to.
We look forward to returning to Nicuesa at our first opportunity. Special thanks to Manuel and to Joe, who made us very welcome and took care of our every need - even providing a freshly prepared breakfast for us to take away when we had to leave early for our flight out from Puerto Jiminez to San Jose.

Room Tip: The cabins were wonderful for us. Perhaps a room in the Mango house would be better for anyone who i...
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  • Stayed April 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saskatoon, Canada
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

the location is superb! An isolated beach one can only reach by boat. It is located in one of only 3-4 tropical fjords in the world,which means the waters are very deep allowing very interesting water creatures swim in.The main lodge is like a giant treehouse,very well done.the individual lodges and rooms had open air bathrooms and the mainpart of the room had doors which opened out to a deckoverlooking the rainforest.You really are remote with the back of the lodge opening up to acres of hiking trails.They have lots of kayaks which we used every day.Being in the gulf the beach os like that of a lake calm and easy to enter with the kayaks.There was good snorkeling close by seeing octopus,eagle ray and 4 different type of moray eels.Because it is the pacific the visibilty is not as good as the carribean but the stuff we saw was incredible.the food was great,the chef amazing!A bartender that would take lots of time to get you the drinks you would like.I would definitely come back here.Some critisms are few of the staff were quite indifferent,we got eaten alive by the bugs and jelly fish(sometimes present but not always)

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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la fortuna, cr
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

the people there are just wonderful (we were little sick and the staff was very caring and helpful), though little overambitious on environmental issues. the architecture of the bungalows and the main house (with kitchen, dining room and bar) is just flabbergasting. the location is interesting, but the water in the golf isn't clear enough for diving/snorkeling. what could be improved upon? having so many springs close to the lodge a freshwater-pool is a must; food quality is mediocre, to be polite (((-: - usd 440/night/bungalow is just not worth it

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

Every single thing about Playa Nicuesa is magical. The scenery and wild life is abundant, the accommodations were comfortable and authentic, the food was fresh and delicious and there are no words to describe how amazing and caring the people are. It is a 100% genuine place and the best place we visited in Costa Rica. I would highly recommend Playa Nicuesa, it is paradise.

Room Tip: All accommodations looked great. We were in the Banana Room and it was lovely.
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  • Stayed February 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge

Address: Parque Nacional Piedras Blancas, Golfito 1000, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Golfito
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 11 Hotels in Golfito
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Playa Nicuesa is an environmentally-friendly eco-lodge set on a 165-acre private rainforest preserve on the undeveloped Pacific Coast of Golfo Dulce in southern Costa Rica. Our jungle & sea location provides a unique adventure and nature vacation: the front yard is a gulf right off the Pacific Ocean, and the backyard consists of thousands of acres of pristine tropical rainforest. Overall, the experience embraces conservation and harmony with the natural environment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Hotel Golfito
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Golfito
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge Costa Rica/Golfito

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