Best Lodges in Central America… This month – the Pacuare Lodge Costa Rica

We travel all over the world in our business and get to experience many of the best lodges, resorts and hotels in their respective countries. The Pacuare Lodge in Costa Rica is always high on our list when people ask us for our favorite resorts.

All of the suites at the Paquare Lodge have indoor bathrooms with a tub and shower and some also offer outdoor showers. The suites begin with the premium Jaguar Villa. This 350 square meter villa is perched on a bank of the Pacuare River with a privileged view of that pristine waterway and the surrounding tropical foliage. The Jaguar Villa is their most luxurious suite. elements-travel-pacuare-lodge01Next is the Canopy suite. A private suspension bridge leads from the deck of the suite to a platform high in a massive rainforest tree that affords an amazing view of the Pacuare River and surrounding jungle. This suite is perfect for someone looking for some extra privacy, a couple celebrating a honeymoon or an anniversary, as it has added privacy. The Linda Vista suites are larger than the Canopy suite but a bit smaller than the Jaguar suite. These suites are 230 square meters and offer beautiful sitting areas as well as a deck with a hammock and an outdoor plunge pool fed by mountain spring water (this is very refreshing after a day of hiking or canyoneering) . River View deluxe and River suites are smaller versions of the larger suites and offer the same level of luxury seen in the larger suites. All of the suites have king beds and large bathrooms as well as hammocks on their terraces.  elements-travel-pacuare-lodge07None of the suites have electricity, but are lit by candle light. When you go to the dining facility for dinner, the staff will light candles in your room. This resort prides itself on the ecological friendliness of its operation. The staff is always conscious of the fragile nature of the rain forest and everything the resort needs is brought in by raft.

Meals are served in a common dining facility, which, along with the check in area, has electricity and WIFI. The dining hall has a bar upstairs with places for visitors to gather and share their adventures. The food is world class; dinner is prepared by locals and usually contains locally available ingredients. Main courses can include a rib eye steak with jumbo shrimp or chicken curry with jasmine rice. Also common is sea bass paired with jumbo shrimp. They also offer romantic dinners right by the river for those wanting to celebrate a special event or just be alone to dine. Another option is to dine on one of the Canopy platforms. The food was always well prepared and delicious.

The Paquare Lodge’s commitment to sustainable eco-tourism is primary. elements-travel-pacuare-lodge03The lodge offers many hiking excursions in the rain forest. These can include a visit to a remote jungle waterfall, or a visit to a typical Cabécar Rancho (thatched house) built by members of a nearby clan, where the son of a local shaman provides visitors with an introduction to his people’s culture and customs. Bird lovers can get an early start to their day with a 6:00 AM bird watching hike around the grounds of the lodge. This hike ends just in time to have a delicious hot breakfast before you enjoy the rest of your day. The Paquare Lodge also offers a canopy zip line tour high in the jungle canopy that ends at a platform only steps from the dining hall. You only have a short controlled rappel to terra firma. Our most memorable experience at the Lodge was the canyoneering. This involved a short hike and some instruction in waterfall rappelling, and then we rappelled down a waterfall in steps. The first descent was only 10 feet or so, but each step was longer, and as we gained confidence, the descents got longer and longer. The final descent is a thrilling 90 feet. Paquare Lodge recommends a level of fitness comfortable with moderately strenuous activity for hiking and white water rafting, and of course, for the zip line and canyoneering. The property also has a minimum age of 12. It is a non-smoking lodge.

Your choices for leaving the lodge are the same as arriving, white water rafting or four wheel drive vehicle. The raft trip out is four hours long and includes lunch. The river out has more class 3 and some class 4 rapids and is a great ride. You will be tired when you get to your next destination in Costa Rica!