20 Best Ecolodges In Costa Rica

Ecolodge options in Costa Rica are numerous. My favorites include Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trail because of its on-site bird sanctuary, which you won’t easily find elsewhere. Many tourists also talk well about the Ecolirios Boutique Hotel and Spa for its breathtaking views. So, the location you eventually settle for depends on what you want. 

Having been to Costa Rica four times this year with my husband, we have heard several debates among tourists about the best all-inclusive ecolodge in Costa Rica. 

While we’ve both been focused on family-friendly ecolodges, I’ve researched and been to quite a number of the popular accommodations in undisturbed, remote natural areas around Costa Rica. 

In this article, I will walk you through an unbiased review of 20 of the best ecolodge options in CR, their budget range, location, amenities, and the type of tourist that will enjoy each of them most. 

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trail is my top recommendation for Ecolodge in Costa Rica. It has an outdoor swimming pool, a spa, and a fantastic mountain view. Staying there is also cost-friendly, and the food is good. Check their prices and availability here. 
  • Many solo travelers talk well about the warm hospitality at the Ecolirios Boutique Hotel and Spa. 
  • To choose the best ecolodge for you, define your budget, decide on a location, consider the amenities available, choose between family-friendly and adult-oriented, and consider transportation accessibility. 

Best Ecolodges in Costa Rica: Compared

I’ve reviewed the following 20 locations as the best ecotourism options in Costa Rica based on my travel experience and my conversations with another solo tourist in the country. 

Several data points from review platforms were also pulled to achieve this ranking and ensure you get the correct information about these ecolodges. 

In case you’re in a hurry, here are our top seven, after which we thoroughly review the others. 

Best Costa Rica Ecolodges  Location Budget Starting From:
Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails 22 km east of La Fortuna de San Carlos, 21007. $740
Origins Lodge 200 South From Pueblo Nuevo School Pueblo Nuevo, Canalete, Provincia de Alajuela, Upala. $804 
Ecolirios Boutique Hotel and Spa Calle La Angostura, Ruta 32, Limón Province, Guacimo, 70601. $470
Arenas Del Mar Junction 4.6km Route 618 turns right onto Rd. Arenas Del Mar, Puntarenas Province, Manuel Antonio, 60601. $1300
Lapa Rios Lodge by Böëna Puntarenas Province, Puerto Jiménez. $2500
Nayara Tented Camp Nayara Gardens, de Alajuela Province, La Fortuna, $1500
Pacuare Lodge by Böna Limón Province, Limón. $1300

 

Let’s now look at what goes on in each of these locations and what they have to offer: 

  1. Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails

  • Location: 22 km east of La Fortuna de San Carlos, 21007.
  • Amenities: Outdoor swimming pool, Airport shuttle, Non-smoking rooms, Spa and wellness center, Free parking, Restaurant, Free WiFi, Bar, and Fabulous breakfast
  • Budget: Starts from $740

Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails is a nature-themed hotel near a volcano. The rooms have a cozy tropical style with wooden touches and come with valuable amenities like fans, safety boxes, and private bathrooms with showers. You’ll love the stunning views from the furnished terrace. Plus, the location near the volcano is fantastic!

Nature enthusiasts will adore the on-site bird sanctuary, home to around 500 bird species. You can also join tours to see the volcano’s lava flows, explore waterfalls, or climb the wildlife observation tower called The Nest. 

There are plenty of walking trails around the property, and if you want to relax, you can soak in the hot tub or get a massage at the spa.

The lodge is close to the Tabacon River’s hot springs and La Fortuna Village. It’s about a 2.5-hour drive from Daniel Oduber International Airport.

What I like about this location

  • The meals are delicious, and breakfast is complimentary!
  • Great setting. It was like living in a fantastic botanical garden.
  • There is lots to do on the property, including great guided walks.

What I don’t like

  • There is no fridge or way to cook your food, so be prepared to eat at the restaurant for every meal.
  • The road to the property was rutted and dangerous, especially since we drove after dark.
  1. Origins Lodge

  • Location: 200 south of Pueblo Nuevo School, Pueblo Nuevo, Canalete, Provincia de Alajuela, Upala.
  • Amenities: Outdoor pool, restaurant, spa, free parking, complimentary WiFi
  • Budget: Rates start at USD 804 per night for luxury lodges and $9,872 for 3-bedroom villas

Origins Lodge is a cozy place to stay in Bijagua, and it has a restaurant and free WiFi. The rooms have a nice outdoor space, like a terrace, and each has its own bathroom. Some rooms even have a small kitchen. You can enjoy a tasty breakfast there every day. The lodge also has a swimming pool in which to relax.

It’s just a short distance from Liberia or Pital, about 41 kilometers away. The property is beautiful and calm, perfect for relaxing. The staff is friendly, and the food is delicious. You can even see many birds from the hot tub, which has a great view of the hills. They’re also doing good things for the environment, like removing plastic and using fresh ingredients from their garden.

Overall, it’s a fantastic place to stay, with excellent service and plenty to do. Plus, they offer fun activities like kayaking in Rio Celeste.

What I like about this location

  • Every meal was fresh and of excellent quality. 
  • All staff were professionals.
  • Welcoming and friendly environment 

What I don’t like about this location 

  • You cannot choose between lunch and dinner
  • The 3-bedroom villas are pretty pricey for a tourist on a budget
  1. Ecolirios Boutique Hotel and Spa

  • Location: Calle La Angostura, Ruta 32, Limón Province, Guacimo, 70601.
  • Amenities: Free parking, Airport shuttle, Free WiFi, Non-smoking rooms, restaurants, spas, wellness centers, Family rooms, tea and coffee makers in all rooms, and bars
  • Budget: Starts from $470

Ecolirios Boutique Hotel and Spa is a fancy place in Guácimo, near Ebal Rodriguez Stadium. 

They offer nice rooms with beautiful views of the mountains. You can park your car for free and use their bikes to get around. The hotel has a garden and a terrace where you can relax. Plus, there’s a restaurant and a bar if you get hungry or thirsty. They have staff ready to assist you if you need help, like booking tours or exchanging money.

The cabins at this hotel are in the middle of the jungle, but they’re super fancy and eco-friendly. 

A trail on the hotel grounds leads to a beautiful waterfall where you can swim. And if that’s not enough, a natural water pool is nearby. 

You’ll find a desk, cozy beds with clean sheets, and a balcony with a nice view of the garden in the rooms. Some rooms even have a kitchen with a fridge. And of course, there’s a wardrobe for your clothes.

What I like about this location 

  • The location was terrific.
  • Floor-to-ceiling windows made the rooms so special
  • Various reviews hail the staff for a personalized experience.
  • A lot is grown on the property and used for the meals.

What I don’t like about this location 

  • The hotel is expensive.
  • Poor internet access
  • There was a lot less privacy than I and my husband were led to believe from the pictures. 
  1. Arenas Del Mar

  • Location: Junction 4.6km Route 618, turn right onto Rd. Arenas Del Mar, Puntarenas Province, Manuel Antonio, 60601,
  • Amenities: Outdoor swimming pool, Airport shuttle, Free parking, Non-smoking rooms, Beachfront, two restaurants, Bar, Private beach area, Breakfast, Children’s cots (upon request)
  • Budget: Starts from $1300

Arenas Del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort, part of the Cayuga Collection, has a bunch of cool stuff like a pool, gardens, a bar, and a restaurant.

If you want to explore, there’s a beach nearby called Playa Biesanz, and there’s a fun adventure tour called El Santuario Canopy Adventure Tour, which is close enough. The nearest airport is Tobas Bolaños International, about 119 km away, but they offer a service to take you there for a fee.

But some guests felt the food was too expensive for what you got, like paying $25 for just an okay burger. 

What I like about this location 

  • Stunning, secluded beach surrounded by wildlife. 
  • The monkeys and sloths on the property were beautiful to see up close. 
  • Lovely staff.

What I don’t like about this location 

  • food was overpriced for its quality. 
  • Our room felt small compared to other equivalent-rating hotels that we stayed at in Costa Rica.
  1. Lapa Rios Lodge by Böëna

  • Location: Puntarenas Province, Puerto Jiménez.
  • Amenities: outdoor swimming pool, airport shuttle, free parking, non-smoking rooms, restaurant, free WiFi, facilities for disabled guests, spa and wellness center, bar, and breakfast. 
  • Budget: $2500

Lapa Rios Ecolodge is a special place in the Costa Rican jungle, offering 17 private bungalows with stunning views of where the Golfo Dulce meets the Pacific Ocean. 

The lodge blends seamlessly into the forest, allowing guests to experience the vibrant wildlife up close. 

The rooms are comfortable, and we were lucky to be upgraded to a luxurious villa suite with an ocean view. 

What I Like about this location 

  • Lapa Rios had a lot of animals because they were in the middle of the jungle.
  • The staff was friendly. 
  • The room has no windows but only nets. 
  • The view was a dream, and the outdoor shower was great!

What I don’t like about this location 

  • The road to the hotel is off Puerto Jiminez, is unpaved and bumpy, and takes about one hour for 20km. 
  • Many tourists say the food could be better for the hotel’s price. 
  1. Nayara Tented Camp

  • Location: Nayara Gardens, de, Alajuela Province, La Fortuna
  • Budget: $1500

Nayara Tented Camp has nice tents with comfy beds and excellent amenities like a fitness room and a steam room. You can also chill by the pool or play pool at the pool table. They have free parking and WiFi, too.

In the morning, they offer a tasty buffet breakfast, or you can have breakfast brought to your tent. They have a restaurant serving yummy Argentinian food for lunch and dinner.

If you’re into wellness, they’ve got you covered with a hot tub, a spa, and yoga classes. You can even play darts there or rent a car to explore the area. And if the weather’s nice, you can hang out in their garden or on the sun terrace.

What I like about this location 

  • The beautiful rooms
  • private hot spring pool is in the room
  • Indoor and outdoor showers 
  • Incredible gardens and plants
  • As a couple, it doesn’t get better

What I don’t like about this location

  • Wayfinding around the grounds can be challenging, so I recommend downloading the resort map.
  1. Pacuare Lodge by Böna

  • Location: Pacuare Lodge by Böëna, Limón Province, Limón.
  • Budget: $1300

Pacuare Lodge by Böëna is a special place in Bajo Tigre, offering stunning river views. 

It has a restaurant, a bar, and a beautiful garden with a pool. The staff is friendly and professional, and the accommodation is unique. The food is excellent, and there are many activities to enjoy, especially rafting, which is an unforgettable experience. 

However, getting to the lodge can be tricky, and the constant humidity might bother some people. 

Also, the price is relatively high compared to similar places. Despite these drawbacks, this is a place where you’ll always remember your time in beautiful Costa Rica. 

What I like about this location 

  • The staff were friendly and helpful.
  • The meals were excellent.
  • There are plenty of activities for all ages and fitness levels.
  • Rafting in and out was an unforgettable experience.

What I don’t like about this location

  • There is no jacuzzi or hot tub (at the time of writing)
  1. Hacienda AltaGracia

  • Location: Contiguo a la Escuela de Santa Teresa de Cajón, San José Province, Pérez Zeledón, 11908
  • Budget: Rates range from $2,488 to USD 5,340 per night

Hacienda AltaGracia in Santa Elena offers free WiFi and private parking. It’s a popular spot for horseback riding, with many animals around. 

The accommodation is fantastic and spotless, and the staff works hard to make guests happy. The rooms are spacious and well-maintained. 

The horse stable is exceptionally clean, and the horses are well cared for.

What I like about this location 

  • The team, facilities, food, coffee, spa, and incredible landscape make this place a fantastic ecolodge. 

What I don’t like about this location 

  • None so far
  1. Amazonite Ecolodge 

  • Location: Provincia de Puntarenas, Dos Brazos, 60702
  • Budget: Starts from $120

Amazonita Ecolodge is a cozy place in the jungle, around 9.9 miles from Puerto Jimenez. You can park your vehicle for free here.

The lodges have comfy seating areas; some even have dining spaces and terraces. Some clubs also come with a small kitchen equipped with a fridge. Each club has its own bathroom with either a bath or a shower, and they provide complimentary toiletries.

You’ll enjoy the warm welcome from the staff and the adorable animals—there were cute dogs and the sweetest kitten named Aurora. At night, the jungle comes alive with unique sounds. The place is clean, considering it’s in the wilderness and has an open layout.

You can enjoy activities like horseback riding and fishing here. It’s also just a 5-minute drive to the entrance of Corcovado National Park, making it a popular spot for nature lovers.

What I like about this location 

  • Open design of cabins so you can see the rainforest from inside
  • Beautiful forest views
  • Very peaceful.
  • Lovely staff to give information and tell you the history of the community
  • Good access to forest trails and walks with or without a guide.

What I don’t like about this location 

  • Some visitors have noted bats living in their cabins—just something to be aware of if you don’t like them.
  1. The Sunset Tucano Lodge

  • Location: Puntarenas Province, Drake Bay.
  • Budget: Starts from $260

The Sunset Tucano Lodge is a lovely ecolodge in Costa Rica to stay with a beautiful garden and tasty food. 

You’ll enjoy delicious meals, including a tremendous red snapper dish. You can also watch small and large toucans from your cabin. 

The garden is fantastic; you may be lucky to spot a kinkajou in the trees at night. 

There’s a small beach nearby where there are usually few people. All rooms have private bathrooms, and some have terraces and sea views. You can also go hiking in the area, and the hotel offers car hire.

What I like about this location 

  • Located over a beautiful and calm bay
  • A vast garden with lots of animals to see. 

What I don’t like 

  • None so far
  1. La Cusinga Lodge

  • Location: Costarena Sur Km166, Provincia de Puntarenas, Uvita, 60504, Costa Rica
  • Budget: Rates for a one-night stay start at $260

La Cusinga Lodge is a beautiful, eco-friendly hotel near a peaceful Uvita beach. 

The staff is charming, and the sunset views from the terrace are stunning. The rooms are beautiful and spacious, with amazing views. 

You can hear howling monkeys in the morning, which is fantastic. The pool area is excellent, and there’s a great hike to a secret beach. 

The only downside is that the restaurant closes early; overall, it’s a great place to stay. 

They have hiking trails to secluded beaches, offer delicious local breakfasts, and you can enjoy locally produced cuisine at the restaurant.

What I like about this location 

  • Great ocean views 
  • Direct access to the beaches of the national park
  • Nice restaurant and breakfast

What I don’t like about this location 

  • The restaurant could stay open longer, as they close at 8 PM since it is in a tranquil area. 
  • There is no A.C., but it is next to a nature reserve.
  1. Pacific Edge Eco Lodge

  • Location: Pacific Edge Rd., Puntarenas Province, Dominicalito, 60504, Costa Rica
  • Budget: Starts from $200

The Pacific Edge Eco Lodge is a cozy ecolodge not far from Playa Dominicalito. They have different accommodation options, and you can stay in one of their newly-built condos, which feels like it was just made. 

The lodge is adorable, with well-behaved rescue pets adding to the charm. The views are breathtaking, and you can even hear the sounds of howler monkeys during breakfast! 

If you’re interested in nearby attractions, Marina Pez Vela is about 49 km away, and Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary is around 5.2 km from the ecolodge. The closest airport, La Managua, is approximately 46 km away, and they offer a paid shuttle service to and from there.

What I like about this location 

  • The individual bungalows have very comfortable beds and good ceiling fans. 
  • The view from the deck is up the Pacific coast over unbroken forest past Dominical and on to Manuel Antonio Nat Park.

What I don’t like about this location 

  • A 4×4 car if you’re driving yourself is highly recommended because of the road.
  1. Selva Bananito Lodge  

  • Location: Cahuita, Limón Province, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, 70403, Costa Rica
  • Budget: Starts from $150

If you love being in a remote natural place with other like-minded folks, the Selva Bananito Lodge is a great place to stay. 

You will see all sorts of wildlife. It’s up in the hills near a big nature reserve. They’ve got lots of fun stuff to do, like zip-lining, climbing waterfalls, and riding horses. 

I recommend the all-inclusive package with three meals daily (all excellent, home-cooked meals) and several prepaid activities.

The rooms are cozy, with wooden decorations and lovely views. Some rooms have internet too.

What I like about this location 

  • Remote, natural setting
  • Scenic bungalows with open spaces all around you strengthen the “in-nature experience.”
  • Actual jungle experience during guide walks. 
  • The staff is very flexible in accommodating young kids.

What I don’t like about this location 

  • Getting there by car involved some anxiety, as you usually have to cross three rivers and drive for several miles on a long dirt road that is rough in parts.
  • Not as much bird life as hoped for
  1. Tabacon Thermal Resort and Spa 

  • Location: Noreste de Centro de la Fortuna de San Carlos, 13 Km, Provincia de Alajuela, Nuevo Arenal
  • Budget: Rates start at USD 375 per night

Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa is another fantastic ecolodge in Costa Rica for relaxation and celebration. 

They have lots of pools, hot springs, and spa services. The rooms are comfy and come with all the essentials. The staff is friendly and helpful. My husband and I had a fantastic time celebrating our anniversary there. 

We enjoyed the spa treatment, ate at all the restaurants (which were amazing), and had fun swimming in the pools.

Take advantage of trying the tasting dinner menu at Tucanes! Overall, it’s a beautiful place with lots to offer for a memorable getaway.

What I like about this location 

  • Unique place. 
  • The thermal spa is absolutely one-of-a kind. 
  • Floating a hot river was a great experience. 
  • The hotel is nicely maintained

What I don’t like about this location 

  • Breakfast has very few choices. 
  • Many reviewers point to the main restaurant’s food as below expectations.
  1. Si Como No Resort and Wildlife Refuge

  • Location: Kilometer 4 to National Park, Provincia de Puntarenas, Quepos, Costa Rica
  • Budget: Rates range from $290 to $409 per night

The Sí Como No Ecolodge has a modern restaurant and a fun snack bar with live music. You can sip cocktails at the Boca Bar Mogotes in the pool. 

The beds are super comfy, and breakfast is delicious. Having more lounge chairs by the adult pool would be even better because they are always in demand.

It would also be nice if they provided snorkel gear for guests to borrow.

What I Like about this location 

  • It is an excellent location with good views of the ocean. 
  • fabulous room with a balcony
  • A good swimming pool with a cocktail bar and an excellent restaurant. 
  • The bonus of watching squirrel monkeys from your balcony each morning!

What I don’t like about this location 

  • There were not enough lounge chairs by the adult pool
  • The ability to rent or borrow snorkels would have been great.
  1. La Leona Eco Lodge 

  • Location: CGW8+W5F, Carate, LaLeona, Corcovado Trail, Puntarenas Province, Puerto Jiménez.
  • Budget: Starts from $200

You can also try the La Leona Eco Lodge in Costa Rica. This place is deep in a tropical forest near the Pacific Ocean. 

It’s eco-friendly and serves breakfast. It’s right by Corcovado Park. The staff are super friendly. The rooms are like tents with candles for light, and some have outdoor bathrooms. It’s a unique experience near a diverse park. 

The bungalows don’t have electricity, but they’re comfy and have everything you need.

 

What I Like about this location 

  • Unique location
  • Lovely beachfront garden
  • Hospitable staff
  • Good food,

What I don’t like about this location 

  • Don’t choose this one if you need a drive-up hotel, electricity in your rooms, and a comprehensive menu. 
  1. San Rafael Ecolodge

  • Location: 900 metros noreste de la Iglesia Católica, Provincia de Alajuela, La Tigra, 21008
  • Budget: Rates typically range from $60 to $135 per night

At Villas San Rafael, each villa has a cable TV, places to sit and eat, and a private bathroom with a shower. Nearby, you can visit many restaurants and bars within a 30-minute drive.

They’ve created a wonderful, beautiful, and peaceful place in the jungle. Our villa, which had two bedrooms, was big and clean, and the balcony gave us a great view of the jungle.

This eco-friendly lodge was exactly what you’d want for your stay in Costa Rica.

What I like about this location 

  • Affordable
  • The secluded cabins
  • Wildlife around the cabins

What I don’t like about this location 

  • The bedroom furnishings are a bit old-fashioned
  1. The Jaguars Jungle Rainforest Lodge 

  • Location: 5 miles south of Drake Bay, next to San Pedrillo, Drake Bay Hiking Trail, Agujitas de Drake, Puntarenas, 
  • Budget: Starts from $200

The Jaguars Jungle Rainforest Lodge is near San Pedrillo Beach, with a garden, terrace, restaurant, and bar. 

It’s a short walk from the beach and offers a private beach area. 

They provide free WiFi and airport shuttle service for a fee. The rooms are spacious and well-maintained, with beautiful views from the balcony. 

The food is excellent, with two delicious hot meals daily, plus breakfast and afternoon tea. Although the path to some rooms still needs to be completed, you might need to walk through mud. 

Meanwhile, prices at the bar don’t include tax.

  1. Palmetto Lodge

  • Location: Arriba el Condominio Guanacaste, Playa San Miguel, 50906.
  • Budget: Rates per night range from $125 to $160

Palmetto Lodge is a fancy B&B in Costa Rica’s jungle, offering stunning ocean views and wildlife sightings. 

It’s near a top surfing beach and great dining spots. The lodge has a restaurant with delicious homemade food and a bar serving various drinks. Facilities include a pool, garden, lounge, and business center. 

Accommodation options include rooms with ocean views and luxury amenities. Prices start at $125.

The Lodge prioritizes sustainability by recycling, reducing food waste, avoiding single-use plastics, and supporting local projects. It’s a great place to relax while being mindful of the environment.

  1. Danica Cloud Forest Lodge

  • Location: 4 km to the south of the entrance to San José, San Gerardo de Dota.
  • Budget: Starts from $ 300

Beautiful gardens in Providencia surround Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge. They have lovely bungalows with modern wooden decorations and hot tubs where you can relax while enjoying the view of nature. 

The hotel is designed to give you privacy and a close connection to the environment. After a long walk uphill, you can enjoy the spa jacuzzi in your room. 

The rooms have excellent heating and cooling systems. 

There’s plenty to enjoy even without a car, like birdwatching and trying nearby restaurants. 

They also have a restaurant called Le Tapir, where you can have delicious meals. Other amenities include a tour desk, a playground, and dry cleaning services.

Factors To Consider When Choosing an Ecolodge in Costa Rica 

The good news is that the country is already renowned for its commitment to environmental conservation and sustainable tourism. 

Still, to make the best accommodation decision for an ecolodge, you should consider several factors that align with your preferences, values, and the level of sustainability you desire. 

You need to consider:

  1. The location 
  2. Energy and water conservation
  3. Wildlife and ecotourism activities
  4. Food and dining options
  5. Transportation and accessibility
  6. Check reviews of other visitors because the reviews don’t lie 
  7. And finally, be precise about your budget

So, consider visiting Costa Rica for your next vacation or honeymoon if you care about the environment. I also hope the above review has helped make it easier to pick the best Ecolodge. 

 

5/5 - (1 vote)

About 

Born in California, Michelle traveled extensively through the USA and Europe before moving to South Florida during the pandemic. Her career in Marketing has taken her all across the world. Her favorite country is France but she'll never turn down a beach vacation!

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