Lapa Rios Lodge: The Experience

Located in Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

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There are myriad ways to explore the Lapa Rios Reserve, and the seasoned local guides on staff help you get the most of each excursion. From birding walks to night hikes, all guided tours on the reserve are included in your stay and will enhance your understanding of the rain forest ecosystems and ongoing efforts to preserve them. The lodge can arrange a number of off-property excursions through local operators as well, including horseback riding, surfing lessons, and much more.

See our sample itinerary describing how you would experience this lodge during a 5-day stay.

Things to Do

The following experiences are included in the cost of your stay.

Walks and Hikes

Trek through virgin rain forest to stunning waterfalls and go for a swim, trace a natural ridge through different types of forest, discover a remarkable array of wildlife hiking from the beach into secondary forest, or descend into the remote reaches of the reserve where enormous trees fill untouched forest. There are many trails to explore with the lodge’s naturalists!

Birding Tours

Rise early to observe some of the Osa Peninsula’s 319 bird species fluttering through the forest at dawn, as well as morpho butterflies and mammals. Or take a walk with a naturalist to spot rare and exotic birds in the golden light of sunset. High quality binoculars are provided.

Local Medicine Tour

Gain insight into the relationship between local people and the forest as guides explain traditional uses of plants and seeds found in the primary rain forest.

Starfish Walk

Stroll the beaches of Golfo Dulce, one of only four tropical fjords in the world, and learn about its marine biology as you peer at land crabs, sea stars, sea cucumbers, and much more.

Night Walk

Experience the magic of the rain forest at night on a naturalist-led walk. Using your flashlight, discover unusual nocturnal creatures such as frogs, bats, insects, and kinkajous.

Self-guided Trail

Set out from the main lodge on a trail that loops through the primary and secondary forest, stopping at 18 points of interest that correspond with a biologist's guidebook available at reception.

Plant a Tree

Contribute to the Lapa Rios reforestation program by transplanting a primary rain forest seedling to an area of secondary growth. Gift certificates may be purchased on behalf of others and the trees can be planted in their honor.

The Carbonera School

Visit a local primary school built and sponsored by Lapa Rios Lodge and get to know the children and teachers.

Twigs, Pigs, and Garbage

Take a tour of the lodge premises to learn about its commitment to a more sustainable way of life and its innovative green solutions—from building with renewable materials to using pig-generated biogas.

Optional Activities and Experiences

The following experiences are offered at an additional cost.

Golfo Dulce Dolphin Tour

Take to the waters of the Golfo Dulce in a sightseeing boat, on the lookout for three dolphin species, whales, and turtles. Explore the lush coastline and go snorkeling to discover more of the gulf’s rich marine life. Snorkeling equipment included.

Surf Lesson

Learn to catch the waves no matter your age or your experience during surfing lessons matched to your level of ability. Lycra surfing shirts and professional soft-top boards provided.

Sea and Mangrove Kayak Tour

Hop in a sea kayak and paddle through the mangroves of the Golfo Dulce to spot a broad array of wildlife.

Botanical Garden

Examine rare orchids and other tropical plants on a visit to a private botanical garden started more than 25 years ago.

Horseback Riding

Get a different perspective on a guided horseback ride through the hills and farmlands of the peninsula. Stop to interact with farmers and take in the views of Golfo Dulce, and ride back to the lodge along the beach.

Waterfall Rappelling

Go canyoneering through a river gorge deep in the forest, rappelling four waterfalls—including a stunning 70-footer! Wear a swimsuit underneath, and bring a hat and sunscreen.

Canopy Zip Line

Swing through the canopy on zip line, winding 600 meters (1,969 feet) through primary forest on a series of five lines. Control your speed as you wish, and learn about the creatures of the treetops.

Corcovado National Park by Plane

Embark on a full-day, naturalist-guided excursion by air and by land. Take a charter flight into Sirena Biological Station, enjoying incredible aerial views, and explore remote parts of the park on foot. Picnic is included.

Corcovado National Park Tour by Land

Rise early to drive to the park and hike in along a trail that traces the coast. Walk up to four hours into the park and venture into one of the region’s largest tropical lowland forests before hiking back out. Picnic is included.

Dolphin Tour and Rio Esquinas Boat Tour

Take a riverboat from Puerto Jiménez, floating up the Rio Esquinas to look for dolphins, flying fish, sea birds, and maybe a seasonal whale. Along the way, observe shore birds and explore mangrove swamps and the surrounding rain forest.

Food and Drink

Dining is a highlight at Lapa Rios thanks to the creative force behind the Brisa Azul restaurant: Karen Lewis, the lodge’s cofounder and an aficionado of gourmet cooking. Each à la carte meal is beautifully prepared using fresh indigenous ingredients, from fruits of the rain forest to responsibly caught fish, and meals are served in a lovely open-air setting, perched between the jungle and the sea. Fresh seasonal juice is on offer after excursions and throughout the day, served with the lodge's signature reusable bamboo straws, and a full-service bar mixes favorite cocktails and pours fine organic wines and premium spirits.

Wellness Services

Find equilibrium and deep relaxation amid the soft jungle air and the distant crash of the surf. The lodge offers a menu of massage and wellness services that incorporate Asian energy and healing methods, including Zen shiatsu, Ayurvedic massage, reiki, hatha yoga, and chi kung.

Other ways to visit this lodge

  • Customize a Trip

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  • Private Expeditions

    See a specially crafted National Geographic itinerary including this lodge.

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