5x hotels in the nature of Costa Rica

Costa Rica is the ideal destination for true nature lovers. The country is small, yet breathtakingly beautiful with all its cloud forests, rainforests, mangrove forests and dry forests. In addition, you can enjoy the beach of the Caribbean Sea or the Pacific Ocean. We have listed 5 special accommodations in the Costa Rican nature for you.


Monteverde

1. Pacuare Lodge

The Pacuare Lodge is located in a private reserve of the Talamanca Mountains. The lodge is surrounded by rainforest and is situated on the banks of the Río Pacuare. This unique location, with its lively nature, offers excellent opportunities for adventure, romance and wellness. The lodge can be reached by raft over the Pacuare river, but also by land or helicopter.

This luxurious eco-lodge has 20 suites. You will be completely immersed by the magic of the surroundings. Each suite has a view of the river, but they are all unique on the inside. The furnishing of the suites is simple, yet refined. They are inspired by the Cabécar community that lives in the area. The Pacuare lodge has its own restaurant and lounge area. Most of the products that are being used in the restaurant come from their own farm. You can also make use of the infinity pool and spa. JawaJuü Spa uses the calming power of the rainforest and local natural products are used for the treatments.
Photos: Pacuare Lodge

Sustainability

Pacuare Lodge offers luxury but sustainability is a high priority. The lodge is built with respect for nature and consists of sustainable and environmentally friendly materials. Renewable energy is used. The staff of the Pacuare Lodge comes from the nearby communities and the lodge participates in programmes to preserve and support the communities and the nature of the surrounding area. An example of these projects is the Project Jaguar, in collaboration with the Costa Rican National University (UNA). This is a project aimed at the conservation and observation of the jaguar and other mammals. Since the start of the project several jaguars have been observed, including a rare black jaguar, also called black panther.


Photo: Pacuare Lodge

What is there to do?

The Pacuare lodge area has a lot to offer. Through various excursions and activities you can explore the area. Think of rafting, kayaking, rock climbing in the narrow gorge in the middle of the rainforest, abseiling, birdwatching, hikes to hidden waterfalls in the rainforest, visiting indigenous Cabécar families and visiting the Bajo del Tigre community.
Photos: Pacuare Lodge

Just as the birds make their nests high up in the trees, Pacuare Lodge has its own built nest, El Nido. On a platform of 20 meters high in a treetop, you can enjoy breakfast or lunch. The adventure begins along a 130-metre long cable car leading to the platform.
Photos: Pacuare Lodge

Petra previously wrote a blog about her stay at the Pacuare Lodge.

More about the Pacuare Lodge

2. Playa Cativo

The Playa Cativo lodge is located in the south of Costa Rica on the coast of Golfo Dulce, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean. By boat you will sail to the accommodation and along the way you will have the chance to spot whales, dolphins or turtles. You will arrive at a small paradise with exuberant flora and fauna.

Playa Cativo has 18 guesthouses, divided into four main categories. The rooms are decorated with reused hardwood and tile work that is handmade by local craftsmen. Playa Cativo also has its own spa, restaurant, swimming pool and bar with top quality cocktails and wines. In the library you can learn more about Costa Rica, the Gulfo Dulce, the history of this area and animal life. The lodge is located in the southwestern part of the Piedras Blancas National Park where it is estimated that 750 species of trees, 140 species of mammals, 367 species of birds, 117 species of reptiles and almost 10,000 species of insects can be found.

Sustainability

Playa Cativo uses 100% renewable energy from solar panels and hydropower. Fruit and vegetables are grown in a private garden. In addition, the accommodation supports various projects in Costa Rica, such as restoring coral reefs and setting up projects to restore the mangrove area. Finally, the accommodation has plans to cultivate endangered tree and plant species in order to restore nature.

What is there to do?

The special environment of Playa Cativo makes that there are many opportunities to discover this area. Because of the many bird species in the National Park Piedras Blancas, many people see this as the best place for birdwatching in Costa Rica. Under the guidance of a guide you can spot the special birds or take a walk through the park. And the beach at the lodge is an ideal place to watch the sunset.

Not only on land, but also in and under water is a lot to do. Snorkelling, diving, whale and dolphin watching. Learn to surf, go paddleboarding or step into a kayak for a trip over the water. And if you're here three days before or three days after the new moon of each month, you can see one of the most extraordinary phenomena in the world; Bioluminescence. A spectacular phenomenon in which the waters are illuminated by microorganisms that light up when they hit the waves. The light is usually so bright that you can even see the fish in the water.

3. Lapa Rios Lodge

The Lapa Rios Lodge is located on the Osa Peninsula and protects more than 400 hectares of rainforest. From the lodge the Pacific Ocean and Golfo Dulce are easy to reach. The Corcovado National Park is close to the accommodation, and it is considered one of the most pristine and bio diverse pieces of rainforest in Central America.

The ecolodge consists of 17 luxury bungalows with sea views and a private veranda. Furthermore, the lodge has a natural swimming pool, so without chemicals, a spa and eating and drinking facilities. The dishes in the restaurant are mainly made with local and sustainable products, and delicious cocktails, wines and other drinks are served at the bar. There are also guides, biologists and natural scientists on site. They are always available to answer your questions about the area and its flora and fauna.
Photos: Lapa Rios

Sustainability

Sustainability is very important at the Lapa Rios Lodge. It uses solar energy, its own vegetable garden and biodegradable bath and cleaning products. Furthermore, the lodge has a 'no plastic policy'. The accommodation also cooperates with a number of nature conservation organizations to protect the Corcovado National Park and the big cats are watched by cameras to better protect them.

It is not only nature that benefits from the sustainability of the Lapa Rios Lodge: the accommodation is also committed to the community. All employees at the lodge are Costa Rican. In addition, Lapa Rios has started a primary school close to the lodge and a programme has been developed to train new guides. This is done with the help of the lapathon, a 10-kilometre run where money is raised to start up more projects of this kind.

Photos: Lapa Rios

What is there to do?

Osa Peninsula is a unique place in Costa Rica; it is home to some 2.5% of the world's biodiversity, even though Osa Peninsula only covers 0.001% of the world's total surface! Together with guides you will set off to discover this unique nature: more than 300 bird species have been spotted around the lodge, including the scarlet macaw. This bird is also called lapa in Costa Rican, which is where the name of the lodge comes from.

Tip: would you like to know which birds have been spotted around the lodge? Then take a look at the bird checklist of the Lapa Rios Lodge.
Photos: Lapa Rios

Not only are birds abundant here; you can also spot many other wild animals. Think of sloths, armadillos, monkeys and frogs. In the evening you can go on a night walk with a guide and get acquainted with the nocturnal animal life.

Photos: Lapa Rios

4. Senda Monteverde

Senda Monteverde is surrounded by the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, which protects more than 10,500 hectares of nature reserve: a unique place with an enormous variety of flora and fauna. An ideal destination for true nature lovers.

The accommodation officially opened in 2018. That was when the Costa Rican couple John & Lisa Aspinall took over the former Sapo Dorado Hotel. Their goal was to bring new life into what was once a nice hotel. They especially wanted to involve the local inhabitants. The result is impressive: Senda Monteverde is a unique boutique hotel with only 24 rooms. Here you are in a green oasis of tranquillity far from the hurried world, where you can only perceive the sounds of nature.

The accommodation has a yoga studio where you can follow yoga classes. Senda Monteverde also has the El Sapo bar & lounge, and the El Sapo restaurant. The products used for these facilities are all sustainable and locally produced. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and has vegetarian and vegan dishes. Excellent organic South American wines are served at the restaurant, bar & lounge, and locally brewed beers and cocktails are available.
Photos: Senda Monteverde

What is there to do?

If you are staying at Senda Monteverde, there is, of course, the possibility to visit the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Together with a guide you will discover the cloud forest. You will have the chance to discover some of the unique bird species such as the quetzal and the toucan. In addition, you can just encounter monkeys, a nasua or, with a lot of luck, a jaguar or puma. You can also choose to go out at night with a guide, giving you the chance to spot nocturnal animals.
Photos: Senda Monteverde

The Monteverde Reserve is also a perfect base for a more active day. Go zip-lining, canopy or horseback riding. These activities are all a unique way to discover the cloud forest even better: during your horseback riding trip, for example, you will not only ride along the 'normal' paths, but you'll also ride over a coffee and banana plantation.

Not only the Monteverde Cloud Forest is unique. Senda Monteverde is located close to the Aguti Wildlife Reserve and is seen as a quieter alternative to the Monteverde Cloud Forest. From the accommodation you get exclusive and unlimited access to this private reserve.
Photos: Senda Monteverde

5. Nantipa Beach Resort

The Nantipa Beach Resort is located at the far end of Nicoya Peninsula: a hidden gem on the beautiful Pacific coast on the beach of Santa Teresa. The name Nantipa derives from the language of the Chototega tribe: a centuries-old community of Nicoya Peninsula. The peninsula is considered one of the five so-called 'blue zones'. These are areas that UNESCO considers to be areas where people generally live longer and healthier lives. Something that makes this place extra unique.

The Nantipa Beach Resort is a small-scale accommodation with only 15 bungalows, allowing you to enjoy the peace and quiet and the surroundings during your stay. Although the accommodation is small-scale, you will not miss anything during your stay. Nantipa does not have its own restaurant, but you will find the Manzu Restaurant just around the corner. International dishes are served, but there is a twist to it. The restaurant uses fresh and local ingredients for their dishes and cocktails. You will be pleasantly surprised.
Photos: Nantipa

What is there to do?

During your stay at the Nantipa Lodge you can undertake several activities. You can go horseback riding at a nearby ranch, learn to surf, go fishing or join a canopy tour.

If you prefer to stay with both feet on the mainland, you can choose to hike in the Cobo Blanco National Park or the Curu Reserve. Created in 1963, the Cobo Blanco National Park was one of the first major conservation projects in Costa Rica to protect the area from deforestation. The Curu Reserve ensures the sustainable use of land and teaches people and animals to interact better with each other. During your hike along the trails of the reserve you will encounter a wide variety of flora and fauna.
Photos: Nantipa

A unique experience is to visit Tortuga Island. Along the way you may see dolphins, rays, turtles and whales. The island is a perfect place to go snorkelling: you will encounter unique tropical fish species.


Photo: Nantipa

Travel to Costa Rica?

Would you like to make a trip through Costa Rica yourself and visit one of these unique lodges in the Costa Rican nature? We are happy to help you organize a trip that meets your wishes. For more information, visit our page about Costa Rica.

Do you have a question? Feel free to contact us. Call +31 73 610 62 04 or send an email to info@sapapanatravel.nl. We are happy to help.

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