Stephen Bailey
The Only Way to this Luxury Rainforest Lodge is by Whitewater Rafting
The Only Way to this Luxury Rainforest Lodge is by Whitewater Rafting
Stephen Bailey

When the number one contributor to a traveller’s carbon footprint is the travel itself, it’s so refreshing to celebrate an eco resort where guests emit no carbon on their journey.

Rather than a gas-guzzling 4WD, guests arrive at Pacuare Lodge by whitewater rafting down the Pacuare River. It’s quite an adventure, with Class I-IV rapids and water splashing everywhere. Depending on the season guests are likely to get splashed, or get pretty wet in the raft. 

Arriving at the lodge

The remote riverfront location is a key highlight of Pacuare Lodge. Here there are no artificial sounds and the ambiance is wonderfully romantic, complete with howler monkeys providing an evening soundtrack. 

Back in 1993 Pacuare opened as a campsite. Over the years it’s evolved into a rustic five-star retreat, with wooden suites enveloped by primary rainforest. There’s even a private dinner table, 20 metres high in the trees, only reachable by zipline. 

The large Linda Vista suites have private spring-fed infinity pools and there’s a Jaguar Villa on the riverfront, with two bedrooms and a dining platform on the water. Canopy Villa is the real standout, accessible only via a suspension bridge. 

Since the 1990s, Pacuare has played a big role in developing sustainable tourism in Costa Rica. They’re been a flagship for others to successfully follow. 

Conservation projects have reintroduced native wildlife to the area and everything at the lodge is powered by renewables, both solar and via a water turbine. At night, the rooms are lit by candle. And what’s also amazing is how almost everything, including the roll-top baths, has arrived at the resort by river. 

Pacuare is not a lodge with all the mod cons, nor will it suit guests who want pure relaxation. Instead, Pacuare shows how it’s possible to combine five-star luxury with a sense of adventure and a complete focus on sustainability. 

Pacuare Lodge at night

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