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“Incredible place! A great value!”
Review of Ecolodge San Luis

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Ecolodge San Luis
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 18, 2010

We stayed for three nights at the eco lodge and it was incredible. The cabins were a 10 minute walk and very secluded in the jungle. The naturalists were amazing, the lodge has great tours of local organic farms, coffee producers, etc for exceptionally cheap. This is the best way to see the less touristy cool projects in the Monteverde area. Oh and the food they serve is local, fresh and very good. Some things to know. It is a working research center with students onsite, the dining is cafeteria style, and if it's crowded the private rooms while nice and gorgeous are not very sound proof (nothing in Costa Rica seems to be though except luxury hotels)

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank funnymanjim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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103 - 109 of 124 reviews

Reviewed November 13, 2010

We stayed at the Ecolodge San Luis in early November 2010. The accomodations and services there far exceeded our expectations. We were anticipating rustic lodging, but were pleasantly surprised with modern, lovely decorated cabinas, all panelled and furnished with the native guanacaste wood. Our cabina had a wonderful view of the surrounding Cloud Forest and the Nicoya Gulf was visible in the distance. Cabinas numbers 1-3 have the best views. Our neighbor next door, saw monkeys from her deck several times during her stay. The daily rate includes three meals, services of naturalist guides and about twenty different activities ( You can even milk a cow!). The naturalists are very knowledgeable and willing to work with your schedule. We took advantage of five hikes during our two day stay, one being a five kilometer round-trip hike to Costa Rica's second highest waterfall. The Ecolodge is also part of the University of Georgia's Costa Rican Campus. You can enjoy your meals getting to know some of the Students. We chose to stay at the Ecolodge, because a friend of ours was teaching classes there this semester. The location is wonderful; about seven kilometers from Monteverde. It receives our highest recommendations.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank jeffhollymx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2010

Stayed 4 days/nights with a fellow outdoorsperson and loved every day. Bunkroom was roomy for two; trails were were developed; the free hikes (day and night) were enthusiastically and experted led by the student ecologists/interns. Staff were professional, warm, friendly and accomodating. Food was delicious and lovingly prepared by a wonderful group of women and men. We instantly felt at home in a high energy setting of college art, science, humanities students and faculty from around the nation.
The setting is beautiful with constant photo opps of the wildlife in the area. Don't miss the night walk, natural history walk and for only $8 - the hike to the spectacular San Luis waterfall.
I've been to the area about a dozen times and stayed at many area lodges but plan to make this my base of operations for all future Monteverde/Santa Elena/San Luis visits.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Palmisto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 18, 2010

We went to San Luis Ecolodge because we wanted to stay in Monteverde an extra couple of days. This place was recommended. However, we found that despite a reservation, they were not at all prepared for us. The activities listed as included in the room price did not happen, despite arranging for them. The only person available to provide the activities for us was a volunteer, and his body language suggested that he didn't really want to bother. He managed to miss a couple of activities, leaving us waiting for him, and then later told us he forgot. We were quite bored, and since San Luis is remote, we were entirely dependent on the staff to provide activities for us. At the time, we were the only guests at the lodge, so there was no excuse that they were too busy. The cabins were very rustic and basic, so for the very high price we were paying, it was not worth it. We were not kept at all informed about changes, so everything came as a surprise. It was as if we were a complete afterthought. We were supposed to stay two days, but we checked after the first night and headed back to Monteverde. Perhaps this place is okay for two adults or for a group, but for a family, it's a bust. After experiencing the very high quality professionalism of tourism all over Costa Rica, this place was a complete disappointment. If the Ecolodge wants to promote itself as a family tourist place, then they need to provide better quality programming, all the time.

  • Stayed: May 2010
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4  Thank Nancy052
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2010

The blue-crowned motmot, Wilson’s warbler, Orange-bellied Trogon, Brown-hooded parrot, gray-headed chachalaca…
No, we’re not birders, but we visited the ecolodge UGA San Luis. For us, people who are living in one of the most crowded areas in Europe, we truly can call our stay a revelation.
Actually we couldn’t leave ; we had a reservation for 3 nights and stayed for 6. The only reason we left was because our vacation was limited for 2 weeks and we wanted to explore more of the country.
The combination of research, science and tourism is a unique experience in this environment with one of the greatest biodiversity in the world.
The splendid typical food, the perfect housing in that surrounding and their offer of activities makes ecolodge a real example of educational tourism. We experienced indeed birding but also a night hike, different other hikes with great views (the beautiful waterfall), the visit of the local coffee farmers, a tour in the medicinal and botanical garden, all guided by biology and ecology scientists who explained how this biosphere is working, why it is what it became, and how important it is to preserve it in order of our survival on earth as a whole.
The extremely friendly and warmhearted locals explain you the coffeeprocess, the sugarcaneprocess all translated in person by a English-speaking student. You’ll also get an insight on the cultural relevance of these topics, this country has a moving history and the local people didn’t survive in this complicated environment without having a deep respect for it.
If you want to feel the beat of Latino disco and party until sunrise, don’t go to ecolodge UGA. Other places in Costa Rica will surely provide in this with the common hospitality.
If you instead want to feel and understand the beat of the cloud forest, having at sundown a concert of a immense orchestra of animal sounds, ecolodge UGA is the place to be. Make a reservation, take your time and enjoy the hospitality of the entire staff, bright students and professors, and the wonders of real wildlife.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank calluypeter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 18, 2009

This is an environmental/cultural lodge for anyone interested in Costa Rica and Central America cloud forests. The facilities couldn't be better for nature lovers. I slept in one the cabanas and ate at the central lodge. The lodge offers great meals and good company. It also has an on site library. The daily price includes three meals and participation in many activities. They have a staff of six naturalists to lead the activities. It sets the standard for ecotourism.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled solo
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2  Thank travelingnewretiree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2009

Getting here - We drove from Liberia airport to Eco Lodge San Luis. In Costa Rica, if you are a tourist, you need to stick to the speed limit. (See tips on driving below). So, it will take you 3.5-4 hours to get here from Liberia. Many have debated about renting a car - I definitely reccomend renting a car. it is very far from most places and cas are expensive. Also, rent a mid-size SUV and you should be fine. However - be warned: the roads till the Sardinal/Lagartos turnoff are pretty decent and paved and takes about 2.5 hours. The remaining 1 hour into the San Luis valley is pretty much unpaved and rocky. So, very bumpy ride. Doable -just don't expect a 4 lane higway!! Also, rent the GPS. It is well worth it and amazingly shows every small detail.

Driving in Costa Rica - Ignore the reviews which say Costa Rica is a dangrous place to drive. We drove all over the beach areas and also drove all the way into the Monte verde mountains. Couple of pointers-
1. DO NOT leave anything in the car at anytime. We carried a small bag and threw everything into it like camera, towel, water, GPS etc.
2. Only drive during the day. So, plan on being back before 6:00 pm. We drove a few nights and had no problem. So, up to the level of risk you want to take.
3. Stick to the speed limit on the main highways. Trust me - cops are looking out for tourists to give out big fat tickets ($200+). When it says 40 kmph, drive 40 kmph. We avoided cops 4 times.... :)
4. Use common sense overall - you are in a foreign country.

Cabins - The Eco Lodge has rooms for the students and the main office facility slightly far from the cabins. The main office area is very nice and homely. But the cabins are about a 10 minute walk - we were really lazy and took our car up there everytime...! The cabins are comfortable but nothing to write home about. They are clean, have 2 beds and there is room service everyday. But if you go there for the rooms, you will be disappointed. They are very basic. The view from the porch outside the room are spectacular but if you have no neighbours, then it is really really quiet. Also, few insects in the room - so, if that freaks you out - you most probably want to stay at a hotel in Monte Verde.

Bad Review so far - why bother? - So, getting here is a beast and the rooms are just OK. So, why bother? The staff and the students at the Eco Lodge are the most gracious and enthusiastic you will ever meet. Also, looking back at our vacation, this was the highlight of our trip becuase of all the local interaction you get through the lodge. There are plenty of hikes, tours etc that you can arrange with the Eco Lodge (free of charge!). Also, you can drive into MV and do the touristy things like the zip lining or the nature walks.

Monte Verde - The drive from the Eco Lodge into Monte Verde is about 45 minutes. Here you have only a few options - Zip Lining and Nature walks are done through Sky Trek/Walk and the Eco Lodge can arrange this for you. Ziplining is about $60 per person and well worth it. Nature walks are about $50 per person and very informative and beatiful. Besides these 2 things, you can do some shopping in MV, eat at the restaurants there and have some coffee. Nothing much else to do. Doable in 1 day.

Food at MV - Reccomend Stella's bakery, coffee shop in the far end of MV street, lunch at Don De Henry or the other one a few doors from it. Forgot the name - so apologies.

Food at the Eco Lodge - delicious home cooked food with lots of fresh fruit, desserts and lemonade. I thought the food was reallly really good but some reviewers have said it was OK. I guess it depends on what you expect. You will get standard Costa Rican fare here - rice, beans, meat, salsa and some veggies. Very fresh food and it never rus out. I think this is great for a family especially with kids.

What do do at the EcoLodge? - So, plan on spending 1 day in MV which would include shopping, eating, ziplining and nature hikes. If you are at the Eco Lodge longer, then there are many many options. I highly reccomend the coffee tour - it sounds boring but Lindsey (head of the ecoLodge) does a phenomenal job with the tour. You get a personalized tour of the nearby coffee estates from the local owner itself (cofee and sugar cane actually). You also get to see the process of making coffee powder and then get o taste the coffee. It is a terrific 2 hour tour and well worth the $4. Probably the cheapest thing you do in Costa Rica!
Unfortuantely, we had to leave early - but we also reccomend the night hikes, the hike to the waterfall and some of the other stuff they have there.

Ideal days to spend here? - I think you can easily spend 3 days here. 1 day for MV and then 1.5 days with the crew in the Eco Lodge before heading back to your next destination. So, drive in before 5:00 pm, chill out, MV the next day, activities at the ecoLodge the next day and then leave the morning or afternoon of the third day. Also, try to find out when students are at the facility - always fun to be there when lots of poeple there - makes it more interesting.

Distance to the coast? - It will take about 3.5-4 hours to the Loberia airport. I would say another 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on where you are staying. We stayed at the JW
Marriott (See our detialed review on JW MArriott in trip advisors) and the total trip from Eco Lode to JW is about 4.5 - 5.0 hours.

Cost? - We paid $90 per night per person and this included lodging, food, activities - which is a really great price.

Directions to Eco Lodge - detailed instructions given on website. But nothing is to scale...! So, take it with a grain of salt.. :)

Internet is available for $5 per hour at the main office building - very fast connection. Laundry service is available for $8 per load.

Hope this helps!!

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank inconel738
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ecolodge San Luis

Address: San Luis de Monteverde, 700, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Monteverde
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 77 Specialty Lodging in Monteverde
Price Range: $100 - $160 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 36
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
For a culturally authentic educational experience, make the Ecolodge San Luis at the University of Georgia's Costa Rica Campus your base for exploring the Monteverde Cloud Forest!Guests at the Ecolodge San Luis enjoy a wide range of educational, nature-based, and cultural activities, both on our campus and in the local community. Ecolodge San Luis won an international Innovation in Sustainability award. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ecolodge San Luis Hotel Monteverde
Ecolodge San Luis Costa Rica/Monteverde

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