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) complete with outdoor rain shower and a '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 12-15 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
- Yoga deck and outdoor gym and shower
- 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 parts 1 & 2).
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 our recommended 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 - Kolby have a small store in the arrivals hall).
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 packs & 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 or any other Cost Rica networks such as Movistar and Claro.
Increíble casa en un lugar privilegiado. Solamente por pasar unos días en Pura Vida Ecolodge volvería a Costa Rica, solamente a disfrutar de la casa, la tranquilidad y esa pequeña piscina donde disfrutar tras un largo día.
Joe & Kika estuvieron al tanto siempre, incluso cuando nosotros no dimos señales de vida. Son un encanto y están dispuestos a ayudarte en todo lo que necesitas.
Y Gersan y su hermano lo mismo. Dispuestos siempre a ayudarte.
Muchas gracias Joe & Kika. Vuestra casa es magnífica!!!
We loved staying here it was amazing. It's a great ecologic house with a stunning view and modern space. Joe was an awesome host . We definitely recommend staying here. It's a peaceful and relaxing.
We had a wonderful week at the Pura Vida Ecolodge. The setting is breathtaking, and each morning we woke to the sounds of birds singing and a view of the ocean. The house is beautiful and comfortable. The kitchen is well supplied, and we had everything we needed to cook family meals. My husband hiked the immediate area and was amazed at the beauty. Like many other reviews we read, the 5km drive up the mountain seems daunting at first, but it really wasn't a problem for us once we knew where we were going. It's a 13 minute drive, and we definitely needed 4WD. The area beaches and restaurants were easy to get to and we found a new and beautiful beach just about every day. Joe was very helpful throughout our stay and answered every question we had. Gersan was very friendly and helpful too. We couldn't have asked for a better experience. Highly recommended.
Pura Vida is, in a word, spectacular. Without a doubt the highlight of my trip! It's the perfect place to disconnect for a while from city life, one leaves completely recharged. The house itself is beautiful, the view is amazing - especially from the infinity pool. I didn't find the road challenging and in any case it is well worth it!! The local contact Gersan is an absolute gem. He was friendly and welcoming, always available and his boat tour was great. Joe was really easy to contact, speedy replies and he provides a thorough and helpful info pack prior to arrival which is invaluable. For the sporty types there's a great little workout area and yoga deck which we took advantage of every day, with a newly installed shower to cool off, very nice!
All in all it was a genuinely fantastic experience, highly recommended, and it won't be the last time we visit. Thank you!
Having just returned back from 14 days in Pura Vida we are suffering with severe "holiday blues". Our Pura Vida experience has been amazing! The lodge and location exceeded our expectations and the host Gerzan was a delight! The lodge has everything you need and the owners Jo & Kika kept in contact with us and had we needed to we could have contacted them at any time. A 4x4 is a must would recommend a manual one. The road seems a bit scary at first but once you go up and down once or twice it its fine. There are too many things to list about how amazing this place is, highlights are firstly the "STUNNING" location, we spent so many lazy days just sitting on the deck listening to the sounds of the jungle and taking in the incredible view. Gerzan's mangrove tour is a MUST! Swiming in the numerous waterfalls. We visited the local animal sanctuary which was really cool and we also went on a wonderful horseback ride up to a waterfall for a swim ( at Rancho La Merce in Uvita). National Park Tour (saw Dolphins and Turtles on the way). There are too many beatuiful beaches to list here and hardly anyone on them and lovely sunsets. The sea is warm as is the weather at all times but not unbearably hot.
I regularly applied deet and did not have any problems with bites. We saw, Howler Monkeys, Scarlet Macaws, owls, Iguanas, birds, insects and one evening a host Cappucino Monkeys (by the beach). Costa Rica way of life is laid back and friendly. Favourite thing of all??? Leaving behind the TVs, mobiles etc and sharing the peace and seclution of "Pura Vida" ecolodge with our dearest friends! Thank you so much Jo & Kika for sharing your piece of paradise with us and enabling us to meet our new friend Gerzan. We will be back for sure.
We stayed at Pura Vida for six nights at the end of February and absolutely loved it. The location is remote, which is a big part of what we enjoyed about it. As everyone has mentioned, the dirt road up to the lodge is very bumpy, but once you make it up the mountain and into the rainforest, you understand that it is worth the trek with the spectacular views you get from the lodge! We had an automatic 4x4 and it was fine.
We really enjoyed the location of the lodge on the southern end of the Pacific coast. The further south you go, the less developed it appeared to be (a positive for us), but there were still enough small towns for plenty of restaurants and groceries.
The welcome packet was a great guide to activities in the area, and the pictured landmarks were helpful in the directions to the lodge.
-Boat tour with Gersan - Private tour of one of the most beautiful and remote beaches I have ever been to.
-Manuel Antonio - Definitely worth the hour+ drive. Lots of animal sightings and beautiful beaches at the National Park. Would also highly recommend El Santuario Canopy Adventure Tour.
-Exotica and Citrus restaurants in Ojochal
-Massage on the beach in Dominical
-Exploring local beaches, especially Playa Ventanas
Be prepared to wake up at 5:30am each morning with the animals. I am not usually an early riser, but it helped us get a head start on the days' adventures.
Gersan was great! His wife made us a home-cooked meal upon arrival and for the boat tour. He even invited us into his home for a fruit smoothie. I would recommend a Spanish dictionary for communication!
We made friends with the neighbor two houses up the hill - Seyran (who served as a great translator between us and Gersan!). He was very nice and let us use the trail he created on his property. We hiked down the hill and up the river to a waterfall. You are definitely out in the wilderness - luckily no snake spottings, but we did see a poisonous dart frog.
As part of the "green" theme of the house, you have to put all of your toilet paper in the trash can and take all the trash out yourself. This threw me off a little, but I guess was part of the "experience."
The internet was a lot more spotty than we expected. Only one of the sim cards had been preloaded, and the internet only worked briefly for two of the nights, even after we reloaded one of the cards. Seyran let us in on a good tip - there is a restaurant with free wifi up the highway just before you get to Uvita. You can pull in their parking lot (next to a BM) and access their wifi. In general, I would not bank on internet connection!
Wonderful trip overall, and we would highly recommend Pura Vida!!
Great you guys had such a great time, met some of our lovely 'neighbours', were able to embrace the natural surroundings and of course spend some quality time with some of the 'Pura Vida' team! Gersan & Ili spoke highly of you guys too!
Just one comment that we thought mentioning about the internet, so that guests are not left confused or unsure more than anything! There IS wifi internet connection at the lodge which we 'preload' before guests arrive, but as it's a 'pre-paid/top-up' system, it will run down quite quickly if all tablets/cel phones have all the apps on in the background. TIP (as mentioned in welcome pack), be sure to turn all apps off in the background that you're not using, so that their PUSH settings don't drain your internet credit too quickly.
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.
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.