Newly built lodge in magical nature

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

Welcome to newly built lodge &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 ideal 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 Living Forest lodge has three comfortable rooms, each sleep max four people. Rates vary depending on how many are sharing a room. This listing you are viewing is for one person dormitory style, which is 28$. If you are more than one person, please see our other listings. Two people 45$/ room, triple 75$/room, quad 95$/room.
The rooms are called Mariposa (butterfly), Rana (frog) and Mono (monkey). Mariposa has a queen bed and a comfortable bunk bed. The other rooms have two single beds and a bunk bed. Across the hall we have separate bathrooms for men and women each with two nice showers with hot water and two toilets. You will be sharing, but still with comfort and style :).
If you prefer a more private double room with own bathroom, check out our River View Casita, which is also listed with Airbnb.

Guest Access

The Living Forest lodge has a big lounge area overlooking the jungle and river. Often we get to observe animals such as monkeys, toucans and Morpho butterflies right from the deck.

We have a beautiful wooden yoga deck, which you are welcome to use anytime. If you need a mat, we can lend you one. Once a week we have a yoga class in the house for visitors and locals.

Feel free to use the grounds, relax in the hammocks and benches, have a dip in the river, lounge at our deck area and marvel at the exotic plants in our gardens.

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, waterfalls etc etc.
Many visitors like to use us as a base and do their trips to the surrounding area.
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.

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: 4
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 2
Beds: 4
Extra people: No Charge
Minimum Stay: 2 nights
Check In: 12:00 PM (noon)
Check Out: 11:00 AM
Cancellation: Strict

Overall Guest Satisfaction

Check In
  • It was great to stay at Johanna's. She is a very caring, helpful host. She helped me with many questions before my trip and was able to direct me to great restaurants and day trips while I was there.

    The lodge is a very peaceful, off the beaten path, but not far from civilization and sometimes a social hub too! Other guests, Johanna, and I might spend time preparing a meal together or playing cards on the deck. While I was there, Johanna hosted a fun bread-and -soup making class and sharing the meal with some people from the community was especially nice for me. I also enjoyed attending the early morning yoga classes held weekly and going off with other guests on day trips.

    My room and bed were comfortable (shocked that there were no mosquitos or other varmints- I had never been in Cost Rica and expected some bites of some kind that never materialized!). I enjoyed the open-air, warm showers (the bathrooms are not really outdoor, but open air with privacy.) The design of the little resort takes full advantage of the natural setting, including having the kitchen open, not a closed-off room. Maybe you can tell by the pictures how pretty it is.

    There was just one drawback and that was that the web access was intermittent. On the positive side, there are nearby cafes that allow you to stay as long as you like on their wifi. I was a bit spoiled as it gave a good reason to sit lingering with a cup of coffee or glass of wine and make friends at other places too. Check with Johanna on how it is currently. She was in line for an upgrade to her system so that "problem" may no longer be a problem!

    All in all, it was a very nice place to stay and I highly recommend it. Enjoy your stay in that beautiful place!

    February 2014
  • Our stay with Johanna was wonderful, she was very prompt with e-mail conversations about making a reservation and directions to her place, and greeted us warmly upon arrival. The place is every bit as wonderful as the description and I'm sure once word gets out, the place will be booked solid.
    We only stayed for a couple of days but after eleven hours of traveling, this was absolutely the perfect setting for us to rest and recuperate. The room and bathroom were the most comfortable we had on our whole trip.
    Johanna was a pleasant host and it was fun hanging out with her and her two dogs; she also makes the most wonderful breakfast! Can't wait to go back for a longer visit.

    January 2014
  • Joanna was a fantastic host, her place is just gorgeous. I highly recommend this place to anyone who wants to visit the area. I'm also going to tell my wind sports loving friends, it's super close to great launch areas. I'm definitely coming back!
    Thanks Joanna!

    December 2013
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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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