Buena Vista Lodge Costa Rica + Water Slide Review

Buena Vista Lodge, which borders the Rincon de la Vieja volcano, is one of the best eco-lodges in Costa Rica. Since 1991, this magnificent eco-lodge has offered various activities and experiences to all visitors. 

My husband and I decided that Buena Vista Lodge would be our first visit to Costa Rica with our kids. We were not disappointed with the place, as each one of us found something exciting and fun. It was our first eco-lodge experience, and I highly recommend Buena Vista Lodge. 

Key Takeaways From This Article

It’s rare to visit one place and get almost everything. Buena Vista Lodge is the exception. You get accommodation, restaurants, activities, and a relaxed atmosphere. Here are some key takeaways from this article:

  • The lodge offers standard, premium, and cultural experience day passes. 
  • Buena Vista has 600 hectares of land where they keep cattle and grow crops. 
  • The lodge is home to Costa Rica’s longest waterslide.
  • You can get your meals from any of the four restaurants within the property. 

Where is Buena Vista Lodge?

The lodge is situated in the foothills of the magical Rincon de la Vieja volcanic mountain. Buena Vista Lodge is situated in the middle of a rainforest. It’s in Guanacaste province, 31 km from Liberia International Airport. Buena Vista Lodge is one hour away from Rincon de la Vieja Park’s main entrance.

The lodge started as a cattle-raising hacienda before transforming into an eco-lodge. It is far from any town and has on-site staff who cater to the visitors’ needs. 

Buena Vista Lodge provides several transportation facilities for its guests. They have shuttle services to pick you and your family up from the airport. The lodge also provides taxi services if you prefer to visit several tourist attractions around Liberia. Alternatively, choose from the various tours the lodge organizes. 

There are numerous activities available at Buena Vista Lodge.

To enjoy the various activities at Buena Vista Lodge, you can buy a standard, premium, or cultural experience day pass. Whichever option you choose will give you a taste of most of the significant activities on this beautiful 2000-hectare property. 

Ziplining/Canopy Tours

The ziplining tour takes you through 10 lines and 11 platforms. If you are adventurous, there is a Tarzan swing at the end of the canopy tour. Their superior brake system makes them 100% secure.

You will see a lot of wildlife since the forest is green every year, ensuring wildlife has enough food throughout the year. Seven cable lines will take you through a dense forest, offering a view of the Rincon de La Vieja volcano and the Pampas grassland. 


The 420-meter (1,400-foot) waterslide is a wonder for everyone who tries it out. I recommend using a tube to have a more secure ride. It is also necessary to wear a helmet, and only kids over six years old can go on the waterslide. Please wear leather chaps on your bottom.

A pool at the bottom of the slide ensures you have a safe landing. The longest waterslide in Costa Rica is in the middle of a jungle. The lodge’s day passes allow you to make only three trips down the slide. 

Horseback Riding

Take a 2-3-hour horseback riding tour through the forest and visit three waterfalls. Salitral is an 80-meter waterfall; a second waterfall has a 400-meter water slide, while a third waterfall goes through a sulfur mine. 

The horses are gentle, and guides assist you. However, if horseback riding is not your favorite activity, you can ride on the tractor. 

Hanging Bridges (Los Higuerones)

You’ll take about an hour to walk through the 16 magical hanging bridges as you observe the fauna and flora of this magical forest. The bridges are 20 meters high, so they are not too high.


There are six hiking trails through the rainforest. The forest is an extension of the Rincón de la Vieja National Park. You can either walk, jog, or bike through the trails. 

Wildlife Watching 

Buena Vista has beautiful gardens that have become a haven for birds. Relax among the trees in the garden and observe the birds as they play, feed, and water. You might be lucky to see around 120 species in this reserve.

You will also see monkeys playing in the forest as you observe the birds. In the beautiful garden, you’ll also see butterflies. 

Cultural Tours

Buena Vista conducts cultural tours, such as learning about Costa Rican coffee production and the grano de oro. You’ll learn more about the various stages of coffee production. Take a trip to Fonda to learn the techniques of cooking tamales, tortillas, and donuts using clay pots. 

My kids loved the dairy and cheese shop, where we learned how to milk cows and produce curd, cheese, and custard. Our next stop was Guaitil Crafts, where we learned about the Chorotega culture of making handicrafts. 

Wellness and Spa

The hotel has a spa that offers several treatments and mProfessional therapists at the lodge take good care of you.

Your wellness journey can start at any of the five hot springs in the lodge. The five hot springs have natural pools with different temperatures. Your spa session should include indulging yourself in the mud baths and a sauna. 

Accommodation at Buena Vista Lodge

Children between 0 and 4 can stay for free at the lodge. Buena Vista Lodge has 84 rooms, which are comfortable enough for you to feel right at home. The rooms have no AC. You’ll have a choice between four different types of rooms. 

  • The hacienda rooms are near the swimming pool area, with a porch overlooking the stables. Each room has two double beds. 
  • Lake rooms: They are near a lake with excellent views of the Pacific Ocean, the Rincon de la Vieja volcano slopes, Guanacaste Pampa, and the Papagayo Gulf. Each room has two double beds and a private balcony. 
  • Mountain rooms: These are cabin-style rooms near a hill in the rainforest. Each room has a wide porch, two double beds, and a mini fridge. 
  • Stone rooms: These rooms cater to people on a travel budget. 

The lodge offers several amenities for all its guests, including laundry, safety deposit boxes in each room, free Wi-Fi, luggage storage, and 24-hour security. Please note that the lodge does not allow pets. 

Meals at the Buena Visit Lodge

After a day of enjoying various activities, you can unwind at the hotel’s bar and have some cocktails and craft beers. Buena Vista has four different restaurants that offer a variety of cuisines, as well as coffee shops. The restaurants are in various locations within the lodge property.

All the restaurants serve farm-to-table meals with fresh ingredients. The restaurants get milk from the cows and eggs from the chickens kept on the property. Most meals in the restaurant depict the traditional Costa Rican culture. 

Jaguar Restaurant serves both traditional and international cuisines. Enjoy some local and international drinks at Coati Bar & Restaurant. Montaña Restaurant only serves traditional foods, and the staff wears traditional attire. Visit Mirador Bar & Restaurant for a pool game, traditional food, and drinks. 

Enjoy your coffee at the Ficus Café & Bar, which also offers snacks and is close to three thermal water pools. The Jaguar café only serves Costa Rican coffee. 

Qualities of an authentic eco-lodge in Costa Rica

An eco-lodge is an accommodation type that has the lowest impact on the environment around it. The eco-lodges have strategies in place to ensure the implementation of sustainable practices. Hence, when looking for an eco-lodge, it must fulfill the following requirements: 

  • Sustainable: The lodge sits on 2000 hectares of land, with 1,400 set apart for reforestation. The farm for fruits and vegetables is 600 hectares, and the cows provide beef and milk for restaurants.
  • Support the local culture and economy: You learn more about this place’s history and culture by visiting the sugar mill and tasting the traditional snacks. Buy some clay products from the Clay Artisan Workshop and support the locals. The lodge offers employment to the locals. 
  • Have well-rounded experiences: Buena Vista eco-lodge offers various activities, such as canopy tours above the rainforest, viewing waterfalls, and a hot spring experience. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the check-in and check-out times at the Buena Vista Lodge? 

The check-in time is from 2.00 PM, and the check-out time is by noon at the latest, giving you ample time to park your luggage. The lodge has no age restriction but does not allow pets. 

Your room fee includes breakfast every morning. 

2. Where is the longest water slide in Costa Rica?

The Tobogan de la Jungla at Buena Vista Lodge is Costa Rica’s longest waterslide. The waterslide is 420 meters long and made of purely concrete and volcanic mud. 

Because the waterslide goes through the mountain, you get a peek at the lush vegetation. 


My kids keep telling me we must make another trip to Buena Vista Lodge. They truly enjoyed all the activities, and I agree with them. 

Please share your experiences at the Buena Vista Lodge with us. Which were your favorite activities? 

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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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