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“Friendly home from home jungle retreat”

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Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat
Ranked #2 of 12 Sarapiqui B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 14, 2013

This was a really relaxed part of our trip. Our rooms were spacious and well equipped. The lounge area is peaceful and there is coffee and tea all day.The hostess, Megan, was really helpful and sorted us out with the varied activities we did with our 2 teenage sons. Beautiful birds, all the different colourful frogs were on site and we even saw a Porcupine in the grounds. The waterhole at the front is a real bonus and we spent a good deal of time swimming there. Food was excellent and prepared on site. If you want to go out there is an authentic CR soda nearby which did a good meal for us. Security was excellent for us (walking at niggt) and our rented car

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Pooleperson375
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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106 - 112 of 204 reviews

Reviewed May 1, 2013

Genuine jungle experience - stayed in the jungle lodge, top floor, very exposed and exciting a night. Perfect for family - we were,a nd still are, 2 adults and 3 young children (6,7,8). One of the best places we stayed in CR. Thoroughly recommend. Excellent guides (good luck getting the telescope William!). Hosts were awesome and very friendly and welcoming. Keep the good work going!! From a family in Jersey, UK.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Real-MPH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2013

This small, welcoming enterprise deserves to succeed. There are 5 chalets on the edge of the forest, ideally located as a journey break between Tortuguero & Arenal. We stayed two nights & wish we had stayed longer. Although the guide book stated that the lodge is child-friendly, we were one of two 60+ couples staying there. Although the chalets are ‘semi-detached’, noise wasn’t a problem & each chalet has its own private outside space (complete with hammocks, loungers & chairs) & an outside sink/drying area that’s ideal for laundry. The rooms were very clean with lots of hot water, clean towels, etc. The food is all freshly prepared & I imagine ‘what the locals eat’ – if so, they have good taste, as the food was delicious. There is a hot/cold drinks station in the communal area, so coffee is available 24 hours a day. The management will arrange for locals tours; we’d recommend the night walk (saw lots, including a kinkajou & the famed red-eyed tree frog), the Nature Pavilion (we got there at 6.00AM & spent an hour with the owner & his father – superb bird-watching) & the research centre at La Selva (simply wonderful).

Thanks to Megan, Davis & all their staff for making our stay so memorable.

One problem (not really) – be prepared to be awoken by the howlers.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank joys59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2013

We stayed at the Chilamate Eco Retreat as part of a two week Costa Rica experience with two pensioners and our daughter's family of four.
We loved it. Meghan and David were great hosts and made us feel more a part of their family than guests. The food was great and we had great trips in the locality. We were woken at dawn by howler monkeys and the dawn chorus of the amazing numbers of birds. We saw sloths, pecaries, ant eaters, three species of monkey, agoutis and four species of toucan and lots of reptiles. Unfortunately we only spent three nights here but could easily have stayed for two weeks.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank wykeite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2013

This was a first hand experience of an Eco retreat, and it surpassed expectations. Meghan and David were wonderful hosts and it felt like we were guests being invited into their home rather than tourists.
All the staff, especially William, were solicitous and welcoming - food was simple but good and the ethos of the place is amazing. Such a positive awareness of the earth we live on,........ I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this place to anyone who wants a different sort of holiday break.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank pat k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

My husband and I stayed in cabin 1 for 2 nights in January and wished it could have been longer. The cabins have private decks or patios on the edge of the forest with comfortable chairs and hammocks for hanging out looking at the birds and listening to the howler monkeys. The simple furnishings are just right for the setting. And the food--WOW. We ate every meal in the open dining room and were impressed with the freshness and variety, even when we were the only guests there. Meghan, William, and Ryan helped plan our activities and are a wealth of local knowledge. We'll be there again.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Kathleen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2013

My friend and I stayed at CRER for 2 nights in cabin 11. We were looking for somewhere self-contained, isolated and close to the jungle so we could explore by ourselves. CRER did not disappoint... we had an amazing time and didn't want to leave. Meghan and David are lovely people and are doing an admirable job in protecting their surrounding area. To be more detailed, I've broken down my review into different areas and included one negative:

Facilities:
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Although it's a small family operation, CRER is incredibly well designed and has everything you could possibly want without needing to leave the property (and we didn't). There's a restaurant, gift/snack shop, bar, welly station, trails, tours, manned reception, wi-fi, you-name-it. There's even a calm spot of the Sarapiqui river you can swim in!

Location:
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Chilamate itself is a little out-of-the-way (near Sarapiqui) and basically requires private transportation to get there from the airport; though a 2hr ride through some awe-inspiring scenery is no hardship. Sarapiqui is a beautiful area and well worth the detour... my favourite area of Costa Rica by far! The retreat itself is right in the middle of its own private reserve away from the roads and mere feet from the Sarapiqui river and jungle. There are approx. 6km of private trails, which will keep you busy for at least 2-3 days.

Rooms:
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We stayed in a cabin which - relative to other places we stayed - was a modest size. It had an ensuite bathroom and semi-private patio/hammock. Each cabin could easily sleep a small family with the 2 double beds, tables, lamps, fan and ample headroom. For a tall gentleman like me, that last one's important!

My favourite thing was that the entire cabin was completely sealed with a layer of bug netting. The jungle outside felt so close but nothing dropped on me in the night - a perfect combination!
Cabins are built in pairs, so you are connected. My only negatives are that the connecting wall was thin... if you had inconsiderate neighbours this could be a problem. Also there was no safe. Don't get me wrong, the incredible staff and isolation negated the need... but there's always the thought of losing your passport without one.

Staff/service:
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From what it seemed, most of the staff at were either full-time or volunteers. Regardless of status; every single person we met/talked to was genuinely nice, helpful, courteous and dedicated. We felt very safe and looked-after. Meghan and David were fantastic hosts and a special shout-out to one of the volunteers, Ray, who gave us some invaluable tips on finding a Red-Eyed Tree Frog by ourselves on the property. Which we did :D

Food:
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Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all Costa Rican regulars self-served buffet-style. I don't care how basic food seems, it's delicious, inexpensive and completely safe! If you haven't been to Costa Rica before expect: rice, beans, meat, salad, fresh fruit, fruit juice, eggs, ham etc.

The only pain was that we only had plantains once... man, I love plantains!

Tours:
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We didn't do any external tours through CRER but there was always someone willing to help in booking them. We did, however, book transport here, which went butter-smooth door-to-door with no problems. Meghan obviously knows Costa Rica well and I'd highly recommend taking her advice on getting about.

We went on a guided tour of the private trails - given by a volunteer - who was obviously still studying, but nevertheless was enthusiastic, friendly and pretty damn good at spotting wildlife!

I should mention that most reserves close or don't let you in (without a guide/booked tour) past 5pm for obvious reasons. Because CRER is a private reserve you ARE allowed on the trails on your own after dark... at your own risk and if you're brave/careful enough. This might sound like a small point, but was incredibly important for us and really made our trip.

Price:
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There's not much to say about this... pricing for everything is very reasonable and can be found on the CRER website.

Room Tip: If you're looking to be close to the jungle, all of the cabins are mere feet away from the priva...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank PeteLightning
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat

Address: in front of Chilamate Elementary School | Crossing Over The Bridge On The Right Hand Side, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Heredia > Sarapiqui
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 12 B&Bs / Inns in Sarapiqui
Price Range: $85 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat is a Costa Rican Canadian family-run conservation and sustainable tourism project. Come and enjoy our beautiful cabins, rain forest trails, garden eatery and bar, gift shop with local artwork, and natural swimming hole right on the Sarapiqui River! Whether you want adventure, nature, relaxation, or an intimate experience in the community we will make sure you enjoy your visit in the rain forest! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat Hotel Sarapiqui
Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat Costa Rica/Sarapiqui

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