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“AMAZING rafting experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rafiki Safari Lodge

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Rafiki Safari Lodge
2.5 of 5 Lodge   |   16 Km from Pacific Coastal highway, Rio Savegre, Costa Rica   |  
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Family Package from 261pp
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Los Angeles, CA
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“AMAZING rafting experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

This company should be at the TOP OF YOUR LIST for things to do in Costa Rica.

My boyfriend and I traveled to Costa Rica for a week's vacation recently, with another couple. It was our first time going, but the other couple had visited before. They were set on whitewater rafting as one of our "adventures", which they'd done before in a different part of the country. We ended up booking with Rafiki Safari Lodge and Tour co. for our rafting experience.

Rafiki was fantastic. They picked us up from our hotel and drove us about 1.5 hours South and East into the jungle. Riding along, we had no idea what awaited us. We rode up to the most beautiful idyllic valley I've ever seen (see attached picture). There we met Loki, one of the owners of the Lodge and a fantastic human being. He showed us around the property, talked with us about Costa Rican life, and got us prepped for the main event.

We were driven down to the river where we were taught about rafting basics, how not to get hurt, different commands that the guides would give us, etc. Then it was on to the river, myself and my friend in one raft with Loki, our boyfriend/husband in another raft with their guide Randal. Talk about fun! I have to say I'm not much for roller coasters and the like, so I was a little nervous about rafting for the first time. But I had a blast!! Loki was the best, super professional, always made me feel safe. Randal was also great, really knew his stuff and put the boys through their paces. Our trip took us 13 km down the river, and we stopped for a delicious lunch in the middle of the jungle about halfway through. Our guides also brought us to an amazing waterfall for a look around, and some photo opp's (see second picture).

Not only is Rafiki a wonderful touring company, but they are also heavily invested in and connected with the community and the people of Costa Rica. Loki and Randal were both highly knowledgeable and well-versed in the natural surroundings, and Randal's family has been in the area for generations. Needless to say we were pleasantly surprised with Rafiki and what great friends we made in Loki and Randal.

A big thanks to Rafiki for all the great work you do, and for showing us such a wonderful time!! If anyone reading this is interested in "glamping" (picture a five-star hotel bathroom attached to a tented sleeping area), Rafiki has NINE of them and a full dining/bar facility. They can organize a whole week's worth of activities and entertainment for your vacationing pleasure. We will definitely be visiting again!

-Arissa Bright

Room Tip: Didn't actually stay here, just came for the rafting. But how can you go wrong with a luxury sle...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Arissa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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342 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (58)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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  • Spanish first
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English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

Rafiki Safari Lodge was the highlight of our trip. We stayed for three nights and enjoyed everybit of it. Janel was so very accommodating to the needs of our three families and our different schedules. My family was very leary of staying in a tent as we are usually hotel people but, we found that it was a great experience. The food was absolutely wonderful. We did the Aqua Hike and white water rafting. Our guides Allan and Ronald made sure that we had a great time. The water slide definately kept the kids busy when we were not on any other adventure.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Carmel Ann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
99 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

Rafiki Lodge was the highlight of my week long trip to Costa Rica. We didn't stay there but Loki, one of our guides, came all the way to our rental property, jumped in one of our rental cars and provided directions to the lodge. He even came back with us to show us how to get home! The place itself is absolutely breathtaking. The views, the scenery were all picturesque. We came to the lodge to go whitewater rating and had an absolute blast doing so. They were able to accommodate our large group of 17 people. After some trips down the waterslide, and a delicious breakfast of either pancakes or traditional rice and beans, we were off with our guides for a safety lesson. The guides really made us feel safe as there was at least 1 guide per raft. An hour or so into our ride, we stopped and hiked up a hill for an amazing lunch. The rain started and turned our Category 2/3 raft ride into a 4/5. The guides kept their cool and made sure we felt safe the whole time. We had to end a bit early since the river got so fast but the experience in all was fantastic. While we waited for the bus to pick us up, the guides made a shelter from the rafts to keep us dry. I can't say enough about how great the staff and the great experience at Rafiki. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone staying in Costa Rica.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Steve S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013 via mobile

Stayed for 3 nights. Family and girls aged 11 and 14. White water rafting amazing, riding and hiking just lovely. Luxury tents are clean and well looked after- can sleep 4. Meals good, staff kind and calm. Bring a tough (? Old) swimsuit for the water slide - it's very fast....

We had 2 tents for the family - next time would do one as only used it to sleep!!! Loved the hummingbirds and toucans.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank NigeltheMagnificent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Healdsburg, CA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

We traveled for a week in Costa Rica with a small group and stayed at three different locations. Rafiki Safari was our favorite hands down - we were there for 3 nights in late January 2013. First of all, it's gorgeous. The food is wonderful
and the setting is enchanting. Our tent accommodations were lovely, private and reminded us of a recent trip to Africa. Sitting on the veranda with a second cup of coffee after breakfast and watching birds come to a feeding station loaded with fruit was exciting. The large, colorful Toucans were the most exciting to see and watch! Watching them hold and eat banana with their huge bills was amazing. We rafted the river and swam under the waterfall ~ what a good time we had! We highly recommend Rafiki Safari Lodge!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BabetteHealdsburg_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Billings, Montana
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

Very gracious host and hostess and very unique lodgings. Great place to unwind or to be active in hiking and rafting. Tons of birds including the Toucans. We experienced good food and good service - we recommend it!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Montanakurt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
77 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

Rafiki Safari Lodge was the perfect fit for our family. It is in a remote setting (we were certainly greatful for the little Rafiki signs on the road in to show us that we were still on the right road) but once you get there you are in a perfect spot to unwind, get a way from it all and relax.

We stayed there with our two boys (aged 11 and 13) in July of 2013.
We liked our tent with it's bathroom. I'm not great with bugs and was expecting to have to deal with spiders etc but we really didn't have a problem. The tent has a ceiling fan (don't think camping!) which was really nice and helped to keep things cool, and we were fortunate to have a view of the lake with its resident Cayman. We spent hours on our verandah, and on the verandah of the open sided restaurant watching the birds, iguanas, etc

The owners/staff are very friendly and helpful so we felt comfortable from the moment we arrived. We had a great time with the planned activities and enjoyed coming back from them in the early afternoon to relax with a book, swim in the pool and hot tub,or play on the insane water slide. The hotel also arranged for a lady to come from the local village to give me a chocolate massage. I lay on a table on the verandah of one of the unoccupied tents (surrounded by trees, listening to crickets, frogs, birds etc) while she gave me a chocolate body scrub, applied a chocolate mask and wrapped me in seran wrap for 20 minutes (during which time she massaged my scalp) and then finished with a chocolate oil massage. It was two and a half hours of absolute chocolatey bliss after which I was so relaxed I could barely make it back to my own tent!
While we were there we also went white water rafting (our boys rode horses to the put in point) while my husband and i chose to ride in the Rafiki vehicle. We stopped on the way to take photos of a sloth and some tucans. Our guide, Chookie, was awesome! The river is only a 2-3 and my husband who has rafted before was sceptical of what he called "a float trip!". Chookie made it quite the adventure and we all had a blast. We stopped part way down for a great lunch (with star fruit juice, which is delicious)at a look out point on Rafiki land, and then again a little later for a very short hike to swim under a waterfall.
We had Chookie again the next day for the Aqua Hike. This was another really well planned activity. The hike has some hills, but our guide was great at stopping to point out a cinnamon tree, or ylang ylang flower, or a type of ant etc all along the way so I never got to the point where I was too out of breath. Our youngest son is, we've decided, part fish and likes to swim at every opportunity. Chookie was amazing, and spent time helping him climb safely to points on waterfalls that he could jump off.
As you can tell, we loved our time at Rafiki and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get away from the crowds and really enjoy Costa Rica's natural beauty.

Room Tip: We loved having one of the two tents that overlooks the lake. They are also really close to the res...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank B0adicea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rafiki Safari Lodge

Property: Rafiki Safari Lodge
Address: 16 Km from Pacific Coastal highway, Rio Savegre, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 565 Specialty Lodging in Province of Puntarenas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Rafiki Safari Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rafiki is a sustainable adventure lodge located in the Savegre Valley of Costa Rica. The lodge sits on 840 acres of tropical forest. Rafiki specializes in custom white water rafting, horseback riding and hiking trips. Guests sleep in imported luxury Safari Tents which feature hydro electric fans and lights. Each tent sits on a raised hardwood platform, has a deluxe bathroom with glass showers heated with fire. The units also have a private porch with rocking chairs looking over the Savegre Valley. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rafiki Safari Hotel Province Of Puntarenas
Rafiki Safari Lodge Costa Rica/Province Of Puntarenas

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