Costa Rica has a growing number of eco lodges if you are looking for somewhere affordable where you can immerse yourself in nature. What constitutes eco lodges being labeled as such are their action-driven responsibilities to the environment, the 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 and volcanic regions, alongside national parks, beach fronts, and even treetops in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica Tree House Lodge
Bunk up with nature at Costa Rica Tree House Lodge | © 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 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, barbecue and full kitchen facilities, and a couple of houses even have air-conditioning.
Finca Luna Nueva
Pool side relaxation at Finca Nueva Luna Lodge | © Finca Nueva Luna Lodge
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.
Monteverde Lodge and Gardens
Monteverde Lodge and Gardens has received multiple awards and recognitions, such as being featured as part of National Geographic’s Tours of a Lifetime and Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence. This cozy lodge is in the midst of one of Costa Rica’s famous cloud forests. While the food, accommodation, and service is impeccable, one of the highlights of staying here is taking a nature tour with one of two expert local naturalists, who have dedicated their lives to studying this particular area. This is a unique chance to see the hidden side of Monteverde.
Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge
Surrounded by the cloud forest at Dantica | © 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 environmentally and sustainable eco lodges. 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.
Rara Avis Rainforest Lodge and Reserve
Natural beauty surrounds the Rara Avis Rainforest Lodge | © Andres Madrigal
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.
La Carolina Lodge
Stay for a while at La Carolina Lodge | © David Miles
For popular eco lodges, try La Carolina Lodge – 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), 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 offers a complete change of pace and lifestyle.
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.
Selva Bananito Lodge
If you’re searching for tranquil eco lodges, Selva Bananito Lodge 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.
Looking for boutique eco lodges? 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.
Ocean view room at Lapa Rios | © James Anderson/Tartan Group
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.