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.
- 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