Sometimes simplifying your vacation make sense. If you like to kick back and enjoy nature with simple amenities than Costa Rica has the Ecolodge for you. Generally, these Eco Lodges are off the beaten track. We spent 2 days at Maquenque which is close to San Carlos River.
—–Here’s how I spent my 2 days at Maquenque—–
This family-owned Ecolodge opened in 2009. At the lodge, you’ll find 15 bungalows and 5 tree houses on 68 acres of land perfect for bird & nature lovers. The tree houses are built 12 meters high in the forest trees. Bungalows offer privacy to its guests with separate cabins overlooking the wetlands.
Arriving at Maquenque
Driving from Juan Santamaria airport it will take you approximate 3 hrs 45 mins. We say approximately because you never know with the road conditions and traffic. Take route 125, route 126, route 140, route 744 to route 250 in Pital. You’ll pass through many small towns giving you a good feel for local life.
When you arrive in the parking lot there is a building with washrooms you can quickly freshen up before a short walk to the river. Maquenque has a boat that will take you & your luggage safely across the river. From here you can walk or catch the golf cart to take you to the main reception area.
Inside the office area is where you will check in. It’s also the only air-conditioned area on the property. Check in very easy with friendly staff. Your luggage will be sent to your cabin or tree house. When you’re ready to leave you can leave your luggage outside the door for pick up by staff.
Travel Tip: Remember to always keep your valuables with you and lock your luggage.
The tree houses at Maquenque are really interesting. Be prepared to climb from 52 to 56 steps up to your room. Each tree house is located across the bridge over the wetlands in a private area. From here you can easily access the trails.
For couples or families, you will have 2 beds, a bathroom as well as an indoor & outdoor shower. Should it get a little chilly you have blankets to snuggle up and keep you warm.
Travel tip: Bring a flashlight for trips to the main building. If stairs are not your thing than opt for one of the bungalows closer to the restaurant.
Each cabin has its own separate space giving you some privacy. In each cabin, you will have either 2 double beds or 1 double + 1 single, a desk with a coffee maker, washroom, and a porch to sit and admire the birds that frequent the wetlands.
The pathway is labeled as well as each cabin from the main reception area. The cabins run on electricity & solar panels. The solar panels are what usually heats the water for showers making Ecolodges more efficient.
There is only 1 restaurant at the lodge which service all 3 meals. For breakfast is a buffet and menu for lunch & dinner. Maquenque also has some drink specials. At the back of the restaurant is the popular area for viewing the birds. They have feeders set up to attract the birds. This gives you a perfect chance to take some photos.
In the restaurant and front reception is the only place you will find wifi.
Egret in the wetlands
Maquenque EcoLodge has tours so you can enjoy the country. Pictured above is the owner cutting up a fresh coconut for us so we could drink the water. They have 2 different varieties of coconuts on the property one to drink and one you can eat. Both are really good!
A riverboat tour is offered to take you along the river to Nicaragua border as it’s close by. Here you’ll have a chance to see crocodiles in the River San Carlos and hopefully spot some birds.
If you love yoga and come with a group they have a large area right at the end of the wetlands to practice. Kayaking is also available with boats to tour down the wetlands.
The farm tour is my favorite as you get to see the many fruits on the trees and taste them if they are ripe, see the cows & pigs in the barnyard, and see the vegetable garden. They grow many things from tomatoes, sugar cane, to herbs for the restaurant.
Every Eco-Lodge in Costa Rica offers something different for all interested in nature. It’s rare to find ones with TV’s or great Wifi but on the plus size it’s amazing to reconnect with your family or friends.
What’s special is you might spot some unique birds, frogs (here we spotted a green & black dart frog), and see some crocodiles if you take a boat tour up the river. It’s very peaceful at Maquenque Eco Lodge giving you the opportunity to unwind from a busy lifestyle back home.