|Cottage at Rio Magnolia|
|View from lodge|
|View from dining room looking toward the ocean|
|View from our cottage|
I don’t normally review the places I stay on vacation as part of my blog but I was so impressed with the Rio Magnolia Lodge that I feel a need to. We were a little nervous about a trip to the tropics and spent a lot of time trying to decide where to go and for how long. I came across Rio Magnolia Lodge during this research and it looked nice and had great reviews. The lodge is located in the pacific foothills at an elevation around 800-900m. The decision to stay here was a great one and resulted in one of our best vacations ever, if not the best. Despite the long drive from the airport with the lodges driver Eliecer (5 hours down...sometimes the ride is 4 1/2 or 5 or maybe more...traffic is tough to figure in Costa Rica) the stay was pure relaxation. We had set up our activities for the most part before going down so we had nothing to worry about. All of the bird tours and guides provided were top notch and greatly added to my enjoyment of the trip. When we arrived the owners John and Maureen met us and immediately wanted to know if we wanted to eat despite the late hour. We dropped our baggage and came back up to enjoy the first of what would be one great meal after another. The menu was tailored to each of our particular tastes throughout and we never had a bad meal.
The cottage on the property where we stayed (Amapola Cottage) was just perfect. It was a quick five minute walk (if you could make the walk without stopping to bird) from the cottage to the main lodge but you felt like you were all alone. The quietness of the whole area was amazing with the only sounds coming from the birds, the occasional distant Howler Monkey and the Rio Magnolia roaring in the distance. The four dogs on site each had their own personality and added a bit of home to our visit. The long ride in (30 minutes from the paved road) was well worth the seclusion the area provided. The lodge is perfect for just getting away from it all. There are not enough superlatives to describe our stay that would truly do the trip justice. The location, the meals, the staff, the trips were all just great. We have long looked for a location we would both enjoy going back to again and again and I think we have found it. Our only real regret was not having booked a longer stay. I have been to many locations on vacation but this one was the toughest to pull myself away from and go back to reality. If they had offered to house and feed me down there and act as a guide, I would never have left!
Just to give a taste of the bird life right around the lodge and cottage I have included a list of birds seen around the lodge. Check out additional photos of both the lodge and birds of the area at: (sets of the lodge, birds and mammals and landscapes).
Bird list from Rio Magnolia Lodge between Dec 3-10,2011
Costa Rican Swift
Alder/Willow Flycatcher (Traill's)