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“A life experience”

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Maquenque Eco-Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Boca Tapada
Certificate of Excellence
Ottery St. Mary, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A life experience”
Reviewed February 15, 2013

Words cannot do justice to my experience of Maquenque, the family at heart of this beautiful place and Eco project could not make you more welcome. I could not look back to wave goodbye the pain of leaving was overwhelming.
Our morning bird watching around the grounds was personal and instructive, the canoe down the river enchanting.
Could not dream of going to Costa Rica without revisiting.

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

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English first
San Mateo CA
2 reviews
Reviewed February 11, 2013

This was a new place for me, but a wonderful 3 days. If you're driving on your own, be prepared for a long trip on a rough road through pineapple plantations (takes 1-1/2 to 2 hrs, as maximum speed is probably about 15-20 mph). Park your vehicle and take the boat across Rio San Carlos and then walk to the reception.
The manager, Julio Artavia, and his sister Vicky, greet you on arrival and within moments you feel like you've arrived at home. The staff is all very friendly, the food is good -- served buffet style -- and the stay is full board as there's no place to go out to eat!
Lodging is in individual cabins, many with balconies overlooking the lagoon, a side-part of the river. There are three trails to walk, fairly flat except for the end of El Mirador which is a viewpoint. On this, my fifth trip to Costa Rica, I saw 11 new birds to add to my life-list.
This is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the tours that are offered as part of your reservation. Canoes on the river, trip to Boca Tapada, horse-back riding. All told, a wonderful start to my trip this year (2013).

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank TicoTraveler66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2013

The only bad thing about this eco-lodge was that we couldn't stay longer! Staff, accomodation, flora and fauna were all excellent. The rooms are beautiful, tastefully decorated and spacious, with outside sitting areas overlooking the forest and lakes. Wildlife is everywhere and is encouraged, so that you can get as close as you're comfortable with! The trips are good, and birdwatchers are given every opportunity to see as much as possible. (We saw the Green Macaws!) As another reviewer said the staff were exceptional, and yes, we got a hug when we left too! Can't recommend it highly enough.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Jacqueline62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gothenburg, Sweden
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2013

A most committed and cordial staff. Very interesting flora and fauna. Very nice tours, especially we recommend the canoe tour, the motor boat tour and the bird watching. The roads are not good but the advantage is thank nature isn't over utilized.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank lasseinga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2012

If you've read other reviews on this page you'll already know that Boca Tapada is stunningly beautiful. If you love wildlife and want to see, hear and touch the rain forest then this place is for you.

What you get here you won't experience in some of the other resorts, such as Manuel Antonio, the surroundings of which are far more commercialised. For a start, there's hardly anyone about, which may be due to the fact that you need to drive between 1.5 and 2 hours on an un-paved potholed road to get to Maquenque. The 'back massage' they call it. We made the journey in a beat-up old mini bus (private transfer...so-called...!!!) and it practically shook our fillings loose!

However, no pain, no gain, and upon reaching the hotel, a toucan was posing for photographs(!) and a group of coatis was grabbing fruit from the trees. The diversity of plant and wildlife is truly amazing. You don't need to go out looking for it - it will be on your doorstep! In fact, some of it came over our doorstep into our room (not so great but hey, this is the rain forest) in the form of rather large insects and arachnids. If you're squeamish about small critters you may have a problem here but if you can conquer your fears you'll be rewarded with close views of kingfishers, toucans, scarlet macaws, caiman, spider monkeys....the list goes on.

Accommodation is simple. Bed, hanging rail, bedside table, shelf, small table and basic bathroom. Clean but certainly not luxurious. Food was also pretty basic. Wonderful fruit platters but chicken rice and beans put in rather too many appearances during our three day stay. But don't let this put you off. We stayed in five locations in Costa Rica and although the remaining four hotels way out-classed Maquenque in terms of luxury and facilities, none had howler monkeys going through at 5.30am or made you feel like you were immersed in the natural cycle of the rain-forest.

The staff here are lovely. As I said, food wasn't great, but we were left with the impression that everyone at Maquenque gives 100% plus some. Tours were excellent and our guides were informed and informative. We couldn't help thinking that a little investment by Maquenque's owners in the facilities would pay dividends and help the staff provide the service they so obviously want to do.

To sum up, simple accommodation, exceptionally friendly people (you don't often get a hug when you say goodbye at a hotel!) and a staggeringly beautiful environment that was a privilege to experience.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ruth W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotterdam
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed December 13, 2012

I already read online that Boca Tapada was a place not to miss during your visit to Costa Rica. Maquenque was included in our Ara Tours flexdrive and we were happy to find none of the excellent reviews were exagurated! After driving to the area you reach a parking where you'll be taken to the lodge premises by boat. After a bit of a hike you reach the reception in a beautiful seccluded piece of Costa Rica!

The bungalows were tastefully decorated and spacious, with a little terrace overlooking to a pool with the most beautiful birds flying by. Our highlight was grabbing a canoe and paddeling through the laguna; we went twice and we recommend going in the early morning when the mists just start to clear up! We also really enjoyed the (with the room included) hike through the rainforest. Rainboots are included in case you don't have appropriate footwear. The dinner buffet was very nice, and traditionally tasteful!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank jolanda k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Urdorf, Switzerland
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2012

it's a real special place on the boarder to nicaragua in the beautiful rainforest. very quite with lots of birds, very friendly stuff. thanks for chino our guide, julio and pablo! you made our stay really special. we liked the boattour to boca de san carlos so much, also the nightwalk to see these beautiful frogs and the rainforest tour. the real costa rica food we also really liked! the canoas for the lagoon are free and it's worth to explore it. miriam y remo

  • Stayed November 2012
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Helpful?
Thank remoranes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Maquenque Eco-Lodge

Property: Maquenque Eco-Lodge
Address: 3kms del la escuela de Boca Tapada | San Carlos, Boca Tapada 4417, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Boca Tapada
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Boca Tapada
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Maquenque Eco-Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Maquenque Eco-lodge is a new 60 hectare reserve located just north of Boca Tapada, San Carlos and offers easy access to the newly created Maquenque National Wildlife Refuge, of 60.000 hectares in size. A local family, Canoa Aventura Tour Operator and a Swiss family are creating this jungle lodge to maintain and conserve wildlife habitat, while providing visitors with high quality accommodations and service in a unique framework ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Maquenque Eco-Lodge Costa Rica/Boca Tapada

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