Affordable Costa Rica Hostel, accommodations for backpackers and Eco-travelers, in a totally unique ambient: 22 hectares of primary forest, jungle trails, waterfall, organic farm, Permaculture and bio-intensive vegetable gardens, lake with tilapia and ducks, free range chicken farm, and the best position to observe volcano´s activities from the lodge, with wonderful views over the valley and the lake. Part of our activities are morning and night hikes from the hostel, temezcal, Spa with different massage and treatment packages, happy people and a lot of good energy.
Restaurant serving 7am-8pm daily all vegetarian and Gourmet Demo Cuisine taught in the evening by the chef and guest participation, hiking trails, hammocks, Jacuzzi with spectacular view....
Tours with in walking distance observe the eco zoo or butterfly conservatory, the local shops and wonderful community of el castillo
Sky trek sky tram, hiking trails to volcanoes and waterfalls, the lake for kayaking, horseback riding, rafting...
hiking trails, restaurant, common area, tea all day long, pool, parking...
Interaction with Guests
we are here to serve you with love anything you may need.
surrounde by birds and animals in the jungle
My boyfriend and I had a wonderful time staying at Essence Arenal. We stayed in one of the private tents: there was an amazing view of the lake off the balcony. The staff was welcoming and very knowledgable about the area. They all seemed to love being there, which is always a good sign! We decided to extend our stay by 2 nights and they were very accommodating. With those extra 2 days, they also help us figure out some great things to do in the area, making it an incredible trip. We had a few meals at Essence: all of them were made with fresh, local ingredients and were absolutely delicious and very reasonably priced.
If you are planning on staying, make sure to rent an SUV, the drive off the main road is quite rocky and filled with pot holes. Also, there's only a handful of signs to get to Essence- follow the signs to the Butterfly Conservatory and you'll get there just fine. (And make sure to visit the Butterfly Conservatory during your trip!)
What a beautiful spot to find! Perched up in the hills of El Castillo (The Castle), you're past La Fortuna and much closer to the Volcano National Park (you pass the entrance on the way here). Unlike the people staying in La Fortuna, you actually get views of BOTH the volcano and the lake! After one night, we were convinced we needed to reserve a second night and enjoy more time here.
The view alone might be worth it to stay here, but there are also beautiful grounds surrounding their organic farm and fresh water swimming pool. They practice permaculture and grow many of the ingredients used in their kitchen. We also took the night hike through the rain forest and farm and the guide is extremely knowledgeable, passionate, and friendly. We never made it to the 6 am yoga class, and we would have liked to try the sweat lodge—perhaps next time!
Considering Essence Arenal's location, we actually thought it would be nice if breakfast were included in the rental price, rather than an addition. The communal and hands-on demo style for dinner was enjoyable and a great way to exchange travel tips and learn about others. While very limited in dining options up here, there is Pizza John's which has fantastic (you guessed it) pizza and delicious homemade ice cream!
Great little find for a stay in and around Arenal. Great for families with young kids. Owner and staff were very friendly and helpful. Dinners were healthy, tasty and we lived the communal environment. A long and bumpy 9km drive from the main hwy, but well worth it. Thanks for the great tip, we loved our stop at Llano de Cortez waterfall.
Friendly, fun and fantastic view overlooking the lake and volcano Arenal. The rooms were all booked, however we were offered one of the "furnished" tents instead (you can stand up inside - it's like a room!), complete with our own balcony for more of that fantastic view. Great open-air yoga on top the hill. Dinner is offered as a communal affair - always entertaining. An eclectic enjoyable non-run-of-the-mill stay!
Essence is waaay out there. But that was 1/2 the fun of it. Staff is friendly and gives great tips. You can adventure or just stay put on the farm. Hot tub with mountain view - communal dinners where you get to try your hand at cooking. One night we made empenadas - fun. Lots of folks from all over the world.
Our stay at Essence Arenal was just amazing! We still haven't finished our little tour of Costa Rica, but Essence will probably be the best place we have stayed at. So much peace and an amazing view, we will definitely come back!
Hands down the best place we stayed period. The view, unbeatable. The food, so eatable. The hot tub, so heatable.
Can't say enough about the views. I hiked the volcano next to Arenal and the view was worse than from my front porch at this place. Yoga was a killer practice with sunrise views of the lake and volcano. Hit up the Kayaking and that was lovely. Martin cooked up killer dinners. Everyone speaks English. There is a parrot that is just DYING for your attention. Close to hikes/horses/ziplines/heaven. The farm initiative is great. Christ, even the wifi was great. A must visit.
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