Room with a (Volcano) View
Pure excapism. One of the most inviting venues that we have ever visited. A must if you are traveling in Costa Rica. Fantastic Room with a view of the Volcan Arenal.
Pure excapism. One of the most inviting venues that we have ever visited. A must if you are traveling in Costa Rica. Fantastic Room with a view of the Volcan Arenal.
We went white water rafting with Lost Iguana tours. It rocked! We were there during the rainy season, so the rivers are up and raging! Class II, III and a couple of IV+ rapids. Don't be scared though, the guides are friendly, speak English, knowledgable about their job and the flora and fauna, and ours were really funny. No one fell out of our raft, but a guy in another raft did. You really should go rafting. I don't know if you can during the dry season. It was a little expensive (about US $70/person for a half day), but worth it as far as I'm concerned. They stop about half way and feed you lunch. Take a waterproof camera with you and ask one of the guides to take some shots of you. Very important, wear Teva sandles or the equivalent. Thong type sandals could fall off and sneakers will get soaked. Tip the guys at the end of the trip if they are good. At least with Lost Iguana Tours, you can leave valuables in the bus and not worry about them. They have a driver that stays with the bus the whole time. Here's a hint to save you some money: Take the public bus (costs US 25 cents!) into Quepos and book the tour yourself. The hotels will book it for you, but they usually get a slice of the pie. Avoid the middleman. The guide companies have a bus that comes to all the hotels and picks people up and drops them back off.
We spent 5 nights at the Lost Iguana Resort and loved every minute. The resort is beautiful with each building tucked into the hillside and partly hidden in the landscaping. Our rooms were large, well decorated, and had a patio or balcony. All rooms have a great view of Arenal volcano, which cooperated day and night by continously spewing lava that showed as smoke during the day and bright burning red streaks at night. We didn't mind waking up at night because we could watch the red hot lava roll down the side of the volcano.
The volcano view was equally good from the restaurant, which served excellent food. Breakfast had something different each day, lunches were good, and dinners leisurely, which we appreciated after busy days. We enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere, sometimes visiting with other guests and getting suggestions for activities and sometimes just sitting enjoying the quiet and serenity of the resort.
The resort area is large and there are well maintained trails up and down the hills and across rivers. We saw several kinds of birds (loved the Toucans) and some monkeys while walking. The trails we did required moderate exertion and are not for the couch potato.
The staff (restaurant and desk) were friendly, efficient, and very helpful. The staff arranged outings for us for the canopy and zip line tour (a great adventure plus we saw a three-toed sloth), horsebackriding to a waterfall (going down the 543 steps to the waterfall was fine but climbing back up was not as much fun), canyoning (you have to like getting wet while repelling down waterfalls), and trips to the nearest town, La Fortuna, (once was enough) and hot springs (nice). Hanging Bridges just a short walk further up the hill was another activity well worth doing. They also helped us arrange the next leg of our journey. Be sure to check with the staff regarding activities because there are some that offer discounts when booked through the resort.
There is a lot to do at and near the resort, and we could have stayed longer.
The Lost Iguana is a great place. We've just returned from our trip and have already recommended this resort to friends.
After travelling around the country and staying in more rustic environmental lodges, it was wonderful to end our trip at the Lost Iguana. The staff members of the Lost Iguana were extremely warm and helpful. We got to know many of them by name, and they learned our names as well. The staff was happy to help us arrange Tours that we wanted to take. The Grounds are something out of a travel magazine. Lush gardens and streams everywhere you look. The restaurant is set right at the edge of a tropical garden, where we saw birds and butterflies every time we ate there. Last but not least, the view from the Lost Iguana was amazing. We could see the volcano from any location on the property -- the pool, the restaurant, and our room. We were fortunate enough to be able to sit on our balcony with a glass of wine from the restaurant and watch the volcano eruptions at night. You cannot find a better hotel at any price!!
The Lost Iguana exceeded our wildest imaginations. My wife and I decided to have our wedding at the Lost Iguana and were nervous since 40 people were coming and we weren't able to see the location or speak in person with anyone at the hotel(we live in LA). These fears quickly evaporated, though, as a result of the amazing personal care we received; our every need was met if not exceeded. The staff at the resort was incredibly friendly and invaluable in planning our various daytrips.
The resort itself is breathtaking. It has the feel of a hidden tropical oasis only known about by the few lucky enough to stumble upon it. Each room is beautifully decorated. The outdoor rock showers are an experience not to be missed. . . I definitely recommend spending the extra money on a luxury room. Each room also has a magnificent view(I should know, I was in them all!), both of the volcano, and the lush, gorgeous grounds of the Lost Iguana. I often found myself hypnotized by the captivating panorama. Each day brought a new surprise. . . the beautiful pools with a swim-up bar, the giant iguanas, the splendid nature trails owned by the resort, the monkeys at Hanging Bridges next-door. I have never spent a more relaxing, enjoyable time anywhere. It truly was paradise. And I’m not alone in this; every person I spoke with who came on our trip said they had a truly remarkable time.
To address some of the other reviewers. . .yes, there are bugs at the Lost Iguana. but what do you expect--you're in the middle of the rainforest in Costa Rica! and the wait staff is slow. but this applies to every restaurant in Costa Rica(we traveled all over for about 2 weeks).
Elaine, Randall, Alonso, & the staff of the Lost Iguana~ if you happen to read this, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making our stay in Costa Rica a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The lost Iguana has all the makings of a great hotel.
A fantastic location, with excellent views of the active side of the volcano. Beautiful gardens that are well maintained and a fantastically arranged pool area. Plus a restaurant area that also has great views.
The rooms are well appointed, a good size and all have views of the volcano. (Rooms 1-10 are in the forward most block and have the best views).
However, this recipe for success seems to have been diluted by the fact that we received what could only be described politely as very indifferent service.
The front desk was poorly organised. Check in: fifteen minutes to find our booking, then we were told that the room would not be ready for half an hour. After an hour of waiting we were then informed that the maids were taking lunch and it would be another ten minutes. It was eventually an hour and 45 mins after we checked in that we made it to the room.
The staff on reception would often chat on the phone for up to five minutes while guests waited to be served.
The tour information person was clueless.
There was incredibly slow service in the restaurant.
There was no one serving in the pool bar while we were there.
And it was impossible to dial reception from your room as it was permanently engaged.
Go to the Lost Iguana for the views, but if you want a hotel that can also provide a service ethic, look elsewhere.
This is a spectacular place to stay. The owner, Elaine, has put so much time and attention into making Lost Iguana a first rate resort. The rooms are beautifully furnished, each with a clear view of Arenal and the lush countryside. The staff are extraordinarily helpful. Breakfast is scrumptuous. Even the gift shop has wonderful items from around the world. And there's so much to see and do close by - walking through the rainforest using a series of bridges or taking a zip tour, hiking to the base of the volcano, whitewater rafting, natural hot springs. We saw a lot of animals including monkeys, sloths, and rare birds. Highly recommended!
We stayed at the Lost Iguana Nov. 15-17 and had a fantastic time. The grounds were beautiful and the staff was very helpful. We were lucky enough to see the volcano 2 of the 3 nights, and what a view it was! It was great sitting at the bar having a few drinks and watching the show. The rooms were very nice and clean. There were tons of hummingbirds and other birds around the grounds. We would love to stay here again. Only negatives I can think of are that the hotel is not very close to the town of La Fortuna (that was a plus for me because I like things off the beaten path), and there is a hill to climb to the room which could be a problem for someone that has difficulty walking. The picture was taken from our balcony. I recommend this resort and can't wait to go back to enjoy the new spa!
The Lost Iguana affords a spectacularly lush setting with amazing views of the volcano. The rooms are large and rustic. Each room has a balcony facing the volcano. The owner is working on a "volcano wake-up call" system. The volcano is often shrouded in clouds (thus making the lava flow impossible to see) but periodically clears up in the middle of the night. On request, the staff will call you to wake you up to see the flow. Wish they did this when we were there.
Another plus is their hiking trails on the property - you could hear the pumas growl early in the morning!
A recommendation the staff made was to skip Tabacon hot springs and go to Ecotermales hot springs. It is quiet and private - a wonderful way to relax after a day of hiking.
I would like to start this off with thanking the people at the Lost Iguana. They made my experience amazing, I can't complain about anything really.
I spent many hours researching this trip and I was still speachless when I arrived. I stayed in the luxury suite for a week and it's the only way to go. The rock shower and the jacuzzi on the deck not to mention the size of the room was well worth the money. To be able to sit in my jacuzzi with a bottle of champagne and witness a volcano erupt was amazing. The landscaping of the resort was beautiful as well as the architecture. It felt like a dream everyday and words don't do it justice. I spent a few nights in the heated pool as the rain fell and a fruit bat flew over head and the volcano would erupt in the background it doesn't get better than that really. I had a total of two bugs in the suite while I was there and I was greatly impressed by that. After all it is the rainforest so I would be an idiot to expect it to be bug free. They treat for bugs as best they can obviously. It was the perfect blend of serenity and luxury. Plenty of things to do from a zip line to just hiking the trails (that were very well kept) they have on the property. It was nice to have a luxury resort atmosphere yet still feel so secluded. It was truly the best vacation of my life and I have never felt so relaxed and at peace. I could even classify it as spiritual and I'm not a spiritual person. So in closing I would like to thank Elaine (owner) for creating such a beautiful place and for being such a sweet person.Also I have pictures but I would be afraid that they just wouldn't do it justice. If anyone cares to write me in regards to this please feel free to do so.
Lost Iguana Room #1
My husband and I are planning our first visit to Costa Rica. We are retired and love nature photography. We really need advice on which travel agents are the best and which areas we should not miss in a 10 - 14 day trip. Where do we start?
I'm not an expert on Costa Rica, but my Mom and her husband have been. They spent most of their time in the Arenal Volcano area at the Lost Iguana Resort: www.lostiguanaresort.com. I'll see if I can't get him on site. He spent several years down there. Between VT,the tourism web sites, and guidebooks, you can probably save yourself a bit of money by planning the trip yourself. Gary
You are the second person to tell me to plan the trip myself, so I'm going to
tripadvisor.com and will get started.
Your travels sound spectacular!
Jodie, Thank you. Most of the travels were fun. I was in the army for a good bit of time, so I was able to live in Germany for six years, and San Francisco for almost three. I've changed my VT pic to the Arenal Volcano area. Gary
Jodie, Before I forget, there is a helpful feature on VT. At the top of this page, and almost all others, you can click on the "Book Travel" link within the brown toolbar. That will allow you to search for flights, hotels, etc, through several of the travel search engines, (Travelocity, Expedia, etc) in one place, without having to leave VT. Gary
Definitely check out La Antia Rainforest Ranch. They are on Rincón de la Vieja Volcano and we got some of our best nature shots there - humming birds and toucans! You can also take a hike in the National Park and see monkeys, sloths, and other great wildlife. We almost signed up for their photography retreat last year but it didn't quite work with our schedule.
They are great on e-mail and can help you plan other parts of your vacation, too! We got our hotel recomendation for Playa Grande from them, and they also coordinated all of the transportation for us.
Have a great trip!
I will be travelling to Coasta Rica for my honeymoon in November. We are definitely going to stay near Arenal for a few nights, any suggestion on nice, but affordable lodges? We also would like to visit the coast, which is 'better'? Caribbean or Pacific? Thank you!
The Pacific coast is much more developed and tourist-friendly. In my experience the Atlantic side tends to be frequented more by backpacker types. Also the West coast is generally drier, even during the Wet season which includes November.
There are lots of nice places in Arenal. I really liked the Arenal Paraiso. Not terribly fancy but still very nice. Volcano heated pool, great views of the lava when the clouds cooperate. Arenal.net has a pretty good listing of hotels in that area. You might want to take a look. There is a new hotel....don't know how much....called the Lost Iguana. It is getting great reviews.
I would definitely agree with Texas Dave. The Pacific is more touristy and dry. The Caribbean side did seem to have more "backpacker" types. It is wetter, but this translates into beautiful forestry. Everything on the Caribbean coast is much more green and full than the Pacific. There are nicer, expensive hotels on the Caribbean side, but probably not as many. You may have to search a little harder to find them. Good luck!
My friend and I are going to CR in May for 9 days and have no idea how to get around! We've been told not to rent a car, and to try the public bus systems out. We are staying in Quepos for our trip, but want to take many day trips to different places, such as Jaco, Manuel Antonio, Monteverde, The Cloud Forest, and other great places (any recommendations?). How should we go about reserving seats or learning the bus system.
Interbus was recommended to us, however, I know the public bus system is much less expensive. If I can get a lead on how to work the public bus system, I'd prefer to do that and save a few bucks! Are there any public systems where you don't have to buy your tickets in advance (in case of plan changes).
We have been to Costa Rica a few times, last was 2007; we have always rented a vehicle, the areas you are planning to visit are not close to each other and road system is not the best, a lot of 2 lane roads. Monteverde- to get to Monteverde is a rugged road will require a 4 wheel vehicle.
Don't know how long your stay in CR is going to be but you are looking to do a lot of traveling on not so good roads, especially if you are trying to make bus links.
Suggest if you have time - visit Arenal - the volcano is awesome. We stayed at Lost Iguana at Arenal and sat out at night & watched the lava rolling down,
spectatular! also the hot springs is there Tabacon Resort and springs.
we have also been to Monteverde - not a lot to do there but to go through the cheese factory, watch the birds and see the landscape.
Manuel Ant - has the forest which is great, saw the monkeys, sloths, and a lot of birds. we stayed at Parador Hotel in Quepos beautiful place around $230 a night for a room. beautiful infinity pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
there is another website just about Costa Rica - called The Costa Rica Forum -
This site is great, a lot of expats live in CR, so you will definitely get some good advice on all of your questions.
By all means rent a car.Just take your time and drive cautiously.With your own vehicle you can see what and where you want at the pace you decide.
Hi, On the public bus (unless its a major holiday) you dont need to buy tickets in advance. On my travel blog I have a section on transportation within costa rica which i think could be a great help to you. you can find me on the web costa rica learn dot com (no spaces between the words) Good luck Ann
6 km from Fortuna de San Carlos, La Fortuna
6.5 Km N of the Catholic church, La Fortuna
200 mts North from Gas Station, La Fortuna
Latest Fortuna hotel reviews
We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
Address: 1.5 km North of Arenal dam, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Province of Alajuela, A2004, Costa Rica