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Lake Arenal, Sabalito, Tilaran 50801 Costa Rica
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About

#1 of 10 Specialty lodging in Tilaran
Location
4.9
Cleanliness
4.9
Service
5.0
Value
4.9
Welcome to our Lodge & Retreat Center, Living Forest, located at Lake Arenal, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Here, you'll awaken to the sound of the river, jungle, tropical birds and, often, monkeys! Our location is perfectly secluded for the best of what you need: a tranquil stay in the rainforest, with adventure and excitement a short drive away. The majestic Volcano Arenal, Hanging Bridges, the wonders of Tenerio National Park, and the misty magic of Monteverde's cloud forest, are just a few. The River View Casita has double rooms with private bathroom and in our Living Forest lodge, we've got three rooms, each sleeps up to 4. We host travelers, retreats and workshops. Welcome!
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Property amenities
Parking
Hot tub
Yoga classes
Complimentary Instant Coffee
Full body massage
Non-smoking hotel
Outdoor furniture
Laundry service
Lazy river
Yoga room
Sauna
Complimentary tea
Massage
Steam room
Picnic area
Shared kitchen
Self-serve laundry
Washing machine
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Room types
Mountain view
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
Good to know
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish, Finnish

Location

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Lake Arenal, Sabalito, Tilaran 50801 Costa Rica
31Reviews1Q+A6Room tips
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KathyGardensALot wrote a review Jan 2022
57 contributions6 helpful votes
We had a wonderful stay at the Living Forest. Johanna was a terrific host; she made us feel so welcome, and we loved the yoga class she taught. The grounds were beautiful; my family enjoyed swimming the in river that flows right behind our room. Nearby Macadamia restaurant, which was recommended by Johanna, had delicious food and a great view of the lake. Johanna also made arrangements for us to ho horseback riding with a Hector, a local man. Our room was comfortable and clean, and the price was reasonable. We wished we could have stayed longer.
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Date of stay: January 2022
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Response from Johanna Harmala, Owner at Living Forest
Responded Feb 6, 2022
Thank you so much for your review and coming to stay! It was a pleasure to meet you!
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mailys p wrote a review Jan 2020
2 contributions
We loved our 3 nights at a living forest. The place is so peaceful... You literally go to sleep with the sound of the river! There is a communal kitchen that has all you need (oven, blender,...) which is really perfect when you stay a couple of days. We also loved the common area with a beautiful yoga shala open on the jungle with also some hammock and great books to borrow... The rooms are also super comfortable. Would love love love to stay there again!
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Date of stay: December 2019Trip type: Traveled with friends
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Martin Ziarati wrote a review Nov 2019
Coventry, England6 contributions
I stayed in the living forest and it’s exactly that..hearing and seeing the beautiful nature play out in front of you.. it was such a joy to hear and see the monkeys..with a jungle walk possible too! Johanna is a great host, always there for you, trying to make your stay pleasant and welcoming...the communal kitchen is a life saver as it gives you the option to stay in and cook.. There are activities that take place at living forest, such as yoga, dancing, workshops..and you meet great people staying here too.. I stayed a while so I got to know the place well..
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Date of stay: December 2018Trip type: Traveled solo
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Paul P wrote a review May 2019
Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica62 contributions4 helpful votes
The location of this hidden gem is extraordinary, with a babbling brook traversing the property and jungle climbing high onto the surrounding hills. The cabins facing the brook are clean and comfortable with really cool outdoor bathroom/showers. There is a clean communal kitchen and spacious yoga studio. Perfect place to read in a hammock and listen to the stream. We saw toucans from our porch! A short drive to many good restaurants. Johanna is a perfect host. I recommend Living Forest to anyone looking for a heavenly oasis in the Lake Arenal area.
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Date of stay: April 2019Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Response from Johanna H, Owner at Living Forest
Responded May 2, 2019
Thanks so much for your review. It was a pleasure to have you guys stay!
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Daniel T wrote a review Aug 2018
Tronadora, Costa Rica11 contributions
True Pura Vida. Great Host Ms Johanna... Relaxing.......Cool and fresh....Beautiful... Lake Arenal and surrounding area's are an exceptional part of Costa Rica. Off the beaten touristy path. Clean air, Lush green mountainside/ Jungles and rivers....So Much to do if you like the outdoors and rain....at times...Will visit Again..for sure ....Cheers
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Date of stay: June 2018
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Trip type: Traveled with friends
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Response from Johanna H, Owner at Living Forest
Responded Sep 1, 2018
Thank you so much for your review, glad you liked it here! And yes, we are off the beaten touristy path, yet close by to so many amazing sights and activities. Pura Vida!
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Emily P wrote a review Mar 2017
2 contributions
I attended an amazing five-day retreat at Living Forest with a friend of mine who chose the center to host. She described it as "mother nature's womb" and I could not agree more. It is a beautiful, secluded little paradise where you can truly connect to nature. You will hear the sound of a rushing river, wind in the trees, birds, monkeys, and other animals. You can rest in a hammock and listen to this symphony. Johanna has created a truly peaceful place where we can re-connect to the earth. She is kind, welcoming, and extremely helpful. She offers solutions and is flexible with payment and other issues. I felt very at home and did not want to leave! There are two cute dogs and one sweet kitten as well, so you don't miss your pets at home too much. I highly recommend Living Forest and can't wait to return!
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Date of stay: March 2017
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Trip type: Traveled with friends
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Marian P wrote a review May 2016
5 contributions
I had the privilege to assist to a retreat by lake Arenal and stay at Living Forest, I have to say it's one of the most peaceful places I have ever been, always spotless with a beautiful place to practice yoga. I got to see monkeys and all kinds of birds. It is located by a river that gives this place a mystical and cleansing feeling. I adored the hammocks and seats right by the river. I have to say that while I was staying at Living Forest I just didn't want to go out and do anything else, all I wanted to do was to stay and enjoy the space. So thankful with Johanna for being so sweet and taking very good care of all of us during the retreat. I am coming back soon!!!
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Date of stay: May 2016
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Response from Johanna H, Owner at Living Forest
Responded May 14, 2016
Thank you for your review! I am hoping to see you soon! Lets do some Stand up paddle board Yoga when you come! :)
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krisinik wrote a review Apr 2016
Toronto, Canada24 contributions5 helpful votes
We stayed with Johanna from for 5 nights and loved every moment of it. She is a wonderful person, very helpful, accommodating, informative and interesting. The rooms are lovely with comfortable beds, incredible outdoor washrooms, and good Wifi too. The best part is sleeping with the windows open an night and hearing the jungle around you fully awaken. When you wake up in the morning there are all sorts of birds flying around to welcome you to a new day. Sitting in the river that runs through her majestic property is really an added plus. One really feels as if they are in the center of the jungle, meanwhile your room is only a few steps away. The property is very well situated; within an hour radius you can be in Monteverde, Tenorio National Park, Venado Caves, or in under 5 minutes you're right on lake Arenal. It was my first time to Costa Rica and staying at this place was like a dream. I highly recommend the Living Forest.
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Date of stay: March 2016
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Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Dee_Spies wrote a review Apr 2016
Playa Grande, Costa Rica5 contributions
We had the privilege of staying with Johanna at Living Forest for a 5 day retreat, and my biggest complaint was that we didn't stay a full week. The rooms were immaculate and it was a treat to be able to shower outside every day. The grounds were nothing short of a tropical delight. There were monkeys, toucans and other exotic birds ... and the abundance of hummingbirds was a real delight. The walk dow the jungle path is a great way to begin you day. We look forward to coming back soon!
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Date of stay: April 2016
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Trip type: Traveled with friends
Room Tip: offers yoga several times a week and great place for retreats
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Response from Johanna H, Owner at Living Forest
Responded Apr 21, 2016
Thank you so much for your review! Hope to see you soon!
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Emi713 wrote a review Mar 2016
20 contributions1 helpful vote
Amazing, amazing, amazing! Not only were we so wonderfully welcomed and taken care of, but the place is absolutely wonderful and beautiful. Haven't felt so in touch and at peace with nature before. The flowing river, the howler monkeys, the hummingbirds, the iguanas were all there to greet us. The room was spacious with a great bed, super clean, and the shower and bathroom that were in the air (but with privacy) was also fun! Definitely the highlight of our trip (we stayed there for two nights).
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Date of stay: March 2016
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Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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LOCATION
Costa RicaProvince of GuanacasteTilaran
NUMBER OF ROOMS
6
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Frequently Asked Questions about Living Forest
What are some of the property amenities at Living Forest?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include a hot tub, laundry service, and a lazy river.
What food & drink options are available at Living Forest?
Guests can enjoy complimentary tea and free instant coffee during their stay.
Is parking available at Living Forest?
Yes, parking is available to guests.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Living Forest?
Yes, guests have access to a sauna and yoga classes during their stay.
Are any cleaning services offered at Living Forest?
Yes, laundry service and self serve laundry are offered to guests.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Living Forest?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English, Spanish, and Finnish.