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.
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 is for double room with shared bathrooms, 45$. Other options are: triple 75$/room, quad 95$/room and dormitory style 28$ per person.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Living forest is a lovely place where you can relax and enjoy life in Costa Rica.
Johanna is welcoming and gives great advices for activities, animal watching and restaurants.
Definitely a place to recommend!
Johanna was very welcoming and gracious throughout my stay. The Lodge is beautiful and perfect to do yoga in. The other guests were very nice and the surroundings are beautiful. I enjoyed my stay there very much and will recommend this listing to my friends.
Ons verblijf bij The living forest was een leuke ervaring. Het huis is erg mooi gelegen, beneden aan de weg aan de rand van het bos. Een riviertje loopt langs het terrein. In de ochtend word je wakker van de apen. Om naar La Fortuna te rijden neemt ruim een uur in beslag maar dan rijd je wel een prachtige route. De kamer was mooi, schoon, je voelt je welkom. Johanna is een goede host.
This was my first time using airbnb and I was thrilled with the results. Johanna was great - inviting, friendly, and very informative about the local area: things to do, places to eat, driving distances, weather.
Everyone in the Lake Arenal area that asked us where we were staying knew her by name and had great things to say about her too. Friendly place, with a good mix of Ticos and Gringos. It definitely helps if you speak Spanish, but many people (including Johanna) speak both, so it's easy to communicate.
We chose the "Monkey Room" at the Living Forest, and it didn't disappoint. Comfy beds, outlets for charging devices, awesome outdoor showers (with great water pressure and temperature). Buildings are basically brand-new, so that's no surprise, but for a jungle retreat I was certainly glad... especially after hiking to the summit of Cerro Chato (just southeast of La Fortuna), and going windsurfing at TicoWind.
Johanna also provided a great Costa Rican breakfast each day (for a nominal extra charge) and even accommodated us in packing a lunch for the day we went hiking. Great gallo pinto, fresh fruit, and more.
Since her space is also used as a yoga retreat, there's a great open floor for stretching/yoga, which faces out onto her garden and river, bordered by trees and hammocks. Totally awesome for a chill day after our 3+ hours of relatively strenuous hiking, or just to commune with nature.
And, as an added bonus, she has two beautiful and incredibly friendly dogs on the property - one a chocolate lab, the other a breed I didn't recognize - perhaps Aussie/Lab/Shepherd mix?
Long story short, of all the 5 places I stayed on my trip to Costa Rica and Guatemala this year, hers was by far the most relaxing. I hope I'll find time to come back and visit again.
Nick Boldt (from Toronto, Canada)
Johanna(correctly pronounced "yo-hanna") was a great host and we loved her off-roads forest habitat in between Tilaran and La Fortuna. We loved the natural setup and immediately felt at-one with Nature. I had one of the best driving experiences going from the Living Forest to La Fortuna in my rental car with manual transmission. Would be awesome although way too expensive to own/rent a Porsche for these exhilarating, windy roads. If you plan on visiting Tenorio National Park, you should rethink taking your rental car there due to EXTREME road conditions. We hitchhiked our way up there from the base to the top and then back down. Ask Johanna - she may have some better options for you. Take some risks in Costa Rica and always keep an open mind - it was our best trip yet!
P.S. - ask Johanna about the free HOT SPRINGS...
Johanna is a fantastic host and her place in the jungle is simply awesome. This was our first accommodation in Costa Rica and it exceeded our expectations. The rooms are clean and the bathroom is different in that it is half open which adds to the jungle experience. The giant deck is a great place to hang out any time of day, yoga mats and hammocks are provided. We only stayed 4 nights but we saw plenty of hummingbirds as well as a group of howler monkeys passing by. Johanna's two dogs are very sweet - always happy to hang out and be petted. Johanna is a very nice and easygoing person. She was very helpful and replied to all our emails before our stay. We had interesting chats, went to a yoga class together and cooked with her. She makes a delicious Gallo Pinto for breakfast (breakfast is not included in the price but is a very convenient and tasty option).
The location is perfect for wind surfing or kayaking on Lake Arenal (weather permitting). There are several hiking options within 1.5 hour's drive like Arenal Volcano and Rio Celeste at volcano Tenorio. But it's also nice to just hang out on the big deck or in the garden.
Perfect strategic location to visit about half of the most interesting points in Costa Rica since driving and the roads are not always easy. Johanna was a really good host. Getting to the house from SJO airport wasn't hard. There are signs on the road plus her personal directions were very clear. The place was safe, clean and quiet. Really nice view of the lake and volcano. Plenty of little restaurants and grocery stores close by. Most likely will stay with her next trip to Costa Rica.
This host has 18 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
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.