Ecolodge

Come relax & recharge in the rainforest

What does “ecolodge” really mean? At the Rios Tropicales Lodge, it means being surrounded by the beauty and splendor of primary rainforest without having to sacrifice luxury or comfort. Equally important, we didn’t sacrifice our gorgeous environment to make you feel welcome and comfortable. Sustainably built using reclaimed wood and hydroelectric powered, our ecolodge is a model of ecotourism (we even have numerous awards to prove it).

At our ecolodge, you can relax, explore and enjoy all that Costa Rica offers on our 2,000-acre private reserve at the mouth of the Pacuare Gorge. We have more than 40 miles of hiking trails and numerous waterfalls, streams and pools. Our open-air dining pavilion and lounge let you watch the local wildlife and listen to the sounds only found in a tropical paradise.

Room Options at Our Authentic, Award Winning Ecolodge.

We offer several lodging options to accommodate a variety of tastes and budgets. Each room option comes with linens, towels, pillows and either in-room or a shared bathroom. Choose from single, double and triple occupancy.

Bunkbeds & Shared Bathroom

Bunkbeds & Shared Bathroom

Hostel-style set back on the hillside with two bunk beds each and a shared bathroom.
Standard Room With Private Bathroom

Standard Room With Private Bathroom

Rooms set back on the hillside with a double bed and private bath.
Deluxe Room With Private Bathroom

Deluxe Room With Private Bathroom

Rooms with views of the river and 1 king, 2 queen or 3 single beds, and private bath with stone-tiled shower stalls.

Sustainability & Our Pacuare Ecolodge

Sustainability is more than a trendy buzzword at Rios Tropicales. From our very inception 30 years ago, we have taken active steps to “create and maintain conditions under which humans (that’s us) and nature (everything we love about Costa Rica) can exist in productive harmony.” For example, our ecolodge uses hydroelectric power and was constructed from reclaimed lumber by local Cabecar Indians; we recycle and compost everything possible; and we diligently practice Leave No Trace principles at the lodge and on all our trips.

 

We practice sustainability not because it’s trendy, but because we love our Costa Rican natural playground and want to share its wonders with others–today and for generations to come. At Rios Tropicales, we believe we are role models and educators not just for our industry peers (and competitors) and ecotourism guests, but also for our local communities. Learn more about our ecotourism efforts and achievements based on real sustainability.

Lodge Adventures

When you stay at the Rios Tropicales Lodge and its 2,000-acre private reserve, you can choose from several different guided tour experiences, make a difference through tree-planting, and enjoy a host of other unstructured activities. Of course, the longer you stay at Rios Tropicales Lodge, the more likely you’ll get to experience everything we offer. And, the more likely you will return to your daily routine refreshed, rested, and restored. Availability of certain activities depends on the length of your stay at the lodge.

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Rainforest Restoration Tours

Hike up to the top of the Pacuare Gorge from the lodge plant a tree as part of our reforestation project at our 2000-acre rainforest reserve, the largest private reserve in Costa Rica. Reforestation began in 1990s, and by 2008 we participated in  the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Billion Trees campaign. We are ongoing participants and have planted over 20,000 trees to date. Our local communities, Costa Rican vacationers, and international vacationers together participate in and support our ongoing tree-planting campaigns.

 

As of June 2013, we increased our pledge to 25,000 trees.

Rainforest Hikes with Naturalist Guides

You will be amazed at the variety of plants, flowers, and trees that you will be able to identify in the rainforest, thanks to the in-depth training of all Rios head guides. Your bilingual guide will point these out, along with wildlife or birds you come across. Bring binoculars and cameras!

 

The larger Pacuare Protected Zone, of which we are a part, possesses a practically endless number of trails. Many of these trails were, and continue to be, used by the indigenous Cabecar Indian population to travel from village to village. These trails are not maintained and have existed for many generations. We offer maintained trails inside our reserve to access scenic sites such as natural water slides, waterfalls, and pristine pools in the rainforest.

 

Our hanging bridge across the river just below the lodge provides access to several waterfalls with private pools as well as our 1.5-mile trail with 45 identified species of trees that you can follow on your own.

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Zipline Canopy Course

Enjoy a wonderful 4-line zipline course through the canopy, high above the nearby lodge complex. This express course is by advance reservation only and is an additional $25 per person.

  • Multiple tree platforms and ziplines make this a thrilling, must-do experience.
  • All participants wear helmets, harnesses, and control gloves.
  • International zipline expert Victor Gallo, of Adventure Playground, built our zipline course. He designs and constructs courses around the world.
  • Coming in December 2015: Full-length zipline canopy course with 12 zips, sky bridges, rappelling, and more!
Rainforest Adventure Loop

Our half-hour Adventure Loop includes hiking through the rainforest, rappelling down the face of a waterfall and then three ziplines high over the river. You start right from the lodge and head into the Pacuare River Gorge. With views of the river, you’ll hike to the base of Wake-Up Falls.

 

Once at the foot of this Pacuare landmark, a 200-foot hike leads you to the safety platform. Here Rios Tropicales guides will fit you with professional climbing equipment and provide a safety orientation for this canyoning adventure.

  • You will rappel for 60 meters down the face of the waterfall with four different sections, the last of which is inside the waterfall! Be ready to be very wet.
  • From here, you can zip high over the river with a bird’s-eye view of Wake-Up Falls, Terciopelo Creek and the Pacuare Gorge.
  • One more zipline takes you over the river again, upstream toward the trail leading to and from Wake-Up Falls.
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Horseback Riding & Local Community Tours

Tours from our lodge to Bajo Del Tigre are available by hiking up the main trail and then riding horseback to this local community. Once there, community members will introduce you to their agricultural way of life. You’ll tour their sustainable farming projects, hear about what sustainable development means to them and their community.

 

You can also ride horseback all the way to Terciopelos farm, which is part of our reserve. There you can participate in our reforestation project by planting one or more trees and catch tilapia for lunch at our sustainable tilapia fishery (seasonal).

 

For those guests in sufficiently good shape, we can arrange a trek through the forest to visit an indigenous Cabecar Indian Village. They will introduce you to their traditional way of life, which continues today largely unchanged from earlier times. Several members of this village were the builders of our first lodge huts, and two village members continue to work with us here at the lodge, hiking to and from their village each day.

Special “Old World” Activities to Enjoy at our River Lodge

We call these activities “Old World” because it seems that we just don’t slow down enough to enjoy them anywhere but on vacation. They used to be a common part of life before 24/7 schedules…

  • Relaxing in a hammock overlooking the beautiful Pacuare River.
  • Reading your favorite book or a lodge magazine.
  • Playing a board or card game with a friend or family member.
  • Bird watching (how many species can you find?).
  • Contemplating life or perhaps sustainable development.
  • Easy walks to nearby waterfalls and gentle soaking pools.
  • Practicing your rusty high-school Spanish.
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