Los Quetzales Lodge & Spa
Concept: Tucked away in a highland cloud forest, Los Quetzales Eco Lodge and Spa is ideal for those longing to retreat from hustle and bustle. This is the only eco-lodge in Panama or Costa Rica with overnight accommodations inside a national park.
Location: Inside the primary rainforests of Volcan Baru National Park, adjacent to the Parque Internacional la Amistad, this 400 hectare preserve has been protected by the private efforts of its founders since 1970. The main hotel and headquarters is in the town of Guadalupe, adjacent to Cerro Punta. From there, guests may visit the mountainside preserve inside the Park. Access is provided via 4 wheel drive or horseback. The walk is a gentle 30 minute climb featuring mountain scenery, quilted with the small farms and colorful gardens in the town of 400 inhabitants, and higher up ,simple homes of the friendly Guaymi Indians.
Accommodations: Los Quetzales offers two options for overnight guests. The first is to stay at the Lodge, built along a river in the picturesque town of Guadalupe. Guests may choose from a hotel room, dormitory or suite. Spacious hotel rooms feature private bath, hot water, room service and telephone service. Wood-paneled dorms have between six and ten beds, suitable for large families or hostel-type shared accommodations. Cedar-walled suites are spacious, and have fireplaces and kitchenettes.
The Reception Lodge, reminiscent of a Swiss chalet, houses a full service restaurant and bar lounge with fireplaces. Guests have access to a comfortable reading room and a game room. The riverside Spa offers massages, facials, sauna and outdoor Jacuzzi.
Your second option is to rent one of the Mountainside Chalets, built in the midst of the preserve’s rainforest inside La Amistad and Volcan Baru National Parks. Two-story wooden chalets are ringed by pristine mountain rivers and springs. Each of the spacious chalets offers total privacy, serenity and relaxation. They feature fireplaces, private kitchens, on demand hot water gas heaters, queen beds, skylights and observation balconies. There is no electricity or phone. Communication with your guide/caretaker and hotel is via radio. To get to the preserve from the lodge in Guadalupe takes about 17 minutes using a 4-wheel drive vehicle, 15 minutes by horseback, or 30 minutes on foot.
Dining: A full service restaurant and bar are located in the main reception building, serving delicious meals, mostly featuring local produce, including fresh-from-the-stream trout. Guests staying in the Mountain Chalets may choose to take their meals in the Lodge (transportation provided), or have hot or ready to heat meals delivered. The Lodge will also deliver fresh fruits, vegetables and meats to those wishing to prepare their own meals. You even have the option of hiring a cook to prepare and serve meals in your chalet. We highly recommend taking the food to the lodge and doing your own cooking.
Activities: This is an excellent place for any number of nature activities. Birding is fabulous here and the odds of seeing the Resplendent Quetzal are high. Other things to do include hiking, horseback riding, coffee tours, mountain biking, rafting, visiting an orchid farm, or an archeological tour. The chalets in the park are also a great place to do nothing at all.
Pricing: $180 per person per night includes overnight in a suite or chalet in the park, 3 meals per day, half day tour with guide, free use of horses, mountain bikes, fishing rods and sauna. For a package with a full day tour each day you are there, plus roundtrip airport transportation, $250 per person per day.