The ecological gem of Central America, secluded Costa Rica is a nature lover’s paradise. The terrain is incredibly diverse, ranging from stunning golden beaches to bubbling hot springs and cloud forests home to unique biodiversity. Dive deeper into the wilderness and you’ll find raging rivers, gushing waterfalls, and volcanic peaks aplenty for exploration. Thankfully, the Costa Rican government recognizes the value of its natural assets and has prioritized conservation and sustainable tourism. For escapists, adventure enthusiasts, and travelers just wanting to unplug for a moment, there are a multitude of high-end and laidback resorts across Costa Rica that meet the mark. To help you plan your escape, we’ve laid out Costa Rica’s 10 most secluded resorts.
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Set in the mountains below Rincón de la Vieja National Park, the Hotel Borniquen Mountain Resort is secluded Costa Rica at its best. The ride up the bumpy, unpaved roads can be jarring, but guests will be rewarded with unspoiled wilderness and a serene setting, save for the periodic call of a howler monkey. Guests stay in private casitas along the hilltop. Each has a private balcony and a mini-fridge, while plusher suites include jetted tubs and separate living rooms. Nearby volcanic hot springs feed three-man-made pools, ranging in temperature from cold, to hot, to extremely hot. For the full treatment, guests can cover themselves in volcanic mud while soaking in the healing waters. Add to that an on-site spa and zero-entry swimming pool, and Hotel Borniquen checks all the boxes for a luxury off-grid retreat. However, the resort’s proximity to some of Costa Rica’s most remarkable landscapes merits venturing off campus. Borniquen’s staff can easily arrange excursions for white water rafting, zip-lining, hiking the base of Rincon de La Vieja, or simply visiting nearby waterfalls.
Perched on the tip of the Osa Peninsula, the Lapas Rios Lodge is far removed from the nearest town down a winding coastal road. Although there are a few nearby guesthouses along the coast, the property is backed by 1,000 acres of rain forest, so solitude seekers are in luck. A total of 17 private bungalows surround the main lodge, connected by walking paths and steps. All of these structures were built from local fallen trees — a sustainable practice that also enhances the natural aesthetic. Bungalows feature private decks furnished with hammocks and loungers, as well as huge bathrooms with outdoor showers. Screened windows keep out mosquitoes and allow guests to immerse themselves in the sounds of the rain forest. There’s also a pool, nature trails, and massage room on-site, plus pristine beaches just downhill from the property. Many guests spot toucans, sloths, and poison dart frogs without even leaving the vicinity of the lodge. Absent of TVs, Wi-Fi, or phones on-site, Lapas Rios is truly the archetype for unplugging and reconnecting with nature in secluded Costa Rica.
The adventurous ride through the Rincon de la Vieja mountains to the Blue River Resort & Hot Springs is well worth the effort for its wealth of adventure activities, picturesque setting, and respite from modern life. The resort has its own horse stables and zip-line course dedicated to guest use. There’s also hiking trails throughout the rugged terrain and river tubing on the azure Rio Penjamo. The river’s bright blue hue, which turns brightest during the dry season, is the result of volcanic minerals. Trained staff are available to accompany guests on any excursion, which also include bird-watching, whitewater rafting, and hiking to waterfalls. Accommodation comes in the form of private cabins with front porches and hammocks. The interiors are comfier than the rustic exterior suggests, offering air-conditioning, TVs, and walk-in showers. The communal area has a series of man-made and natural pools for swimming and soaking in hot spring-fed water. The volcanic activity also heats up an on-site steam room, where guests can coat themselves with volcanic mud before rinsing off in the outdoor showers.
As its name suggests, the Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel covers an astonishing 2,000 acres of pristine cloud forest in secluded Costa Rica. Free guided tours lead guests through the surrounding grounds, including a hummingbird garden and hiking trails, where it’s not uncommon to spot monkeys, sloths, and other critters. For the full rural experience, guests can roll up their sleeves at the on-site dairy farm to milk cows, which is used for desserts and yogurt by the hotel’s chef. All levels of the private bungalows afford considerable privacy, though the deluxe casitas and honeymoon suite afford private hot tubs. The property’s high elevation means cooler nights, so electric heaters and fireplaces are available to keep bungalows cozy. Villa Blanca’s remoteness ensures zero light pollution at night, enhancing its out-of-the-way quality.
Located in a remote section of Guanacaste province, the Rio Perdido Hotel is seamlessly integrated into its magnificent natural surroundings. The hotel’s 30 private bungalows and facilities occupy just one percent of a 600-acre nature reserve. The bungalows are constructed from locally-sourced wood, and units come with roomy terraces, walk-in rainfall showers, and air-conditioning. Guests can easily admire the flora and fauna from their bungalow, or get an aerial while soaring through the canopy on the 15-platform zipline. There’s also three pools and eight hot springs onsite, perfect for a lazy day or soothing aching legs after hiking and mountain biking. It’s worth noting that the hotel has Wi-Fi and bungalows feature TVs or projectors, which is a pro for some, but might impact others’ ability to unplug. Don’t worry, this is still secluded Costa Rica.
Nestled in a valley below Poás Volcano, El Silencio Lodge & Spa promises a posh retreat amidst lush rain forest. Covering 500 acres, the environment is pristine, with the hotel structure, villas, and adventure park serving as the only signs of civilization. Guest rooms feature private decks and outdoor hot tubs, while villas boast more luxurious amenities, including full kitchens and spacious living areas. The tap water comes from a nearby spring and is safe to drink (BYO water bottle). Within the adventure park and surrounding terrain, guests can zip-line, rappel down waterfalls, and traverse hiking trails on foot or by horseback. Looming over the lodge, Poás Volcano is a doable hike from the property at just under three miles.
The Buena Vista del Rincon is a great choice for travelers who favor outdoor adventure and isolation to creature comforts and copious amenities. The property, which was formerly a cattle ranch, stretches 2,000 acres on the slopes of Rincon de la Vieja Volcano. Beyond views of the imposing volcano, there are scenic vantage points over the surrounding prairies, Gulf of Papagayo, and rain forest. An extensive trail system transports guests through dense primary forest, home to a multitude of wildlife and cascading waterfalls. A total of five private natural hot springs flanked by two rivers and a mud bath area offer respite after a full day of activity. Though rustic, rooms provide adequate comforts, such as locally-produced soap, small terraces, and coffeemakers.
This extremely luxurious property lends itself to affluent families traveling with kids in secluded Costa Rica. Its variety of on-site amenities complement the otherwise remote, but gorgeous setting below the Arenal Volcano. The Springs Resort and Spa is centered around a grand, multi-storied lodge, where you’ll find most of the five on-site restaurants, as well as the pools. Amenities vary between the 74 guest rooms and villas, but all come with huge balconies, jetted tubs, and rustic-chic design. At 165 acres, the surrounding jungle provides habitat to an abundance of flora and fauna. The refreshingly cool Arenal River flows right through the hotel grounds, and inner tubes are on hand for floating down the river (with return pick-up of course). Other excursions, such as horseback riding can be easily arranged. The hotel offers babysitting service and plentiful kids games, so parents can take a guilt-free day for themselves at the thermal springs and spas in nearby La Fortuna.
Located in a rural valley in the Guanacaste province (truly, secluded Costa Rica), the low-key El Sabanero Eco Lodge grants solitude that’s still within striking distance of the Pacific coast. The main lodge and its freestanding chalets are constructed from locally-sourced teak. Each room comes fitted with queen-sized beds, mini-fridges, and porches. The free-form infinity pool and hot tub are enshrouded by palms and lush foliage, creating a tranquil atmosphere. El Sabanero organizes yoga retreats at its airy studio, overlooking the valley. If guests get a little stir crazy, there are a variety of excursions on offer and the relaxed beaches near Tamarindo and Playa Avellanas are just 10 minutes away by car.
With just six guest rooms on 28 acres of mountainous terrain, guests can easily find solitude and sanctuary at Los Altos de Eros. The adults-only property largely consists of a colonial-style villa with a spacious lobby and pool terrace. From its high elevation, guests can gaze out over the surrounding forest and Pacific Ocean from the infinity pool’s edge. Lofty guest rooms grant comparable views from their own private terraces. Relaxation awaits at the full-service spa, which includes five treatment rooms and a cascading waterfall pool. Hiking excursions through the neighboring jungle and morning yoga classes allow guests to further unwind and appreciate the secluded Costa Rica environment.
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