Explore Lapa Rios Lodge
Monkeys playfully swing along the boardwalk. Toucans soar in the sky. Keep walking, down the jungle pathway to a bamboo and wood bungalow that merges effortlessly with its surroundings. Now look out. That’s the Golfo Dulce down below, a calm and tropical home to whales and dolphins. It’s your home for now. A home you may struggle to leave. Opened in 1993, Lapa Rios is the groundbreaking ecolodge that proved you can combine sustainability with five-star luxury. Partly thanks to the spectacular surroundings, it’s now a destination in its own right. And while Costa Rica’s newer ecolodges are more pristine, there’s still such charm to this remote southern retreat.
The Osa Peninsula may yet become a tourist hotspot. Right now it’s wonderfully untamed. Lapa Rios took the prime location, right on the end of the peninsula, overlooking both the Pacific Ocean and Golfo Dulce. It’s really remote and that’s the appeal. You’re best taking a 50-minute domestic flight or private jet charter from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez, then the 45-minute road transfer.
Elegant and simple, that’s the endearing style at Lapa Rios. The bungalows are now almost completely hidden by the trees, so do expect the odd lizard, bug or monkey. Numbers 11 to 17 are more private, down long wooden boardwalks from the main rancho area. These do feel a little dated now, especially in comparison to newer ecolodges. The four new Lapa Villas are a good choice, with a plunge pool and space for up to five people.
Who is it for
Nature lovers who want to get off the beaten path and really explore. Couples who want an active break and don’t care about a weak Wi-Fi signal. There are activities for children but the minimum age is eight. If you like your accommodation to be new and shiny go elsewhere.
Amenities & Activities
Golfo Dulceis one of only four tropical fjords in the world and the marine activities here are the best in the country. Whale watching, scuba diving, kayaking, snorkelling, cruising alongside dolphins, plus three excellent point breaks to surf on the Pacific. Then there’s the jungle to explore. The range of activities is a highlight and makes up for the relative lack of amenities.