A highlight of my just-ended 9 days in Costa Rica. I loved this place, The drive is a bit long, but not overly daunting. It's not the far off the Pan American highway, and most of the road up to Bijuaga (the closest town) is well paved and maintained. It's true that you should have a 4x4 in the rainy season, but the dirt road from Bijuaga to La Carolina was no big deal. Just take it easy, slow down, and don't try it at night.
I would agree with another guest that the cabins are preferable to the main lodge rooms (I stayed one night in both). When you first arrive, DON'T PANIC if the room is hot and stuffy. Don't worry, at least in the rainy season (I stayed in late August), the evening's quickly cool off and I found myself reaching for the blanket by 10:00PM. In any event, you won't spend a lot of time in your room anyway--the lovely rustic lodge has some great hammocks, the nearby refreshing river in which to swim, and crowning feature at La Carolina: the wood stove-heated hot tub that is fed by the fresh water of the river.
Also, the half-day trip to the Rio Celeste and the hot springs is amazing and beautiful. It's a nice hike, but not a cake walk. Don't swim under the waterfall - a gentleman drowned there last year, due to the strong undercurrent. But don't worry, just a little ways past the waterfall are the natural hot springs, sitting right next to cool water pools of the Rio Celeste. Take your pick!
Allejandro, their Spanish-speaking guide, will take you in. I know only a little Spanish, but I was able to follow along and catch most of Allejandro's expansive knowledge of the local flora and fauna. In our three hour excursion, we saw white-faced Capuchin monkeys, multiple species of birds, and the kicker, a green tree viper. Allejandro knew the exact tree where it lived, and we were able to see and observe from a safe distance.
Bravo La Carolina- a great inn that does Costa Rica's outback proud.
- Also Known As:
- La Carolina Hotel Province Of Guanacaste
- Hotel La Carolina
- La Carolina Lodge Costa Rica/Bijagua De Upala