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A Stay At La Anita Rainforest Lodge In Costa Rica

A Stay at La Anita Rainforest Lodge in Costa Rica

Sometimes a three star hotel rating doesn’t tell the full story. A recent three night stay in La Anita Rainforest Lodge, located 90 minutes by car from Liberia, Costa Rica is just such a place. Its rating doesn’t do the place justice. If you were to pick hotels by ratings alone you would miss one of the best, most authentic experiences you could have in all of Costa Rica. This is a place where you can expect five star hospitality from the minute you step out of your car until you the minute you leave.

Here’s how our stay at La Anita Rainforest Lodge in Costa Rica unfolded.

"Scenery on the way into the lodge"

Scenery on the way into the lodge

We – my husband and I, and two of our very good friends, were met at the airport hotel in Liberia by a driver sent by Pablo and Ana, the husband and wife team behind La Anita Rainforest Lodge. Fermin, our driver was on time to the minute. Although he spoke next to no English, he stopped for photos where requested and took us by his family house en route to the lodge. He was also an extremely careful driver.

"Four of us and our luggage piled into this truck"

Four of us and our luggage piled into this truck

We were warmly welcomed on our arrival by Pablo. Pablo’s English is impeccable, as is Ana’s so communication is always easy. After escorting us to our cabins, he informed us lunch would be served almost immediately.

The cabins are all lined up in a row but well spaced – so privacy is not an issue. They are simple inside but very clean with a bed, a night table and a fan. There is a screened in bathroom and a large walk-in shower that looks out to the back part of the property. A safe is included for your valuables. Coffee grown on the farm is provided as is a coffeemaker and fresh milk. There’s a small fridge in the room to keep your drinks cold. You can get beer and wine from the kitchen for a very reasonable price as well.

"There are always clouds around"

There are always clouds around

"A couple of horse in the paddock across from our cabin"

This horse was mostly indifferent to our overtures of head scratches

Pablo joined us for lunch – a hot meal consisting of almost entirely locally grown and prepared food – and quizzed us on what we wanted to do while we were there.

What to do at La Anita Rainforest Lodge

There are plenty of options of things to do depending on how energetic you want to be. For starters you can do nothing but spend a day lazing in a hammock. You could go to the opposite extreme and climb Miravalles Volcano – an all-day outing John and I chose to do. You can go horseback riding or visit hotsprings; take a farm tour and learn how to make hearts of palm ceviche or join a family in the village for a Costa Rican style cooking class. Birding is always an option. Expect to see toucans and lots of squawky parrots.

"The open air dining room"

The open air dining room

"Fresh flowers from the garden grace the dining room"

Fresh flowers from the garden grace the entrance to the dining room

"You get a great view of the pond from the dining room"

You get a great view of the pond from the dining room

"Lunch - with almost everything sourced locally"

Lunch – with almost everything sourced locally including the plantain chips and black beans

"A chocolate dessert made from cocoa grown on the property"

A chocolate dessert made from cocoa grown on the property

"All the cabins have the same layout - and notice the hammock on the front porch"

All the cabins have the same layout – notice the hammock on the front porch

"The path to the cabins"

The path to the cabins

"Our simple but very clean cabin"

Our simple but very clean cabin

"Walking the property"

Walking the property

"Their dogs liked to join us on walks"

Their dogs liked to join us on walks

"Cocoa plants protected from the strong rays of the sun"

Cocoa plants grown on the property protected from the strong rays of the sun

"Bird life around the property was phenomenal"

Bird life around the property was phenomenal but I need a longer lens!

"Bananas grown on the property"

Bananas grown on the property

"Incredible skies at sunset"

Incredible skies at sunset

Pablo and Ana, two agronomists by training, have embraced a four pillars philosophy to include community, environment, agriculture and tourism. This is the most sustainable place I have ever visited. So much thought has been put into growing crops to fit the environment – of 25 C temperatures on average and four meters of rain per year. (It poured hard every day we were there – several times a day on occasion but only for about 15 minutes – and then the sun would come out again.) Their employees all live in the community. Food, like locally produced cheese, is bought from the community. When the tourist season is slow students come to stay on the property and study – leaf cutter ants.

If you are a RUSH fan, then you and Pablo can also bond over music. He is a huge fan and can be seen sporting a different RUSH T-shirt  every day – and Pink Floyd as I noticed in the bottom photo.

Truly this is an outstanding stay – and of the best ever for all of us. Go see for yourself is the best advice I can offer – and make it a three or four night stay. A double cabin is $US 85 -$96 per night depending on the season and includes breakfast. Packages are worthwhile and start at $199 per person for 3 days/2 nights with breakfasts, lunches and dinners as well as a garden tour included.

"Pablo and Ana - two of the most gracious hosts you'll ever meet"

Pablo and Ana – two of the most gracious hosts you’ll ever meet

Other posts you might enjoy from our Costa Rica trip:

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 57,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 18 Comments
  1. Looks like a beautiful location with a lot of stuff to do including birding and hiking. I went out drinking one night in Manual Antonio with a guy that worked the front desk. He too was a Pink Floyd fan. We talked half the night about them and Queen. Classic rock is alive and well in Costa Rica.

    1. @Ted One of the first questions Pablo asked us when we showed up and he figured out that we were Canadians was did we like RUSH? I know my friends sent him a new T-shirt and I hope it arrived. This is a really special place to visit and I have no doubt that you would love the place.

  2. Looks like a lovely place to stay. . . hopefully we will get to Costa Rica for a real vacation soon. Now I have at least one place we can stay! I hate the star rating system because it has more to do with amenities than whether a place is clean, comfortable and authentic.

  3. No, still haven’t made it to Costa Rica, but when I go, I’ll consider La Anita. It looks like a heavenly location and sounds like an all around wonderful place to visit — with such lovely hosts, too. I can picture myself walking down that quiet road with the dog by my side. Nice!

    1. @Cathy It’s certainly not the Four Seasons – which was lovely in a whole different way.I loved the lack of pretension and the incredible hospitality – not to mention that it was just a peaceful, beautiful place.

  4. I have always thought of staying at a tree house in Costa Rica but I may have to also spend some time here. What a charming place! I love all the local and authentic touches and especially the great service you had. Those grounds are just beautiful. Love all the pictures here. This just makes me want to visit this country even more. Great review!

    1. @Mary A tree house would also be fun but this place has so much going for it. Pablo and Ana have two children – similar ages to yours – so sometimes their kids and visiting kids get a chance to play together too.

  5. I travelled to Costa Rica a few years ago and absolutely loved it, it’s such a beautiful country. We’ve also been in the Liberia area but I regret now that I did know about La Anita Rainforest Lodge before. It looks lovely.

  6. Goes to show, Leigh, it really doesn’t take a lot to provide first rate accommodations. I love the simplicity of it, the lushness of the property. I could almost smell the air, how fresh and it is.

    We might be going to Costa Rica in August instead of Nicaragua since my friend couldn’t get the villa he wanted. I’ll take a look La Anita to see how many they can accommodate and recommend it, if they have enough rooms. Great find!

    1. @Marcia Absolutely agree that you don’t have to break the bank to stay in a place with a lot of character. You’re close to Nicaragua when you stay here so you could actually bus it in or get a driver to take you there.

  7. Wow, this place is magnificent and quite exotic!! I love the rustic cabins, the choice of activities and most of all, the RUSH music! ; ) Great post and gorgeous photography my friend. It certainly sounds like you had a great time!

  8. Oh my gosh this was all so beautiful, Leigh! I have a co-worker who’s wife is from Costa Rica so they make trips down there. I was even so bold to inquire if I could tag along sometime. I’ve heard it’s an amazing place to retire. I love lodges out in the middle of a forest or mountain range. Sign me up for that cooking class! Thank you for sneaking in the picture of the dog 🙂

    1. @Mike There is a huge community of retirees which I can understand given the cost of living and the quality of life. The lodge was a delight and the only regret is that we couldn’t stay longer. The family had four dogs, all with great temperaments, but one of the dogs was a 3 legged one only.

  9. D-y-i-n-g over this trip!! The photos are phenomenal, bursting with gorgeous color. WOW. I’ve got the Travel bug so bad right now! Going to hop around your beautiful site some more….

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