This is sooo worth the trip down the "hill" from Santa Elena de Monteverde and sooo not like the usual hotels and such "up the hill" in Sta Elena. We were drawn here because of our love for learning about the rich ecological and biologial diversity of this region of Costa Rica. The Ecolodge is the Costa Rican Research Station for the Univeristy of Georgia. I won't pretend to even know why all the students who go there GO there, but I'd guess for Spanish and ecology and biology and more. You do the research on that side, I'll give a quick review -
The place is gorgeous - the setting is in the San Luis River valley - a half-hour drive from "downtown" Sta Elena. Lodging is above par and more comfortable than we expected (we stayed in the cabinas). The staff is so welcoming and full of information and very available for guided tours and added insights. The Library is a dream - not only outfitted with research texts, but also with a good selection of just fun fiction and non-fiction. The meals are billed as "typical Tico fare" in one of the guide books we read, but trust me - it's all you can eat, wonderfully prepared and it's a wonder we didn't gain MORE weight than we did. Meal-time conversations were the best and most enlightening - among the students, staff, visitors and guests. Our cabina was huge- a double bed, single bed and bunks, plus a vanity, desk, tiered closet, tiled shower, glass doors opening to a wide shared, but sectioned porch with chairs overlooking the flora and fauna- we were greeted by 2 little white-faced monkeys sitting on the tree outside our room who watched our every move for the first hour or so of our unpacking. Our room was beautiful with plentiful hot water, extremely clean - and an overall very relaxing experience. No a/c, phone, tv or clock - Heaven!!! The hammocks in the cabina common area were splendid. Advice: take a flashlight for the walk to the cabinas from the parking area, bug spray for walks and take advantage of all the tours and advice the staff and naturalists have to offer. We had too many places and people to visit up in Sta Elena to take full advantage of all of the Ecolodge - to do it again, we'd spend full days there and make the one trip to ride at Sabine's Smiling Horses (in Sta Elena) and do the canopy tour & zip lines over at Selvatura.
As always, my advice is to do your research before you go, plan for the roads and the weather and leave plenty of time to just go with the flow. You won't be disappointed here (if this is your type of adventure)- it's everything you'll read about it and more!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.