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“It's not the end of the world, but you can see it from here”

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Hotel Las Caletas Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Idyllwild, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“It's not the end of the world, but you can see it from here”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 7, 2011

Las Caletas is, in a word, otherworldly. For me, looking to get far away from the typical tourist-trap, urbanized, noisy world, this was six nights of paradise. Other reviewers have described the amenities, the layout of the place, the surroundings. I'll say a few things about my own personal experience, and maybe it will resonate.

My first sensation at Las Caletas was hopping off the boat into the surf... Warm, clean water, soft sand and an amazing sense of having just found "my happy place"... Climbing up the stony path to the lodge, entering the rainforest and stopping at the outdooor shower to wash the sand off my feet, I felt like I had been transported back in time to the pre-Gidget years of lost-in-space surf hamlets and friendly inn owners who really care. David was great. I met Jolanda a week later, and she is wonderful as well.

I stayed in a tent, which was very private, yet close to nature... actually, right in nature. Between the millions of cicadas, the wacky howler monkeys at 5 AM, birds upon birds, and who-knows-what, the jungle literally roars you to sleep. Yes, it is loud, but what a gorgeous loudness! No cars, motorcycles, loudspeakers, airplanes or anything else of a mechanical nature to interrupt my peaceful reverie. No insect issues, and other than a few mosquitoes at sundown and some sand flies (that weren't the dangerous kind), no bites at all. Perfect.

The main building, which David and Jolanda hand-built years ago, is a joy. Big open-front covered patio, views to forever, funky but so very cool tropical wood construction, and a wonderful hammock... it doesn't get much better than this - anywhere. You can forget your a/c and leave your cotton clothes at home... bring synthetics that wick-dry, a good pair of sandals and you're in like Flynn. Yes, it was hot and humid, but... this is the tropics... and that's what the beach is for!

My favorite things about staying at Las Caletas? Swimming, the rain, and the people. Sure, the views are amazing, but one doesn't actually live in the view every day. I swam several hours per day, in seas calm and rough (but warm), I hiked up and down the beaches, rode a horse, and took a tour to Corcovado with Jose, who is very cool... and we were absolutely deluged by rain. Then again, staying at Las Caletas is all about getting away and - the rainforest... so rain was perfect! We had some epic thunderstorms as well... nothing quite like lying awake at midnight, long after the world has gone to sleep, with the explosive crash of thunder, brilliant streaks of lightning, and - yes - those amazing jungle sounds all around. There were few other guests (at the most there were five of us, it was low season) - and we all found ourselves giving each other plenty of space, yet having a fun interaction at meal times... Oh yeah - the food... wonderful.

In short, this was the highlight of my trip to Costa Rica, and head and shoulders above the "tourist resorts" or anything else there. If you're looking for a true get-away, and want to feel a little like Robinson Crusoe, stay here.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank mtn6000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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373 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
New Haven, Connecticut
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 13, 2011

My family (self, wife, 3 kids) stayed at Las Caletas for 5 nights - just left 2 days ago. It was one of the best holiday experiences we have ever enjoyed.

Here are the caveats: Do not stay at Las Caletas if you are looking for air conditioned comfort, fancy frozen drinks, massage tables, beauty parlors, or widescreen television. None of that here! There are lots of resorts in places like Manuel Antonio or Jaco that will take care of your needs.

So why is it so great? Well, let's assume you don't want those little luxuries. How would you like to go someplace that you access via an hour-long boat trip from a riverfront town, through mangrove swamp and across the blue Pacific Ocean? Where you jump from the boat into the surf and are greeted by the owner on a more-or-less private stretch of beach (safe for swimming or launching the kayaks kept on premises)? With surf pounding onto the craggy rocks to either side, and clear streams flowing from the jungle into the sea? How about walking uphill to your simple, spare cabin set in a small manicured garden amid surrounding rainforest, with iguanas, agoutis, and monkeys (not to mention tanagers, bananaquits, and flycatchers) sharing your space? With three well-cooked meals provided daily in an open dining space overlooking the blue ocean? By now you have the idea.

While staying at Las Caletas, you can hang out quietly: swimming, exploring the shore and rainforest, reading in comfy hammocks, or quaffing an Imperial lager. You can take a longer walk along the shore to a rivermouth where, if you blow the whistle hanging from a tree, a man will paddle over to ferry you across. Ricardo (the man) lives in a shack there, where he looks after sea turtle eggs and makes wooden jewelry. He will also take you on a tour upriver for a modest fee; you'll get to dive off cliffs and climb waterfalls in total isolation (except for the birds and lizards, that is). You can also book more formal tours at Las Caletas. We did two of these, and both were excellent experiences. One was a visit to the Corcovado National Park where we encountered quite a bit of wildlife (such as wild peccaries, coatis, sloths, three types of monkey, and innumerable birds including an engangered cousin of the turkey). The other was a trip to Cano Island, a biological preserve where one can snorkel in a fish-rich coral reef and generally cavort on a desert island beach (admittedly with people from other excursions). We encountered and watched spotted dolphins and a mother humpback whale with her calf en route. Both of these trips involve long, fun boat rides, picnics on the sand, and guidance from a friendly, knowledgeable naturalist. (We had Eric, who is kind of the part-time substitute at Las Caletas and was first-rate - he also gave salsa lessons to another guest.) These tours aren't cheap, especially if you've got a family along, but they are good value for your money.

What were our least-favorite aspects of the stay? Nothing much, really, except that we could have used more towels. Definitely bring a few for yourself. And there was an annoyingly prolonged power outage, but that shouldn't happen any more, because a new supplementary generator was installed while we were there.

We were a bit worried about weather (it was rainy season) and insect pests, but the only rainstorms were early AM or late PM; the days were glorious. And the one BIG storm was fun in itself: 3.5 inches of rain in an hour, with lightning and dinner by candlelight (yeah, that's when the power went!). And although there were lots of creepy-crawlies about, I'd say the place was LESS buggy (in terms of biting-type insects) than most vacation spots in our native northeastern USA.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank RavenclawConn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, South Carolina
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2011

Thank you David, Jose, and the rest of the muy simpatico Las Caletas staff for the beautiful memories! This lodge, located on the Osa Pennisula, is a outstanding combination of ambiance, location, adventure, high quality meals and great service. Want a great adventure? How about a day trip to the remote Corcovado National Park. Or a snorkeling trip to Cano island. Want to relax? How about a good book in a hammock overlooking the beautiful Drake Bay? Or do what we did - have all of that! And more!

Room Tip: Book early!
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kbelle24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sacramento
Level Contributor
50 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 9, 2011

Ready to get wet? the only way to arrive and leave, go to Cano and excursions to Corcovado Park is by boat. Once you arrive you don"t have to leave to see wildlife, it will soon pass by: monkeys, toucans, macaws,sloths etc. We went Scuba Diving at Cano, twice, an excursion to Corcovado with a guide (Jose) and fishing with David. Interesting people visit Las Caletas from far corners of out Earth. We enjoyed hikes along the secluded beaches and jungle trails. David was an excellent host and deep sea captain. The staff were efficient and three good meals came from the kitchen every day. Our room was clean with a hamock outside. Very relaxing!! Gracias David y sus empleados por su hospitalidad.. Steve L

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank SacramentoStefano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Davis, California
Level Contributor
24 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 2, 2011

My friend and I just returned from a one week stay at Las Caletas. We had a fantastic time!!!! The service, location,food and people make this a fantastic destination. David & Jolanda the owners deserve kudos for the terrific setting and wonderful experience they help create in the OSA. Thanks.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GB&BB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victor, Idaho
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 30, 2011

This place is perfect! We stayed for 3 nights and didn't regret it for a moment! The food was fabulous and the location right off of the beach couldn't have been better. David the owner was extremely accommodating and the rooms were just right.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank wildlifetravel79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
89 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 26, 2011

If you're searching for a laid-back place to stay around Drake Bay, you can't do any better than Las Caletas. The atmosphere is delightfully friendly and very cozy. David and Jolanda do their best to fulfill your vacation needs and dreams. All standard tours are available, plus fishing, kayaking, horseback riding, and more. Just lay back and enjoy the open and inviting environment where the finest in Tico-Swiss charm can make your stay all the more memorable and relaxing. Though I went for only 4 days on a rather tight budget, the experience was full of new discoveries, new friendships, new ways of looking at the world, and all the r&r I could muster in my limited stay. I'll be going back soon for more!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SJAnita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Las Caletas Lodge

Property: Hotel Las Caletas Lodge
Address: Playa Las Caletas, Drake Bay, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Drake Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 47 Specialty Lodging in Drake Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel Las Caletas Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Las Caletas Lodge offers comfortable and clean accommodations; fresh and delicious food and a friendly and helpful staff who will make the best effort to make our guests stay an unforgettable nature experience combined with a family atmosphere. Enjoy the great panoramic ocean and rainforest views and awake by the sound of the rainforest and ocean. You'll be surrounded by an exuberant vegetation with wildlife of all shapes, sizes and colors. Careful landscaping highlights our natural setting. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Las Caletas - Drake Bay Hotel Drake Bay
Hotel Las Caletas Lodge Costa Rica/Drake Bay

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