Costa Rica is known as a global leader in sustainability. It produces nearly 93 percent of its electricity from renewable resources and conserves around 30 percent of its national territory. Costa Rica is currently on track to be one of the most sustainable countries in the world – it’s working to become the first carbon-neutral country by 2020. Costa Rica is renowned for its beautiful pristine beaches, surfing, water sports, wildlife viewing, and adventure tours. Oh and they have sloths...enough said.
Puntarenas (shown in orange) sits on a long, narrow peninsula in the Gulf of Nicoya on the Central Pacific Coast. The area is blessed with large amounts of sunshine and warmth. Like the name of the town Puntarenas is the Province it lays in and stretches as far south as Panama. This stretch has fantastic flora and fauna, radiant beaches, incredible eco adventure opportunities, and majestic national parks. Puntarenas is perfect for hiking, horseback riding, spotting dophins, wildlife and educational tours, and bird watching.
Best off the beaten path lodges:
La Palapa Eco Lodge Resort - $
Secluded, quiet, and surrounded by nature, La Palapa is the perfect escape for nature lovers and those seeking outdoor adventure.
La Palapa Eco Lodge Resort is surrounded by tropical gardens and located in a virgin Tropical Rainforest, in the Central Pacific Coast of Portalon in Costa Rica, offering an incredible wildlife variety of fauna and flora. The perfect paradise for passionate wildlife lovers. A place where Toucans like to nest and wake you up every morning.
This is a very calm and quiet tropical rainforest resort away from modern civilization that delivers peace and tranquility while respecting wildlife. The pristine Playa Linda Beach, full of Coconut palms, is just 5 minutes away from the resort and is the ideal place to walk, read a book, spend the day, try your luck fishing, or swim in the Pacific Waters with a guaranteed temperature of 28ºC all year round.
Activities: Mountain Biking, Hiking, Bird-Watching, Rafting, Kayaking, Snorkeling, Surfing, Wildlife Tours, Horse-back Riding
Rates: Peak season $110-159 per night / Off-Peak season $48-78 per night
La Cusinga Eco Lodge - $$
Rainforest lodge with yoga retreats, spa and wellness, and a myriad of tours from bird-watching to scouting waterfalls on horseback.
La Cusinga Eco Lodge is a coastal rainforest eco lodge dedicated to marine and terrestrial conservation and environmental education. Its location on the southern Pacific coast provides guests with sweeping ocean views and a relaxing beach vacation.
La Cusinga is part of a private nature reserve which consists primarily of 200 hectares of virgin rainforest that borders thousands of more acres of privately protected forest.The hotel borders the Ballena Marine National Park, one of only two nationally protected marine zones in the whole country, the beautiful location offers the tranquility of fresh ocean breezes and breathtaking sunsets that make for the perfect tropical escape.
Activities: Bird-Watching, Surfing, Hiking, Horse-Back Riding, Kayaking, Wildlife Tours
Rates: $95 for shared bunk rooms, $150-225 for private and deluxe rooms
Bosque del Cabo Eco Lodge
Bosque del Cabo is a premier Costa Rica Eco Lodge offering a romantic rainforest getaway and a naturalist’s dream come true. Located at the very tip of the Osa Peninsula in the southern Pacific region of Costa Rica, this 750+ acre forest reserve features private, spacious bungalows and gorgeous houses atop the cliffs of Cabo Matapalo, each with beautiful ocean views, tropical breezes and the rainforest at your doorstep.
Hiking trails lead you through the forest to deserted beaches on both the Golfo Dulce and Pacific Ocean. Bosque del Cabo is owner operated and dedicated to forest reservation.
Activities: Bird-Watching, Surfing, Hiking, Horse-Back Riding, Kayaking, Wildlife Tours, Fishing, Dolphin Watching, Waterfall Repelling, Tree Climbing, Snorkeling
Rates: All cabina prices are per person per night (pppn) and include 3 meals daily. Transfers are $30pp round trip to/from Puerto Jimenez Airport. Prices pppn range from $180-$460
At Luna Lodge you can spot literally hundreds of rare and beautiful bird species such as the scarlet macaw, red-legged honeycreeper, and slaty-tailed trogon. You will also likely encounter exotic creatures, such as coatis, tayras, and the four species of monkeys found in Costa Rica. There are year-round waterfalls on the property itself, one with a swift flowing chute and refreshing wading pool less than a ten minute walk from the bungalows. Just a few minutes further down the river valley, among a riverbed full of brilliant white boulders, a much higher set of falls thunders down from over 30 feet.
Activities: Bird watching, day/night hikes, horseback riding, spa
Rates: All rates include 3 delicious daily meals. Priced from $247-$450/night
El Remanso Rainforest Wildlife Lodge
Located on Costa Rica's southwest Pacific side of the Osa Peninsula, this area is well known as one of the world's most pristine and biodiverse rainforests. El Remanso Lodge was designed with strict ecological policies in mind and has been a pioneer in sustainable practices on the Osa Peninsula since its creation in 1999. The lodge was one of the first in Costa Rica to provide its electricity exclusively by its own micro-hydro system. We reduce our environmental impact by recycling our waste, we run our own composting system, treat waste waters and participate in local community programs on the Osa Peninsula a part from providing a stable workplace for over 30 local staff all year around.
Activities: Bird watching, hiking, horseback riding, waterfall repelling, kayaking, surfing, dolphin watching, zip line
Rates: $125-$495 depending on number of occupants, type of room, and season
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge
Immersed in the rainforest and fronted by calm gulf waters off the Pacific Ocean, Playa Nicuesa lives in harmony with nature. Reachable only by boat, let your truly natural vacation adventure begin. Arrive in the naturally beautiful Osa Peninsula, and let your vacation adventure begin as you board our private boat and make your way to our eco-friendly lodge. Dramatic views of the mountains along the Pacific Coast, and surrounded by the verdant rainforest for thousands of acres welcome you as you approach. Jade colored water, dolphins, majestic blue butterflies and leaves as big as elephant ears soothe your senses.
Enjoy guided and self-guided secluded hikes and birding along the dramatic coastal rainforest and throughout our 165-acre preserve surrounded by thousands of acres of pristine tropical rainforest, full of fruit trees and tropical flowering plants. Explore the primary and secondary rainforest by hiking our labyrinth of flat, undulating and steep trails that wind through connect through the Piedras Blancas National Park.
Activities: Yoga, fishing, hiking, wildlife tours, educational tours, horseback riding, zip line, kid's tours, dolphin watching, kayaking
Rates: $400-$1,000 per night, package deals available to include activites
Gnomad Recommendations by Activity:
Birdwatching & Walking Wildlife Tours
For the traveler looking for educational tours to experience wildlife, Puntarenas has so much to offer