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“Just what you want”
Review of Dolphin Quest

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Dolphin Quest
Miami
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Just what you want”
Reviewed January 25, 2012

I stayed at Dolphin Quest for 5 nights in late December and had a terrific vacation, very true to the description given on the DQ website. It is very natural, very environmentally in tune and very family-oriented. If this suits your desire, then definitely go to DQ. When you go there, I hope you experience the same gratitude I feel toward Rey and his family for sharing their jungle-beach home with us.

Our group of two families (4 adults and 3 boys between the ages 10-15) stayed very comfortably in Casa Verde. This is a ruggedly beautiful cabin a very short walk away from a "main house" with eating and lounging area. The Casa provided a getaway and the other house a more communal place with a view of the ocean and birdwatching galore. Nature to be enjoyed included hummingbirds, morphose butterflies, toucans, scarlet macaws, iguanas, snakes, horses, fish, monkeys, mango, papaya, coconut, the beach, and a freshwater creek flowing right by the Casa and down to the beach. The sounds of the jungle were Live, and we felt very integrated.

My worries abut bugs and heat were not realized - the mosquito nets on the beds & bug spray were enough protection and the shade and occasional rain took care of the heat. DQ is not a resort, you will enjoy being responsible for yourself and following the instructions given on the website to prepare for your trip is a good thing. We did use our basic first aid kit, as we expected. We were in the jungle. In tune means you let the environment dictate, and go with it.

The family who run DQ strike a good balance between providing ideas and guidance on activities for the family, but never being overly involved or judgmental. They suggested awesome fun things that they knew our boys would love and made it clear which treats were not to be missed. We went fishing, hiking, horseback riding, visit to botanical garden and to an eye-opening animal rehab center, snorkeling, kayaking and still had plenty of time to hang out.

The food was delicious and nutritious and I could tell that Rey was always keeping the kids in mind. Rey has raised two incredible boys and has a super sense about children - that great balance of discipline and respect that shows the kids that he knows what great people they are. I want my son to be like Reymar and Jahza as he grows up!

We will return to Costa Rica based on this experience and have already recommended friends and family to stay on Dolphin Quest. All the best, Pura Vida...

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ellen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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8 reviews from our community

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English first
Silver Spring, Maryland
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 18, 2012

Upon your arrival at the rocky beach of Dolphin Quest by boat, you will likely be greeted by a German shepherd with a coconut in its mouth, eager to play. Your luggage in a wheelbarrow, walk across the soccer field/main lawn, past the dining lodge to your rustic cabin, open to the air, no windows, screens and lots of gaps between the planks of the walls. If you are looking for luxury and service, go elsewhere, but the very reasonable prices probably tell you that in the first place. If you are looking for a low-key stay in tropical splendor, wandering about the forest that is contiguous (and indeed part of) the property, swimming in the warm water of Golfo Dulce, combing the beach, birdwatching (as well as extra-cost activities like horse-back riding, snorkeling, and fishing), all at a low-key price, then this is the place for you. Everything is quite relaxed, including meal times. Three delicious meals a day, sometimes featuring freshly caught fish, are included in the price. The pace here is slow, and more true to vida pura ethos than might be comfortable for the cross-off-the-list type traveler. The solar powered electricity quickly gets used up at nights, so we went to bed early, lulled to sleep by the nearby creek, the insects chirping, the call of the night birds, and the beating of bats' wings. My one major complaint was the mosquito nets, which are due for a replacement. We were two families traveling together, all 7 of us fit into Casa Verde, and we all (ages 9 to 46) enjoyed ourselves a lot. This place is not for everyone, so take a good look at the website, which does not aim to misrepresent the type of establishment that it is.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank waqap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kalamazoo, Michigan
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2011

Just spent 3 days at Dolphin Quest and loved it! The location is remote, beautiful, and unlike anything you will experience anywhere else in Costa Rica. The trip in from Golfito along the coast of the Golfo Dulce is beautiful. The grounds at Dolphin Quest are expansive with great wildlife viewing opportunities. They have the largest congregation of scarlet macaws you will see anywhere! The accommodations have a nice balance between rustic simplicity and elegant design. The staff are super helpful and fun to spend time with. Plenty of options for daily activities. The food was fantastic! Every meal was a treat and they introduced us to new delicacies like freshly squeezed coconut milk (a must with French toast). Raymond the owner is incredibly entertaining to talk to, is a local icon for conservation, and knows a ton about the native American history of the area. Their reasonable rates make this place accessible to most travelers, and I would recommend this place to just about anyone who is interested in getting a look at one of the remotest parts of southern Costa Rica.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank m6buchalski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
1 review
Reviewed April 3, 2011

We loved every minute of our stay at Dolphin Quest and our time with Rey and Jose and the german sheppards, Zuess and Rex. It was a bit of a sensory overload coming from the mountains of Colorado to the green and lush diversity of the jungle and ocean. Scarlet macaws cackled and spotted the sky with flashes of red and blue. Toads sang us to sleep each night. The caymans helped us finish off the delicious snapper and mackeral dinner. Waking up to the shouts of howler monkeys and then heading down for a breakfast of fresh eggs, coffee, and papaya, pineapple, mango, and bananas just doesn't get old. Hmmm...what's next on the agenda for the day? A hike in the jungle, a kayak and a swim, a horseback ride, fishing, a walk down to the botanic garden. Maybe just a lounge in the hammock to start and then see where the day takes you. We felt right at home at Ray's place. We were looking for a beautiful and secluded place to relax and unwind and we were not disapointed. And it always adds to an experience to have a personal connection. Rey is gregarious, intelligent, and a kind hearted soul. He loves where he lives. We spent an afternoon with Rey shucking, shredding, and milking coconuts which he then used to make a delicious cake for dinner. The only thing that could of made our stay better is if the weather would of cooperated for the sunday afternoon soccer game. Maybe next time.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank crundall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
Reviewed February 26, 2011

We spent 4 days at DQ sleeping in an open air cabin. Fabulous bird
and nature sounds. Hiking ,kayaking,swimming are available.

Rey was a wonderful
Host,excellent cook, and informative naturalist. We enjoyed the tranquility and the unpretentious atmosphere.
Horses,chickens,turkeys and two gentle
Dogs ro freely. I would
Highly recommend staying here. A rich experience.

  • Stayed February 2011
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Helpful?
Thank Cindi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 27, 2010

Ah, so much to say about Dolphin Quest Costa Rica! www.DolphinQuestCostaRica.com (DQCR) This is actually 2 reviews in one as I have just made my second venture down to this beautiful ´Garden of Eden´as it is known to many who have the luck of finding this special jungle retreat.
Located near Golfito in the Golfo Dulce, Dolphin Quest Costa Rica is only reachable by boat, so getting there is an adventure in itself. I arrived in San Jose (the Costa Rican Capitol) via airplane both trips from the United States. The first time I was there I had the luck of friends picking me up at the airport and we stayed a few days @ La Sirena hotel in Estrillos Oeste for a bit of surfing before driving down to Golfito. (I would only recommend making that journey with a Tico or someone who has plenty of Costa Rican experience-one of my friends had been living there for a while.)
I ended up taking a plane back to San Jose (about an hour flight) & on to the US, This time, I had more time to travel so I went the bus route. It´s way longer but I got a great view of the countryside. Plus I sat next to a very nice Tico who helped me with my Spanish-he was taking his first trip to the US the following week & was delighted to practice his English as well. Buena Suerta, Alex!
If taking the bus route, I highly recommend the company ´A Safe Passage´. John buys your bus ticket the day before you depart (I believe that is a requirement.) He also provides shuttle to & from the airport, hotel, bank trip, etc.-a nice service to look into. www.CostaRicaByBus.com (Ask about special pricing for guests of Dolphin Quest.)
When you arrive in Golfito, The Muellecito is where you want to be (there is a soda to rest at) to find Reymundo, the Expat that runs DQCR w/his too very well mannered sons & a few Ticos. At the Muellecito, you will either meet with Reymundo (pre-arranged) or you take a water taxi ($40-$50) to DQCR. (Ask for chico if you have trouble.) You want to be sure to contact Reymundo when you arrive in Costa Rica so he has some confirmation of when to expect you. ***Be aware that it can often take SEVERAL tries to get through on Rey´s cell, so don´t get discouraged if you have trouble getting an answer-KEEP TRYING! Any frustration you have here will soon be forgotten as you lay back & enjoy the culture & natural beauty all around you. Remember to enjoy the journey!
DQCR is a true Eco-adventure, so those who don´t appreciate nature may want to pass. Living quarters are open air, so you will likely encounter a few bugs.(The Osa peninsula is known as one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth.) But it is well worth it to peer out your window & see iguanas, brightly colored birds & flowers, & horses grazing. A few ´Green´points, as some places simply add a green label...there is no ´green washing´here! DQCR ranks pretty high on the Green living meter-in fact, I don´t thing there is much they could do to be more eco-friendly! It is a family run business that employs local workers. Solar panels provide the electricity used. Water is provided from the nearby Mountain. Burnable trash is burned onsite, the rest is recycled. Food is caught or harvested VERY locally, so they do make great efforts to minimize their impact on this wonderful planet! They also maintain the only soccer field in the area, and provide the community with sports! Their field overlooks the beach and people arrive via kayak or boat to play in the afternoon.
ALL FORMS of plant based medicine is welcome here (& often available) & there are many exotic fruits I´d never even heard of growing on the property. They even grow chocolate! Much of the produce in the kitchen is harvested on the property & seafood is caught almost daily. (Fresh coconut, anyone?) There are also chickens, ducks, & turkeys for additional meat & eggs.
What about the ocean? After all, the place is called Dolphin Quest! Dolphins are not an uncommon site, and the water is very clear. Once on an early morning boat ride 2 large dolphins started interacting with us, coming right up to the boat, turning over & showing us their bellies, almost as if they were inviting us into their world.
I went snorkeling for the first time while visiting DQCR, & it opened a whole new world swimming among the brightly colored tropical fish. Rey & his son even caught a few large lobsters that were delicious!
But there is much to experience on land as well. Being an avid horsewoman, the trip through the rainforest to the waterfalls was a real treat. Casa Orquedia (the botanical gardens) is a short walk up the beach. There are many butterflies and it is neat to learn about the different plants & wildlife.
The night sky is amazing too! I grew up quite a bit in the country & one of the things I hate about city living is the light pollution prevents me from viewing the stars. Not an issue at DQCR as the stars (& lightning bugs ) are bright & abundant. You can often see the luminescent species light up in the ocean as well.
One of the best things about DQCR is the sense of peacefulness there. You can sit in a hammock & listen to the calm surf & the birds chirping & truly feel as one with the Universe. Dolphin Quest Costa Rica is one of the planet´s special places I will always treasure!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank DazeyCoyote
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dolphin Quest

Property: Dolphin Quest
Address: Playa San Josecito, Golfito 60701, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Golfito
Amenities:
Beach Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Golfito
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dolphin Quest is over 750 acres of mountainous rain-forest on a mile-long beach. Teaming jungles with waterfalls and mountain streams meet lawns and blossoming gardens. This haven in the southwestern corner of Costa Rica is accessible only by boat. The warm aqua waters, always between 80 and 85°, are home to rich variety of marine life including dolphins, who share this place with us. The beach lies hundred meters from your cabin. You can snorkel, scuba dive, boat, kayak, a walk along the beach. Whether you're new at something Or have done it for years, were available to assist you in enjoying your adventure to the fullest extent. Adventures can last an afternoon or for several days according to participants interests. We can arrange kayak tours, diving trips and fishing adventures. On land, join us on horseback for a gallop along the beach or follow hours of hiking trails deep into the jungle. In the evening you can relax in your hammock, engulfed in the sounds and scents of the jungle. Enjoy tropical fruit from hundreds of trees which surround your cabin and fresh-caught fish from our ocean front yard. In our outdoor kitchen we serve three delicious home-cooked meals a day with many organic and locally-grown foods. There is also the option of just using the kitchen to cook your own meals. Life here is personal, adventuresome, and shaped by each person and group who comes. We offer a vigorous adventure for the hands-on traveler or a long overdue vacation of tranquil relaxation. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Dolphin Quest Costa Rica/Golfito

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