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Step into the wild | © James Anderson/Tartan Group

The Best Eco Lodges in Costa Rica That You Can Actually Afford

Picture of Jenn Parker
Jenn Parker
Updated: 6 March 2017

What constitutes a place being labeled as an eco lodge has to do with its action-driven responsibilities to the environment, its construction and operational methods and processes that are committed to minimizing any negative impacts and carbon footprint, and, of course, location. One of the beauties of an eco lodge vacation is the setting. There are eco-lodges located in the mountains, valleys, volcanic regions, alongside national parks, beach fronts, and even tree tops in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Tree House Lodge

Costa Rica Tree House Lodge is a 10-acre beachfront lodge on Playa Punta Uva just south of Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coast. There are five completely different, sustainably built houses at the Costa Rica Tree House Lodge; the Beach house, Crystal house, Tree house, Beach suite, and Garden house. While the Costa Rica Tree House Lodge is and has always been adamant about its responsibilities to the environment and its commitment to employing only environmentally friendly practices, there is no shortage of unique luxuries, such as flame-heated hot tubs, a mini-golf course, BBQ and full kitchen facilities, and a couple of houses even have air conditioning.

Costa Rica Tree House Lodge, Playa Chiquita, Limon, Costa Rica, +506 2750 0706

Bunk up with nature| ©Courtesy of Costa Rica Tree House Lodge

Bunk up with nature at the Costa Rica Tree House Lodge | Courtesy of Costa Rica Tree House Lodge

Finca Luna Nueva

Finca Luna Nueva is an eco lodge that not only offers guests the opportunity to unwind and reconnect with nature, but the chance to participate and learn about sustainable and conservation practices and efforts. This rainforest eco lodge is made up of several family-sized and individual bungalows, a small one bedroom house that was constructed from red clay found on the farm, and two larger houses where individual rooms can be booked. Healthy, delicious, and organic meals are served three times a day directly from the Demeter-certified biodynamic farm. Yoga and incredible spa services are also offered here.

Finca Luna Nueva, San Isidro of Peñas Blancas, San Ramón, Costa Rica, +506 2468 4006

Pool side relaxation

Pool side relaxation at Finca Luna Nueva | Courtesy of Finca Nueva Luna Lodge

Monteverde Lodge and Gardens

Monteverde Lodge and Gardens has received multiple awards and recognitions, such as being featured as part of National Geographic Tours of a Lifetime and Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence. This cozy lodge is in the midst of one of Costa Rica’s famous cloud forests. While the food, accommodations, and service is impeccable, one of the highlights of staying here is taking a nature tour with one of two expert and local naturalists who have dedicated their lives and studies to this particular area. This is a unique chance to see the hidden side of Monteverde.

Monteverde Lodge and Gardens, Puntarenas Province, Santa Elena, Costa Rica+506 2257 0766

Such a dense and beautiful cloud forest

Such a dense and beautiful cloud forest in Monteverde | © Drew Weber

Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge

Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge is and has been making a relentless effort to uphold the highest standards and practices of running an environmentally and sustainable eco lodge. There is an on-site organic herb garden and restaurant that has an extensive and quite delectable menu for all three meals. Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge does a great job of blending eco-friendly with luxury. Some bungalows and rooms even have a Jacuzzi and an ecological chimney. Guests can watch the clouds roll through from the comfort of their beds, patios, or Jacuzzis.

Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota, San José Province, Costa Rica, +506 2740 1067

Dantica

Surrounded by the cloud forest at Dantica | Courtesy of Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge

Rara Avis Rainforest Lodge and Reserve

Rara Avis Rainforest Lodge and Reserve is the perfect choice for those truly seeking an adventure and the opportunity to spend time completely away from civilization. Rara Avis is so remote and way off the beaten path that guests are brought in on a covered tracker cart. Guests can spend time swimming in pools beneath waterfalls, hiking with a naturalist, birdwatching and listening to the melodic and unique sounds of the rainforest, and just disconnecting from the modern world in order to reconnect with and within nature.

Rara Avis Rainforest Lodge and Reserve, Horquetas de Sarapiqui, Costa Rica, +506 2764 1111

Rara Avis Waterfall -Andres Madrigal

Natural beauty surrounds the Rara Avis Rainforest Lodge | © Andres Madrigal

La Carolina Lodge

La Carolina Lodge is a Costa Rican, expat, and tourist (typically recommended by previous visitors) favorite. It is essentially an all-inclusive (minus alcohol, which you must bring with you if you plan on indulging a bit), everyone-is-family feel, home-stay type of lodge. Three traditional Costa Rican meals are prepared each day and guests all eat together. The nighttime is lit by candles, hot tubs are heated by fire, and the farm is fully operational and welcomes a helping hand. This special place is not only a beautiful escape into nature, but also a complete change of pace and lifestyle.

La Carolina Lodge, San Miguel, Alajuela, Bijagua, Costa Rica+506 2466 6393

Stay for a while

Stay for a while at La Carolina Lodge | © David Miles

Rancho Mastatal

Rancho Mastatal is not only an eco lodge, but it is also a permaculture farm, education center, and sustainable and working community. The campus and lodge is harmoniously situated on 300 acres of land which is home to mesmerizing waterfalls, crystal clear swimming holes, a vast hiking trail system, and extraordinary flora and fauna. As a guest, you can simply relax and enjoy your time away from the pressures of everyday life and just embrace being present in nature, or you can sign up for one of the many workshops to learn more about permaculture, sustainable building, and even plant medicine.

Directions to Rancho Mastatal, Costa Rica +506 2200 0920

Be part of a community at Mastatal | © Odyssey Outdoors/Flickr

 

Selva Bananito Lodge

Selva Bananito Lodge is a tranquil eco lodge that is part of the Cerro Mochila foothills and Talamanca mountain range in the province of Limón on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. Guests can spend their days relaxing in hammocks, sitting on their deck and observing rainforest life, or even embarking on some great tours. There is a main lodge where all guests meet for home cooked meals. Selva Bananito Lodge takes its responsibilities to the environment seriously and is working tirelessly to limit its impact and footprint, while at the same time giving guests an unforgettable experience.

Selva Bananito Lodge, Cahuita, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica, +506 2253 8118

SelvaBananito-YepYep

Rainforest view room at the Selva Bananito Lodge | © Yep Yep/Flickr

Olas Verdes

Olas Verdes is a boutique lodge mere steps away from Playa Guiones. Olas Verdes, along with the community, has worked tirelessly to completely restore this part of Costa Rica after it had been cut down for farming purposes. This is a place where guests can come and truly admire and enjoy the beach and forest surroundings. Olas Verdes is the perfect place to stay if you are interested in surfing, nature tours, yoga, horseback riding, or even volunteering.

Olas Verdes, Playa Guiones, Nosara, Costa Rica, +506 2682 0608

Path to the Nosara Biological Reserve

Path to the Nosara Biological Reserve from Olas Verdes | © Chris Goldberg/Flickr

Lapa Rios

Lapa Rios is a luxurious eco lodge that shares its space with macaws, sloths, toucans, and monkeys. There are 17 bungalows that were made to inspire relaxation, rejuvenation, and the opportunity to become immersed in nature. Lapa Rios is part of National Geographic’s list of unique lodges of the world. It has also received and maintained the certificate for sustainable tourism. Lapa Rios offers a great selection of tours and hikes with expert guides and naturalists so that you can really experience the vast wonders of the Osa Peninsula during your stay.

Lapa Rios, Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica, +506 2735 5130

LapaRios-JamesAnderson-Tartan Group

Ocean view room at Lapa Rios | © James Anderson/Tartan Group