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LAPA RIOS ECO LODGE INFORMATION

We look forward to welcoming you to Lapa Rios Eco Lodge! We’ve included commonly asked questions below. Should you have additinoal questions please don’t hesisate to email us here.

FREQUENTLY ASKED ECO LODGE QUESTIONS

HOW EARLY DO I NEED TO BOOK MY BUNGALOW?

Rooms tend to fill up two to six months in advance, sometimes even earlier. We recommend that you inquire about space availability now if you are interested in staying with us; make a reservation now to guarantee the dates that you want.

HOW LONG SHOULD I STAY?

We recommend guest stay at least four nights if you are leaving or arriving by plane. It’s an adventure to get to Lapa Rios and we’ve found that a minimum of four nights is needed to relax and experience all there is to do at this very special place.

CAN I REQUEST A SPECIFIC BUNGALOW?

Due to our small size and the need for flexibility to accommodate different arrival and departure dates as well as guests’ varying levels of health and fitness,, we cannot guarantee reservations for specific numbered bungalows. We hope you understand. At the same time, if you have special physical requirements that you know of in advance, please let us know so that we can help you have a more pleasant stay. Remember, bungalow access requires stair climbing in Lapa Rios.

HOW DO I PAY?

We customarily ask our direct bookings to prepay us by credit card. We send you a credit card authorization form by email or fax and you send us back the completed form. You may pay for your extra charges at the lodge by credit card as well. We prefer Visa or Mastercard, but also accept all other mayor credit cards such as Amex and Diners.

WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?

All reservations must be paid in advance unless other conditions specified. We accept cancellations up to 60 days before arrival (90 days before arrival in holiday season) without penalty. After that we will attempt to sell the space to someone else; if we do there is no charge and a full refund is given. If we cannot sell the space cancellation charges may apply.

WHAT LANGUAGE IS SPOKEN AT LAPA RIOS?

Spanish is the official language of Costa Rica. But most of our staff speaks different levels of English. Our management staff is fluent in English and speaks several other European languages as well. We would love to speak Spanish with you (and offer free lessons during your stay), but with English, you will get by just fine.

WHAT TIME IS CHECK-IN AND CHECK-OUT?

Check-in time is : 2:00 PM

Check-out time is: 11:00 AM

We request you depart your room and check out before 10:30am. If you are to depart before 6:00am, please settle your account after dinner the evening prior to your departure. If you are leaving later than check out time, we can store your luggage at the reception. A restroom with a shower is located underneath the massage room. The evening before departure you will be reminded about check out details, transfers and your time of flight departure. Please leave duffels and suitcases outside your door for pick up (inside if raining or during the rainy season.) Please leave the door unlocked. Remember to review the security box. Please allow one hour for your meal and fifteen minutes for the check out process.

DO YOU HAVE INTERNET OR PHONES?

We have no Internet or phone access on the Lapa Rios property. In fact, we don’t even play music at dinner. Instead, we ask that you listen to the sounds of the rainforest at night: the crickets, the cicadas and the kinkajous. All this is very intentional. Lapa Rios is in a wilderness setting 12 miles from the office communication center. We aim to take full advantage of this isolation to concentrate on the peaceful and wilderness experience that can be appreciated. Communication between the office and the hotel is by marine radio. We have several trips daily by car between the two locations to transport faxes or messages. To make a personal telephone call you must take a 45 minute taxi ride to the office.

After your stay at Lapa Rios, you will thank us for not providing internet or phone service. It’s a feeling we all need to experience more often: to disconnect and decompress!

WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY?

In the case of an emergency, a medical clinic is located 30 to 45 minutes from the lodge. We always have a vehicle on property in case emergency transport is necessary. Additionally, Puerto Jimenez has an emergency flight service that transports patients to the nearby hospital in Golfito (an eight minute flight) or to San Jose (a fifty minute flight). In case of an extreme emergency, a helicopter can be ordered from San Jose and land in a nearby field.

Medical care in Costa Rica is of very high quality and considered to be the best in Central America. San Jose especially, has excellent hospitals, medical facilities and doctors that attend almost exclusively to foreign residents and travelers. Please make sure you bring enough of your personal medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, as the pharmacy in Puerto Jimenez only offers basic medicinal products.

DO YOU HAVE AIR CONDITIONING?

Lapa Rios has ceiling fans but does not have air conditioning; we are a low impact eco lodge that works rigorously to reduce our impact on the surrounding environment. We’ve found that the majority of our guests are quite comfortable. The architectural design of Lapa Rios Eco Lodge permits the constant flow of air through screen walls and creates a fresh, breezy environment.

CAN I SMOKE?

Costa Rica has passed very strict non-smoking legislation and there is no smoking allowed in public places. There is no smoking allowed anywhere on the Lapa Rios property. Thank you for understanding.

CAN I BOOK TOURS IN ADVANCE?

Walking tours are best arranged after you arrive by checking with the reception or talking personally with the guides. Some of our tours, like the Early Bird Tour and Waterfall Hike are offered every day. The schedules for the rest of the walking tours depend on the availability of the various guides. We do not know more than a day or two in advance which tours will be available on a particular day or at a particular hour. All tours are offered at least every other day. Due to limited space we recommend you book the Corcovado National Park in advance.

WHERE DO I DINE?

Enjoy gourmet meals along with breathtaking views of the rainforest at the lodge’s open-air, award-winning Brisa Azul restaurant. Although we are situated in a remote location, Lapa Rios’ meals rival the most luxurious you will find in Costa Rica. All meals are served a la carte. We offer fresh local fruits and vegetables with responsibly caught seafood, organic chicken and grass-fed beef. A full service bar mixes favorite beverages, fresh juices, organic wines and premium spirits.

For more information on our restaurant, click here.

CAN YOU ACCOMODATE SPECIAL DIETARY REQUIREMENTS?

Please let us know prior to arrival if you have any dietary restrictions or special requests with food. We can accommodate most reasonable requests. All our meals include vegetarians options. We can offer vegan options and can accommodate most food allergies.

IS THE WATER POTABLE AT LAPA RIOS?

Water throughout Costa Rica is generally safe to drink directly from the tap, and at Lapa Rios the water comes from a pristine well, up in the rainforest. Guests have told us it’s the best water they’ve ever had, delicious and safe. We have the water tested on a regular basis to insure its quality. Remember to bring your refillable water bottle, or purchase one at the hotel, to stay hydrated while enjoying the rainforest at Lapa Rios. It’s very important that you drink plenty of water while you are here. It is generally recommended that guests drink at least 2 to 3 litres of water per day to limit the affects of dehydration. This excludes tea, coffee and alcoholic beverages, which act as diuretics and therefore can contribute to dehydration.

WHAT IS THE TIPPING ETIQUETTE?

All of our working staff contributes to your stay at Lapa Rios. Though tipping is exclusively at your discretion, travel agents have suggested that $10 per person, per day is an appropriate general tip. With the exception of nature guides, all gratuities will be divided among the entire staff. If a particular member of our staff provided you exceptional service, you may request a special envelope from the reception and leave a tip for them individually. For your information, Costa Rican laws specify that restaurant staff automatically receives 10% gratuity for all food and beverages purchase. Please leave all gratuities in the tip box found in reception.

HOW CLOSE WILL I BE TO WILDLIFE AT LAPA RIOS?

Nature is everywhere at Lapa Rios. We do everything we can to preserve the natural environment and bring the rainforest and its inhabitants as close to our guests as possible while respecting their safety and nature’s space. The whole cast of rainforest characters is present. We do not use insecticides or herbicides so as not to affect the food chain for all the little critters that attract progressively larger and larger critters that everyone wants to see.

Wildlife is abundant in the common areas and near the bungalows. The bungalows themselves are visited by a variety of small insects and creatures but nothing large or dangerous. We recommend that when going to the main lodge for dinner that guests turn-off all interior room lights so as to attract as few critters as possible by the time they return.Tolerance of this ever present animal population is a necessary compromise in order to enjoy it here. Human beings are not in the food chain of the rainforest creatures and nothing is looking to bite them. While you will see many new forms of life there is little risk with the ordinary exercise of common sense.

Are there any beaches within walking distance?

Yes. Beaches stretch from Lapa Rios southward almost 2 kilometers. The two beaches in front of Lapa Rios are safe for swimming. Pan Dulce Beach is located 10-15 minutes walking distance and we offer a beach pick-up service twice a day. For a list and description of other nearby beaches click here.

ANY SPECIAL TIPS FOR BEING SURROUNDED BY NATURE AT LAPA RIOS?

Watch your step wherever you go. Stop moving when looking around and examine surfaces before grabbing. Lapa Rios is full of natural surprises—be aware of your surrounding environment. Avoid walking without a flashlight at night. Remember, it is dark by 5:30! While we have lights installed on the Lapa Rios property, these lights provide only minimal lighting (too many bright lights would frighten many of the nocturnal animals that inhabit the rainforest). Flashlights are available at reception or you can bring your own headlamp to keep your hands free.

HOW CAN I BE ECO FRIENDLY AT YOUR ECO LODGE?

Remember to turn off all lights and fans when you exit your bungalow. Energy conservation is very important for all of us, especially in this remote area lacking an electrical grid (we produce our energy with a biodiesel generator).

Use the biodegradable soap, lotion, shampoo and conditioner in your rooms—these products were specifically chosen to minimize our impact on the surroundings. Make use of recycling receptacles below the sink. Use your own water bottle or ask for one at reception.

WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT LAPA RIOS’ HISTORY
AND SUSTAINABILITY PRACTICES?

Take the time to read the guest information book found in your bungalow, the Lapa Rios Story and the Sustainable Certification manual available in the library or reception. These books contain a wealth of information about the history of Lapa Rios, its mission, goals and current projects. And don’t miss our complimentary sustainability tour, Twigs, Pigs and Garbage: Interpreting Sustainable Practices.

Who owns and operates Lapa Rios?

John and Karen Lewis own Lapa Rios and operated the lodge until 1999. Since then Lapa Rios is managed by Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality, a Costa Rica based hospitality management company that develops and manages eco-lodges, sustainable resorts and green hotels in Latin American and the Caribbean. All Cayuga Collection properties are certified or in the process of being certified for their sustainable practices, nature conservation and the improvement of the local communities where they are located. For more details please visit Cayuga.

Can we bring the kids?

We do not allow children under six years of age at the lodge for safety reasons. Lapa Rios is set on a steep ridge in the rainforest with steep drops, high cabin decks and other natural hazards. We have seen in the past that it can be very stressful for parents to take care of very young children here. If you have children older than six though, bring them along as they will have an incredible experience at the lodge. It is like an open-air natural adventure classroom with a pool.

What is your policy on Group Bookings?

Lapa Rios is a small and intimate 16 bungalow eco lodge. We are best set up for individual travelers or very small parties traveling together. In order to provide all our guests a unique and personalized rain forest adventure, we have strict group policies as follows:

  • Holiday and High Season: November 1st - May 15th: Three bungalow maximum per group.
  • Green Season: May 16th – October 31st: Six bungalow maximum per group.

WHAT SAN JOSE HOTEL DO YOU RECOMMEND?

WHAT OTHER COSTA RICAN HOTELS OR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
DO YOU RECOMMEND?

Please note:

  1. We have no air-conditioning, Internet or phone access on the Lapa Rios property.
  2. Our property is situated on a ridge which requires uphill walking (about 200 steps from lowest bungalow to the dining area).