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“Great family vacation”

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Esquinas Rainforest Lodge
Ranked #2 of 11 Hotels in Golfito
Certificate of Excellence
Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great family vacation”
Reviewed August 13, 2012

My husband, 16 year old daughter and I stayed for a week (July 9 - 15) at Esquinas Lodge. We spent a few nights in other parts of Costa Rica before flying down to Golfito. Our time at Esquinas was the highlight of our trip. There are few places in the world where you can stay in the middle of the rainforest. It was a delight to fall asleep to the sounds of the bats and awaken to the twitterings of the humming birds. You are steps away from a variety of trail heads. We were the only Americans staying at the Lodge the week we came. If you are looking for Disneyland - don't come here. There are no paved, easy trails. No fast food. However, if you are looking to immerse yourself in another world for a while and to experience a slower pace of being - then Esquinas is a wonderful place. We can't praise our tour guides Mario and Chico enough. Their English is excellent and my daughter enjoyed having the opportunity to speak with them in Spanish while I tried out my college German with other guests. Chico is a fantastic dancer and we enjoyed a couple evenings of dancing (Cumbia, Merengue, Salsa) in the open air lodge. We did two boat tours (Mangrove and Dolphin) during our stay and saw a fantastic variety of wildlife including crocodiles, pods of dolphins, macaws, toucans, etc. We also did a bike ride to a waterfall owned by a very kind, talented man who was willing to share his guitar and singing talents with us one evening. We enjoyed the night hike and bird hikes and by the end of our time were able to pick out the calls of a half dozen different frogs and a dozen different birds from the cacophony of sounds around us. The nearby research center gave our a daughter a glimpse into the life of a field researcher and we enjoyed visiting the nearby village of LaGamba. The food was excellent and plentiful. The cooks are very willing to accommodate dietary restrictions.

Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Peggy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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232 reviews from our community

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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
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2012

Our 3 nights at Esquinas Lodge were marked by excellent wildlife experiences particularly Lizards, frogs, and snakes, toucans, and hummingbirds. This lodge is remotely set amongst pristine rainforest, in very attractively laid out grounds. There are moderately easy trails to follow, and expert guides available. Ours, Mario, was very knowledgeable and helpful. A night hike is a must for Red-Eyed Frogs in particular. The food was wholesome, and the jugs of juice incredible. We were the only English visitors, but English is spoken by most of the staff. We needed plenty of changes of clothing, as the humidity was extremely high.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank MickAndPam2205
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Level 6 Contributor
373 reviews
85 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 171 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2012

Visitors to this lodge do not ordinarily come for the food, I suspect, but you should be prepared for lots of it. First, though, the facilities and the setting. The cabins are set on a hill a short walk above the open-air dining room and bar and are fairly typical for rainforest lodging -- screened windows for ventilation and a ceiling fan for air movement. The shower was a bit short on hot water -- it had one of those heads that incorporates a heating element that is supposed to heat the water as it flows through the head. They're not terribly effective, even with a low water flow. What is a little unique at Esquinas is that the cabins are surrounded by vegetation that lets the bird life come in close. (No expansive lawns here.) I was a member of a birdwatching tour group and we did not have to go far to see birds. Several of us spent one early afternoon watching several species of birds overhead in a fruiting tree, while we sat on the porch of one of the cabins. Two caiman ponds provide for some excitement when one can find the caiman (yes, we did find him). The dining area is in a thatched-roof building that, among other things, serves as a bat roost (not to worry, the bats are small, and don't come to dinner). The meals here are plated meals, as opposed to the buffets found in most lodging facilities we visited, and the servings are more than ample. The dishes served were innovative and of excellent taste and quality. I hardly ever leave food on a plate, but I finally had to here. I was stuffed by the end of our second day. Another unique thing about the operation is the "honor" bar; you make your own drinks or take them out of the cooler and write them down on a tab that you pay upon checkout. Overall, we had a very pleasant stay.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank WYbirdwatcher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Groningen, The Netherlands
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
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.
Studham, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
8 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
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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
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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 6 Contributor
141 reviews
77 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 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
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DuncanHockley
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 11 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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