View looking out on the ocean from up on high

Selva Armonia Jungle Lodge in Uvita, Costa Rica: Is it Worth It?

My first destination after I touched down in Costa Rica was Uvita, down on the southern edge of the Pacific coast, close to the gateway to Corcovado National Park.

Many people visit Uvita for its proximity to the national park, whale watching, or epic surf breaks. Still, I was there for another reason entirely: to visit Caño Island, the best diving destination in Costa Rica you can reach without a liveaboard.

You see, Cocos Island has long been on my bucket list — but with liveaboards starting around $3,000 and taking about a week, it simply wasn’t in the cards this time. Or maybe ever.

beach on cano island with turquoise waters
Caño Island was why I came to Uvita… but I ended up loving it for many other reasons!
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But Caño Island, called a “Cocos in miniature,” was — and the most accessible departure point was from Uvita. And the more I learned about Uvita, the more I liked it.

Uvita has some unique claims to fame: powerful waterfalls tucked away in jungle nooks, one of the cleanest and most impressive stretches of coastline, and, most interestingly to me, a selection of stunning and immersive jungle lodges that blend Costa Rica’s nature with a relaxed luxury stay.

✈️ Planning your Uvita trip in a hurry? Here are my quick tips!

🐋 Best Things to Do
1. Two-Stop Snorkel Tour of Caño Island (great if you don’t dive)
2. Whale & Dolphin Watching Tour (perfect for non-swimmers!)
3. Waterfall & National Park Adventure Tour (for land-based fun)

🌺 Best Places to Stay
1. Selva Armonia Immersive Jungle Lodge (reviewed below)
2. Oxygen Jungle Villas & Spa (even more luxurious!)
3. Seren Glamping (beachfront glamping in canvas tents)

🚙 Renting a Car? Be sure it can handle Uvita’s uneven roads (SUV or similar). I book via Discover Cars for rentals and insurance.

I did a little research and ended up settling on Selva Armonia Immersive Jungle Lodge, a beautiful eco-friendly (and vegan!) resort about a 25-minute drive from the main town of Uvita. 

This post is my honest review of my three-night stay at Selva Armonia (not sponsored — I paid out of pocket!) and whether or not I think it’s worth it (spoiler alert… I do!)

The Property

The nets for lounging at the property with beautiful pacific ocean
The ultimate lounge area, overlooking Marino Ballena National Park!

I’m a pretty pragmatic traveler. A room is more of a place to sleep for me, and I don’t need luxury—just peace and quiet, air conditioning when I’m in hot places, and an en-suite bathroom.

So when I book a luxury hotel, it’s because something is impressive about the property itself, not just because I think the room looks nice (though the rooms here are quite lovely, and I will go into that later).

View of the pool at Selva Armonia Jungle Lodge
The pool at Selva Armonia

What immediately struck me about Selva Armonia was just how gorgeous every corner of the property was! It’s an Instagrammer’s dream.

From its infinity-like pool that overlooked the jungle below with sweeping views of Pacific sunsets to its large netted hammocks you could lounge for even more up-close-and-personal views to the actually-infinity pool style hot tub, there was no shortage of photogenic places to lounge.

And I’m not even mentioning the jungle-esque pool cabanas, which are this plant nerd’s absolute dream and made lounging by the pool in the shade with a book all the more enjoyable!

At night, they added even more coziness by lighting tiki torches around the jacuzzi and catamaran-net-style hammocks, which made lingering there even after the sun had set all the more appealing. 

One night, they even set up a screen in front of the infinity pool so you could watch movies there! The staff also organized other activities, like a bonfire night, which was really cool.

The one downside of this property is that it is a little far from town, so there isn’t anything to do nearby that isn’t directly on the property—so having things like a movie night really helps. 

In addition to the pool, hammocks, hot tubs, and cabana area, there are other public areas for all the guests to enjoy.

Library area in the restaurant
Library area for dry lounging
Empty yoga shala with views of the Pacific ocean
A yoga shala to practice yoga whenever you like!

There’s a library area where you can sit with a book and look out at the ocean on comfortable couches if you don’t feel like getting a bit damp sitting out by the pool. 

There’s also a yoga shala where you can practice yoga independently any time you want, or join one of the morning classes that they have a few times a week. And there’s also an on-site restaurant, which I’ll get into now!

Convinced already? You can check room availability here!

The Restaurant

Views from the restaurant
Epic views at the restaurant terrace

I didn’t realize when I booked my stay, but Selva Armonia is a vegan property, meaning that all the food at their restaurant is wholly plant-based. 

I’m not vegan, but I appreciate good food no matter what diet it follows or what country it comes from. And I quite loved the food at Selva Armonia, especially the breakfast!

My vegan breakfast at the Selva Armonia jungle lodge - rice, fruit, onions
A delicious vegan breakfast!

When you have so much tropical fruit at your disposal, it hardly feels like a sacrifice not to have meat or eggs on your breakfast plate. 

I loved my breakfast with lots of fresh fruit, gallo pinto (a Costa Rican rice and bean staple), caramelized onions, and a delicious vegan dip to accompany the gallo pinto.

I honestly feel like I could eat it every day for a month and not get sick of it.

The veggie burger with fries and salad
My incredible veggie burger!

I also ate two dinners at the restaurant and enjoyed them quite a bit. One night, I had their veggie burger, which was delicious with a homemade bean-based patty, tons of fresh veggies, and some perfectly cooked French fries. 

The other night, I enjoyed a fantastic veggie-coconut curry (which did not photograph nearly as well as it tasted, so I didn’t include a photo here).

The Rooms

View of one of the rooms from the front view
Garden in front of the one-bedroom bungalow where I stayed

Now, while I said I don’t travel for the rooms, that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate good design! I stayed in one of the one-bedroom bungalows, which was an excellent choice.

I had sweeping views over the jungle from my balcony, and this certified night owl got up before sunrise every morning just to enjoy a cup of coffee (they provide a French press and delicious local Costa Rican beans!) with that view.

The room was large and spacious, with a giant king-size bed and another twin-sized daybed that another person could comfortably sleep on (which, since I was traveling alone, became my overflow catch-all area).

The large bed and daybed in the main bedroom
The interior of the one-bedroom bungalow room — forgive the bad photo, my phone camera lens is broken and refracts light oddly!

Behind the bed area was the indoor portion of the bathroom, which included sinks and a separate room with an indoor toilet. And for the shower? There was a lovely outdoor shower, which was magical at night when the frogs were croaking and singing loudly!

I didn’t get a chance to stay in their top room category, the two-story Bali villas, which have an outdoor bathtub on the terrace overlooking the entire property and the Pacific… but I’m sure nothing beats that! 

Bali villa on the hill
Next time I want to stay in one of the Balinese villas!

These bungalows are located quite high up on the hill, so you’ll be higher than everyone else; no one can look in so it is still very private.For those on a budget, lodge rooms offer the same property amenities for a much lower nightly price tag.

Note that these rooms do not have A/C (just a ceiling fan) or an en-suite bathroom; rather, they have shared facilities. 

Check out different room types and respective prices here!

The Downsides

View looking out on the ocean from up on high
The beautiful views at Selva Armonia are hard-earned from a long drive!

Overall, I thought my stay at Selva Armonia was absolutely fantastic. The property itself and the rooms were excellent, and I can’t fault anything.

I can only say that it is quite a trek to get to Selva Armonia if you have not rented the right type of car for your trip to Costa Rica… such as was my case.

I had booked the cheapest car category, a standard sedan, because I had read that 4×4 cars in Costa Rica are extremely expensive (true) and largely unnecessary (debatable). 

However, I think I would have been fine driving the bumpy road to Selva Armonia if I had rented an SUV or a similar style car with higher clearance.

Be sure to check the vehicle category type (and transmission type) when booking! I suggest a high clearance SUV or similar, since 4x4s are so expensive. I use Discover Cars for the cheapest price on my rental and the best full-coverage insurance.

A lot of the anxiety of driving came from me worrying I was going to hurt the car’s undercarriage on the rocky, uneven road. 

So, as long as you’ve booked the right car and packed a spirit of adventure, staying at Selva Armonia is absolutely worth it — especially with how beautiful the property is.

Garden detail at Selva Armonia
I could have walked around for hours in the garden taking photos

Just know that it is far from the town itself — about a 25-minute drive, and one that you won’t want to make at night — so this is better for the type of vacation where you stay and enjoy all the resort amenities.

I did do two excursions while staying at Selva Armonia—a one-day trip to Caño Island and a self-guided trip to the Nauyuca Waterfalls—and I wished I had spent one day just fully enjoying the property and not leaving at all!

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