This week's Smart Deal stopped me in my tracks: it seemed too good to be true. Lost Iguana Resort (tel. 011/506 2267-6148; www.lostiguanaresort.com) in Costa Rica is offering a package that's perfect for honeymooners or anyone who needs an escape with their significant other. It's priced at $1,990 per couple and includes seven nights of an all-inclusive stay at the foot of Arenal Volcano.
Lost Iguana is a boutique hotel situated on 120 acres in a rainforest. Guests can see the volcano (which is active, by the way), from any of the hotel's 42 rooms. Volcano-related travel might raise a red flag in light of how Iceland's eruption has thwarted travelers across Europe. However, Lost Iguana is two and a half miles from Arenal and more than 1,000 feet above its base. Furthermore, because it is not inactive and therefore blocked, it's not likely to jeopardize your travel plans. Owner Elaine Knight says "there haven't been any dangerous eruptions near the hotels since I purchased my land 17 years ago" but assures readers that "in the case there was any unusual activity that would make it unsafe for guests, we would be happy to let them out of their reservation."
The hotel's on-site nature guide can take you around the volcano. Many visitors prefer to see it active at night, and those who stay between June and October have the best chance of seeing that happen. Nearby, you can consider a number of attractions and outdoor activities, from rafting and scaling hanging bridges to climbing to the top of La Fortuna Waterfall.
Other property features include an open-air restaurant, two pools (one freshwater and one hot pool with a swim-up bar), and a hibiscus maze. The spa also has thatched bungalows geared toward massages and other special treatments. After days of hiking and exploring, it shouldn't be difficult using up your $1,000 spa credits on massages, wraps that involve volcanic clay, facials, reflexology and more.
Trip Type: All-inclusive hotel stay
What the Quoted Price Gets You: Seven nights in a standard deluxe room, based on double occupancy; breakfast, lunch and dinners; $1,000 spa credits, hike on Arenal Volcano or nature trails with an experienced guide; evening at Eco Thermales Hot Springs.
What Else You'll Have to Pay: Round-trip airfare and all associated taxes, fees, and surcharges.
When: April 20-November 15.
Book By: As soon as possible for best availability
Other Details: All prices are per person and, if lodging is a component of the package, based upon two people traveling together (unless otherwise noted). The prices listed are general starting rates; see "What Else You'll Have to Pay" for details about associated taxes and fees. Base-prices, taxes and fees can vary based on point of departure and time of travel. Trip add-ons like sightseeing tours and meal plans may also increase the price. Check with the tour operator for additional gateways and any single supplements, which is the extra cost that a solo traveler would pay to book the deal.