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“Great Time”

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Rafiki Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed April 3, 2014

My family (including 3 kids ages 9,7,20 months and 2 grandparents) stayed at Rafiki for 3 nights in March 2014. We had a wonderful time. The jungle backdrop is beautiful and the lodge is impeccably maintained. The tents were clean and comfortable. The food was great and easily the best I had in Costa Rica. The staff was extremely pleasant and accommodating. We enjoyed visiting with the owners Janel and Carlo on a daily basis. They were very helpful in arranging excursions and were a wealth of knowledge on the local flora and fauna. The pool is a bit small, but our kids loved the waterslide and hot tub. They quickly made friends with the other children and had a great time. We did the aqua hike, rafting trip, and horseback riding excursions. They were all fun. We are experienced travelers, and Rafiki exceeded our expectations. It is a real gem.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Marcie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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175 - 181 of 393 reviews

Reviewed March 31, 2014

My husband, myself, and 2 boys (age 10 and 11) stayed at Rafiki for 3 nights in late March. We are in our early 40s. I can't tell you how much fun we had and it was the absolute highlight of our entire trip to Costa Rica. We stayed in tent 9, which was at the back of the property and very private. The porch was delightful and we all loved to wake up and enjoy the "jungle" scenery. We would drink coffee and just enjoy the sights and sounds. The beds were very comfortable and the bathroom was nice and clean. The shower took a little while to warm up (like 10 minutes), but when it did it was very hot. We really enjoyed the staff and excursions. We did the Aqua Hike with Kenneth our guide, who was amazing. He showed us a cinnamon tree, wild ginger root, and a bunch of other plants, rocks, trees, and animals. The kids (and adults!) loved jumping off the waterfalls, swimming in the crystal clear pools, and rafting. I felt like we were in a Fantasy Island episode as it was so tropical and beautiful. The water was clear and warm and amazing. We all learned so much about the nature in Costa Rica that we are still processing it. Our kids now want to learn a ton about the nature in Minnesota so we can know as much as where we live as Kenneth did about where he lives! That in itself is worth every penny we paid for our entire trip to Costa Rica. The lunch at the spice farm as part of the hike was the one of the best meal (if not THE best) we ate the entire week in Costa Rica. What an amazing surprise! Kenneth knew that one of my son's played soccer and even brought a ball to kick around with him the next day! It was very hot (in the 90s and very humid) when we stayed and I was worried about the lack of air conditioning in the tent and being miserable sleeping. However, the ceiling fan and floor fan did the trick at cooling off the tent and I actually woke up chilly in the morning. The food at the lodge is out of this world. The dinners consisted of a salad or soup, choice of 2 entrees, and dessert (they ask you early in the day to make your entree choice). The mahi mahi the last night was my favorite! Breakfasts had at least 2 to 3 choices, served with freshly squeezed juice and fresh fruit. We ate lunch one day in the lodge and ordered off the menu (included when you stay overnight), which was good. It is such an amazing atmosphere there...the fresh flowers on the table, the mountains, the animal sounds, the drinks, everything is top notch. It exceeded all of our expectations. I had read all of the trip advisor reviews and expected it to be great, but it was even better than we imagined. The guests we met were wonderful as well and our kids enjoyed playing on the awesome waterslide and pool, as well as card games with the other children. The pool, slide, and hot tub were superfun! We all enjoyed hanging around the thatch lodge in the rocking chairs talking to Carlo and Janel (owners) and the other guests in the morning and evening. Carlo and Janel are exceptional hosts. They regaled us with stories and insight into the area and took time to get to know the guests. It is an intimate lodge and it is clear the staff care deeply about the guests' experience and want to personalize to each guest. The drinks were very reasonable ($3 dollars for a beer or smoothie, and couple more dollars for a margarita or pina colada). Service was awesome. We also did the horseback ride and it was amazing. We saw white faced monkeys, vampire bats (flying out of tree root, not at us!), a turkey like bird, and beautiful scenery. Carlo took us and showed us vanilla flowers and other plants on the property. The horses were very calm and it was an enjoyable ride for sure...up the mountain and along the river. I was surprised at the steep terrain the horses can go on, but they handled it well. The trails around the resort are beautiful and you can see many birds, lizards, ect. I could go on and on, but you need to experience it for yourself to truly understand how great it is. We wanted our kids to experience new things, see the world in a new way, and know there is so much in life to enjoy and learn. Rafiki did all of those things and made a deep impression with them that they will carry for a life time. Thanks to all the staff at Rafiki who made this a trip of a life time and will be with us for many years to come. Their influence will continue to spread as we tell our friends and family all that we learned and experienced. We would recommend our friends and family to stay there in a heartbeat without any hesitation. The bugs were not bad at all either...the bugs in Minnesota are much worse! I would come back in a heart beat (and hope to come back) !

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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9  Thank famtrav060
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2014

Our experience with this trip was absolutely incredible. The ride to the lodge was a little tour itself! After driving through the unique villages we had a delicious breakfast in the lodge-even though we weren't staying there. Since it was just the four of us in our family, we got to take two small rafts accompanied by the two best tour guides:Kenneth and Randol. They made the experience even better than it already was by adjusting the trip to your personal likes and needs. After a delicious lunch at a beautiful waterfall with no one else around- we got to do MORE rafting! If you have only one day in Costa Rica- go on this trip! You will not regret it.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
3  Thank Maci L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2014

Even though the road leading to Rafiki is a bit rough, it is defiintely worth the trip. Spent two glorious nights there with a group from Road Scholars. The staff could not have been nicer and more accomodating. The rooms(tents) were wonderful with modern baths and the sounds of the animals lulled me to sleep. Bird watching from the deck or by the feeders was great and rafting on the Savegre River was fantastic. Never spent such a relaxing afternoon in the hammock and hot tub . Definitely a place to revisit.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank bfrankl433
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2014

I spent 3 nights here with a group of friends. It was great! We birdwatched, hiked, rafted and swam under wonderful waterfalls and went down the scary waterside. The accommodations are on the rustic side - fancy tents attached to concrete bathrooms and be warned - the trip there is not for the faint of heart. The road out to the lodge is really bad. But it was all well worth it - and the food was terrific.

Room Tip: Be prepared to sleep in a (fancy) tent and listen to the sounds of wildlife all night long - I loved...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank IMLY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2014

We were in Costa Rica for my parents' 30th wedding anniversary. Our amazing travel guide (Tico Guide Travel) set us up with a rafting trip through Rafiki. It was easily my favorite activity on the trip, for sure. The guides were knowledgeable about our natural surroundings and so much fun, they tailored each raft to be the appropriate adventure level for the people in it, and they took us on a hike to a waterfall. I felt so at peace and so full of joy just floating down a river surrounded by the lush beauty of Costa Rica. Lunch afterwards was delicious as well! I highly recommend a rafting trip with Rafiki.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
Thank Carryn L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2014

Beautiful hotel in tents way up in the highlands. Very nice people. Tents and grounds are VERY dark at night. Sometimes the hot water is not terribly hot. Very good food. Can provide a variety of adventures (e.g., white water rafting (awesome) during the day.

Room Tip: All the safari tents are similar. Some are closer to the lodge which can be helpful for dark night...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank psf1
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

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 #8 of 692 Specialty Lodging in Province of Puntarenas
Price Range: $269 - $336 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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