La Carolina Lodge + Rio Celeste
Instagram Friend, "This ia awesome!!! When I was their age my parents took us all over CR in the 90's. We stayed at Los Inocentes Lodge and got to experience some of the same things you're doing. I am planning to take my kids to do the same as I have such amazing vivid memories. Sadly, Inocentes is now closed but la Carolinas looks like a close 2nd. Thanks for posting. Love to see your adventures."
Me, "Awe. Thank you so much for writing. I love that your family gave you that beautiful gift and now you get to pass it on to yours.
You will not be disappointed with La Carolina Lodge. It is so close to the Liberia airport (1.5 hrs) + the Llanos de Cortes waterfall (make sure to stop before takeoff or after landing) ; all the beaches (2+ish hrs); Nicaragua; Arenal (1.5 hrs); and not to mention is right next to the delicious Rio Celeste waterfall. Yuuuuummmmmmy!
Actually, if coming this way for a travel adventure I would strongly suggest a travel loop of:
Playa Avellanas, Playa Flamingo, Playa Grande, Playa Danta, Playa Prieta, etc.
Monteverde Cloud Forest
Arenal Volcano / La Fortuna
Rio Celeste Waterfall & La Carolina Lodge
Llanos de Cortes Waterfall
On site you you get to enjoy the amazing river to fish or swim in (there is also a lake you can head to for more fishing and adventure). The garden tour is worth it as is milking the cows and riding horses. It's a great way to 'taste' the food on your plate a little more. The food was amazing, that taste so much better when cooked over a wood fired stove. The kids never asked for snacks while there - all 3 meals were so filling & satisfying. We happened to have a friend along that is allergic to gluten and nothing was ever even prepared with gluten on our stay - even dessert. You can grab juice, water, chocolate caliente or coffee whenever you want.
The ability for kids to run free there is spectacular. It's set up so that you really don't have to worry much about them. They never ran down to the river or anything without an adult. The hot tub is deliciously heated by a wood fire that pumps in water each am from the river. There are little swimming holes that are refreshing.
We stayed in Paso Fino (alert: my favorite for a grandparent or friend sharing a cabin combo). I loved it as it sat higher up on the hill overlooking the tranquility down below. I also really liked the studio, Heliconias, for it's balcony that sat right over the river (alert: this is my family of 4 favorite, not by the outside but definitely by the deck feel) . Yum. El Commisario is the largest and has it's own fireplace and wood fired hot tub, but it is right by the tree house - ha! Our kids LOVED that tree house.... (just saying it's great if it's your kids in the tree house but if you have a whole slew of kid visitors you might want to think about it).
I would recommend an accommodation on the outer edge if traveling with family and want privacy such as Paso Fino or if you are going with a big group like we did, the inner accommodations work well for we all hung out on the deck over the river, the fireplace by the kitchen and the fishing dock. It was nice to put the kids to bed and just step out of the door.
Oh and they even have a yoga shala / workout space by the river with weights, mats & more."