on May 26, 2006
History: The Lodge is named for cattle drives that passed through the area just south of the Nicaraguan border during the 19th century. In 1956, the 20,000 acre property was acquired by the Viquez family and used to raise cattle. Dwindling cattle ranching revenues made the family decide to turn their hacienda into a lodge and promote eco-tourism.Accommodations: The Viquez family has done an amazing job designing a resort for their guests to enjoy. Approaching the lodge, you pass a number of smaller cabins and the stables. The Hacienda is surrounded by well kept gardens of bright flowers, colorful macaws (that speak Spanish), and peacocks.The Hacienda features a large porch made of polished tropical hardwood. All meals are served on the porch, from which guests enjoy a view of Volcano Orosi and protection from evening showers. Food is traditional Costa Rican fare (Chicken, plantains, gazpacho, and tortilla) and is delicious. My favorite meal was breakfast, consisting of amazing fruit and Costa Rican coffee. The Hacienda offers 11 guest rooms, each accommodating 2 to 4 guests.Down the path from the Hacienda there are approximately 15 cabins. Each stand alone cabin has a living area, two bedrooms and one bathroom. As part of the lodge's dedication to the environment the water is solar-heated (I always had warm water). Rooms aren't equipped with air-conditioning, but have screened windows with glass slats and ceiling fans. I found the room temperature to be fine, since evenings were much cooler than the days. Warning: The cabins are not for the nature adverse. While doors can be locked and windows shut, nature can enter the cabins. Our cabin hosted ants, daddy-long-leg spiders, geckos, and small frogs. Our cabin seemed to be the worst, because friends in another cabin had no visitors. I would guess that rooms in the Hacienda have fewer intruders.Activities: The Lodge has plenty of activities for guests to enjoy. There is a beautiful swimming pool with a swim-up bar and hammocks to leisurely pass the hours. The stables offer fabulous horseback trips, tractor tours, and nature walks. Guanacaste National Park is located nearby, and makes an excellent day trip. (See my other journal entries!)Details: Prices are reasonable. Rooms run about $43 for a single to $80 for a triple, per night, including breakfast. Horseback rides are about $60 for 2 hours, and include a trail guide and lunch. The lodge will negotiate activity and group prices, and the staff was very friendly and spoke English.Meals are moderately priced (buffet and al la carte options are available). I found drinks, especially cocktails (about $5), to be pricey for Costa Rica.To find the lodge you will need to ask the staff for directions. As mentioned throughout my journal, traveling in Costa Rica can be difficult without a guide and driver.For inquiries call the lodge at (506) 679-9190 or visit the Los Inocentes Lodge Online!
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