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“heaven on earth” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Finca Exotica

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Finca Exotica
3.0 of 5 Lodge   |   on Carate beach next to Corcovado National Park, Carate, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica   |  
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Chicago, Illinois
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“heaven on earth”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

we just returned from finca exotica where we stayed during winter break - we were 2 families, parents and 5 teenagers between us. this spot is literally paradise. staying in the jungle, living in lovely thatched roof cabins, listening to the monkeys and birds, eating the most delicious food, meeting interesting people, relaxing on the most exquisite, pristine beach, swimming in the warm water, watching the dramatic sunsets...i could go on...rainforest hike to the waterfall...did i mention the delicious, best meals? in the beginning, the teenagers grumbled big time about the lack of electricity and internet. by the time we left, they were bragging about how easy (and cool) it was to do without. if you're looking for a true escape from the noise and glare of western culture, then this is your place. if you're looking for air-conditioning, infinity pools, flat screens and turn down service, go elsewhere. i feel happy just knowing this place exists in the universe. everyone there was lovely and accommodating, helpful and gracious. we can't wait to return.

  • Stayed January 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
    • 4 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, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
And we can’t wait to have you back! Thank you very much for writing a review of your time here at Finca Exotica, we really do appreciate it, especially so that future guests can see what others have to say about their time here. Thank you again and pura vida!
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195 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (41)
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Managua
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

When we ask our 2 girls (age 5 and 9) what they liked best about our Costa Rica vacation they both agree - it was our stay at Finca Exotica. And we had been to several other National Parks and beautiful Lodges before..... What is so special about it? The combination of the most beaufiful setting between Jungle and Beach, the people (great team-spirit, make you feel at home and truly care about the place and their guests), the striking bamboo-architecture, the food (amazingly creative and delicious cooking with home-grown foods) and I could go on and on..... However, if you ask our kids they will tell you that they simply enjoyed to play "jungle-kid" all day, spotting animals they only knew from books (like macaws and monkeys) right next to our cabin and building a dam at the little creek on the property... We feel Finca Exotica is excellent for a relaxed family vacation and the trip there on the bumpy road crossing rivers is already part of the adventure. We stayed in a tent for 1 night and then in the Ylang-Ylang-Cabin, wich has the perfect size for a family with 2 separate rooms, lounge-deck, bathroom and outdoor shower (shower and look at the stars!). The New Years party with the other guests, staff and friends of Finca Exotica was also a most memorable event. So if you go, simply leave your I-Pad at home, slow down and indulge. This is what we did and it became a very enriching family experience.

Room Tip: Ylang-Ylang-Cabin is great for families!
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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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Finca_Exotica, Owner at Finca Exotica, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
We certainly did celebrate new years eve in style! Thank you so much for sharing time with us on your family vacations- you were real pleasures to have here. Carate is a great place for kids to enjoy, especially because of all of the animals- I am sure they will remember this holiday for a long time to come! Thank you for taking the time to write a review and please keep in touch! The Osa misses you all!
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Edmonton, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

Yes the roads are kind of crazy to traverse, yes it will take you longer then you ever thought possible to go the short 40 -50 kms from Puerto Jiminez but it's well worth it. And yes you will question where the road went and why there are rivers in the way...just forge ahead! My boyfriend and I stayed here Dec 3-8th, it was amazing. If you expect an upscale mexico resort this is not for you, as an eco lodge you will need a flashlight and some hiking shoes or crocs but how can you compare that to a beach all to yourself...literally I went out by the hammocks in the morning and it was just me and the hermit crabs on the beach as far as I could see and all the amazing animals. I'm a picky eater but with few exceptions I found the food to be really delicious even the meals that didn't have meat were great. I'm unable to eat flour and they made sure to make small changes necessary so that I could enjoy almost everything as well. We also highly recommended Erik our guide into Corcovado park, my boyfriend also went fishing with him the day before with his friends and was really stoked about it. Thanks to all the staff including Phoebe who lent us her phone because we didn't have watches or phones so we could get up for our early hike and all the other great people at Finca. I completely disagree with the one person who posted negative comments they sound like they were somewhere totally different. We had an amazing time, this is definetely for the more outdoorsy types but it is just incredible, you won't regret it!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 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, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Hi there! Thank you very much for writing a review of your time here at Finca Exotica- we love being so far out, that’s why we only get the guests that really want to come  Erick is a really great guide, it’s wonderful that you got to spend various days with him- we couldn’t ask for a better guide here! The beach is still deserted, the food is still delicious and the staff are still so fab so we hope that you come back soon!
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Santa Cruz, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2012

If I had to think about something I didnt like at Finca Exotica, i'd still be thinking. Everything was just great, from the trip from Puerto Jimenez airport to the lodge, to the hikes in the jungles, the animals all over, the scenery, and of course, the staff. It is not a hotel over there, it is a family atmosphere.
The chef is worth 3 stars, the food is amazing, the lodge is in a magnificent garden, the guide is awesome, everybody is kind, there for you, sharing their passion for Costa Rica, teaching you about everything you want to know.
I travel a lot for work, all over the world, and Finca Exotica is definitely at the top of my list. So go there, stop looking for a place to stay, you found it.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
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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, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Thank you very much for your kind words! We work hard to render our guests a great jungle experience and we are very happy that you enjoyed your time so much here! We loved having you stay at Finca Exotica and hope to see you again in the (not-so-far) future!
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University Place, Washington
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

Imagine you are in the jungle staying peacefully with nature. To get there you spent 2 hours and crossed 5 rivers on the collectativa. There are no big hotels, few places at all, and hardly any people…. and kilometers of black sand beaches. The food was organic and excellent most of it grown on site and the staff made you feel, like you never wanted to leave. The cabins are clean and open to the environment; the architecture is out of sight and is congruent with nature. The shower is outside and perfect for setting. Wildlife surrounds you, macaws, toucans and 4 species of monkeys just to name a few. They have a resident taiper and we saw green and olive ridley turtles.
We are looking forward to visiting again as soon as possible. 10 plus!

  • 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
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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, responded to this review, December 11, 2012
Thanks for the 10 plus! We are really privileged here at Finca Exotica that we can grow a lot of our own food which is why we make the most of it. You had some great animal sightings whilst here, we hope that these memories that you share will stay with you forever! We look forward to seeing you gain hopefully next year! Pura vida!
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Brunswick, Georgia, United States
1 review
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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Finca_Exotica, Owner at Finca Exotica, 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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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
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, 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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Additional Information about Finca Exotica

Address: on Carate beach next to Corcovado National Park, Carate, Corcovado National Park, 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 #4 of 6 Specialty lodging in Carate
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Finca Exotica 3*
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 Costa Rica/Carate

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