Built over 350 feet above sea level, the property was designed in harmony with surrounding forest and beaches and was built with locally harvested materials. Much more than a luxurious lodge, Lapa Rios is a model ecotourism project and National Geographic Unique Lodge that has won worldwide awards for social and environmental excellence, and is a featured sustainable tourism pioneer. Home to monkeys, macaws, pumas, toucans, tree frogs and thousands of other creatures, a trip to Lapa Rios Lodge will be the trip of a lifetime.
You must first take a domestic flight to Puerto Jimenez, where you will be met and transferred to the lodge. All 17 luxurious bungalows are nestled along a ridge within the 1000-acre private Rainforest Reserve. The bungalows are open-air with screens that allow you to experience the sounds, sights and smells of the rainforest and the ocean. All bungalows have ceiling fans (no air-conditioning) and offer stunning views of the Pacific Ocean or Golfo Dulce from your bed or spacious private decks. All meals are included with packages and served a-la-carte at the open-air Brisa Azul restaurant. Expect locally sourced, freshly prepared meals that will include fresh local fruits and vegetables, responsibly caught seafood, organic chicken and grass-fed beef. A full service bar mixes favorite beverages, fresh juices, organic wines and premium spirits.
All guided tours in the Lapa Rios Reserve help support the ongoing maintenance and pay back the land acquisition of the reserve. Choosing to hike and learn with a knowledgeable local guide gives the community continuing economic support and demonstrates that this diverse lowland tropical rain forest left standing is more valuable than one cut down. In this 1,000 acre reserve you will see all 4 species of Costa Rican monkeys: spider, white faced, squirrel and howlers. Other animals include agouti, coati mundi, collared and white-lipped peccaries, jaguars, ocelots, margay and puma. Birds seen include: crested and solitary eagles, toucans, macaws, great curassow, crested guan, trogons, aracaris, honey creepers, herons, hummingbirds, tinamous, woodpeckers, wood creepers, ant birds, manikins, tanagers, caciques, euphonias, thrushes, hawks, and parrots. Unique to the Osa Peninsula is the black-checked ant tanager. (At Corcovado experience the tapir, Central America's largest mammal.) The trees and vegetation you see in the Lapa Rios reserve are diverse and unique: the Sangrillo tree, unique to the Carbonera, stands over 200 feet. See giant buttresses and liana vines more than 500 years old!
Early Birds Tour: Share the cool early morning air with some of the over 319 bird species inhabiting the reserve. Ride to Matapalo Beach or up the mountain to walk back for breakfast around 8:15AM. For keen birders and animal lovers, this guided tour with a Swarovski telescope will guarantee numerous species of birds, morpho butterflies, monkeys and other mammals. Wild Waterfalls: Hike up and down through virgin rain forest to pristine waterfalls and splash back along the Carbonera River. A rain forest experience with adventurous hiking. Difficult, but great fun. For all hardy hikers looking for a challenge (wet walking and some climbing).
Medicine Walk: This walk follows an old track through primary forest. It's an opportunity to view the cool, primary forest along with fascinating "local" explanations of medicinal uses of barks, leaves, saps. Our shaman-guide will teach you the traditional Indian medicines from the rain forest.
Starfish Walk: A walk along the beach and tide pools in front of Lapa Rios and back through one of the rivers teaches you about the marine biology of the area. See various land crabs, starfish, sea cucumbers.
Rain Forest Ridge Walk: Hike down the hills along cool ridges through Lapa Rios' most impressive primary forest. Your guide will introduce the flora and fauna, and highlight features of the forest's immense diversity.
The Osa Trail: The complete rain forest experience! This tour descends through the reserve's most remote and pristine forest. The 4 km. trail features many different types of rain forest vegetation and offers you the best opportunity to see something rare.
Full Day Hike: For serious hikers! After breakfast, you will begin to walk up the Ridge Trail. At noon, arrive at a platform in the forest, where you can have your pic-nic lunch and rest for an hour. Return in the afternoon through the Osa Trail. Great opportunity for experiencing deep rainforest at its best.
Night Walk: Departing from the lodge at 6:00 PM., experience the sights and sounds of the rain forest after dark. With flashlights and use of "eye shine" the forest's nocturnal creatures come alive after dark.
Self-Guided Trail: Beginning at the main lodge and looping through the prime forest into the secondary forest and lower bungalows, this trail features 18 marked points of interest that correspond with a biologist's guide book available at the reception. Easily learn about the flora of the forest in a short medium walk.
Plant a Tree in the "Volunteer Rain forest": Contribute to sustainable development in the Lapa Rios reforestation program by transplanting a primary rain forest seedling to an area of second growth. Participants will learn about "their tree", it's role in the ecosystem and receive a certificate to commemorate their efforts. Gift certificates can be purchased on behalf of others and the trees planted in their honor.
The Carbonera School (only included with the Family Package): On Tuesday or Friday (barring conflict) we will be pleased to take guests to our local school for a visit with the children. Any sharing you can contribute - songs, stories, photos, reading - is highly encouraged.
Corcovado National Park Tour: This tour offers excellent opportunities to see big mammals in the nearby national park. Travel by taxi early AM to Puerto Jiménez and fly into Sirena Station. Walk a 4 hour circular route, return to Sirena for lunch. Then a 3 hour walk in the forest to Rio Claro; optional swimming in the river. Return by late PM.
Swim with Dolphins Tour: Navigate along the waters of the Golfo Dulce with our expert guide. The tour takes about 4 hours where you will be able to look at different types of birds. There are also two types of dolphins that can be found, bottle-nosed and spotted, and if the conditions are right, you might be able to swim with them. During certain seasons, whales and turtles can be seen along the way.