Cabins by a magical river & jungle

House - Private room · Sabalito, Tilaran, Guanacaste 50801, Costa Rica

Welcome to new boutique hotel/retreat center Living Forest, where you wake up to the sound of a river and jungle with tropical birds and monkeys often in sight. The location is perfect, as we are secluded yet with an easy access to amazing sights and amenities by Lake Arenal.

The Space

Living Forest is perfect for a romantic get-away, gathering of family and friends. It is for nature lovers and sports enthusiasts (cycling, wind surfing and other water sports). Or just come and relax amid the magical nature!

The River View Casita has two beautiful double rooms with private bathrooms. The Living Forest lodge has a big deck area, office, kitchen and three shared but comfortable rooms, each sleep max four people (shared rooms at lower rates).

Guest Access

You are welcome to use the grounds, relax in the hammocks and benches, have a dip in the river, lounge at our deck and use our beautiful wooden yoga deck. We have a weekly yoga class for visitors and locals Wednesday mornings.

Interaction with Guests

As your host I am happy to help you with any questions you might have. We can book tours for you and recommend restaurants and activities to make your vacation run smooth and easy. There are so many adventures to be had in this area! You can experience zip lining, hot springs, hanging bridges, sailing, kite surfing and other water sports, horse back riding, visiting coffee farms etc etc.

We have two labradors living at the property. These dogs are playful and loving. Please let us know if they bother you, as they can be enthusiastic at times. They love having guests over and have made many new friends here.

I am aware of the magical quality of the nature here and like to invite you to have some time to relax and enjoy it all. If you like some quiet time for yourself or like to be more social, i respect your wishes.
I welcome you to stay for couple of days or weeks to experience the PURA VIDA of Costa Rica and have a wonderful experience in this magical country.
Please note for longer stays the rates are negotiable.

The Neighborhood

We are secluded in tranquil nature, yet it takes only 20 minutes to drive to local town Tilaran or Nuevo Arenal in the other direction.
When you turn to us from the lake road, we are located just before a tiny cute village called Sabalito, where you find a small shop for basic groceries. Little bigger shop is 10 min drive away in Rios Piedras - an idylic Costa Rican village with lovely local restaurants (sodas).

Getting around

We recommend hiring a car, as it makes it easier to explore the area. There are several rental companies by the airport.

It is also possible to use the local bus and taxi service to and from Tilaran and Nuevo Arenal. If you need a pic up from the airport, we can help you to organize this for you.

Other Things to Note

PS. We are happy to host retreats. Let us know if you have a group you would like to bring over. (Photography, spiritual/healing, yoga, creative writing...)

Welcome to this laid back, exciting and stunningly beautiful part of the world!

Room type: Private room
Bed type: Real Bed
Accommodates: 2
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Beds: 2
Minimum Stay: 2 nights
Weekly Price: $350 /week
Check In: 12:00 PM (noon)
Check Out: 11:00 PM
Cancellation: Strict

Overall Guest Satisfaction

Check In
  • We had a wonderful 4 night stay with Johanna at the Living Forest! Johanna was a wonderful hostess and was incredibly helpful. The room that we stayed in was simple, but very nicely put together and very clean. We loved the semi-outdoor shower/bathroom, though we did have one rather large, eight-legged visitor. The rest of the grounds were very well kept with a beautiful little river, hammocks, wildlife and a nice large deck to sit, sip coffee, and visit. Johanna's dogs are both absolutely lovely and we really enjoyed having some doggy time too.

    The location was great for being able to explore a wide variety of places, though there was a bit of driving involved to get anywhere. If you are willing to drive and want to stay somewhere central to Monteverde, Arenal, Rio Celeste and Lake Arenal, this is a great spot.

    March 2014
  • Johanna was a great host! She was very friendly and welcoming. She offers a delicious breakfast. Her place is wonderful,a charming little paradise in the jungle. We heard howler monkeys while we were there! Loved sleeping and waking up to the sound of birds and the river. My husband attended a yoga class offered at Johanna`s place on Wednesday mornings, he says it was fantastic because of the location and it being in nature. The bedroom was beautiful, the outdoor private washroom was awesome cause it allowed us to really connect with nature. We would definitely go back and HIGHLY recommend this place! :)

    January 2014
  • Wow.
    Everything about Johanna's place was absolutely perfect. If all you read is this small blurb, make a reservation with Johanna now before the secret is out and she is booked solid. We feel so grateful for having the opportunity to stay here, because really— it is THAT amazing.

    Johanna's place is on the Northwest end of Lake Arenal, away from the tourist trappings of La Fortuna, but only a little over an hour drive away via car. The immediate area of Johanna's place is sparsely populated, but there are a handful of amazing Soda's and other restaurants really close by for you to sample.

    We stayed in the Casita which included a private bathroom, but truthfully, after seeing this place and how well taken care of everything is, we could have easily stayed in one of the rooms with a shared bathroom just the same.

    Everything in our room was new, clean, and tastefully designed. Also—as an added bonus, the private bathroom is actually outdoors, so it was a special treat to shower in the morning and get to hear the sounds of nature around us. There was also hot water and good water pressure, so that was nice as well.

    The main house has a beautiful covered porch/yoga area that was perfect for reading a book in a hammock, or just listening to the sounds of the forest.

    Johanna was a joy. She did an amazing job in communicating in advance of our reservation, and was really responsive when we sent her emails with questions about how to get there, what to do when we arrived, etc.

    Johanna's place absolutely embodies "pura vida". We can't recommend her enough, and will certainly be back.

    January 2014
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Living Forest; Lake Arenal Retreat center
Hi, I am Johanna, the owner of Living Forest.I love nature and animals. I adore living in Costa Rica in this magical piece of land. Yoga, dance and movement, transformation and creativity are close to my heart. I love adventures and enjoy life. I have traveled extensively and welcome people from all backgrounds and cultures. My motto is not to take life too seriously, to be grateful and enjoy the precious moments we have.
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