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“Best honeymoon ever!”

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Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Best honeymoon ever!”
Reviewed June 21, 2011

My husband and I just spent our honeymoon at Lapa Rios Ecolodge! Our experience was surreal and a whole other level of relaxing! We stayed in bungalow #14, the honeymooner bungalow, and, while it is the furthest from the dining area and quite the hike, we loved the exercise and nature walk every time we left our bungalow. Everything is lush and gorgeous! The view of the ocean is to die for! We slept like rocks every night and took plenty of siestas during the day. We were prepared for waking up to the howler monkeys, but slept right through them on some mornings. It can't be stressed enough how amazing the staff workers are. EVERYONE was so accomodating and friendly and I was impressed that they knew our names right away. Their hospitality is what makes the ecolodge a luxurious eco experience. We didn't have a single bad meal. I still crave their food now. The hikes are wonderful and the guides are extremely knowledgeable. We went on the waterfall hike and the medicine walk and recommend both! We did the dolphin tour and sanctuary visit, which is extra but totally worth it since you spend the day on a boat, snorkel, and visit a sanctuary to see rainforest animals up close. We had unbelievable massages during which I fell asleep because of the extreme relaxation. We ate a private dinner by the pool on our last night. My favorite romantic moment was sitting with my new husband in our bungalow, drinking champagne by candlelight and overlooking the ocean while listening to the rainforest creatures at night. I can't rave enough about our wonderful experience. It was a rewarding, adventurous and unbelievably romantic honeymoon.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank ChristenPS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
New York City, New York
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed May 13, 2011

My boyfriend and I had such a special experience at Lapa Rios. If you're considering a trip there, book it now. Lapa Rios is beautiful, fun, relaxing, great food, etc. but what makes the resort a perfect 10 is the staff. I have never met such warm and caring people in all of my travels. They make the resort feel like a home. My boyfriend and I were able to meet and connect with so many people who work there - Priscilla, Gabriel, Andres, Guillermo, etc. and we couldn't have enjoyed ourselves more. Getting to know the people who make Lapa Rios as special as it is, really enhanced our experience. I started to cry when I had to say goodbye! Not only do they know your names within minutes, they learn who you are. You're not just another guest, you really become their friends.

When you go to Lapa Rios, you give back to the community. The sustainability efforts of Lapa Rios are unbelievable. When we arrived, we did the Sustainability Tour which allowed us to really understand what happens there. It's a must-do. Although the resort is completely, eco-friendly, they still manage to provide the luxuries and beauty that help make a vacation top notch.

The food at Lapa Rios was phenomenal. The flavors are delicious and there are plenty of items to choose from. They focus on using local Costa Rican ingredients, which we really appreciated.

Wildlife at Lapa Rios is unbeatable. You'll see everything - reptiles, insects, monkeys, birds, etc. You're really in the middle of the rainforest.

The tours were great! The tour guides are so smart and passionate about the rainforest which makes each experience enjoyable. You feel protected, even on a night tour when there are snakes around you! Each of the guides loves what they do, and it really shows.

We were in Bungalow 13, which is the furthest from the Main Lodge. As many of you have read, it's far. We're young, so we were able to handle the trek, but not without breaking a serious sweat. It's about a 5-10 minute hike up. Although it was a struggle to get back and forth, being so remote was worth it. We saw animals near our bungalow that some of the higher up ones did not get to see. We were very remote... It was beautiful!

The pool at Lapa Rios is perfect. Simple and clean... a great place to relax after a long hike. There is also a beach nearby, which you can walk to from the resort. It's not a white sand beach... it's rocky and the waves are a little rough, but it's worth checking out. It's beautiful in it's own way. You'll most likely see locals fishing which we found to be very cool. It's nice to feel submerged in the local culture.

One of the most special experiences that we had was visiting the Carbonera School. Lapa Rios funds a small school (only 1 mile away), with about 20-25 students. We were able to visit the school and play with the kids. It was so much fun and wonderful to see how much Lapa Rios gives back to the community. If you're interested in bringing gifts for the school, the website gives you additional instructions on how to do that and what they need.

Since the resort is small, it's very intimate. We were able to meet so many other couples from all over and get to know them. Everyone became friends. It was so nice!

All in all, this experience was phenomenal. Lapa Rios was a 10 across the boards, but the staff really made it 100%. I hope to go back to Lapa Rios soon and I'll definitely be keeping in touch with the staff as much as possible.

If anyone has any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank jennifermarcus6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestserviceLR, Manager at Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula, responded to this review, June 21, 2011
Dear jennifermarcus6,
Thank you for your wonderful review. It could not have been more complete. We are excited to read reviews like yours because “you got it” and hopefully will inspire other travelers to take the plunge and experience the rainforest at Lapa Rios. Special thanks about your comments on the community program and the school visit. This is what Lapa Rios is really all about: wildlife conservation, community development and education. The hotel with its rooms, restaurant and tours is just a vehicle to make it all happen. And if our guests love the experience as much as you did, even better! Thanks and we hope to have you back at Lapa Rios real soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Costa Rica
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 12, 2011

Lapa Rios is one of the most amazing places on this earth! This was my second visit to this incredible Eco-Lodge, and I already want to return. The setting is breathtaking with luxurious villas set right in the most lush jungle one can dream of. You truly live in the home of the wildlife and are welcomed frequently by the the "howls" of the monkeys. The staff is genuine, each employee with a big smile and a willingness to go the extra mile to make your every wish come true. The food is delicious and each meal is created by local flavors and ingredients allowing you to not only support local food, but to learn about the food in this region of Costa Rica. Most importantly, their sustainability program is fantastic, and is the model for the rest of the world. They conserve, they give back, they support....THEY GET IT!
As a resort manager myself, I truly applaud Lapa Rios for its dedication and strong commitment to be the leader in sustainable tourism in this part of the world. Every traveler going to Lapa Rios can be assured that you are supporting a place that does its part to help all of us live in a more green world.

Thank you Lapa Rios for an amazing stay!!!!!!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank FlorblancaManager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bozeman, Montana
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 26, 2011

My husband, nephew and I spent 4 incredible nights at Lapa Rios Ecolodge in early April, 2011. Everything about the experience was exceptional. Our wonderful experience started with the very helpful arranging of our stay and activities by the staff (especially Karla Funes!) via email. Once we arrived, the view of the rainforest & ocean right from our private, spotlessly clean, free standing bungalow was unforgettable. The bungalow is enclosed by screens three sides so the sights and sounds of the rainforest & ocean are amazing. A stay includes three meals a day, which were selected from a quite extensive menu and all were very well prepared and provided with attentive service. We took full advantage of the guided hikes & activities offered each day by the very skilled and knowledgeable lodge-employed guides. The waterfall hike (where you can swim), the Osa Trail, the Ridge Trail, the night rainforest hike, and the early morning bird watch were all excellent, and full of surprises like fer-de-lance vipers, poison dart frogs, 4 kinds of monkeys (very closeup), coatimundi, agoutis, and more. We even had monkeys, macaws, and toucans visit us right next to our bungalow deck. After 5 days of moving around Costa Rica earlier in the trip, it was very relaxing to stay in one place and know that all our needs were taken care of by a very excellent staff in such beautiful and unforgettable surroundings. We would love to have an opportunity to stay at Lapa Rios again in the future!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank MontanaPat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 5 Contributor
38 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2011

This ecolodge gets everything right, and led us to write this first posting (we're longtime readers). The warm welcome, the helpful staff, the outstanding food, the gorgeous views - it's hard to find enough positive adjectives to describe our four day stay. It was rejuvenating to spend four days without walls, TV, or internet (my global verizon phone did get enough service to send and receive text messages from home, though I don't think it would have held a call). Along with wonderful memories, we returned home with hundreds of photos of macaws, toucans, frogs, lizards, butterflies, and small jungle animals.

Getting there:
We aren't fans of little planes, so we drove from San Jose. We drove on Hwy 2 (InterAmerican/PanAmerican Hwy) using the directions on Lapa's website. The roads were newly paved, but a bit narrow and curvy through the mountains. The drive to Puerto Jimenez took about 8.5 hours on that route. There is a patch of about 30 km around Rincon where the road is terrible - a paved road with many potholes requiring slow driving. Give yourself plenty of time and try to get to Puerto Jimenez in the light. An SUV is a must for the road and small stream crossings. On the way back we drove along the coast up Hwy 34, and that was flatter. As of March 12, there was a bridge out on Hwy 27 west of San Jose and something else wrong with Hwy 239, so we took Hwy 3 and then 1 to get back to the airport. It was similarly about 8 hours going the coastal route, but easier driving. Our GPS and maps were both very helpful.

Activities:
- There is a sign-up sheet at the front desk for daily activities, and we highly recommend the waterfall walk.
- We also spent a morning at the Bijagual Farm about a half hour drive from Lapa Rios. We milked cows, had a delicious Tico breakfast, and went on a horseback ride to the most beautiful, undisturbed beach we'd ever seen.
-There are great local artists who set up a table in the main house in the evenings. They had the best crafts of any place we'd seen.

Rooms:
We had an incredible room - spacious and comfortable with a fantastic deck and view of the ocean and jungle. We didn't use bug spray on any jungle hike (most people don't) and didn't have any problems in the room. We did meet a couple who encountered a large rainforest cockroach looking insect in their room. There are tiny (cute) lizards all over the stairs, and you can see bats at night.

Bottom line: amazing place. We're so happy this ecolodge exists and hope to be able to return someday!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank MarchMay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 5, 2011

Go to Lapa Rios, take the Sustainability tour (which is free!), and you will not only have an amazing vacation, but you will gain a profound appreciation for what Lapa Rios is doing beyond providing an outstanding place for a vacation. You will understand why they charge what they do, and how those dollars are helping to preserve and nourish the land of the Osa Peninsula and to support the education and development of job skills for the people who live there.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank shanarivka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Golden, Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2011

My wife and I went to Lapa Rios for our honeymoon and could not have had a better experience. My wife is a vegan and we were shocked at how accommodating the staff was to her needs. The manager even offered to go to town to pick up rice milk or anything else she would need. Beyond the top notch customer service, the quality of food was amazing. We have both blown away by the selections on the menu, from locally sourced chips and pico, to the Costa Rican dishes, we have yet to experience such a great dining experience.

While the food was great, we went there to experience the raw beauty of the rain forest and our expectations were greatly exceeded. The drive up felt like a seen from Jurassic Park. The welcome drinks and facility tour set the tone and the amazing experiences continued with the tours we took. Even if you don't do a formal tour, the lodge is right in the middle of prime rain forest with wildlife all over the place. We saw toucans at breakfast, howler monkeys all day, and lost track of how many other amazing creatures we saw. The pool was perfect as well, great view, nice and deep with drinks flow freely! That being said our accommodations were very effective at keeping the wildlife out of our room while still allowing us to see the action right off our deck.

The room was on par with the food, amazing. It felt like a 5 star room was dropped on top of a jungle hill. The modern fixtures and spacious room let us enjoy the open views with total privacy. I could go on and on but all I can say is that the lodge seems to cut no corners.

Finally I want to highlight Lapa Rios for being so environmentally conscience. From the biodegradable water bottles to the construction of the lodge, it seemed like they are making as little impact as possible. Furthermore the educational programs we watched helped galvanize our desire to preserve the beautiful resource that the Osa Peninsula is.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank brendankavanaugh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula

Property: Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula
Address: Osa Peninsula, Cabo Matapalo, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Cabo Matapalo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Lapa Rios Ecolodge Osa Peninsula 3*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in a 1000-acre private nature reserve in Central America's last remaining lowland tropical rainforest in Costa Rica, Lapa Rios Ecolodge overlooks the pristine point where the Golfo Dulce meets the wild Pacific Ocean, a destination matching everyone's idea of paradise. Much more than a luxurious eco lodge, Lapa Rios is a model ecotourism project and a sustainable tourism pioneer. Over the years, we have received many awards for social and environmental excellence. Home to a plethora of incredible wildlife, including monkeys, scarlet macaws, pumas, toucans, tree frogs and thousands of other creatures, a trip to Lapa Rios Eco lodges Ecolodges will be the experience of a lifetime. Lapa Rios is one of only 24 National Geographic Unique Eco Lodges of the World ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lapa Rios Ecolodge Hotel Playa Matapalo

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