- Simple eco-lodge, great value for money
- Access via river, superb white-water rafting
- Wonderful rainforest surroundings
- Biking, hiking, tree planting, waterfall swims
Rios Tropicales is a simple, eco-friendly lodge located right beside Costa Rica’s Pacuare River, a hotspot for many water sports, in particular some of the country’s best white-water rafting. The property adheres to a strict sustainability policy and runs on hydroelectric power. Its private reserve covers over 2,000 acres of undisturbed rainforest and offers an abundance of wildlife viewing opportunities along its 40-plus miles of trails. With a veritable host of land and water-based activities on offer, this lodge offers great value for money and caters to adventurous nature enthusiasts keen to enjoy complete immersion in the rich, untouched rainforest.
Several accommodation options are on offer to suit different budgets, tastes and group sizes. There are hostel-style rooms with bunkbeds and a shared bathroom, standard rooms with river views and an en-suite bathroom, or deluxe rooms that also boast river views and a private bathroom. Both the standard and deluxe rooms can be arranged to house one king size bed, two queens or three singles. All rooms have a rustic, natural feel to them, with wooden flooring and furnishings throughout, and terraced areas provide outdoor space for relaxing and enjoying the captivating sights and sounds of the rainforest.
The main draw at Rios Tropicales is the affordable and flexible accommodation combined with the wide choice of adventurous outdoor activities. The property is proud to have been a pioneer of white-water rafting in Costa Rica since 1985 and continues to offer thrilling expeditions led by professional guides. These breath-taking rafting trips are offered on no fewer than nine different rivers: some excursions are fairly simple and open to beginners, whereas others are more challenging and therefore best suited to more experienced rafters. Some of the many other outdoor activities on offer include rainforest hikes, tree planting, biking and zip lining.
There’s plenty of space on site to unwind when not out exploring the rainforest. There’s a small library with books, magazines and board games, as well as an outdoor decked area with hammocks. Some of the shorter walking trails provide access to nearby natural bathing pools and pretty waterfalls. When it comes to dining, the restaurant serves three meals a day and sources as many ingredients as possible from local communities. Menus focus on local and national cuisine and the rafting guides are also the hosts at the lodge, preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner for guests. Since there’s no road leading directly to the lodge, all of the food arrives either by river raft or is carried in on foot.
The lodge welcomes families, although due to the class III and IV white water rafting that guess have to do in order to arrive and depart from the lodge, the minimum age is 14 years. This same minimum age also applies to other activities families might participate in during their stay, and there are plenty of packages tailored to different requirements and ability levels. For accommodation, the deluxe rooms come in various formations and will best suit the needs of families since they are more spacious and have private bathrooms. Due to the rural nature of the lodge, parents are reminded to keep their children under constant adult supervision.
It was FANTASTIC! Beautifully organised, everything worked like clockwork. We agreed that we had the best support team ever (and we have experience) - all delightful, very professional and nothing was too much bother.
It clearly couldn't have been a better route, such a wonderful mix of landscapes. And plenty of acclimatisation time. Nonetheless, I was glad of my summit oxygen.
Kit excellent. Double good mattresses made for most comfortable trek camping ever. Tents v good. Mess tent pretty windproof, which was vital for enjoyment. Best camp loo ever!
My favourite day was Shira Cathedral. Amazing.
William M reviewing Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route on 15 April 2020
The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.
Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)
Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!
Woan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019
Driver-guide: Very punctual, except for pick up for airport when he was delayed by >30 mins due to road closures. Vehicle very clean and well maintained- plenty of water and supplies of clothing for religious sites, tissues, postcards etc. Very good at understanding what level of conversation we wanted. Happy to stop for paracetamol, supermarket etc. Took us to signal box at railway since we were early (which was very interesting)
The Walawwa: Lovely place to arrive at and get a bit of rest. Great pool, lovely rooms and food etc. Peaceful oasis so close to town.
Wilpattu Camp: Wonderful food- really enjoyed trying lots of new things in excellent surroundings.Felt like the place had not been visited much recently (which I don’t think it had due to the terrorist attacks) so our safari guide had been brought up from another park and did not know the park too well- it worked out well though and we saw all the animals we hoped to see so no complaints on that front. We did feel that we should have been told about extra things we could have done- when we commented on the great food on final day we were told that they could have done a cookery demo for us, but it was too late at that point. It worked well for us but clients should probably know that they are likely to have multiple wildlife in their tents (eg frogs)- didn’t bother us at all, but others it might do. We were given a questionnaire to fill in at the end whilst all the staff were standing around, which wasn’t ideal as you felt a bit of pressure! Felt really well looked after here!
Water Gardens Sigiriya: Beautiful suites with plunge pools- quiet and peaceful with lovely big swimming pool. Food good
Jungle Beach: Beautiful location on beach. Rooms good. Food a bit limited I would have liked a bit more variety ideally.
Camellia House: Lovely location- beautiful views. Food OK but service below average- our food orders were wrong a couple of times and even pre-ordered food was delayed. Tea factory tour was only an hour and that was the main reason to be here. It was interesting but quite brief seeing it was the main attraction according to our itinerary. Also, we were taken there in a minibus which didn’t have seatbelts on all seats and was quite smelly- not up to the standard of the usual transportation. Rooms were described as having panoramic views- one did have amazing views but the other one definitely didn’t.
Galle Face: Lovely old hotel- but it did have some problems (leaking ceiling and ‘smuts’ coming out of air conditioning.) Weather very bad (spectacular storms). It was a shame the street food tour couldn’t take place but totally understandable given the weather, however we enjoyed our dinner here and free drinks/canopes!). Good choice at breakfast.
Pippa R reviewing Sri Lanka Highlights - Classic on 30 September 2019