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“Best view ever!”

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Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed August 21, 2013

My family stayed here and we could not have been more pleased. Waking up to a full view of the Arenal volcano was surreal. Debbie and her husband so were so pleasant. We enjoyed a horseback ride to the waterfall which again, was surreal. Only our group was there...it was like a private waterfall. Enrique was a fabulous guide. It was also nice to spend some time with the horses before we got on them and took off. That made a huge difference for us. The breakfasts and dinners were all very good but I thought just a little pricey. I will say it was worth it not have to drive to town. The road is very rough so make plans to hang at Leaves and Lizards as much as you can so you don't have to drive on it!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank bunnymom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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246 - 252 of 648 reviews

Reviewed August 20, 2013

I stayed here 3 nights (in the Mariposa room) and it was a great experience. The room had an amazing view of the Arenal Volcano and it is surrounded by the forest. It was roomy for 4 people and had all the amenities that you would need. The breakfast was AMAZING for $4! The basic breakfast is: fresh fruits, fruit juice, coffee (made in front of you), eggs, pancakes or other pastry and a health detox shot. And the server Dora was super nice and friendly.
L&L is not a luxury hotel, but it is fairly clean and nice room. You may not get the luxuries, but you do get to experience Costa Rica more. I saw a variety of birds from my room and a sloth. They also have a short hike on the premises that have some really cool trees.

The CONS: You have to drive on a horrible road for about 20-30 minutes to get to the hotel. I recommend a 4X4. The dinner was very expensive and not very appetizing. I recommend eating dinner elsewhere.

Room Tip: The Helicona room has a full kitchen (stoves, oven, big fridge, etc.)
Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
Thank BellalNaderi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2013

We had a magical visit to Costa Rica thanks to our new friends Steve and Debbie and the local people and businesses that have become part of their community of friends. Our accommodation was beautiful, clean and.....WHAT A VIEW!!!!! Every meal made by the local cooks was scrumptious.....my children preferred to eat at the retreat rather than at local restaurants.....of which their are many fine establishments. The food is organic and always includes a vegetarian option. The service and presentation is a daily delight and the open air dining room is as amazing as the food! It seems that this place is a mecca for friendly, intelligent and adventurous guests. We enjoyed meeting new friends and sharing our experiences at dinner each evening. Steve, Debbie and Oscar made all of our arrangements and ensured that we had bi-lingual guides to make our experience outstanding. But the best part of it all was Debbie and her amazing horses......Debbie has a way of connecting people and horses that becomes a soulful experience unlike any other.....and we've been around horses for a fair number of years! My 18 year old, college bound, son and my 20 year old, developmentally disabled, daughter both had the experience of their lives and cannot wait to return to Leaves and Lizards! If you are looking for a cultural experience and want to learn about the plants and animals of the rain forest and their significance to our world, and meet some terrific people.....go to Leaves and Lizards.....you will not regret it!

Room Tip: We stayed in the Tucan room, which had both inside and outside showers, a queen sized bed, a set of...
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Robin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2013

I stayed here with some friends in July. It was such a great place to stay! We loved our cabin and had a great view of the volcano (on the rare days it wasn't covered by clouds!). We also very much enjoyed the morning breakfast again with a great view. The owners were extremely friendly and helpful. We wish we could have stayed longer!!!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Melanie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2013

We did not stay at Leaves and Lizards however the owner arranged for us to stay at a local farm, where her long-term horse tours stay. She has an arrangement with the farm owners and handles the reservations. The dairy farm is a few kms from L&L and was wonderful for our family. As Jenny says, the farm is not for everyone but for us, it was perfect. The guesthouse rooms were basic but more than adequate--clean and very comfortable. The view from the guesthouse was stunning. It is perched on a hill and has a 360 degree wrap around porch with hammocks and chairs. The owners of the farm were very nice although their English is extremely limited. If you don't speak Spanish this could be a challenge. The food was excellent. They gave us a tour of the farm and demonstrated cheese-making which was really interesting. So...if you speak Spanish, would like to experience more of a typical Costa Rican life, and want to get futher off the beaten path, then this might be a good fit. One more thing, you absolutely MUST have a 4WD car.

One of the activities we did while staying at the farm was ride horses with Leaves and Lizards. I would highly recommend this activity. It was pricey for 5 people ($75 each) but worth it. Jenny gave us a detailed "intro" to the horses and helped us find one that were suitable for each rider. The guide (Enrique) was great (bilingual), the horses were VERY well cared for and the trip was a LOT of fun. My sons (12 & 14) who were not interested in horses at all, loved it. The waterfall was beautiful. The price included lunch.

Throughout the pre-trip planning process, Jenny was very responsive and helpful. Because we have a larger family she helped us figure out affordable activities (and the accommodation too).

Thank you--we loved it!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Mamajosh1998
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2013

Warm and thoughtful people, unspeakably beautiful scenery, cabins are lovingly crafted, activities sensitively tailored, food delicious. Don't miss contributing to its preparation by helping with morning chores at the barn. My four year old milked a cow and listened to a pregnant mare's belly while her foal kicked. Applause to Debbie and Steve for their reforestation efforts and natural horsemanship pioneering. Highlights were hanging in the balcony watching smoke drifting from the volcano, and swimming at the waterfall after a gorgeous horse ride, sighting monkeys and poison dart frogs along the way, and taking a moment to swing from a vine.

Room Tip: Let Debbie and Steve know a little about you, and then trust their suggestions completely.
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank SunnyInSB_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2013

Our family agrees - Leaves and Lizards is one of the best places we have stayed at in the world. The rooms each have an spectacular view of the Arenal volcano as well as lush gardens and trees nearby. The rooms are immaculate, with a beautiful welcoming floral arrangement, comfortable beds, small fridge with fresh juice and beverages, and a great deck with hammock, rockers, and other seating. The food is excellent, but most of all, the people are incredible. Warm, funny, helpful, and willing to help you make arrangements for any of myriad activities. I wanted to see a cloud forest, so Debbie and Steve made arrangements for a visit at a private reserve on the way to the site. Everyday was like that, something special happened. The experiences with the horses is worthy of a review in itself - memorable and moving in so many ways. We can't wait to go back!!!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank coastliveoak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat

Address: Meters South Of Super Kiki 500, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos 21012, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#5 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#5 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#5 Green Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#8 Business Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range: $167 - $278 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This secluded resort is located on 26 acres with spectacular viewing of the Arenal Volcano near La Fortuna. Enjoy the panoramic vista of Arenal and Cerro Chato from a hammock on your porch or from your comfortable, orthopedic, queen sized beds with Egyptian cotton sheets. Meals prepared using locally grown ingredients at the Lava Lizard on-site dining facility. Guests are invited to help with daily 'chores' on this working farm. Milk a cow, collect eggs for breakfast or groom a horse. Enjoy private horseback riding, professional guide service, on site spa and 2 km of on site nature trails. The vision at Leaves and Lizards is to create the perfect blend of adventure, discovery and tranquility for each guest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Leaves And Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Leaves And Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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