Home #WHERETONEXT Central America Río Perdido: Costa Rica’s Undiscovered Forest Hideaway & Luxury Thermal Springs Retreat

Río Perdido: Costa Rica’s Undiscovered Forest Hideaway & Luxury Thermal Springs Retreat

Located in one of the rarest ecosystems in the world, the property features luxe forest bungalows, healing geothermal waters, and endless nature excursions inside a 1,500-acre thermal canyon nature preserve

Tucked away in the vibrantly lush and biodiverse Guanacaste Province of western Costa Rica, one of the lesser known and most unspoiled destinations in the country, Río Perdido beckons sustainably-minded wellness seekers and adventure travelers to discover a deeply healing forest hideaway. 

Situated on an elevated, rocky peninsula formed by two converging canyons – where the cool Rio Blanco meets the hot waters of the Rio Perdido – a rare dwarf forest on the higher grounds protects a dense jungle of medicinal grade volcanic springs and tropical forest encased within the canyons. Large gorge-dwelling trees growing within the canyons have year-long access to nutritional mineralized water, leading them to flaunt heights up to 10 times that of the dwarf trees growing on rocky grounds above. Since the trees grow so high, the canyon disappears from view beneath the dense green foliage, lending the name ‘lost river’ – Rio Perdido. 

​For the adventurous spirit, Río Perdido is an extension of its pristine natural surroundings, with 30 private luxe forest bungalows connected by pathways among a leafy canopy of trees, each adhering to biophilic design principles and featuring furniture crafted on-site with repurposed natural materials. Environmentally conscious and community minded, the team behind Rio Perdido is driven by a passion for discovering and preserving the unknown, upholding the cultural heritage of native ancient civilizations, and protecting and reviving the land through over a decade of reforestation efforts.  In the building of Río Perdido, co-founder Gabriel Saragovia sought to make this natural oasis accessible to a small number of visitors in the most sustainable way possible. All woods used to build the hotel came from fallen sources or were farmed under license. As part of the property’s sustainability plan, hotel grounds take up less than 1% of the total 1,500 acres of land, and architects and engineers made use of preexisting paths and cleared land to prevent further deforestation. 

“Río Perdido is truly unlike any other place on earth, and our guiding mission is to preserve and enhance it while sharing this natural wonder with our guests,” says Saragovia. “As guardians of this land and protectors of its immense biodiversity, we hope to inspire guests through a rare communion with nature to live and travel in ways that better our planet.”  

A wellness refuge for body and soul including the Rio Perdido Spa, cliffside yoga pods, healing thermal springs, and an expansive retreat shala slated to open later this year, Rio Perdido attracts mindful travelers and spiritual seekers with its passive wellness approach to total wellbeing. The mile-long stretch of river is dotted with dozens of naturally-occurring thermal pools to experience. Programming is designed to help guests live optimally without having to put enormous effort into a healthy lifestyle, through a harmonious balance with nature, as well as within themselves. This more restorative, gentler approach to wellness allows travelers to create space to intuitively rediscover and nurture the healthiest and most authentic versions of themselves, choosing sustainable habits and fulfilling active days – rather than adhering to the strict limitations of restrictive diets and rigorous workout regimens. The result is that guests experience more than just a vacation – they return home with actionable teachings to maintain a natural, more accessible approach to a healthy lifestyle. Inspired by the nutrient-rich mineral waters of the property, Río Perdido invites guests to experience volcanic mud body painting followed by a soak in the healing thermal springs to wash it away. Harnessing the natural underground springs, guests are invited to experience a trio of mineral pools of varying temperatures – and a swim-up bar for a splash of luxury. 

Hikers, mountain bikers, and thrillseekers of all types will find both adrenaline and zen surrounded by flora and fauna without ever having to leave the hotel grounds. Nowhere else in Costa Rica can so much adventure be found in one place within such a biodiverse landscape. Within the secluded and gloriously undiscovered thermal canyon, where healing thermal waters emanate from the rocky walls, Río Perdido offers nature excursions ranging from zip-line tours to white water tubing, to picturesque hikes and trail running. Diehard bikers can wind through the canyon traversing world-class mountain biking trails known as the top circuits in Costa Rica, akin to those in the red rocks of Moab, Utah.

The culinary program at Río Perdido is based around a simple philosophy: food should be delicious, healing, and respected. In alignment with this, thoughtful and inspired dishes incorporate fresh ingredients while respecting native culinary traditions. Honoring Costa Rica’s history as a convergence point of many cultures, Rio Perdido’s food & beverage programming seeks to tell the lesser known stories of local dishes with consciously sourced ingredients. Not only does Rio Perdido provide an authentic culinary experience by supporting local industry (with nothing imported) – the culinary team practices honest and humane circular agriculture at every step of the way and in each detail, from breeding their own worms and chickens that aid in the fertilization process, to supporting local ceramic artisans who create the plate itself. The result is a gastronomic experience that’s authentic down to its essence, supporting total wellness for both people and planet. For a truly unforgettable dining experience, guests can reserve the floating platform where dinner for two is served 165 feet above the flowing river.