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Hotel Villa Lapas

Hotel Villa Lapas

Destination: Jaco

At a Glance

    • Surrounded by rainforest
    • Secluded
    • Close to Carara National Park
    • Reproduction colonial town

A hundred-foot-tall Guanacaste tree hangs over the red-tiled roof and exposed rafters of the Spanish-style reception hall at Villa Lapas, a hotel nestled into the rainforest 12 miles outside Jaco.

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Villa Lapas rustic accommodations span over 220 acres and include a reproduction of a colonial-style Costa Rican village complete with a bar, church, fountain and gazebo. Many of the buildings were constructed using restored wood dating back to settlements nearly 200 years old while the bar itself was built completely from driftwood foraged from the Tarcolitos River that runs through the hotel's property.

Villa Lapas is just off Route 34 on the way into Jaco from San Jose, an ideal location for visitors wanting to venture into Carara National Park, the Tarcoles River and Bijagual waterfall.


Walk through the lush gardens in a valley surrounded by towering primary rainforest on the way to one of Villa Lapas 56 rooms. Vines grow along the walls and crawl among the red-tile roofs of the rooms. Doubles, $118, include a king-size bed, desk, flat screen TV with cable, Wi-Fi, dresser and safety deposit box.


The Toucan, Villa Lapas main restaurant, is set in the open-air Spanish-style hall behind reception with views of the Tarcolitos River and surrounding rainforest. The menu isn't half so tempting as the landscape with dishes like the pollo a la plancha con jamon y queso (grilled chicken with ham and cheese) that come with a chicken breast between a square of half-melted yellow cheese and a square of processed ham underneath. The arroz con pollo (rice with chicken) was slightly redeeming, with all the characteristics of the Costa Rican classic; crispy french fries, golden fried rice with colorful red-bell peppers and diced chicken.

Services & Amenities

Beside the pool, two Jacuzzis, foosball table and pool table, the hotel has its own tours. One is a five-cable zip-line tour with a line that goes over Tarcolitos River, $50, (though the tour is small by Costa Rican standards) and a mile-long trail through the rainforest over 5 hanging bridges, $50.

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Hotel Villa Lapas in Pictures