Arenal Volcano Guestbook

Alison B. and Family

LEAVES and LIZARDS GUESTBOOK, PG. 2


Costa Rica Rural Tourism

"Steve and Debbie have done a fabulous job with the construction of the cabins. I was very impressed with how beautiful and lush everything was. Highlights included: Toucans Lightening bugs lighting up the jungle at night-Hummingbirds everywhere!-Sloths-Pancake breakfasts-Seeing the glow of the volcano late in the evening- Fresh bromeliad arrangements in the room! The little town at the bottom of the hill was such an awesome little place too. We had a great and affordable dinner at 2 different places in town. Our only mistake is not planning accordingly and leaving too soon. There were a ton of things we wanted to do but didn't have the time. That's just more the reason to plan another trip back." Alison B. and Family Colorado, USA

Connie and Dick Sandlin

"Debbie and Steve, You have indeed crafted a miracle here in the middle of Paradise! We loved our terribly short stay with you very much. The birds were great, the view amazing and the hospitality wonderful. We enjoyed the mix of nature and your welcoming house together with the culture and personalities of Costa Rica. We really enjoyed meeting Mireya, Geovanni and Sergio.....We wish you all the best and hope to see you again." Connie and Dick Sandlin, Dallas, Texas USA Audubon Dallas VP of Field Trips.






Vavra Family

"We absolutely loved our time at Leaves and Lizards....We wanted a Costa Rican experience without feeling too much like a tourist...and Leaves and Lizards delivered big time! Hard to believe that Steve and Debbie have been doing this only two years! The cabins they built are great...quiet and comfy with a great view. Their naturalist guide, Geovani is fantastic! Very, very knowledgeable, especially about birds...loved his bird calls. He took us to the waterfall, Arenal night hike and to Orlando's preserve. Another of their local guides "Chito" was great as well. He took us on horseback to the waterfall...a very memorable experience. Our children (12 and 10) loved their time at Leaves and Lizards, they even got to help Debbie wash and groom a couple of young horses. Steve and Debbie are wonderful hosts. They are warm, friendly and want to make your experience the best it can be... and it was!" Vavra Family, California

Patricia from Florida

"Leaves and Lizards was a wonderful breath of fresh air. We are from Florida and the lack of air conditioning was a concern for me but here you don't need it. The evenings were about 60 degrees and it was so great to wake up hearing all the animals every morning. We stayed here for the first three days of our trip and we wish we could have stayed a few more. The pictures on their website don't do this pace justice - we were very pleased with the cabins and surroundings. Geovani is an amazing guide - he really knows his animals and it is freakish how he can call them and they respond! Steve and Debbie were very nice and great hosts. We enjoyed fresh juice martini's at dinner each night and Mireya makes tasty meals. I don't were you else you can pay less to get personalized tours....I would highly recommend Leaves and Lizards to anyone that doesn't want to be in a touristy location- yes it's out of the way - but it's worth it!" Patrica, Florida

Vernon and Family

"My family and I spent four of the best days of our vacation in Costa Rica at Leaves and Lizards. Our boys are ages 10 and 13. The cabin we stayed in was simple yet elegant. We had a perfect view of the Arenal Volcano. After an excellent breakfast each morning, at their main house, we spent our days enjoying the natural beauty and wonders of the area. Steve and Deb provided us with an excellent guide and they helped us plan our tours and adventures. We truly enjoyed their frendly, warm hospitatlity. We were there during the rainy season but it really didn't matter. During our four days there, we were able to go horseback riding, zip lining, swimming near a waterfall, swimming in the hot springs, nature walking over hanging bridges and we even got off our horses to enjoy a local soccer game that was being played near Leaves and Lizards retreat. We truly had a great time. We wish we could have stayed longer. You may want to rent a vehicle when you go there, it really made thing even more convenient." Vernon and Family, Georgia, USA

"I'm Annika and I'm 11 years old. Leaves and Lizards is so cool! Horseback riding to the Dairy Farm was awsome. At the dairy farm I milked a cow, made cheese and went fishing. There is even a mini-zip line there that goes over the pond where I went fishing. If you go there and catch a fish ask Eric to cook the fish it tates so good! I saw a baby sloth on the way back from the farm. You can see the volcano really well out the window of the cabin. My brother, Evan, took a picture of it he even took a picture of the door. The carvings are cool. Steve is really nice and a good painter (I hope to be as good as he is some day). Lucky and Chloe (the dogs) are playful, smart and fun to talk to; it's like they understand me. I could write forever about Leaves and Lizards, about the horses, the pigs and the chickens.." Annika Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

"This place is an out-of-this world paradise. The view and feeling of being in a treehouse from the deck is outstanding. Steve and Debbie's layout of plantings and flowers and paths-both road and foot-are stunning. It is simply gorgeous here. To look out over the green splendor, makes one feel incredibly lucky to be one of the few who gets to experience it. The sunset lava hike is definetely a once in a lifetime experience-we got amazing views of red hot lava rocks emitting from the cone and rolling down the sides! The hike at El Silenco forest was also amazing-spider and howler monkeys AND fantasitc volcano views. Anyone who stays here will never forget it as a once in a lifetime experience." Johnson Family-Huntsville, Utah, USA

The visit was wonderful and we're very grateful to Steve and Debbie for their hopitality and strong will to make this place fit so well with its surroundings. As a biologist (Marcy) and geologist (Richard) we found much to enjoy and it was enhanced even more by Geovanni's excellence as a guide. He truly knows an unlimited amount of information on the area and is generous in sharing it. We recommend the Arenal lava bed hike, El Silenco reserve and the hanging bridges. Best of luck to Steve and Debbie with their future restoration work here and in their relationships with the local people." Dr. Marcy Brown Marsden and Richard Mardsen, Dallas, Texas - Audubon Dallas

"Thanks for your hospitality. Your place is lovely and will surely inspire many visitors to care for things in nature that bring us comfort, joy and the means to sustain our lives. Your home cooked meals were delicious! The stops along the drive from San Jose were very pleasant. The tours that were arranged with Geovanni were outstanding. He provided a wealth of information having spent his life in this area. I would recommend him to a lot of guests. Good Luck and best wishes in your venture here." Julie Britton, Dallas, Texas - Audubon Dallas

Debbie and Steve-What a wonderful memory I have from staying at your place!! I just wish we had thorougly looked through your website to see all the things we could have just done directly through you. I'm sure we would have planned things a bit differently and I wish we could have stayed longer. Geovany is a real gem and we SO appreciated his taking care of us and his pasion for the environment and giving guests the best possible experience. We loved your story of how you got to Costa Rica.....Thank you for a truly wonderful experience and hospitality. You've got an idyllic place." Carolyn Muegge-Vaughan Anchorage, Alaska, wife of the late Norman Vaughan, Chief Dog Sled driver for the Admiral Byrd Antarctic Expedition 1928-30.

"Costa Rica in a word: WOW (The country is a World of Wonders). Beauty, tranquility, adventure all in one small place. Thank you, Steve and Debbie for sharing your beautiful piece of Costa Rica with us and the tour you arranged for us were great. Rafing on the Balsa river was awesome (we enjoyed this trip even more then rafting the Arkansas River in Colorado).....The Canoy Tour was exciting -flying over the tree tops and waterfall-we captured some amazing video. Eric and his family were very gracious to open their home to us and let us live like a Tico Family for the day. We never did ge the hang of milking the cows, though -but the cheese we made and the tilapia we caught were quite tasty! We enjoyed the horseback ride with Debbie -running up the hills, jumping the log and touring their beautiful place. We had rain on our nature hike with Geovani, but what would a rainforest be without rain. We still saw some wonderful birds and animals. Canyoning was our next adventure- it was a new experience for us, our son questioned our parenting as the guide told him to jump off a 168 ft cliff and rappel down- but in the end fun was had by all. On the volcano hike, we saw hot lava rocks and yes rain again. Thank you Geovani for always looking our for our safety. Geovani found a red-eyed tree fron in the rain at night! What an amazing guide. Thank you again, Debbie and Steve you've got an awesome thing going here. Maybe we can make it back one day!" Rodenbaugh Family, Colorado, USA

Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Hotel