One of my all-time new favourite places. If I say that Lookout Inn is a must-do, I'm afraid it will be all booked up next time we want to go. But, IT IS FABULOUS. We stayed in the Butterfly Suite for 3 nights in March, and wish we'd had even more time there.
It's a delightful lodge, a sanctuary amongst the jungle and canopy, lushly landscaped and maintained. Beautiful wood, romantic cabins, walkways, paths, verandas, vistas, a small pool, beach posada with shade, frog ponds... and more. The main lodge has viewing decks, common shared space, a breakfast deck, and a higher up lunch/dinner open air dining area - all with spectacular views. And then there are the 500 stairs en route to heaven. But this is heaven as it is.
Our open air cabin was wonderful. 45 steps up from the main level. A few partial walls to provide ample privacy, a few adjustable cotton curtains, lots of fresh air, open air vistas and bathroom, a cold shower which was perfect in the heat (if you really want a warm one you can use one below). Comfortable bed. Surprisingly not buggy, tho we did use the mosquito net on the canopy bed, just in case. Used the electrical plugs in main lodge for recharging batteries etc. Loved the symphony of infinite sounds, hearing the crashing surf below, and the zillions of birds, frogs, monkeys, critters. Thought I might need earplugs, but didn't - I found it surprisingly soothing. Loved being integrated, safely, with such a natural environment. (Upon our return, I immediately missed the natural landscape and felt our gorgeous hotel near San Jose, fit for royalty, was so contrived...)
Terry and Katya and the staff are fabulous. Helpful, happy, they like what they do - and are very available to help arrange anything you need/want. Staying with them was like finding long lost family. Guests seem to choose this place, also having similar values and interests, so the interactions tend to be engaging. The community that developed in the few days we were there will stay with us for a long time.
Location x 3. Remote enough to be an adventure and not run into too many others. Deluxe enough in an appropriate way to have all needs met. Situated brilliantly - above the black sand beach with stunning water, above enough trees so you can watch the parade of birds both below and above. Although Scarlet Macaws are supposed to be endangered, here, they soar with impunity: this IS their turf. You simply have to watch them a while, to see their coupling behaviour - they perform as if auditioning for Cirque du Soleil, and squabble (or is that love talk) to star in a reality psychologists' show. And the monkeys!!! On our first morning, a long line of capucins crossed in front of our cabin, some stopping on branches to check us out, en route to the banana mines. Can't beat that. I miss the monkeys.
Great area. No need to haul into Corcovado in the heat and humidity if you just want to explore nearby. A few great walks that take you into monkey zones. And birds. And a stunningly beautiful fresh water lagoon - go canoeing or kayaking early in the morning, fabulous bird life there, and more monkeys of course. We saw monkeys quite frequently, and heard the howlers often too. Although national parks have boundaries, animals move randomly. Seeing a tapir is like winning the lottery, and we did! Late afternoon, snuffling about in the underbrush, we watched a young tapir chomp its way through the jungle.
The food is really a treat at Lookout. Diverse, tasty, clean, nutritious. You'll be glad to be climbing stairs and hiking around, you'll want to work off a few calories. Catering to a small group, they will adapt for special needs too. They bring in supplies from Puerto Jimenez, and also have a vegetable garden. Breakfast generally at 7:30, lunch and dinner announced by the conch blowing - noon and 6/6:30 ish.
I can't say enough good things about Lookout and the staff - it really was an exceptional experience. It's a safe, comfortable way to access otherwise challenging jungle terrain. With a stay there for a few days, you feel integrated with a very natural 3D landscape. We all tend to adapt quickly, and before you know it, you won't want to leave.
We'll be back! That's a promise, not a threat. ;-)
4 thumbs up. And a prehensile tail too.
Esther & John
Ask for one with open air and views.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.