CENTRAL AMERICA  // COSTA RICA

COSTA RICA

10 BEST ECO LODGES IN COSTA RICA

Democratic and prosperous, Costa Rica is Central America’s biggest tourist destination. The draw is not ancient Mesoamerican ruins or Spanish colonial history, but nature; the country is one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet, an ecological treasure-trove whose wide range of habitats – lush rainforests and untouched beaches, steaming volcanoes and dense mangrove swamps – supports an incredible variety of wildlife, from those loveable sloths and tiny, fluorescent green frogs to brightly plumed macaws and toucans. And it’s also peaceful; with its long democratic tradition, Costa Rica is an oasis of political stability.

To smoothly introduce you to a selection of the best Eco Lodges in Costa Rica we’ve put together this little shortcut:

Best Eco-Lodge in Costa Rica for couples: El Silencio Lodge & Spa

Best Eco-Lodge in Costa Rica with a swimming Pool: Peace Lodge

Best Eco-Lodge in Costa Rica for the views: Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa

Best Eco-Lodge in Costa Rica for families: Peace Lodge

Best Eco-Lodge in Costa Rica with all-inclusive offer: Monteverde Lodge & Garden

Best Remote Eco-Lodge in Costa Rica: Hotel de Montaña Suria

(For more details on each hotel, please keep scrolling).

How to book an Eco Lodge in Costa Rica:  You will find in this guide direct links to the biggest hotel booking portal in the world, Booking.com.Booking.com is one of the safest and easiest ways to book your stay. 

Few things to consider before booking an Eco Lodge in Costa Rica

Location: Costa Rica is relatively small country, however each of its part offers a unique feeling and atmosphere, and just like a puzzle piece – differs from one another. To help you better understand Costa Rica’s teritory and choose one that suits you best, we’ve made a short guide through the best areas to stay in Costa Rica at the end of the article.  

Price: An average, a high standard eco lodge in Costa Rica costs around $320 per night (based on Booking.com prices). However, prices depend on the hotel’s star rating, amenities, and of course – the location. Please do take note that prices are higher during the holidays, weekends, and special events.

Lifestyle: Each one of us has its character and preferences. There are certain hotels that are specific to their themes. You can find modern, vintage, high-class designs, or hip and chic hotels. There is something for everyone.

1. Peace Lodge – Vara Blanca

5 STAR

A Five-Star Rainforest Lodge Experience

Peace Lodge is one of Costa Rica’s most magical hotels, high in the cloud forest. The grounds offer storybook villas with stone fireplaces and bubbling hot tubs, dramatic waterfall hikes, close encounters with rescued wildlife, and pools aplenty – including a trout-fishing pond.

Standard guest rooms are sizeable and sumptuous, with gas fireplaces, glistening hardwood floors and vaulted ceilings. And although comfy king-sized canopy beds and satellite television encourage guests to order room service and nap often, the balconies – with hammocks, hot tubs and stunning cloud forest vistas – tempt you outside. Most impressive of all are the huge bathrooms with stained glass windows, tree-inspired lighting fixtures and cave-like showers. With the turn of a knob, guests are bathing beneath steaming waterfalls.

Breakfast is served either in-room or on a shared patio (with a view of the Poás Volcano), where guests can choose à la carte items or a hearty buffet. Lunch can be taken at the buffet restaurant Colibries (note: it’s often crowded with daytime visitors to the waterfall gardens) or at the less frenetic Big Trout Bar near the trout-fishing pond. Pre-dinner cocktails at the sophisticated Las Tucas lounge give way to innovative appetisers and delicious entrees at the Vista Poás dining room

 

Hotel rating: 9.6  (Exceptional)   Rooms: 18

$$$$

FROM $513/NIGHT

3 BEST THINGS ABOUT HOTEL

WHAT'S AROUND

Key Features

On-Site Bar

swimming pool

excellent views

2. Mawamba Lodge – Limon 

4 STAR

Mawamba Lodge the best eco lodges in costa rica

A Tropical Jungle Lodge Surrounded by Rainforest and Water Channels

Mawamba Lodge is situated on a thin strip of land between Tortuguero’s canals and the Caribbean Sea. The accommodation consists of 58 simple but comfortable rooms with private bathrooms, hot water and ceiling fans.

The rooms are simple and comfortable with cane furniture, a ceiling fan and splashes of colourful photography adorn the wood-panelled walls. There are also 4 superior rooms offering a more private experience, in spacious rooms with a king size bed. The large bathroom has both a hot tub and shower. The pool, bar and restaurant area is surrounded by unique vegetation and the chants of the red eyed tree frogs serenade you through dinner. Costa Rican and international meals are served buffet style in the restaurant.

There is a good swimming pool with Jacuzzi, two family-style restaurants serving local and international cuisine, BBQ area, bar, souvenir shop, a sand volleyball court and conference room where daily lectures on Tortuguero’s natural history are presented. There is also a frog garden and butterfly sanctuary on-site.

 

Hotel rating: 8.5 (Very Good)    Rooms: 58

$$

FROM $130/NIGHT

3 BEST THINGS ABOUT HOTEL

WHAT'S AROUND

Key Features

Beachfront

Swimming Pool

2 on-site restaurants

3. El Silencio Lodge & Spa – Toro Amarillo

4 STAR

El Silencio Lodge & Spa the best eco lodges in costa rica

A uniquely soothing experience.

 Nestled in Costa Rica’s central highlands, this sophisticated eco-lodge and spa offers a gateway to the splendours of the tropical cloud forest. Sliding glass doors guarantee breathtaking views of lush picture-book vegetation, emerging from the clouds. Suites blend into the landscape and offer unrivalled mountain or river views from rocking chairs on a private deck. All are spacious, decorated in natural tones and boast a private outdoor heated whirlpool.

The soothing atmosphere of peaceful wellness is in perfect harmony with the property’s magnificent surroundings. Esencia Spa is buried in the center of the property, requiring a bridge crossing and a brief rain forest hike to access. The decor is minimal and rustic — it’s perhaps the least sophisticated common area on-site. The list of services consists mostly of traditional and specialty massage treatments. The beautiful, open-air yoga and meditation deck is surrounded by rain forest and bordered by a small creek. Private classes are available, and yoga mats are free to borrow.  The restaurant highlights ingredients sourced from its organic mini-farm, serving dishes inspired by traditional Costa Rican cuisine.

Range of outdoor opportunities like waterfall rappelling, zip-lining, and hiking is available at the adventure park. The spa, free hot breakfast, and free valet parking are nice upscale perks. However, with just one restaurant and a remote location, some guests may find the on-site amenities too limited once the sun sets. Note that kids under the age of eight aren’t allowed here.

Hotel rating: 9.6  (Exceptional)   Rooms: 16

$$$$

FROM $561/NIGHT

3 BEST THINGS ABOUT HOTEL

WHAT'S AROUND

Key Features

On-Site Bar

wonderful breakfast

spa & wellness

4. Monteverde Lodge & Gardens – Monteverde

4 STAR

Monteverde Lodge & Gardens the best eco lodges in costa rica

Enjoy Breathtaking Views

Monteverde Lodge & Gardens offers a sought-after location among hotels in Monteverde, Costa Rica. While the hotel is walking distance from downtown Monteverde, the setting feels like a natural oasis worlds apart from civilization.

The property offer 28 guest rooms framed by designer gardens and a private cloud forest reserve teeming with exotic local wildlife. Room decor is clean and simple, with a mix modern and traditional elements. Wood-laminate flooring is complemented by hand-crafted hardwood furniture in rich golden tones, while pops of deep red in soft furnishings and floral photographs on the white walls keep everything bright. All rooms feature breathtaking forest views and are appointed with comforts like free Wi-Fi, plush pillowtop beds, soft bathrobes, private balconies and nightly turndown service.

Most amenities are typical of a three-and-a-half-pearl property. The gourmet, full-service restaurant and bar, a lovely rainforest-view pool terrace, and an indoor butterfly garden are among the highlights. Unfortunately, there is no on-site gym or spa.

The ambiance throughout the hotel is tranquil and relaxing with the rustic design and wood fireplace offering a touch of rustic warmth.

 

Hotel rating: 9.2  (Wonderful)   Rooms: 28

$$$

FROM $321/NIGHT

3 BEST THINGS ABOUT HOTEL

WHAT'S AROUND

Key Features

swimming pool

on-site restaurant

great location and views

5. Hotel Arenal Lodge – La Fortuna

4 STAR

Hotel Arenal Lodge the best eco lodges in costa rica

Surrounded by the Sounds of Nature

The Arenal Lodge is set on a 2,000-acre piece of property that has views of both the volcano and lake. Arenal Lodge feels almost like a summer camp, from its somewhat worn rooms and furnishings to the mountain-cabin smell to the cabin-like aesthetic. The lobby is lorded over by a massive brick fireplace, and the terra-cotta tile, plentiful brick, and wood-beamed ceilings would make it feel like a mountain lodge in the U.S. — if it weren’t for the abundant tropical greenery inside and the floor-to-ceiling windows facing the rainforest. The hotel is surrounded by 2,000 acres of rainforest, and the property is sprawling, with rows of rooms and cabins scattered up and down the hills.

Functional rooms are dimly lit and show signs of age and the rough weather (more than one wooden front door we tried had swelled so much from the humidity that they were hard to close, and there was the unmistakable smell of mildew in one Junior Suite bathroom). Decor varies, but most rooms have tile floors, lots of wood, and simple bedspreads. Bathrooms are particularly dated and basic, and have walk-in showers. Those looking to feel immersed in the rainforest will have their wish fulfilled, and the mating calls of the local animals at night easily carry through the thin plastic vents.

Arenal Lodge’s focus is on allowing guests to get close to nature, and it features a daily morning walking tour of one of its several private rainforest paths through the 2,000 acres of surrounding rainforest, led by an English-speaking local expert.

Aside from outdoor exploration, there is much to do at the hotel. Guests that are looking to relax will be pleased with the swimming pool, steam room and Jacuzzi, while those that want a more active form of entertainment can utilize the game room or gym.

The restaurant serves a wide variety of food, including fresh seafood, pasta, and vegetarian options. Ingredients are purchased from local organic suppliers whenever possible. The adjoining bar has beer, juice, soda, wine and liquor.

 

Hotel rating: 8.4 (Very Good)   Rooms: 50

$$

FROM $119/NIGHT

3 BEST THINGS ABOUT HOTEL

WHAT'S AROUND

Key Features

family rooms

on-site restaurant

great volcano views

6. Luna Lodge – Carate

3 STAR

Luna Lodge the best eco lodges in costa rica

Costa Rica’s farthest-flung haven.

Enchanting, fascinating, alive, these are the words used by the visitors to describe their time at Luna Lodge – a tropical paradise. Guests return time and again to bask in the beauty of the rainforest, breath in the fresh air, and take in nature as it unfolds around them. The term eco-lodge gets tossed around a lot in Costa Rica, but Luna Lodge is the real thing. The stylish, well-constructed bungalows dot the mountainside without dominating it, and the use of stone, palm fronds, and glistening hardwoods give this boutique Shangri-La its earthy vibe. The main rancho, an open-air common space where guests take meals, is defined by its vaulted rooftop, natural woodwork and fine leather rocking chairs.

On site, a jungle-flanked stone path leads up a long stairway to the spa – where talented and innovative masseuses work magic – and an elegant yoga platform, where daily classes and guided meditations include majestic mountain views. Binoculars and a telescope are available.

Though Luna Lodge offers a few levels of accommodation, the standard bungalows are the most desirable. With conical, thatched-palm roofs, shiny wood floors, and private decks, these octagonal, open-air structures are the ultimate glamp, and the four-poster beds, complete with mosquito nets, are super comfy. Bathrooms are sumptuous, with tropical gardens, spacious hot-water showers and flush toilets.

 

Hotel rating: 9.2  (Wonderful)   Rooms: 16

$$$

FROM $263/NIGHT

3 BEST THINGS ABOUT HOTEL

WHAT'S AROUND

Key Features

swimming pool

on-site restaurant

great location and views

7. Mundo Milo Eco Lodge – Playa Junquillal

3 STAR

Mundo Milo Eco Lodge the best eco lodges in costa rica

A stay in Paradise

 Mundo Milo Eco Lodge is a small-scaled ecologically based hotel, located only 350 meters from the tranquil beaches of the Pacific coast. The hotel has five cabinas in total, a pool, restaurant-bar and Wi-Fi. There is onsite staff daily, a 24-hour reception for guests’ convenience and the atmosphere is friendly, comfortable and relaxed.

Near the lodge and in Junquillal is a world to discover like beautiful nature, deserted beaches with breathtaking sunsets, sea turtles, monkeys and a great spot for fishing too. You will receive a warm and hospitable welcome from the Dutch owners, Lieke and Michiel, in German, Dutch, English or Spanish and they can inform you all about what to see and to do in the area.

The Mexican and Persian theme bungalows offer air conditioning and a fan, while the African Bungalow has a ceiling fan and offers a kitchenette. All bungalows come with a private entrance, a refrigerator, a coffee maker and a private terrace with comfortable chairs and garden views. The bathrooms are private and have hot-water showers.

Guests can enjoy free breakfast and the on-site restaurant also serves European-style cuisine and local food. Other options can be found within 650 yards

Hotel rating: 9.5  (Exceptional)   Rooms: 5

$

FROM $86/NIGHT

3 BEST THINGS ABOUT HOTEL

WHAT'S AROUND

Key Features

swimming pool

exceptional breakfast

on-site bar

8. Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa – La Fortuna

3 STAR

Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa the best eco lodges in costa rica

Arenal Observatory Lodge

Situated only 2.7 km from the majestic Arenal Volcano and with a spectacular view of Lake Arenal, the Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa offers guests the opportunity to discover, explore and relax. Arenal Observatory Lodge was originally built as a research station for scientists of the Smithsonian Institute. It is the only lodge within Arenal National Park and is protected by a deep gorge created by the Agua Caliente River.

The lodge is surrounded by primary and secondary rainforest, waterfalls and rivers. There are 37 rooms spread across four buildings, with views either across Lake Arenal or the volcano and the stunning surrounding gardens. The property offers variety of room ranges, from the hostel-like La Casona rooms (which share bathrooms) to private villas for 10. Rooms are homey and reasonably roomy, but fitted out with an eye to function rather than style. Certain comforts, like AC and TV, aren’t included. The views are  generally spectacular. The five La Casona rooms, located down a slope from the main building, have a shared terrace with views of both the volcano and lake, while Standard Rooms have private balconies with views of one, or both.

The Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa is meant to be an all-inclusive destination, and if you’ve got a checklist for Arenal, this will check off all your boxes in one go: 11 trails of various lengths, suspension bridges, spa, pool, hot tub, volcano museum, game room, horseback riding, and an observatory. And if you’re a birder, this will be a must-go spot, as the wildlife is almost impossible to miss, from spider and howler monkeys to countless exotic birds flitting around the trees.

The infinity swimming pool and Jacuzzi provide complete relaxation beneath a glass gazebo that frames the volcano’s peak against a starry sky.

 

Hotel rating: 9.2  (Wonderful)   Rooms: 48

$

FROM $131/NIGHT

3 BEST THINGS ABOUT HOTEL

WHAT'S AROUND

Key Features

swimming pool

excellent breakfast

exceptional location and views

9. Rafiki Safari Lodge – Saverge

4 STAR

Rafiki Safari Lodge the best eco lodges in costa rica

Rejuvenate in the heart of Tropical Forest

Rafiki is a sustainable adventure lodge located in the Savegre Valley of Costa Rica. The lodge sits on 840 acres of tropical forest. Rafiki tented camp is glamping inspired by South African upmarket tented camps, featuring furnished fixed tents which offer a true sense of proximity to the natural world. Each tent feature hydro electric fans and lights. Each has views of the surrounding mountains from a private, covered terrace. This along with the large windows and natural soundtrack of bird and monkey calls, insect chirruping and gushing water ensures a sense of proximity to the natural world, The bar and restaurant offer breakfast and a traditional South African barbecue.

The surrounding rugged scenery is lush and beautiful with rivers, waterfalls and forests to explore. The property specializes in custom white water rafting, horseback riding and hiking trips. Guests sleep in imported luxury Safari Tents which feature hydro electric fans and lights. Each tent sits on a raised hardwood platform, has a deluxe bathroom with glass showers heated with fire. The units also have a private porch with rocking chairs looking over the Savegre Valley.

Hotel rating: 9.3  (Wonderful)   Rooms: 11

$$$

FROM $295/NIGHT

3 BEST THINGS ABOUT HOTEL

WHAT'S AROUND

Key Features

2 swimming pools

excellent breakfast

on-site bar

9. Hotel de Montaña Suria – San Gerardo de Dota

3 STAR

Hotel de Montaña Suria the best eco lodges in costa rica

Enjoy birdwatching and the Savegre River

Suria Hotel de Montaña offers you 20 rooms built in an area of great scenic beauty, surrounded by mountains that shelter one of the most spectacular cloud forests of Costa Rica, the San Gerardo de Dota Valley. 

Hotel’s rooms, delicately conditioned, blend in this delicate and unique environment, respecting the surrounding nature. The hotel also offers you spacious, and colorful garden, a newly remodeled restaurant,  café and the service and attention of a family run business.

The area of San Gerardo de Dota is a pristine area, where development has been very careful, avoiding mass tourism like the one that has happened in other destinations. Endless tropical cloud forests, mountains, rivers and evergreen valleys await. It also borders the Los Quetzales National Park, which in turn is connected to the endless region of cloud forests and tropical jungles of the Los Santos Forest Reserve.

Hotel rating: 8.7  (Excellent)   Rooms: 20

$

FROM $71/NIGHT

2 BEST THINGS ABOUT HOTEL

WHAT'S AROUND

Key Features

tranquil location

on-site restaurant

on-site bar

MAP OF THE BEST ECO LODGES IN COSTA RICA

What is the best area to stay in Costa Rica?

As the eco- and adventure-tourism capital of Central America, Costa Rica has a worthy place in the cubicle daydreams of travelers around the world. With world-class infrastructure, visionary sustainability initiatives and no standing army, the country is a green, peaceful jewel of the region. Taking into account that more than a third of the land enjoys some form of environmental protection and there’s greater biodiversity here than in the USA and Europe combined, it’s a place that earns the superlatives. To help you book a perfect stay we’ve put together this short guide through the best areas to stay in Costa Rica.

LA FORTUNA

First impressions of La Fortuna may be somewhat lacking, what with all the tourists and uninspired cinder-block architecture. But, with time, this town’s charms are revealed. Horses graze in unimproved lots, spiny iguanas scramble through brush, sloth eyes peer from the riverside canopy and eternal spring mornings carry just a kiss of humidity on their breath. And always, there’s that massive volcano lurking behind the clouds or sparkling in the sun.
For most of its history La Fortuna has been a sleepy agricultural town, 6km from the base of Cerro Arenal (Arenal Hill). On the morning of July 29, 1968, Arenal erupted violently after nearly 400 years of dormancy, and buried the small villages of Pueblo Nuevo, San Luís and Tabacón. Soon, like moths to a flame, tourists from around the world started descending on La Fortuna in search of fiery night skies and the inevitable blurry photo of creeping lava. Since then, La Fortuna has served as the principal gateway for visiting Volcán Arenal. It’s still one of the top destinations for travelers in Costa Rica, even though the great mountain stopped spewing its molten discharge in 2010.

 

NOSARA

Nosara is a cocktail of international surf culture, stunning back-road topography, jungled microclimates, moneyed expat mayhem and yoga bliss. It effortlessly recalls Malibu, Oʻahu’s North Shore and Byron Bay, Australia, while remaining completely its own – only in Costa Rica – incarnation. Here, three stunning beaches are stitched
together by a network of swerving, rutted earth roads that meander over coastal hills and kiss the coast just west of the small Tico village of Nosara.

 

SANTA TERESA

Get ready for tasty waves, and creative kitchens , because the southwestern corner of Península de Nicoya has all that and more. Which is why it’s become one of Costa Rica’s most life-affirming destinations. Here, the sea is alive with wildlife and is almost perfect when it comes to shape, color and temperature. The hills are dotted with stylish boutique sleeps and sneaky good kitchens run by the occasional runaway, top-shelf chef. Sure, there is a growing ribbon of mostly expat development on the coastline, but the hills are lush and that road is still rutted earth
(even if it is intermittently sealed with aromatic vats of molasses). The entire area unfurls along one coastal road that rambles from Santa Teresa in the north through Playa el Carmen, the area’s commercial heartbeat, then terminating in the fishing hamlet of Mal País. The whole region is collectively known as Mal País.

DOMINICAL

Dominical hits a real sweet spot with the travelers who wander up and down its rough dirt road with a surfboard under an arm, balancing the day’s activities between surfing and hammock hang time. And although some may decry the large population of expats and gringos who have hunkered down here, proud residents are quick to point out that Dominical recalls the mythical ‘old Costa Rica’ – the days before the roads were all paved, and when the coast was dotted with lazy little towns that drew a motley crew of surfers, backpackers and affable do-nothings alike. Dominical has no significant cultural sights, no paved roads and no chain restaurants, and if you’re not here to learn to surf or to swing in a hammock it might not be the place for you.

COSTA RICA ECO LODGE – FAQ

We’ve answered some of the most common questions about Costa Rican Eco Lodges:

What is an eco lodge?

Eco lodges focus on using renewable energy sources to provide power to their properties as well as using energy efficient lighting and water preservation. They focus on recycling and often reusing in order to positively impact the environment.
 

Do Eco Lodges in Costa Rica provide free WiFi?

Majority of Eco Lodges do provide WiFi, however please take into consideration that the signal might only be provided in the main areas as well expect rather slow Internet speed.

 

 

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