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“Amazing rooms and lovely service”
Review of La Kukula Lodge

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La Kukula Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Windsor, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Amazing rooms and lovely service”
Reviewed March 4, 2012

We stayed here in January 2012 and it is really special. It is right by Playa Chiquita back from the road. We walked in and the main lounge area and restaurant are all open to the jungle. You can sit there for hours and watch the wildlife which is literally all around you.

Pros
Amazing showers - the best in Costa Rica
Lovely rooms which were really clean with your own balcony and hammock
Pepo and Sonia looked after us amazingly well and every day showed us where all the wildlife was around the grounds
AMAZING mojitos - seriously they are the best I have ever tasted
Lovely breakfasts in a gorgeous setting

Cons - The only thing I would say is it is useful to have a car. A lot of people rent bikes which is a good alternative but if you want to explore all the beaches and get out and about a car is really useful. Other than that, there are none. Stay here is is a really special place and really reasonably priced.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Clarissa G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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386 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
Date | Rating
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English first
Calgary
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2012

We (family with two daughters aged 2 and 5) stayed at the sloth house, a private vacation rental that is managed by Pepo and Sonia of La Kukula Lodge. The house was AMAZING. Everything about this vacation was unbelievable.

The house: spacious outdoor living. The living room and dining room are all outdoors and overlook the jungle. The air is always warm and comfortable and we had absolutely no trouble with bugs. There were really cool big bugs, but very few of the flying/annoying kind like flies and mosquitos. So the outdoor space is wonderful. Just imagine: wake up, put on the coffee, sit in your living room with a cup of coffee surrounded by jungle and its incredible symphony of sounds. The bedrooms (3) are enclosed and are large and spacious with comfy beds. The kitchen is well equipped with stove, fridge, microwave, coffee maker, blender, toaster and waffle maker as well as all the cutlery/cups/plates etc. The 2 bathrooms are large, spacious, both have double sinks with good showers with lots of hot water and good pressure.

The pool: The house has its own private pool. It is wonderful. It is incredibly clean and appears to be quite new. The stairs in are easy for kids to navigate and the depth goes from about 3 feet to about 5 feet. The water is cool and refreshing and we swam in it 2-3 times per day. Whenever the temperature got to the kids, in they jumped! They LOVED it, and so did we.

Wildlife:
Abundant. From the comfort of our own couch in our outdoor living room, we saw howler monkeys, toucans, loads of spiders and weird huge bugs, sloths, an opossum, and red eyed tree frogs (well, we didn't see them from our couch, we had to go turn over some leaves after dark to see them, but still on our property). Elsewhere we saw many of the same as well as some white-faced monkeys at Cahuita National Park.

The area: We loved this area. It is paradise. Low on the touristy spectrum, but touristy enough to have all the amenities that we were hoping for. No tall buildings, no franchises of any kind, just lots of character and all sorts of people (natives, expats, backpackers, surfers, Rastas, families, singles, you name it...). Because of this mix, there is truly something for everyone. I would highly recommend staying in the Playa Chiquita area. We loved the quiet, the great restaurants (at least 5 or 6), the grocery store, the laid back character and, of course, the beach! Puerto Viejo is a fun party town, but I would not want to be staying right in it. It is very hot and we prefer the sounds of the jungle to the sounds of the party. At the Sloth house, you are surrounded by lots of amenities, but not in the thick of things.

The Beaches:
Wow!!! Wow, wow, wow. The water is SO WARM! Playa Chiquita is the most picturesque and lovely place on the planet. It is only accessible by foot and you will not see it from the road. You need to follow jungle paths to get to it which, of course, adds to its beauty tenfold. Cocles is a surf beach and is great for people watching and wave watching...and of course, for surfing! It is visible from the road as you drive by. For us, it was a picnic spot. We never made it to Punta Uva. Manzanillo is at the very end of the main road that leads from Puerto Viejo through to Cocles, on to Playa Chiquita, then to Punta Uva and ending at Manzanillo. It is a great beach with direct access to the road. We spent a great day there swimming and playing. Maxi's Seafood restaurant is fantastic and is located at this beach. But, Playa Chiquita was the real gem. Don't miss it. Really. Wow. I will include a photo.

The Food:
Food around here is amazing. There is a real hippie/granola culture. It seemed to us that most eateries boasted "from scratch" food, including home made breads, jams, nut butters, etc. We were in our glory. We ate at Botanica Organica (wonderful breakfast and lunch) in Playa Chiquita, Alice (not our favourite, but ok) in Playa Chiquita, Jungle Love Cafe (delicious) in Playa Chiquita, and Shawanda (very good higher end French Carribean dinner) in Playa Chiquita, and at Bread and Chocolate (yum) in Peurto Viejo. Oh, and Maxi's (fantastic kabobs) in Manzanillo. And some other places that I can't remember the names of. Overall, we were very impressed with the food everywhere.

Safety:
I was a bit concerned about safety before coming here as I had read a few strands and blogs on it and had heard mixed reviews. We felt completely safe the entire time. I can't imagine not feeling safe here. It is such a happy and peaceful place. It may have felt a bit different if we were staying right in Puerto Viejo, I can't say. But in Playa Chiquita, we were completely comfortable.

Sights:
Jaguar Rescue Centre was ok. Not all it is cracked up to be, but worth the visit.
Chocorart: Chocolate farm about 500 metres down the road from La Kukula. This was a fantastic experience. I can't remember our hosts name but he is a Swiss man who moved to the area over 20 years ago and re-claimed this cacao plantation. All cacao plantations in the area were abandoned years ago due to a fungus that infected the trees. His farm is 60 or so years old. He is an incredibly interesting guy who took us on a hike through his property (jungle, of course) and shared unusual fruits from his trees with us. All were devine! As well, he showed us the cacao trees, fruit, and the entire old school process that they use to turn the seed into chocolate. We were part of the entire process and enjoyed the fruits of our labour in the end. It was a highlight of our trip.
Cahuita National Park: Absolutely worth the trip. About 20 minutes drive towards Limon. We entered the park from the town of Cahuita. It was awesome. We only hiked for about a kilometre each way since we had two young children with us, and still we saw white faced monkeys, a sloth mother with twins, and howler monkeys. As well we swam at another beautiful beach. The pathways is well marked and well travelled. It is the perfect hike for a family (or anyone, for that matter).

The end: We will be returning to the area and to the Sloth House. LOVED IT ALL!

Room Tip: Sloth House
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank See-y0u-there
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
STATEN ISLAND
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2012

We stayed at this lovely little inn last week and loved everything about it. Pepo and Sonia are the kind of people who are actually still excited to be doing what they're doing. If there's a sloth in the canopy in front of the inn(and there usually is) they're the first ones out there looking at it. There always around and can't do enough for you.
But perhaps the beat thing about this inn can be summed up in two words: THE SHOWER. If you have traveled around Costa Rica you'll know what we mean. Amazingly hot with excellent water pressure. These are things you come to appreciate when you're in CR.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Salsa10142
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Porto, Porto, Portugal
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 9, 2012

I have spent 6 wonderful days over there. It really looks like you're in one of those National Geographic spots! Right in the middle of the Caribean Jungle, but in a very confortable house with lovely deck, pool-table and awesome swimming pool. 5 minute walking you're in (probably) the best beach in the world, where you can swim at ANY time of the day :)
Also you're not far from Porto Viejo ( 10mns), a little town where you find mostly everything from supermarkets to nice bars and restaurants.
And, of course, La Kukula Lodge is runned by the Best possible people : Sonia and Pepo! They will help you and will made your stay even better, trust me :)

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank J0seOrland0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
5 reviews
Reviewed February 7, 2012

Wanting a hotel that was on the jungle, this hotel delivered. The sounds of the jungle are right there with you on your room. Not big luxuries on the room, but always clean, comfortable, very nice bathroom and awesome deck, where you can just either sit on the veranda or lay on the hammock and listen to the rain or the jungle.
Pepo and Sonia are just wonderful and are willing to help you in any way. The all natural jams made by Sonia are to die for (craving the pineapple ginger one!!!).

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank DianaKind
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Europe
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2012

Nice spot with great attention to detail. The property is really great, secondary rainforest with lots of easy to spot wildlife (monkeys, sloths, watusas, birds) and it is really well taken care of - wild and natural but well maintained. The owners are very attentive hosts. The breakfast was possibly the best we had in Costa Rica. You can see a lot of thinking has gone into the design. The accomodation itself is very comfortable and clean, with great hammocks in front. They do not offer individual cabinas (which means you share the terrace area with others) and the buildings themselves are not totally at one with the surroundings. We were expecting to be slightly closer to the beach (you have to cross a road and pass through another lodge to get there) but it is still very close to a beautiful and very private beach.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ZelenEye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 7, 2012

We arrived late after a four-and-a-half hour bus ride and Pepo greeted us by our names on the pathway approaching the reception. We stayed in room 5 and our favorite things about it was its openness - the air flows freely as there are only nets in place of windows; even one whole wall of the bathroom is looking out to the jungle that surrounds the place. And a huge showerhead in the bathroom makes it feel like you are standing under a waterfall. The only downside is that it has only one hammock on the porch in front of the room. It is about 5km from Puerto Viejo and some 150m from the main road, which makes it a perfect secluded place for relaxation. Playa Chiquta is a 10-min walk from the place and there are several restaurants on this stretch as well. Also, the breakfast was delicious. Pepo and Sonia were super nice and the whole place had a very laid-back feel to it. Several sloths live in the garden around the lodge and they seem to be enjoying the place, too.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Milos A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Kukula Lodge

Property: La Kukula Lodge
Address: Playa Chiquita, Puerto Viejo 73000, Costa Rica | Carretera a Manzanillo, km 6, Puerto Viejo 73000, Costa Rica, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 7300, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 52 B&Bs / Inns in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — La Kukula Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
La Kukula Lodge is situated in Playa Chiquita/ Puerto Viejo, next to Refugio de Vida Silvestre de Gandoca-Manzanillo and Cahuita N.P.Built in 2008, La Kukula Lodge follows the principles of sustainable architecture and only plantation wood (teak) has been used in its construction. With its tropical-contemporary style, the bungalows blend naturally with the wooded surroundings: an ideal location to enjoy the flora and fauna the region has to offer. A simple path system running through the garden links each bungalow, the “rancho-bar” and the swimming pool. There are only 8 rooms available, all are very spacious and airy, with their own deck, fans, bathrooms and hot water from a hybrid solar/electric system. All rooms have fantastic views from private terraces onto the sylvan garden. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Kukula Hotel Puerto Viejo
La Kukula Lodge Costa Rica/Limon

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