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Ecolodge San Luis
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Reviews (128)
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79 - 84 of 128 reviews
Reviewed January 29, 2014

This was the high-point of our trip. I was a bit put off when we arrived, but as the days went on my wife and I fell in love with the place and the people. Everyone there really cares about the place, their work, and are eager to show you the wonders of the cloud forest and to make you comfortable. Its most contagious; we found it enchanting.

As others have written, this is not a tourist lodge. It is an academic campus and research station owned and operated by the University of Georgia. Groups of undergraduates and visiting researchers are the primary "customers", though tourists are allowed to rent rooms in an outlying housing area. The campus consists of a dozen or more buildings, including labs, classrooms, student and staff housing, and a common area with a library, eating hall, and a large deck with stunning views and lots of students - attracted like hummingbirds - to the wi-fi node.

Meals are served at fixed times; you line up with the students cafeteria-style, and eat at long shared tables with benches. The food is quite basic, but will keep you alive and healthy. The housing is in the same style: basic and adequate. Bring lots of spare batteries for your flashlights, as the lighting in the rooms is Spartan. Also, it's several hundred yards of dirt road from the housing to the main campus. There's hot water, and an in-suite bathroom and shower.

For tourists, there are guides. These are recent biology graduates who are volunteering their time. They are knowledgeable and enthusiastic, considerably beyond the typical commercial guides. Most activities are on campus, but they are also familiar with the off-campus attractions in the area, and will offer suggestions as to where to go (and which to avoid), and arrange transportation. You will be assigned to one, and they will explain the available activities and work out your personalized schedule for days to come to suit your interests. Our days started early - 6:30 or so, and sometimes continued after dinner for night hikes. There is an administrator on duty who handles finances and bookings - and is a wonderful, caring person.

Room Tip: Ask for a cabina with a view.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Alex B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2014

This place was fantastic! My wife and I stayed here for about 5 days in mid January, and had such a wonderful time. First, it is neither a hostel or a hotel, so don't expect anything typical of either of those types of accommodation. Expect wonderful service, great food (3 meals a day, included in nightly rate), awesome tours and hikes (many of which are included in the nightly rate), and a level of interaction beyond what you would get in most places. Everyone dines at the same time in the same place, and we met and talked with so many wonderful and interesting people while we were there. The interns who took us on most of the tours were also really great, and were a wealth of knowledge about the area, and just fun people to hang out with in general. The setting was fantastic, just below the cloud forest reserve. The grounds and hiking trails/gardens on the property were so beautiful and fun to explore. We stayed in the bungalows, which are on the rustic side, but still very well kept. Beds weren't the most comfortable, but that was more than made up for by how awesome everything else was! If you are looking for a level of immersion beyond what you typically find at a hotel, I would suggest a visit to this place. We felt like part of the family while we were there, and their commitment to providing education to guests resulted in some of the best guided hikes/tours I have ever been on.

Room Tip: Bungalows had pretty thin walls and were 4 to a block, so noisy neighbors could be a bit of an issue.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank fred-locks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2014

I came here in December, 2013, with my husband and three other faculty colleagues at the University of Mississippi, to check out your facilities with the aim of perhaps developing Environmental Studies courses to be taught there. We all fell in love with the ecolodge. The facilities themselves are lovely and every bit of our trip was both fascinating and informative. We went on hikes on the ecolodge property including a night hike, toured a small extremely biodiverse coffe farm and a one-man chocolate-making business, took a beautifully guided hike in the Monteverde Cloud Forest, went on the canopy bridges in the cloud forest, and on our final day took a lovely hike to a river and then had the most delicious pizza at a little place near the ecolodge. It's hard to overemphasize the beauty and friendliness of Costa Rica. The ecolodge is extremely well run, the facilities are spotless and the food is quite delicious and plentiful. We all can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: The cabins are great.
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled on business
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Thank 68annie68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2013 via mobile

We spent three days and nights at the Ecolodge San Luis operated as part of the University of Georgia Athens (UGA) environmental research campus. Our family of three shared a bungalow which was very simple and clean with an ensuite bathroom with hot shower. All meals were included in the per person rate and were served in a dining hall which provided an opportunity to interact with the resident student naturalists and other guests. Included in the rate were a campus tour, a natural history tour, a night hike, a tour of the biodigestors used to create methane gas for del-sustainable energy, and a tour of the medicinal plant garden. It is a great family experience especially for elementary school-age children. The Monteverde Cloud Forest was a short drive and could easily be included as part of an all- inclusive package. We would highly recommend the Ecolodge as part of a visit to the Monteverde area. The only down-side was that the signage was inadequate making it a bit difficult to find, but that's Costa Rica !

Stayed: December 2013
Thank Mason43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2013

We spent 2 days there with the family and enjoyed very much the place. The small bungalows are well integrated into the nature and the staff and students are really helpfull and friendly. We took the chance to visit the canopy with them at the occasion of a guided night tour (we saw a sloth !) and we also watched the birds at early morning. This is very good way to visit Costa Rica if you like nature and saty away from classic tourist structures. You even have wifi internet access. We do recommend the place. It's not easy to find so check the directions before.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Didier M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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