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Reviewed 4 November 2017

Debbie and Steve have worked to restore a bit of Eden. They reforested an old dairy farm with trees designed to attract and support wildlife, and this year, the highly endangered Great Green Macaws are munching on their favorite nuts and flying by the cabins. Leaves and Lizards is a deeply peaceful place with amazing views of the volcano from all the cabins.

  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled solo
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    • Cleanliness
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Thank Elsie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Debbie L, Owner at Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 6 November 2017

Dear Elsie,
Thank you for taking the time to write these kind words. We are so fortunate to have the privilege to meet beautiful people like you! That was an amazing day, to see those Macaws flying over. 10 years ago we planted trees in the hope of creating habitat for these endangered beauties, and how here they are! We hope to see you again in the future!
Pura Vida,
Debbie and Steve

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Reviewed 24 October 2017

Two couples stayed in the new Treehouse, which I highly recommend. The design (great job by Steve Legg!) is amazing and the view of the volcano perfect. The outdoor shower is amazing - of course with a view of the volcano... and often with toucans flying about. When there, which was not often, we were almost always on the large deck. We never missed TV. That we could do laundry was a huge benefit.

We had breakfast and dinner nearly every day on site and the food is just outstanding. The people there are wonderful. Alejandro helped us plan our trip every step of the way and caught up with us daily to make sure he could answer questions and make all arrangements. Enrique Molina was often our guide and someone we will know forever. He is knowledgeable about so very much to do with the area, the horses, culture, nature... name it. He makes sure you see it all - -from sloths to monkeys. We were fortunate to meet his family and spending time with them greatly enhanced the trip.

We loved the horse trek to the waterfall, the hanging bridges, hiking up the side of the volcano, zip lining, the Cano Negro river tour .... it was all just exceptional. I want to return to spend more time with the horses, Debbie's passion. I have ridden often, but this experience of connecting with the horses was just beautiful and greatly enhanced the experience.

What a place - cannot wait to return. If you want to truly connect with Costa Rica, this is where you do it -

Room Tip: The Treehouse! Located close to the restaurant/bar/pool - (WiFi located there, FYI)
  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank Robin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Debbie L, Owner at Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 25 October 2017

Dear Robin, thank you do much for this heartfelt review. We are so fortunate to have been supported by the local people to create a place that is a haven for our guests to experience the culture of Costa Rica while being pampered! It was a pleasure to host you and your friends and we look forward to seeing you in the future for one of our equine experiential retreats!
Pura Vida,
Debbie and Steve and staff

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Reviewed 18 October 2017

We have an amazing stay at Leaves and Lizards and very much enjoyed the wonderful Treehouse. The staff was friendly and the food was wonderful, never a disappointment.

We took 3 horse treks and got to see the country up close and personal. The treks were much more fun than the ones I had been on previously and the horses were able to really be themselves, and move!

It is a great location to be based for the area and explore.

Room Tip: Treehouse is a very special experience with an amazing view
  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank ConradAtlas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Debbie L, Owner at Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 19 October 2017

Mr. P! Thanks for the kind words, it was a pleasure to have you here and have the chance to get to know you...sometimes it's like meeting old friends, even though it's a first meeting!
Pura Vida to you both,
Debbie, Steve, Sally and Staff.

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Reviewed 12 October 2017

I am 70, well-traveled, and a 45 year horseman. So I never expected to be on a trip that would have a major impact on me. I just returned from 10 days at Leaves and Lizards retreat in the Rain Forest of Cost Rica. Superlatives do not cover this experience. The featured Eponicity, Equine Experiential Learning, with the exceptionally well trained horses, friendly and professional staff, rustically modern, and wonderful cabins, combined with one of the most beautiful settings on earth at the Arenal Volcano, leaves one breathless. I think we all dream of one of these experiences. I never dreamed a horse would make that happen.

Quickly, day one-sat blindfolded in an arena and Beauty, a beautiful black Costa Rican, Quarter Horse and her filly Juvia selected me. Together we journeyed thru the week spending hours together, either on the trail, swimming in a river with her, playing games in the arena, or just relaxing. 6 others human friends were there and all shared the same experiences with their own horses and came away enchanted. I highly recommend this journey to young, old, single, married, or with a family.

Room Tip: All cabins are upscale rustic
  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled solo
    • Value
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Thank zrexroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Debbie L, Owner at Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 14 October 2017

Mr. D. Thank you for your fabulous review, it was our pleasure to have you here to take part one of our 'magical' retreats. Connecting back to nature in a location at what some people describe as the 'beginnings of life', near a volcano, all life comes from volcanic forces, can be a powerful experience. We will look forward to seeing you again!
Pura Vida, Debbie, Steve, Sally and Staff

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Reviewed 11 October 2017

I was a little nervous about booking this with small children but it was AMAZING! Our family of 5 (kids ages 6, 5, 3) had a wonderful experience here and we are all dying to go back (and stay longer). Everyone was incredibly friendly, the food was amazing, and there was more to do on-site than I realized if you are able to embrace an unscheduled, non-activity-oriented pace. We rose each morning and watched the sunset from our deck and then headed down early to the barn. The kids would help collect the eggs and milk the cow and take everything up to the kitchen. After a leisurely breakfast, we'd either go for a swim on-site (the pool is beautiful) or just hike around the property. I'm not a horse person (or I thought I wasn't) so I wasn't planning to participate in a class but my daughter wanted to so we signed up. It turned out to be a very special day that brings tears to my eyes even now. Debbie really empowered my 6 year old daughter to find her inner confidence and she ended up being able to manage one of these enormous horses independently as we rode around the countryside. These are not nose-to-tail horses so that is a big deal for a small child! She still talks about it with so much pride. I really recommend doing at least one class with Debbie if you are there with children. If you have small kids, I wouldn't plan on using Leaves and Lizards as a base for lots of exploring of the Arenal area because the drives are pretty long (and because the kids just wanted to climb and explore the area around us!). We were there three days and did one off-site activity and that felt like as much as you'd want to do. Just stay, relax and enjoy the beauty and the amazing people around you!

  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled with family
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1  Thank tepirby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Debbie L, Owner at Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 12 October 2017

Offering children the chance to really be part of nature is amazing for us. Seeing kids come running down to the barn for 'chores' in the morning is a beautiful sight! I remember one child who was milking the cow one morning, she said, 'THIS is where milk comes from! REALLY, Mom?' Uncovering how powerful they really are when our amazing horses show them they CAN do things that look overwhelming is something special to witness. It was a pleasure to have you here and best to your family, we hope to see you again!
Pura Vida, Debbie, Steve and Staff

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