Gorgeous Cheap Clean Boutique Hotels in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has been the destination of choice for many eco-tourists for decades due to its rich, attractive biodiversity and abundant wildlife that has been a sucker for many who wants to see wildlife in their natural habitat. Therefore, it is time for you to make Costa Rica’s miles of shoreline and acres of untouched rainforest part of your bucket list.  The area is packed with so many eco-friendly and sustainable lodging, from hilltop jungle to surface chic beachfront resorts. Here is a list of the top 5 clean, cheap and beautiful boutique hotels in Costa Rica that you will love as much as I do. 

1. Oxygen Jungle Villas and Spa Resort

The Oxygen Jungle Villas is a lovely glass bungalow tucked away in the Uvita tropical rainforest. It is an adult-only boutique hotel that has a refreshing feeling of the sound of nature from the private jungle paradise.  Located just 5km from Playa Hermosa beach and features an infinity pool, sun decks, spa treatments, Indonesia architecture along with free wifi.

The natural beauty of the villa is exceptional, with an incredible staff and a spectacular view from the swimming pool.  There is also a beautiful trail and waterfall in the forest to enjoy, which really makes your stay at the beautiful oasis magical. 

2. Rancho Pacifico

The Rancho Pacifico is a stunning 5-star boutique hotel in the middle of nature, located on 26 acres in the rainforest overlooking the incredible Whale’s Tail in Uvita. With a phenomenal staff, beautiful rooms, excellent amenities and a breathtaking view from the rooms and lobby.  The resort’s five suites and five villas feature zen-like modern architecture, contemporary furnishings and natural gardens in an estate-like setting. 

The hotel is about 500 metres above sea level and surrounded by a jungle with many different trees, birds, butterflies, flowers and other wildlife located right outside of your room. 

3. Tifakara boutique Hotel and Birding oasis

Located in La Fortuna, Tifakara Boutique Hotel & Birding Oasis is a short drive from Arenal Volcano and Tabacon. It is a true jewel in the rainforest, a secluded property with 11 private bungalows with views of the mountain.

The Tifakara Boutique Hotel is a short walk from La Fortuna Waterfall and the Chato Volcano and is certainly worth the visit. The property consists of a nice pool and hot tubs, which came in handy after hiking the volcano and waterfall.

4. Cala Luna Boutique Hotel

Cala Luna is a serene wellness-focused 31-room boutique retreat on the outskirts of bustling Tamarindo. It has an organic beachy ambience, a large pool, lounge, and restaurant, that serves as the hotel’s social centre. It also consists of an intimate spa and yoga pavilion tucked away in a jungle-like surrounding. 

The hotel is surrounded by lush gardens and offers laid-back luxury with fantastic personal service.  It is a wonderful choice for honeymooners, couples, friends or families looking for peace and relaxation from a vacation. 

5. Gaia Hotel and Reserve

Gaia Hotel and Reserve, located in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, is the only 5-star boutique hotel and resort in the area, with 22 luxury rooms. It provides guests with breathtaking views of the surrounding rainforest and wildlife. And, of course, this exotic resort will not fail to impress. It creates an ambience of natural relaxation and supreme luxury at its finest. Bright, peaceful rooms greet you with abundant sunshine, designed to create a seamless flow between the modern comforts indoors and the natural splendour just outside. Gorgeous wood floors lead from serene bedrooms with plush king-sized beds, past stylish bathrooms offering enticing 2-person Jacuzzis, and out to a fabulous separate living room. 

Guests can enjoy guided nature tours and hikes, ziplining, vehicle tours, dolphin watches, surfing lessons, whitewater rafting, and so much more!

Costa Rica is meant to be preserved as a beautiful, secluded, and sustainable destination.  Here, visitors enjoy lovely tropical beaches, grand adventures, the wonders of nature and scintillating culture. Costa Rica has all the necessary components of an ideal vacation or holiday and all types of accommodation to suit each visitor’s style and budget. 

Hiking the famous Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica

Hiking has long been described as one of the largest segments of nature-based tourism, and more and more people are taking part in hiking activities in different geographical locations. In mountain regions and protected areas hiking is normally the most important recreational activity. It can provide important tourism revenues for the local population. In recent years several rural destinations have put huge efforts into facilitating hiking and thus taking advantage of tourists’ increasing demand for destination experiences in nature and activities promoting their health and well-being. Perhaps hiking is an activity with the potential to stimulate both mental and physical health and well-being.  Costa Rica is one such destination that offers some of the best natural reserves for trekking.   The Famous Monteverde Cloud Forest is one such place.  Established in 1972, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve has largely been considered one of Costa Rica’s most treasured places.  Its biodiversity is remarkable. 

Monteverde Cloud Forest

Photo by Jan Weber on Unsplash

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he Monteverde cloud reserve is located 5.5km from the town of Santa Elena. It consists of 6 main trails, some of which are short and only take about 10 minutes to complete, while others are about a mile long. The trails are about 13km in total and make up 3% of the park.  The rest are protected areas that are only accessible by scientists and researchers. 

The forest is one of the most popular places for hiking in Costa Rica. The trails are well-marked, easily accessible, and relatively flat. There are some steep inclines on the Roble and Chomongo trails.  However, hiking all trails should take 4-5 hours to complete.  Upon arrival, the staff at the front entrance will explain the different trails and the best one to take.  You can see a picture of a map of the trails below. 

The first loop of the trail went up to Sendero Bosque Nuboso A and then B to the continental divide, where you can take in the breathtaking view of the pacific ocean and Caribbean sea found at the end of the Sendero Ventana.  From here, walk down part of Sendero La Camino, unto Sendero Roble and Sendero Chomongo, to complete the first loop. The trials for this loop are very well maintained, outline and signage make it easy to find your way around.  

The second loop is the most challenging. There are some steep inclines on the Roble and Chomogo trails.  In this loop, you’ll go up Sendero Wilford Guindon trail which meets Sendero Puente, onto the incredible 300ft tall canopy suspension bridge through the cloud. The bridge is super high and long and holds ten people at a time. The height of the bridge is not too bad if you are a person that is afraid of heights, and the view from the bridge is really beautiful to take in. From the bridge back to the trailhead along Sendero Camino, from that trail, you can hike along Sendero Tosi to the waterfall and then walk back to the entrance along Sendero Cuecha to complete the third loop.

on your hike, depending on the time of year, the top of the continental divide would be covered in clouds and can be very windy toward the eastern side. It will be mostly mist and cloud, hence the name “Cloud Forest.”  You might not see anything as the entire forest around you would be draped in clouds. On a clear day, you can see far to the east and the west.  There are lots of vibrant flora and fauna to see.  Gorgeous flowers sprung from the foliage with their petals dripping from the mist.  You’ll even spot coati, birds, and other creatures just hanging out on the trail or in the trees around. The weather can be different in some parts like the Sendero Tosi, with a warmer temperature, little mist and sunlight gleaming through the trees.  

Photo by Christopher Austin on Unsplash 

Things to Know

  • You have the option of hiking the forest as a self-guided or a guided tour.  
  • There is no parking available at the entrance of the park, but you are allowed to park in a well-marked lot that is found along the road to the reserve. 
  • Shuttle service is provided to transport you from the parking lot to the reserve and back when complete.  It is about $6USD to cover both parking and shuttle service. 
  • If you don’t have a personal car, buses head to the reserve from the Nacional in Santa Elena at 6:15 am, 7:20 am and 1:15 pm.
  • The Restrooms are only at the entrance, but none on the trails.   
  • The reserve is open every day from 7 am -4 pm. 
  • The entry fee is $25 US per person and  $12 US per child from 6- 12 years. 
  • Take along with you a rain jacket, it is likely to rain, and it can be pretty cold, so you might want to wear something warm.  

The Best 5 Eco-Friendly Villas in Costa Rica

costa Rica is an inspirational wanderlust destination that all travellers from all over the world should explore. The Central American country has everything from tropical forests, picturesque beaches, incredible wildlife, volcanoes and misty forests. When planning a trip, the first thing that comes to mind is where to stay. Costa Rica has so many luxurious places to stay, in every kind of accommodation there is a range of activities, with something for every taste.  Here, I put together five (5) of the best eco-friendly villas that you’ll surely enjoy.   

1. Allegro Papagayo All-inclusive Resorts

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he exquisite family-friendly Allegro Papagayo Resort consists of 300 rooms with breathtaking views of the ocean that feature everything you are looking for during your vacation.  It offers unlimited meals and drinks as well as a variety of onsite activities, including beachside sports and adventure activities.  The resort is located in one of the most beautiful parts of Costa Rica. 

It provides the best in adventure and tranquility, depending on your mood. Here, you can participate in all-inclusive activities like swimming, snorkeling, windsurfing, aerobics, kayaking, beach soccer, and water polo.  At night there’s live entertainment with a disco,  so you’ll have a lot of activities to keep you entertained. They also offer child supervision.  

2. Fiesta Resort

Surrounded by the exotic natural beauty that Costa Rica is known for, Fiesta Resort in Puntarenas offers a family-friendly getaway with plenty of opportunities for fun and relaxation. The beachfront property overlooks a unique dark sand beach in some of the area’s most popular attractions, including the capital city of San José, making it the perfect place to discover all that Costa Rica has to offer. Here, you’ll enjoy soaking up the sun on the sprawling beach or taking in the view of the ocean from the pier. There are many activities to try out, like mixology classes, karaoke nights, foam parties by the pool, and Costa Rican coffee classes. The younger guests can have a fun time at the on-site kids and teen clubs. The resort serves some delicious local and international meals at the resort restaurants, where you can sit and watch the sunset over the coast as you sip on drinks from the pier bar. The rooms are spacious with convenient amenities. 

Staying at the Fiesta Resort makes an easy tour of Costa Rica’s natural attractions, including Tortuga Island, Monteverde National Park, Arenal Volcano, and Manuel Antonio Beach. The hotel tour desk will assist with booking tours. The Palo Verde National Park is just mins away, and you will also love to explore it. 

3. The Lapa Rios Lodge

The Lapa Rios Lodge is a super spectacular eco-lodge with 16 thatched and spacious bungalows immersed in the thick lush jungle on the hillside of the last tropical rainforest on the Osa Peninsula near Corcovado National Park.  Each bungalow has a large private deck complete with seating, sunbeds, and a hammock. It is so ideal for watching the sunsets. 

Its interior design of wooden floors, bamboo furniture, large beds, spacious bathroom with a magnificent view over the Pacific ocean and the lush green forest create a simple, fresh and romantic atmosphere. 

The Lapa Rios is built on a steep hill in the jungle with no babysitting services, and as such, parents may not want to take children under the age of 5 years. 

The picturesque Lapa Rios isn’t cheap, but it’s worth every penny.  For someone who enjoys nature, this would be ideal for you with lots of wildlife to enjoy, such as howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys, macaws, toucans, etc

4. Nayara Springs

The Nayara Spring is a romantic, Peaceful, and jungle-setting adult-only lodge set at the base of the Arenal Volcano at La Fortuna. It offers a quiet natural surrounding at an affordable price and is a great honeymoon spot in Costa Rica. 

The hotel consists of 16 villas, each with a private garden, an outdoor shower, and a terrace with a Jacuzzi fed by natural hot springs. Each room also features air conditioning, a TV, and WiFi throughout the entire property. Because of Nayara’s jungle setting, birds can be heard from almost anywhere on the property, providing a relaxing soundtrack to your stay.

While the resort emanates a soothing vibe, the décor provides a punch of colour and personality. The villas feature an eclectic mish-mash of décor, with zebra-print footstools, crystal chandeliers, and vibrant woven hammocks adding flair to the charming resort. While the Springs has two restaurants, guests can dine at any of the three restaurants at the Spa & Gardens, as reservations for all dining at Nayara are recommended. 

5. Casa Chameleon Las Catalinas

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he secluded award-winning resort is perched high in the jungle overlooking the incredible Nicoya Peninsula and the coastline of Mal Pais and Santa Teresa.  Casa Chameleon is a luxury adult-only hotel offering an idyllic Costa Rican retreat infused with culture, experiences, and traditions.  It offers an immersive, adventurous, and romantic setting, with access to beaches with warm waters for swimming, snorkelling, kayaking, 1,000 acres of tropical hills, forests, and valleys to explore on foot, horseback, or cycle.

It features 21 private villas that offer a mesmerizing view of the ocean and surrounding rainforest, all of which can be experienced from the impressive private saltwater plunge pool that is the perfect place for sundown.  The decor and ambience of the resort create a feeling of home. It’s an experience that is both curated and comfy.  Each of the villas has its private plunge pool and views of the Guanacaste coast, with handmade international additions of ornate Moroccan lights and furniture from Indonesia.