Rustic beauty at La Carolina Lodge

La Carolina Lodge Natural Jacuzzi and River Wanderlust Living

Unplug at La Carolina Lodge

If you’re traveling to Costa Rica and looking for a unique place to stay, you should definitely consider La Carolina Lodge. I’m going to try to describe this magical place to the best of my ability, but if my words fail me, hopefully my pictures will help paint the picture.

This is not your typical hotel or resort. There’s no front desk, nobody will take your bags or hand you a welcome cocktail. This resort is rustic in all the right ways — you’ll take your own bags to your room and you may even go the whole weekend without a wi-fi signal. (Don’t panic. They do have wi-fi, but sometimes it can be spotty.)

This is a place to unplug people.

Put down the cell phone. Your Instagram post can wait a day or two. Be in the moment. Take a deep breath and enjoy a little slice of paradise. One of the main reasons why La Carolina Lodge is so special is because it’s a bit off the grid. If you cannot be disconnected for 48-hours then please stop reading here and head to the closest all-inclusive resort you can find.

La Carolina Lodge Cabinas Costa Rica Hotels Family Travel

La Carolina Lodge Grounds and Cabins in Costa Rica from Wanderlust Living

Located in the Guanacaste region, this 170-acre ranch is an oasis of pure Costa Rican beauty. La Carolina Lodge is located very close to the Tenorio Volcano National Park and the Rio Celeste Waterfall. If hiking the Rio Celeste waterfall is on your list of things to do and see, then this is a great place to stay because you’ll be nearby.

The cabins at the resort are very basic and there is very little electricity. Your cabin will have a lamp or two, but that is about it. There is running water, fully operational bathrooms and showers, of course, but this is a bit more like camping than staying at a traditional resort. But do not let that deter you — La Carolina Lodge is an incredible experience for those looking for a truly authentic Costa Rican experience.  Beyond the setting, the staff at La Carolina Lodge have all been here for years — this is their home and they treat you as honored guests.

It is cooler in this area of the country and it will probably rain a little, depending on what time of year you come, so bring a pair of pants and a light jacket. If you are heading to hike the Rio Celeste Waterfall, be sure to bring a pair of closed-toe hiking shoes or an old pair of tennis shoes that can get muddy. La Carolina Lodge offers rain boots for their guests, so if you forget to bring something (like I did), you can wear a pair of their knee-high English wellies.

La Carolina Lodge rain boots

La Carolina Lodge Cabinas Costa Rica Wanderlut Living
One of the small cabins at La Carolina Lodge

La Carolina Lodge Costa Rica Large Cabin for a group Wanderlust Living
Large cabin that sleeps up to 12 people

La Carolina Lodge Large Cabin with private jacuzzi Costa Rica Wanderlust Living

Private hot tub in the large cabin

LA Carolina Lodge Hammock
Hammock for napping

La Carolina Lodge Traditional Costa Rican Food Lunch
Typical Costa Rican meal of rice and beans, fish and salads. Note: If you have special dietary restrictions you will need to talk to them ahead of time or plan on bringing some of your own snacks and food.

La Carolina Lodge Costa Rica Fireplace Lobby
The hotel lobby

La Carolina Lodge Dinner by Candelight Costa Rica Hotels
Family-style dinner by candlelight

La Carolina Lodge Costa Rica Room Accomodations

La Carolina Loadge Natural Jacuzzi and River Wanderlust Living

La Carolina Lodge River

The sound of a roaring rushing river and the natural heated hot tub —not sure I need to say more!

La Carolina Lodge by Candelight Costa Rica Wanderlust Living
At dusk, while you are soaking in the hot tub, they light the walkways by candlelight.

La Carolina Lodge Horseback Riding Costa Rica
We went for an hour horseback ride and it felt like I was riding through an enchanting forest inside the pages of a storybook. The best horseback riding experience for me ever!

La Carolina Lodge 170 Acres in Costa Rica Farm and Hotel
There are even cows for you or your kids to milk!

Favorites from the locals

Many expats that live in Costa Rica live at the beach where it is very hot, so escaping the heat and heading inland is very refreshing. Everyone who lives here knows about La Carolina Lodge and it is an absolute favorite among the locals. In fact, my daughter was lucky enough to go to La Carolina Lodge on a class field trip!  La Paz Community School has been bringing the 5th grade class here for an educational overnight for the past 7 years. It’s a special field trip that all the students and teachers look forward to. My daughter came back and could not stop talking about this trip!

Staying at La Carolina Lodge is a unique experience. I realize this may not be for everyone, but this is definately the place to stay if you want to be immersed in the natural beauty and culture of Costa Rica.

Did I mentioned I LOVED it here!?

Wondering how to book?

I went to La Carolina Lodge on a La Paz Moms Group overnight. This was not a media stay.


  1. Kent

    Very beautiful and fun place to stay and explore, but at 80-100 per person per night, as the number of family members increase, I feel the value decreases. Horseback riding used to be included in the price, but now it’s an extra expense. Again, a very fun place to go, at least once.

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