Back on the road, we zig-zagged back and forth up the slopes of the mighty Poas Volcano toward the Poas Lodge. We passed by a number of coffee plantations and “tarp” covered strawberry farms along the way. As we made our way up the side of the steep mountain, the GPS kindly warned us of falling rocks and dangerous bridges. It should have also warned us about Costa Rica‘s colossal drainage ditches! If you’re unlucky enough to end up in one of these concrete chasms on the side of almost every road, you’ll definitely need a tow and possible repairs. We came close to that very situation on more than one occasion!
About 45 minutes later, we arrived at the Poas Lodge (not to be confused with the Poas Volcano Lodge). It doesn’t look like much from the road, but as the saying goes, “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” The Poas Lodge is a perfect case in point. Behind the humble facade is one of the true hidden treasures in all of Costa Rica.
As soon as I “parked” (more like skidded…remember I’m not very proficient at driving a stick) the car, we were greeted by Mark, one of the owners. He was personally updating/repairing some of the plumbing. I definitely liked his hands-on approach. However, he quickly dropped what he was working on to check us in. Since we had arrived a few hours before check-in time, he kindly showed us around the lodge and told us we were welcome to sit back and relax on the comfy couches situated throughout the restaurant area. Since we hadn’t had much sleep in the last 24 hours, we immediately took him up on the offer.
The Mirador Quetzal restaurant is named after the resplendent quetzal, considered by many to be among the world’s most beautiful birds. Like the resplendent quetzal, Poas Lodge’s restaurant exudes a vibrant, eclectic charm. And as the word mirador suggests, the restaurant boasts arguably one of the best views in all of Costa Rica! The restaurant offers a 180 degree view of the verdant valley below. Perhaps even more stunning is the view of the twinkling lights of distant San Jose and Alajuela at night. It’s like having a balcony built into the side of a mountain.
Just like the views, the food at Mirador Quetzal is just as amazing. We ordered a plate of Casado and a couple of Bavarias (one of three different beers we tried on our vacation) right from our comfy sofas overlooking the valley. Casado consists of gallo pinto, a protein like chicken or fish, cheese, and a small salad. Both the food and beer was tasty and satisfying.
After lunch, we cat-napped on the couches for a half hour or so before Mark informed us that another room had opened up. He guided us downstairs to a simple, yet tastefully decorated room with a stunning view. After he showed us around the quaint accommodation and left, we drew the blinds and crashed on the comfortable, inviting bed for what seemed like hours. I awoke to the familiar sound of our friends’ daughters’ tiny voices outside our room.
Spending the evening with friends at the lodge was very enjoyable and relaxing. The nights (and mornings) can be pretty chilly in the mountains, so playing cards next to the cozy fireplace, wrapped up in blankets was a perfect way to spend the evening. We talked and laughed for hours while the girls watched movies and played with Girl, Mark and Oliver’s dog. Even though the restaurant closed around 10pm, Mark and Oliver told us to stay and relax for as long as we wanted. Ever the gracious host, Mark even brought us ceviche on the house to go along with our Mojitos. (Their ceviche gets my vote for best ceviche in Costa Rica…very, very yummy!) Finally, at about midnight, we decided to turn in for the night. After all, we needed some rest for the exciting day ahead of us!
Thank you to Mark and Oliver for making our stay at the Poas Lodge one of our most memorable experiences in Costa Rica! They have done an excellent job in creating a comfy and relaxing atmosphere in one of the best locations near Poas Volcano.
Have you had the opportunity to stay at the Poas Lodge? If so, I’d like to hear what you thought about it. Please fill out the poll below.