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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

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 OsaConservation.org.
 

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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