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Reviewed January 6, 2012

My mother and I accompanied my father and brother to Crocodile Bay in January 2012 for a fishing trip, and were very pleasantly surprised by the level of service, the beauty of the property, and the variety and quality of the eco tour offerings (I will give the caveat that this review is NOT for the fishing, which neither of us did and which was not very good for my father and brother, who did not have great luck). We sometimes end up as an afterthought on fishing excursions, but this was decidedly not the case at Crocodile Bay.

The staff: Wonderful, friendly staff, really a highlight of our stay! We felt very much at home by the time we left six days after our arrival. The front desk is helpful and accommodating. The guides are knowledgeable and fun to be around, especially Dennis, who is from the area and took us on memorable horseback riding and zipline excursions. The spa gave some of the best massages I have ever had (and I have had many around the world). I cannot finish without mentioning Olimpia, who took great care of us through two birthdays and was just all around helpful, insightful, and a joy to be around.

The property: The grounds got more beautiful the longer we were there. While our trip to the botanical gardens was nice due to the informative cooking garden, the flowers on the Crocodile Bay property itself were even better. Orchids, hibiscus, heliconias, and palms all around, with small butterflies flitting from one plant to the next (we even saw a blue morpho come through once!). The hot tub is raised up above the pool and ended up being my favorite spot, with the hammocks a close second. There is not a beach (a long pier sticks out into the bay) but there is a free shuttle to nearby Playa Preciosa beach, or you can ride a bicycle there. The rooms are not what you would find at a fancy 5 star chain resort, but they are comfortable, spacious, and air conditioned. I saw an older review from someone who came here for a honeymoon (did he look at their website first?!) and this is not that kind of place- Crocodile Bay is a remote eco lodge where you can both relax in natural surroundings and pursue a variety of eco adventures.

Food: a good variety of healthy, delicious food. Sometimes menu and sometimes buffet, depending on occupancy at the resort. Freshly caught fish (mostly mahi but depends on what is caught), beans, rice, fresh fruit, avocados, steak, chicken and more (we especially loved the traditional Costa Rican casado at lunch). Olimpia and the staff show that healthy does not have to be boring.

The spa: The Swedish massage was so good that I went back twice. The people who work there are knowledgeable, professional, and do a very good job. The Swedish massage I received from Johana was one of the best spa treatments I had ever received. The reflexology was quite good, too, as was the coffee body polish and the mini facial that was included with the scrub. My mom also liked her two treatments, and he is not a spa person at all.

Eco Tours: A good variety are offered. You choose at dinner the night before, but if you really want to do something specific we found it helpful to give plenty of advance notice and make it very apparent if there is limited time in which to do it. If you have your heart set on something don't be shy and follow up.

Animal Sanctuary: We almost did not get to go because of a scheduling mishap, but this was corrected and when we did we were very glad we went. The woman who runs it, Carol, is quite a character and you get to see many of the rainforest animals up close (some have to be caged because of injuries, but others are free roaming on the property or hang around after being released). Very worthwhile, and Sweetie the spider monkey was a real highlight!

The Miramar zipline is the higher and faster of the two offered and definitely lived up to expectations (we have been on several zip lines, some of which barely got off the ground). There are probably around eight zip lines of varying heights which pass through the primary forest, and the family that runs it uses double clips for extra safety so you are never unattached high above the ground, which made us feel a little better when the platforms and trees were swaying! While we would not have been disappointed with the zipline itself, we also saw a small troop of howler monkeys in the trees near the highest platform.

Horseback riding: A good way to see the secondary forest from a different level. We did the half day (which was definitely sufficient) and saw a bit of the countryside, a view of the sea, and a variety of birds and butterflies. Dennis has a uncanny knack for finding the birds in the forest and pointing them out, even showing me better camera settings to capture pictures of them inside the canopy.

Monkey Tour: We saw three of the four types of monkeys that live in Costa Rica. Secondary forest instead of primary but still beautiful scenery, especially the beach. Road there was extremely bumpy, but in my opinion worth it to see the wildlife (this tour is your best bet to see monkeys in the wild).

Botanical gardens: A nice expedition, but not our top. Possibly because of the time of the year, there were not many (or variety) of orchids, and the Crocodile Bay property itself had as many beautiful flowers. The cooking garden was the highlight, as it was interesting to see turmeric, ginger, and a variety of other edibles in their growing state. I am very into plants, so this was worth it, but if plants are not your area of interest another tour might be more worthwhile.

A note about Corcovado National Park: While this tour is offered, it is actually somewhat difficult to get there from the Puerto Jimenez area where Crocodile Bay is located. You can either take an $800 flight (which I think you might be able to split among a group if there are a few of you) or drive to the edge of the national park via a very bumpy road, walk along the beach for several miles, and then hike into the forest itself. While technically possible, it seemed to make more sense to visit the primary forest closer to Crocodile Bay, which had plenty to see and do nearby. Personally, if Corcovado National Park was my main goal, I would dedicate several days to the Park itself instead of taking a day trip from Puerto Jimenez.

In sum, my mother and I had a great time at Crocodile Bay. I was sorry to leave and would love to go back! Wish the fishing had been better the week we were there, but amazing experience for our group in every other area.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank Sunfl0werSky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2012

just returned from 6 days at crocodile bay. took my son and a buddy for fishing, my wife and duaghter for R&R and ecotours.the whole operation is well organized and runs smoothly.nice hotel in San Jose,transfers to and from the resort were good.the resort grounds were clean and attractive.the rooms were large and comfortable, in fact could easily have four people to a single suite.nice kitchen, beatiful bar, consistently good food.the staff was friendly and the service was great.my wife and daughter especially enjoyed the spa and the daily ecotours. so what was the problem? No Fish!This is what we caught:day 1 (offshore) no fish:day 2(offshore) 1 sailfish; day 3 (inshore) 12 mostly small roosterfish 1 small snapper; day 4 (inshore) 1 pompano; day 5 (inshore) 3 roosters, 2 makeral and a jack.the captains seemed knowledgable,the boats and tackle were nice, but they could not put us on fish. So...five star operation, one star fishing, makes for three stars overall.

Room Tip: upstairs suites best
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank charles h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2012

We are sitting at the airport trying to plan our next trip. We had such a great time. The staff was excellent. Oldemar and Mauricimo were are fishing captain and mate. They made our fishing great, over two days we caught 8 sail fish and 1 marlin. Alberto was a great guide on the jungle tour and the zip linning. All of the ladies in the resturant and bar were wonderful. The rooms were good, food great, weather wonderful. We will definitely be back.

Room Tip: Get a room on the second floor. We had kids above us and it made for loud evenings.
  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank Jana R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2011

I have spent one week filming with my crew in CBL, it was an unbelivable week! great fishing inshore and offshore - professional captains and mates speaking ENGL/SPA and very nice crew in the lodge that allows visitors not only fishing tours but also ecotours in a pristine rainforest, SPA, and many other activities! I'll be back soon!!
Ciao

Antonio Varcasia
www.realityfishing.tv

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled on business
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1  Thank kahuna75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2011

My Husband and I have visited CBL twice this year, ( May and November). We have been on many vacations around the world, But not one quite like this one. May was my first trip and my husbands third, You are greeted at the airport by a crocodile bay employee and taken to a hotel for1 night, before flying into Puerto Jimenez. The Next morning the driver takes you to the airport for a short flight into puerto Jimenez, Which is an adventure in itself. You are greeted at the airport by another CBL employee and taken to the lodge, and greeted by a tropical drink and very friendly staff. My husband loves to fish so this trip I felt was more for him than me because I am not much into fishing. Well I was so wrong...We fished alright, but there are so many other things to do besides fish.. Their Eco Tour Employees are AMAZING. My husband had booked spa appointments, Which I also can't say enough about, We liked the spa so much we made extra Appointments.. The Next morning we went for breakfast, which was always Amazing food and the Staff was very friendly and Always happy and go out of their way to get you what you want. On our boat we had Melvin and Gerardo and they both made our fishing trips one to remember, Tuna Galore...along with other fish, Rooster Fish, Snapper, Dorado..That night the kitchen staff made us Sashimi with all the fixings and it was amazing..For dinner they made us the Snapper (Deep Fried) and I don't think I have eaten anything better. After several days of this top notch service from Housekeeping to Kitchen staff to waitress staff, Fishing Personal, I was HOOKED. The day we left we were checking out and saying our goodbye to everyone, I felt so emotional and attached and I have never felt this way on any of my vacations. After Many Tears the CBR staff took us to the airport, and stayed with us until we were on the plane..

After we arrived home, We knew we needed to go back real soon. So we booked another trip for the end of November and Stayed for 8 Nights. Again arrived and was greeted by who we feel are like family. We booked 5 Days of fishing, Eco tours and Spa appointments.
Fishing again was amazing. My goal this trip was to catch a Sail Fish, Rooster Fish, and I caught both. My Husband wanted the Lady in the Blue Dress..Well he got her, Melvin our captain estimated it to weigh between 650 to 700 lbs.. Yes I had one Happy Husband.. We caught many other fish, Dorado, Tuna, Marlin, Sailfish, Snapper and other fish I can't remember..We took the Eco tour to the wild animal sanctuary and was greeted by a monkey named Sweetie, and then again I felt like I was in Heaven. Many days here we fished, spa, eco tours and decided we would go into town and eat at a local place and Had a great time with all the local people and had a fantastic meal and danced the night away..
The Morning we left yet again felt the emotions coming on saying goodbye to all these wonderful people, When saying goodbye Olympia said to me, think of it this way. This is home and I am gonna stay here and take care of home and your going back to take care of all you business, Then I will see you when you get back home..Olympia is the most amazing person and goes out of her way to make all the guest feel like Family..Thank You All for the most Amazing Vacation In Have Ever Been ON..Keep Up the Good Work..

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LeighanneNunes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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