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Finca Exotica Eco Lodge

Finca Exotica Eco Lodge

Destination: Cabo Matapalo, Carate, Puerto Jimenez

At a Glance

    • Close to the beach
    • Organic, local food
    • Relaxing and beautiful gardens

Finca Exotica lies more than 24 miles, (40 kilometers) from Puerto Jimenez, behind an unpaved road just off the unfettered Pacific coastline and buffered by sprawling gardens.

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Between its tamed jungle grounds and its isolated location, the resort provides both respite from the surrounding thick, wild forests and the pressing responsibilities of home.

Here, you’ll find yourself in a dreamy headspace that allows you to feel one with nature without having to forage through it and forgo the niceties of running water and home-cooked meals.

The grounds cover more than 200 acres. Bamboo structures for sleeping, socializing and dining are scattered among a central area of tropical plants for viewing, smelling and eating. (Ylang-ylang flowers drape the entire place in their calming fragrance and yes, that’s where Chanel No. 5 comes from.)

The owner says his goal is to make the resort as self-sustaining as possible, so the site is powered by hydro and solar sources. Staff harvests the gardens’ bounty for fruit juices and meals.

Take a garden tour with the resort’s resident biologist — you’ll see the evidence. Pluck and chew cinnamon and curry leaves, bite into star fruits and other tropical taste bud wonders you’ve likely never had before. Afterward, brave the aged-parmesan-esque flavor of noni juice from fruits picked during the walk. (It’s a super-fruit, said to protect against a slew of ailments and issues.)

Rooms

Depending on where you’ve just come from, and which room you land, the resort may either feel like roughing it or luxury.

The resort has seven Tiki tents, six cabins and a luxury suite. The Tiki tents stand on wooden platforms and have either a queen bed or two doubles. Screens along all sides allow breeze and the ocean’s coastal song to pass through. However, this also leaves guests longing for a bit more privacy when others walk by.

Tiki tent guests use an outdoor shower, which does not have hot water, surrounded by wooden walls and flowering plants. And they use a communal, outdoor bathroom hut. Towels and bar soap are provided.

The wooden cabins, which range in size from serving a couple to an entire family, have their own bathrooms and showers. The largest and most expensive suite is two stories and has hot water.

Emerging from a multi-day hike through Corcovado National Park? The Tiki tents, clean shower and bathroom areas will feel like a godsend. The sink outside the wooden bathroom hut has hand soap that smells like flowers and a mirror — likely the first time you’ll come face-to-face with your mug since entering the jungle days before.

Coming from a land of modern niceties? You’d better be ready to accept that nowhere will you find air conditioning, bedside lamps, nor hot water — unless you throw down for the two-story suite.

But you’d be hard-pressed to miss any of that whilst soaking in your surroundings and falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves.

You’ll truly feel like you’ve gotten away from the world’s busy flicker.

The Restaurant

The restaurant sits atop a hill overlooking the vibrant green tree tops below as they slope toward the shore and allow the ocean to peak out just before running into the sky. Macaws flutter from almond tree limbs.

The deck offers wicker seating and hammocks from which to soak in those surroundings while sipping a cocktail. The all open-air interior has a full bar run by an artistic bartender, an exposed kitchen staffed with a handful of careful cooks and a dining area with a long table where most guests will gather to eat together.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at the same time each day, and, while you can specify what you’d like to eat, guests are mostly subject to the meal that the staff decides to prepare.

The meals during our stay were light and refreshing. Made with ingredients from the garden, local farmers and fishermen but flared with international inspirations, each dish had its own vibe. Teriyaki pork, veggies and rice arrived for lunch and curried mahi-mahi over a bed of jasmine rice came for dinner.

A hearty pumpkin soup, with cinnamon sprinkled on top, prefaced Caribbean-style chicken, broccoli and mashed cassava on a different night. For dessert, a mango-pomegranate-mint sorbet made for a tangy and sweet ending to a meal that left us feeling healthy and relaxed.

Vegetarian? No problem — the kitchen will serve up an alternative dish. Tofu with grilled onions came out with a kick, gracing our taste buds with far superior notes than your average, squishy soy product. It had its one body and texture, and mingled with the onions for a delightful, sweet and spicy treat.

The portions were enough to fill us without any bloaty food comas — but if you’ve just emerged from a hike you might be wanting more. A smorgasbord of fresh fruit awaits you at all hours of the day but you’ll want to bring snacks from the mainland if you’re planning on any intensive excursions.

As for drinks — you can perch at the bar at any time and order beer, house cocktails or any kind of fancy concoction you can think of.

Things to Do

Grab a beer and a book and saunter to the Carate Beach across the road from the resort. Set up beneath palm branches and relax. Or, rent a boogie board from the beach house for $5 and hit the waves at low tide.

Take a hike on a trail near the resort, or ask the resort staff to book you on a variety of tours in the area. Surfing lessons, horseback riding, kayaking and dolphin tours are among the options.

The resort also offers massages and yoga sessions.

Prices

Costs include three meals a day and unlimited fruit and juices. The prices vary depending on timing.

Tiki tents: $80 per person per night
Cabins: 138 per person per night
Two-story suite: $360

Finca Exotica Eco Lodge in Pictures