The prestigious National Geographic Society, universally acknowledged for its commitment to exploring and protecting the planet, unveiled its latest handpicked ‘Unique Lodges of the World’ on January 5, 2015.

The aim of this exclusive collection is to showcase the world’s finest lodges which also boast impressive sustainability credentials – to promote first-class travel experiences with a consideration for the future of the planet.

In vogue Costa Rica proved a shining example to the rest of the world, with two of its lodges included amongst a total of only 24 selected from across six continents. Other Latin American countries to feature were Peru and Chile. Pacuare Lodge overlooking the Pacuare River and Lapa Rios in a private reserve near Corcovado National Park are the latest recruits.


Pacuare Lodge is a plush and welcoming jungle lodge which sits on the bend of the Pacuare River and is surrounded by thick rainforest rich in birdlife. Bearing in mind its remote and wild setting, it is remarkably luxurious, with locally crafted wood furnishings, hand-hewn timber beams and wrought iron chandeliers. The main two-level building accommodates the dining area and a lounge of comfy sofas. Open-walled, polished wood cabins with thatched palm roofs are peppered around a lovely tropical garden. There is no electricity in the cabins with rooms instead illuminated by candlelight. Other features include an al fresco dining area, plunge pool and a massage service.

Owning and operating an award winning luxury lodge in the middle of a jungle is an immensely rewarding and challenging labour of love,” says Roberto Fernandez , founder of the Pacuare Lodge. “We are honoured to be chosen as a founding member of National Geographic Society’s Unique Lodges of the World and we are looking forward to welcoming guests from all over the world who are seeking National Geographic experiences, which we feel we have been offering since we first opened our doors.

Lapa Rios is an exclusive and seamlessly-run lodge located on a high ridge in the Golfo Dulce Forest Reserve amidst lush rainforest, above the Pacific Ocean. The main lodge houses the bar, excellent restaurant and viewing platform. Thatched bungalows each have a private deck, patio garden with outdoor shower, private bathroom and a view of the ocean.  Some are built between the cliff-top and the sea with up to 180 steps to negotiate. Activities rainforest treks, horse-riding, kayaking, fishing, surfing and bird-watching.

Lapa Rios is simply the best jungle lodge I’ve ever been to. It’s in a remote part of Corcovado National Park, where you don’t even have to venture out of your bungalow to see the wildlife: howler monkeys will swing down on to your balcony to wish you good morning! Hannah Burwell, Journey Latin America sales consultant.

Lapa Rios features in our Luxury Nicaragua and Costa Rica Holiday a romantic, slow-paced itinerary combining exquisite natural locations with plenty of time for relaxation.

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    Having caught the travel bug as a child, Millie has travelled all over Latin America before making her home in Buenos Aires for 3 years.

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    After graduating with a degree in Anthropology and History and having been fascinated by Latin America since childhood by the book featuring photos of Nazca, Juliet first visited the region in 2003. Since then, Juliet has visited the majority of countries in Latin America but has particularly extensive experience with Peru, a country she loves for many reasons but not least, its incredible archaeological richness and delicious food!

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    Heloise started her Latin American journey as an exchange student in Santiago, Chile. With extended summer holidays this was the perfect opportunity to backpack through Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.

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