Costa Rica: Rios Tropicales’ Ecolodge

view from rios tropicales' ecolodge

As I sit in my tent and write this post by the light of my headlamp, I look at the notes I jotted down about Rios Tropicales’ ecolodge and notice that I was writing by the light of a warm vanilla candle.

I’m not a night owl (it’s 9pm and I’m in my sleeping bag) but there is something about finishing the day with thoughts spilling out of my pen and onto paper.

On to the lodge!

Rios Tropicales’ Ecolodge

When we arrived after rafting part of the Pacuare River, we formed an immediate fire line and slung gear from the shores of the river up the hill to the outdoor kitchen and dining room of the lodge.

From there the students grabbed their bags and headed towards their dorm style rooms: two bunk beds per room and two rooms sharing a bathroom. A pavilion of hammocks extended from the building and into the rainforest.

We instructors wended our way through the dining area, past another hammock hut, over a bridge spanning a deep gorge, and up the stairs of a building that must have come straight out of the set of The Swiss Family Robinson.

I unlocked my door and peered in.

Membership has its privileges indeed.

Two platform beds sat on wooden floors constructed of warm, broad planks. The sleigh-styled headboards had intricate palms carved into them. A wooden pendulum light hung delicately over the beds.

my room at rios tropicales' ecolodge

In the bathroom, stones lined the shower. I could take a hot shower beneath a gentle rain shower head. A green glass bowl on a glass platform served as the sink.

Gauzy white curtains floated over three wide windows, one window overlooking the river. The flow of the river provided the white noise I needed to sleep soundly.

A hammock chair hung outside my door. I sat, closed my eyes, and listened. The frogs called louder than the white noise of the river at some points. The occasional bird chimed in.

At dinner time, I wandered back down the path to the dining area. The raft guides, who had been up since 4am, were now cooking us supper. They worked LONG days, every day.

Meals were done buffet-style and the food was hearty: fresh, fried tilapia, rice, beans, green salad, and a flan dessert. Candles and tea lights dotted the tables. Our large group mixed and mingled with other guests of Rios Tropicales’ ecolodge.

In the morning we sat and watched through binoculars as the toucans congregated in the tree tops across the river from the lodge while we sipped hot coffee. I soaked up as much of my data-free slice of heaven as I could. We would soon continue on down the river to our take-out.


If you’re looking for a Costa Rica ecotourism vacation,  consider traveling with Rios Tropicales. Enjoy the adventure of the rafting trip to and from the lodge. Marvel at the luxury that can be provided in an ecotourism setting. Eat well. Swim in pools beneath waterfalls. Above all, get to know your guides. Their connection to the surrounding area will connect you more deeply to your trip.

Up next: I go ziplining.

Published by Kate Monahan

Travel happy. Outdoors professional. Writer. Photographer. Educator.

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