Costa Rica has many ecolodges, where you can immerse yourself in nature with a clear conscience, knowing your hosts are doing all they can to protect the environment. The settings of the ecolodges we’ve picked are unrivalled, from mountains, valleys and volcanic regions to national parks, beachfront and even treetops.
Finca Luna Nueva offers you the opportunity to unwind and reconnect with nature, as well as to participate in and learn about sustainable and conservation efforts. This rainforest ecolodge 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 you can book an individual room. Healthy, delicious, organic meals are served three times a day directly from the Demeter-certified biodynamic farm. Yoga and incredible spa services are also on offer.
Monteverde Lodge and Gardens has received multiple awards and recognitions; it is featured as part of National Geographic’s Tours of a Lifetime and Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence. This cozy lodge, in the midst of one of the famous cloud forests in Costa Rica, offers impeccable food, accommodation and service, and there are expert local naturalists on hand to provide guided tours. These people have dedicated their lives to studying this particular area, and it gives you a unique chance to see the hidden side of Monteverde.
Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge makes a relentless effort to uphold the highest standards and practices of running environmentally friendly and sustainable ecolodges. There area an onsite organic herb garden and a restaurant that has an extensive and quite delectable menu for all three meals. Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge does a great job of blending ecofriendly 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.
Looking for boutique ecolodges? Olas Verdes is 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.
Lapa Rios is a luxury ecolodge that shares its space with macaws, sloths, toucans and monkeys. There are 17 bungalows that inspire relaxation and rejuvenation. 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.
Explorers with a passion for sustainability and tribal culture are in for a treat at Danta Corcovado Lodge, a family-run retreat in the rainforested thick of Corcovado National Park. Here, on the Pacific-whipped Osa Peninsula, the goal is to reboot fatigued urban souls with a gentle program of mangrove kayaking, forest walks in the footsteps of jaguars, and encounters with the Ngäbe people, resplendent in rainbow-colored attire. The rooms and bungalows mirror their jungly environs: teak floors, bamboo struts and furnishings of lashed-together branches – and the patter of squirrel monkeys on the roof for your wake-up call.
Thrashing surf, sun-silvered palms or sultry bottle-green foliage – whichever room you take at La Leona Eco Lodge, you are assured a mesmeric backdrop while slouching in your Adirondack porch chair, slurping another high-octane margarita. Caught between the bio-diverse Corcovado National Park and the Pacific, this is a family-run place of meditative peace, with tent-like cabins of chunky timber furniture and only candles to read by. During the day, ride horseback along the dark sands; at night, watch turtles hatch on the shore or join a guided nature walk among trees screeching with macaws.
On the snaking Costanera Sur Highway, a little south of Uvita, the 14 wooden casitas (cottages) of Hotel Villas Gaia make for easy living. Simplicity is the luxury here. The decor is pale and airy under angular ceilings, and your fan-cooled balcony is made for indolence. The temptation is to idle in the refreshingly cool pool shallows, moving only for generous meals of pork or curried fish. Yet, there’s much to experience beyond, be it glimpsing dolphins in the waters by nearby Playa Tortuga or rambling in the rainforest. Just be back in time for the high point (both senses): a mai tai, perhaps, at the lofty Rancho bar, as the red sun sinks over the Pacific.
Part resort, part regenerative nature project, Rancho Margot cocoons its guests in an off-grid Eden of tranquil natural pools and rustic-luxe bungalows of high-raftered ceilings, along with a bunkhouse for bargain-seekers. The property is set discreetly beside a rushing river that pours into the mirror-still waters of Lake Arenal, in the northern highlands of Costa Rica. Best of all, it has an organic farm, which means homemade soaps, super-fresh veggies and meat with every meal, and the opportunity to muck in and milk the cows – should the joy of twice-daily yoga, forest ziplining and bathing in the spring-fed swimming pool grow too routine.