Osa Peninsula Sustainable Travel Guide

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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 coated in forest (after a decades-long reforestation effort) and 99% renewable vitality. Costa Rica is stuffed 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 this planet, and with 2.5percentof the Earth’s biodiversity (in lower than one-thousandth of a % of its whole floor space), in addition they referred to as it “the most biologically intense place on earth.” It’s probably the most important 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…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 mates in Guanacaste, go island glamping within the Gulf of Nicoya, chase waterfalls in Dominical, and at last making our strategy to Drake Bay within the Osa. With difficult 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 coated boat was docked, subsequent to a crocodile half its measurement. This isn’t only a water-taxi experience 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 means of the rainforest. Banking exhausting to the left, our captain went barreling in the direction of a dense wall of mangroves. It appeared like a crash was imminent, till we noticed a slim opening into an alleyway of thickets. With solely a pair toes on both sides, we gently bumper-boated our approach by means of 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 bought as near shore as attainable then informed 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 permit Sierpe, make certain to take out cash (there aren’t any ATMs in Drake Bay) and put on the suitable shorts and sneakers for a seaside touchdown.
 

Drake Bay

Drake Bay Costa Rica Honeymoon

The city of Drake Bay is mainly one essential road climbing uphill with just a few eating places, outfitters, and primary visitor homes, although look farther down the seaside and into the hills and eco-resorts are tucked within the bushes and secluded coves. The individuals 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 pc (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 slightly extra leisurely you may decide 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 gentle 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 whenever you arrive, snorkel a reef that pulls big colleges of colourful fish. The island is uninhabited and guarded for its wildlife, 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 info and the prospect 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 experience, it is a rainforest hike meets, waterfall swimming holes, cliff leaping, and rock hopping with a soothing finale at Río Claro seaside. Head out with the professionals at Pachenco Tours.
Drake Bay Hotels: The luxurious Drake Bay Getaway has a major location a prime a hill overlooking the primary seaside, and is firmly dedicated to sustainability in accordance with the Paris Pledge for Action. Just down the hill and alongside the 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 experience from city, Copa de Arbol’s villas are an awesome all-inclusive choice.
 

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 aspect and the largest city on the peninsula, Puerto Jiménez. The essential road was as regular as any Costa Rican city with {hardware} shops, clothes retailers, and banks, however with journey outfitters and visitor homes blended in. Nothing was open after we arrived at daybreak, however the tables and chairs have been out at Cafeteria Monka, so we made ourselves comfy 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 academic assets on this space so the non-profit ASCONA has picked up the place colleges depart off, with a library and group heart for households to be taught, collect, and create. We walked to the constructing, coated in rainforest-inspired murals, and poked round their small museum of historic images, 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 group applications. She’s dedicated to the conservation of Osa, by means of 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 help their applications. Be positive 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 lodge has a five-leaf sustainability ranking, unbelievable wellness applications, and strong actions, although her story and mission is what impressed us to ebook 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’d have by no means seen by means of the tinted home windows. The winding highway hit a useless finish on the village of Carate, the place we hung a proper up a dust highway into the river valley. Shifting into four-wheel-drive, our tires climbed rocks and splashed by means of streams. We handed one home with a large sluice-box and an previous man, nonetheless hanging on to Osa’s gold-mining days. The jungle-covered highway appeared nearly 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 grew to become a tour information and lived for 9 years in a tented camp on the seaside (instantly beneath her current lodge) till an previous 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 big screened-in home windows and couldn’t resolve 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 fowl songs referred to as us to the terrace and shortly after, the 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 a whole bunch of fruit bushes and endemic crops they began from seed, we explored their community of trails with academic 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 supplies 100% of its personal energy and as a lot of their meals as attainable. We then linked 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 positive to make use of natural components and cater to all dietary wants. Of the 5-7 dishes accessible every night, all however one can 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 among 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 atmosphere over business and made it a nationwide park. Today it’s a contented house to 500 tree species, the extremely endangered big 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 might be accomplished as multi-day treks between ranger stations, a ship journey from Drake Bay, or within the case of Luna Lodge visitors, 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, find out how to make toucan mating calls, and which endemic crops 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 duvet of the cover. After recognizing the colourful slaty-tailed tragon, an awesome 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 pictures.
 

Kayaking Laguna Pejeperro

Pejeperro Lagoon

That afternoon we took it straightforward by the pool and went to mattress early to prep for an additional 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 probably the most goooooorgeous dawn with glowing clouds and shorebirds reflecting again at us. We paddled the sides of the lagoon and discovered about uncommon species just like the “Juevo Frito,” a fowl 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 value 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 aspect and looking out 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 working 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 help 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 tourists and species alike. We have been moved to donate $100 to each ASCONA’s group library and OsaConservation.org.
 

Osa Peninsula: Get prepared on 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 probably 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 part can be lush inexperienced and lodges’ drop their charges considerably. Avoid September-October when rain is the heaviest and probably 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 on your whole 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 primary lodging, however positive to be unforgettable. See Osa Wild’s excursions into the park.
Get Local at Dos Brazos de Rio Tigre: The group affiliation of ACODOBRARTI helps join vacationers with locals on this genuine village with historical past excursions, horseback driving, hikes, and quite a lot 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 large 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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