Beautiful & very private 'eco-luxury' retreat near South Pacific Coast. Our unique & stunning location offers guests panoramic sea views & hangs dramatically over the jungle canopy. Romantic getaway, nature lovers and adrenalin junkies paradise!
Award winning 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.
*NEW - You'll also love our new yoga deck, exercise area (with pull up & dip bars etc) and 'chill out area' right on the edge of the plantel taking advantage of the lodge's valley, ocean and sunset views.
We are just a 10-15 minute drive (depending on season & road conditions) 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
JUNGLE VILLA FEATURES/HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
- 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!
PURA VIDA ECOLODGE FAQs:
- 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.
- IS THERE SOMEONE IN COSTA RICA WHO CAN ASSIST ME WHILE I AM THERE?
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
-ARE THERE RESTAURANTS AND SHOPPING NEARBY?
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.
-WHICH ROOMS HAVE AIR CONDITIONING?
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.
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. All for you - Just for you...
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 neighbourhood boasts peace and quiet and an abundance of nature and stunning flora and fauna. You can wake with the sounds of the congo howler monkeys and watch the sunset as the toucans fly right by the house. There are nature trails and waterfalls just a short walk away plus plenty of adventures on Pura Vida Ecolodge's doorstep!
Once up at Pura Vida Ecolodge, you can explore the surrounding nature reserve and local area by foot. A 4WD car (Mitsubishi Montero manual for more control and 'umph' is a good choice) is the best option for exploring further a field (we include all sorts of suggestions, day trips and activities in the Pura Vida Ecolodge Welcome Pack but Vamos-Rent-A-Car are a good hire car company if you want to book well in advance, be sure to mention us to get the best deal, they may even include a local mobile (real handy) or GPS, likewise we advise guests to buy a 'Kolby pre-pay' sim card on arrival at San Jose airport for ease).
In terms of getting up to the lodge from the coastal road, there are currently two options for arriving (both from the Costanera Sur), with roads leading up from the village of Coronado and a smoother but longer road from Puntamala by Ojochal. (Full details & maps in 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 our last few guests really thought of our retreat and the lifestyle and experience it provides. We hope to welcome you one day soon at Pura Vida Ecolodge.
The main 'House Rules' are to really adopt the 'Pura Vida' philosophy & concept we have worked so hard to create. That means respecting nature, the animals and the magical surroundings of the Jungle Villa and it's reserve. Our main goal, as designers, hoteliers and 'conceptualists' is that you are able to leave the 'urban madness' behind and fully enjoy & embrace a unique life up at Pura Vida Ecolodge throughout your stay, whether it be just two days or two weeks, always conscious that our Jungle Villa really is 'A Retreat - A Lifestyle & An Experience.'
We do ask that guests read the welcome pack & guidebook before arriving in Costa Rica so you can fully enjoy your Pura Vida Experience.
Both double bedrooms can be set up as either Kings or indeed separate twins, according to your particular needs and group size. There is also a sofa bed that can sleep a further two people comfortably - with a maximum for the entire Jungle Villa being limited to 6 adults.
We appreciate that life on the Pacific coast can start early so ask guests to try and checkout by 10am with check-in starting from 1pm but we strongly advise arriving before sundown (so as to familiarize yourselves with 4WD driving and the orientation of the lodge). That said, we understand a lot of our Jungle Villa guests are indeed on an extended itinerary, often with limited flexibility in terms of transport & internal flights, so we are of course happy to try and work around your timings as much as we can - as long as we know well in advance.
Our local 'Tico' concierge service will be only too happy to help with car hire, airport pick-ups, transport requirements as well as organizing tours, expeditions, trips and adventures. They also offer a laundry service, pick you up (and drop off) various food parcels as well as arranging a personal chef or catering service.
Pura Vida Ecolodge is equipped with WiFi for internet connection but we also recommend that guests purchase a Costa Rican Kolby SIM card for their mobile/cell. (They even sell them in the arrival hall/luggage collection area at San Jose airport for $5) allowing them to make restaurant & tour reservations, keep in touch with our housekeeper etc without paying expensive roaming fees - with Kolby, you are also likely to have better 'coverage' than with your home network.
We stayed in the ecolodge from the 9th of january until the 16th. We rented a car via National (4x4) like recomended and it really was necesary.
When we arrived Gersan showed us all of the rooms, gave us the key and offered to help us in every kind of way. A big basket of fruits was waiting for us and the beds were decorated very welcoming. We instantly felt like home.
The view and the house in general is just from another planet. It´s really hard to describe the overwhelming feeling when you have the first look off the balcony. Joe and Kika were always really helpfull and asked (via whatsapp ) whether we need any help whatsoever.
In before we received a welcome package with lots of recommendations of restaurant activities and places to visit which helped a lot ! (Por que no? - super restaurant )
In addition to the recommendations Gersan offered a boot trip in the manglares and to a "private" beach which was a really cool experience ... especialy to do such a tour with a true tico .
We really can say that this was one of the best experiences with vacation housing ever. We are really gratefull for everything.
110% recomending this Ecolodge.
Pura Vida mis amigos.
We stayed in the lodge 3 nights, although we prepaid for 6 nights. We had to leave 3 days earlier because of the snake that appeared just above the entrance door. Must admit we were not prepared for jungles-jungles-jungles... - it was really frightening for the child (as well as for adults, actually) and we decided to leave. Concierge Gersan was quick to react and helped to get rid of the snake - our hero :)
Should you choose Pura Vida lodge, I think, you would enjoy absolutely astonishing view, and you will be satisfied with the house itself (clean and quite comfortable). If you choose special boat tour with the guide-concierge (local guy Gersan), you will enjoy the interesting tour in the mangroves and absolutely wonderful wild beach.
However, please be aware that
- location of the lodge is far from the main Costa-Rica sightseeing, like volcanos (the nearest Poas is 3-4 hours by car), etc. => it`s rather place for those who likes to be lonely some time and loves jungles much;
- before arrival you will get a book of rules from the owner (called Welcome pack) about electricity, wifi, how to use safe, how to use toilets, etc. => I would recommend to ask for this book BEFORE you finally decide about staying in the lodge;
- in the house: wifi is very unstable, toilets are not always properly working even after following the rules, we did not mange to open the safe;
- concierge does not speak English and reacts either to calls or to whatsapp messages (not sms) => be prepared with minimum Spanish from your side.
Overall, it was interesting adventure. Perfect place for jungles lovers and peaceful atmosphere lovers.
As Xhanna quite honestly admits, this wasn't the Jungle retreat for her & her family. We were so disappointed that they choose to leave early. Obviously being an ecolodge right next to primary & secondary jungle, one cannot say YES to the monkeys howling and playing in the trees, YES to the toucans floating around the valley in front of the house and NO to the odd snake that one MIGHT encounter on one of the nature trails near the house. I think they understood this but essentially hadn't researched their vacation properly before arriving. That said, in over three years of developing, designing, and building Pura Vida Ecolodge, I personally have never even seen ONE snake...
We do feel that it's worth clarifying a couple of things that Xhanna has written. For example, Pura Vida Ecolodge, as our profile clearly shows, is actually very near to some of the best 'sightseeing' such as Manuel Antonio and Corcovado National Park, plus Marina Ballena and some of Costa Rica's best beaches!
Nowadays we split the 'Welcome Pack into two parts and is not at all a 'book of rules' as Xhanna says, but rather a pack that's full of local tips and information that is designed to enhance our guests experience of the lodge, its surrounding reserve and indeed their Costa Rica vacation. Judging by Xhanna's comments, it would appear that they were quite under prepared and probably didn't read through the welcome pack until they arrived :(
Wifi - considering the location of the house, the wifi is quite slow but generally pretty consistent - again, reading the welcome pack explains how to get the most out of the internet systems we provide at the lodge.
Toilets - they work 100% of the time perfectly as long as tissues and toilet paper are placed in the bins provided (this is the case for all toilets throughout Costa Rica).
Safe - again, works 100%, they just didn't read the welcome pack correctly as the code was in their pack :( Gersan could have happily shown them how to work this too, but they never mentioned it :(
Gersan the housekeeper - is both a great friend of ours and a valuable part of Pura Vida Ecolodge. While he is slowly learning English, we much prefer hiring local people (with local knowledge) and contributing to the local community, essentially offering local families a slice of the wonderful ecotourism of The Zona Sur rather than hiring a European or an American who might speak perfect English but wouldn't really fit our sustainable dream on which Pura Vida Ecolodge was first founded. Spanish-English dictionaries are provided at the house and no doubt in your Costa Rica guidebooks, there will be a useful vocab section ;)
Arriving late in the afternoon sunshine at Pura Vida ecolodge in the sumptuous Costa Rican jungle felt like arriving in the Garden of Eden! The whole experience was magical and unique and was enhanced by Joe and Kika's attention to detail; they've thought of everything to make our stay as comfortable and life-enriching as possible.
The villa is spacious, thoughtfully designed and beautiful; natural and harmoniously respectful of the surrounding beauty by minimsing the impact of our stay. We spent many a warm, sunny afternoon on the outdoor teak deck contemplating the beauty of where we were. The trails and walks from the villa down to the waterfalls in the jungle were great fun and I particularly enjoyed working out on the new yoga deck (a new addition apparently) with views over the jungle and on towards the ocean.
The infinity pool is so cool! Such stunning views - I can think of very few places in the world where I can relax in a plunge pool with breath-taking views over the rainforest to the sea. Some memorable afternoons were spent there!
Finally, I'd really recommend Gersan's boat trip; another entirely new and unique experience for us; beautiful wildlife through the mangroves to Gersan's 'secret' island; coconut's and galla pinto on a deserted beach in a tropical paradise.....and we didn't see another soul!! Thanks Gersan.
Unique one in a life time experience - can't recommend it highly enough. Thank you Joe and Kika.
Pura Vida Ecolidge is a very beautiful place with a spectacular view ans surrounding. We enjoyed every minute of our stay, we loved the boat tour with Gersan and Capitano through the mangroves and the delicious dinner on the beach. Our daugther was Reading for hours in the pool and we all really had time to relax and enjoy the nature. To celebrate New Years Eve at your place is an unforgettabel memory for us. The way to the ecolodge definitely needs an SUV and some driving experience,but if you got too ot an your way down, you can jump into the river and cool down, It's a perfect place to experience Costa Rica.
The Pura Vida ecolodge is exactly what is promised and Joe and Kika are great hosts. The house is gorgeous and the location is remote! Seriously, make sure you rented a 4x4 to go here because you are on top of the world in this amazing location.
Wonderful location. Great interior design taste. We had a fantastic holiday.
We stayed at Pura Vida Ecolodge for 5 days, and we had an amazing stay there. It's a really nice lodge, and the area absolutely worth visiting.
The lodge has a great style and an awesome view. Joe & Kika has sent us lot of useful material before arriving.
We were very disappointed about the infinity pool. We had looked forward to this pool, as it looks fantastic on the images. We used it once. It's very small and dirty.
Gersan - the house keeper- can only speak Spanish. We just managed to understand a very little.
Also we had to buy plastic bags for garbage and toilet paper.
Be aware that you are in the jungle. Lots of big bugs, bats sleeping at the lodge, dart frogs and so on. Exiting.
It takes 18-20 min. in a 4x4 drive to get to the lodge from the main road. And then about 10 min. more to the nearest beach. Not a stone throw away.
But overall we had a terrific stay, and we would love to go there again.
While we really appreciate your comments Peter and glad you had a great stay, we do feel it necessary to clarify a couple of things. The swimming pool or plunge pool is kept perfectly clean (as long as guests use the net to take out jungle leaves each morning) and while small, it's perfectly big enough to provide fun, relaxation and a welcome escape from the midday sun whether guests are chilling on the deck or coming back from a trek.
With regards to bin bags and toilet paper, these are of course provided, their whereabouts (plus other supplies) are in the welcome pack - which perhaps Peter didn't read thouroghly :(
With regards to bugs, bats, frogs etc - Yes, Pura Vida Ecolodge is indeed a Jungle Villa so is surrounded by primary & secondary rainforest. That said, the house is designed to be secure with screened doors which keeps most jungle life in the jungle.
Timings down to the main road, guests using the Coronado route can shave 5 minutes off Peter's timings and Playa Tortuga is just 5-7 minutes down the Costanera highway (as you'll see on the map).
Glad you had a terrific stay and look forward to hosting you again soon. Joe, Kika & Gersan
After many years dreaming and many months conceptualizing this little retreat, my wife and I moved from Europe to Costa Rica for the best part of a year to make this dream a reality. During this time we met some very special people and made a lot of wonderful memories as we embarked on what soon became an experience of a lifetime. The end result is that we opened the doors of our little 'piece of paradise' back in November 2012 and we welcome you to experience a really special vacation and adventure up at Pura Vida Ecolodge. We are 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. 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 '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.