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“Direct Contact with the Rain Forest”

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Chachagua Rainforest Eco Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Chachagua
Maracaibo, Venezuela
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Direct Contact with the Rain Forest”
Reviewed June 6, 2013

The Hotel was excellent. During our stay, the quality of the service was outstanding, the rooms are beautiful and in peace with the location and its nature. The hotel have 2 trails with direct contact to nature, a lot of birds to see and a waterfall.

In addition, the breakfast and dinner was very good, Mario the waiter, was very friendly and nice with us. All the products use in the restaurant are grown in the Hotel. One can said that it is a magical experience since it matchs perfectly nature and confort without harming the environment.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Shiararomero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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509 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (133)
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English first
Hayward, California
Level Contributor
107 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2013

I traveled to Costa Rica with an OAT tour group. I spent two nights here but would have enjoyed a longer stay. The road into the lodge was arduous but thankfully we had a great bus driver who got us there safely!

This lodge definitely deserves a place in the book "1,000 places to see before you die'. I cannot think of one negative thing to say about it. The room was amazing - very spacious and clean. I especially liked the porch (with hammock) and the bathroom shower with a view! There is no air conditioning and no TV, but I can't imagine why one would need it in a place like this as there is so much to explore!

The restaurant and bar were wonderful and the food was great. The variety of fruits and vegetables was so nice and the bar had some interesting drinks. There was wi-fi but only in the bar/dining area and reception. Some people were able to get wi-fi in their rooms or on their porch but I think that proximity to the dining area was what made the difference.

There was a swimming pool but I did not have time to try it out.

The grounds were beautiful and the sounds of the birds, frogs, cicadas and sometimes howler monkeys were crazy wild. I tried to stay awake at night to listen to the sounds but instead they just put me to sleep.

This is a great place to relax and just let go. I would love to go back.....

Room Tip: All the bungalows/cabins seemed to have something special. Some are more tucked away and others have...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank ATerrapin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
40 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2013

Our family of four spent three nights in March at The Chachagua Rainforest Hotel after reading many positive reviews and reviewing the hotel's website. The rooms are beautiful. The dining was good, but everything else left much to be desired. To be honest, our stay was hampered by awful weather as Costa Rica's "Dry Season" was anything but dry! The website boasts many amazing sounding activities, but it fails to advise that none of these activities are included without very significant extra fees. Excursions are a significant distance from the hotel, so be prepared for much travel time. Due to the weather, we saw very little wildlife on our many wet hikes around the property. We did enjoy discovering the pineapple plantation found at the back of the property.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank LoveToTravel1995
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2013

Lovely setting! We didn't spring for a bungalow, but I certainly would next time. Our room was kind of a dull rectangular affair which felt a little like a stable--clean and pleasant, but unremarkable. The free breakfast was delicious and generous and the restaurant was quite good in general though a little pricey--and the menu is not what you'd call imaginative. The pool was beautiful but mighty chilly when we were there in March. The place attracts wildlife enthusiasts, and with good reason. We woke early to wonderful bird chatter.

Room Tip: Get a bungalow! They have lovely porches with hammocks.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Amanda P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
51 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2013

This is the real deal. You're driving around the mountain when the GPS says "Turn left... on ... unmarked road." You turn left and find yourself climbing up a steep, bumpy road. The rocks on this road are not 2-3 inches in diameter - they're more like 9 inches. You're going 10 miles per hour. But that's OK because you've already figured out that this is not a pseudo rainforest experience created for tourists - this is the real deal.

Chachagua Rainforest Hotel is a piece of Heaven. The grounds are beautiful, and the bungalows are the perfect combination of comfort and nature. The open air restaurant is charming, the service is exceptional, and the food is both delicious and moderately priced. The pool is absolutely pristine, with no chemicals, fed by a natural spring. There were 8 toucans staying in a tree less than 50 feet from our bungalow.

I strongly recommend that you schedule rainforest tours well in advance of your trip so that you can be sure Cristian is available. The man is amazing. Some would call him a guide. He would call himself an environmentalist. His reverence for the forest is unparalleled. He will show you things you'd never notice on your own, tell you fascinating stories about them, and leave you with a sense of awe. You'll want to go on at least one day hike and at least one night hike with Cristian. I was so impressed with him that if I were to go back I would schedule my trip around his availability.

Be sure to pack a flashlight for the night hike. Take a small one with a bright light. The hotel has boots in a variety of sizes that you can borrow, and hiking sticks as well. You'll probably want binoculars. If you don't have them already, don't spend a lot of money. You'll want 8x32, compact, and waterproof. I spent around $80 and mine performed just great. Also, you'll want to put your bins on a belt - not around your neck - because no matter how lightweight they are, they will start to feel heavy on your neck, plus they'll be bumping into your chest while you walk. I must confess that I didn't use my binoculars as much as I thought I would.

We did a horseback ride, which was not quite what I expected. I thought we'd be riding on a path in a lush, forested area, but we actually went up and down steep rocky roads. If you're not comfortable on a horse to begin with, I wouldn't recommend this for you. If you are comfortable riding, you'll find it interesting. Carlos, our guide, did not speak any English, but we communicated well enough that he showed us several interesting birds, and even a sloth.

The staff at the reservation desk can arrange off-site activities such as zipline, hanging bridges, hot springs, etc. The vendors will pick you up in front of the reservation area and bring you back after the activity. If you stay a week, you'll want to do some of this, but none of it compares to the rainforest hikes at Chachagua.

Everyone at the reservations desk speaks English. Some of the wait staff at the restaurant speak English, but don't count on it. Cristian speaks perfect English.

I understand that Chachagua Rainforest is owned by four investors. They deserve a lot of respect for creating a place so naturally beautiful and for preserving the rainforest the way they do.

I've seen many questions and comments about driving in Costa Rica. Don't hesitate. I wouldn't want to hire a driver to go all the way from the airport to Chachagua, plus you may want to drive up to La Fortuna one day and visit the tourist shops. You'll want an all-wheel drive SUV and a GPS (I recommend automatic transmission, as well). But the roads are beautifully paved all the way from the airport until you get to the aforementioned steep rocky road that leads to Chachagua Rainforest Hotel. There are cautions about speed tickets, but I really would not worry about that -- you will not be speeding on those skinny mountain roads. Be aware that once you get out of the city the bridges are single lane. If a driver on the other side flashes his lights at you, it means he's waiting for you to go first.

Last but not least – mosquitoes. We didn't see any at all. Cristian explained that during the “dry” season whatever rainwater they have flows downstream, and there isn't any stagnant water for mosquito breeding. Apparently there are mosquitoes during the “green” (aka rainy) season.

Please give Connela the dog a huge hug for me. She's a sweetie. When you get up in the morning, walk over near the reservation area, give a whistle, and say Vamos, Connela! She'll join you for a hike, and even accompany your horseback ride.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Delane D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bogota, Colombia
Level Contributor
185 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2013

we spent two weeks traveling around all parts of Costa Rica and found a gem at this hotel. In the middle of the rainforest, the rooms were exquisite, simple and comfortable. a perfect setting and the jetted tub was awesome, as were the rest of the accommodations - my wife specifically liked the shower head which gives you the sensation of being in a rainshower.
the meals that were provided were tasty and the wine was very good - we especially enjoyed Christian, the naturist who shared an endless supply of information on the area, the wildlife. Definitely will go back.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Marti_R_Cortez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
29 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2013

We stayed 2 night, 2 adults and 2 children. 165 US dollar tax included pr night for a bungalow.

Positive; the bungalow are beautiful, with hammock on terrace, 2 double big bed, breakfast is very rich and a lot is given,included in price, the surrounding is great, animals to look at for children, swimming pool, food in restaurant are good and price is good for what you get.no tv, free wi-fy, clean,large bathroom, few insects in room,even thought that the floor on toilet is not isolated from ground, the staff in bar/restaurant is very friendly/helpful, the jungle feeling.

Negative ; no baby cod, cold water in pool, the large trail was not well marked, so we had to turn when we arrived to the waterfall and go back, the 2 km long road to the hotel is a bit hard when you don't have a 4 wheel car, but it works.

Room Tip: We payed 50 US dollars more to stay in a bungalow, if on a budget travel the cheaper rooms are also...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank shakypaky
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

Property: Chachagua Rainforest Eco Lodge
Address: | La Fortuna. Arenal Volcano National Park., Chachagua 21007, Costa Rica (Formerly Chachagua Rainforest Hotel & Hacienda)
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > 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 (Based on Average Rates): $
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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