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Costa Rica has been at the forefront of green tourism and eco-friendly travel, making it a favorite destination for nature lovers and sustainability enthusiasts. Costa Rica’s eco-lodges range from working agricultural farms to modern solar-paneled buildings, volcano observatories, and quaint family homes. Whatever your travel style, staying in an eco-lodge is an essential part of visiting this beautiful region of Central America. These are some of the most amazing eco-lodges to stay at in Costa Rica.
Hotel Belmar is set along the cloud forest mountain ranges, just three hours from San Jose. It’s an oasis for nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and foodies, offering a range of eco-friendly activities. Nestled in the Monteverde region, the award-winning upscale eco-focused hotel sits 4,600 feet above sea level, offers access to several scenic hiking trails, and is home to many endangered species for wildlife watching. Its guest rooms and suites feature charming alpine architecture with a Costa Rican twist, using hardwoods, boasting private terraces or balconies with stunning views of the cloud forest and the Nicoya Peninsula. Less than 10 minutes from the hotel, SAVIA is a 17-acre private reserve where small groups can enjoy thrilling eco-adventures such as zip lines, rappels, suspension bridges, hiking, and bird watching, visit sensorial gardens, and take a night tour.
Without a doubt, the Pacuare River is one of the best places to go whitewater rafting or kayaking in Central America. To see the wet and wild side of Costa Rica, travel the river to arrive at the Pacuare Lodge in the heart of the Talamanca Mountain Range. There are cozy thatched-roof cabins at this lodge that were crafted by local Cabécar Indians. Some of the best wildlife experiences in this area include hiking to view howler monkeys and riding horseback through the rainforest.
One of the top hotels in Central America, Lapa Rios is a luxurious Costa Rican retreat with top-notch service, a local atmosphere, and delicious international cuisine. This resort has won numerous awards for being the most spectacular eco-resort in the country, thanks to its spacious cabins, sophisticated décor, and locally-sourced meals. Although this resort has a higher price tag than some others in the area, it’s a great pick for luxury travelers who want to take yoga classes, get a massage, and go horseback riding. This is also a great area to view monkeys, toucans, and scarlet macaws.
Wildlife enthusiasts will fall in love with Bosque Del Cabo because this is the place where the Costa Rican rainforest meets the Pacific Ocean. It is not uncommon for visitors to see macaws, parrots, monkeys, jungle cats, and sloths while staying in this area. The thatched bungalows are solar-powered, and there are also a couple of houses along the Cabo Matapalo bluff to stay in. This owner-operated hotel opened for business in 1990 and is dedicated to forest preservation and species diversity.
The Selva Bananito Lodge is one of the few eco-lodges that has direct access to the lowland rainforests in the southern Caribbean. It’s located south of Limón in the Talamanca Mountains and is refreshingly rustic. Although there’s no electricity here, there are plenty of activities to do and ways to reconnect with nature. Guests have the opportunity to go horseback riding through the rainforest, climb up ceiba trees, rappel down waterfalls, hike along rivers, and go bird watching along the beaches.
Almonds & Corals is an excellent accommodation choice for glamping enthusiasts who don’t want to sacrifice luxury for pristine natural beauty. You can stay in a comfortable bungalow on this forest property that also has a restaurant and beach access. It has lots of local flavor and safari-style décor. Each unit has beds enclosed in mosquito netting, hammocks, electric lights and hot water. It’s a perfect blend of Caribbean coast luxury and back-to-nature seclusion.
Yoga is more than just a passing trend in Costa Rica’s eco-lodge communities; it’s a way of life! Located in Montezuma, the Anamaya Yoga Retreat features surfing, organic food, an infinity pool, a spa, ocean views, and of course plenty of yoga classes. It is located on the edge of a cliff and naturally hidden by waterfalls and rainforests. There is a wide range of entertainment offered at this retreat, including occasional fire dancers and circus entertainers.
Many people have fond memories of spending time in treehouses as kids, so why not revisit that nostalgia and stay in a Costa Rican eco-treehouse as an adult? This Costa Rica Treehouse Lodge is designed for up to six people. It’s located just behind Punta Uva Beach south of Puerto Viejo in the Limón province. One of the best things to do in this area is to explore the Gandoca-Manzanillo wildlife refuge by canoe with an indigenous guide. Another favorite pastime is simply lounging in the treehouse hammock and admiring the serene views of nature.
Located on the Playa Flamingo, Margaritaville Beach Resort Playa Flamingo is an eco-friendly beach resort on the northwest coast of Costa Rica. You’ll be surrounded by tall palm trees and lush mountain foliage as you enjoy a tranquil environment and attentive staff service. The romantic rooms here are equipped with all the modern and luxurious amenities, and there’s even specialty family suites, a swim-up bar at the outdoor pool and a lavish on-site spa. Dine at one of the multiple on-site restaurants serving local specialties, then sign up for whitewater rafting, zip lining or scuba diving adventures.
Hotel San Bada is located in the Manuel Antonio area in Costa Rica’s Pacific region. This is a wonderful place to stay if you’d like to explore the forest areas and dramatic waterfalls on foot and horseback. Manuel Antonio National Park is practically in your backyard when you stay at this hotel, which features private furnished balconies with garden and ocean views. Sample traditional cuisine at the Congo Restaurant or grab a cocktail at the Perezoso Snack Bar located in the adults-only pool area of the hotel.
Luna Nueva Lodge takes eco-tourism one step further by offering guests the opportunity to stay on its working organic herbal farm. Situated on 77-square-miles of conservation area and rainforest near Arenal Volcano, this is a great pick for budget travelers also. There’s an observation tower to climb and snap a few pictures of the volcano, as well as guided walking and horseback riding tours available. This is a lovely place to relax and unwind, especially in the spring-fed swimming pool and over a traditional Costa Rican dinner.
Located on the edge of the touristy La Fortuna area, Hotel Villas Vista Arenal is an excellent choice for budget-minded travelers who want to be close to the area’s top attractions. You can start each morning with a complimentary traditional Costa Rica breakfast outside on the patio and then walk into town to book tours, explore local markets, and see the local sights. Enjoy beautiful views of the Arenal Volcano through lush flora and fauna from quaint private cabins. The staff is very friendly and offers great advice about which tour experiences are worth your while.