Pacuare LodgeTurrialba, San Jose and Central Valley, Costa Rica / Costa Rica
Pacuare Lodge is a unique jungle retreat that combines sustainability with luxury deep inside the virgin rainforest on the banks of the Pacuare River. Completely surrounded by nature the lodge has been built with minimal impact on the river and rainforest and sustainable tourism is central to the lodge’s ethos. No trees were cut to build the bungalows and facilities, the native wood used was purchased from a sustainable reforestation project operated by small farmers and the thatched roofs were constructed by local Cabecar Indians from palm leaves collected within the reserve.
What to love
- A luxury eco-lodge in a spectacular setting amongst pristine rainforest dedicated to sustainable tourism and minimising the impact on the environment.
- Experience an exhilarating arrival by white-water rafting through the jungle on one of the world’s top whitewater rivers.
- Book a romantic candle-lit dinner by the river soothed by the sounds of flowing water, tree frog chirps and a crackling fire.
- Allow time for a swim in the spectacular 20m infinity pool and soak up the views.
What to know
- The lodge purchased 840 acres of rainforest along the Pacuare River for conservation and is engaged in wildlife conservation projects with universities and non-profit organisations.
- The infinity pool is fed by a mountain spring and the water is treated with salt so chemicals and chlorine are not needed.
- The local staff are friendly and build a real rapport to ensure all of your needs are met. The highly experienced guides are trained in first-aid, CPR and swift-water rescue
- The candle-lit rooms have screens to let in gentle breezes and the soothing sounds of the rainforest.
The environmental impact of the lodge is kept to a minimum through sustainable practices which include the use of spring water and solar power and the lodge works closely with local communities to improve their basic services and livelihoods.
The indigenous Cabécar-inspired architecture of the thatched wooden lodge and bungalows blends harmoniously with the natural surroundings. The main lodge is set over two floors and has an outside wooden deck for al fresco dining and an open-air living room with a sitting area, hammocks and a small bar. The lodge is renown for its delicious food prepared by local staff and combining local and international flavours using local ingredients.
There are 20 individual villas and suites within easy reach of the main lodge but located far enough in the rainforest that you will feel fully immersed in the natural surroundings. The spacious rooms have beautiful views of the rainforest and warm relaxing interiors that feature canopy king sized beds, hardwood flooring and leather chairs. The bathrooms have an indoor and outdoor solar heated shower and some villas boast a long deck with a hammock and private spring-fed dipping pool.
The Pacuare River is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful and exciting stretches of white water in the world and arriving by a thrilling white water adventure is a unique experience. The lodge is proud to offer an excellent range of quality experiences led by highly qualified experienced guides including white-water rafting, inflatable kayaks, jungle hikes to nearby waterfalls and local Cabécar Indian communities, zip-line canopy tours, canyoning and bird-watching.
Back at the lodge enjoy a swim and admire the magnificent views from the spectacular 20m infinity pool which is framed by the lush rainforest and carefully integrated into the natural surrounds with the least possible impact on the environment. The pool bar serves a range of drinks including freshly made cocktails, smoothies and cold beers.
The Jawa Juü Spa offers a range of treatments influenced by local Cabécar culture. The name is derived from a Cabécar term meaning “house of the healer” and the therapies combine ancient techniques with natural and organic products.
When to Travel
Costa Rica attracts visitors all year round but the peak season is from December to April (Dry Season) and June to end August (which is usually rainy in the afternoons). The river levels are higher during the rainy season (particularly September – November), which makes for a more exciting river ride!
In Costa Rica’s tropical rainforest it is best to be prepared for all kinds of weather. In general, expect most mornings to be sunny and clear followed by rain showers in the afternoon. During the day the weather will be hot and humid with temperatures around 28 – 30C. Evenings are usually clear and occasionally may even require the use of a light jacket.
Pacuare Lodge is located in the Turrialba District deep in the rainforest on the banks of the Pacuare River in eastern Costa Rica. There are no roads to Pacuare Lodge so most guests arrive after rafting down the Pacuare River.
Guests are collected from San Jose airport for a 21/2 hour drive through the old capital Cartago, and lush farmland to the “put-in” on the Pacuare River. The rafting trip on the river then takes one to two hours depending on river conditions.
Land transfers are available for guests that don’t wish to raft. Following the 21/2 hour bus journey guests are taken by four-wheel drive vehicle for the final 6km followed by a gondola ride across the river to the lodge.
Helicopter transfers are also available.
Families are welcome at Pacuare Lodge.
Please note that the minimum age for all rafting activities is 12. Children from 7 to 12 do have a lot of activities to participate in. They can do birdwatching, zipline, canyoneering, day and night hikes (all included in the rate).