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“La Pura Vida!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of La Carolina Lodge

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La Carolina Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
“La Pura Vida!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2006

We only spent two nights and three days at La Carolina, and the time we had there was the highlight of our trip to Costa Rica. It's hard to believe that the meals, horse back riding, and guided tours of the jungle were all included in the cost. The Spanish speaking 'Tico' staff were so welcoming and friendly. I can't wait to go back, La Carolina is absolutely beautiful.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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317 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    278
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103
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (57)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2005

Have to say I echo the other review posted here. Our experience was terrific with the staff taking very gracious and good care of us during our 4 night stay. Waking up to freshly brewed coffee that you saw being roasted on property while watching the fabulous birds frolicking in the trees was amazing. A toucan visited on our first morning. The horseback riding was a real pleasure and guided by a true costa rician cowboy. The walk to the rio celeste is a definite must. Food was terrific and eating by candlelight is special. I say go and enjoy, if you like getting away from it and want to use your spanish.

  • Stayed December 2002
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bend, OR
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2005

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

Some advice:
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.

  • Stayed December 2004
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
14 Thank dorykoehler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Carolina Lodge

Property: La Carolina Lodge
Address: San Miguel | Bijagua, Bijagua de Upala 21301, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Bijagua de Upala
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Bijagua de Upala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 4
Also Known As:
La Carolina Hotel Province Of Guanacaste
Hotel La Carolina
La Carolina Lodge Costa Rica/Bijagua De Upala

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