la kukula lodge puerto viejo costa rica

Hotels in Playa Chiquita Costa Rica: La Kukula Lodge

La Kukula Lodge, perched in the Costa Rican jungle canopy adjacent to some of the most remote, untouched beaches we’ve ever seen, is hands down one of the most fabulous places to stay with kids in Costa Rica and certainly tops the list of hotels in Playa Chiquita.

And if you’ve never heard of Puerto Viejo or Playa Chiquita Costa Rica, I’m telling you this Caribbean beach destination should be on your list!

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We arrived at La Kukula Lodge, located at the far end of what felt like a long road to nowhere, in monsoon rains in the dark of night. We asked a taxi driver for directions in Puerto Viejo, a few miles north of the lodge as there is no address listed for the property. He told us to turn right after a “large” grocery store and right before a big cement wall with the word “Shawanda” on it.

Turns out, those were the perfect directions! Like most things in Puerto Viejo, “large” was perhaps a bit of an overstatement, but anyway…

The friendly owner of La Kukula Lodge, Pepo, was there immediately to welcome us as we walked into the lodge from the car park.  We knew right away we were going to love it here.

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The kids were giddy at the the idea of spending the night in a jungle tree house and having their own private swimming pool, and my hubby and I loved having a kitchen and plenty of room to spread out after a long journey.

Here’s why you should consider booking your family into La Kukula Lodge in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica.

The Family House is Ideal

While the entire property is small, with only 8 units total, the Kukukula House is a unit that features two levels, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a swimming pool and kitchen.

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As we drove across Costa Rica the day before, we observed that most Costa Rican homes are actually multi level, some built on stilts, with the main living space on the top floor. I assume this is best for airflow and to stay above the humidity, bugs and such. Kukula House is constructed in the same fashion.

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The Kukula House couldn’t have been more perfect. After a morning exploring the area, including a visit to the Jaguar Rescue Center and a walk to the Playa Chiquita beach, we were eager to clean up and spend the rest of the day relaxing. And relax we did.

Pepo and His Team Rock

Originally from Barelona, Spain, Pepo came to Puerto Viejo for the jungle atmosphere, for a love of animals and to live among the untouched beauty of these Central American beaches. In addition to building a beautiful, boutique eco resort in Costa Rica, he has assembled a team of lovely, kind people to help ensure your stay is perfect.

Breakfast is included each morning, complete with a fresh fruit plate and three options ranging from ham and cheese toast to pancakes. A great start to the day for sure!

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He was sad to tell me that some of the land owners in the area recently pushed to have a large strip of beachfront property removed from the massive conservation refuge that surrounds most of Puerto Viejo. This means that they are exempt from some of the development regulations limiting size and overall footprint of any one building.

So if you’re at all interested in exploring one of the most remote parts of Costa Rica, don’t wait. Come now. It’s worth it, but like all magical places, might not stay this way forever.

Puerto Viejo is an Awesome Bohemian Beach Town

Anyone who knows me knows I love a good bohemian beach town. Aywhere in the world, And it doesn’t get any more bohemian than Puerto Viejo Costa Rica. No mega resorts. A few small grocery stores, lots of “eco lodges” and plenty of patchouli and dreadlocks roaming the streets.

Right up my alley.

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The Puerto Viejo area is actually made up of 5 unique bays. La Kukula Lodge is located at Playa Chiquita. This beach has no public parking, and is easily accessed by foot from La Kukula. For this reason, especially during the summer months, you’ll likely have the beach all to yourself like we did.

The climate is (SURPRISINGLY?) really comfortable

This may seem like a novice observation, but I guess we were expecting the general atmosphere and climate of the tropical jungle to be slightly unpleasant. Bugs, creepy crawlies, and then some more bugs.

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However, we quickly learned that there are not bugs everywhere, the temperature is actually very comfortable, and we hung out every afternoon and evening on our open air porch area without bug spray and in total comfort.

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If you’re planning a family vacation to Costa Rica, please do consider adding a few nights in Puerto Viejo to your itinerary. It’s a magical place for kids and adults to unwind, unplug and learn about the jungle at the same time.

Want more? Here are 20 fun things to do in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica with kids (don’t miss #20 for how to find the BEST beach in the area!) 

Have you spent time in Puerto Viejo with your family? What are your favorite hotels in Playa Chiquita Costa Rica? I’d love to hear about your experience!

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