If you want an authentic Costa Rican experience, go here! It was the highlight of our trip. The lodge is well off the beaten path with electricity in only one of the cabins, and not in the main lodge - At night the place is illuminated with candles and all meals are cooked over wood stoves. The owner is American but the lodge and surrounding farm are essentially run by a staff of 10 local Ticos. Everyone was so friendly and helpful - even though the Tico staff spoke essentially no English and we spoke very little Spanish, they did their best to make sure we had everything we needed without ever getting frustrated by the language barrier. They even did our laundry for us! The traditional meals, which are included in the price, were amazing. The orange juice, lemonade and coffee was all grown and processed by hand on the farm. We also had fresh milk and cheese from the farm. Everyday we went horseback riding, and the third day we rode up to high point where we could see Lake Nicaragua in the distance. We also took a tour of the nearby Volcan Tenorio National Park where we saw the Rio Celeste, which is normally a vibrant blue color due to the reaction of different minerals in the two rivers that feed it - It was cloudy and drizzling the day we went so the color wasn't as spectacular as it can be. There are also nice hot springs, an impressive waterfall and the Volcan Tenorio in the park but the volcano is often covered in clouds. Find out more at the website lacarolinalodge
The lodge is much easier to get to if you rent a car (4x4 recommended). If you are planning on coming by bus/taxi, make sure you start your journey early. There are only 2 taxis in Bijagua and it's possible they will be unavailable. From San Jose, there is a bus to Upala that goes through Bijagua which is more straight forward than taking a bus to Canas and then another bus to Bijagua.
Knowing a few basic Spanish phrases would be helpful. The Tico staff doesn't speak English, and the owner, Bill, is not always available to act as a translator. As long as you keep an open mind, the language barrier will not be problem though.
- Also Known As:
- La Carolina Hotel Province Of Guanacaste
- Hotel La Carolina
- La Carolina Lodge Costa Rica/Bijagua De Upala