Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
“Relaxing!” - Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
We headed here straight from San Jose airport and it put us straight into holiday mode! If you can tear yourself away from the balcony with the amazing view of the volcano, there's great horseriding to the waterfall, plus hot springs nearby. Steve was a friendly host and judged us correctly by giving us a few free beers!
“Truely Paradise!!” - Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
Leaves and Lizards is paraside..... With a spa day, horse back riding, traditional meals each day. Our stay was relaxing, while also packed with adventures each and every day. 10 days was just the start of my LOVE of Costa Rica. The staff at the resort is so welcoming to each guest, you leaving feeling like family. I have recommended Leaves and Lizards to all my family and friends. And Can't wait to start planning the next trip.
“The Best Vacation Ever!!!” - Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
Leaves & Lizards is the Best Retreat from the daily grind you will ever find!!! The rooms are gorgeous with a spectacular view of the Volcano and the surrounding hillside area!!! It was great to sit in the room or on the spacious balcony to watch the hummingbirds fly back and forth from flower to flower. Nature definitely showed up every day we were there.
Leaves & Lizards Staff was phenomenal!!! Very friendly and helpful with anything you need.
The Resort is just a short trip to all of the many great activities Costa Rica has to offer. We went Canyoning, Horseback Riding, Zip-Lining and Whitewater Rafting. Every recommendation Debbie, the Owner made was perfect. They all were great expeditions.
Especially horseback riding which is at the resort. The horses were beautiful and really took care of every rider no matter what skill level you were at. We went on a 6 hour ride into the countryside over riverbeds, up hills and to the waterfalls. It was the BEST horseback riding experience I ever had!!!!
Canyoning was also a special adventure for me. It was a 6 mile journey rappelling and scaling down the most beautiful waterfall you ever want to visit. So challenging but so doable for everyone in the group.
Leaves & Lizards was a great vacation!!!! I can't wait to go back!!!!
“A True Costa Rican Retreat Experience” - Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
Before we had checked out my Fiancee and I were already checking dates for our return to Leaves and Lizards! Seriously. It was such a fantastic experience we are returning in May with our entire family. Originally we thought about returning next September or October but decided not to wait since our family was so enthused about visiting after seeing all our great pictures on Facebook. Steve and Debbie were fantastic!!! They were knowledgeable about everything Costa Rican and shared great information with us every morning at breakfast and again at dinner. The meals were authentic "Tico" cuisine and prepared by local women who always had a smile on their faces and a drink or food in their hand. Thank you Mireya, Rosie and the other ladies for such delicious food. During our stay we did one or two tours a day with different tour operators in Fortuna. Thankfully we had found out from friends that Leaves and Lizards could make the arrangements for us with the best operators at that time. For example, there were many rafting and zipline tours available but depending on many factors like weather, staffing and trail conditions one tour company can be much better than another at a given time. That is where Debbie and Steve's local knowledge helped us have the best experiences possible. in addition to rafting and ziplining we went rappeling, canyoning and horseback riding. All tours were great but the horseback riding at L&L is a MUST. We rode on dirt roads through local neighborhoods, got to run the horses through pastures with amazing views and even crossed small rivers to get to a waterfall where we could swim and have a bite to eat. During all the adventure I felt completely safe with the guides who were with us. I can't wait to go back!! Ok the place is wonderful but...you have to have a 4x4 to get there. The road up the mountain from Monterrey to Leaves and Lizards is rocky and bumpy and took us about 15-20 minutes. There were signs along the road to let us know we were on the right path though and without going up the mountain we would never have had the view of the volcano like we did from our cabin. The first morning home I opened my eyes and missed seeing the volcano. See you May, Arenal.
“Paradise Found!!” - Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
Leaves and Lizards property was beautiful with an amazing view of the Arenal Volcano from our private cabin. Our stay was relaxing and adventurous. We had the owners Steve and Debbie help us pick out what we were going to do for the day over breakfast and they took care of booking it for us. The food was delicious and the cooking staff was very friendly. The trip to the waterfall on horseback is a must do! The horses are truly loved and very well taken care of unlike some other places I have gone to on previous vacations. The staff is extremely helpful, friendly and the guides are very informative. We enjoyed the wildlife that was pointed out to us on the property and on our trips that we would not have seen without our guide. There were many species of birds, frogs, and monkeys that were pointed out to us. A guided tour of the property is free and interesting (we even saw a sloth)! We loved the whitewater rafting, zip lining, and Canyoning. A massage on the property to end our stay topped off the trip perfectly. I would recommend this place to everyone who is going to Costa Rica. There is so much more to do we can’t wait to go back!
“Amazing!” - Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
Leaves and Lizards is the place to go! The views of the volcano from the beautiful and comfortable cabins are magnificant. The food at the on-site restaurant is beyond amazing! Above everything, the staff is the best part of my trip to Leaves and Lizards. Everybody are so friendly, making you feel like you are part of the family. I would recommend Leaves and Lizards to everyone.
“Great Place to Stay” - Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
L and L was a great place to stay. The food was excellent, the service was great and the farm was a great bonus for our kids. The horseback ride to the waterfall was a highlight. The guides were great and Debbie takes time to explain horseback riding. We were all very comfortable after the talk. Debbie and Steve did such a great job welcoming us into their home. It was my wife's 50th birthday and Debbie put together a slide show and had a homemade cake made for the occasion. My daughter had a minor medical incident and both Debbie and Steve helped out getting us to the pharmacy. I would recommend staying here with your family or friends. Thank you to the entire staff. You made our stay memorable.
“A MUST stay in the Arenal/Monterrey area” - Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
Words can only begin to describe the awesome environment and staff at Leaves and Lizards. We stayed in the "Monkey" cabin, and in the middle of the night all I had to do was lift my head for the most spectacular moon lit view of the Arenal Volcano. EVERY meal was fantastic, and the staff is extremely knowledgeable about Costa Rica and the environment. Don't miss the morning nature walk with Oscar. A wonderful, wonderful place to stay for your Costa Rica Adventure.
“Extremely Enjoyable Trip.” - Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
First the negatives, as you know, if you read any other reviews, the roads to this location are horrendous, so much so they have my girlfriend motion sickness and vertigo. The food provided by the dinner and breakfast staff is a bit over priced but of more than acceptable quality. In three days here we spent as much as we did in 6 days all over the rest of the country. But it bears considering that we did much more each day here than elsewhere.
The positives: the place is gorgeous, the cabins have large glass walls facing the volcano and valley. Each day you marvel at the sublimely beautiful countryside. There is beautiful flora and fauna all over the grounds. The staff is incredibly helpful and friendly. There is a glut of options from which to choose to occupy your time. Horseback riding to the waterfall was a great and amazingly beautiful experience. The rooms are very clean and well attended.
Overall, i highly recommend this place, it was great fun and incredibly beautiful. I do think it is a bit expensive, but they deliver quality and fun to match their prices. I would definitely return.
“Leaves and Lizards is an EXCELLENT place to stay while in Costa Rica!!!” - Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
My wife and I spent 9 perfect days at L&L in June and had a wonderful time.
We chose the Volcano cabin for our stay.The view of Arenal is spectacular from the cabin.
The cabin was spotless,very comfortable ,and perfect for the duration of our stay.
Don't skip the wonderful breakfast thats served every morning in the dining hall.Fresh fruit,fresh juice,coffee,eggs,rice,plantains,ect. Auethintic "Tico style" breakfast!!!!!!!
The dinner is delicous as well,but it is a bit pricey at $20 per person.
There are numerous activities at L&L. The horseback ride to the private waterfall/swimming hole in the rainforest was my favorite of all the activities that we did while in Costa Rica!!
The guides were friendly,helpful,and very informative.They are a true asset to the ranch.
Be advised that L&L is off the beaten path a bit,but it is very easy to find.It takes around a half-hour or so to get to town,but the scenery is well worth the drive.A 4x4 is a must,as the roads are a bit rough,but not as bad as it sounds.
My wife and I highly recommend Leaves and Lizards!!The location is perfect,the owners,Debbie and Steve,are very helpful.The staff is very friendly and helpful in making your stay very memorable!!
“One of the best places to stay in Costa Rica” - Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
Do not miss staying here. We stayed with our 2 children (9 and 6) and it was their favourite accommodation and place in Costa Rica hands down. Debbie and Steve are the most amazing, inspirational and kind hosts and could not have done more to help us. The view of the volcano is spectacular, the dining room unforgettable and the grounds full of wildlife and beautiful plants. We had a sloth living in the tree next to our 'house'. Wow. Don't hesitate to visit, especially if you have children. Your guaranteed a wonderful stay, memorable food (loved the medicinal juices for breakfast) and lots of top days out.
“Best birthday EVER” - Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
We stayed at Leaves and Lizzards last year and had a great time. This year I turned 40 and had the privilege of spending my Birthday with all of our friends from Leaves and Lizzards. I could have gone anywhere and this is the place I wanted to be! We repeated several outings such as zip line, Tico Farm, and horseback riding because they were so good before. This year I also went white water rafting. Very cool. Anyone who is considering a trip to CR and would like a personalized family trip should stay here.
“A Wonderful Place With Wonderful People” - Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
Leaves and Lizards is a slice of paradise, especially for those who do not want to be "lounge lizards." We never tired of the surrounding beauty of the plants, pastures and the magnificent Arenal Volcano, but wish we had more time to enjoy them. The amount of activities to do was mind-boggling and filled our days with unsurpassed fun. We were picked up at the airport in San Jose for the 3 hour drive and arrived in the pouring rain...after all it is a rain forrest. We worried we would spend a wet week, but the downpours accommodated our every activity and waited until we returned to Mariposa Cabin each afternoon. When the sun rose at 5 AM we opened the curtains to view the cloudless volcano in a panorama expanse from our bed. We then enjoyed Costa Rican coffee on our porch swings waching a multitude of hummingbirds and other tropical creatures in our private flower garden WOW!!! We did not have a car and were warned before we came about the hike to the restaurant on two very steep rocky muddy hills, It was challanging to say the least but just added to our exercise routine three times a day. In the pouring rain, Steve, the owner offered a pick-up service. Our activities included horsebackriding with gentle steads to a private waterfall with Enrique and Chito. Their knowledge base about their land and forests and creatures was awesome. White water rafting with The Wave and our "clown" guide Jose who did a back filp int the rapids leaving six astonished "gringos" alone in the boat was a never to be forgotten experience. Ziplining 400 feet over a jungle canope at 45 miles an hour was an adrenalin producer of the highest order. Another day we took a short horseback ride and then a three hour hike in a primal private rainforest with Enrique, who introduced us to plants and creatures we had never seen. There is a spa and massage services that we did not use, opting instead on our last day to go to Eco Thermales Hot Springs and soak for several hours while enjoying lunch and the antics of Howler monkeys high in the tree tops. (We highly recommend this place) Instead of getting the taxi we ordered, our host Steve had his staff take us and pick us up. This is just one example of the service beyond the call of duty he extended to us. There are really no words to describe the peace and beauty that Steve & Debbie have created by planting 3000 trees to restablish the rainforest on former pastureland. In our spare time we walked the trails of their property through the rainforests they replanted, passing little streams and giant bamboo. We loved the community of people staying there, honeymooners, families with curious kids and seasoned travelers still looking for adventure. Dinners were delightful as we reviewed our events of the day together. There was no airconditioning, but the nights were cool and sleep was easy on comfortable beds, listening to the rain on the roof.The sun always sets at 6 PM and bedtime like sunrise came early. The cabin got a bit warm in the day, but we were hardly ever there. It would have been nice to have had a small pool or even a dammed up stream to jump into after the rigors of the day and maybe that's something for future consideration. There are so many more Arenal adventures to partake in and God willing we will return to Leaves and Lizards to finish them. As they say in Costa Rica Pura Vita!!
“Great Family Vacation!” - Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
We stayed for a week in the Toucan cabin. There was plenty to do and see for the entire week. We arrived on August 13th, and I must say, we didn't feel there was any pushiness to do tours, perhaps because we gladly wanted to participate in many of the tours. I imagine it must be a balancing act for Debbie and Steve, to offer breakfast and dinner daily, a stable full of incredibly trained horses, a small farm, land they are reforesting, wonderful local staff, all for the enjoyment of their guests, and then have some completely forgo all of it except for lodging. This is by no means a five star resort, but neither is it a hostel. We loved every aspect of our week at Leaves and Lizards. Our two boys, ages 11 and 8, are not too keen on horseback riding, but once we did the ride to the private waterfall, they were ready to ride again the next day. The horses are extemely well trained, and very suitable for beginner riders. We also did a ride to Orlando's farm where we "parked" the horses and hiked through primary rain forest-very interesting and beautiful. We did the canopy zipline tour with their recommended vendor, Mundo, which was tons of fun but could be a bit exteme for the less adventurous. We also went river rafting with Wave, who they also recommended. We rafted the Balsa, which again was beautiful and exciting, but maybe not appropriate for younger kids on the timid side. The food at Leaves and Lizards was delicious, fresh, and plentiful. Our kids can be picky eaters, so they do offer pizza as an option for dinner, and the occasional bowl of cereal at breakfast if the kids weren't ready to face traditional tico fare in the morning. Overall they are VERY accommodating, and the staff very friendly and helpful. They boys loved "chores" in the morning, milking Georgie and collecting the eggs. We also enjoyed the spectacular view from the cabin, watching the smoke rise out of Arenal. Currently the volcano is relatively quiet, with no volcanic activity except for smoke out of the top while we were there. My husband cannot ride horses due to back issues, but Steve and the staff always figured out a way to have him join the kids and me at our horseback riding destinations. It felt a little bit like family fussing over us at times, making sure we were taken care of. We purchased a two day pass for The Springs Resort, which was great afternoon fun for the boys. In addition to hot springs, they have a large cold water pool, and a water slide which most of the other hot springs destinations don't have. Plus they are located relatively close to Leaves and Lizards. The Springs also includes a tour of their wild cat sanctuary with the two day pass - worth going to. We also went to Proyecto Asis one day, the wildlife sanctuary. Worth a visit if you enjoy getting up close to local wildlife. They currently have a Kinkajou, sloths, monkeys, picarys, and a variety of parrots. Overall, our stay at Leaves and Lizards was all that we had hoped for and more.
“Great place to stay and enjoy the Arenal volcano” - Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
We read all the reviews and booked based on them. We were so glad we did. Debbie made us feel very welcomed and helped us organize our adventures. Started off by going on a trail ride on their horses. It might be the highlight of our stay in the area. Such an adventure and a great way to see the country, people, rain forest, animals and waterfall. Next day we went zip lining with a company Debbie recommended and had another great day. Lastly we went on hanging bridges and hiked through the Arenal Volcano National Park (recommend Enrique as a guide). Everything she recommend turned out to be so nice for us.
We ate most nights at L & L. Great home cooked food and we got to meet some really interesting people from all over the world. Breakfast was very good and filling. Everyone who worked there were very nice and went out of their way to help us.
Mariposa was the cabin we were in. Very nice and clean, with plenty of space. Great walk in shower and small fridge to keep food and drinks. I was originally worried about not having a/c but never needed it. Stayed here during August and with the ceiling fan it actually got pretty cool at night. (FYI, we sleep with the a/c set to 75F at home in FL, USA) Great view of the volcano from the bed and porch.
We would recommend this place to anyone visiting the Arenal volcano area that wants a relaxing/ personalized place to stay. Not your typical large/ commercialized resort. We had a 4x4 small suv and were very glad we did. Not sure how a car would do in the area around the volcano.