You're going to hear a biased opinion from me because I love nature in the tropics. That said, my stay at Marenco was one of the most enjoyable 5 days if my life...and I've been to a lot of places.
The setting was gorgeous, even if you're not into such things--the beaches, the old-growth trees hundreds of feet tall, and all the wildlife--especially the butterflies, birds, and monkeys. We saw most species right on the grounds of the lodge.
The food was fantastic and the service was great...especially considering that you're in the remote jungle. It's Latin America, so the staff isn't going to be as prompt and polished about things as they are in other places, so don't expect it.
I want to personally thank those that I thought made an extra effort to make our stay enjoyable:
- Sandra, manager--no matter how busy or tired, she always greeted us with a smile and tried to accomodate every request.
- Mario, chef--aways did a fantastic job, and on the last day he cooked my wife and me a special meal, with a sampling of the different fish I'd caught earlier in the day (without us asking). He didn't want to cook it for the rest of the guests because he'd served fish the previous day. He did make everyone a great sushi apetizer from the yellow-fin tuna.
- Nestor (waiter) - worked hard to make our meals really special, even more so than you would expect at a very fine restaurant (we ate barefoot).
- Jose (nature guide) - was very knowledgeable and patient with everybody. He had excellent birding skills, and I'd highly recommend him for that.
- Jazmin (waiter) and Diego (bartender) and the rest of the staff there were always really nice and very helpful no matter what we needed. Everybody really made you feel at home and very comfortable, more so than I've felt anywhere else on a trip. My wife, who was not feeling well and was miserable from the heat, fell in love with everybody there. They really made the trip extra special. Also, I don't want to forget my fishing captain, Minor, who was knew his stuff and was as excited as I was about catching fish--made it fun. Our dolphin guide was the same way (sorry, don't remember his name--with dolphin amor)
My only complaint, was the heat. We went at the end of the 'dry' season (rained 3 nights), and it was sometimes unbearable. It was that, and the rustic conditions (cold showers, open air rooms, no elec. after 11, no a/c, no pool) that made it hard for my wife to enjoy the trip. I think any of the guests would gladly have paid an extra charge to have a fan on all night. But even when I couldn't sleep, it was nice just to lay there and listen to the surf and howler monkeys.
The favorite activity for my wife and me was a walk down to the Rio Claro for a cool dip--which we did several times, and usually had the place to ourselves.
So as you can see, whether or not you like Marenco, depends on what want out of a trip. It's not for everybody. I've traveled the tropics for years, mostly for work, and my impression of the Osa is that it's what everywhere else only pretends to be. You see holiday pamphlets with flowers, palms, and parrots, then when you get there, it's grackles and english sparrows and garbage on a crowded beach, and people trying to sell you something at every turn. Even as I write this, my only hope is that the Osa doesn't get popular. I hope Marenco NEVER gets airconditioning and hot showers! Stay beautiful!!!
- Also Known As:
- Marenco Beach & Rainforest Hotel
- Marenco Beach And Rainforest Lodge
- Marenco Beach & Rainforest Hotel Corcovado National Park
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