Earlier this year, we added the Kinkara Luxury Glamping Retreat to the Cayuga Collection of Sustainable Luxury Hotels and Lodges. This lodging concept of staying in Lotus Belle tents is very different from the experience of staying at the other Cayuga Hotels in Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua.

The recent additions to the Collection – Isla Palenque in Panama, Senda in Monteverde and Aguas Claras in Puerto Viejo – have been an immediate success. The first months of promoting Kinkara have been hard. Staying at Kinkara does require a guest to step a bit out of his or her comfort zone – just a bit. So why are we struggling with Kinkara? Let’s take a look…

The location of Kinkara in the foothills of Mount Chirripo, Costa Rica’s highest peak is simply spectacular. The climate is amazing and the surrounding nature is among the best that Costa Rica has to offer. Yes, we are a bit off the beaten path (Perez Zeledon) and away from the traditional tourism clusters like Manuel Antonio. But isn’t that what everybody is looking for today?


View from Kinkara Glamping Retreat. It can’t be the location, right?

Kinkara is totally in line with our sustainability practices and the permaculture and farm experience that is part of Kinkara is probably one of the most attractive features.


Food is grown right next to the tents in the Mandala Garden. Sustainability practices – check.

The luxury aspect – at least what is considered traditional luxury – is a bit different from our other hotels. Especially the concept of the shared bathrooms has had the effect of some “lifted eyebrows” when we talk about it. Travel agents were very pessimistic at first.

However, the experience that our guests have at those spa-like, open-air luxury bathrooms is extremely positive and this part of stepping out of the comfort zone is actually quite rewarding and puts things into perspective.


The bathrooms at Kinkara remind our guests of Luxury Spa bathrooms. OK, this is probably a factor at first. But think about it. Is it that bad to share these beautiful bathrooms with a few other guests for a couple of nights?

The wellness activities that we offer at Kinkara are innovative and different. Where else can you do a Cacao Ceremony, partake in Sound Therapy or experience a Sweat Lodge? All of our wellness activities are inspired by local mesoamerican traditions.


Temascal or Sweat Lodge Ceremonies are available for retreats. A challenging but rewarding experience.

The nature-based activities are another highlight of the experience. Kinkara can be used as the basecamp for Chirripo Hikes and offers amazing mountain biking and river hikes just minutes from your tent.


And a river runs through it… Kinkara and its surroundings are heaven for active explorers and adventurers.

The locally harvested food has been described by many of our guests as some of the best they have ever tasted. Simple, yet sophisticated. There are no words to describe this. Family-style meals? Really fun, but we are happy to prepare your own private table for you.


Meal times are a real highlight at Kinkara. Meet other guests and share some of the best food in Costa Rica.

The guests that have stayed with us have given us raving reviews. Check out our Tripadvisor Ratings here.

We have received amazing press coverage by journalists that have visited us. They are blown away by how different and innovative the experience is.

So why is this so hard? Are we ahead of our times with this concept? Where do we find guests that are ready for this experience? Where are those visionaries that can see beyond the concept of traditional luxury?

We would love to hear from you. Send us a note to hans@cayugaonline.com or leave a comment below.

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Andrea Bonilla

Co-Owner & VP Operations