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“Beautiful luxury in the middle of the jungle”
Review of Luna Lodge

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Luna Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Carate
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 5, 2009

First of all, anyone who wrote negatively about this place needs to stay out of Costa Rica. If you can't handle bugs, lizards, sloths, monkeys, butterflies, or huge beautiful birds hanging out in your lodge, Costa Rica is probably not the place for you- go to Hawaii. Or, stay off the Osa Penninsula- stay in Nicoya or somewhere else touristy.

Luna lodge was amazing- the location is right in the middle of the rain forest. Without even leaving the property, you can see amazing wildlife, and be treated like a king. The food was great. If you are a picky eater or want a selection- again, go to Hawaii or the touristy places.

A few words of warning- everywhere in this place is uphill. Many of the bungalows are up quite a few stairs, the tent camps are at the very very top- even those that are in shape will feel the burn when walking up there.

This place is definitely more for older travelers, and those who want to be pampered. If you're looking for an adventure spot with tons to do...you may get bored after a day or so, but again, this place is so beautiful, it's worth a stop by to stay for a night, or even to visit for day. Take a yoga class- the view will take your breath away.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled with friends
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Thank savvytraveler1997
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 20, 2008

Our visit to Luna Lodge was something we will never forget. We flew into San Jose and then into Puerto Jimenez. We were met by Olman ( our dirver) and taken to the lodge. Although Olman did not speak alot of English and us not alot of Spanish, we communicated very well. He stopped along the way to show us Coatis and Howler Monkeys and Morpho's. The road is pretty rugged and that made it a real adventure. We were greeted at the Lodge by Nelson and Willie with cool water with a lime in it. By then , we were more than ready to be *home*.
The grounds are exceptionally beautiful, with so many different types of flowers. Our bungalow was well kept and comfy and the outside shower , separated from the jungle by a rock wall was awesome!
The food was delicious . Every thing is homemade and fresh as can be. The fruits served in the morning were to die for. Always at breakfast was fruit, granola and yogurt and then an egg dish , and one day we had banana pancakes.
Lunches were great, salads, black beans burgers and the likes.
We would go and have a drink and appetizers each evening before dinner. They were excellent! homeade chips with bean dip and salsa, tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and fresh cheese and the likes.
The dinners were excellent, often served family style. There was always chicken, fish or pasta served with a salad, grilled veggies and fresh bread. Deserts were brought to us at the table.

We are a couple in our late fifties and really were not interested in hiking to the park or doing any planned activities. We didn't leave the Lodge grounds except to walk down the road a bit , dgo on the waterfall trail, and one day we went down to the beach and walked it for a while. It is all so beautiful!
We saw so much wildlife without even leaving. We saw howler monkeys , spider monkeys, lizards, the sloth ( she lives in the tree by the pool), leaf cutter ants ( which were amazing to watch) and many kinds of birds and other creatures.
We had a wonderful time sitting on the deck of our bungalow, watching the macaws and toucans . We walked up to the yoga platform a few times, the view from there is incredible and we got to see spiders monkeys swinging through the trees on the way up there. The pool is beautiful, we took advantage of it several times. There are lots of pretty lizards running around by it too.
One of the gardners pointed out a hummingbird nest and we watched it for several days. It had two tiny egss in it and then we got to see the momma. I got some great photos!
We were amazed at the sounds of the jungle at night. And of course the sound of the howler monkeys in the mornings ( no need for an alarm clock for sure) and always when they signaled rain.

Lana's story is amazing and she truely is a visionary in our eyes. To think how that lodge was built, mostly by hand with blood, sweat and tears and so much love for the rain forest.
Willie, her mom is so very gracious and welcoming to all the guests. All the staff was wonderful!! Nelson was interesting and funny, Edwin, gracious and helpful, Michael, our waiter was so good at his job and so much fun.
I really think that is what made our stay so awesome was the people!
We talk ofen about this trip and we miss the Lodge. We came away feeling somehow changed, somehow more at peace.
Thank you every one at the Luna!!!

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank gunnigirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2008

Although Luna Lodge seems to pride itself on being a relaxing spa eco lodge, my partner and i found that it was anything but!!

Firstly, I think a warning is in order about the cabins. They are completely open to the elements in that they have walls but these do not reach the roof. Therefore anything, and i mean anything!, can crawl or slither its way into your room. On our first night we found a cockroach in our bed, and on another occasion we awoke to a huge toad croaking at the top of its voice in the middle of the room. I soon started to have nightmares about what i would awaken to in the night!

It also certainly should be noted (especially for families) that there are NO locks on the doors and no element of security. My boyfriend and i were the only guests, which may have seemed ideal, but actually made us feel very vunerable especially at night. The only security they have is a night watchman who wanders around in the dark and, by the end of your stay when you have had sufficient nightmares, appears more like a character from a horror movie than a reassuring presence.

Our bungalow was also on the very top of the hill, which in the pitch black was quite a frightening trek because in Costa Rica the nights really are PITCH BLACK. As they also turn off all electricity by 10 o'clock, you have to make sure that you are ready for bed and all the candles are on before the black out commences. I found myself religiously tucking all the mosquito nets under the mattress around our bed in order to create a "safe" cocoon protected from all the creepy crawlies. I simply could not sleep if this hadn't been done properly!!

After saying all this it hardly seems worth speaking of the service aswel but here goes......

1) When we arrived we found that the spa treatments were unavailable and although we later managed to coherce the manager into getting someone to come and give us massages (after threatening to call the owner), we were made to feel that we were causing a problem for something that should have been an integral part of our stay.

2) The pool was also out of use for all but one day of our stay (we were there for 4 nights) and when my boyfriend enquired as to when it would available to use we were made to feel as if we had caused another problem!

3) Meals were like it or lump it with hardly any variety. We got by as we are fortunately not fussy eaters, but it wasn't what we were expecting given how much we had paid.

The only up-side that i can think of which possibly made this trip worthwhile was the amazing flora and fauna. We saw all manner of wildlife and this is what comforts me when i think how much money we spent. Our guide, Oscar, was very knowledgable and a pleasure to be around and we feel his tours were the only aspect of our trip that was enjoyable.

I completely agree with gently_read and K-L-Cam when they say that although Luna is in a beautiful location, it is definitely not for everyone!! It most certainly feels like luxury camping or back-packing and to those of us not used to sleeping with bugs it is not a pleasant experience!

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank CatsCrazy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luna-Lodge, Owner at Luna Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded July 7, 2013

Thank you very much for taking your time and writing a review.
We are very sorry that you did not feel safe with us. We do have a night guard and also a watch dog. Since we opened the lodge we have had no incident of stealing, robbing or any other criminal act. We do not have locks on our doors but we do have a safe for your valuables. Nevertheless I can say that nothing ever has been stolen here and we do have lots of families with children staying with us without any problem.
Our guests are from all over the world and are amazing people. Potential visitors, please continue to read our other reviews to see how wonderful a trip to Luna can really be.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2008

We went to Luna Lodge for a quiet getaway & had a wonderful time......our host was owner ....Lana......and her hospitlaity professionalism was wonderful.....food/beverage/accommodations were outstanding and the hiking in the immediate areas was wonderful.....if you visit & go hiking take Lana's dog "Osa" , with you, Osa seemed like our personal guide....we never got lost.....

if you want to get away from everything & be surrounded by great service & amenities....then go to Luna Lodge....you won't be sorry!!

Geoff & Robin

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank GeoffNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2008

We traveled to Luna Lodge in search of an escape from the every day hustle and bustle, an adventure into the unknown, a reason to lay in hammocks for hours on end... and some monkeys. We walked away with memories of an experience that surpassed our hopes and expectations. Refreshed (and very sad), I left knowing that I would be back someday and that I had friends in Costa Rica.

Admittedly, I was a bit nervous in planning the trip, as I'm a city girl and not a lover of bugs, spiders, bats and like. A couple reviews on this very page made me hesitant, but during my stay there, I was never bothered by any critters. I saw some giant spiders outside but they just stayed at home in their webs.

We stayed in the tents for the first 2 nights, bungalows the second two nights and we loved both accommodations. The tents are completely zipped up to keep the bugs out and are a bit of a walk up the mountain, providing beautiful views of the jungle below. Though the bungalows are open air, we slept with the mosquito nets and I never noticed any mosquitoes or bugs on the bed. Flashlights are a must for nighttime bathroom trips, as the electricity turns off after a certain time. Each bungalow also has a private little outside shower, so it feels like you're showering in a garden. The pressure is good and the water is hot!

A couple days we did activities, like the Corcovado hike and shore fishing, while other days we just felt like laying around the pool, reading and drinking margaritas. Also laying around the pool (though much higher up) was a sloth that we checked in on every day. She was pretty much doing the same thing that we were.

The Corcovado hike is a must! It lasts the majority of the day but there's not a lot of climbing, just a river to get across which is easy when the water is low. The path you take is also along the most beautiful beach I've ever seen... volcano black sand, clear blue water. Oscar is an amazing guide with a perfectly trained vision for seeing animals both on the ground and in the trees. The shore fishing was also really fun, mostly because my boyfriend caught a snook. I just got sunburned (wear sunscreen!). And if you catch a fish, they take it back to the kitchen and prepare it for you.

Food! The homemade meals they prepared for us were so yummy and were pretty healthy, for the most part. Every morning for breakfast they give you a couple of options, but I always chose the eggs done any way you'd like (and with or without cheese). A couple other mornings, we had french toast and banana pancakes options as well. Lunch was different every day... rice and beans, burritos, vegetables, etc. If you leave on a day activity, Lana herself gives you a packed lunch with your choice of many sandwich options and some sides. Dinner always started with fresh hors d'oeuvres and varied from chicken and fish some nights to lasagna and pasta other nights. Some nights they even set up buffets with many delicious dishes. We had brought bottled water with us just in case, but ended up drinking the water and eating the vegetables and didn't have any stomach problems whatsoever.

We took about 60 pictures of monkeys. They're literally everywhere and you can see them on the hikes you go on or around Luna Lodge itself. Spider monkeys, White Faced monkeys and Howler monkeys were swinging through trees, sometimes even posing for the camera. We came to know the Howler monkeys as our alarm clock, or a signal that it was about to rain.

The rain for us was not really a problem. We did go in the beginning of the rainy season and it did rain every day but it was mostly in the evenings when we were going to bed or for a short time in the afternoon. It never interfered with our plans for the day and actually was really nice to read/sleep to.

The best part of Luna though, is the people that work there. It helps to know a little Spanish but it's definitely not necessary. Everyone there welcomes you as if you're coming into their home and are beyond hospitable. Lana and her mom Willie are both wonderful and ensure that your stay at Luna Lodge is as personalized as possible.

I would recommend visiting Luna Lodge to anyone, as it was literally the most beautiful and spiritual trip of my life.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank megegen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2008

Luna Lodge was magical. We stayed 8 nights. Lana, Willie, her mom, Gary, our guide, and the entire staff were warm, welcoming and gracious. We loved Corcovado National Park - and galloping horses on the beach! We even saw a puma - very rare! And peccaries, and a tapir, and coatis, and Jesus Christ lizzards who walk water, and a tucan, tons of scarlet macaws - and monkeys galore! We were never hot except when hiking. There was always a cool breeze. Our first night I needed a blanket! It was wonderful to be wall-less with the rainforest (actually, it's only about 4' open between the cane walls of your bungalow and the palapa roof, but with the no electricity noise, the constant thrumming of life in the rainforest and screened windows, it feels wall-less.)

It was a treat not to have to think about meals (we usually rent a vacation home). The bar is open all day. The pool is wonderful! The food was always good. There were only 2 meals that didn't have fish or chicken dishes - and the vegatarian dishes were very good.

We stayed in both Bungalow 1, the honeymoon bungalow, and Bungalow 4, our favorite! Bunglow 4 was, amazingly, bugless - I think because it was closer to the center of the property. Bungalow 1 is on the edge of the property with a great view, but is buggier. And Bungalow 4 was planted for great butterfly and hummingbird viewing from the rocking chairs, and was perfect in every way! Be sure to bring your headlamps, and use them to read in your rockers instead of turning on inside lights which draws the bugs in.

We loved Luna Lodge, the Osa Peninsula, and Corcovado National Park! I've told all my friends they need to go there before they die! Keep up the good work, Lana!

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank katreed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2008

We went to Luna for our Honeymoon. We were exhausted before we got there. We stayed only a few hours in the honeymoon bungalow since we just couldn't get over the bugs, specifically the scorpion in the bedside table drawer. I think guests should be fully aware of the environment.

Bring sneakers, water shoes, flip flops hat/bandana.
Bring your own medicines. There are none at the Lodge.
I don't recommend drinking the water regardless of what they tell you. both my husband and I took 2 months for our stomachs to return to normal. Mine took antibiotics as well.

1) There is no electric. Generators are turned off promptly at 10pm, without warning. You're in your room with a candle and a flashlight. (light attracts bugs anyway!!).

2) Meals. You eat when they say eat at group tables and that's it. No selection of food, no selection of Time. Breakfast is very early. Food wasn't bad. Wasn't all that good either. Just ok. We were there 5 nights. Dry Chicken 4 nights and fish one night. Food for all is placed on one table. 2-3 sides each night and dessert is one piece placed in front of you at your table. Hor's Deouvres is simply chips and salsa. Breakfast was eggs every day. Soda was $3.50 a can. There are no snack machines or a store to buy supplies. Bring what you like to snack on. Don't worry about the luggage weight for the airplane rides, nobody else seemed to.

3) Open Air Bungalows:
Bungalows are beautiful with stunning views and open air bathroom was very cool. Water pressure is good.
Cons: BUGS, BUGS, BUGS. We were first greeted by a 6" grasshopper covering the light switch; then a scorpion in the bedside table drawer and a HUGE jumping spider on the door. Mosquito netting is in 4 separate pieces so it defeats the purpose. There is no dresser of drawers to put clothes, no closet, etc. you live out of your suitcase which stays tightly zipped to keep bugs out.
FYI: no toilet paper in the toilets ever. It all goes in a trash can. It takes a little getting used to. Obviously no air conditioning and no fans. you clothes will be slightly damp.

4) bird watching tour is a walk down the hill about 500 feet to a platform where you'll only see birds through binoculars that are shared. since birds tend to move quickly, if you're not first, you won't see it. and you're not allowed to walk to the platform without paying for a guide. but i'm glad i did it because it was the only time i spotted a toucan, albeit it was so far away it was only a silhouette.

5) horseback riding with amed was great. we got to see alot. unfortunately we were given a horse with a bum leg. He tripped and fell during the ride. We had to walk the rest of the tour. We later heard that Lana has had problems with the care of the horses whom she rents from. sunset on the beach was breathtaking.

6) hike thru corcovado was great! saw lots of animals, birds, snakes and beautiful scenary. definitely recommend it. DONT FORGET BUG SPRAY. SPECIFICALLY FOR TICKS. (I had 4 on me and my husband 2. no limes disease tho) wear your hat

7) very nice, relaxing pool area.
8) definitely get a massage by amed. he's amazing.
9) kayaking tour was OK. glad we went.
10) it is true that you need to sign up for your excursions in advance as they are guided by Luna staff that have many other jobs at the lodge. we were lucky enough to get Amed for our excursions. He made our trip even more memorable.
11) the walk to the beach??? no way is this a short walk. you need a ride to the beach.
12) internet cafe one said?? it's via satellite with wireless capability. it's slower than dial up. it took me my entire 15 minute session to log in and print my boarding passes. never even got to see my email.

If you need rest and relaxation and even the slightest bit of pampering, this is not the place for you. It's more like luxurious camping. If that's what you're looking for, than there isn't a more beautiful place than this.

Don't get me wrong, the osa peninsula is exquisite natural beauty like you'll never see. Just be properly prepared for your stay and you'll enjoy it.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank K-L-Cam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Luna Lodge

Address: Playa Carate, Carate, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Corcovado National Park > Carate
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Carate
Price Range: $150 - $250 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Luna Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Secluded in the tropical rain forest bordering Corcovado National Park, Luna Lodge is a unique resort described by many as "...a piece of true paradise". Its appeal is, not only, its natural beauty and environment, where the heliconia hang three feet long, and the howler monkeys wake you in the morning, but also, its ambiance. The owners' passion for the preservation of the forest is ever present, and the attentive courtesy, friendly staff always serve "con mucho gusto... with pleasure". ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Luna Hotel Carate
Luna Lodge Costa Rica/Carate

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