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“Basic - but beautiful!”

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Punta Marenco Lodge
Reviewed 2 February 2013

We found Punta Marenco to be very relaxing though please take heed of other review mentions of the steep climb up to the hotel from the beach - even without bags it is tough going in the heat and humidity!! We stayed for four nights which was lovely, though three would probably have been adequate as activities are limited. We did the Corcovado nature trail, which was disappointing in terms of what we saw, though it was raining during the visit, so we were probably just unlucky, though we did spot a Trogon, which I gather is quite rare. The snorkelling trip to Cano island was great - we saw turtles, a couple of beautiful 'rays and a shark as well as stunningly coloured exotic fish.

On our "free" day we walked down to the Rio Claro and took a canoe trip up the river from Ricardo, who lives down on the beach. You have to get out on a couple of occasions in order to navigate the river - this means clambering on rocks. On that day I had major lower back problems and the young man who took us was very kind and solicitous. My husband went further up river with him for a swim (leaving me on a rock in the middle of the river for 15 minutes or so). Apparently you would need to be a confident swimmer to participate in that element! Would recommend this trip if you are fit, healthy etc.

Just around the hotel you can spot a wide variety of birds (eg Toucan, Macaws, Eagles) and loads of Pelicans down by the beaches and there are plenty of White Throated Capucin monkeys, which the staff try to discourage (one got into our room roof and peered at me from above the ceiling - obviously prepared to creep inside if there had been any food to be had!!).

In the Lodge everyone eats the same - the food is tasty and healthy and they check for dietary problems/preferences on arrival. I am dairy intolerant, so they whipped me up an alternative one way, when the standard fare included too much cheese!

We were glad of our torches, candle and mosquito coils!

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Loumx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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27 - 31 of 178 reviews

Reviewed 2 January 2013

We just finished our trip to the lodge. Here is what you should expect.

The accomodations are pretty basic and the lodge location is a isolated, should if you want a quiet, simple place to spend a few days, then this is it. There is internet and electricity in the evenings, starting around 5 pm. There are no plugs in the rooms, but you can use the ones in the lodge's restaurant. Also, there is only cold water showers, but with the hot weather this is not really uncomfortable.

There are a number of trails to beaches and the reserve from the lodge itself. Access to the beach is about 1/2 km down the hill. The water views from the lodge are pleasant and you can see a number of different birds including toucans and white face Capuchin monkeys around the property.

The food quality is not bad compared to a lot of other places we at. The portions are decent and juices are served with the meals. Coffee/water is available throughout the day.

We did not know what to expect during our trip including the long walk from the beach to the lodge, but the staff were very helpful. They carried our bags up the trail and back upon our departure. You definitely need to bring a flashlight as there is not much lighting around the property at night. They could benefit from adding solar path lights. A hammock or two would also help.

We were not given much info about the property as well, but the owner and staff are fairly responsive to questions. This situation could be improved by orienting guests about the property and providing some maps about the area.

We did the all inclusive. I am not sure how trips could be arranged after arrival as there did not seem to be anyone in charge of this. Our experience was a bit mix about the excursions. We appreciate the efforts of our guide Sandro. He definitely works hard and is concerned about the guests. Lunch is provided and included some simple sandwiches and some nice salads.

We did the Cano Island trip, but the water was very rough requiring a late departure. The journey over was not good for us and we only had the chance for 1 snorkeling trip. You are required to wear a life jacket when snorkeling which I found very uncomfortable. Other guests who did the trip on different days said that their experiences were better. I was also surprised by our trip into Corcovado. We did one short trail slightly in-land from the beach and returned along the coast. It was pleasant, but we did not see much wildlife during our visit. We did see a few beautiful Macaws and some crocs. They trips all leave pretty early requiring waking up at 5:30 or 6 am. I am not sure that this is necessary.

Also, the departure boat leaves around 7:30 am. So, you really should not consider the last day, a full or even half day. We did not expect that.

The takeaway message is if you want basic accomodations and decent food, within a nice, but isolated rain forest setting, then choose this lodge. However, I really think that they can improve on some things - given the price we paid of around $250 a day - they should make a better effort or lower the cost. The staff and the owner were very helpful overall, so we do appreciate that.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
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Thank calgaribaldi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 December 2012

We found this hotel by accident, while trying to book accommodation at another one of the better known places near Corcovado. What a delightful accident!!! The property is absolutely gorgeous, and the casitas are delightful. Not for the faint of heart, though. Access is only available by water taxi - approx. a 1 hour ride from Sierpe, or 20 minutes from Drake Bay. Can be choppy out on the ocean (the river protion of the trip from Sierpe to the ocean is calm with breathtaking views.) The property is situated high on a hilltop and the walk up from the boat landing, as well as any of the 3-4 available beaches is a steep one. We were fortunate that staff carried our luggage to and from the boat. No matter where your room is, you'll see plenty of birds and monkeys. If you're lucky enough to have an ocean view, you'll see all this plus see and hear the beautiful Pacific. The owner was present and made sure she got to know all of her guests. She knew who we were, what tours we were interested in and went out of her way to make us feel comfortable. There is no electricity, but they run a generator from 6:00 pm till 10:00 pm daily. After that, it's lights out and, that really means OUT - it's pitch black. (Bring a flashlight!!!) Quiet and tranquil ... the only noise to be heard is the symphony of the jungle. There are 3 or 4 lovely beaches, all about a 10 - 20 minute walk down the steep hill from the lodge. The farthest and lovliest beach is flanked by a fresh-water river that's swimmable and delightful. The beaches are almost completely deserted ... no hotels or condos, tourista's or vendors trying to sell you junk! Wade into the ocean, turn back to look at the land, and you see dark sand, surrounded by volcanic rocks, lush jungle climbing up into the hills. It's truly a hidden paradise. The shower is cold water only, but in the heat and humidity it was refreshing. The rooms are basic but clean, and we found the beds to be very comfortable. Due to the relaxed nature of the place, you'll find yourself making friends with other guests, and exchanging e-mail addresses to share pics by the last day. The food was really good - thankfully, b/c once you're there, you're there ... no-where to go. The staff were amazing and provided all the tours we were interested in. They run their own tours, with local staff who are very knowledgable of the area, flora and fauna. If you're planning a trip to Corcovado, this unique, family-run lodge is a jewel in the rough!!! SO glad we found it, and, I would go back in a heartbeat.

Room Tip: Ask for Ocean View room - esp # 1 or 2
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Sharon C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2012

This was the second time I visited Punta Marenco Lodge, last time was at least ten years ago. The good things didn't change, the 'seaside cabin' however was so much better than the primitive cabin we had last time further uphill. I don't think they use these for guests anymore. The cabin is very good, with a nice shower and bathroom but unfortunately with poor beds (very thin mattresses). It has an astonishing view on the ocean and the trees in front of it attract all kind of monkeys and birds. You can observe them from your veranda. This place is so amazing!! If you want to observe macaws, toucans or monkeys from a very close distance, this is the place to be. Don't think there might be a change you don't see any, because you just can't miss them.

Since we got here in the low season the lodge was short of staff and we had to carry our own luggage uphill. It is very steep from the ocean to the lodge, even without luggage, so bear this in mind. But when setting foot on the beach (wet landing!), you will be overwhelmed by the beauty of this area. There is so much to see and to enjoy!

Our guide, Jorge, was hired by the lodge to show us around. Guests were coming and going as we stayed for 4 days and since Jorge was the only one around, he sometimes skipped or postponed tours with us to collect people or to bring them back, which was a bit disappointing from time to time. But Jorge himself was such a cheerful, kind, polite and amiable person. He did his best to make us feel happy and comfortable. Like the time one of my flip flops broke and he lent me his. He was smiling and laughing all the time and enjoying his job big time.

The food is lovely. The tours are so beautiful... like the trip to Cano Island or to the admirable Ricardo across the river who lives there on his own and takes care of many turtle babies each year. We saw many dolphins and whales on the way to Cano Island. From our cabin we saw not only White-faced Capuchin monkeys but also the uncommon Central American Spider monkeys. They are soooo cute!! If you meet Capuchin monkeys while walking along the beach, they will definitely approach you to see if you are interesting to them. If you should have some food on you (I recommend not to give them), they will eat out of your hand for sure.

One minus is the lack of communication between the office and the staff. We didn't meet an owner or manager. Nobody knew we were vegetarian (though it was no problem at all) and like I told before, they were short of staff. Also I had difficulties contacting them from Holland since their website doesn't show the right email address, nor does the form work properly. I got the address via another lodge in Costa Rica.

You can't miss this lodge if you are really into nature and spotting animals. It takes a while to get there but it's worth every effort. Also I think it's quite cheap to stay here compared with other lodges. I recommend to stay here for at least 4 days because there is a lot to see and discover but sometimes tours are postponed because of heavy rain. So take your time and enjoy every bit this beautiful place has to offer.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Groenepepi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2012

Definitely one if the best place we have stayed in Costa Rica: the bungalows are simply perfect, the staff is available and friendly and the location is superb.
You are not in the Bahia Drake itself (which is quite crowded), but in the middle of the jungle looking the sea from above.
Also the food is quite good, considering the location.
Waking up in the morning and having slots, monkeys and tucans in front of you is payless!!
Highly recommend it!!

  • Stayed: August 2012
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Thank Mat79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Punta Marenco Lodge

Address: Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Corcovado National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 9 Speciality Lodging in Corcovado National Park
Price Range: ₹ 2,931 - ₹ 4,234 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Own by a Costarican family Punta Marenco Lodge is located 20 minutes by boat from Drake Bay in the Osa Peninsula south pacific coast of Costa Rica. Our bungalows are located in a little hill very close to the beach. The Lodge is part of the Punta Rio Claro National Wild Life Refuge, with miles of pristine beaches and tropical rainforest to explore near the Corcovado National Park. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Punta Marenco Hotel Corcovado National Park

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