They tell you what to expect and that includes a wet landing to get to the lodge. Knowing they are off the grid (though not for long) I was a bit concerned, but I was amazed at how everybody works together to make this lodge a top notch place to stay. Yes, you have to climb into a boat to get to the lodge, but if you booked a trip here, you came to hike, visit the rain forest and swim....no big deal.
The food is sublime, fresh, tasty, healthy and you will never go hungry as they offer a full breakfast, mid morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and full 4 course dinner. They usually offer two choices for each meal. At dinner one of the choices is usually fish caught fresh that day, either by the owners son or one of the other guests (usually yellowfin tuna or mahi mahi). Chicken is usually the second most served with filet minon and shrimp one night.
The service is excellent! Mornings here start early, most of the tours start at 6:30am or 7:30am, so they offer a wake up knock service where they bring you coffee to your rancho. This was a wonderful way to wake up...drinking gourmet coffee overlooking the Pacific.
The tours they offer in their package deal (usually Corcovado NP and Cano Island snorkel tour) are nice, but think about taking the mangrove tour, you will see many more animals and birds from the comfort of a covered boat. A note on the snorkel tour, if you are expecting the calm, light blue waters of the Caribbean, this ain't it. The shoreline is volcanic with waves and doesn't have the pretty coral heads you might see elsewhere. Expect to use a life jacket (they give you one) if you aren't a strong swimer. The bug lady tour is okay, probably not worth the $$ in my opinion, but they offer zip lining, horseback riding and fishing among other things. All the tour operators are not in house, they use local operators.
They offer differnt types of rooms. They have standard rooms with no view, rooms that are attached to each other near the lodge. They also offer at least one small rancho with a ocean view (#7, we stayed in this one) and it is perfect for a couple, they also offer deluxe two story ranchos that are great for larger families. All the ranchos have plenty of vegetation surrounding them for privacy.
We stayed during the 'dry' season (Nov-April) where it only rains about once a week. The days are in the mid-80's and at night it's in the high 60's. You usually need a sheet and cover with the ceiling fan to be comfortable. Yes, there are bugs, but few of the biting kind although mosquitos do exist. They do shut your rancho up during the evening to help with the bugs. The eves and other areas are open so just be mindful of leaving lights on during the night. Yes, it's humid, yes, your clothes will get wet. You are in the rain forest, what do you expect??? The waves on the coast below are big and you can see the vapor going up the cliff face. Take clothes that dry quickly and take Teva type shoes plus some hiking boots. The laundry service is reasonable ($8 a load) and although they don't use fabric softner, it does come back cleaner and less stinky that when you gave it to them.
Overall I really enjoyed my stay here, I saw tons of wildlife; sea turtles, reef fish, spinner dolphin, reef sharks, scarlet macaws, white faced capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys, toucans, 3-toed sloths, agouti, coati, leaf cutter ants, boa constrictor, crocadile, caiman, spider monkeys, and tons and tons of birds and butterflies that are colorful and beautiful. Many of these I saw either off my balcony or on the path in front of my rancho (not the crocs, caiman or boas though....whew!). If you enjoy wildlife viewing and can handle the humidity, you will love this place. I would go back in a heartbeat!!!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We have outstanding views of Drake Bay and the Pacific Ocean from our Lodge. Our standard rooms are large and include a private bath and an ocean view balcony. Our ranchos are one and two-story private cabins that also offer balconies with stunning ocean views. They hold up to 6 people and are very spacious. Some are equipped with a bathroom on both the upper and lower level, and are suitable for families or two couples traveling together. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- La Paloma Hotel Drake Bay
- La Paloma Drake Bay
- La Paloma Lodge Costa Rica/Drake Bay