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“vacation for work - refreshing, organic, simple, exotic” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Finca Exotica Ecolodge

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Finca Exotica Ecolodge
3.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Osa Peninsula,on Carate beach next to Corcovado National Park | Osa Peninsula, on Carate beach next to Corcovado National Park, Carate, Corcovado National Park 706, Costa Rica   |  
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Brunswick, Georgia, United States
1 review
“vacation for work - refreshing, organic, simple, exotic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

Finca Exotica has been my home away from home for the second year in a row. I have stayed here for several weeks, patrolling the beaches of Carate for sea turtle nests, as part of international work collaboration with Osa Conservation and the newly-formed COTORCO sea turtle project. The area is secluded and not at all touristy, but easy to get to, providing the perfect balance of local community and nature. I have stayed a wide variety of accommodations, including several of the cabins and tents, and they are all wonderful. The owners are very well-cultured people, who are excited to share a plethora of knowledge and love of sustainable architecture, life-styles, food, and health. The cuisine is unique and I have never experienced a place that offers such a fresh and diverse array of meals before. Almost everything is grown organically right on sight, or locally acquired. You can view the ocean straight from Casa Grande (the restaurante and bar), and the beach is just a short hop across the road. Although I have only stayed here during the low season, when they are closed most of the time, I have enjoyed a few weekends with guests and other volunteers from around the world, who have expressed as much enjoyment in this place as I have. I am ecstatic to have returned, and it has been wonderful to see the friendly smiling faces of the people I know who work here. Should I return to Costa Rica for any reason in the future (which I will, of course), this is where I want to be!

Room Tip: The cabins on the hill have the best view of the ocean, but are quite the hike! The tents are cozy...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 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.
Finca_Exotica, Owner at Finca Exotica Ecolodge, responded to this review, December 11, 2012
What kind words! You are always welcome back- we really hope that it will become THREE years in a row. We love to have volunteers like yourself here at Finca Exotica during the low season and as you know we are more than happy to support the local conservation projects. Long live the turtles!
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242 reviews from our community

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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (46)
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English first
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

If all you are looking for is a bed in a remote area of Costa Rica, with shoddy accommodations, substandard dining and limited activities, this is the place for you. I was under the impression that self-sustained Eco farm meant that all the food served would be grown on this farm. Store bought potato gnocchi did not quite fit the bill. Calling this place a farm is a stretch. There are a few fruit trees and two pigs that are not able to leave their cement pen. This place desperately needs an executive chef or foodservice consultant. There was no fresh fruit for breakfast, the rest of the meals were rice, potatoes and vegetables, gnocchi and potatoes, and rice, beans and potatoes. One night they did give us about three ounces of chicken with potatoes and black beans. I felt like I was eating leftovers my entire stay. After passing miles of cattle farms on the way to Finca Exotica, I was expecting better than three types of starch with every meal. Also, it would have been nice to have a snack at 2 PM after hiking 20 km, but no such luck.

There was one hammock on the property, in the main building, that had a big hole in it; there were no hammocks at the cabin or at the beach. I was given one towel that I had to use for three days; there are no dryers and it is so humid that nothing ever air dries. Bring a plastic bag to bring home your wet laundry.

There is a beautiful yoga platform, but unfortunately there were neither yoga classes nor an instructor. They advertised wifi in the main building, but only the staff is allowed to use it. Actually I didn't mind being cut off from civilization, although they shouldn't advertise what they don't provide. Unfortunately, that's the norm at Exotica rather than the exception. Spa services...lol...forget about it.

I hired their guide to take us hiking into to rainforest, but all I did was pay for someone to walk on a trail along the beach with us. We did see some birds and monkeys. It's a three day, two night camping trip to actually hike into the Corcovado Reserve. You can take a plane in for $700, not including the cost of the guide, to hike the center of the reserve and avoid the eight hour hike into and out of the reserve. I wish I saved my money and just walked the beach and the trails on the Exotica property.

This was a once in a lifetime adventure, and once in a lifetime is enough for me. There were plenty of exotic birds and monkeys in the trees very close to my cabin. The driver that brought us out to Exotica was great. I saw more wild life on the drive out there than I saw at Exotica. It was a blast actually driving through 14 rivers--over 2.5 hours from Puerto Jimenez--and streams to reach Exotica. Although Exotica was a cool experience, I feel that my time and money could have been spent better elsewhere in Costa Rica..

Room Tip: Go to the Blue Osa.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Finca_Exotica, Owner at Finca Exotica Ecolodge, responded to this review, December 11, 2012
Hi there, we are very sorry that you were disappointed with your stay in Carate. Of course Finca Exotica is not for everyone which is why we share important information on our webpage. I would like to point out a few things from your review:
-Firstly, you were staying in our beautiful hand-crafted cabin ‘Ranchito’ which has a matrimonial bed, a lounge area, a walk-in closet, a private bathroom, and private outdoor shower-far more than ‘just a bed’.
-We are indeed an organic farm where we harvest what we can for our own consumption. We have over 30 tree species which bare fruit, as well as other plants and trees which we grow for medicinal purposes, herbs, spices, amongst other things. You chose not to take advantage of the free garden tour which we offer to all guests . If you had done so, you would have gotten to know the garden and some of our in-season fruits. Please remember that we use no chemicals and so with that we receive different fruits at different times of the year due to their natural cycles.
-We offer a wide range of activities which you can see on our website- we also have the tour book at Casa Grande which we showed you on your first morning here showing various different tours.
-As a sustainable practice, we change bedding and cabina towels once every 3 days. However, as shown to you on arrival, there are always towels out to take at the beach house. You were also told that if you wanted to have a change of towel or bedding more frequently, you just had to tell us. You never did.
-You are right, we did not have a yoga instructor on site when you were here. However, you were told that if you wanted to do some classes, a yoga instructor could be arranged to come. You never said that you wanted Finca Exotica to arrange that.
-We no longer have wi-fi which is why we took that information off of the website- I have checked dates and we actually took that information off before you made a reservation with us.
-Fresh fruit is offered EVERY SINGLE morning. We have great chefs here which is why everyone else on this website raves about the food at Finca Exotica. Of course we eat starches such as those mentioned, but they are balanced with other things. Every meal is balanced.
-It is made very clear on arrival here that if there is anything more that you need, there is always someone around to help. You were given substantial packed lunches for your Corcovado hike which is why we did not ask if you were hungry- you had eaten less than 2 hours previously. All you had to do was to let us know, we are all very approachable people here.
- We have various hammocks on the property- 2 alone in Casa Grande whilst you were here. There are also others in some cabinas, at the beach house as well as on the beach. You were made aware of these on your arrival orientation.
-As your guide mentioned to you before you went on the Corcovado hike, it is a 1 hour walk on the beach to get to the La Leona entrance of the National Park- there are no direct roads (thank goodness!). Unfortunately long hikes are not for everyone, which is why we always ask our guide to speak to guests before leaving so that they are prepared. Maybe you didn’t understand him?
Once again, we are very sorry that Finca Exotica was not for you. You are right, we are a cool experience and we are very happy that we have many visitors that absolutely love what we do and who we are. You only have to look at all of the fantastic recent reviews that we have received to see that.
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Richmond, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

My husband and I are in our 60's and I had my reservations when we arrived 12 days ago for a 4 day stay. But this was the most amazing experience of our trip.
Gabriella and Phoebe and the entire staff were welcoming and available when needed. We had the uppermost cabina and wondered if we could make it up the fairly steep path several times daily. The view, magical sounds of the birds and the roar of the ocean made the trek easy, well mostly.

The food was extraordinary, always fresh and yummy and local and accomodated the meat and veggie folks.

The Osa Peninsula is a special place and so is Finca Exotica!

Vicki V Richmond, Ca

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  • Stayed November 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Finca_Exotica, Owner at Finca Exotica Ecolodge, responded to this review, December 7, 2012
What kind words, Vicki. Thank you very much for sharing your Finca Exotica experience. You made the walk up to your cabina look like a walk in the park by the end, it’s great you enjoyed it! We hope to see you in the near future… you were real pleasures to have with us here. Pura vida!
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Knysna, South Africa
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012

Not quite what I expected. Eco lodges in Africa are very upmarket with all mod cons. Finca idea of "eco" was rather naive but enjoyable nevertheless. The food was imaginative and carefully prepared. Go prepared for "bush" ie headlamps to get to and from facilities and washing in cold water. Access to Corcavado a trek along the beach and entry limited to late morning minimising animal /bird viewing. BUT an experience of a lifetime!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Finca_Exotica, Owner at Finca Exotica Ecolodge, responded to this review, December 6, 2012
Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review! Ofcourse ecolodges in Costa Rica and South Africa are very different so it's great that you embraced that! Finca Exotica is a true Costa Rican ecolodge and we loved having you enjoy our paradise. We hope to see you again!
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Belp, Bern, Switzerland
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

Off the grid, 100% nature. We had a cabin up the hill from the "casa grande". The view to the pacific was unbelievable. We could hear the wildlife 24 hrs/day, as well as the crash of the waves on the beach. Our cabin was isolated enough that we never saw anyone while there. The main house with restaurant, bar and lookout platform was designed very well and fits perfectly with the philosophy of the owner, Markus. Eco-tourism at its purest. Natural energy, organic garden which was used every day in the cooking. The staff were very friendly and we could even help with some turtle rescue work. Erik the guide is a great guy!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 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.
Finca_Exotica, Owner at Finca Exotica Ecolodge, responded to this review, September 10, 2012
Thank you very much for taking the time to write this review. You were absolute pleasures to host and we very much enjoyed spending time with you in the evenings at Casa Grande. We try our best to render a perfect jungle experience to our guests and are very content to know that we succeeded with you!
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Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2012

Technically, Finca Exotica was closed when my 12-year-old son and I visited as volunteers for the sea turtle program. We were wet, dirty and well hiked by the time we arrived, and we thought we'd found paradise: a remote, off-the-grid, unspoiled destination where you could practice yoga and sleep in open air casita. No one spends time with a phone in hand, but stays busy participating in nature.
Finca Exotica is a couple of bumpy hours by colectivo from the nearest town, but it feels like a different world. We were greeted by Phoebe, who runs the turtle program, and she instantly began a tour of the garden's fascinating edible fruits and medicinal plants. Each meal was an event. It wasn't unusual to be entertained by a family of Capuchin monkeys during breakfast, and Scarlet Macaws populated the otherwise isolated beach. Nighttime stargazing was so spectacular, we almost missed our main event: a massive 350 lb Pacific Green turtle nesting.
I'll remember Finca Exotica as the place where I was showered in black sand from the flipper of this awe-inspiring, endangered turtle. Architect/founder Markus Wehrmeister has done an impressive job of demonstrating how we can aspire to live in harmony with nature, taking no more than what we need. But as my son and I were preparing to leave, we learned that up to 1,000 turtle eggs had been poached the night before. In a country where eco-tourism is so important, I'd encourage future guests to learn about programs like Finca Exotica's turtle volunteerism/education so that amazing experiences like the one we had will remain viable.

Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Finca_Exotica, Owner at Finca Exotica Ecolodge, responded to this review, September 10, 2012
Thanks for your review! We absolutely loved having you both here for the volunteer program. We are very content to hear that you found your paradise here in Costa Rica at Finca Exotica…we really hope you can come back to help more of our sea turtles! Pura vida
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Phoenix, Arizona, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2012

We were road tripping around Costa Rica and Finca was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. The staff was genuinely friendly and laid back. Marcus, Gabby, Phoebe, and the agriculture lady (can't recall her name...Sharon maybe) were great hosts. They really seemed to enjoy guests and we learned a lot from them and had some very interesting conversations. I have an interest in growing fruit trees and Finca was just the perfect fit for me in this respect.

Corcovado and the whole area in general is just amazing and the crazy road to Carate is so much fun. Fording the rivers and taking full advantage of the 4 wheel drive is a great adventure. The animals in this area are super interesting and hearing the macaws squawk and play in the trees was really a treat. Troops of monkeys swing through the property on a regular basis and toucans come and eat the bananas.

We were able to get two good day hikes in, one to La Leona station and one on the trails behind Finca. Finca has a lot of property and it runs right up the mountain. I really appreciate being able to go on adventures right outside my bedroom door.

The food was very good and the constructions on the property were very well done. Marcus is quite the architect and the solar power and water turbine power are really neat. Bathrooms are very nice and clean.

Okay, so I do have some small complaints, but I'd like to frame these more as suggestions rather than genuine problems.

Slippery trails: We had one of the cabins that was the highest up the hill on the property and the trail to it was fairly steep and it rains there a lot. Given that the ground there is red clay this path was dangerously slippery. I play soccer and I'm very nimble so if that walk gave me concern I imagine it would be terrifying for any elderly people or even someone who is a little overweight or out of shape. I think something needs to be done to make it safer. They already put gravel on it but it seems to get washed away, so I'm not really sure what the solution is. Rock steps, a little concrete, rails maybe, drainage?

Option for more light in the rooms: I would have liked to have a brighter light in my room to be able to see in my suitcase better at night etc. I know they don't want guests seeing others lights so they could place it carefully to be blocked from others views. A 60W equivalent CFL carefully placed would have done it without using much power. Candles are romantic but probably really not that "green" because they get used up so quickly and take energy to create.

Price: Finca like everything else in Carate is a bit pricey. We only stayed one night but managed to really get two days out of it. I'd still say its worth it and I might even go there for more nights at sometime in the future, but for a family of four it gets expensive real fast. Considering 5 star all inclusive resorts cost about the same, and at Finca you will be sleeping in a tent and taking cold showers, the materialistic comparison looks a bit lopsided. That being said the experience is really really special there, but it would be even nicer at 50% the price ha ha.

Sleeping temperature: The Osa peninsula is a steamy place and I think it was extra steamy the night we were there. Now I know what it is like to sleep in the jungle or not be able to sleep much in the jungle. I know a fan uses precious turbine power but I think we would have slept much better with a ceiling fan. Our cabin was kind of enclosed by forest and we really did not have any kind of breeze from the ocean or anywhere else to make things more bearable.

So there are my gripes. Regardless. Finca is awesome!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Finca_Exotica, Owner at Finca Exotica Ecolodge, responded to this review, August 20, 2012
Hi Matthew, thank you very much for taking the time to share your Finca Exotica experience! We were very pleased to have you stay with us, you and your family were just wonderful to have here.
I would also like to take this opportunity to say thank you for sharing your suggestions. We take great pride in Finca Exotica and it is important for us to render the best possible experience to our guests. We have taken your comments on board and will look into ways to improve certain aspects. Apologies that the trail was not in the best condition whilst you were here, we are currently looking into ways to make it less slippery and hope it to be better after this rainy season. We really hope to see you again here in the near future, have a wonderful week!
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Additional Information about Finca Exotica Ecolodge

Address: Osa Peninsula,on Carate beach next to Corcovado National Park | Osa Peninsula, on Carate beach next to Corcovado National Park, Carate, Corcovado National Park 706, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Corcovado National Park > Carate
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Carate
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Finca Exotica Ecolodge 3*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Finca Exotica eco lodge is a Wildlife Refuge property in this pristine area of Costa Rica, and the closest place to Corcovado National Park accessible by car.Our beach lodge is equipped to meet all of your needs – be it a romantic couple’s escape, a group retreat, a professional conference or a family vacation. Our facilities surround our central meeting place, Casa Grande, which hosts the organic food restaurant with a communal dining table and stretches out to an amphitheater suited for presentations and lectures by day and dance parties by night. Between them is the bar and together they all encompass the terrace where you can lounge under the open sky or swing in a hamock in the shades of almond trees, while Scarlett Macaws are feeding on them. Tents, cabins, rentals and other facilities stem out from this centerpiece to provide easy access near the beach, an isolated meditation ambiance and quaint trails that lead you through the labyrinth of exotic plant life. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Finca Exotica Hotel Carate
Finca Exotica Ecolodge Costa Rica/Carate

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