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“great birdwatching”

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Esquinas Rainforest Lodge
Ranked #2 of 12 Hotels in Golfito
Certificate of Excellence
Groningen, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“great birdwatching”
Reviewed January 17, 2012

We stayed at Esquinas for two nights to enjoy the rainforest and the fantastic birdlife around the lodge. The accommodation consists of simple but comfortable rooms that are surrounded by beautiful forest. The lodge has its roots in an Austrian conservation programme and most of the guests are German or Austrian. This results in a somewhat odd combination of German and Costa Rican styles, like being served German food in the middle of the rainforest, or the fact that most guests simply assume you speak German.

Birdwatching in the surroundings of the lodge is absolutely fantastic. The endemic black-cheeked ant-tanager is easily found, as well as a superb selection of other species like great curassow, boat-billed heron, charming hummingbird, orange-collared manakin, white-throated shrike-tanager, spot-crowned euphonia etc. The rice fields will yield some good open-country species like red-breasted blackbird and several species of seed-eater.

The most disappointing fact of Esquinas was the poor state of the trails. During our stay two trails were blocked and some other were poorly maintained or not well signposted. This reduced the possibilities for hiking and birding, which were the main reasons to visit Esquinas in the first place.

All in all, a nice lodge in great surroundings, but trail maintenance should be better.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Erik_Klop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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229 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Studham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2011

We loved this place as much because of what it isn't, as because of what it is.

It's not a sterile, could-be-anywhere-in-the-world cube with icy air-con and sat-tv. If that's what you need when you're on holiday, then this place is probably not for you.

Instead, it's rustic and has plenty of character, incorporating the surrounding nature. Just wandering around the gardens with the relaxed basilisk lizards during the day and the frogs and toads by night was a delight.

I also loved the cooling, stream-fed pool too.

We had a very rewarding night hike on the property, with one of their guides and saw plenty of wildlife (amphibians, reptiles, insects, etc).

The staff were very friendly and the rooms were comfortable & spacious. The mesh instead of glass meant for an excellent night time soundtrack too. The ceiling fans gave enough of a breeze to deal with the heat.

I liked the food - there was no choice to what we had, but I found what was on offer both very appetising and filling (I'm not a small person).

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Paullyb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2011

I stayed at four different places while in was in Costa Rica for 2 weeks. Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, was not at all the most fanciest hotel, nor was the food the greatest, but what I experienced there was unlike any other place I had stayed at. Their lodges are pretty small, I think 12x12, but they are pretty clean, showers, bathrooms, electricity, all the necessary things. Each Lodge has 2 comfortable rocking chairs to sit outside and do bird watching and to just relax. As it got later in the evening you can hear this jungle come more to life. I felt like I was listening to an Orchestra of sounds from all the different species. This was such an amazing experience! I just closed my eyes and felt so close to nature and do detached from my daily busy schedule in California. If you really need a place to just get away and feel alive, I can't think of a better place. This is a great place to disconnect from the world. During the day I also saw many beautiful birds that I did not see anywhere else that I had stayed at. They have beautiful trails that you can hike. We went horseback riding to a water fall and went in the water for a bit. Our tour guide Fernando was wonderful. He was very informative and his English was very good too. He also does bird watering tours, and at night does and evening nature tour, which I really, really regret not doing. They have these night hikes in other places in Costa Rica, but I image this places would have been amazing. I highly recommend this place for some to stay for at least 2 days. If you are looking to explore Costa Rica, I would not just make this my only stay, but I would make it part of my trip for sure. I think more so in my case where living in the states you can get so caught up with work and everything else that goes on in life which can be stressful, this place you will feel human. The only thing I was not to happy with was the food. I thought it was pretty tasteless, but I would not pass up this opportunity to visit this place for that reason alone. Next time I go, I will probably take some extra snacks as back up. Keep in mind that when staying in Costa Rica, you will not just find stores around the corner, so try to always go prepared. I hope you enjoy your stay!

Donaji Potts

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank DonajiPotts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England
Level Contributor
138 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2011

As with all rainforest lodges, there is a limit in what can be done in terms of keeping the accomodation clean and environmentally friendly - but this lodge gets as near to perfection as I have yet found, having visited similar lodges in places such as Brazil and Borneo.

There are two ponds containing Caymen - one of which decided to emigrate on the second night and had to be rescured from the swimming pool!

The food was very good - there was no choice of meals but the quality was very good and there were so many components that if you did not like one part there were plenty of other parts that you did like.

The rooms were (naturally) a little dark. Instead of windows, they had mesh to stop the insects getting in - so you could hear what was going on outside. if this sounds a little primative, don't worry! The curtains were of good quality and the construction meant that, when the curtains were open there was good air circulation. When they were closed privacy was guaranteed.

There are a number of paths in the forest surrounding the lodge where you can see a variety of wildlife. The lodge also gives you the chance of booking a night walk. They even supply wellington boots for the walks, which cross rivers and streams at various points.

Highly recommended.

  • Stayed February 2011
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DuncanHockley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
72 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2010

Having to get out of our tour bus and crossing the bridge on foot to get this lodge set the scene for how remote this lodge is! We are city people so this was real nature - bit daunting when you get there but amazing! So quiet and the caimen pond is amazing! Caimen dont look that big until they get out of the water! In the gardens there was a hummingbird nest - soooo tiny! well obviously....
The food was all included (obviously - no alternatives here!) and it was lovely!
A great bar which operated a trust system which was a refreshing change to living in the city!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank katenother
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed December 21, 2009

The first issue I have is that the Website leads one to believe that the wildlife there is the same as Corcovado, but on a smaller scale. Then when we got there we were shown a disclaimer along with the excursions that they offer not to expect to see too much wildlife and were told that we would have to go to Corcovado if we wanted to see more. We didn't hear or see any monkeys, no parrots, no coatis, no agoutis, etc. or much bird life. We heard lots of frogs and insects and saw 2 caimans in their pond.
2nd issue I have is that they're running things as cheaply as possible. When you're paying this much money you should at least get a decent meal... not here. The portions are incredibly small and the food is unimaginative and tasteless. We stayed in Las Caletes, close to Corcovado for less money than we payed at Esquinas and the food there was gourmet, and with ample portions. Also snacks were put out in between meals whereas Esquinas had nothing.
Their rooms are dark and the whole area is dismal. I would never go back there and don't recommend it to anyone else. Don't waste your money here when there are many better places for the same amount or less.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
6 Thank Alohart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, FL
Level Contributor
59 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed May 21, 2009

Spent five days hiking their excellent and varied trail system. High biodiversity in stunning lowland rainforest setting. Grounds are loaded with wildlife day and night (including resident caimans and tons of frogs/lizards and even snakes if you go out at night with their superb naturalist/guide. Lodge is keystone of local community = sustainable development in action. Great attention to all details; friendly staff takes care of all needs. Hot water in shower. Natural spring-fed pool is refreshing after hikes.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Palmisto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Esquinas Rainforest Lodge

Property: Esquinas Rainforest Lodge
Address: Piedras Blancas National Park | La Gamba, Golfito 60701, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Golfito
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 12 Hotels in Golfito
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Esquinas Rainforest Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Esquinas Lodge in southern Costa Rica, only 3 miles off the Interamerican Highway and 30 minutes from Golfito airport, is part of a model project combining conservation, ecotourism, research, reforestation and community aid. The lodge is 100% carbon-neutral and has 16 rooms, a restaurant, a bar and a pool. The 35-acre private reserve, surrounded by 2500 acres of untouched rainforest, attracts many mammals and over 200 species of birds. Activities include hiking, horseback riding, birdwatching, and boat and kayak tours in nearby Golfo Dulce. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Esquinas Rainforest Hotel Golfito
Esquinas Rainforest Lodge Costa Rica/Golfito

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