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“Wow.. I have found the paradise..” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Esquinas Rainforest Lodge

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Esquinas Rainforest Lodge
Ranked #2 of 12 Hotels in Golfito
Certificate of Excellence
Espoo, Finland
Level Contributor
63 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Wow.. I have found the paradise..”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2013

The first impressions, when entering the lodge area, are the heat and the humidity. How an earth do they get anything dry here? (they have a drier). Then you check in with the efficient and very helpful staff, your suitcase is carried to your cabin and you can relax with your first beer.

The lodge is owned by an Austrian couple and it does a lot of co-operation with a couple of universities in Austria and Germany. It is a true eco-lodge and that means certain things: It is somewhat basic, no a/c, the water in the shower is ambient, not hot, there is no cellphone coverage etc. This is a place where you need to shower at least four times and use minimum of three t-shirts every day. You sweat continuously. You accept those and you will have the time of your life!

The lodge itself has some 14 rooms, each accommodating three people. So it is not large and I was extremely lucky to have the whole lodge and its staff to myself the first 26 hours (not that I counted them!) before a group of some 20 Brits came there the next day. It had been fully booked the day before so my luck was unbelievable. Just imagine the peace and sounds of nature when sitting on the porch...

The price includes three meals a day and a guided walk. The meals were all done with local veggies and other raw materials and were very good indeed. Lunch and dinner both had three courses so one does not go hungry here! There was always some exotic juice for lunch or dinner. Or you could get yourself a beer or wine from the bar.

The walk with Chico along the Ocelot trail was a pure joy. As I was alone there, we walked together and he showed me frogs, lizards and other animals (even a "harmless" snake) I would have missed for sure, had I done the trail by myself. He was amazing with the birds and this place must have a huge variety of them around. I was told a Dutch bird watcher had recorded a lot of birds at this lodge for his app of "Costa Rican birds" (15 hours of various bird calls....).

Locationwise this is right in the middle of forest. It is not that close to anything so not that many people find themselves at this far corner of the country. So both the national park and the lodge have remained untouched and a pure gem. I loved it, every minute of it.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jukka1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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221 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    156
    57
    4
    3
    1
See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
la fortuna, cr
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 13, 2013

though little old, already the lodge is in good shape and very well managed. the staff is friendly and professional; the bungalows and the food are fine. special highlights are the caiman pool, the ocelot trail and most especially the freshwater-pool, fed by the near spring, providing chemical-free water. from the pool site one can easily spot snakes, leguans (basilisks) and toucans. with usd 240/night/bungalow the rates are very reasonable. what could be improved upon? wifi support at all areas in the lodge, incl. bungalows and pool area

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank timm j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tunbridge Wells
Level Contributor
24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 8, 2013

At Esquinas you really feel a part of the rainforest - because you are. From the moment you arrive, the sights and sounds (and humidity!) of the forest envelop you. The main lodge building is open-sided and the individual cabins have mesh windows and delightful furnished verandahs. At night, the cacophony of chirruping frogs, crickets and cicadas is so loud you wonder if you'll be able to sleep but actually it's the perfect lullaby, especially if you've spent a hot sweaty day hiking the trails. You'll probably see more wildlife around the lodge than on the trails - just sit back with a cool drink and enjoy the show - but I would definitely recommend the guided night walks and strolling along the dirt road to La Gamba village where you are likely to see toucans, caracaras etc. If you don't like snakes or creepy crawlies, Esquinas may not be for you - there were venomous fer-de-lance snakes, and a very protective mother caiman with babies in the grounds while we were there (no problem if you don't threaten them) and large basilisk lizards near the bar. I'll leave others to comment on food and accommodation in detail but we were more than happy with both.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank m0tm0t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2013

This is a wonderful Eco-lodge in the midst of the rainforest. Located in La Gamba, not far off the main Interamericana road, and Piedras Blancas National Park. I stayed here two nights with a tour group, in January. The accom is all in wooden buildings, the main reception/restaurant/bar and library building has open sides. It overlooks one of the ponds and is surrounded by nature (lizards, hummingbirds, bats...). There is a small stream-fed pool which is a very welcome refreshment to the high humidity. The accomm is in wooden buildings, with chairs & table on a verandah - great for seeing the toucans in the trees outside your room! The glass-free windows are essentially mosquito netting with curtains made by the local tribes people. There is a fan in the room, which during the day time has very little effect, but at night there is a breeze. Our room had 3 comfy beds, a wardrobe,power points and bathroom - hotwater shower. A torch is a must - regardless of lit paths, you should be checking your route, and then your room on entering (and shoes/bags etc for uninvited guests). There are many walks available - take a guide to get the most, and a night walk is one of highlights. The food (full board) is outstanding. Oh, and although i love the sound of nature, I recommend ear plugs for a good night sleep! enjoy this friendly, beautiful place.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank worlddelights
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hague, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
27 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 14, 2013

A pretty good eco lodge, who provide some day and night hikes. You can do them on your own, or hire a guide to walk with you. For the night hike I would suggest the latter, as you will otherwise miss a lot of the wildlife.

The rooms are clean and spacious. No airco... but you didn't really need one as it cools off during the night.

Meals are simple but tasty.

We stayed here for the wildlife and to experience a bit of the rainforest. This isn't a resort to relax in... it does have a pool, but the water comes from the creek. So don't freak out if you see some frogs in it :)

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 74flyingdutchman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
271 reviews
224 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 319 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 8, 2013

Located adjacent to the Piedras Blancas National Park and the village of La Gamba the Esquinas eco-lodge is deep in the rainforest. We stayed here for two nights while on a tour. The main building houses reception, the bar/lounge and the restaurant area. The building is open with a beautiful palm leaf roof. Our room (in a cottage housing two separate units) was large with three single beds. The bathroom was also large. Being an eco-lodge the room did not have air-conditioning. There is a fan that did manage to cool the room down at night. It is very hot and humid here. Hot water is not available in the sink and the shower has hot water on demand. It is not really hot but warm enough. A mountain stream feeds the pool so it’s cold and very refreshing. The lodge does not use any chemicals in the pool – the water is changed as the stream flows through it. The pool though could have used a good scrubbing. The gardens around the lodge are beautiful. There are many trails to use to see birds, snakes, wildlife and flowers. The whole complex is very clean and well maintained. Since it is so isolated, meals are all included. Women from the village of La Gamba cook all of the meals. The meals are wholesome, freshly made using fresh products. We enjoyed the meals. Bar prices are reasonable. The hotel operates on an honour system – list what you take and then pay at departure. We took part in three nature walks (two during the day and one at night). Very pleasant though a bit muddy. It rains here – and when it rains it really rains. So the grounds are quite wet. The lodge’s website is excellent and well worth visiting to understand the mission and development of the adjacent national park and the lodge.

The resort is well worth the drive. The location in the rainforest, the openness of the lodge and the eco-friendly operation are all to be commended. The cleanliness, friendliness of the staff and good food add to its attractiveness. WiFi, available in the main building, is fast and free.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Canadian079
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2013

We went because we saw great recommendations for the place, no one was wrong. The place is near carretera interarmericana, before the entrance to Golfito, or there is a road between Golfito and the Lodge (for 4x4 cars)

Since the place said, no TV, we understand the place is for rest, to now better the gorgeous of the south pacific (Osa Region) of Costa Rica.

The food is delicious, mix of german with latin (ie german bread and pinto in the same table), also the place is known as the austrian project, because, long time ago, an austrian man, invest on re-forest the zone, after that, make the lodge, and nowadays there are students from universities learning how to recover the forrest, and methods (just what they explain to me...there are couple of books).

Room are very confortable, a lot of activities to do, hiking, birds watching, etc.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Andres H
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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