Don’t you want to free yourself from all worries and escape from the walls that keep you captured in life? In the Southern Caribbean, there is a place where you could. No, where you should. The Congo Bongo Ecolodges in Manzanillo are made on purpose to serve all your needs. The laid-back, relaxed atmosphere of the rental beach houses will help you relax from your everyday stress. In the hammocks of the open-air living area or around the table of the outdoor kitchen you can embrace the jungle life surrounding you.

In the land of Congo Bongo Ecolodges, you do not need to give up on the comforts of life such as wifi and hot water in the shower while enjoying an untamed nature experience. Dip into this own, special jungle and make it your home.

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The History beyond Congo Bongo

For their owner Daan, the Ecolodges of Congo Bongo are not just an area of renting facilities or a way of income. They are the project of his lifetime. In the late 1990s, the born Dutch florist decides to start fresh over – sold his well-doing flower business in Amsterdam and moved to Costa Rica to build a new life oversea. “I always have been a traveler and spent years traveling through Europe, Africa and America”, Daan told us about his life, “My business in Amsterdam was doing well, but with all taxes and restrictions I had the feeling that I only worked for the government, not for myself.”

In means of his freedom, he chose to quit this life and moved to Costa Rica. “Costa Rica is full of nature, peace, and serenity. These are the main attributes that I admire about this country.”

What made him retire to Manzanillo was the property Congo Bongo is built on today: 6 hectares of unbuilt green right at the northern beach of Manzanillo and at the entrance of the town. “I just found this property and fell in love with it. When I came here I was not really sure what I am about to here, but I knew I wanted to work with tourists. I attempted to show them the beauty of Costa Rica.”

The Location

Out of the men altered rest of outraged cacao plantation, Daan built seven eco-friendly rental houses surrounded by regenerating rainforest. “I refused to cut any old and large trees. I wanted this to become a place of conservation and biodiversity. In all areas we had to cut own, I planted hundreds of new trees and plants so this place can recover from the year-long cultivation.”

For all things that need to be done, Daan’s family, his wife and his brother-in-law are directly in charge. They run this house rental business as a family. Though Daan and his family are living on the property as well, there is more than enough space for the few buildings. You can hardly hear any sound from one guest house to another at least hundred meters or more of dense rainforest are providing you privacy.

Worries melt away – Quality time at the lonesome private beach

For sure, the biggest goodie of Congo Bongo Ecolodges is the private beach section just about a few hundred meters from each house away. It seems like all worries and problems are melting away in the white, bright sand and with the sound of the waves behind.

“It is beautiful, isn’t it? I love the sea”, Daan told us. A couple of times they even arranged some wonderful beach weddings for their guests here. “If you want you can do some good surfing here as well. Just grab a board, I can check up the tide.” For all guests, his family provides some surfboards for free.

Congo Bongo Ecolodges

Dream Caribbean, River Dream, and Dream Palm – sounds amazing, doesn’t it? But these are no names for some exotic Cocktails mixed at the beach (for sure you could invent them in Congo Bongo), but the names of three of the lodging facilities Congo Bongo has got to offer. Every guest house has not only its own name, it also got its own style. Either for couples on their honeymoon or a big family with many children on vacation – the seven dream houses providing space for up to seven persons. Beneath Dream Caribbean, River Dream and Dream Palm, the other houses are named Dream Deluxe House, Big Dream House, Long Dream House and Dream Nature House.

Owner Daan designed and decorated each by himself. “Of course they are all based on wood and provide a wide open-air living area and fully equipped kitchen. But every house has its own character in decoration. I meant to attract different types of guests with it”, he explained.

Eco-friendly Lodging and sustainable Decoration

Empty bottles implemented in the walls

While the Dream Caribbean House mirrors the Afro-Caribbean culture and the Jamaican feeling of Manzanillo, the Dream Nature House got, for example, a touch of up-cycling.

Empty bottles are used for decoration and are implemented in the furniture. Simple elements with huge impact – and in some way, this also reflects the eco-friendly and sustainable attitude of Congo Bongo.

 

No walls, no worries

The experience that every guest house is providing, is living with barely any walls. The kitchen and living areas are built on a huge veranda with an open view into Congo Bongos own little rainforest. As the property is very big, the distance between each house is as well. You can sit outside on your outdoor table or relax in the hammock, loud talking and laugh without disturbing anyone. The only living beings you will have to share your guest house with are the monkeys, geckos, squirrel and birds that all living right next to you all over the property.

Cooking in the Jungle

The fully equipped kitchen will serve any of your needs. As your cooking with gas, it gets really fast and you never have to stay hungry for long. In the blender, you can mix some typical “Batidos Natural” as Costa Rican smoothies are called or even some good cocktails for the night. We highly recommend you to get a good piece of meat and grill it on the outside barbecue. Nothing beats a fresh grilled steak or sausage in the jungle. But remember to not leave any food outside when you are going to sleep – the raccoons might get it.

Have a great night and feel like a king

The sleeping and bathing facilities are based in actual rooms. Though the windows are not made out of glass, but fine mosquito nets. This way you always have fresh air to breath and jungle sounds to listen to – even while showering. In the night you will love to stretch out on the big king-size bed for resting the night. The next morning you will wake up calm and relaxed by the most exciting alarm clock Costa Rica has to offer – the howler monkeys in your front yard. This is actually how Congo Bongo got his name – because howler monkey means “mono congo” in Spanish.

House Keeping and Services

Though the ecolodging facilities in Congo Bongo are all rental houses, you are being so well served you barely have to do something on your own. When you leave the house in the morning, to the beach or to a trip in the city, your house will be cleaned in the meantime (Tipp: rent a bike from Daan and Marisol. You will be in town in less than ten minutes).

Until noon your laundry will actually already be made and dry. This is all part of Congo Bongo’s service. Just as the bottle of Spanish wine that is waiting for you on your day of arrival. Or the cell phone you can use for free to communicate with the family or doctors in case of emergency. Daan or his wife Marisol will check-in with you once a day to make sure if you need anything. “We don’t want our guests to feel like they are. We prefer seeing them as our friends.”

For more information about the Congo Bongo Ecolodges visit their Homepage (Click), Facebook-Page (Click) and TripAdvisor Profile (Click). Feel free to connect with Daan and his family on Twitter (Click), Pinterest (Click) and Instagram (Click) as well.

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VIAThe Costa Rica News (TCRN)
SOURCECarina Ebert
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