Lapa Rios, Osa-Peninsula
A truly unique lodge experience in the midst of one of the world's wildest rainforests
On a small peninsula, well hidden in the southwest corner of Costa Rica, you will find one of the world's most unique rainforest areas. In the midst of this wilderness, with views of Pacific beaches and the lush green rainforest, lie 16 superb bungalows. The peninsula is called Osa, and the lodge is Lapa Rios. Together, they are candidates to go down in history as the experience of a lifetime.
Robinson Crusoe meets Indiana Jones
It feels a bit like entering a Disney movie when arriving at the lodge. Parrots, toucans, monkeys, iguanas, and navy blue butterflies welcome you almost immediately, and you immediately know that you have arrived at a very special place.
You should feel like both Robinson Crusoe and Indiana Jones as you walk through the thick jungle, literally feeling nature up close. And at the same time, you should feel relaxed and privileged when you retire to your lodge in the afternoon.
Experiences from the top of the wilderness
But even though you relax away from the wilderness, you never really leave nature. You just withdraw a little bit. You rise just a little above the rainforest floor. You go up to tree-top level, so you can sit and admire the entire beautiful creation up close, while the Pacific Ocean and the jungle's animals provide sound effects.
Supplier of any beach experience
Lapa Rios is situated right where the Pacific Ocean and jungle meet. Only a narrow strip of sand separates the lush and lazy trees of the jungle from the gentle waves.
In fact, you can choose from four different beaches, each with its own unique features. If you prefer raw nature where the waves crash with raw and dramatic force, throwing themselves and starfish over the rocks, then Playa Matapalo is the place to be. If you prefer a peaceful and child-friendly beach, then Backwash Bay is the spot. And there are also beaches for surfers and fishermen.
Puma, jaguar, and Ocelot
Part of the magic at Lapa Rios is thanks to the lodge's staff. They are proactive in meeting the various needs of guests, and you can feel that they love what they do.
The affiliated expert guides are always on the lookout in and around the lodge in case something special happens. This means that you suddenly find yourself in the front row with the opportunity to experience some of nature's rare moments. In fact, the area is one of the best places in the world to spot rare animals such as pumas, jaguars, ocelots, and more.
Lapa Rios Takes Care of Nature
Back in the 1990s, long before the world could spell biodiversity, ecology, and sustainability, the owners, John and Karen, decided to embark on their own campaign for the planet's best. They moved to the Osa Peninsula and built Lapa Rios while teaching the locals how to take care of their own nature - that is just how it is. They think about both the short and the long term.
And there is still not a day that goes by without thinking about nature's best at Lapa Rios. John and Karen were pioneers in the early 1990s. And in a way, they still are, but now they have passed the baton on to younger forces. Not a single decision is made without carefully assessing its impact on nature.
This means the cultivation of fresh, organic ingredients, a 100% plastic-free environment, recycling, solar energy, and various wildlife projects.
It's about making the experience incomparable
All the thoughts about taking care of nature make Lapa Rios the ultimate rainforest experience. The jungle and the enormous biodiversity could not have survived without the American pioneer spirit from the early 1990s.
The pioneer spirit and the love for nature could not have survived if there were no guests at Lapa Rios, and guests would not come if the experience was not close to incomparable. And that's how it all fits into a larger context.
It is not cheap to stay at Lapa Rios, but if you understand this context, it provides a nature experience like no other. Thus, it is also worth every penny. And that is why it is part of National Geographic's small list of the world's most unique lodges.
Lapa Rios is located on the Osa Peninsula in the southwest corner of Costa Rica. It is quite a distance from the beaches and national parks on the normal tourist route further north. So not only is the rainforest experience itself much better, but you also won't have to share it with as many people.
The fastest way to get to Lapa Rios is by a short domestic flight. But we can also easily incorporate it as part of a self-drive tour, where we take you to a few other less-visited places along the way.