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Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge

3.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

Not easy to get to... but they say "the hardest roads bring the best people". Not cheap of course either. But this is a really amazing place. We made this our last stop on our tour and stayed 5 nights. It took most of a day (Car and boat) to get to and more than a half day to get back (boat, car, flight) to San Jose so keep that in mind if a 2 night stay is suggested by your tour guide. We saw folks arriving late and leaving earlier hardly having seen the place. There are guides of course to do trips on the water and inland...and we also walked the trails on our own which take you deep into the forest. Staff were wonderful.. friendly and eco driven.The food is good, and dinner can often be a result of the days catch... great if you love fish! And yes we were spoilt having massages on the secluded yoga deck to the sound of the sea and the breeze in the trees. A place to explore and also to relax...

We are 28 and 31...We came here for 6 nights for our honeymoon. We had a blast! We fished, snorkeled (watch out for jelly fish during this time we got stung!), made real chocolate from beans, saw dolphins, saw mangroves, alligators, macaws, posionous frogs, snakes, and hiked to 2 waterfalls, even kayaked! The food and staff was excellent and even offered dairy free meals for myself. You get to pick the food you want off a menu of 3 options for every meal which is nice. I'm picky and pigged out! The place is gorgeous and secluded yet offers communication with other guests during meals at main house if you want to. We enjoyed getting away from it all at this lovely place. Valeria and manager Rodolfo were the best! Even helped my husband with an emergency root canal and send us with an interpreter! We were amazed to learn all that we did about microclimates and different organisms. The dolphin snorkel tour was my favorite! The drinks are affordable and very good! All natural and fresh food locally or grown on site. The work of the biodegradable products and efforts to protect the rainforest and environment is truly inspiring. We planted a Spanish cedar tree as an effort of their reforestation efforts which we loved. I loved they are self sustainable and you have to do the free tour. They are amazing and really care about their environment. We were worried about the water quality and did get typhoid vaccines per recommended by our doctors. However, we were very satisfied with the quality of our water and learned they have it tested by government and through another agency, and also test ocean water too. Mosquitos are a problem but they have free lotion in the room that works great...just don't forget your feet like I did! We have been home for over a week and have no symptoms of dengue, zika, or Chagas, or infections from drinking water or food. Only our jelly fish stings. I did have a hypersensitivity to them and was put on a steroid but am fine. Because we went in the off season it was really nice! Very private, place pretty much to ourselves except for 1 to 4 couples a few days and it only rained in afternoon which we took naps or at night while asleep. The high humidity did make us tired, and also never fully dries your clothing. We recommend going on off season, and to have more access and availability of tours. The place is truly like a movie. We got amazing pictures and experiences. There is no air but fans were fine. We ran out of hot water but was fixed same day and just needed a should have always have hot water. We really do Recommend!! Wish I could share more pictures!

We stayed in “Crocodillo” (it has a ramp for wheelchairs, which thankfully we didn’t need). The hummingbirds fought for supremacy over the bushes not 3m from our veranda, making them easy targets for a not very long lens. The Dusk Walk turned into a Night Walk, with our guide’s awesome night vision finding all sorts of interesting beasties. Early morning bird watching started on the dining room balcony, which is plenty high enough in the canopy, followed by a walk through the forest seeing howler & capuchin monkeys in addition to plentiful birds. Food delicious, interesting and plentiful. Top notch eco-awareness. Unforgettable experience all round, enhanced by clearly passionate team. We were there in March, but wanted to let it really sink in before submitting a review. Only stayed 2 nights, wish it had been more, so might have to go back sometime...

This was certainly a very unique experience. You must read details of this lodge so there will be no surprises when you arrive. You can only access this lodge by boat. There are animals in your outdoor shower/bathroom, such as bats, slugs, small crabs, and spiders. In the room you will find mosquitoes, wolf and other spiders, and roaches. You can hear and see monkeys and many kinds of birds. I loved the macaws! You are in a beautiful rainforest! There are doors in the cabins but not all have screens. I suggest keeping doors closed, lights off as much as possible, and a flashlight nearby. There is netting around the bed. (Yay!) Definitely do an animal room check before going to sleep and carefully escort any extra guests outside. Everyone on the staff is beyond knowledgeable, kind, helpful, and all around excellent! The activities are numerous. Paddle boards and kayaks are included in price as well as all meals and snacks which are served at a big table. It's a family atmosphere where you will make friends from around the world. The food is fresh and excellent. There is a bar with excellent freshly made cocktails. Beer and soft drinks are also available. There are many great hiking paths and hiking/boating excursions with a guide. You can kayak to a beautiful botanical garden. Reading, napping, and swaying in a hammock is highly recommended. Wifi is available in the main lodge. I would highly recommend this eco lodge which is not for faint hearted folks.

We stayed at Playa Nicuesa last December with our extended family. The rooms were adequate (would have been nice to have something other than one plastic tub in which to store items (necessary due to insects, damp, etc in the rain forest). The lodge was nice, though not enough comfortable places to sit and gather with family, especially after long days of activity. Would be nice to have more comfortable seating than just one conversation pit. What was good? Food was good, but my requests to have gluten free food due to celiac were not well understood by the kitchen. I was repeatedly served food containing gluten. Kitchen needs more training. Drinks good. Beach area was nice. Snorkeling is mediocre. Dolphins were amazing, Forest walks were nice. What was missing for a place that bills itself as eco-tourism and focused on bird watching (which is why our family came to Playa Nicuesa), was a place to watch birds. Most places in the rain forest have a viewing platform that puts you up above the canopy (or at least IN the canopy) so you can watch birds. Don't understand why they don't have one. You're kind of stuck there, and not much to do, particularly at night (unless you just want to drink yourself silly). We loved the chocolate-making, which was amazing and fun. Would we go back? Probably not, but it was a good trip, despite the glitches, and lack of space to watch birds or other wildlife.

Home away from home! The warm welcome we received and the care taken over every single detail by the the Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge team is heartwarming. We had the most amazing time here. You have the choice of eating your dinner in private or joining in the long cozy dinner table (which is what I’d heavily recommend) getting to meet and share a meal time with the other guests at the lodge. We did the latter and got to meet other guests from different walks of life; an experience most pleasant and rare in our times:) As far as activities go, we did them all! They were all equally good! My favorite was walking through the forest spotting birds from the Quetzal family. Our guides from the lodge were very knowledgeable. Thank you Nicuesa Lodge team! You made our wedding anniversary celebration perfect!

The lodge was first class accommodation - after arriving by boat and greeted with a welcoming beverage and tour of the grounds we settled right in with the very pleasant staff. We went on several boat tours, up the river for a kayak adventure and dolphin sightseeing with snorkeling. the guides went out of their way to try to get us to view all of the wildlife possible. There were plenty of things we would not have spotted without the guides and they were very entertaining and informative. We also relaxed in the water out front of the lodge and got to hike around the forest. The food was delicious. It was simply fantastic. And on top of all this - they are very Eco-friendly - 5 leaves, fantastic. Many of us could learn from them

After spending 4 nights at a boutique hotel, my husband and I went to Playa Nicuesa to disconnect and spend some quality time in the rainforest. Only accessible by boat, Playa Nicuesa truly gives you the chance to get away and immerse yourself in nature! Our stay at Playa Nicuesa was definitely one we will not forget. We both were a bit outside our comfort zone, staying in a cabin with limited electricity, deep in the jungle completely surrounded by different wildlife and sounds. This place is not for everyone, so if you’re not comfortable with the idea of sleeping with mosquito nets or having crabs and spiders visiting you in the bathroom, then it might not be for you! The lack of wi-fi really gives you the chance to get out and do as many activities as possible. We did everything from nighttime hikes to snorkeling to river kayak tours and waterfall hikes. We learned a TON about the wildlife in Costa Rica, thanks to our amazing guide Josue, who led us every step of the way and really took the time to take care of us during our stay. Every activity was like being in a zoo, except it was the animals’ natural habitat! We also did yoga in every morning. Cindy was a wonderful teacher and also gives massages on the yoga deck with the waves crashing in the background. Super relaxing! The food was fresh and served in the main lodge, where we got to socialize with other guests from around the world. Very hospitable wait and kitchen staff. We are glad that we visited Playa Nicuesa and hope to come back again soon!

From your first welcome, arriving by boat (the only way you can reach this Lodge), to your "I wish I could stay here forever" departure, you're cosseted and made to feel a member of the Lodge team. Playa Nicuesa offers you a comfortable room, good eating, early morning bird tours, trails from the Lodge, boat trips (we recommend the river trip which includes kayaking), fishing expeditions; or you just sit on a beach lounger and watch the scarlet macaws. A highlight of our month in Costa Rica.

Incredibly beautiful room with a wrap around balcony providing me full privacy except to the birds. The concept of self-sustainment was interesting. Guided tours of the local ecology well done, educational, and enjoyable. The guides were superhuman. Food was extremely good. All aides were very cordial and helpful.

Piedras Blancas National Park Golfito Puntarenas

Hotel highlights

  • Free breakfast
  • Onsite dining
  • Rooftop terrace
  • Spa services

Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge places you next to Playa Cacao. This 3-star lodge has 10 guestrooms and offers conveniences like free breakfast, a private beach, and a rooftop terrace. Golfito Marina and Fortunato Atencio Stadium are also within the area of the lodge, which is in a national park.


Free breakfast is offered each morning from 6:30 AM to 9 AM. Sit down for a leisurely bite to eat at the onsite family restaurant, or enjoy a drink at the bar/lounge.


The 10 rooms have an array of amenities, including furnished balconies, private yards, and ceiling fans. Laptop-compatible safes and free toiletries are other standard amenities.

Property features

Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge features a rooftop terrace, spa services, and coffee in a common area. Transportation is made easy with an area shuttle for a fee. The front desk has multilingual staff that can help with tours/tickets and securing valuables. Additional amenities include a garden and a gift shop.

Room options

Standard Room (Mango)

Queen 1 | Twin 2 | Sleeps 3

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

95.0% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 301 reviews