The Lost Iguana at Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

Here’s a Guest Post from Jon Rochetti who writes The DC Traveler and recently visited Costa Rica.

Nestled in the rainforest of Costa Rica, a few hours from the capital, San Jose, The Lost Iguana Resort offers spectacular views of Arenal Volcano in a lush and tropical setting.

The beautiful 100-acre property, in La Fortuna, Costa Rica, overlooks the world’s most active volcano, Arenal Volcano. And every room offers a great view of the mountain. At night, you can watch the fire-red glowing lava tumble down the side of the mountain. During my two-night stay, I witnessed lava flows and eruptions both nights.

The accommodations at the resort are very relaxing and upscale (by American standards). The large rooms offer comfortable private balconies, all overlooking the volcano. Some rooms have indoor/outdoor Jacuzzis, where you can also relax and soak while you watch the nightly lava flows.

The rooms offer air-conditioning, telephone, cable TV, pillow-top mattresses with Egyptian cotton sheets and a feeling of extreme seclusion. During my stay, I stayed in two different buildings and was unable to see any of the other buildings from either room, adding to the sense of seclusion.

Read on for more information about The Lost Iguana Resort

The beautiful hilly grounds make you feel as if you are lodging within a tropical botanical garden. Plus, the front desk will send a golf cart to your room if you want to visit to the restaurant, pool, or reception. I preferred to walk, as the gardens were too beautiful to miss and offered many tropical flowers and fauna.

The open-air restaurant offers excellent food with nightly live music. The two nights I dined there, live music was played by a great flamenco guitarist on the first night, and a fun sax player the second.
The resort’s double pool, one heated to bath water temps with a swim up bar, and the other, not heated, offered a place to cool off from the tropical heat.

There are a couple options to get to the volcano from San Jose, where most people arrive into Costa Rica. You can arrange for a shuttle bus, private car or taxi (about a 4-5 hour drive), which gives you the opportunity to see the countryside, or take a quick flight (under 45 minutes) on one of the two Costa Rican airlines that operate small prop planes (12-15 seats) across the country.

Just off the property are The Hanging Bridges, a 618-acre park consisting of paths through a natural rain forest. The hiking trails loop through the rain forest, from the ground to the tree tops. You cross seven hanging bridges along the hike, ranging from 16 to 330 feet long. About halfway through your hike, you’ll come across a picturesque waterfall. From the park’s entrance, the overlook offers stunning panoramic views of the lake and volcano. Entrance fee is $20 ($15 from the hotel office).

If you want relaxation, comfort and tranquility while visiting the rain forests of Costa Rica, The Lost Iguana is a tropical paradise.

For a few photos of my Tamarindo beach photos posted on The DC Traveler, click here.

Photo credit:  ©2008, Jon Rochetti, used with permission


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Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.

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