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“Great location, fantastic experience, but highly overpriced”

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Punta Marenco Lodge
Reviewed March 17, 2014

If you love nature and don't mind roughing it a bit, this is a great place, away from it all. In fact, it can be reached only by boat, and the closest village (a handful of houses really) is a ten-minute boat ride away. But don't expect any luxuries--rooms are very basic, electricity runs only from 5 to 10 p.m. (you need to charge your phone and camera at a central charging station in the dining room and every night it's a race for the last available plugs), no hot water. Meals are good, but basic, too. On the other hand, you are surrounded by wildlife. From the dining room, we saw macaw, toucans, monkeys and snakes. The sunsets are unbelievably beautiful. The staff is very friendly, constantly making sure that everything is okay. Everest, the resident guide is fantastic. We spent two wonderful days with him in Corcovado National Park and snorkelling at Cano Island. He is passionate about the area and the wildlife and makes every effort to show you the best. We stayed three nights and loved every minute of it, but also felt that it was enough. Our only concern was the price-quality ratio. Although we didn't mind roughing it and found that it contributed to the charm of the place, we also find that it is overpriced. In short, either prices need to come down or they need to bring this place up to standard with other lodges in the same price class, preferably the first to give people on a tight budge the opportunity to experience a remote lodge vacation.

Room Tip: Ask for an ocean-view cabana. I think they may have better ventilation.
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank Sanny07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 11, 2014

If you go there you are NOT going on a luxury vacation. Expect cold showers, limited electricity, bugs in your room, a long boat journey to get there and a steep and sometimes slippery slog uphill to reach the place. Believe me, Deet is your friend! (Other insect repellents are available, but don't work as well).

However, the location is fabulous, great sunsets, nice beaches, amazing wildlife - for instance a sloth in the tree outside our chalet, and friendly people. It is definitely for the more adventurous and being slightly fit will help.

Here you'll probably meet other tourists who love the wildlife and the slight whiff of adventure... I'm still scratching my bites but would certainly recommend it ;-)

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank StuartVine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2014 via mobile

We have spent in this lodge 3 days and they have been the best of our tour! The place is fantastic, far from any human contamination. Rooms are very peculiar without walls but just nets you sleep cocooned by the sound of the ocean and the voice of the animals. The view is amazing. Electricity is on only from 5,30pm to 10pm and this allows you to stay more in touch with nature and live on its path. Dinner is served at 7 pm all together so we have found travel lovers like us with whom sharing our experiences. We had a wonderful walk to Rio Claro with guide Oscar, and discovered a piece of paradise. There we have also met a very special man spending his life to save turtles. We had a day to Isla del Cano to do snorkeling. Then last day a wonderful walk with guide Evaristo in Corcovado park. Guides are really passionate with their job and very professional. We have found all the people working in the hotel very kind and efficient. Thanks to all the staff! Absolutely recommended to all those people who like nature and want to spend some days in deep contact with it!

  • Stayed: February 2014
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1  Thank Naimar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2014

At Punta Marenco, you will be staying in a rustic cabin. There is electricity only during certain hours of the day, and the shower is a cold water shower. There is internet at the lodge, but is is slow. You will be lucky to be able to check your e-mail during your stay. In order to get to Punta Marenco, you must take a very bumpy multi-hour boat ride(check out the end of my review for more information about the boat ride). If all of that didn't turn you off, read on.

Punta Marenco is in an unbelievably gorgeous setting. Our cabin had an ocean view, and in order to see monkeys, toucans, sloths, and scarlet macaws, all we had to do was sit on the porch for a while. There is are several beaches within walking distance that are stunning, and you will be on the beach by yourself. The hiking possibilities were endless.

In the beginning, it was a little bit difficult to figure out who was "in charge". We were persistent, and asked around, and eventually we were able to get all of our needs met. The staff was incredibly friendly. Oscar gave us a hearty greeting when we landed on the beach, showed us around the property, and took us on a really nice hike our first day. Karola was extremely helpful in getting us extra towels, laundry service, and anything else that we needed. Juan, our server in the lodge restaurant, was awesome, and overall a great guy. When we first arrived to Punta Marenco, we were on the boat with a new employee who was very friendly and made us feel welcome at PM even though he was unfamiliar to the place himself. He checked on us every day. However, in the middle of our trip, he left PM, saying that he was not being paid well, and was being made to work too many hours (19 hours in one day). That didn't sit well with us.

The food- I was a little worried about the food, as we were in the middle of nowhere, and there are no other restaurant options. My fears were unfounded. While the food is not gourmet, it is decent food, and plenty of it. While another reviewer stated that there were fresh juices at every meal, in our stay at PM, there was always something to drink other than water, but it was definitely a juice drink from a powdered mix.

The other guests- we had a wonderful time socializing with the other guests staying at the lodge. Everyone eats dinner together at the same time- 7PM, and it is a great time to talk about experiences from the day, and share pictures. During our stay, there was always a giant group of European tourists (20+ people) who rotated out every two nights. I would say that this was negative, as they didn't socialize with anyone else, tended to be quite loud, and always took the table with the best ocean view for themselves.

The weather- we were at PM in December and it was hot, hot, hot. A negative for us was that there wasn't even a fan in our cabin. It was difficult to sleep, sometimes even impossible to sleep, it was so hot.

The animals- You should note that the monkeys are easily able to access the cabins (in our cabin, they just lifted the roof up). The monkeys stole from us- all of our food (stupid error on our part- take your food up to the lodge, they will secure it for you), bottles of sweetened tea, dental floss, Pepto-Bismol tablets, an entire bottle of Tums, facial wipes, plastic ponchos, and tampons (unused in the wrapper). Do a better job of securing your stuff than we did!

The boat ride to the lodge (Costa Rican shenanigans)- we were instructed to meet the boat at 11:30 at the Bar Las Vegas in Sierpe. We arrived to Sierpe at around 9:30. Our shuttle bus (Easy Ride) dropped us off at the Perla del Sur and refused to take us to the Bar Las Vegas, saying that the boat came to the Perla as well. We were immediately accosted by a man (Man #1)who asked us about our boat arrangements, and demanded to see our reservation paperwork. We had a lot of luggage,and I had difficulty locating the paperwork. He then called Punta Marenco to confirm our reservation. This all seemed very shady. I asked my husband to walk down to the Bar Las Vegas. At Las Vegas, my husband found a boat that was leaving immediately. When we were collecting our belongings, Man #1 tried to prevent us from leaving, he even called Punta Marenco. Punta Marenco convinced us to wait for the 11:30 boat, saying that the boat we were trying to take wasn't safe and didn't have insurance (unsure of the implications of not having insurance). So we waited. A long, boring wait at the Perla del Sur. It turns out, the boat did indeed come to the Perla del Sur, and when the boat did come around, Man #1 was no where in sight. I assure you the boat is nothing fancy. A big metal boat with a canopy roof and an outboard motor. Everyone sits on benches and your suitcases go into a hold in the bow of the boat. In the middle of the trip, the boat ran out of fuel. Everyone got off before we got to Punta Marenco, so it was a long ride. They even changed boat captains in the middle of the trip. Another couple that we met on the trip did take the earlier boat ride. The folks in Sierpe told them that the boat was unsafe, had no lifejackets, and that it would sink. When they persisted in taking the earlier boat, they were told that a boat captain would not be willing to take from the lodge back to Sierpe. They made it to the lodge just fine, and in case you were wondering, the boat did take them back to Sierpe after their stay.

Boat costs- (more shenanigans)We paid the boat captain $20 per person directly. While at Punta Marenco, we heard that some people paid $15 per person, others paid $20 per person. On the way back to Sierpe, we paid $15 per person to the boat captain, and he didn't even flinch.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank pamelaksch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2013

We loved it here, we had the best jungle tour ever, panters, taipirs, whales, also breeding female whales. Dolphins everything, in 3 days we have seen every wild animal we dreamed of, greT experience loved it here, nice people, good fresh fish, great place in the midle of the jungle, we stayed in october which is a perfect time to travwl to costa rica

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Kiki207
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2013

I’m a scientific leader and owner of a prestigious tour company that had been leading for many years with many different Eco-Lodges from around the world and specially wit Punta Marenco Lodge. From the very first time I do never had a bad moment or bad experience, the beauty of the place, the people that management of the lodge, the local guide “Evaristo” and all the staff, they all had been professional, with great service and beautiful bungalows. As we take our boat ride with captain Alvaro from “Chanchita Tours” along the Sierpe River the boat rides over the clear blue Pacific Ocean, and take us to a long deserted beach and dense rain forest. This is one of the of the most pristine and beautiful areas of the south side of Costa Rica and just next to one of the most famous national parks of the country. Here, in a zone which is recognized as having the greatest biodiversity on the planet, Mrs. Ileana and Alvaro has created an enchanting tourist lodge “Punta Marenco Lodge” The name is apt for a place where nature and ecology are of primary importance. The lodge is surrounding with great vies of the ocean and the sound of the exotic species of birds, howler Monkeys, Toucans and more. Punta Maren Lodge is pretty much everything (unless you are in search of night life and crowds), the many hectares of primary rain forest teeming with wildlife. The lodge and cabins have been beautifully designed, simple and natural but confortable and attractive. They have spacious private bathrooms with sea views.
Punta Marenco Lodge is also beautifully run by Mr. and Mrs. Ileana and Alvaro Rodriguez. On our arrival the lodge manager “Mario” and his crew gave us an “orientation”, so that we all know where to find the supply of snorkels, mask and fins as well the jungle trails and the beach. During our 3 day visit there with my group of 18 students from different countries we all packed and visit the beach and a guided tours to Corcovado national Parks, Cano Island and to Rio Claro Beach.
The primary and secondary rain forest around Punta marenco Lodge is rich with plant and wildlife. As we all walk through the grounds our local guide “Evaristo” will point out those of interest and explain the importance of preserving them. He is knowledgeable and zealous guide with a passion for global awareness. There’s no electricity a Punta Marenco but they have a generator that runs from 5pm to 10 pm. This makes the place more interesting a quiet. The meals at Punta Marenco are delicious and local, for breakfast we the typical dish named “Gallo Pinto” and the rest of the meals composed with fresh caught fish, chicken, pastas and salads. Our last day came and we all do not wanted to leave but we had to continue our expedition through Panama and Costa Rica.
The service and the experience we all had this year as always at Punta Marenco was incredible and will be the place that we keep in our itineraries years by year. I do recommend Punta Marenco Lodge to everybody without any hesitation.

Room Tip: A place that I visit every year with my groups, great people to deal with, quiet, lots of wildlife...
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Agus5558
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2013

Our group of 10 people stayed at Punta Marenco for two nights. Here are a few "highlights" of our experience: 1) When we arrived we found that half of our rooms were without toilet paper and towels and when we asked the staff for toilet paper they reacted as if we were bothering them, 2) The rooms were dirty and cockroaches were scurrying about, 3) Electricity is only provided for a couple of hours in the evening and there are no fans in the rooms, 4) The staff is made up of a gang of young males who were generally unresponsive, unhelpful, and rude. These people have no idea how to run a lodge or cater to guests and they created a very uncomfortable atmosphere, 5) On the last night of our stay four of our cabins were without water and the staff only turned the water on once we angrily confronted them.

I've stayed at plenty of eco-lodges and this is the worst one. We talked with other guests and they had similar experiences. The views of the ocean were nice, but there are other lodges in the area that must be better than this one. Simply not worth the hassle! I really think the only reason this place stays in business is because tour companies have it on their list and they keep sending unsuspecting travelers there. Check your itinerary and if you see this place on it then you should pressure your tour leader to find a better alternative. Avoid at all costs!!!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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8  Thank anth0ny_1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Punta Marenco Lodge

Address: Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Corcovado National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 9 Specialty Lodging in Corcovado National Park
Price Range: $45 - $65 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Own by a Costarican family Punta Marenco Lodge is located 20 minutes by boat from Drake Bay in the Osa Peninsula south pacific coast of Costa Rica. Our bungalows are located in a little hill very close to the beach. The Lodge is part of the Punta Rio Claro National Wild Life Refuge, with miles of pristine beaches and tropical rainforest to explore near the Corcovado National Park. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Punta Marenco Hotel Corcovado National Park

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