I should probably start by mentioning that I’m the biggest stress ball that ever walked the planet when it comes to traveling.
“What if we forget to unplug the lamps and the house burns down”
“What if I don’t pack sweatpants and I actually need sweatpants and I’m left the entire time without any sweatpants”
“What if our house floods and no one can get ahold of us and our neighbors hate us AND OMG”
I’m really fun. Really calm. Want to be airport friends? Namaste.
I digress. Although the trip started out with me freaking out, I ended up calming down once we boarded our second plane in Houston and settled in for the 3 hour flight to Liberia, Costa Rica.
After landing, we met our driver who drove us the 1.5 hours to La Fortuna De Bagaces, namely Rio Perdido, where we would be spending the next 4 days.
The road to Rio Perdido was a mix of paved streets and dirt roads. The trek wasn’t as rough as we thought it would be, although Costa Rican drivers are a bit more non-traditional in the sense that we were sometimes driving on the wrong side of the highway at times. But, I was never frightened or stressed — it wasn’t as bad as I had expected it to be.
Once we arrived at Rio Perdido, we were greeted by Ricardo who sat us down and offered us a welcome drink — a mixture of pineapple, watermelon, rice and a few other ingredients. It was tasty!
After that we got a tour of the property, where I continued to impress everyone with my gracefulness by tripping on my own feet and falling straight to my ass on the mossy trail. The property was AMAZING. A suspended bridge led to miles of hiking trails, all of varying levels. There was an observation deck, which looked down the canyon to the river below.
We also were shown the direction to the thermal river — an amazing, beautiful and peaceful spot — where the naturally warm water was surrounded by a variety of trees, plants, mossy rocks and fauna. The water was CRYSTAL clear and Ian and I spent almost every evening soaking.
We had our own private bungalow that was placed among the trees. There are only 20 rooms total on the property, so the overall vibe is extremely peaceful and quiet. You see the same people on the property throughout your stay, however, so there’s also an opportunity to make friends with other visiting Rio Perdido. We loved chatting with everyone and hearing their stories!
Although from the outside they look rustic (and so beautiful!), the rooms still had AC and WiFi, as well as a TV (that Ian and I didn’t even touch). To be honest, we spent so little time in the room that when we finally checked in for the night it was blissful to have a quiet little bungalow in the jungle.
We often heard monkey, birds and other creatures early in the morning, which was my favorite time of day. I loved opening up all of the windows and letting the light, sounds and warm, wet air in.
Our stay included breakfast and dinner, and we were on our own for lunch. Once you are in Rio Perdido, you can’t really leave the resort due to the remote nature of the property. We didn’t mind this at all and in fact, preferred it!
For breakfast, we ate the same thing every day. Ian got the Costa Rican breakfast (Eggs, homemade cheese, plantains, gallo pinto and sausage) and I got the wellness breakfast (fruit, yogurt granola and toast) and we always shared. I went gaga for plantains during our stay, so I always stole them from Ian. Also, there’s nothing like unlimited Costa Rican coffee to start your morning! I think I could eat plantains and coffee for breakfast the rest of my life.
During lunchtime, we usually ate at the pool. I ordered Nachos Rio Perdido and Patacones most days, while Ian ate fajitas and some more traditional Costa Rican meals. Lunch was moderately priced, $9-14 and absolutely delicious.
When dinner rolled around, we always ate in the dining area (which was basically an open-air bungalow that had incredible views of the forest and surrounding hills). The menu was set, and always included fresh bread, salad or soup and an entree. I’m not a huge meat eater, so I wasn’t super impressed with the entrees. However, Ian loved them!
Oh, and they always had dessert. Strawberry mousse with this magical nectar that they called passion fruit sauce. Next time I’m request a quart of passion fruit sauce with every meal. OH MY GEEE.
As far as drinks go, they are a bit pricey, but nothing crazy compared to American liquor standards. I mean we pay $8 a beer at a Broncos game, so there’s no room to complain about 3 for $10 Imperials at the pool. Fo serious.
I also have to RAVE about the Rio Perdido cocktail. It’s basically a blended Mojito with Guaro, the national liquor of costa rica. Oh my lanta, tipsy Marissa’s dream day consisted of at least 2 of these per day. Guaro sours are pretty legit, too.
Every morning after breakfast Ian and I pulled on our trail shoes & packs and across the suspension bridge to the nearby trails. Although the longest was only 10k, there are trails for all ages/abilities and provide stunning views once you crest the tree tops and step onto the rocky hills.
We heard lots of howler monkeys on our hikes (which sound like dogs!!!) and even a giant, poisonous yellow and black snake. It’s humid as hell there, so we were always soaking wet by the time we returned back to our bungalow… just in time to change into our swim suits and hit the pool!
Rio Perdido has 3 pools all in varying temperatures — warm, warmer and HOT. It’s much easier for them to provide hot water pools vs. cool water, namely due to the fact that the majority of the surrounding rivers are thermally heated. We spent most of our time in the least warm pool, and had a blast goofing off and visiting with the locals.
On our second day, we took the zip lining tour ($40 if you are staying at Rio Perdido!) and I can honestly say I have never laughed that hard in my life. The tour takes you through a variety of ziplines, tarzan swings and rock climbing through the canyon. I even road two ziplines upside down!
There was also a white water rafting activity, but we didn’t end up going on it. We hear it’s super fun though!
Ian also had his first massage while at Rio Perdido. I was all “let’s hike and eat and play in the river and then get massages” and Ian was like “wait what is a massage like?” and then I gave him the emoji face that is a mix between a look of disgust and shame.
So, we got massages. In an open-air room. Where I could hear the bugs and the birds and also the cutest two-year-old who was learning to swim in the pool below. It was blissful.
We ended up staying 3 nights at Rio Perdido, but honestly I wish we would have stayed 4. If there was ever a perfect vacation for me — this was it. I loved the remote location, outdoor activities and wellness aspect of the “hotel.” If you are ever in the area, I can’t recommend this place enough!