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“Marenco is heaven”

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Marenco Beach & Rainforest Lodge
Reviewed February 8, 2008

We stayed at the Marenco Rainforest Lodge in January 2008 - what an amazing place! we rented a bungalow and we could see monkeys and sloths from our room! the management is friendly, helpful, educated and will do anything they can to make your stay comfortable and memorable. we loved the food and the staff are all awesome. the beaches around the lodge are breathtaking and we trekked to a waterfall and swam in crystal clear waters and the Rio Claro - all the way to the ocean - i'll remember that for the rest of my life. we also loved that it's lights out at 11 PM so that the lodge conserves energy and that allows you to really experience what it's like out there without human activity. in the morning, the sounds of nature wake you up, and a hearty breakfast gets you ready for a day of adventure. the animals and plants are breathtaking and the guides who accompany you to the Corcovado reserve and elsewhere are friendly and very informative. Jose is recognized as the Guide of Guides in Costa Rica and it's truly a memorable experience to see 3 types of monkeys, sloths, coati, toucans, macaws, whales, giant butterflies, wild boar etc -and that's on a slow day! we had to leave at 5:30 am to catch a flight and Sandra the hotel manager was up at the crack of dawn to make sure we had everything we needed, along with the Argentinian chef (delicious food!!) and waitress Jasmine who arranged for a candlelight breakfast as a send-off. in Costa Rica, Marenco is how you spell paradise. we will definitely return to this tropical natural oasis.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank traveljam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7 - 13 of 17 reviews

Reviewed April 24, 2007

Unfortunately, the rainy season started in April for us. We got rained on every day we were at the Marenco.

The first room they put us in was the furthest possible from the dining hall and the meeting area. This was unfortunate as we had small children. After the first night they moved us closer.

The first room was in an older section. The bathroom reeked of urine. My daugher dropped a shirt on the floor and based on the smell of it, it was clear that the bathroom floor hadn't been cleaned. The sheets were old and ready to be replaced. The second room they gave us was better. Not great, but better. At least it was clean.

Food was average at best. If you have kids, be prepared to improvise. The 'afternoon snacks' were prepacked cookies.

The tours are expensive. We spent $70 per person (including our 5 year old) to go to the Corcovado ranger station. We saw a single caimen and a few birds. I think this is unusual, but be prepared, it happened to us. This hike isn't very difficult. We were prepared for a long, hard hike. It turned out to be a stroll on a well worn path. Not very exciting.

Overall, the folks at Marenco were nice. But frankly, by the time you factor in food costs ($40 per day for adults, $40 for our older daughter, and $20 for the two youngest) and room $80 plus all the transfers it got expensive quick.

Next time we'll try something a little higher end. We thought we'd get a better experience because of the location, but it didn't turn out to be the case.

We did see seven macaws that lived in the area, but other than that the animals were non-existent.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled with family
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3  Thank Chris_WA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2007

We stayed at Marenco in late March 2007. If you are someone who likes/needs air conditioning, whirlpools, shopping, gormet dining options, or room service you will not be happy here. On the other hand, if you love being close to nature, hearing howler moneys outside your room, hiking on trails connected directly to the property, and eating well prepared food that is nutricious you will have a good time. Everything gets to this lodge the same way the quests do, which is to say you take a small plane to a small gravel air strip, take a 20 min taxi ride that crosses 2 or 3 creeks (without bridges), then board a boat for a 20 min. boat ride. There is no electricity at the lodge so leave your hair dryer at home. They have a generator that provides lights in the evenings til 10pm or so. We loved our stay there and also liked the fact that the guests are largely from countries other than the US. One thing to keep in mind - it's very humid and quite hot, which takes some adjustment for northeners, but after a couple of days I found I got used to it.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled with family
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4  Thank BLovell53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2006

We just got back from 10 days in beautiful Costa Rica, 4 of which were spent at Marenco. Of almost 300 pictures we took, almost 200 were taken here - if that tells you anything of the absolute beauty of this place.

The Bad:
The rooms were rustic - small huts, no A/C - there is a fan but when the generator is turned off, so is your breeze. You'll wake up sweaty - the cold showers are welcome in the afternoons, but not so great in the morning.

There are also LOTS of bugs. It's a battle to keep them out of your food!

You have to walk up a steep hill to Marenco. But it's worth it.

(This is an isolated place in the rain forest, and these conditions are expected - just know what you're getting into)

The Good:
This is where the list gets long.
SERVICE: Fantastic. The staff was extremely helpful - from arranging tours - we went on the snorkeling trip to Cano Island - well worth it. We saw dolphins, turles, even a White Tip Reef Shark! Another couple there had a rough experience horseback riding - so you may want to skip that. Also, you'll find the condition of Costa Rican horses aren't quite as nice as you'd get here in the states. We didn't go on any of the guided hikes, but heard good things about them from other guests.

ROOMS: The views are great. We had monkeys - white-faced and howlers - come right up to our deck. We even had one jump up on our roof! We had a lizard get in our room once - which bothered my wife more than me. A few taps on the wall scared him off. The cold showers are rough in the morning, but are great in the afternoon (especially if you've been hiking). It's more "room temperature" than cold - so don't be put off too much by the lack of hot water.

WILDLIFE: Amazing. We sat in the grove area by the boat landing and had monkeys playing all around us. You will be within a few feet of these animals if you want, or watch from a distance. Plenty of white faced monkeys, howlers, spider monkeys, lots of birds - we saw a McCaw right when we arrived. Make sure you have plenty of film/memory cards before you arrive.

FOOD: Some of the reviews say the food was not good. I thought it was some of the better food we had in the country. If you're going to Costa Rica, a place where red beans and rice are eaten at each meal, you're not there for the food anyway. Marenco's restaurant offered a good variety over our stay - roast beef, marlin, and chicken were our dinner choices. The breakfast is great (try the Ham/Cheese Omelette!).

If you're checking out Marenco,I really hope you will stay there. It is DEFINITELY remote, but you will leave with one of the greatest experiences of your life.

And if you see a black Lab-mix hanging around, give him some food for me.

  • Stayed: May 2006
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7  Thank StanStabler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2006

I was nervous about this leg of our journey...whether it would be too rustic and relaxed for our four children. They were entranced with Marenco. We loved the "rustic" rooms with the mosquito netting over the beds and the quiet porch which looked out over the rainforest and ocean. Million dollar views, especially early in the morning and late in the afternoon when white-faced moneys AND spider monkeys would go through the trees right in front of us! There were lots of activities...we went diving at Cano Island (outstanding) and had a guided hike/canoe trip/snorkelling day (very fun). There were other choices and we could have been busy all the time, but we loved being at the beach and just watching all of the wildlife from our porch or the restaurant. It was lovely, you had great views and was a pretty place to just relax. The only reason I didn't give it a 5 is because the food isn't great. It's ok but not good. The staff is so nice! They have a few essentials for sale in the office, but not enough (like they don't have batteries) so come prepared and with flashlight batteries. Truly a place you don't want to miss.

Stayed: April 2006
5  Thank baronginger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
London, England
425
Reviewed January 21, 2006

We stayed for five nights at Marenco Lodge and loved it. We had a basic wooden room with a balcony which looked out over the gardens and to the sunset over the island. The accommodations were rustic but exactly what we were after. The lodge has its own guides who are able to organise hikes to Corcovado National Park, as well as night hikes and trips to Isla Cano. There are also trails from the lodge through the rainforest which you can do independently. The staff were always on hand to answer any queries we had. The food was pretty good - the meals were big and varied and the dining area was great for relaxing all day long. You do have to pay extra for meals though - about $30 per person per day, and there's no shops anywhere nearby. Oh, and be prepared for cold water showers! We saw toucans, scarlet macaws, agoutis and lots of other animals and birds in and around the lodge. We felt that Marenco had a great secluded location and highly recommend it.

5  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2005

We just returned from a long weekend at Marenco outside the Corocovado National Park in Drake's Bay - the highlight of our trip to Costa Rica. The staff was great, the meals were sufficient, and the bungalow was breathtaking. In 3 days, we saw monkeys and macaws, went hiking and diving, and met people from all over the world.

I have read reviews for almost every lodge and camp in this area. Please realize that comments like "there was a lizard in our room," or "not a great selection of food," etc. are people who missed the entire point of this region. They run on solar power and gernerators, you are in the middle of the jungle, and everything you eat has to come by a boat. There are vacations that I take where I enjoy living in luxury, but a trip to the heart of a Central American rainforest isn't one of them. In conversations with tourist from other lodges, they all have their pro's and con's - you may find one with a hot shower, but learn upon arrival that you share a bathroom, etc. Find one that matches your personality and enjoy the time of your life.

Marenco's pros: bungalows with lots of privacy, private bathrooms, great views, deserted beaches, good food, small bar, great staff, good selection of tours, fans in most of the rooms, power until midnight (many only offer until 10 pm).

Marenco's cons: you have to hike up quite a hill to get to the lodge (or back to the beach or tours), they don't have hot water.

Want to read all about our trip and Marenco - visit our travel blog at
ourtraveladventures.

  • Stayed: February 2005
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20  Thank Tiffany P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Marenco Beach & Rainforest Lodge

Address: Punta San Jose, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Corcovado National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 9 Specialty Lodging in Corcovado National Park
Price Range: $79 - $169 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 21
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Also Known As:
Marenco Beach And Rainforest Lodge
Marenco Beach & Rainforest Hotel Corcovado National Park

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