• Caitlin McAninch

Costa Rica: Sarapiquí Rainforest Lodge Review

Updated: Feb 16, 2019

A bit about me: I’m easy going for the most part. I don’t come from money, so I don’t think I’m stuck up or high maintenance. When I travel, I don’t get picky about my accommodation. I mean, I’ve stayed at some gnarly motels around Disneyland over the years. Hell. Dylan and I went to Santa Cruz once and slept in the car. I love camping. I love sleeping in a tent. I am easy going.

But. I guess I’m also a Millennial American. And. When I get to a hotel room with no A/C, no Wi-Fi, and it’s in the middle of nowhere, I don’t really know what to do. And sadly, neither does my husband.

The Real Story of Arriving to the Sarapiquí Rainforest Lodge

So we left beautiful Baldi Hot Springs at 7am on Friday to head to the eco-lodge called Sarapiquí Rainforest Lodge. The driver picked us up, and we took off! And then picked up other people. It was like a communal travel service… Which is fine.

We drove out of La Fortuna and passed beautiful pineapple fields, fields, more fields. And I fell asleep. Then I woke up, and BOOM, we were at the new hotel. By like, 8:45am. Our information from the tour company that planned our trip said it would be like, a three hour drive. Not at all. We were there super quick.

So then we went to the front desk, and super nice woman who we worked with the entire time we were there, told us our room wasn’t ready. No shit. I mean, check in wasn’t until 2pm. It was 9am. What were we going to do?! And also! We hadn’t eaten. Even though breakfast was included at all hotels, we didn’t get breakfast here because technically we hadn’t stayed the night. And you know, we were picked up before breakfast was served at Baldi. So we paid $10 for the breakfast here.

But as we were sitting, Dylan just didn’t look good. He told me he didn’t really feel well. Like, cold symptoms. I was thinking maybe it was from the super wet night hike we had done the night before. But who knows. Overall, he just didn’t feel good.

And we really couldn’t figure out the Wi-Fi. It was supposed to be working in the lobby/restaurant, but I couldn’t’ get it on my phone. And that was just annoying.

So then we just started wandering around. We didn’t really know what we were doing. And we hadn’t passed a town… And it didn’t seem like there was anything to do. And I know this sounds awful, but we were there, just thinking, “What the hell are we going to do at this hotel for three nights?!” “Why are we here for three nights?!”

BUT! Things did get better…

We stumbled upon the Reserva biologica Tirimbina. This place was a hotel, but not our hotel; yet, it shared the same grounds as our hotel. But they had stuff to do. Like, A LOT of stuff to do. Chocolate Tours, Night Tours, Hanging Bridges, Bird Watching, all different stuff. Including a huge plot of land for biologists to study that anyone could pay to go walk around on a self-guided tour. So, we bought tickets and wandered around. I am going to save that story though… So. Back to the hotel…

We wandered around Tirimbina for a few hours, and then by the time we went back to our hotel, our room was ready! YAY! Or so we thought…

The Hotel Room at Sarapiquí Rainforest Lodge

We got to our room. And. It was hot. It was simple, which was fine. No TV, which was fine. But, it was hot. And there was NO A/C. We turned the fan on and opened our big doors, but that really didn’t help…

And with Dylan not feeling well, he was just irritated. And I was like, AGH. This isn’t my fault. I mean yeah I planned the trip, but I didn’t realize we weren’t going to love Sarapiquí; and dammit! I know I read there was A/C here!

I found a binder on the desk with information about local tours, and I found one that looked cool that we could go do. And I was like, “we will do this Sunday!” I think! But I needed to double check that we didn’t have our River Boat Cruise on Sunday, so I went to grab all our vouchers… AND THAT’S WHEN I SAW IT!

The transportation voucher to our next hotel! IT WAS FOR SUNDAY!

We weren’t in Sarapiquí for three days! We were only there for two!

No lie… this got us so happy. I don’t even know why. And I feel so stupid saying all of this, but this is all what happened. We were beyond happy that we would only be in paradise hotel number 2 for two nights instead of three. (Literally laughing and shaking my head at myself for feeling this way as I write this post). But. It happened.

So, instantly, I had more appreciation for this beautiful eco-lodge with no A/C and no TV. So let me tell you all about it now!

Our room was in a building of eight rooms, all in a circular form with high vaulted ceilings. They are replicated off of traditional indigenous Costa Rican housing. There was a wrap around porch on the whole building, so our balcony was shared with our neighbors.

The rooms were simple: small bed, three lights, a desk, shelf for clothing, and this odd body shaped clothing hanger that I used to dry my swimsuit. The bathrooms were simple, but the water got hot and cold, and I didn’t mind.

I’ve said it a million times at this point, but yes - the rooms didn’t have A/C. But there was a fan. And at night, we would literally pick up and move our bed to the center of the room to be directly under the fan.

The doors that led out to the balcony did shut, but were thin, big gaps at the bottom. But I say thin because we could hear everything outside. Night time was so loud with the frogs, bugs, birds, creatures in the night singing their songs.

But overall, it really wasn’t bad. I mean, let’s be real. We’re in Costa Rica. And according to TripAdvisor, this is a 4 star hotel! Ha!

(Yes! I know! I’m embarrassing for all my complaining!)

Sarapiquí Rainforest Lodge Grounds

The actual grounds of the hotel are so pretty. It’s a big place! Lots of plants and flowers. And it’s just really nice to walk around!

Near the entrance they have this interesting area that is a replica of an indigenous people village? I think? They had like, burial grounds and a living hut. And art. All different things! It was neat to walk around!

The pool was beautiful. Voted one of the best pools in the country. And truly, it was perfect. It was cold, but the good refreshing kind of cold. The infinity aspect with that view… I mean are you kidding me?! It’s gorgeous! And you know what we saw!? Jesus Lizards!!! The ones that run straight over the top of the water like this:

And the place was very active with wildlife, we saw toads and frogs, lots of lizards – like seriously, hundreds of geckos, and while walking around, we saw Macaws! Three beautiful Macaws that were flying and landed in a tree to eat. I watched them for about 20 minutes, just taking photos and admiring their beauty.

On the first evening we actually ate dinner at the hotel restraint that served breakfast. We both had fettuccini alfredo and it was so delicious! They were so kind, too. They knew it was our honeymoon and they gave us two drinks on the house! I got this fun pineapple cocktail and Dylan got a coke (he didn’t want alcohol because of his sickness)! This was “our table.” We had a designated spot for dinner and breakfast everyday.

And SUPER COOL! BATS! There were bats that lived in the lobby! We saw them in the morning hanging from the ceiling, and in the evening they would be actively flying around eating all the bugs!

In Conclusion: Thoughts about Sarapiquí Rainforest Lodge

As I look back today and when I go over all the photos I took over the two days we spent in Sarapiquí, Costa Rica, I’m grateful. This place was gorgeous. We saw the most wildlife in this place than the other two areas of the country we visited put together.

The hotel itself has an amazing staff. They’re kind and knowledgeable. And our room was always clean, even if it was warm.

As I go back over this post I realize I forgot one crucial part of this whole situation: the heat. It was, excuse me, but truly – it was so fucking hot here. Like, 95 degrees with 100000000% humidity. We were sweating just standing. Sweating just laying in bed. It NEVER cooled down here. And that contributed a lot to our crankiness. It actually contributed to Dylan making the decision that he never wants to visit a tropical country again. I know for a fact if the weather had been the same as it had been in La Fortuna, we would have never felt so negatively about this hotel.

But I mean, seriously…. This was the sky. Beautiful, right?

During our travels, not just Dylan and mine, but anyone’s, we learn we don’t love everything. New places are scary because we don’t know what to expect. But even if we do feel negative about an aspect of our travels, it’s okay. Because at the end of the day, we won’t be there forever.

We are blessed because this small hiccup was the ONLY “bad” thing that happened during our entire honeymoon. But I have many more stories to tell! So be sure to check out my other blog posts about our honeymoon in Costa Rica:

Costa Rica

Distance: 3,844 miles

Driving Time: 76 hours

#CostaRica #Hotels #Abroad #WeekendGetaway