The SpaceWelcome to Pura Vida Ecolodge, a unique 'eco-luxury' award-winning retreat nestled amongst virgin rain forest just 5 km from the volcanic sands of the Pacific Ocean in Central America's Costa Rica. The ecolodge been awarded with a 'Certificate of Excellence' every year since opening by TripAdvisor and was designed by award winning Architect Franco Casalvolone (FCB Arquitectura).
This is, as they say, the ‘real' Costa Rica as our beautiful and breezy location, at an altitude of just over 300 meters and with over 3 acres of private land, boasts stunning panoramic sea views over the lush valleys towards the meandering 'Rio Terraba' and directly faces the Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica's spectacular sunsets and the world famous National Parks - Isla del Caño & Osa Peninsula. The most magical times are the early mornings and late afternoons where you can sit back with a freshly made juice or a glass of wine and be a spectator of nature with monkeys, parrots and toucans all frequently visiting the lodge and it's surrounding reserve.
Pura Vida Ecolodge is a peaceful sanctuary to experience and embrace 'Pura Vida' (Pure Life). A destination where guests can enjoy not only a memorable holiday, but tranquility, adventure and equilibrium in a utopia second to none. Our private 'Eco-Chic' retreat is your chance to relax and truly let go, to welcome an organic, integral experience for contemplation, rejuvenation and nurturing among friends, family and loved ones. A place where it's entirely possible to travel in style without feeling guilty - Experiencing a sustainable lifestyle as our ecolodge is set up with rain water catchment, solar panels and a 100% natural water source right from the mountains
PURA VIDA ECOLODGE FEATURES/HIGHLIGHTS:
- Private rental regardless of group size
- Infinity-edge plunge pool with expansive forest & ocean views,
- Cozy lounging areas inside and out with numerous wrap-around teak decks, balconies and yoga platforms.
- Plethora of comfy cushions, bean-bags, sun-loungers, rugs and sofas.
- Perfect for honeymooners, small groups, friends or families.
- Ocean View Suite with King size 'Sleep on Nature' bed (by Coco-Mat), pull-out single bed, private terrace and large windows overlooking the valley, coastline and Isla de Caño. Complete with en-suite bathroom and walk-in rain shower.
- Jungle View Suite with Queen 'sleep on nature' bed (by Coco-Mat). Views of jungle canopy, private deck and yoga platform, Complete with en-suite bathroom and walk-in rain shower
- Contemporary living space with L-Shaped sofa (converts into double sofa bed) again offering spectacular Pacific Ocean views with connecting hanging terrace.
- Stylish 'open-plan' fully equipped kitchen with polished stone counter tops, contemporary appliances.
- Dining Room seats up to 6 guests in a comfortable open-plan living space looking out onto the Pacific Ocean (to the west) and the Jungle Canopy (to the north)
- A/C throughout the bedrooms, with independently controlled thermostats in each suite.
- Laundry service with use of washer and dryer.
- Secure indoor parking (1x 4WD) plus extra outdoor parking
- Yoga deck and outdoor ‘body weights' gym complete with outdoor shower and great panoramic views.
- Pura Vida Ecolodge Nature Reserve - jungle paths leading to yoga decks, streams, waterfalls & natural plunge pools perfect for bathing and relaxing or even adventure & adrenalin!
Our Ecolodge has 2 large double bedrooms (with AC & fans). Both suites boast elegant polished concrete floors, stucco finished walls, teak and bamboo doors and fittings, bamboo ceilings, perlato natural stone wash basins and walk-in (indoor) rain showers with beautiful 'pizarra' finishes (with solar powered hot water). They also both have private balconies/decks. Upstairs is the Ocean View Suite (with King or twin setup plus pull-out single bed available - depending on your group dynamic) while the other Jungle Suite (Queen setup) hangs over the jungle canopy itself on the ground floor.
The lodge's contemporary communal living space is located upstairs and offers guests a fully equipped 'American-style' open-plan kitchen, dining table (space for 6) as well as a comfortable and stylish lounge area. The whole of the upper level of our Ecolodge is surrounded by a ‘wrap-around' teak deck, hanging dramatically over the jungle canopy - perfect for yoga, sunbathing or enjoying the fantastic panoramic views on offer. There is of course, also the infinity plunge pool, the perfect escape when the sun gets too much!
At the same time as being near local beaches, restaurants and other tourist attractions, Pura Vida Ecolodge's location is both remote and private and the retreat itself will provide you with all sorts of adventures and experiences. We have our own nature trails, waterfalls & natural plunge pools both near the ecolodge & on the edge of the Pura Vida Ecolodge Reserve - the easiest trail starts right by the ecolodge, with more challenging treks on the edge of the reserve just a short up-hill walk (300m) from the lodge. Your adventure can be as extreme or relaxing as you choose with a plethora of natural swimming pools, waterfalls and rock faces to explore! Whether you are honeymooners, a group of friends or a large family of 7, you will have the entire ecolodge just to yourselves. We have also planted lots of trees, so please be our guests and pick any of the fruits they are all obviously 100% organic! If you venture off any of the paths, take your boots and maybe a hiking pole.
*NEW - You'll also love our new yoga deck, exercise and body weights area (with pull up & dip bars etc) complete with outdoor rain shower and a 'chill out area', again hanging dramatically on the edge of our nature reserve - so you can enjoy the lodge's valley, ocean and sunset views whether working out or just relaxing.
We are just a 10-15 minute drive (depending on season & road conditions) from the Costa Nera Highway allowing guests to easily explore the area with day trips to two of Costa Rica's most popular national parks (Manuel Antonio & Corcovado), stunning beaches (Playa Arco, Tortuga y Ventanas are our three favourites) and our concierge service can help with tours and boat trips, trekking options, scuba diving & snorkelling trips, kayaking, stand up paddling, surfing, hiking, mountain biking, canyoning, canopy lines and horse riding etc. The nearby village of Ojochal (just 5 minutes up the Costa Nera) is one of a few local villages hosting a whole load of fine dining and fusion restaurants or if you'd prefer to relax 'at home' we can happily arrange home-cooked 'tico' meals, food parcels (according to the season, fresh fish, ceviche and seafood all available) and fruit baskets to be delivered direct to the Jungle Villa.
Eco-travel in Costa Rica is your ticket to explore a plethora of amazing places that care just as much about the environment as they do about their guests. It's a country where 'organic' is as important as 'stylish', and the government plans to make it the world's first carbon-neutral country by 2021.
‘Pura vida' is Costa Rica's national motto, and for good reason. It's a real paradise: Our guests can enjoy the 'pure life' in some of the world's most bio-diverse jungles, rain forests and coastlines. The country's book-ended by beaches on its Pacific and Caribbean sides (hence the laid-back surfer ethos that characterizes coastal life) and inland, nature holds way: a full quarter of Costa Rica is protected land, from the smouldering volcanoes to dense jungles. In the highlands, farms and plantations produce delicious tropical fruit – as well as some of the finest coffee ever to grace your espresso
PURA VIDA ECOLODGE FAQs:
- WILL I NEED A 4x4 CAR? Yes, our retreat is situated 5km from the coast and the village of Coronado on a well maintained gravel road into the coastal mountains. A 4WD car is necessary. There is a convenience store or “soda" as they are called in Costa Rica, at the Coronado junction, where you can get the majority of your groceries and supplies. For supermarkets, restaurants/bars, beaches, bigger stores, etc. you would require transportation to the local towns of Ojochal (5 mins), Uvita (15 mins) up the Costa Nera Highway. Several taxi services are available but you cannot beat the independence of having your own 4WD. Driving time from San Jose is around 3.5 hours. Full details & directions in welcome pack TIP: Bring coins and change from the US or change colones for the highway tolls!
- WHO SHOULD I RENT OUR 4WD WITH? We have been working with Vamos Rent-a-Car since we opened. They speak English and they have various offices around the country (Near San Jose Airport and Dominical amongst others). They will meet you off your flight or even at your hotel if you're setting off early in the morning. Be sure to mention us and Pura Vida Ecolodge to get the best prices & treatment. You should allow around an hour for vehicle collection and paperwork.
- IS THERE SOMEONE IN COSTA RICA WHO CAN ASSIST ME WHILE I AM THERE?
Yes, once you book Pura Vida Ecolodge, you will be sent the welcome pack which includes all the details of our housekeeper and his wife, who double up as a 'concierge service' throughout your stay. They are very knowledgeable on the area and will be there at checkin & checkout and can help you throughout your stay with anything you might need. I'm sorry we cannot be there but you'll be in very good hands!
- IS THERE A BEACH NEARBY THAT IS EASY TO GET TO? Yes, in fact you are really quite spoilt for choice. Playa Tortuga is the nearest and possibly one of our favourites. Once down at the Costa Nera, it is just a 5 minute drive up the coast. A short drive further up the coast takes you to Playa Piñuelas, Playa Ventanas and then the stunning national park of Marina Ballena and Uvita. Full directions (including which beaches are best for swimming and surfing etc is included in your welcome pack).
-HOW EASY IS IT TO FIND PURA VIDA ECOLODGE? Upon confirming your reservation, we send all our guests a welcome pack with very clear directions including photos of landmarks along the way. This is updated monthly as we aim to give all our guests as up-to-date info and recommendations as possible
-ARE THERE RESTAURANTS AND SHOPPING NEARBY?
Ojochal is the nearest town with a really good selection of fine & casual dining. You can find Fusion, Italian, Asian, “Typical Costa Rican," even a deli/bakery and a handful of great fruit smoothie and ceviche places. Further up the coast there is Uvita, again with a good balance of International and 'local' options. We include a full list of recommendations (both restaurants & bars) in the welcome pack. For shopping, you may wish to visit the bustling tourist town of Manuel Antonio (50-60 minutes drive north) which has souvenir, jewellery, and art/craft shops and many lively restaurants (we recommend a trip to Manuel Antonio, anyway, for the national park, which a lot of our guests do either on the way down or on the way back up to San Jose.
-ARE THERE EXCURSIONS & ACTIVITIES CLOSE BY? Yes, yes, yes! Again, you can find more details on the Pura Vida Ecolodge web site, but there are spectacular waterfalls, nature trails and plunge pools right in the reserve itself. The surrounding area offers world class scuba diving, snorkelling, zip-lining, boat tours, mangrove tours, hiking, stand-up paddling, horseback tours, canyoning, as well as being located between the country's best national parks (Corcovado & Manuel Antonio) and a 20 minute drive from Marina Ballena National Park. There are dozens of picturesque, quiet beaches all the way up and down the Southern Pacific coast, with enough activities and adventures on offer to do something completely different every day! We can also recommend great day trips to the Osa Peninsula, Sierpe and Nuayaca Falls amongst others and an overnight option to Mt Chirripo is incredible if you have the time. For surfers, Playa Dominical has a famous left and right beach surf break, and waves 95% of the year. Closer to the lodge, Playa Tortuga and Ventanas often have good waves more for beginners or if you're after an almost private beach and wildlife experience, you can have breakfast or lunch at La Cusinga and then explore the different monkey colonies. if you're lucky you might spot some Red Scarlet Macaws and guests also regularly see lots of toucans and different types of parrots. The 10-min walk through the jungle down to Playa Arco is well worth the trek!
-IS IT A QUIET NEIGHBOURHOOD? Yes, Pura Vida Ecolodge is the best of both worlds. While being a completely private retreat and reserve (both the house, pool and the surrounding nature trails) with it's orientation meaning that the property literally hangs over the jungle canopy on one side and directly faces the Pacific coast on the other, you will have a handful of neighbours nearby in the slowly growing community if you wanted a friendly chat or even some more tips on the area.
-IS THERE A GROCERY STORE NEARBY? Between the two 'pulperias' (small local stores) on the crossroads at Coronado (around 5km away) you will have almost everything you would need. There is also a great fish/seafood place just 1 km from the Coronado junction. For larger shopping, there are two big supermarkets in Uvita, about 15 minutes up the coast
-DOES THE ECOLODGE HAVE INTERNET AND CAN I PURCHASE A LOCAL CELL NUMBER? Yes, the house is equipped with WiFi for internet connection and you can even purchase a sim card for around $4 (around 2000 colones) by the luggage claim in the airport, you just need a passport. Sim card is technically free as you can use all of the funds with calls. Cellphone signals have greatly improved in the country, there are some spots around Coronado that don't have reception but there is consistently good signal in and around Pura Vida Ecolodge.
-WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE? A more detailed description of Costa Rica's seasons can be found on the Pura Vida Ecolodge web site, but in general you can expect about 85+ degrees at the beach year round. The only difference in climate year round is that May-November is the "green," or rainy season, and December through March/April is the dry season. The temperature up at the Ecolodge is always a few degrees cooler because it is around 1000ft. elevation, and you get great mountain breezes. Likewise, because of its proximity to the equator, the sunrise is around 5-5.30 with the sunsetting at 5.30-6pm. The ‘Green season's' rains are quite welcoming, it's always hot and the partial clouds and afternoon rains are soothing. Typically the rains start on the mountains between 2-4pm, maybe a little later by beach. For us, the best times of the day are between 5-7am. The congo monkeys will wake you up, and it's the most glorious part of the day and besides you'll most likely be asleep by 8/9pm! It's amazing how quickly you'll adjustment!
-WHICH ROOMS HAVE AIR CONDITIONING?
There are two bedrooms with A/C: the Ocean View Suite on the first floor, and the Jungle View Suite on the ground floor. There is not A/C throughout the rest of the home, but there are ceiling fans in each room and the Ecolodge has been designed with your comfort in mind, with large-open plan living spaces, surrounded by sliding doors leading out onto the wrap around decks which mean there are lovely fresh sea-breezes throughout.
-WILL I NEED TO BRING ANYTHING WITH ME? You need not bring any household items as all bedding, tableware, towels, cookware etc are all provided. We also provide a wonderful fruit basket and some other local delicacies on arrival. Bring only your personal items, and of course a sense of 'Pura Vida' adventure!
-IS PURA VIDA ECOLODGE A PRIVATE LOCATION? Yes, not only is the location incredibly private but regardless of your group size, you will have the entire retreat (house and surrounding reserve) just to yourselves. A lot of our guests are honeymooners and couples, as well as groups of friends and entire families. Either way, whether you are 2 people or a group of 6 with kids, you will have the entire property to yourself.
- IS COSTA RICA SAFE? In general Costa Rica is very safe, however petty crimes do happen especially by the beaches or touristy areas. Do not bring any valuables to Costa Rica with you and especially do not bring them with you to the beach. TIP: Leave the glove department open to indicate it's empty. Guest AccessYou will have access to the entire property, whether you are just a couple or a whole family. In other words, you can stay in the Ocean View Suite or Jungle Suite (or both) as well as enjoying all the other spaces around the property. All for you - Just for you... Interaction with GuestsWe realize that most guests come to our area to really switch off and get away from it all. We therefore meet you up at Pura Vida Ecolodge on your checkin day and collect the keys on the day of checkout, thus giving you all the privacy you want. That said, we are of course available for anything throughout your stay if you should need us and our local Costa Rican housekeeper (and his wife) offer a brilliant mangrove boat tour - which is a really fantastic day out and adventure, offering a great insight into the locals way of living and the area as a whole (More details included in welcome pack parts 1 & 2). The NeighborhoodThe neighbourhood offers guests peace and quiet and has an abundance of nature and stunning flora and fauna. You can wake with the sounds of the congo howler monkeys and watch the sunset as the toucans fly right by the house. There are nature trails and waterfalls just a short walk away plus plenty of adventures on Pura Vida Ecolodge's doorstep! Getting AroundOnce up at Pura Vida Ecolodge, you can explore the surrounding nature reserve and local area by foot. A 4WD car (Mitsubishi Montero manual for more control and 'umph' is a good choice while we 100% advise against the 'fake urban' Hyundai AWD as they have computerized 4WD (AWD) systems which won't suffice for off-road driving in Costa Rica). A proper 4x4 is the best option for exploring further a field (we include all sorts of suggestions, day trips and activities in the Pura Vida Ecolodge Welcome Pack but Vamos-Rent-A-Car are our recommended hire car company if you want to book well in advance, be sure to mention us to get the best deal, they may even include a local mobile (real handy) or GPS, likewise we advise guests to buy a 'Kolby pre-pay' sim card on arrival at San Jose airport for ease - Kolby have a small store in the arrivals hall).
In terms of getting up to the lodge from the coastal road, there are currently two options for arriving (both from the Costanera Sur), with roads leading up from the village of Coronado (*this route has recently been improved by the community & the local Municipality April 2015) and the longer bumpier road from Puntamala by Ojochal. (Full details & maps in welcome pack). Other Things to NoteHopefully you'll have a chance to read through all our notes and flick through all our photos, but the best way to really find out what Pura Vida Ecolodge is all about is to read our reviews and see what our last few guests really thought of our retreat, the lifestyle and experience it provides. We hope to welcome you one day soon at Pura Vida Ecolodge.