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Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
mom40
Level Contributor
46 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“the best- like home only better!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 24, 2009

We stayed three nights at Leaves and Lizards with our two girls, 13 and 15. We stayed in the Helconia House. Our house had two bedrooms, one bath and a full kitchen. The front porch had four hamock swings and there is a new patio on the back deck with an incredible view.
We loved Leaves and Lizards! Our daughters enjoyed all the animals- horses, cows, turkeys, chickens, dogs and Laurita the parrot. The food was fantastic- we ate several meals in the kitchen. Steve and Debbie did a great job of setting up our tours- we did the Cano Negro boat tour and private tour to the waterfall, plus we visited the hot springs at Eco Thermales. The boat tour was wonderful- saw tons of animals and the lunch that was provided was very good. Eco Thermales was so relaxing and the drinks were too good! Debbie suggested we add the horse back ride to waterfall tour and I am so glad she did! It was one of the highlights of our trip.
We visited three locations in Costa Rica. Leaves and Lizards was the highlight of our trip. We could easily spend a week at the resort. Don't miss it if you have kids! It exceeded my expectations and the kids are already planning the next visit.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank mom40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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630 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Encinitas, California
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2009

Our family of 2 adults and 2 kids ages 7 and 10 stayed here and had a wonderful time. The kids loved the farm atmosphere, every morning milking the cow and feeding the pigs. They had the best horses I have ever ridden. I been all over the world and have had some barn sour horses but their horses were so obedient and gentle with our kids for a 4 plus hour ride to a private beautiful waterfall --- sooo worth the price! Thanks again for a wonderful time Debbie, Steve and their great staff! This place is perfect for visiting the area and having fun on a ranch. Great views, too.

Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank 4family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2009

We made our second visit to Leaves and Lizards in June. While our first visit was jam- packed with activity, this one was more relaxing. On this visit, we stayed in the Heliconia House which has been updated with beautiful wood ceilings, AC (which we never needed to use), and new furniture. Deb, Steve, and all the L&L folks were as hospitable and helpful as they were the first time we visited. The food was excellent. And sitting on the porch, sipping an Imperial while Arenal did her thing was just what we needed to de-stress. Just one word of warning - Leaves and Lizards can become habit-forming! We can't wait to go back again.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MrBdeBub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MMartin03
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2009

The view of the volcano and the rain forest from the cabin was breathtaking! The whole staff was incredible. Felt like home. The food was fantastic and everything was kept very clean. There was a horseback riding tour that was our favorite experience. I couldn't have asked for anything more!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MMartin03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
florida
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2009

A visit with Steve and Debbie at Leaves and Lizards is a must if you are planning a trip to the Arenal area. My first time in Costa Rica was such a fun-filled, relaxing retreat that going back is a matter of when, not if. The Leaves and Lizards retreat was the perfect introduction to the beauty, the nature and the awe of Costa Rica and the Arenal volcano. Steve and Debbie were perfect host and hostess who were concerned not only with our comfort but our safety and enjoyment. The staff was warm and friendly, the food excellent.... especially pancakes in the morning. Horseback riding through fields and trails to the waterfall was the highlight of my trip. A knowledgeable guide was there to point out the many exotic birds and plants, complete with sloth, along our trail. It was hard for me to stop at the end of the day because of the desire for it not to end. The cabins were spacious, clean and comfortable.....with the wonderful warm touch of Costa Rican wood. You could wake up in the morning looking out big windows or relax in the evening in hammocks, at gorgeous views of the volcano. Thank You Steve and Debbie for sharing this piece of paradise.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank cmorrisfla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2009

Deb and Steve will make you feel at home in an exotic land. They can help you to experience the best of Costa Rica. They have their own cadre of guides, so you get much more personalized service with regard to tours of the area. Our cabin was clean, comfortable and interesting. It had a spectacular view of Mount Arenal. My son and I spent one afternoon just chatting and watching the volcano, which may sound strange until you see it for yourself and realize that it changes character every minute.

This is not a typical resort, which is exactly its strong suit. This is not a resort where men and women in little white uniforms serve you tropical drinks at poolside. It is a resort where Deb and Steve serve you freshly squeezed juice from locally raised fruits in the common area adjacent to their home while they tell you about the indigenous flora and fauna and explain the local culture. It is a resort where Enrique will enlighten you as to the land and its people. In short, you feel right at home while, at the same time, fully experiencing an exotic place.

A major advantage of this resort is that Deb and Steve have their own cadre of guides, their own horses, their own small farm and lots of local connections to the community. Instead of joining a tour with 20 other people in cattle-car fashion, you will enjoy a much more intimate tour of your own choosing, and, for the most part, on your schedule and at your own pace. For example, my son and I took a tour with Enrique for a jungle hike. In the middle of the tour, we visited a spectacular waterfall, took a dip in the water and then took a little nap before returning to "civilization". Enrique waited patiently for us. There was no schedule or deadline per se. (Having said this, there are some attractions that require that you get up early or stay up late to get the best views--my point is that Leaves and Lizards is not rigid.)

I have read comments from others that the proprietors can be pushy regarding their tours. I beg to differ with such characterizations. Yes, Deb and Steve will urge you to get off your duff, get out there and see this exotic and wonderful land. And if you don't follow their advice, shame on you, and maybe you should go to some other resort and sit by the pool for hours on end instead of seeing monkeys, lizards, colorful birds and flowers and the other, wonderful flora and fauna that make Costa Rica such a desired destination.

After you visit Deb and Steve, you can tell your friends, "Yes, I experienced Costa Rica." You cannot say this if you sit by the pool at the "luxury hotel" beside a jungle flower planted in a pot.

I hope you find this review helpful.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank RichmanBaltimore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, FL
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2009

I've been to Costa Rica many times and stayed at Leaves and Lizards the last couple of times. The rooms (separate cabins) are great with a wonderful view of Arenol Volcano. The lush growth around each cabins allows for all the privacy you'd want. Debbie and Steve have become a part of the local community and can help any who are interested to learn more about the locals, the area and other parts of this beautiful and diverse country. Debbie has lined up some great tour guides and can direct you to many of the activities such as river rafting, zip lines, repelling, hot springs,etc. Great location for getting to all these activities without being in the busy town of La Fortuna. Lots of birds, hummingbirds, butterflies at the main house and at each cabin for photos. They have horses for riding on their extensive land and to a nearby waterfall. If you like something a little out of the way but not too far away from the activities, you cannot beat Leaves and Lizards. The only downside I've found is a little rough road in the immediate area but it is part of the local flavor in many areas of Costa Rica and I've never found it to stop my friends and I from exploring great places like Leaves and Lizards.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ijustwant2travel
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, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 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 Green Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#5 Family 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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