Pura Vida Ecolodge - Jungle Villa

House - Entire home/apt · Tres Rios, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Pura Vida Ecolodge

Beautiful & very private 'eco-luxury' retreat near the South Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Our unique & stunning location offers guests panoramic sea views & hangs dramatically over the jungle canopy. A romantic getaway and a nature lovers paradise

Your host, Pura Vida Ecolodge
35 Reviews
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Beautiful & very private 'eco-luxury' retreat near the South Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Our unique & stunning location offers guests panoramic sea views & hangs dramatically over the jungle canopy. A romantic getaway and a nature lovers paradise

The Space

Pura Vida Ecolodge - A Retreat - A LIfestyle - An Experience - we've recently been awarded with a 'Certificate of Excellence' for 2014 by TripAdvisor!

Welcome to Pura Vida Ecolodge, a new and unique 'eco-luxury' retreat nestled amongst virgin rain forest just 5 km from the volcanic sands of the Pacific Ocean in Central America's Costa Rica.

Our beautiful and breezy location, at an altitude of just over 300 meters, boasts stunning panoramic views over the lush valleys towards the meandering 'Rio Terraba' and directly faces the Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica's spectacular sunsets and the world famous National Park, namely Isla del Caño.

Pura Vida Ecolodge is a peaceful sanctuary to experience and embrace 'Pura Vida' (Pure Life), a destination where guests can enjoy not only a memorable holiday, but tranquility, adventure and equilibrium in a utopia second to none. Our private 'Eco-Chic' retreat is your chance to relax and truly let go, to welcome an organic, integral experience for contemplation, rejuvenation and nurturing among friends, family and loved ones. A place where it’s entirely possible to travel in style without feeling guilty...

The wonderfully located Jungle Villa has two large double bedrooms, both with private balconies/decks, en-suite bathrooms complete with indoor rain showers (with solar powered hot water) and AC and fans. One bedroom offers guests impressive sea views while the other hangs over the jungle canopy itself. Both bedrooms can be set up as doubles or twins.

The main communal living space offers guests a fully equipped 'American-style' open-plan kitchen, dining table (space for 6) as well as a comfortable and stylish lounge area. The whole of the upper level of our Jungle Villa is surrounded by a teak hanging deck, perfect for yoga, sunbathing or enjoying the fantastic panoramic views on offer. There is of course also the infinity plunge pool, the perfect escape when the sun gets too much!

While Pura Vida Ecolodge's location is indeed remote and the retreat itself will provide you with all sorts of adventures and experiences (we have our own nature trails, waterfalls & plunge pools both near the ecolodge & on the edge of the Pura Vida Ecolodge Reserve). Whether you are honeymooners, a group of friends or a family of 6, you will have the entire villa just to yourselves.

We are just a 8-10 minute drive from the Costa Nera Highway therefore allowing guests to easily explore the area, its national parks (Manuel Antonio & Corcovado to name but a few), stunning beaches (Playa Arco, Tortuga y Ventanas are our three favourites) and our concierge service can help with tours and boat trips, trekking options, scuba diving & snorkeling trips, kayaking, mountain biking, canyoning, canopy lines and horse riding etc. The nearby village of Ojochal (just 5 minutes up the Costa Nera) is one of a few local villages hosting a whole load of fine dining and fusion restaurants or if you'd prefer to relax 'at home' we can happily arrange food parcels (according to the season, fresh fish, ceviche and seafood all available) and fruit baskets to be delivered direct to the Jungle Villa.

Eco-travel in Costa Rica is your ticket to explore a plethora of amazing places that care just as much about the environment as they do about their guests. It’s a country where organic is as important as stylish, and the government plans to make it the world’s first carbon-neutral country by 2021.

‘Pura vida’ is Costa Rica’s national motto, and for good reason. It’s a real paradise: Our guests can enjoy the pure life in some of the world’s most bio-diverse jungles, rain forests and coastlines. The country’s book-ended by beaches on its Pacific and Caribbean sides (hence the laid-back surfer ethos that characterizes coastal life) and inland, nature holds sway: a full quarter of Costa Rica is protected land, from the smouldering volcanoes to dense jungles. In the highlands, farms and plantations produce delicious tropical fruit – as well as some of the finest coffee ever to grace your espresso

- Private rental regardless of group size
- Infinity-edge pool with expansive forest and ocean views, cozy lounging areas (hanging teak decks, balconies and yoga platforms.)
- Perfect for honeymooners, small groups, friends or families.
- Sumptuous Master Bedroom (Ocean view suite) with king size bed, private terrace and large windows overlooking the valley, coastline and Isla de Caño. Elegant polished concrete floors, stucco finished walls, teak and bamboo doors and fittings, 'guadua' and bamboo ceilings, perlato natural stone wash basins, walk-in shower with beautiful 'pizarra' finish.
- Elegant second bedroom (Jungle view suite) again with choice of King or Twin 'sleep on nature' orthopedic beds. Offers guests views of the colourful jungle canopy, private deck and yoga platform, elegant polished concrete floors, stucco finished walls, teak and bamboo doors and units, 'guadua' and ornamental bamboo ceilings, perlato natural stone wash basins, walk-in rain shower with stylish 'pizarra' finish.
- Contemporary living space with L-Shaped sofa again offering spectacular Pacific Ocean views with connecting hanging terrace.
- Stylish 'open-plan' fully equipped kitchen with polished stone counter tops, contemporary appliances.
- Dining Room seats up to 6 guests in a comfortable open-plan living space looking out onto the Pacific Ocean (to the west) and the dramatic Jungle Canopy (to the north)
- Central air-conditioning throughout the bedrooms, with independently controlled thermostats in each suite.
- Laundry service with use of washer and dryer.
- Secure indoor parking
- Pura Vida Ecolodge Reserve - a selection of nature trails & winding jungle paths leading to streams, waterfalls & natural plunge pools perfect for bathing and relaxing - the easiest trail starting right by the ecolodge, with more challenging treks on the edge of the reserve just a short up-hill walk from the lodge. Embrace the Pura Vida Experience!


- WILL I NEED A CAR? Yes, our retreat is situated approximately 4-5km from the coast on a well maintained gravel road into the coastal mountains. A 4WD car is recommended. There are two convenience stores or “sodas,” as they are called in Costa Rica, at the Coronado junction, where one turns off the CostaNera Highway up towards the ecolodge. For groceries, restaurants/bars, beaches, stores, etc. you would require transportation to the local towns of Coronado, Ojochal, Uvita and further up the coast Dominical and down the coast Cortes. Several taxi services are available. The nearest village (more of a hamlet) is Tres Rios and is a 15-20 minute walk from Pura Vida Ecolodge or a 3-4 minute drive.

Yes, once you book Pura Vida Ecolodge, you will be sent the welcome pack which includes all the details of our housekeeper and his wife, who double up as a 'concierge service' throughout your stay. They are very knowledgeable on the area and will be there at checkin & checkout.

- IS THERE A BEACH NEARBY THAT IS EASY TO GET TO? Yes, in fact you are really quite spoilt for choice. Playa Tortuga is the nearest and possibly one of our favourites. Once down at the Costa Nera, it is just a 5 minute drive up the coast. A short drive further up the coast takes you to Playa Piñuelas, Playa Ventanas and then the stunning national park of Marina Ballena and Uvita. Full directions (including which beaches are best for swimming and surfing etc is included in your welcome pack).

-HOW EASY IS IT TO FIND PURA VIDA ECOLODGE? Upon confirming your reservation, we send all our guests a welcome pack with very clear directions including photos of landmarks along the way. This is updated monthly as we aim to give all our guests as up-to-date info and recommendations as possible

Ojochal is the nearest town with a really good selection of fine & casual dining. You can find Fusion, Italian, Asian, “Typical Costa Rican,” even a deli/bakery and a handful of great fruit smoothie and ceviche places. Further up the coast there is Uvita, again with a good balance of International and 'local' options. We include a full list of recommendations (both restaurants & bars) in the welcome pack. For shopping, you may wish to visit the bustling tourist town of Manuel Antonio (50-60 minutes drive north) which has souvenir, jewellery, and art/craft shops and many lively restaurants (we recommend a trip to Manuel Antonio, anyway, for the national park, which a lot of our guests do either on the way down or on the way back up to San Jose.

-ARE THERE EXCURSIONS & ACTIVITIES CLOSE BY? Yes, yes, yes! Again, you can find more details on the Pura Vida Ecolodge web site, but there are spectacular waterfalls, nature trails and plunge pools right in the reserve itself. The surrounding area offers world class scuba diving, snorkelling, zip-lining, boat tours, mangrove tours, horseback tours, canyoning, as well as being located between the country's best national parks (Corcovado & Manuel Antonio). There are dozens of picturesque, quiet beaches all the way up and down the Southern Pacific coast, with enough activities and adventures on offer to do something completely different every day! We can also recommend great day trips to the Osa Peninsula, Sierpe and Nuayaca Falls. For surfers, Playa Dominical has a famous left and right beach surf break, and waves 95% of the year. Closer to the lodge, Playa Tortuga and Ventanas often have good waves more for beginners.

-IS IT A QUIET NEIGHBORHOOD? Yes, Pura Vida Ecolodge is the best of both worlds. While being a completely private retreat and reserve (both the house, pool and the surrounding nature trails) with it's orientation meaning that the property literally hangs over the jungle canopy on one side and directly faces the Pacific coast on the other, you will have a handful of neighbours nearby in the slowly growing community if you wanted a friendly chat or even some more tips on the area.

-IS THERE A GROCERY STORE NEARBY?Between the two 'pulperias' (small local stores) on the crossroads at Coronado (around 5km away) you will have almost everything you would need. There is also a great fish/seafood place just 1 km from the Coronado junction. For larger shopping, there are two big supermarkets in Uvita, about 15-20 minutes up the coast

-DOES THE ECOLODGE HAVE INTERNET? Yes, the house is equipped with WiFi for internet connection.

-WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE? A more detailed description of Costa Rica's seasons can be found on the Pura Vida Ecolodge web site, but in general you can expect about 85+ degrees at the beach year round. The only difference in climate year round is that April/May-November is the "green," or rainy season, and December through March/April is the dry season. The temperature up at the ecolodge is always a few degrees cooler because it is around 1000ft. elevation, and you get great mountain breezes. Likewise, because of its proximity to the equator, the sunrise sunset are constant year-round at approximately 6am/6pm.

There are two bedrooms with a/c: the Ocean-view suite on the first floor, and the Jungle-view suite on the ground floor. There is not a/c throughout the rest of the home, but there are ceiling fans in each room and the ecolodge has been designed with your comfort in mind, with large-open plan living spaces, surrounded by sliding doors leading out onto the wrap around decks.

-WILL I NEED TO BRING ANYTHING WITH ME? You need not bring any household items as all bedding, tableware, towels, cookware etc are all provided. We also provide a wonderful fruit basket and some other local delicacies on arrival. Bring only your personal items, and of course a sense of 'Pura Vida' adventure!

-IS PURA VIDA ECOLODGE A PRIVATE LOCATION? Yes, not only is the location incredibly private but regardless of your group size, you will have the entire retreat (house and surrounding reserve) just to yourselves. A lot of our guests are honeymooners and couples, as well as groups of friends and entire families. Either way, whether you are 2 people or a group of 6 with kids, you will have the entire property to yourself.

Guest Access

You will have access to the entire property, whether you are just a couple or a whole family. In other words, you can stay in the Ocean Suite or Jungle Suite (or both) as well as enjoying all the other spaces around the property.

Interaction with Guests

We realize that most guests come to our area to really switch off and get away from it all. We therefore meet you up at Pura Vida Ecolodge on your checkin day and collect the keys on the day of checkout, thus giving you all the privacy you want. That said, we are of course available for anything throughout your stay if you should need us and our local Costa Rican housekeeper (and his wife) offer a brilliant mangrove boat tour - which is a really fantastic day out and adventure, offering a great insight into the locals way of living and the area as a whole (More details included in welcome pack).

The Neighborhood

The neighborhood boasts peace and quiet and an abundance of nature and stunning flora and fauna. You can wake with the sounds of the congo monkeys and watch the sunset as the toucans fly right by the house.

Getting around

Once up at Pura Vida Ecolodge, you can explore the surrounding nature reserve and local area by foot. A 4WD car is the best option for exploring further a field (we include all sorts of suggestions, da trips and activities in the Pura Vida Ecolodge Welcome Pack).

Other Things to Note

Hopefully you'll have a chance to read through all our notes and flick through all our photos, but the best way to really find out what Pura Vida Ecolodge is all about is to read our reviews and see what last seaons' guests really thought of our retreat, lifestyle and experience. We hope to welcome you one day soon at Pura Vida Ecolodge.

Room type: Entire home/apt
Accommodates: 6
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Beds: 4
Extra people: No Charge
Minimum Stay: 2 nights
Security Deposit: $400
Cleaning Fee: $50
Cancellation: Strict
Overall Guest Satisfaction
Check In
  • We had a wonderful adventure at Pura Vida Ecolodge. We loved the feeling that we were truly immersing ourselves in the Costa Rican experience, something that simply cannot be accomplished if you stay at a resort/hotel. Yes, we booked a tour of a national park (Corcovado), and yes, we went ziplining (Osa Mountain Tours), both of which are within easy driving distance of the house. But our favorite experiences were the things that can ONLY be done by staying at Pura Vida Ecolodge: the nature hikes that are merely steps away from the property are indescribably beautiful and enchanting, and our trip through the mangroves to Playa Garca, where we literally had the entire beach to ourselves thanks to housekeeper Gerzan's private boat tour, was unforgettable.

    Getting to the house is an adventure unto itself as you climb the winding, steep dirt road, but we loved it and considered it to be part of the experience. And the views that you see in the pictures are even more incredible when you see them in person. We never had to turn on the air conditioning because of the nice cool breeze, particularly in the evenings. And you will enjoy being awoken by the howler monkeys each morning!

    If you are looking for a unique experience that is truly off the beaten path, then this is a good home for you to rent. Its proximity to activities (national parks, ziplines, beaches, etc.) is excellent, and there are some great restaurants just up the road in Ojochal (Exotica was my personal favorite -- try the shrimp banana curry dish, it's delicious!). At the same time, you are far enough away from things that you will not feel like a tourist. My wife and I feel that our daughters not only enjoyed themselves, but also gained an appreciation for Costa Rican culture that they would not have had if we were to have stayed elsewhere.

    Our whole family left Pura Vida Ecolodge saying that it was the best vacation we've ever taken.

    July 2014
    Pura Vida Ecolodge
    Response from Pura Vida Ecolodge:

    Thank you Tim for your kinds words and so pleased that you and your family were able to have the magical experience you were all after. Thank you also for your good suggestions with regards to the wifi for example, it's always useful to have constructive feedback so we can continue to improve the overall 'eco-luxury' experience of our guests... Thanks once again, and I hope this was a trip that you guys won't forget. Do keep in touch and looking forward to seeing the photos you promised us :)

    July 2014
  • The ecolodge was beautiful, there was a fresh fruit platter waiting for us and it has the amazing view shown in the pictures. The pool is small but deep and very refreshing during the hot Costa Rica afternoons.

    We came at the start of the rainy season and were treated to an awesome thunder and lightning show from the upstairs bedroom. However, because of the heavy rains, the road was more rutted out than usual. The road up to the house (~20 mins) is only possible with a 4x4 car and really requires a confident driver.

    Upon check in we were met by the caretaker Gersan who showed how to work all the lights and gave us a tour, we don't speak fluent Spanish and he doesn't speak English but he was SO nice and we communicated just fine. We had one concern during our trip where we thought we might have wildlife in the house and he was super quick to respond and help us out.

    Unfortunately for us, we got sick on our way up to the ecolodge and weren't feeling better until after we left so we weren't able to hike to the nearby waterfalls but we heard the one closest to the house is just so special.

    Tip: If coming from the north there are 2 large grocery stores in Uvita that are worth a stop as they have more variety compared to the sodas in Coronado and Tres Rios. A quick trip to the grocery store can still take a while because of the hill leading up to the lodge so we recommend stocking up on foods before hand (the ecolodge has a fully equipped/well stocked kitchen), unless you are planning on eating out most meals.

    June 2014
    Pura Vida Ecolodge
    Response from Pura Vida Ecolodge:

    Great that you guys had such a wonderful stay. Gersan spoke fondly of you both! You arrived at an especially dramatic time of year with heavy rains and extreme weather conditions so we are chuffed that you were able to enjoy our little eco-luxury nest to enjoy the wonderful elements of nature! Safe travels and do keep in touch. Pura Vida!

    June 2014
  • Our 7-days stay at the Pura Vida was everything we wished for and more. The house located on top of the mountain is beautiful and comfortable with incredible views. We had a great time immersing in the natural beauty of Costa Rica while enjoying comforts of a well planned home, such as warm showers, comforatble beds and home-cooked meals. Yoga in the morning accompanied by sounds of congo monkeys welcoming the rising sun or watching the stars at night with the soundtrack of cicadas coming from the jungle, we loved it all! We were able to visit several beautiful beaches, swim in waterfalls and mountain rivers, go fishing, and sample local cuisine in several little restaurants. Both Joe and Gersan were very helpful and responsive. Thank you! Pura Vida!

    June 2014
  • We enjoyed a beautiful week at the Pura Vida Ecolodge. Very nice and peaceful location with great views over the pacific ocean. Kika and Joe are great hosts. Also Gersan who lives nearby was around when we needed him. Truly enjoyed this week at this tropical paradise.

    May 2014
  • This place is gorgeous. I don't think you can take pictures of it (and the surroundings) that come anywhere close to capturing how incredible it is. I stayed there with my g/f from 5/10 - 5/17 and at least at this time of year, we found the temperature to be about ten or so degrees lower at this elevation than it was when you made the ten to fifteen minute drive down to sea level. It made it a bit chilly to use the pool much, but I really, really loved the frequent rain storms in the evening and the amazing breeze that blew through the house.

    I would definitely stay here again.

    A couple of minor nits (and keep in mind that I am giving this place five stars, so the good far, FAR outweighs the (relatively minor) "bad"):

    - The mattress/bed in the master bedroom is pretty terrible. I'm not a snob when it comes to this kind of thing, but I can't remember sleeping on a mattress that's more uncomfortable in all of my travels over the last 15 years. Having said that, I just found this place so incredibly relaxing that I slept great each night, even though the mattress was awful. But that's really a testament to the rest of the house more than anything else.

    - The wall in the master bedroom could use a thorough scrub down. There are splattered remains of insects all over it (which is pretty gross), and it needs to either be scrubbed down hard or simply repainted. This is a really easy fix so I'm not sure why it still looks like this.

    - There seem to be a lot of 'rules' with this place, and the owners can come off as being a little bit preachy, which I found to be a bit off-putting. I don't think the owners meant badly, but I found their tone grating in a way that I've never experienced in my ten or so other AirBnB stays.

    May 2014
    Pura Vida Ecolodge
    Response from Pura Vida Ecolodge:

    While we appreciate Darin's positive feedback, we feel it necessary to at least try and explain a couple of things - the mattresses at Pura Vida Ecolodge are orthopaedic so although a little hard, they cannot for one minute be described as Darin did above. Secondly, we are not in the slightest bit 'preachy' - we merely feel responsible to maintain the green paradise that we are so lucky to have found in Costa Rica's Zona Sur. The 'rules' that Darin mentioned are actually suggestions, all of which are fairly common sense in terms of maintaining and responsibly looking after the surrounding nature where Pura Vida Ecolodge is nestled. As we attract guests from all over the world, we do suggest some 'eco-friendly' tips in our welcome pack - nothing too complicated or demanding.
    I feel a little disappointed that Darin managed to misinterpret our efforts and the overall point of the 'welcome pack' that we send our guests - which is designed as an informative guide, so as to allow guests to fully enjoy everything on offer up at the lodge and in the surrounding reserve. Since we opened, ALL of our guests have really appreciated the information and tips, so it's a real shame that Darin seemed to miss the point on this occasion - perhaps he managed to let his 'pre-holiday' stress get the better of him to some extent... Anyway, glad you both had a great stay on the whole and look forward to having you back one day soon.

    May 2014
  • Really enjoyed the place. Had an amazing view and it was right in the middle of the jungle. Though at night, there was a lot of bugs which were attracted towards the house and we had to frequently turn off the lights to reduce their numbers. Overall I would highly recommend the place for anyone who wants to experience a real taste of Costa Rica.

    April 2014
  • Many thanks and high praises to Joe and Kika the owners and Gerzan the caretaker of the Pura Vida Ecolodge for making our first family visit to Costa Rica a truly memorable experience. The well designed villa was a relaxing and revitalizing retreat yet close enough to many great area attractions that kept us busy exploring during the day. We appreciated their helpful and detailed information on the area and took their advice on beaches, waterfalls, restaurants, fish market, and provision shopping. We thoroughly enjoyed Gerzan's boat adventure through the mangroves and visit to the longest stretch of beach on the Pacific Coast which included a walk through his rural and quiet village. Our trip to the Osa Canopy Tour was also an adrenaline highlight! The neighbor, Zeger, could not believe we were in Costa Rica for only a week, so the longer the stay the better for the Pura Vida experience. A 4x4 is a must and daytime driving up and down the steep, narrow and rocky road to the house is preferable; tire changing skills may come in handy as well. If you are looking for a place to unplug and soak in the sights, sounds and stars, then we highly recommend the Pura Vida Ecolodge! We hope to return someday!

    April 2014
  • This house is incredible . My only complaint is that I wish we stayed longer . The pool is greet ... Don't worry about it not being beach front because it's 10 minute drive from the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen . Take the hosts reccomendations they are fantastic ! Gave us the alternate entrance to playa tortuga and we had the beautiful beach to ourselves . Gersan is a great help his mangrove tour sounded amazing but just didn't have the time . Amazing experience ! No complaints !

    March 2014
  • A fantastic retreat right in the middle of nature, perfectly equipped, tidy and lovely arranged. The boat tour was a real experience and brought us to an amazing beach. Both Joe as well as his local contact were of great help during our stay, especially when we had a break-down with our car.

    March 2014
  • We had an absolutely incredible time at the Pura Vida Ecolodge! We couldn't have asked for a better experience and truly feel thankful that you have opened your retreat to us. We met Gerzan, their host and Zeger, their neighbor to the north and both were so nice and helpful! We utilized the beautiful kitchen and all it had to offer by cooking breakfast, fresh fish and blending fresh fruit smoothies. We used many of their local recommendations on beaches and places to visit which was really nice to have! We didn't have time to do Gerzan's mangrove boat tour but we so wish we could have because it sounded wonderful. We surfed in dominical, saw la Catarata de Uvita, visited Manuel Antonio National Park and explored some local beaches close by! We would absolutely recommend the beautiful retreat full of natural sights and sounds. You will definitely need a 4x4 because the road to get to the Ecolodge is dirt/gravel and very steep with lots of sharp curves. With that being said, we definitely had fun riding up and down everyday! We were unfortunately a little later than expected when arriving which got us there after dark. We were comfortable driving on but I'm not sure we would recommend to most- definitely arrive in day light. We were fortunate that Zeger was there to greet us and let us in late! Everything we needed was there or at the local soda/convenience stores right before turning down the dirt road to the house which was nice, too! Thank you so much again for letting us into your wonderful retreat! We truly hope to visit again in the future- Pura Vida!


    March 2014
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Welcome to PuraVidaEcolodge, a new and unique 'eco-luxury' retreat nestled amongst virgin rain forest just 5 km from the volcanic sands of the Pacific Ocean in Central America's Costa Rica. Our beautiful and breezy location, at an altitude of just over 300 meters, boasts stunning panoramic views over the lush valleys towards the meandering 'Rio Terraba' and directly faces the Pacific Ocean and Costa Rica's spectacular sunsets. PuraVidaEcolodge is a peaceful sanctuary to experience and embrace 'Pura Vida' (Pure Life), a destination where guests can enjoy not only a memorable holiday, but tranquility, adventure and equilibrium in a utopia second to none. Our 'Eco-Chic' retreat is your chance to relax and truly let go, to welcome an organic, integral experience for contemplation, rejuvenation and nurturing among friends, family and loved ones.
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