Back in July 2022 I visited Costa Rica for the first time in 11 years. This time I flew into Liberia and spent a nice weekend in Playa Potrero, just a 30min-1 hour drive outside of the Liberia International Airport. The main draw to Potrero was to stay at a glamping tent at Libelula Lounge & Lodgings. It did not disappoint.
Libelula Lounge & Lodgings, it located in a residential area of the small beach town, but it is a quick, safe and easy 10-15 min walk to the nearest beach and 5-10 min to the main shops and restaurants. It is also within easy driving distance to larger nearby towns. Playa Penca, a popular local volcanic sand beach is a easy 20-30 minute walk as well (thought would not recommend coming during high tides as the waves are big and currents strong and the water goes all the way to the top of the beach). The lodge is run by a British family and it is lovely, warm, welcoming, laid back and yet professional and courteous. The glamping tents are not the only accommodation option, they do have regular rooms housed in concrete houses. Not only is creating a home away from home a focus, eco-friendly practices are at the forefront as well. No plastic bottles, they encourage you to bring your own water bottles and there is a distilled tap water filling station!
Libelula is a truly special and magical getaway. Small, private, secluded sanctuary run by some of the friendliest, down to earth and most welcoming people. The property is kept very clean and has thoughtful touches you’d find at luxury properties as well. The glamping tents exceeded my expectations in terms of appointments and comfort, no need to worry about mosquitoes or bugs in the tent itself, need to worry a bit in the open air bathroom though, especially in the mornings! While no AC in the tents, the evenings, even in July were cool and they have fans in the tents and it is very nicely insulated when you zip up all entries and windows.
The on site sushi restaurant, Doki Sushi, is surprisingly delicious, dont miss out on the crispy rice sushi. It is the laidback, familial, welcoming vibes here that truly make it special, its a labor of love and you can feel it.
We booked last minute and were welcomed. The team is responsive, quick to act, and accommodating, even if the rest of Costa Rica runs on La Pura Vida pace. They went above and beyond in that the original airport transfer we had arranged had to be changed last minute on arrival due to driver availability. We ended up getting a private driver instead of shuttle so it was more expensive, but our driver , Orlando, was fantastic. Nonetheless, for this minor inconvenience and only a small upcharge for the new transfer, the Libeblula team still gave an apology note and a bottle of wine waiting in our room. Simply unnecessary but very much welcome and shows the level of service and detail they strive to achieve.
The lodge is open to the public during the day for folks who may want to stop by and dine at the restaurant. Nonetheless it is over all very private and secluded. They can arrange transfers, local activities and give you plenty of local tips for where to go and eat. If not, just hang by their lovely pool. Kids are beyond welcome, there are toys and children’s books to use, there is a kid’s arts and crafts and game area and family hang out nooks. The tents can also accommodate extra beds.
Breakfast is included with your rate, and it is simple Costa Rican style but delicious, and great Costa Rican coffee is served, made in a traditional pour over method as well!
The Portrero community is tight and close, and it seems at sunset everyone, including the Libelula team, is gathered at Hemingway’s for drinks and socializing and it is fantastic. Even though we were there for a short 1 night stay, we immediately felt we became part of the Libelula family.
Highly recommend you book direct on their website https://www.libelulalounge.com/ for the best rates, and discounts. Returning guests also receive further discounts because when you are family thats what they do, take care of you!
Potrero Eats and Drinks
A great coffee shop to hang out, work, read from. Offering local brews and snacks/ hearty howls. Their cold brew is quite good.
Potrero Brewing Company
Neat local brewery. Most of their brews use imported ingredients but they do infuse their brews with local elements like local fruits, or coffee. A great place for beers and to hang out. It is part of a industrial little food court.
Taco/burrito stand next to Potrero Brewing. The Birria Tacos are amazing. Albeit a tad expensive.
Great atmosphere and drinks. THE place to be for sunset and to meet or hangout with the local community, a fun mix of locals and expats. This is like the real Bali before Bali became the home of gentrifying digital nomads.
Located in Libelula. Surprisingly good sushi rolls. Not expecting that at all for a sushi restaurant in a small town in Costa Rica.
Potrero and its surrounding areas is a wonderfully laid back area of the Costa Rican Pacific coast. Full of friendly locals and expats. Unspoiled beaches and easy access to the Costa Rican nature, hikes and adventure activities. Places like Libelula that offer secluded, private, familial refuge. And great blend of expat-centric yet locally focused eateries and shops. A great place to visit or base oneself out of on a trip to Costa Rica.