In Costa Rica, near the Pacuare River, on 840 acres of private reserve in the heart of the Talamanca mountains, sits the Pacuare Lodge. Nestled under the canopy of the surrounding jungle, you’ll find the main house, along with 20 independently standing suites, villas, and a stunning spa situated peacefully along the river edge.

Guests are provided with a pair of rubber boots for each member of your group to encourage you to explore the garden areas around the property. The ionic infinity pool is one of the most famous features of this simple luxury hotel, with environmental impact top of mind. With one end of the pool along the river’s edge to take in the power of water, the other end trails into the depths of the Costa Rican Jungle gardens. You will feel relaxed and one with nature while blissfully floating.

Their story

A small boy, who was raised in the rural mountain regions of Costa Rica, knew from the age of seven that he was interested in business, and with his passion for nature, he came to found Aventuras Naturales in 1987. After he and some friends decided to raft the river with nothing more than a boat destined for a swimming pool and some wooden paddles, he later learned from another tour guide how to properly navigate the rivers, and later on, in 1995, he went on to build Pacuare Lodge.

Originally built on 14 hectares, they now have over 340 hectares of forests. This lodge is one of the oldest and also most admired eco-lodges in Costa Rica. Offering a sustainable option for guests is possible for them due to the large amount of land they have dedicated for the conservation of the jungle in its virgin state and the many efforts they take to reduce their footprint.

It is also important for them to have knowledgeable staff, so their guides are trained in first aid, CPR, and swift water rescue to ensure you feel safe no matter where you are. You will feel welcomed and taken care of among the friendly and personal staff here, who all share the same passion for educating others on nature and how we can protect it. Read more about them here.

Sustainability actions

  • When building this lodge, it was decided that sustainably sourced wood would be purchased from local farmers. These farmers also have large reforestation efforts. It was also very important that no trees were cut down to make room for bungalows or the main lodge, so they worked to maximize the forest floor available. The River is near, so the impacts to that were carefully considered to reduce the chance of disturbing the local flora and fauna.
  • 100% clean and renewable energy powers everything here. 120 solar panels and micro water turbines are enough to power the whole site.
  • All of the buildings are within walking distance of each other, but the hotel does provide guests with golf cart shuttles, which are 100% electric.
  • Highly efficient eco-fans are in every room for the ultimate comfort to accompany cool river breezes.
  • Being in such a sensitive area of the rainforest, all wastewater flows into septic tanks to avoid pollution of the nearby river.
  • No plastic bottles of water are sold or provided to guests or members of staff.
  • Locally sourced organic feed is of the highest quality. It is always prioritized when it comes to food preparation at Pacuare Lodge.
  • Only the finest of products made with pure, naturally sourced ingredients are used in their river-side spa to provide guests with simple luxury.
  • Soaps and shampoos are all biodegradable. Natural herbs, minerals, and clay are used to offer guests an experience that makes one feel at one with nature thanks to their calming and healing properties.
  • Pacuare Lodge has worked on various projects with Costa Rican Universities, and nonprofits to raise environmental awareness within the community and the next generation.
  • Staff is hired from the local area, as job opportunities can be sparse in this remote area of the country. Pacuare is proud to say that they employ 90 people and an estimated 200 more who are indirectly impacted.
  • This lodge has jumped on board with a new concept for the Costa Rican tourism industry: A $25 conservation fee, per person, per stay. They want to educate people on what this money goes towards, like actively protecting wildlife through their conservation efforts.
  • Education is provided to local schools, with over 20,000 kids being reached over the last 10 years. Youth sports programs are offered in nearby communities, and protection of the indigenous Cabecar culture (including language, arts, and practices). The conservation fee also goes towards a future lab station where they can conduct research, hosting interns from universities and other people interested in helping the environment.
  • Whitewater rafting
  • Canyoning
  • Bird-watching walks to see many of the 20 Costa Rican birds.
  • Sustainability tours
  • Pacuare canopy adventures
  • Cultural experiences
  • Yoga retreats

READ ON36 Eco-friendly Things to Do in Costa Rica (From A to Z)

Best time to visit Pacuare Lodge

  • To avoid the rainy season, plan your visit outside May-June and September-October. 
  • If you want to enjoy this place the sunniest it can be, visit in March or December.
  • The humidity in Costa Rica is high all year around. 
  • Smaller showers or thunderstorms can be expected all year around, so please be prepared.

READ ONBest Time To Visit Costa Rica (Factual Data, Pros & Cons, What to Expect)

Features

Location

Pacuare is about 2,5 hours away from Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose.
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