Lapa Rios Lodge

Sample Itinerary—Jungle Jaunt

Curated exclusively for National Geographic

Discover Costa Rica’s pristine Osa Peninsula, covered with some of Central America’s last remaining lowland tropical rain forest and fringed by sandy beaches. Delve into the jungle in pursuit of waterfalls, exotic birds and butterflies, and medicinal plants, and cruise the coast on the lookout for marine life.

Your experience at the lodge will be tailored to your interests. The sample itinerary below was designed for National Geographic travelers and can be customized as you wish. Some experiences featured in this itinerary incur an additional cost.

Highlights

  • Enjoy a private lunch in the rain forest with a waterfall as your backdrop, soak up the jungle ambiance over delectable food and a chilled bottle of wine, then top it off with a swim in the waterfall's natural pool (National Geographic Exclusive).
  • Join naturalists to discover the sensory wonders of the jungle at all hours—from the flash of a morpho butterfly at dawn to the screech of the kinkajou at night.
  • Watch for whales, turtles, and three species of dolphins on a coastal cruise, and snorkel the marine-rich waters of the Golfo Dulce.
  • Learn about traditional medicinal uses for local plants on a guided walk through the primary rain forest.

Day 1—Arrive Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Land in the town of Puerto Jimenez, where you will be greeted for the 45-minute transfer to the lodge. Upon arrival, enjoy a signature welcome drink and brief orientation, then retreat to your private casita. This afternoon, relax at the pool, or join a naturalist on a walk through the forest to spot rare and exotic birds. Linger over a dinner of indigenous ingredients—from fruits of the rain forest to responsibly caught fish—in the open-air restaurant, perched between jungle and sea.

Day 2—Waterfall and Night Hikes

Sip a hot cup of organic Costa Rican coffee—delivered to your private balcony—as you take in the sunrise over the wild Golfo Dulce, one of the world’s only tropical fjords. After breakfast, trek through virgin rain forest to pristine waterfalls, and cool off in the Carbonera River. Back at the lodge, recover with a filling lunch followed by a hammock nap on the terrace of your thatched bungalow, or take a short stroll to a sandy beach. Meet up with a naturalist to discover the magic of the jungle by night—starring frogs, bats, kinkajous, and other nocturnal creatures—on a two-hour walk lit by flashlight. Rehash the day’s adventures over a three-course meal at the restaurant.

Day 3—Early Birding and Waterfall Lunch

Rise early for a guided birding tour at dawn, and spy some of the 319 bird species and flashy morpho butterflies that flutter throughout the Osa Peninsula. Enjoy coffee and a Costa Rican breakfast, then delve into the lodge’s sustainability initiatives—from building with renewable materials to using pig-generated biogas—on a guided tour of the premises. Lunch today is a special treat for National Geographic guests: Follow a guide into the forest, learning about the flora and fauna along the way, then enjoy a private meal accompanied by a chilled bottle of wine with a waterfall as your backdrop. Top off the exclusive experience with a dip in the waterfall’s natural pool. This afternoon, meander down the hill from the lodge to soak up the sun on the peninsula’s pristine beaches, mostly unchanged since the first Spanish conquistadors arrived here.

Day 4—Golfo Dulce Dolphin Tour

Take to the waters of the Golfo Dulce in a sightseeing boat. Watch for three dolphin species as well as whales and turtles, explore the lush coastline, and go snorkeling to discover more of the gulf’s rich marine life. Then soak up Costa Rica’s legendary “pura vida” with a relaxing swim in the freshwater pool.

Day 5—Local Medicine Tour/Depart

If time allows, follow local guides through the primary rain forest to learn about the traditional medicines made from plants and seeds that grow here. Transfer to the airport, or continue on to your next destination.

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