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15 Best Things To Do in The Yucatan Peninsula

15 Best Things To Do in The Yucatan Peninsula

There are infinite adventures to have within the Yucatan. Here’s a take a look at the perfect issues to do within the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.

Few locations supply as a lot selection as Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. An unlimited expanse of jungle, bordered by pristine white seashores, grows out of a novel and sophisticated ecosystem.

The total peninsula is porous limestone with caverns of contemporary water. Countless sinkholes (known as cenotes) break the floor, offering vacationers with alternatives for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving.

best things to do in the yucatan visit cenotes
Visiting cenotes is among the must-do’s within the Yucatan

And that’s simply nature. The Yucatan comprises a mixture of three essential cultures: Mayan, Spanish colonial, and fashionable Mexican.

You can immerse your self in all three in locations like Valladolid, close to Chichen Itza, with a go to to the well-known ruins within the morning, a cease at a Sixteenth-century convent within the afternoon, and a dinner of Yucatan specialties at a classy gastropub within the night.

There are so many issues to do within the Yucatan that many vacationers return many times. I’m considered one of them. During my 10 years dwelling in Mexico, I visited the realm about every year, typically extra.

With so many locations to go to within the Yucatan, you’re certain to have an awesome expertise it doesn’t matter what you’re searching for!

Here are the highest 15 issues to see and do within the Yucatan, plus sensible recommendations on learn how to benefit from your journey.

1. Visit Playa del Carmen

Although Cancun is the primary vacation spot which will come to thoughts, I like to recommend Playa del Carmen as a primary cease within the Mayan Riviera.

best places to visit in playa del carmen
A rainbow after some rain. Make certain to stroll fifth avenue far north previous the touristy spots

Cancun is okay if you wish to confine your journey to an enormous beachside resort (or if you wish to tough it in low-cost accommodations in Cancun’s considerably rundown downtown space).

But if you wish to stroll barefoot out of your family-run lodge to the seashore for an early morning swim, Playa del Carmen is the place.

Although the seashore has suffered erosion and algae invasions in recent times, and there are bigger seashores in Tulum, Puerto Morelos, and Akumal, what provides Playa the sting over these different seashore cities is Quinta Avenida (fifth Avenue).

Conveniently beginning on the fundamental bus station and operating parallel to the seashore, Quinta Avenida is pedestrian-only for practically 2 kilometers.

It’s lined with small accommodations, memento retailers, and a variety of Mexican and international eating places. Exploring this bustling avenue is definitely one of many prime issues to do within the Yucatan. 

The most genuine native meals, together with the most important nightclubs, are a block or two away, and also you’re in all probability higher off searching for a lodge elsewhere (due to noise). But there’s nothing fairly like wandering down Quinta Avenida, day or night time, taking in all of the sights, sounds, and smells.

Make certain to take a look at Calle 38 (simply off of fifth Ave.) and proceed taking fifth avenue north all the best way into Colosio.

2. Hit the Beach Below the Ruins of Tulum

There are a whole lot of archeological websites within the Yucatan, starting from tiny (however attention-grabbing) iguana-filled San Miguelito in Cancun’s lodge zone to large, world-famous Chichen Itza.

ruins near cancun tulum
the seashore under Tulum Ruins is a beautiful hue

Tulum could have misplaced most of its allure over the previous few years, however I like to recommend Tulum for a first-timer’s must-see within the Yucatan. The ruins and seashore listed below are fairly unimaginable. 

About an hour south of Playa del Carmen, it’s straightforward to go to Tulum on a day journey even from Cancun (about two hours away). It has spectacular buildings and mixture of open grassy areas and paths by timber.

The fundamental attraction of Tulum, nevertheless, is its location above the turquoise Caribbean.

It’s one of many prime locations to go to within the Yucatan for pictures. Best of all, a wood staircase results in a small seashore under, the place you possibly can swim out within the water for a unique view of the Tulum ruins.

A highway from the south exit of the park goes to the principle seashore in Tulum, which is lengthy, vast, and overflowing with powdery white sand. This mixture of ruins and seashore makes a visit to Tulum one other among the finest issues to do within the Yucatan.

Find out learn how to go to the Tulum Ruins in our article, right here.

3. Mountain Bike within the Jungle at Punta Venado

Speaking of good seashores in Mexico, there’s a beautiful and secluded one at Punta Venado (Deer Point) about fifteen minutes south of Playa del Carmen.

The Punta Venado Beach Club has good meals and affordable costs, and the quiet seashore is among the greatest locations to go to within the Yucatan for some privateness.

As good because the seashore is, the true draw to Punta Venado is its mountain bike park. A big community of trails has been constructed by the rainforest, and one sandy path runs proper alongside the coast.

You’ll see many wild animals on the paths, together with iguanas, monkeys, and the raccoon-like tree mammal coati.

The trails have three ranges of issue. The intermediate and professional trails are lengthy, bumpy, and certain to fulfill professional cyclists used to large mountains. The newbie trails are a lot much less daunting, however anybody driving them must be totally snug on a mountain bike.

You can lease good high quality, well-maintained mountain bikes on the store or convey your individual. And after all, after your experience, you possibly can spend the remainder of the day swimming within the sea or sipping margaritas on the seashore membership’s poolside bar.

4. Explore Isla Mujeres by Bicycle

If you need to expertise the Yucatan on two wheels however aren’t up for warm and arduous mountain biking within the jungle, you continue to have loads of choices.

things to do in isla mujeres punta sur
Explore Isla Mujeres by bicycle or golf cart

You can lease bicycles at practically each vacationer vacation spot within the Yucatan, equivalent to Tulum, Merida, and Playa del Carmen’s Quinta Avenida…and Isla Mujeres.

One of the perfect Yucatan actions is to cruise throughout Isla Mujeres by bicycle. The lengthy, slender island is positioned simply north of Cancun, and you’ll attain it by ferry from Cancun’s lodge zone or Puerto Juarez.

The ferries drop you off on the north finish of the island, the place the little village and the most important seashores are. Most guests by no means go away this space, and certainly may not even know the way rather more to the island there may be.

And really, the best a part of the Yucatan is Punta Sur, a rocky lookout on the southern tip of Isla Mujeres. It’s a fantastic spot, and strolling out to it is among the prime issues to do within the Yucatan, and greatest locations to go to in Isla Mujeres.

Renting a cruiser bike within the village is a superb possibility for attending to Punta Sur, and you may make stops at different Yucatan points of interest on Isla Mujeres throughout your experience, equivalent to Garrafón Natural Reef Park.

Have a take a look at this fun cycling experience across the island, which takes in lots of the sights and could be very reasonably priced.  

5. Swim or Scuba Dive in a Cenote

The Yucatan has many dive websites, particularly the Mayan Riviera, the stretch of the Caribbean shoreline from Cancun to Tulum. Besides reefs, there’s additionally an underwater museum, which is a sequence of submerged statues within the sea between Isla Mujeres and mainland Cancun.

cenote things to do in cancun
Don’t miss swimming, snorkelling or scuba diving in a cenote. This is among the greatest issues to do within the Yucatan

This would possibly sound unusual to scuba divers, however for me, the perfect diving is reached by van, not by boat, and never within the deep open sea, however in slender caverns in just a few meters of contemporary water.

I’m speaking about cenotes, the freshwater sinkholes that result in intensive networks of caves. Scuba diving in cenotes is considered one of my favourite adventures within the Yucatan, and every time I am going, I go to a couple of new ones.

Two in style cenotes are Dos Ojos and El Pit. They’re proper subsequent to one another, sharing an entrance and customer middle, they usually’re conveniently positioned off the freeway between Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

They make for a wonderful introduction to cenote diving each due to their location and likewise as a result of they’re very completely different.

Dos Ojos is a cavern dive with two routes that take you thru slender passages filled with stalagmites, stalactites, and tree roots dangling within the water.

El Pit, because the identify suggests, is a large, deep chamber, the place vivid beams of sunshine slant by the blue-tinted water.

If you need to go cenote diving, go to a dive store in Playa del Carmen or Tulum. They’ll talk about the choices with you, lease gear, and supply transportation.

If you’re not a scuba diver, Dos Ojos remains to be a good selection for swimming in a cenote.

If you end up in a unique a part of the Yucatan, equivalent to Merida, don’t fear, as a result of cenotes are in every single place, and each affords one thing distinctive and attention-grabbing. Swimming of their cool contemporary water is among the important issues to do within the Yucatan Peninsula.

6. Swing in a Hammock over Kaan Luum’s Sapphire Water

About quarter-hour south of Tulum city by automotive or public transportation is an entire different sort of cenote. Kaan Luum is a big, roughly round lagoon of contemporary water surrounded by dense jungle.

Kaan Luum Lagoon cenote mexico
Kaan Luum is to not be missed!

It’s fairly shallow, about chest-high, till the middle of the lagoon, which comprises a deep cenote. Here the sky-blue hues of the clear water all of the sudden go darkish. It’s roped off, so you possibly can’t swim into it, however you possibly can swim alongside and ponder its murky depths.

Kaan Luum is among the greatest locations to go to within the Yucatan to loosen up. Bring chilly drinks and snacks, and hang around on one of many lengthy piers all day.

You may also climb into one of many hammocks strung up over the water and swing the day away. Find Kaan Luum on the map, here.

7. Take a Boat Trip in Bacalar

For a multi-colored lake on a a lot grander scale than Kaan Luum, head south to Bacalar, the lake of seven colours, one of the stunning locations to go to within the Yucatan.

bacalar one of the most beautiful places in the yucatan
Bacalar is among the most stunning locations to go to within the Yucatan

For the complete Bacalar expertise, take a ship journey across the lake. As quickly as you method the principle dock, individuals will instantly method providing boat journeys. You can convey no matter you need on the boat, equivalent to a cooler filled with beer, and are available ready to swim.

The boat journey will take you throughout the lake, making stops at submerged cenotes and a shallow sandy space close to a canal as soon as utilized by pirates, the place you possibly can bounce in and funky off.

The information may also level out stromatolites, coral-like limestone rocks which can be fashioned by an historic algae that’s one of many oldest types of life on Earth.

For a bit more cash, however a way more peaceable journey, head out on a sailboat instead

8. Escape the Crowds at Holbox

The two massive islands off of the Yucatan’s Caribbean coast, Isla Mujeres and Cozumel, are inside straightforward attain by comparatively brief ferry journeys from Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

visit isla holbox yucatan
Don’t miss the funky island of Isla Holbox

They’re wonderful locations to go to within the Yucatan, with heaps to do, particularly biking on Isla Mujeres, scuba diving off Cozumel, and hitting the seashore at each.

Somewhat overshadowed by these two luminaries is the Yucatan Peninsula’s third main island, Holbox, positioned between the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.

It’s considerably farther away, requiring a protracted (however easy) drive or bus journey from Cancun or Merida earlier than you get on the ferry to the island.

It’s well worth the journey, and among the finest locations to go to within the Yucatan to get away from all of it. Holbox has a cool village with pleasant, reasonably priced accommodations and a variety of eating places.

The seashores are astounding, and one part typically lights up with bioluminescence at night time. And if you happen to’re there between June and September, you possibly can participate in one of many best possible Yucatan adventures — swimming with whale sharks.

9. Stroll the Tranquil Streets of Valladolid

Valladolid’s greatest declare to fame could also be its proximity to Chichen Itza, one of many New Seven Wonders of the World. But the gorgeous small city is completely value a go to for its personal sake, and I recommend staying for a number of days if attainable.

visit valladolid mexico
Spend a couple of days exploring Valladolid

Colorful, well-restored colonial buildings line cobblestone streets in a neatly deliberate grid, making for nice strolling and pictures.

Scattered amongst them are Yucatan points of interest like leafy parks, museums in colonial mansions, a 500-year-old convent, a cenote, and an genuine market with native specialties on the market.

There are quite a few issues to see and do in Valladolid to maintain you busy. Plus, there are some wonderful eating places right here as effectively. 

Staying in Valladolid is smart earlier than or after a visit to Chichen Itza because you’ll be capable to go to the ruins proper once they open, earlier than the tour buses arrive.

10. Step Back in Time at Mayan Ruins

With quite a few archeological websites on the Yucatan Peninsula, you would spend a lifetime pursuing an adventurous Indiana Jones expertise, particularly in distant areas overgrown with vegetation like Calakmul, Coba, and Uxmal.

visiting the Coba mayan ruins
The Coba ruins are a must-see within the Yucatan

With its iconic pyramid, Chichen Itza attracts the crowds, and for good motive. The massive web site has an enchanting number of buildings, detailed carvings, and distinctive sections.

It’s massive sufficient to spend the entire day in and be regularly stunned by one thing new — platforms filled with columns, paths by the jungle, and two cenotes.

It may not really feel as distant or mysterious as another Mayan ruins, however visiting Chichen Itza remains to be among the finest issues to do within the Yucatan, regardless of all of the hype and vacationers. Then, in your subsequent journey, you possibly can (and may) go to different historic Mayan cities.

11. Sample Local Delicacies in Merida’s Public Market

Merida is the most important metropolis within the Yucatan and the capital of the Yucatan state. The peninsula includes three states, with Yucatan within the north and middle, Quintana Roo on the east facet, and Campeche on the west facet.

cochinita pibil tacos merida
Visit Merida and pattern the tasty cochinita pibil tacos

It doesn’t really feel like a metropolis, nevertheless, however extra like a dwelling museum of Spanish colonial structure. It’s among the finest locations to go to within the Yucatan to wander round and absorb some tradition.

And there’s no higher place to leap proper into the tradition than Merida’s sprawling market. A go to right here is among the prime issues to do in Merida.

Located a couple of blocks from the zocalo (middle sq.) in the midst of city, the market has a number of sections the place you will discover produce, flowers, drugs, souvenirs, and every kind of family items.

The meals part is my favourite half. You can strive the various dishes of the Yucatan Peninsula’s distinctive delicacies at all kinds of small eating places and meals stalls, and you’ll’t beat the low costs.

Some tried-and-true favorites are cochinita pibil, shredded pork marinated in spicy ashiote sauce, which is commonly served in tacos or typical Yucatan finger meals equivalent to panuchos and salbutes.

Relleno negro, a black turkey soup, tastes nothing like the way it appears. Also, head to a juice stand to strive genuine chaya, a local leaf floor up and served as a refreshing drink.

12. Take the Horse-Drawn Train to the Cuzuma Cenotes

Spending a day attending to the Cuzuma cenotes is among the adventures within the Yucatan you’ll always remember.

Three cenotes are positioned in a former sugarcane plantation, and a small railroad passes by the location. It was previously used to move crops, and now it’s used to move guests to the cenotes.

Horses pull the prepare automobiles surprisingly rapidly from cenote to cenote. The cenotes themselves are improbable, with massive chambers and loads of room for swimming.

The entrance to at least one is only a shoulder-width gap within the floor with a wood staircase main down into the darkness.

From the city of Cuzuma, it’s straightforward to get details about discovering the prepare. To get to Cuzuma in public transportation, search for colectivos (passenger vans) leaving from close to Merida’s public market.

13. Marvel on the Pink Water of Las Coloradas

The pink lagoons of Las Coloradas, close to the small city of Rio Largartos, are a photographer’s dream. The space is used for salt manufacturing, which turns the water shades of crimson and pink each six months. 

los coloradas yucatan places to visit
The color of the water at Los Coloradas is wonderful

You’re not allowed to get within the water anymore, however you possibly can nonetheless stroll round their shores, trying out the colours and establishing nice photographs. Make certain to return in March or in July and August to see the colours at their brightest.

Rio Lagartos is positioned on the north coast of the Yucatan Peninsula on the finish of a freeway coming from Valladolid. Besides Las Coloradas, the realm additionally has beautiful seashores and a big protected space filled with crocodiles and flamingos.

14. See the Flamingos on the Celestún Biosphere Reserve

If you didn’t get sufficient flamingos in Rio Lagartos, then head west from Merida to the Celestún Biosphere Reserve, which has an infinite flamingo colony.

things to do in the yucatan see flamingos
Seeing the flamingos is among the greatest issues to do within the Yucatan Peninsula

This big nature reserve takes up practically the complete west coast of the peninsula north of Campeche, and among the finest entry factors is the sleepy fishing village of Celestún. You may also try the deserted and overgrown ruins of an outdated hacienda close by.

You can see the flamingos proper on the seashore close to a city, or you possibly can organize a ship journey by the mangroves, the place you’ll see numerous different tropical birds and crocodiles.

You can get to Celestún by automotive or public transportation from Merida in about an hour and a half, and there’s no query {that a} day journey to this pristine space is among the greatest issues to do within the Yucatan Peninsula to understand nature.

15. Learn Some History within the Colonial Gem of Campeche

Founded in 1540, Campeche was an important Spanish outpost in colonial occasions, and town as we speak is a must-see within the Yucatan for historical past lovers.

streets of campeche things to do in yucatan mexico
Campeche is a superb place to go to within the Yucatan for historical past lovers

The pastel-painted buildings of the historic district are nonetheless enclosed by the outdated metropolis wall, making for a enjoyable day of sightseeing. And no journey to Campeche is full with no go to to Fort San Miguel, now an archeological museum.

There are numerous issues to do in Campeche and a few nice eating places, so be sure that to offer your self a while right here. If you propose on spending the night time, take a look at these prime Airbnbs in Campeche.

Also, due to its location within the west of the peninsula, Campeche can also be a logical cease for individuals on bigger journeys to Mexico. By automotive or bus, you may get to Ciudad del Carmen in three hours and Palenque in 5.

FAQ’s About the Yucatan Peninsula

Here are some solutions to generally requested questions on this area of Mexico.

Now You Know What to Do in The Yucatan

Writing this publish actually makes me need to return to take pleasure in the entire fantastic locations to go to within the Yucatan.

I’ve had a good time through the years experiencing all of those greatest issues to do within the Yucatan, and compiling them right here has me serious about my subsequent journey to this unimaginable area of Mexico.

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Osa Peninsula: Costa Rica’s Most Romantic & Sustainable Getaway

Osa Peninsula Sustainable Travel Guide

Luna Lodge Costa Rica

Continuing our quest for the world’s most romantic and sustainable locations, we attain the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. The nation itself is a shoe-in for its progressive environmental insurance policies, with 25% of their land protected as nature reserves, 53% of the nation lined in forest (after a decades-long reforestation effort) and 99% renewable vitality. Costa Rica is filled with attractive seashores, volcanoes, rainforests, and swank resorts that might match the invoice for a sustainable honeymoon vacation spot, however none greater than the Osa Peninsula. National Geographic ranked it within the prime 5 most romantic locations on the earth, and with 2.5percentof the Earth’s biodiversity (in lower than one-thousandth of a % of its complete floor space), in addition they referred to as it “the most biologically intense place on earth.” It’s essentially the most vital wetland ecosystem and mangrove forests in Central America and the most important remaining tract of lowland rainforest in Pacific Mesoamerica, no to say attractive seashores…rely us in! We spent per week on this magical nook of southwestern Costa Rica…mountain climbing, birding, kayaking, swimming, and assembly the stewards serving to make Osa such a dream vacation spot. Read on for our sustainable journey information and to plan your getaway.

Sierpe River Ride

Sierpe Riverboat

This was our second journey to Costa Rica and we spent it meandering down the Pacific Coast to see associates in Guanacaste, go island glamping within the Gulf of Nicoya, chase waterfalls in Dominical, and eventually making our strategy to Drake Bay within the Osa. With tough highway entry into the northern half of the peninsula, the perfect (and most enjoyable) strategy to arrive is by boat from the river city of Sierpe. We walked to the dock the place our 20-foot lined boat was docked, subsequent to a crocodile half its measurement. This isn’t only a water-taxi trip to Drake Bay, it’s an hour-long safari. Rio Sierpe, means Serpent River in Spanish and will get its identify from its snaking path by the rainforest. Banking laborious to the left, our captain went barreling in direction of a dense wall of mangroves. It seemed like a crash was imminent, till we noticed a slim opening into an alleyway of thickets. With solely a pair toes on all sides, we gently bumper-boated our method by the maze and out to the open ocean. We cruised alongside the plush shoreline and weaved between sea stacks till we noticed the sailboats bobbing in Drake Bay. Our captain received as near shore as potential then advised us to roll up our pants, carry our luggage on our heads, and wade our strategy to Playa Colorada. Bienvenidos a Bahía Drake!

Tip: Before you allow Sierpe, be certain that to take out cash (there are not any ATMs in Drake Bay) and put on the suitable shorts and footwear for a seaside touchdown.

Drake Bay

Drake Bay Costa Rica Honeymoon

The city of Drake Bay is mainly one important road climbing uphill with just a few eating places, outfitters, and fundamental visitor homes, although look farther down the seaside and into the hills and eco-resorts are tucked within the bushes and secluded coves. The folks strolling the seaside are a mixture of boho backpackers, khaki-clad wildlife photographers, old-school fisherman, and starry-eyed {couples}. Cars aren’t one thing you’ll use right here, trails and boats result in the perfect locations.

Drake Bay Hiking Trail

Osa Costa Rica sustainable  getaways

With 134 inches of annual rainfall, we weren’t shocked to get up to a tropical downpour. We spent the morning engaged on my damaged laptop (Mike actually dismantled it into 50 items in hopes of saving our digital nomad lifeline)…till the solar referred to as us out for a must-do journey: The Drake Bay Hiking Trail. It’s 12.5 miles round-trip, however to make it somewhat extra leisurely you’ll be able to choose to take a ship again from Playa San Josecito or simply hike till you discover the seaside that calls to you. Marveling at towering bamboo, bouncing alongside suspension bridges, and stopping to look at swinging Capuchin monkeys, we ambled our strategy to Cocolito Beach. We walked the golden sand previous just a few {couples} making sand castles and studying paperback novels, and scaled the black rocks to discover a completely non-public cove. The formations have been like rough-hewen sculptures jutting out of the ocean, with tidepools of their pockets, and cliffs inflicting dramatic crashing waves. Add comfortable sand, freshly fallen coconuts, and a picnic blanket for a romantic seaside day.

More in Drake Bay

osa and sustainable romantic hotelsCaño Island: Take a ship journey to this biosphere reserve. You can spot dolphins and whales alongside the way in which and while you arrive, snorkel a reef that attracts large colleges of colourful fish. The island is uninhabited and guarded for its natural world, along with its archaeological significance as a Pre-Columbian burial floor.
Night Walk: Upwards of 60% of Osa’s wildlife is nocturnal so head out for the species you’d in any other case miss. Take a tour with “Tracie the Bug Lady,” a biologist and bug fanatic, for tons of enjoyable information and the possibility to see vibrant tree frogs, tailless scorpions, red-eyed tree snakes, owl butterflies, praying mantis, sleeping hummingbirds, and extra.
Floating Tour on Río Claro: Not your lazy river trip, it is a rainforest hike meets, waterfall swimming holes, cliff leaping, and rock hopping with a calming finale at Río Claro seaside. Head out with the professionals at Pachenco Tours.
Drake Bay Hotels: The luxurious Drake Bay Getaway has a first-rate location a prime a hill overlooking the principle seaside, and is firmly dedicated to sustainability in accordance with the Paris Pledge for Action. Just down the hill and alongside the mountain climbing path, Aguila de Osa has lengthy been a frontrunner in Costa Rica’s eco-lodges and Osa’s conservation, with beautiful rooms for decrease charges. For one thing much more secluded and a 5-minute boat trip from city, Copa de Arbol’s villas are a fantastic all-inclusive possibility.

Puerto Jiménez

sustainable getaway Osa Peninsula

We awoke at 4am to catch the day’s solely “collectivo” bus over the mountains to the Gulfo Dulce facet and the largest city on the peninsula, Puerto Jiménez. The important road was as regular as any Costa Rican city with {hardware} shops, clothes outlets, and banks, however with journey outfitters and visitor homes combined in. Nothing was open after we arrived at daybreak, however the tables and chairs have been out at Cafeteria Monka, so we made ourselves snug and watched the city get up, beginning with the scarlet macaws, flying in pairs. By quarter to eight there was a rush of bicycles and mother’s ushering their youngsters to high school. There aren’t many instructional sources on this space so the non-profit ASCONA has picked up the place colleges go away off, with a library and community center for households to be taught, collect, and create. We walked to the constructing, lined in rainforest-inspired murals, and poked round their small museum of historic pictures, kids’s artwork studio, and boutique of hand-made souvenirs. We had the privilege of assembly the ASCONA president, Ifigenia Canet, and have been swept up in her ardour for his or her neighborhood applications. She’s dedicated to the conservation of Osa, by educating locals on the worth of defending the rainforest–for the planet, their kids, and their very own livelihoods. Shopping their artisan-made souvenirs and helps assist their applications. Be certain to take a look at the library and Ifi’s community-based tour firm, Osa Wild!

Luna Lodge

Luna lodge sustainable hotels Osa Peninsula

Another Osa mover and shaker within the identify of dialog and eco-tourism is Lana Wedmore, the proprietor of Luna Lodge. Her attractive resort has a five-leaf sustainability score, unbelievable wellness applications, and sturdy actions, although her story and mission is what impressed us to e-book a four-night keep. The Luna Lodge Team picked us up from Puerto Jiménez and the motive force took us on a veritable safari, recognizing monkeys, owls, macaws, and animals we might have by no means observed by the tinted home windows. The winding highway hit a useless finish on the village of Carate, the place we hung a proper up a mud highway into the river valley. Shifting into four-wheel-drive, our tires climbed rocks and splashed by streams. We handed one home with a large sluice-box and an outdated man, nonetheless hanging on to Osa’s gold-mining days. The jungle-covered highway appeared virtually comically steep…then a signed appeared, “The worst is over, keep going.” How the heck did Lana pull off constructing on prime of this mountain? Forty years in the past she studied overseas in Costa Rica, then in 1991 she returned on a one-way journey from Colorado to the Osa Peninsula. She turned a tour information and lived for 9 years in a tented camp on the seaside (instantly beneath her current lodge) till an outdated miner approached this free-spirit about shopping for his land. He wished the land to go to somebody who would protect this sliver of the rainforest. Today Luna Lodge and the land-conservation non-profit White Hawk Foundation do precisely that.

Luna Bungalows

Luna Lodge bungalows

We pulled as much as the lodge on the higher slopes of the Carate River Valley. A grand open-air rancho constructing anchors the property and tropical flowers line paths resulting in the pool, eight bungalows, three haciendas, seven platform tents, yoga pavillion, and spa. We have been proven to our bamboo bungalow with large screened-in home windows and couldn’t determine the place to land first, our four-poster mattress, the open-air bathe, or the porch’s rocking chairs. The tree-covered peaks and symphony of chook songs referred to as us to the terrace and shortly after, the mountain climbing trails.

The Grounds

sustainable hotels in Osa Peninsula, Luna Lodge

To higher perceive and discover Luna Lodge’s 60 acres of rainforest, plus the lots of of fruit bushes and endemic vegetation they began from seed, we explored their community of trails with instructional indicators. We took the “Loop of Gold” from the first rainforest into the secondary, studying the occasional botanical ID on a tree or an inspirational quote, like “Look deep into nature, and you’ll understand everything better” or in Spanish, “Green is the new gold.” We handed the water generators, the photo voltaic array, and the permaculture backyard…and noticed how the lodge gives 100% of its personal energy and as a lot of their meals as potential. We then related to the waterfall path, a collection of three cascades and swimming holes proper on property.


dining in osa peninsula

Each night we went down for pre-dinner appetizers, adopted by a stupendous family-style unfold. As a vegetarian and wellness guru, Lana has made certain to make use of natural elements and cater to all dietary wants. Of the 5-7 dishes accessible every night, all however one will likely be vegetarian, if not vegan…so we have been in heaven! When it got here time for our anniversary dinner later that week, they shocked us with a desk on the balcony lit with a pathway of candles, and a personalised vegan cake for dessert.

Corcovado National Park

Corcovado National Park

The solar was barely up and breakfast and lunch-boxes have been prepared for anybody heading out on one in every of Luna Lodge’s many excursions. We have been venturing into the crown jewel of Osa’s wilderness areas…Corcovado National Park. Corcovado is actually an inspiring story of conservation. Logging and gold mining boomed on this space till the Nineteen Seventies when the federal government determined to prioritize the surroundings over trade and made it a nationwide park. Today it’s a cheerful house to 500 tree species, the extremely endangered large anteater, harpy eagles, all of Costa Rica’s large cats, their 4 native species of monkeys, plus Baird’s Tapir, Central America’s largest land mammal. Basically a wildlife fanatic’s nirvana. Everyone wants a information to discover the park, which will be completed as multi-day treks between ranger stations, a ship journey from Drake Bay, or within the case of Luna Lodge friends, mountain climbing in proper from Carate seaside. Our wildlife sightings started proper off the bat, particularly with our information Marlon’s Spidey senses. Before working for Luna Lodge, he walked this path 5 hours a day, on a regular basis for 4 years, so he knew the place to search for hummingbird nests, the right way to make toucan mating calls, and which endemic vegetation had medicinal makes use of. The path weaved out and in of the thick rainforest, opening as much as pristine seashores with bluffs within the distance and below the quilt of the cover. After recognizing the colourful slaty-tailed tragon, a fantastic curassow, yellow-throated toucan, the small-but-mighty golden orb weaver, and extra monkeys and coatis than we may rely, we noticed our very first anteater! This northern tamandua was napping in a tree so we relaxed alongside him with a picnic lunch and watched this cutie stir within the branches. What a deal with! See extra of our wildlife photos.

Kayaking Laguna Pejeperro

Pejeperro Lagoon

That afternoon we took it straightforward by the pool and went to mattress early to prep for one more large day forward. Well earlier than dawn, we set off with Marlon and a small group to kayak Laguna Pejeperro (aka Fish Dog Lagoon). Walking bleary-eyed alongside the moonlit path and wading into darkish water, we momentarily questioned what we have been doing right here, then got here essentially the most goooooorgeous dawn with glowing clouds and shorebirds reflecting again at us. We paddled the perimeters of the lagoon and realized about uncommon species just like the “Juevo Frito,” a chook who makes a sound like a scorching fried egg, and the “Jesus Christo Lizard” that walks on water. Ibis, egrets, kingfishers, northern jacana, and extra wildlife reminded us that it’s all the time price getting up for dawn within the Osa Peninsula.

Preserving Osa

Osa Peninsula Conservation

On our remaining morning, we did a yoga class with Lana, overlooking the ocean, surrounded by bushes, listening to the macaws, and felt so such gratitude for this expertise. After our namastes, she invited us to her home and studio the place she does therapeutic massage, reiki, and sound therapeutic. We walked into her front room to seek out it fully open on one facet and searching proper up the Carate River Valley. Waking up with this view is her reminder to honor and shield this valuable place. Since 2010, she has been operating the White Hawk Foundation, a land belief to protect the rainforest and wildlife corridors from the Carate River Valley to the nationwide park. To additional assist the ecosystem, Luna Lodge is an lively member of The Turtle Protection Committee, ASCONA, and The Association of Integral Development of Corcovado. The Osa is a fragile place, however supporting the companies and nonprofits with conservation on the core of their mission will assist protect it for future generations of holiday makers and species alike. We have been moved to donate $100 to each ASCONA’s community library and

Osa Peninsula: Get prepared to your journey!

osa peninsula travel guide

Getting There: To get to Puerto Jimenez, take the 1-hour SANSA flight from San Jose airport to Puerto Jimenez or hop the Grupo Blanco bus from most any Puntarenas coastal city. To get to Drake Bay, taking the river boat from Sierpe is essentially the most enjoyable and environment friendly. There is a highway that connects the 2 cities however has rare, pre-dawn departures and is impassable within the wet season.
When to Go: January-April is reliably sunny with little to no rainfall. May-August afternoon showers are widespread, however every thing will likely be lush inexperienced and lodges’ drop their charges considerably. Avoid September-October when rain is the heaviest and essentially the most lodging closes for the season.
Travel Insurance: We extremely suggest getting journey insurance coverage earlier than heading into this distant and wild a part of Costa Rica. Allianz Travel Insurance has complete and reasonably priced plans for single journeys, or our private favourite is their All Trips Premier Plan which covers a full yr of travels to your complete household.

More Activities

osa peninsula whale watching

Overnight in Corcovado Park. Truly immerse your self in Corcovado’s wilderness with an in a single day on the Sirena Ranger station. It’s a strenuous hike and met with very fundamental lodging, however certain to be unforgettable. See Osa Wild’s tours into the park.
Get Local at Dos Brazos de Rio Tigre: The neighborhood affiliation of ACODOBRARTI helps join vacationers with locals on this genuine village with history tours, horseback riding, hikes, and a variety of cultural experiences.
Whale Watch in Golfo Dulce: One of simply 4 tropical fjords on the planet, and the one place on earth the place populations of each Northern and Southern Humpback whales meet to beginning their younger, Golfo Dulce is prime for giant sightings. Head out with Golfo Dulce Retreat.

Watch our Osa Video

Have questions concerning the Osa Peninsula and our sustainable honeymoon journey? Lay ‘em on us within the feedback.

An enormous thanks to our sponsor Allianz Travel Insurance for believing within the significance of sustainable journey and supporting eco-minded content material creators like us!

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