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“Amazing Time at Leaves and Lizards”

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Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Amazing Time at Leaves and Lizards”
Reviewed July 31, 2008

Leaves and Lizards was a wonderful breath of fresh air. We are from Florida and the lack of air conditioning was a concern for me but here you don't need it. The evenings were about 60 degrees and it was the so great to wake up hearing all the animals every morning. We stayed here for the first three days of our trip and we wish we could have stayed a few more. The pictures on their website don't do this place justice - we were very pleased with the cabins and surroundings. Giovany is an amazing guide - he really knows his animals and it is freakish how he can call them and they respond! Steve and Debbie were very nice and great hosts. We enjoyed fresh juice martini's at dinner each nite and Medeya makes tasty meals. I don't understand the review where they pushed tours on guests - we never got that and we didn't feel the prices were expensive - I don't know where else you can pay less to get personalized tours. The second place we stayed at was a resort and the resort tour prices were more for similar activities. I would highly recommend Leaves and Lizards to anyone that doesn't want to be in a touristy location - yes its out of the way - but its worth it!

  • Liked — The animals, the views, everything!
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank tlizzard8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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645 reviews from our community

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California
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2008

We absolutely loved our time at Leaves and Lizards. Be sure to check out their website. It gives you a good idea of what you are in store for. We wanted a "Costa Rican" experience without feeling too much like a tourist... and Leaves and Lizards delievered big time. Hard to believe that Steve and Debbie have been doing this only two years! The cabins they built are great... quiet and comfy with a great view. Their naturalist guide Geovanni is fantastic! Very, very knowledgable , especially about birds....loved his bird calls. He took us to the waterfall, Arenal night hike and to the Orlando preserve. Another of their guides "Chito" was great as well. He took us on horseback to the waterfall... a very memorable experience. Our children (12 and 10) loved their time at Leaves and Lizards, they even got to help Debbie wash a couple of young horses.
Steve and Debbie are wonderful hosts. They are warm, friendly and want to make your experience the best it can be... and it was!

  • Liked — The nature activities, guides, hosts, cabins and views.
  • Disliked — The road in... you shold have a 4x4.
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank vav42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2008

Leaves and Lizards is a clean, pretty, secluded cabin with a great view of the volcano. Unfortunately, instead of being able to relax and enjoy the surroundings, the owners try to sell you extremely overpriced tours that they sponsor. Everyday they want to know what you have planned and then they suggest tours that will leave you wondering how it could have cost a few thousand dollars when the accomodations seemed reasonable. I hope they stop overpricing their tours and they stop pushing the tours at guests, because it is a lovely place otherwise.

  • Liked — clean rooms and nice views
  • Disliked — extremely overpriced tours pushed on travelers
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank 2ontheroad34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CostaRicaSteveandDeb, Owners Managers at Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat, responded to this review, July 17, 2008
We appreciate the comments made by this guest. Feedback from our guests allows us to improve our service and reach our vision of creating an experience customized for each individual.

When our guests arrive, we personally talk with them and ask questions about what they would like to experience. Most guests try to squeeze in too much and we encourage them to allow time to relax.

The rates for the commercial tours we offer have a price that is set by the vendor.

Our philosophy is to provide experiences for our guests that allow the flexibility to create a dynamic approach to tourism. If you compare our rates to the rates offered by the large tourism companies you will not find much difference in the price, but you will find a world of difference in the quality of your experience. Our rural tourism program incorporates our community into our project. Part of the proceeds from our community based tours go directly to the local people. We keep a healthy stable of well trained horses for our horseback riding tours. These tours are not typical trail rides, we roam through pastures, forests, rivers, streams, up and down rough terrain. We have a private naturalist guide with 18 years experience on staff.

For the guest who prefers to forgo tours, the cabins provide a quiet, peaceful place to relax. We apologize to this guest for coming across the wrong way when describing their tour options.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chandler, Arizona
Level 5 Contributor
40 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2008

We planned a 10 day first trip to Costa Rica and did the research on Tripadvisor and travel books. I decided to try out Leaves and Lizards based on the wonderful reviews on this site. Bottomline... we were very happy with our 3 day stay. Debbie suggested that we stop en route at Villa Blanca in the Los Angeles Cloud Forest and it was just perfect! We then traveled to Arenal and stopped to take pictures of the volcano "blowing it's stack" before traveling to the cabin, The road is "interesting"! Make sure you have a 4X4 and you are fine. The best part of our trip was staying here. Our son enjoyed the horses, pig and other animals. However, the best part was the day trip with Geovanni. He took us on the Rio Frio and we saw just about every monkey and other animal we wanted to! We ate two nights at the Polleria in the small town below the cabins. It was great!! We actually didn't feel like we were in the U.S. (as we did at our other stops in Costa Rica). We had great food and it was really inexpensive. All in all we had a great time. I would like to return when our son (5) is a bit older so we can do more of the adventure tours.

  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank AZEDGIRL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Flagstaff, AZ
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 9, 2008

We just returned from an 8 day trip to Costa Rica and our time at Leaves and Lizards was the best part of the trip. We were traveling with 2 18 year olds, and they loved it too. Deb and Steve are wonderful hosts, the cabins are comfortable with an incredible view of the volcano, and the surroundings are beautiful. We especially liked working with their guide, Giovanni. He is so knowledgeable about all of the wildlife, working with him was a highlight of our stay. Deb made arrangements for us to do a canopy tour, soak in hot springs, and go white water rafting, and all of the activies were a lot of fun. We would definitely like to return and stay with them, the next time for a longer stay!

  • Liked — The view of the volcano, and the activities that were arranged for us.
  • Disliked — Nothing!
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank LJStringer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marietta, GA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2008

My family and I spent four of the best days of our vacation in Costa Rica at Leaves and Lizards. Our boys are ages 10 and 13. The cabin we stayed in was simple yet elegant. We had a perfect view of the Arenal Volcano. After an excellent breakfast each morning at their main house, we spent our days enjoying the natural beauty and wonders of the area. The owners, Steve and Deb, provided us with an excellent guide, and they helped us plan our tours and adventures. We truly enjoyed their friendly, warm hospitality. We were there during the rainy season but it really didn't matter. During our four days there, we were able to go horseback riding, zip lining, swimming near a waterfall, swimming in the hot springs, nature walking over hanging bridges, and we even got off our horses to enjoy a local soccer game that was being played near the Leaves and Lizards retreat. We truly had a great time. We wish we could have stayed longer. You may want to rent a vehicle when you go there. It really made things even more convenient.

Vernon A.
Marietta, Georgia (USA)

  • Liked — It was quiet and peaceful.
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Lava06
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

Property: 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 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#5 Green Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#5 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#8 Business Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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