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“Best family vacation spot for nature lovers”

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Chachagua Rainforest Eco Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Chachagua
Reviewed April 26, 2013

At times like this I wish I were a better writer so I could find the words to share what an exceptional destination we found at the Chachagua Rainforest Hotel. We spent a week there with our six year old and it was absolute heaven.
The hotel was everything we had hoped for. the grounds were lush and beautifully maintained. The staff, especially Ariel, Nacho and Jimmy at the restuarant were so friendly. We speak no spanish, but we had a blast trying to use our limited vocabulary with them, and they were very patient with us and spoke English well enough to understand everything we needed. We did a horseback ride there, fantastic. We had two nature walks with Christian, who is perhaps the hotel's best asset. He is a true naturalist, and we delighted in his tales of the rainforest and animals and he was almost like a professor, educating us about the region, sustainable farming and the lifecycle of the rainforest. If you want to teach your kids about the environment, you need to come here. Our son loved wandering the grounds, from the pool to the farm animals to just looking out our window and seeing a sloth in the trees. The food was great, we just loved the hotel. I know folks have mentioned the rocky road. It's somewhat rocky, but visitors should know many roads in Costa Rica are in this condition. Most places we went involved rocky roads and alos completely unpaved roads. At least the rocky ones stay dry in the rain. And though they are bumpy, the cobblestone streets in downtown NY are in at least as poor condition.
The area is great. We easily took day trips to the Arenal volcano, hiked the waterfall at La Fortuna, had a great morning fishing lake Arenal courtesy of a hook up from the hotel. The kitchen staff cooked our catch for dinner! There is a ton to see and do right there. We drove to a wildlife refuge 1/2 hour or so from the hotel where you can volunteer with animals call Project Asis, enjoyed the Paradise Hot Springs, the whole trip was just great. We like having a car, I would suggest renting one. But its all up to you. The hotel staff is there for as much or as little as you need. We saw tons of birds there and lizards, so bring your binoculars!

Room Tip: we stayed in a deluxe bungalow. It was perfect for the 3 of us. I wish it didn't have a TV. The...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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Thank geo69764
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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320 - 326 of 592 reviews

Reviewed April 16, 2013

Chachagua Rainforest is a former 200 acre cattle ranch located in a rain forest that has been converted into an eco lodge and bio preserve. My wife and I stayed three nights in a bungalow next to the stream that flows through the property. It had two queen beds, a great bathroom and a porch with a hammock. There is wi-fi access to the internet, but no land-line telephone, television or air conditioning - but you don’t need any of those things! We appreciated the peace and sounds of the rain forest. They grow their own organic food and serve it in the restaurant. The fruits and vegetables were fantastic, the other food was good but not great. We did a guided hike with their naturalist, Christian, who is passionate about returning the land to its natural state and creating a sustainable facility for tourists to experience the rain forest. If you go, don’t pass up the opportunity to hike with him and learn about the environment and their mission. The road to Chachagua requires a four wheel drive vehicle with good clearance, but if you rented a car in Costa Rica or have other transportation, it isn’t a problem. We took a hike on our own that was shown on their map but the trail needed clearing and marking. They have a nice pool, but children or adolescents may want more amenities. We can highly recommend Chachagua if you are looking for a natural rain forest experience.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank WallaceWoodbury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

If you have a 4wd, I definitely recommend you take the 2 mile trip up the rough road to this property. The property is beautifully situated within the rain forest with nicely appointed rooms, dining and staff.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank Debbie-Innkeeper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

We stayed here based on the reviews from other travelers. We rented a 4*4 in San Jose and it is a very nice drive of about three hours to get to the lodge. From the main road it is about 2-3 kilometers and this road is an adventure by itself. I loved it, quite rough but nice to see the locals at their houses doing their daily activities.
Once you get to the lobby there is a welcome drink and the receptionist spoke English quite well. After checking in we went to our room which is basic. No AC, no tv or radio but you don't need all of this. Our bungalow was very close to the stream that runs through the property and the sound of this combined with all the animals is fantastic. Without an AC it does get humid and our clothes were hard to dry but at night it is not bad at all.
The resort was half booked because of the low season which is September and October. The attractions in the region were somewhat quiet as well. We did most of the attractions ourself so the 4*4 came in very handy. The staff can tell you where to go and how to make the best out of it.
At the resort itself you can walk the trails by yourself or with a guide. The guide's name is Cristian and he took us after breakfast on a great tour. He is very passionate about his job and knowledgeable about the region. He sees things you won't see if you are walking by yourself.
At the resort you will see plenty of wildlife as well. There are insects around but we never saw anything inside the cabin, just a few ants in the bathroom. But you are in a rainforest so you can expect some bugs, just keep your doors and windows closed at night.
Food was good. We ate a few times in La Fortuna but the food at the resort was the same or better. I liked the breakfast in the morning. The whole place is coming alive with birds, butterflies, you just name.
It was a great experience and we loved the puppies from the farm who were there to great us every time they saw us.
Thanks Cristian for the tour and advices you gave us.
Ari and Jenny from Miami.

Room Tip: Along the stream is private and relaxing
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank arihonderd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

This hotel lacks good management. It has the potential of being paradise, but it is not.
- Service in the restaurant is poor
- People at the reception desk aren't friendly, even smiling is hard.
- They almost tripled their rates in 3 years time, because they "changed things"
- The old horse range, is deserted
- They are proud of being mentioned in a book "1000 places to see before you die", but i guess that was before they changed their management. I know better places; Las Nubes resort between Quepos and Dominical (lasnubescr.org) is one of them.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank HannesV302
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2013

Whilst the setting is beautiful, the hotel struggles to live up to its write-ups. The bungalows are attractive though lacking some of the facilities promised.. coffee maker, hair dryer, ventilators (unless by that they mean windows!), and I have had to twice quickly get rid of cockroaches and mouse droppings before my friend, who is squeamish about such things, saw them. Finally, I you have any special dietary requirements, this is not the hotel for you. Any good the chef does one day will be promptly undone the next by a wait staff who really only speak spanish and are incapable of rectifying problems and a chef who is now more involved in eating his own breakfast and watching TV than managing his restaurant. This resort has had its day... stay in one of the better resorts near Lake Arenal instead.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank BrockleyPhil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2013

Our family of 4 - 2 kids aged 9 and 10 stayed at the Chachagua Rainforest Hotel for 3 nights March spring break 2013. Well worth the short drive out of La Fortuna to this place.
We loved it. Cabins are roomy, clean and the bathroom / shower feels like you are right out in the rainforest. We ate at the restaurant all 3 nights and the food was great - fresh ingredients from the Chachagua farm,attentive service. The chef kindly made some alterations to the menu to facilitate one of our kids who is vegetarian.
Make sure you get GPS with your rental car as will make getting there so much easier but is well worth the drive. A very relaxing place and special place.
This was our second trip and we hope to return to Chachagua again.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Theresa P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chachagua Rainforest Eco Lodge

Address: | La Fortuna. Arenal Volcano National Park., Chachagua, Arenal Volcano National Park 21007, Costa Rica (Formerly Chachagua Rainforest Hotel & Hacienda)
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > Chachagua
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Chachagua
Price Range: $81 - $189 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Chachagua Rainforest Eco Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A place to surpass your expectations of a positive interaction with the rain forest, pampered by the friendliest local staff and with fantastic organic food production highlighted with extraordinary cuisine. Rest and relax or experience all you want. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chachagua Rainforest Hotel And Hacienda

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