Peace Lodge - Vara Blanca

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Peace Lodge - Vara Blanca

About: 

The award-winning Peace Lodge introduces its guests to a symphony of purely Costa Rican experiences, celebrating the natural wonders of the rainforest and the splendid creatures that inhabit this magical environment. This is quite possibly the only hotel on earth where guests can feed toucans and hummingbirds by hand, release newly-hatched butterflies into their first flight, look straight into the eyes of a jaguar and observe the brilliant colors of a red-eyed leaf frog from just inches away.

Located within the private wildlife refuge of La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park, the Peace Lodge’s ultra-upscale accommodations are uniquely themed to complement the inherent beauty of its rainforest setting. The detailed architecture exudes a natural elegance and sophistication, with every room boasting a Jacuzzi tub and stone fireplace, together with showers that transform into waterfalls with the turn of a knob.

Guests are afforded exclusive access to the grounds of La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park outside of its opening hours. The park includes three kilometers of paved trails with five waterfalls, an Aviary, Butterfly Observatory, monkeys, Hummingbird Garden, Serpentarium, Jungle Cat exhibit with five species of felines, Frog Habitat, Insect exhibit and Orchid Exhibit, and was nominated as one of the seven natural wonders of Costa Rica by the readers of La Nacion newspaper.

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Location: 

Located less than one hour from the San Jose Juan Santamaria Airport, the Peace Lodge is a great starting or finishing point for any vacation. It is also only 20 minutes from the magnificent active Poas Volcano.

The Nature Park in which the hotel is situated lies on the northeastern slope of the volcano, on the Caribbean side of the Continental Divide at an altitude ranging from 4,200 ft. to 5,225 ft. (1,300 m to 1,600 m), rising through both rainforest and cloud forest vegetation.

The heavy rainfall and cloudy weather of the eastern slopes of the Central Volcanic Mountain Range do not promote agriculture and for this reason this area was one of the last to be developed in Costa Rica.  Even today large areas of virgin forest remain and La Paz Waterfall Gardens is located between two large national parks: Poas Volcano and Braulio Carillo. For those with a passion for tropical biology, the hotel is en-route from the Central Valley to Selva Verde Lodge and the world-famous Organization for Tropical Studies, in the Sarapiquí region of Costa Rica.

Because the land was of no use for growing cash crops there were no roads built into the area until 1940, when the area was discovered to be viable for dairy farms. The road to Waterfall Gardens and the bridge over the La Paz River was in fact constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during World War II, in an attempt to harvest quinine from the native Costa Rican cinchona tree.

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Amenities: 

The Peace Lodge boasts two restaurants and two bars, offering guests a range of choices for all occasions. Breakfast is served at Tortillas restaurant; lunch can be taken buffet-style in the Colibries Restaurant, a la carte in the Big Trout Bar or from the Tortillas restaurant menu.

Each afternoon, guests are invited to the Big Trout Bar to watch the sunset and enjoy a la carte tapas and freshly made fruit drinks, lakeside. This is a great place to meet other guests over cocktails, relax in between hikes or exchange fish stories.

Dinner becomes an intimate event in the Vista Poas dining room restaurant. Guests can arrive early for a pre-dinner drink at Las Tucas Bar, where they can socialize, enjoy a game of backgammon or browse the lending library.

The hotel has a trout lake and swimming pool, surrounded by a deck that is ideal for sunbathing or resting in between dips in the hot tubs.

The Peace Lodge offers both female and male masseuses, to end a day of hiking with a relaxing Swedish or an invigorating deep-tissue massage.

The resort is connected to a fiber-optic line and offers a 20 MB internet service, shared between the park and the lodge, with complimentary access available in the Reception and in Las Tucas lounge.

The Waterfall Gardens have a dedicated weddings service and The Peace Lodge was featured on Travel Channel's Honeymoon Hotspots International as one of the most romantic destinations in the world for honeymooners, making it a great location to plan a rainforest wedding. 

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Food & Beverages: 

Peace Lodge guests can enjoy a delicious a la carte or buffet breakfast at Tortillas restaurant, with guests opting to either eat on the patio overlooking Poas Volcano or be served in their room.

For lunch, the buffet choices include rotisserie chicken, hot dogs, pizza, rice beans, salads and other typical Costa Rican fare in the Colibries Restaurant, rated Four Forks by the Costa Rican Tourist Board.

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Activities: 

La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Reserve contains over five miles of walking trails, as well as an Aviary, Butterfly Observatory, Hummingbird Garden, Serpentarium, Jungle Cats Exhibit and Frog Exhibit.

The Waterfall Gardens can be enjoyed as a self-guided tour, allowing visitors to proceed directly to their areas of interest, or in the company of an expert nature guide.

Other activities in the Gardens include hand-feeding hummingbirds and toucans, observation of jungle cat feeding and releasing newly-hatched butterflies into their first flight.

The Casita or traditional Costa Rican house, offers visitors the chance to milk a cow by hand, and guests are invited to cast a line in the hotel’s spring-fed trout lake to catch their own dinner.

Private bird watching tours can accommodate beginner, amateur or ‘professional’ birders. Guides will lead visitors through the trails of Waterfall Gardens, pointing out the spectacular birds and wildlife that reside in La Paz Waterfall Gardens and the Peace Lodge. Night tours guide visitors to explore the world of nocturnal leaf and tree frogs.

A day-trip to Poas Volcano and Doka Coffee Plantation starts at one of Costa Rica’s four active volcanoes, where crystal blue sulfur pools will amaze and enthrall. The next stop is another of Costa Rica’s trademarks: an authentic coffee plantation, to learn how coffee is grown, picked, milled and ground. One of the oldest hydro-powered wet mills in Costa Rica, this third-generation coffee plantation sends 90% of its high quality coffee directly to Starbucks.

The unique Hacienda Pozo Azul adventure combines horseback riding, a 9-zipline canopy tour and white-water rafting with a typical Costa Rican lunch overlooking the gorgeous Sarapiqui River.

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Rooms: 

From standard and deluxe rooms to full-size villas, the Peace Lodge accommodation is elegant and sumptuous.

The generous standard rooms are furnished with a king-size canopy bed, elaborate waterfall shower and grand gas fireplace. The vista over La Paz River Valley and Poas Volcano is best enjoyed from the Jacuzzi tub or swaying in the hammock on the balcony.

For those wishing to experience the rainforest even when inside, the Deluxe Room features a garden bathroom, crowned by a seven-foot waterfall that comes to life as you soak in the outdoor Jacuzzi tub. There is also a garden shower and enclosed shower, all surrounded by indoor landscaping and illuminated by a skylight.

Villa Lago is great for large families or several couples travelling together. It has a living and dining area with full kitchen, large master bedroom and bathroom, a guest room with adjoining bathroom and a smaller bedroom with two single beds.

The 1,200-square foot Monarch Villa offers a master bedroom with king-size canopy bed and oversized master bathroom, complete with full Jacuzzi tub, fireplace and waterfall shower. A luxurious living room with two-story fireplace leads to a second-floor loft with a queen-size bed, single bed and full bathroom.

Spectacular views of the La Paz River Valley and the Poas Volcano can be enjoyed from the hot-tub on the balcony. And when you've had enough 'nature' for the day, the villa is equipped with a stereo system with speakers in every room and satellite TV in both the living area and master bedroom. 

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Our hotels info: 
The award-winning Peace Lodge introduces its guests to a symphony of purely Costa Rican experiences, celebrating the natural wonders of the rainforest.

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