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“Really in the jungle”

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Congo Bongo Ecolodges Costa Rica
Certificate of Excellence
Paris
1 review
“Really in the jungle”
Reviewed January 20, 2009

Congo bongo is located on a preserved area. The land is extended, full of wild animals but very few tourists. The houses are separated with enough land so that you don't feel any intrusion in your privacy although most of your day is spent on the terraces or open kitchen, The houses are built in wood and integrate very well to the surroundings. It'a bit like an eco-lodge. You live really in contact with the jungle, and hear amazing sounds, especially early morning. You see the monkeys or toucans or sloths while you're having your breakfast. We loved he path to the beach where we saw animals we had seen with experienced guides in other parcs. The children loved the waves and the beach was absolutely non touristy. We could walk or drive to manzanillo and had great suppers and fantastic snorkeling with the children in the coral reef. Amazing coloured fishes. Nice caribbean atmosphere too. Good walks as well in the Manzanillo parc or on the beech. It is very wild, very authentic. Lots of nice restaurants in Puerto Viejo. Daan, the owner is nice and helpful. Excellent quality- price rate, in the top three best stays in Costa Rica.

Stayed August 2008
Helpful?
Thank mumuchacha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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367 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
medemblik
1 review
Reviewed January 20, 2009

In 1999 we were 25 years married, than we booked a trip through Costa Rica together with our son and daughter. We fell in love with the country, our daughter went back a few years later wit her boyfriend and stayed in C.R. for about a half year. They met Daan a dutch guy, who was building several guesthouses
near Manzanillo at the Carebean seaside in the middle of nature.
Since that time we stayed several times in the different lovely houses Daan created, everything you need is in the cosy houses, kitchen, shower, even one outside hanging on a 150 years old tree, good beds, a short walk through the beautiful garden brougt us right on the white sandy and very quiet beach
Howler monkeys above the house wake us every morning
beautiful butterflies and birds around the house .Daan and Marisol are kind people who are always ready to help there quests, it really felt like heaven to stay in Congo Bongo..

Stayed September 2006
Helpful?
Thank geged
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam
1 review
Reviewed January 18, 2009

beautiful nature, privacy, mellow & relaxed vibe, plenty of animals, comfort, great owners... lots of thumbs up! Anne-Claire, Amsterdam NL

  • Liked — nature
  • Disliked — road
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Anne_ClaireAmsterdam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sweden
1 review
Reviewed January 18, 2009

We had a great week at Congo Bongo. Although unprepared for the wet season, we loved living in the middle of the jungle with busy animal life right on our doorstep. With howler monkeys and crabs and fireflies keeping us company – and having kilometres of Caribbean beach all to ourselves!

Stayed December 2008
Helpful?
Thank JohnnySweden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gouda, Holland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 17, 2009

My wife and I stayed in San Jose for a week and we had it with that place, so we were happy to go to the outside, to Congo Bongo in Manzanillo. We didn't know the place, but we heard some good stories about it.
And, as we wrote before, it was great!!!
The owner and wife greeted us with open arms.
We had a beautiful bungalow, so quiet, so sereen, unbelievable.
Close to beach and the setting is outstanding.
We thought, we were on a island with no people what so ever!
All this for a reasonable price too.
Also a restaurant on the property and otherwise we walked to the "centre" of Manzanillio and found nice people, 2 or 3 good restaurants and a nice walk to there!
The beaches, by the way, are white, fine sand and blue sea, good to swim, no undertow, good for us and also great for a family with children.
To make a long story, it is really excellent!
We advise everybody to go there. Make time and see for yourself!

  • Liked — The total experience, beach and forest!
  • Disliked — Evrything is great.
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Adennell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Battle Creek, Michigan
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 18, 2008

Our family stayed a week in the Palm House at Congo Bongo in December of 2008. We have twin 2-year-old girls who absolutely loved it and we cannot wait to go back. Daan and Marisol were fabulous hosts and took great care of us. Beyond that we were alone and appreciated the secluded privacy. While maybe not for everyone we really enjoyed being right in the middle of the rainforest jungle and seeing all of the howler monkeys and lizards. Mosquitos were not that bad during our stay. The house gave us the feeling of camping in the jungle yet it was well equipped for our needs and comfort. The walk to the beach is through a beautiful and pristine section of protected rainforest. I think it is a bit longer than 200 meters and the boardwalk may need a little work but it only added to the adventure. It rained a few of the days while we were there but we still got several sunny days to enjoy swimming in the warm Caribbean Sea. If you need something to do on a rainy day I highly recommend a visit to the Aviarios Sloth Sanctuary up the road in Cahuita. There are several great restaurants nearby in Puerto Viejo but our favorite was Maxi's in Manzanillo. It is within walking distance and we ate there 3 times. The whole red snapper is delicious. Again anyone who goes to Congo Bongo expecting a luxury resort will be disappointed. If you go expecting a great jungle adventure and are not scared of a few bugs then you will love it. We are now back in cold and snowy Michigan wishing we could return.

  • Liked — Secluded in the rainforst yet close to everything.
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank iguanaboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2008

First, I would like to say that all the other reviews are correct in the level of beauty found at this place. The amount of wildlife directly surrounding the area is amazing. But, I found the website to be very untruthful in its description, which is what I based my choice of accommodations on.

My first experience began when the owner Daan and his dog, or is it a horse, showed us the "cabin". While we where standing and chatting, the dog decides to mark his territory on one of the small statues in the sitting area and then decides to crap in the grass right next to the sitting area. Never during the entire stay was it cleaned up. Great start.

Not one of the houses on the property are 200mts. from the beach as is advertised. Not even as a toucan flies is it 200mts. from the ocean. The beach is at least a 1/2 mile walk through the jungle from most of the houses. Albeit the walk is very beautiful, it gets to be a chore hauling gear to the beach every day. I am not sure, but I don't think four years of use constitutes a house to be "new" as most of the rentals are also advertised.

These houses are NOT "totally screened in" as is advertised. In fact, all the windows are unscreened and are only secured with the use of wooden shutters. Works really good when it's 85 degrees and 90% humidity, NOT. Insects and animals come and go as they please, Crawling and crapping on your dishes, food and clothing. We had to clean a set dishes to use when we first got there. I know, I sound like a whimp, but I spend a considerable amount of time in the field hunting, fishing and camping and am very comfortable with nature. But when you make travel decisions to a foreign land based on an owners description and then plan, prepare and pack for such and then are surprised when arriving, that makes a week stay tough. Although the wood used is exquisite, this place is a notch below any of the rustic log cabins I have stayed in while hunting. The latter at least had protection from the biting insects. Funny, but like someone else's review stated, the mosquitos where only bad when we where there too. Hmmmmm.

The comfort level of this place leaves alot to be desired. There is absolutly no where to sit and relax that is comfortable for more than 5 minutes. All the furniture is wood and without any cushion. My wife is tiny, and she couldn't stand it after the second day. One hammock that holds one person is not enough for any sort of relaxation for more than, well, one person.

As for amenities, it was nice to have drinking water provided, but the pump/spout being used is left out in the open with the dishes, so as you can imagine, was not clean. Yes, other than toilet paper, this was the only amenity.

You must place all your used toilet paper in a waste basket, including paper used for crapping, and not once during our week stay was any of the trash collected. The "fresh" linens provided had obviously been on the bed for weeks (not used, just placed) and only after asking for them to be cleaned on the fourth day where we obliged.

As far as help from the owners, every time we checked at reception, there was never anyone there. When we did walk to the owners house, all his wife would say is that Daan was sick and sleeping because of the previous nights drunken stooper. It seems that Daan's drunken tyraids are quite famous around Manzanillo.

The beach is beautiful but is full of debris and local trash, which seems to be the norm for this side ofCosta Rica. Not a lot of pride in their country. There is also a serious issue with Chitra's. These are tiny flea like insects with a nasty bite that will last for 10 days, only if you don't scratch it. Think bad case of poison ivy. That was the only thing I could compare the itch too. The bed netting is no match for these guys. Natural "Bug Off" seemed to be the only relief.

Overall, I think if I where a little more truthfully informed about the place we could have been prepared for the week of camping. As it went, our relaxing vacation became one of always being worried about what was crawling about at night and being tortured by the wooden chairs.

As for those of you whom disagree with me, you won't have to worry about me booking up the houses on your special days. There are way nicer places to stay for the price and I will never waste my money on this place again. Check out Casa Dikini, we stayed there last year and will go back next time.

  • Liked — The property arund the houses
  • Disliked — The accommodations themselves
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank stevefoxColorado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Congo Bongo Ecolodges Costa Rica

Property: Congo Bongo Ecolodges Costa Rica
Address: Congo Bongo Street, Manzanillo 70403, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Manzanillo
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 16 Specialty Lodging in Manzanillo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Congo Bongo Ecolodges Costa Rica 3*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Congo Bongo is located in the Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica and surrounded by a rich variety of flora and fauna. The beautiful Caribbean Sea is just a few steps away. We have seven fully equipped ecolodges accommodating between three and seven guests. You will enjoy the peace and quiet of the tropical jungle and you will live an unforgettable experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Congo Bongo Hotel Manzanillo
Congo Bongo Ecolodges Costa Rica Manzanillo

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