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“Most relaxing vacation with adventure, in nature's rainforest paradise.”
Review of Encanta La Vida

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Encanta La Vida
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Most relaxing vacation with adventure, in nature's rainforest paradise.”
Reviewed April 22, 2011

We're world travelers, and this was our best family vacation. Our family of six, with four older surf-loving sons, enjoyed a perfect March week at Encanta La Vida. All our expectations were met: a unique different family vacation, warm weather, close to the ocean, surfing, amazing wildlife in unspoiled surroundings, adventure, monkeys, and ecotourism local flavor instead of some generic lush hotel. We stayed in the Pole House (three screened bedrooms, open porches), perfect for six, where we could hear the amazing morning ritual of Howler Monkey calls before dawn, the riot of birds after that, and the day was just starting. Encanta La Vida is small and eco-friendly. The website presents the lodge accurately. My online information replies through the Encanta website also brought travel planning help by Isabel and Roberto: our San Jose hotel and taxi arrangements, flights to Puerto Jimenez and taxi transportation to our lodge. The awesome drive to the lodge is a 4 wheel experience/Jeep commercial in the making. Encanta staff is delightful, relaxed, and helpful in making any arrangements for tours, guides, rentals, showing hiking trails, and serving up fresh food and local drinks. The dining area is amazing: no walls with a beautiful view looking out at the rainforest. Surf board rentals on site, with the three beaches a short 5 minute walk through the lush rainforest. You pass the two story open air yoga lodge on the way to the beach, which has an amazing view of the ocean from the second floor. Food was outstanding and plentiful: fresh breads daily, and of course fresh fruit. "Dinner is ready" when the sun has set and everyone is called from the pool area and Monkey Bar to the dining tables. Three table areas to eat in a small group or the long table to talk with other guests who are also in the Osa for adventure. Solar energy during the day. Generators provide low light at night. You're in a minimally developed rainforest-no town or bar to head to, which was great for us. We came to surf and explore as a family, and Encanta had everything we wanted. Most people head out during the day to explore and surf while we were there. We hiked and saw everything: sloth, macaws, monkeys, giant butterflies, bats, one small snake, tree frogs, spiders, agouti, leaf cutter ants on the highway to somewhere. Amazingly, no bugs, no mosquitoes. If you're looking for room service and cable TV, look elsewhere. If you want to really get away, meet people from around the world, and experience the most biodiverse place on earth, Tico style, Encanta La Vida is perfect. Our whole family gave Encanta La Vida a 10 out of 10.

Room Tip: All rooms are outstanding.
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank steelygal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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162 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
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English first
Chicago
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 28, 2011

I recently spent a week at Encanta La Vida with my family. We are 4 boys all in our 20's and my parents. We all had an amazing time. Encanta La Vida has an amazing set up with the pool, bar, dining area, and different lodging.

We stayed in the pole house. This place was really cool and had great balconies. We would usually sit out on them in the mornings and watch the monkeys in the trees. The rooms are basic but we only were in them to sleep. The beds have mosquito nets nd fans. The nets were not necessary but the fans were.

The pool was nice and the Monkey Bar right next to it was great as well. The staff was all very cool and very friendly. There is also a ping pong table that we ended up using a lot.

Tours: We did the waterfall repel/tree jump tour and the zipline tour. I recommend both. Both tours had great guides who were very knowledgeable and the activities were incredibly fun.

Surfing: The surf is all point break rights with reef/rock bottom. The crowds were not bad most of the time. There are some very good locals but as long as you use proper surf etiquette you should be fine. The bottom almost everywhere is sharp rocks so getting in and out is kind of a pain. I had pretty cut up feet by the end of the week.

Meals: The food was amazing. There was a guest chef, Ian, who has some serious skills in the kitchen. Every meal was amazing. I really liked the large dining table. Everyone at the hotel was very cool and it was nice sharing tips on the surf spots, what tours were good, where some good hikes are, etc. I was worried that 3 meals a day was not going to be enough since I am a young guy and was surfing 2 - 3 times a day, but the meals they provided were definitely fine for my hunger.

All in all, a great trip at a great place.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank reefbreaks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 23, 2011

I stayed here just 3 nights with a small group. The food was exquisite... so fresh and beautifully prepared. I had not expected such fabulous food in CR, but the care taken
by the staff at Encanta La Vida was excpetional. I stayed in the "pole house" and awoke
to the sounds of howler monkeys and macaws. From the balcony outside my room I saw
so many kinds of birds and butterflies and a couple kinds of monkeys. Just a short walk
to the beach and also a beauitful "yoga house." Beautiful salt water pool with a great
bar and bartender Marvin who makes fantastic drinks. Gretchen in the office is so friendly
and helpful. I wish we had had more time here and I would love to go back.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank 3penny66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2011

Just returned from a week in Costa Rica which started out at Encanta la Vida for three nites. The property is well kept and the included meals were fantabulous. We were lucky to be there at the same time as Ian, their visiting chef. This locale, at the Matapalo point area of Osa, is in a remote area which juxtaposes jungle and ocean. We stayed in the honeymoon cabana which is under a hundred foot high tree which was covered with berries which the spider monkeys loved for breakfast at 5:30 in the morning. Didn't wake us up though - cause the howler monkies get up at 5 am. Also saw scarlet macaws, coti mundi, agouti, four eyed possum, jesus christ lizards and capuchin and squirrel monkeys on property. A short ten minute walk brings you to a series of four beautiful beaches with a few religious surfers. After a rain, walk the roads at night for a great view of purple and orange crabs. Gretchen and staff did a great job of making our stay smooth and helping us arrange activities like spa treatments, nature tours, zip lining, and hikes. Inexpensive and meals are included.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank drwillis61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 5, 2011

First of all, the Osa Peninsula is a MUST! The most georgeous piece of the Earth I have ever been to. One of the few untouched places left. Monkeys and other animals everywhere.
We researched via Trip Advisor and recommendations from friends...if you are looking to be in the rainforest and next to the beach at the same time, relaxed, laid-back, natural place, surfing, great food, pretty affordable, Encanta is for you.
You must realize however, its rustic. But thats what makes it so wonderful. No A/C and there will be bugs, so be prepared.
We stayed on one of the least expensive rooms-it was above the main house near the pool. Perfect for us, we were only there 3 nights. There were no other guests on the floor so we had the entire balcony to ourselves. Several hammocks overlooking the grounds, felt as if we were in the trees.
Even though most other rooms were empty, we were given a room w/o screens, which make for probably a few more bugs and one iguana. Ask for a room w/ screens. It was hot, but hey, you're in the rainforest, what do you expect.
Great tropical pool area, good drinks and music. Lots of monkeys on the grounds! The howler monkeys wake you up everyday at or before 5am! Early days and early to bed. Once the sun goes down and you've had dinner, its time for bed.
Food is included and its wonderful Delicious. And they took care of my fiance's pickiness.
We dont surf but the other guests were big time surfers, this is a great place if you're on a surf trip.
Not a ton to do in the Osa, thats why you go there. We hiked, even climbed a huge tree and jumped off (use Andy's Psycho tours, he's the best!!!), pool, beach, drinks, and ate ate. Will def go back to the Osa and will def stay at ELV!!!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank kyleriter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ghent, Belgium
1 review
Reviewed January 12, 2011

We've had such a wonderful time during our stay at Encanta La Vida! The food was delicious, the staff was very friendly and helpful. The rooms were perfectly integrated in the surrounding gardens and gave a good possibility to spot monkeys and other animals. It's located in one of the most beautiful places on earth with remote beaches and stunning nature! We really enjoyed this paradise and hope to come back one day.
Olaf & Jan

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Olaf_Jan1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waimea, Hawaii
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed August 14, 2010

Thank you so much Encanta La Vida staff (Brian, Gretchen, Marvin, Santos, Yorleni, etc) for a wonderful wedding setting. The yoga deck is an ideal place not only for yoga, massage, and meditation, but also an exceptional place to be married, overlooking the Golfo Dulce and amongst the sounds of the rainforest. Andrew, our families and friends were delighted with the hospitatlity we received from the ELV staff. My mom loved Italian night and the Sunday Brunch and pool party the day after the wedding were moments we will cherish for the rest of our lives. We couldn't have picked a better spot to get married. Good food, good service, clean rooms, attentive staff. Thanks again!!! Elizabeth & Andrew Kelsey

Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank ChavelitaOsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Encanta La Vida

Property: Encanta La Vida
Address: 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 Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Cabo Matapalo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Encanta La Vida is an all inclusive jungle retreat located amidst the beautiful beaches of Cabo Matapalo. The hotel offers direct access to amazing wildlife and world class surf, and features a stunning, private, chemical free soft water swimming pool - the only of its kind in Matapalo! Encanta La Vida is the ideal vacation spot for families, honeymooners, and surfers alike. Garden trails lead you to private cabinas nestled throughout the property. The beautifully landscaped grounds provide privacy and wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities. Our rooms are clean and spacious with queen-sized beds and open decks. Enjoy three DELICIOUS meals a day in the Encanta La Vida restaurant featuring fresh fruits, veggies and meats all locally grown or caught off shore. The hotel bar is located just off the swimming pool and serves up blended tropical drinks and ice cold beer. Encanta La Vida is also a fun and easy destination for family reunions, weddings and yoga groups. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Encanta La Vida Hotel Osa Peninsula
Encanta La Vida Osa

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