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Maquenque Eco-Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Boca Tapada
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 7, 2013

We had a fabulous time at Macquenque and would very much recommend it. It is well off the beaten track on an old cattle farm bordering the primary forest. The area is fascinating as a proportion of the nearby land is farmed as you can see if you go on the boat trip towards Nicaragua (recommended - we saw lots of wildlife and crocs). There is almost no other tourism in the area and so you do feel very much away from the tourist trail.  
The bird life was the best we saw on our whole trip. The variety and volume of birds visible from the dining area was staggering. We saw nesting Great Green Macaws just across the river with a youngster who helpfully pocked his (or her) head out of the nest every now and then. We also saw both blue jean and red eyed frogs. 
Food was good typical Costa Rican and, when we were there, the pool was immaculate. The accomodation doesn't sit right within the forest but in thinned landscaped gardens overlooking their lagoons. This actually made for a much better wildlife spotting experience as the sight lines are much longer than if you we're within the trees

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Barcle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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126 - 132 of 459 reviews

Reviewed April 7, 2013

We arrived at 8.30pm after travelling all day. We were greeted by a helpful member of staff who ferried us across the Rio San Carlos to the lodge where the owners were waiting for us with a big welcome and an evening meal they had saved for us. After a good night's sleep in our cabing we awoke to howler monkeys and a wonderful view from our verandah of wetland and forest. We started the day seeing many different species of birds and animals and after only staying for 2 nights had seen over 60 different bird species. What an experience. The owners looked after us well and provided us with a very knowledgeable guide who took us to see great green macaws. There is so much more to do than we were able to fit into our visit and we would recommend this family run lodge without any hesitation. Don't let the road put you off. The experience is well worth the drive! Barry, Tricia and Aidan (UK)

Room Tip: All of the lodges seemed well placed on the site and give privacy and a sense of isolation, which we...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank TriciaH524
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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Thank merilyn_green
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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Thank TicoTraveler66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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Thank Jacqueline62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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Thank lasseinga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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2  Thank Ruth W
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

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: $102 - $181 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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