Lapa Rios Lodge: Plan Your Stay

Located in Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

How to Get There

By Air

Two domestic airlines offer scheduled, 50-minute flights from the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San José to the small airstrip in Puerto Jiménez. From there, the lodge is a 12-mile (45-minute) drive. Transfers from the airstrip to the lodge are included in the cost of your stay. Please note: all in-country flights have a 25 lb/11 kg baggage limit per person. Additional luggage can usually be accommodated for an extra charge. If you carry more than 30 pounds, you may be required to leave your luggage in San José until the next flight with space available.

By Road

The drive from San José to Lapa Rios takes about seven hours and passes through gorgeous scenery. From San José, take Route 27 west and continue onto the Coast Highway (Route 34) after Orotina. Stay on this coastal road for about three hours, passing Tárcoles, Jacó, Parrita, Quepos, and Uvita. Before arriving in Cortés, turn left on the road to Palmar Norte. After a 15-minute drive, arrive in Palmar Norte and turn right (south) onto the Carretera Interamericana. Thirty-three kilometers past Palmar Norte turn right at Chacarita, where you will see a service station by the name of 'Corcovado.' Drive 75 km on this road, through Rincon and La Palma and eventually into Puerto Jiménez.

Please check in at the Lapa Rios office at the corner of the landing strip and the cemetery—anyone in the town can direct you to the office. The office staff will give you directions to Lapa Rios Lodge from there.

What to Expect

The bungalows at Lapa Rios are situated on a ridge that rises up through the rain forest. Getting from your bungalow to the main lodge requires uphill walking (from the lowest bungalow to the dining area it’s about 200 steps). Please contact our reservations specialist if you have trouble climbing stairs.

Lapa Rios is intentionally low tech in order to provide guests with the most authentic rain forest experience possible. There is Wi-fi in only a few spots and no landline phone access on the Lapa Rios property. Cell phones may be used discreetly in your rooms if your carrier provides international coverage, although coverage is unreliable due to the remoteness of the lodge.

Since the lodge was created with the intent to protect the surrounding ecosystems and leave wildlife undisturbed, encounters with critters are to be expected. Most are harmless, and with a little common sense there is very little risk to you.

Weather and Seasons

Costa Rica has two well-defined seasons: a “dry” season from December to April and a rainy season from May to November. While the months of July and August are typically wet throughout Costa Rica, the Pacific coast tends to receive less rain then. The rainiest months on the Osa Peninsula are September and October. Temperatures hover in the 70s and 80s Fahrenheit (22-32° Celsius) all year round.

The "green season" (from May to November) is probably the best time to experience the rain forest. All outdoor activities are offered, as the rain is warm and quite pleasant. It rains about three to four times per week during this period, usually in the late afternoon and evening.

What to Bring

The dress code at Lapa Rios is informal, so pack for comfort and versatility. Being a tropical rain forest, it can get hot and humid. Pack a few extra shirts to change into after hiking. The lodge provides walking sticks, stainless steel water bottles, binoculars, and Wellington-style rubber boots.

Suggested Packing List

  • Sports socks that go up to your knees (to prevent skin irritation when wearing the lodge’s rubber boots on rain forest hikes. Should you prefer to bring your own boots, we recommend lightweight, waterproof hiking or walking shoes.)
  • Water shoes or sandals
  • Lightweight, casual clothing appropriate for hiking, such as light pants, shorts, and shirts
  • Bathing suit
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Headlamp
  • Light raincoat when visiting during the rainy season
  • Camera equipment and plenty of memory cards, extra batteries, and a charger
  • Binoculars (also available at reception)
  • Basic medical kit (aspirin, Band-Aids, antidiarrheal medicine, antiseptic cream, antihistamine cream, etc.)
  • Personal medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, as the pharmacy in Puerto Jiménez stocks only basic medications

Please keep in mind the luggage restrictions on the domestic flights are 25 pounds per person.

Traveling with Family

With jungles to explore, frogs and monkeys to watch for, and many places to swim and splash, Lapa Rios is a fantastic spot for a family vacation. There are no televisions here, limited Internet, and cell service is unreliable; instead the focus is on the outdoors, the wildlife, and the adventure. Through an array of activities geared for kids, the whole family will learn hands-on about the creatures of the rain forest and the importance of protecting them. Take a look at some of the activities suggested for kids below. Please note: the minimum recommended age for children at Lapa Rios is 6 years old.

  • Go swimming in a natural pool at the foot of a waterfall surrounded by jungle.
  • Hit the trail to discover the monkeys, sloths, toucans, macaws, frogs, and many other creatures that inhabit the rain forest. Kids will find kid-sized Wellington-style boots and mini walking sticks available at the lodge.
  • Discover the difference between primary and secondary forest on a guided hike designed for kids.
  • Encounter the great mammals of the deep on a dolphin- and whale-watching tour, or fish when you go snorkeling.
  • Learn all about sustainability and meet our pigs on a Twigs, Pigs, and Garbage tour highlighting sustainable practices at the lodge.
  • Head down to a nearby beach to try out surfing or go kayaking in the mangroves.
  • Plant and name a tree in the lodge’s volunteer rain forest.
  • Additionally, the restaurant offers a kid-friendly menu!

Other ways to visit this lodge

  • Customize a Trip

    Want to plan the trip of your dreams? Create a custom trip around this lodge.

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  • Private Expeditions

    See a specially crafted National Geographic itinerary including this lodge.

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