The Arenal Volcano in northwestern Costa Rica rises more than a mile high into the sky, starting from a green, densely forested base and tapering to a rocky peak. The active volcano is set amid hundreds of acres of lush rainforest, which extends to the doorstep of The Lost Iguana Resort & Spa. Here, flowering plants perfume the air, exotic birds flutter around, and you can hear distant whistles, screeches, and hoots from the local wildlife. It makes a soothing setting for the resort’s Golden Gecko Spa, where toucans and tanagers live next to its riverside trails. The spa inspired Recommend magazine to say “many travelers have already found [the resort] to be the last word in jungle elegance.”
In each standard deluxe room, a private balcony overlooks the volcano. High wooden ceilings create a sense of space, and the decor is bright and tropical. Local artwork adds an authentic touch, and the satellite TV, mini-refrigerator, and air conditioning provide modern comforts.
The resort also has two outdoor pools: one next to a waterfall, and the other leading to a swim-up bar. An extensive network of private trails rewards hikers with glimpses of rare birds such as golden-olive woodpeckers and grey-headed chachalaca. An 80’x80’ hibiscus maze dares visitors to enter and solve riddles posed by an intellectual kinkajou. Afterward, the resort's open-air Blue Hibiscus Restaurant makes a good spot for a romantic dinner in full view of the volcano.
La Fortuna, Costa Rica: Outdoor Recreation in Lush Tropical Rainforest
The Lost Iguana Resort & Spa occupies a verdant, overgrown stretch of land not far from where steep waterfalls cascade down mountainsides at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens. The preserved rainforest habitats are home to monkeys, birds, more than 4,000 butterflies, and a 200-pound jaguar. Another daytrip option is to take a local eco tour, which range from kayaking and whitewater rafting to mountain biking underneath a cool, green canopy.