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Custom Family Costa Rica Adventure
Our collection of Costa Rica accommodations includes only intimate ecolodges and boutique hotels, each chosen for its authenticity, personalized experience, exceptional comforts, and proximity to the region’s best wildlife encounters. You won’t find large commercial lodges and cookie-cutter chain hotels among our offerings. The list here is meant as a sampler and is not inclusive—our Adventure Specialists can also help you select other accommodations not featured on our website. Explore the options and call 800-543-8917 to discuss details with one of our Adventure Specialists.
One of Costa Rica's most renowned luxury eco-resorts, Hotel Punta Islita enjoys a truly spectacular setting on a forested mountaintop overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The open layout and tiered topography ensure magnificent views from element of the property. Punta Islita's design and decor are a tropical fusion of colonial and indigenous features, including local fine art. Room categories include standard, deluxe and suites. Private villas are available for families or larger groups. All rooms have solid wood beds with crisp white linens, tile floors, spacious bathrooms with walk-in showers and raised basin sinks, and private terraces with panoramic views and hammocks for secluded relaxation. Amenities include air conditioning and ceiling fan, complimentary Wi-Fi, LCD flat screen satellite TV, desk and chair, coffeemaker, mini bar, safe, and eco-friendly toiletries.
Two restaurants offer open-air dining. Pacifico features ocean cove views beneath a 50-foot-high palm-thatched ceiling and specializes in sustainably sourced seafood and and local tropical produce. Los Cocos Beach Club offers casual shoreside charm beneath mature shade trees, with a children's play area and freeform family-friendly swimming pool nearby. On the hotel's upper terrace, an infinity pool creates the illusion of being one with the ocean beyond. The Casa Spa, surrounded by lush tropical gardens, promotes wellness and relaxation, from the moment you are greeted with a mug of just-brewed herbal tea to the serenity you feel after your treatment incorporating therapeutic arts and local herbalist wisdom.
A multitude of nature adventures awaits the guest at Punta Islita. Resort staff can arrange a variety of activities, from a visit to Camaronal biological reserve to a sea turtle nesting and hatching area, and much more.
Tirimbina Rain Forest Lodge
Sarapiqui, Costa Rica
Tirimbina Rainforest Lodge offers an immersive ecotourism experience in one of Costa Rica's oldest and most vital research centers, the 850-acre Tirimbina Biological Reserve, which is a registered National Private Wildlife Refuge. Stay deep within the tropical rain forest while helping to conserve its biodiversity, as proceeds from the lodge directly support conservation research and education efforts on site. Scientists have conducted studies here since the 1960s, and current projects include comprehensive monitoring of the tropical rain forest biome, bat monitoring with the use of mist nets to trap them, and studies on butterflies (1400 species are found on the reserve!) and the reproductive biology of tropical birds.
Accommodations here are simple but comfortable, with individual terraces that front the lush tropical gardens around the lodge. The real luxury is the proximity guests have to the pristine rain forest environment and the chance to learn from biologists and naturalist guides on a whole host of nature-focused activities. More than 5 miles of trails lace the reserve, offering visitors a look at varied habitats from gardens, wetlands and riverbanks to both primary and secondary rain forest. Two suspension bridges provide exciting access to forest reaches not accessible from the ground. The first bridge across the Sarapiqui River is one of the longest in Costa Rica at 860 feet. The second bridge is 360 feet long and rises 115 feet above the ground into one of the least-explored parts of the rain forest for most visitors, the canopy.
Guided activities include natural history walks; birding with a local guide (365 species live on the the reserve; emblematic species include snowy cotinga, sunbittern, white-fronted nunbird and black-crested coquette); night walks when rain forest animals are most active (look for sloths, the famous red-eyed tree frog, porcupine, kinkajou and more); a chocolate tour on a traditional cacao plantation where you will have the opportunity to taste the cacao bean at its different stages in the process of making chocolate.
Before and after each day's fascinating activities, refuel with classic Tico and international dishes at El Ciebo restaurant, which also specializesin organic wines and different varieties of top-quality Costa Rican coffee.
Nosara, Costa Rica
This boutique ecolodge on the Nicoya Peninsula enjoys an incomparable seaside location atop a forested bluff. Enjoy sunset views over the Pacific Ocean from its extensive decks, two infinity pools, open-air restaurant and lounge. Below, the sandy curve of Nosara Beach extends for miles with no development in sight. On the hotel's surrounding private 90-acre nature reserve, Reserva Biologica, a network of trails winds among the natural vegetation, revealing a great diversity of native plants and animals within the subtropical dry forest and mangroves. Mornings offer especially good opportunities to see various birds, howler monkeys, anteaters, coatis, raccoons, iguanas and butterflies. Two rivers lace the reserve, the Rio Nosara and Rio Montaña, and guests may spy crocodiles in their waters.
The lodge's contemporary design, embodying simplicity in harmony with nature, is premised on sustainability and compatibility with the environment. Colors feature tropical hues that complement the landscape. Room decor is elegantly minimalist, with clean-lined teak furnishings, tile floors and luxury linens in neutral tones. While rooms are air-conditioned, you'll surely want to open the expansive patio doors and drink in the fresh ocean breeze off your private deck. Modern art is on display throughout the lodge interiors, which the owners acquired through personal relationships with artists from Europe and Latin America whose work embodies their direct experience of the world around them, bearing witness to the inspiration and energy of this magical place. The property has been awarded Costa Rica's highest national certification level for sustainability. Strict requirements for such recognition include active protection of the environment, recycling, and use of local, organically grown products. The lodge also generates power via solar panels and utilizes an internal water recycling system. A percentage of room rates goes toward projects that promote education and conservation, including support of the local community.
Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin
Rincon de la Vieja National Park, Costa Rica
Hacienda Guachipelin enjoys a rare location in a truly pristine setting surrounded by Rincon de la Vieja National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that protects thousands of acres of Central America's last remaining dry tropical forest. This part of Guanacaste has been largely untouched by development and deforestation, and the hotel is one of very few commercial ventures in the area. Befitting this special status, Hacienda Guachipelin has taken exceptional strides to reduce its effect on the environment by pursuing sustainable management of waste, pollution and noise. The hacienda runs on power generated by hydro and geothermal electricity, and a natural spring supplies the entire resort with fresh, drinkable pure water.
Accommodations strike the optimal balance between a high standard of comfort and being totally immersed in nature. Guests feel a sense of staying deep in the living, breathing jungle among a plethora of wildlife, which is the real luxury here. Warm wood finishes and local art reflect the traditional heritage of Guanacaste. Room categories range include standard, superior and suites, including superior family rooms. All have private bathrooms with eco-friendly solar water heater. Moderate your climate by leaving the large screened-in windows open, switch on the ceiling fan, or use the air conditioning for extra cool comfort. Rooms have a security box, cable TV, telephone and coffee maker. A full buffet breakfast is included, as well as access to the on-site Rio Negro Hot Springs and mud baths.
Enjoy farm-to-table homemade meals at the hacienda's open-air terrace restaurant, featuring many items sourced from the property's own ranch: vegetables from the hydroponic greenhouse and gardens, eggs from more than 350 free-range chickens, milk that comes fresh daily from the ranch's cows (plus homemade cheese), meat from cattle, pigs and turkeys raised on site, and honey from the hacienda's bee colony. What isn't grown or raised on the premises comes from sustainable local vendors. Both a la carte and buffet menus feature traditional Costa Rican fare and international dishes.
Isla Jesusita, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
Costa Rica's ultimate luxury camping experience! Blending the laidback fun of camping with the comfort and service of an upscale boutique beach hotel, Isla Chiquita offers an exclusive back-to-nature refuge in the middle of the Gulf of Nicoya. Located on an idyllic small island, Isla Chiquita is reached via speedboat from the mainland. The resort has 15 Glamping Tent Suites overlooking the ocean and one Master Sunset Suite with private whirlpool at the top of the island for the utmost in privacy. Large, airy walk-in tents have shaded private wooden decks with wicker lounge chairs from which to survey the beach. Suites are outfitted with a king bed, day bed lounger, cooling fan, coffeemaker, mini fridge, mini bar and safe. Bathrooms have double porcelain sinks, hair dryer and personal toiletry products made from local organic ingredients.
On the palm-shaded grounds edging the sandy shore, relax in a hammock or recline on canopy-shaded double-size lounge beds overlooking the beach. Enjoy superb ocean-to-table fare at Donde Tia Nora restaurant, retreating inside the thatched cabana or dining on the expansive shaded decks. A diverse menu highlights fresh-caught grilled fish, tropical fruits and colorful cocktails. Harry's Bar is a casual alternative for refreshment throughout the day. Isla Chiquita offers a wide range of eco-adventures on land and sea including sea kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, guided birdwatching, nighttime bioluminescence excursions, a visit to Don Chico's farm to learn about (and sample) sustainable local agriculture, hikes in search of wildlife on the Curu private biological reserve, and beach-hopping aboard an open boat for swimming and snorkeling on uninhabited shores.
Savegre Hotel & Natural Reserve
San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica
Sheltered within lush cloud forest in a deep river valley in the Talamanca Mountains, Savegre Hotel and Natural Reserve enjoys a setting of exceptional tranquility 55 miles south of San Jose. This family-run 4-star ecolodge is located at a cool 7,200 feet within a private nature reserve bordering Los Quetzales National Park—the ideal base for exploring the wonders of the tropical cloud forest. Abundant birds, including many hummingbird species, flit among the extensive gardens while a network of nature trails beckons guests to explore the surrounding forest, filled with waterfalls and wildlife.
Spacious, newly updated cottage-style guest rooms are scattered throughout the verdant grounds, providing comfortable accommodations in harmony with the natural environs. Large en suite bathrooms have basin, toilet, hot shower and hair dryer. Knotty pine walls and ceilings lend a rustic, cozy feel inside, while individual terraces invite relaxing outdoors. The main lodge includes a restaurant with huge picture windows that survey the surrounding gardens. The bar and lounge area center on a circular fireplace, for convivial socializing on cool mountain evenings. Time permitting, guests can enjoy a Jacuzzi, massage and other therapeutic services in the Del Rio spa.
Carara, Costa Rica
This rain forest ecolodge rests in an utterly secluded setting on a 264-acre reserve in the Turrubares Mountains southwest of San Jose. Opened in 2011, the family-owned and run lodge is a center for ecotourism, research and conservation. Its roots lie in a government-sponsored forestry investment program designed to reverse damage done by overplanting of monotonous agricultural crops. In the 1980s, the owners of Macaw Lodge purchased the farm that is now home to the lodge and Macaw Private Forest Reserve. In the decades since, they have created a model of sustainability, restoring the health of the forest and fostering the return of many animal, plant, insect and bird species, including the scarlet macaw. The lodge facilities are constructed of reclaimed or sustainably grown local hardwood and incorporate extensive use of stone and natural materials. Totally off the grid, the lodge produces electricity and heats water through solar panels on site.
The spacious, open ground floor of the hexagonal main building houses the restaurant, lounge area with Wi-Fi, lending library and electronics charging center. Serene views of the surrounding ponds, gardens, forest and wildlife open out in every direction. Up to 24 guests are accommodated in second-floor lodge rooms ensconced by a dramatic balcony, and in adjacent private bungalows set within the forest. Lodge rooms have two full beds with therapeutic mattresses and bedspreads woven by the Maya of Guatemala's Atitlan area, and a private bathroom built with local marble. Towels and sheets are made from sustainable bamboo fiber. Cool off naturally using the ceiling fan and by opening the screened windows to welcome the breeze. Private cabins accommodate two people, with a double bed, en suite bathroom and deck with rocking chairs. The largest cabin has two double beds to accommodate up to four people.
True farm-to-table cuisine incorporate vegetables, lettuce, herbs and fruits from the lodge's organic garden and hydroponic greenhouse, along with homemade breads and tortillas, jams and salsas, and fresh meats, eggs and other foods from the local region. From the dining room, watch birds and butterflies as you enjoy your meals.
Within the surrounding nature reserve, a slate of enticing activities awaits. Wander trails through the tall, dense canopy as you look for native wildlife. Cool off in rushing mountain streams, waterfalls and freshwater swimming holes. Take a night walk in search of percussive frogs. Enjoy open-air yoga, and learn how chocolate is produced from the cacao plantation. Birding on the reserve is outstanding, given its location between two ecological zones—the humid tropical forest and the high-humidity pre-montane forest. More than 350 species of migratory and resident species are found on the premises. You can also make a 45-minute excursion to the coast for swimming and snorkeling at Playa Blanca.
Senda Monteverde Hotel
Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica
This sustainable luxury ecolodge located high on Costa Rica's continental divide was recently rebuilt from the ground up. It features 24 warmly appointed suites in contemporary mountain bungalows. Duplexes have covered open-air porches on either end with a hilltop view of the distant Pacific Ocean, or they overlook lush gardens and the cloud forest beyond. Interiors feature gleaming hardwoods, contemporary art, modernist furnishings, king or twin beds, mini bar, coffee maker, ceiling fan and in-room laptop-size safe. Stylish en suite bathrooms have minimalist semi-enclosed glass showers, freestanding porcelain basins and organic toiletries. The farm-to-table movement is strong here, and guests enjoy artfully prepared meals sourced from fresh regional ingredients including artisanal produce, locally raised meats, Monteverde cheese and famous Costa Rican coffee. Bread is baked in-house and served with house-made nut butters and spiced fruit chutneys. The lodge is proximate to both the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and the Curi-Cancha Reserve, and within walking distance of the Aguti Wildlife Reserve, where a network of trails provides access to more than 60 acres of flourishing flora and fauna.
San José, Costa Rica
Just 25 minutes from the airport and 10 minutes from downtown San Jose, the Hotel Bougainvillea is a world apart, set within 10 acres of award-winning tropical gardens that showcase the Central Valley's lavish biodiversity. Abundant birdlife is attracted to the lush tapestry of native plants and flowers. Among those we see frequently are hummingbirds, blue-crowned motmot, palm tanager, tropical kingbird and boat-billed flycatcher. A walk through the grounds reveals more than 50 species of bromeliads, orchids, indigenous trees, herbs, cacti gardens and frog ponds. Coffee, cacao, pineapples and bananas are also grown on site. This boutique hotel offers spacious, well-appointed rooms with a contemporary vibe, each with a view of the gardens or the Central Valley and mountains. Rooms have a private balcony, one king or two full-size beds, flat screen TV, telephone, safe deposit box, Wi-Fi, coffee maker, radio alarm clock, ceiling fan and hair dryer. Additional amenities include a fine restaurant serving Costa Rican and international dishes, fireside bar, swimming pool, sauna, fitness center and tennis courts.
La Quinta Country Inn
Braulio Carrillo National Park, Costa Rica
La Quinta Country Inn is a charming ecolodge with easy access to Braulio Carrillo National Park, the Sarapiquí River and La Selva Biological Station. Owned and operated by a Costa Rican family dedicated to conservation and ecological education, the lodge has received the highest rating, a Level 5 Certification for Sustainable Tourism, from the Costa Rican Tourist Board. The facility sits on 10 acres within a private rain forest reserve and includes a reforested area with native trees, an old-growth forest on the riverside, tropical gardens, frog ponds, butterfly gardens, walking trails and a swimming pool. The inn has 28 bungalow rooms surrounded by tropical gardens filled with heliconia, ginger, palms and flowering trees. Rooms have private bathrooms, hot water, air conditioning, ceiling fan, closet, hair dryer and safe deposit box. Each has a thatched-roof porch facing the gardens with a hammock and rocking chair to enjoy the view of the flowers and birds.
Arenal Observatory Lodge
Arenal, Costa Rica
One of the most striking accommodations in Costa Rica, Arenal Observatory Lodge lies 1.7 miles across a deep river valley from the crater of Arenal Volcano, which was until recently one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Originally built in 1987 as a Smithsonian Institution scientific research station, the lodge was carefully positioned by scientists who needed a close but safe vantage point from which to study the volcano. Still the closest accommodation to the volcano itself, the lodge sits on 870 acres adjacent to Arenal Volcano National Park, which contains 270 acres of primary rain forest with well-marked trails, 400 acres of reforestation projects, and 200 acres of working farmland.
Most of the property's 48 spacious rooms have spectacular volcano views through huge windows. The restaurant and dining room look out on the southern face of the volcano through floor-to-ceiling windows. Meals are memorable, with the lodge's accomplished chef preparing international and Costa Rican cuisine using local fruits, vegetables and farm-raised meats whenever possible. Outside, a large deck offers panoramic views of the volcano and nearby Lake Arenal. After exploring the area, guests can relax in the infinity swimming pool or the sunken Jacuzzi that's covered with a glass gazebo framing Arenal Volcano.
Xandari Resort & Spa
Central Valley, Costa Rica
Xandari Resort is set within a 40-acre coffee and fruit plantation on a high ridge overlooking Costa Rica’s Central Valley, one of the most scenic coffee-growing regions in the country. Located in Tacacori, a rural village in the foothills of Poas Volcano, the property is just 20 minutes from San Jose's international airport, yet a serene world away. Xandari's architects envisioned a paradise reflecting the natural beauty of Costa Rica and achieved it in strides. The resort's private forest reserve, with five waterfalls, a year-round river and more than two miles of scenic trails through the fruit orchards for birdwatching, offers the natural experience guests seek on a visit to Costa Rica. Landscaped gardens, an orchid house and working farm all provide additional tropical greenery.
Twenty-four villas are individually decorated with bright tropical colors and contemporary flair and set within lush foliage. Each has a private terrace with spectacular views, a bar and kitchen, and either one king or two full beds. Organic fruits, vegetables and herbs from the plantation’s gardens complement Xandari’s health-conscious specialty dishes in the outstanding restaurant on site. The fabulous spa provides ample opportunity to unwind and absorb the surrounding nature, with treatments offered in five private, palm-thatched jalapas, each with its own hot tub and massage table in full view of the Central Valley.
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