Lapa Rios Lodge: About

Located in Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s pristine Osa Peninsula is blanketed by some of the last remaining lowland tropical rain forest in Central America and edged by beaches rich in marine life. At its tip is Lapa Rios, a remarkable 1,000-acre reserve created to protect the area’s precious biodiversity and to share it in a sustainable way. The 16 bungalows of Lapa Rios Lodge are built on natural ridges within the rain forest, affording spectacular views of the coast as well as close-up observation of tropical flora and fauna.

It would be hard to find a more authentic rain forest experience than this. You awaken to the sounds of the jungle, watch scarlet macaws glide by from your private outdoor shower, and set off into the trees to explore with local guides whose knowledge of the area’s ecosystems runs deep. And yet the experience is relaxing too—there are secluded beaches at the end of many a jungle path, delightful meals served al fresco, and a luxurious bungalow awaiting you at the end of the day.

Why We Love This Lodge

Lapa Rios is the creation of John and Karen Lewis, two former Peace Corps volunteers who in 1990 left their home and their careers in the U.S., liquidated their assets, and set out to establish a private reserve in one of Costa Rica’s most unspoiled wildernesses. Their mantra was that a standing forest is more valuable than one cut down, and they engaged the local community by fostering economic opportunities tied to conservation of the rain forest.

Opened in 1993, Lapa Rios Lodge was a pioneer in ecotourism, offering environmentally friendly luxury and an upscale rain forest experience designed to celebrate and preserve the area’s biodiversity. Today, Lapa Rios is also a haven from technology, a rare opportunity to unplug, slow down, and fully focus on the wild world around you.


  • Wake up to the call of howler monkeys and drink morning coffee on your private terrace overlooking the ocean.
  • Savor delicious meals, fresh tropical juices, and incredible views of the Pacific at the open-air restaurant.
  • Hike through primary and secondary forest with engaging naturalists, and dive deeper into the local ecosysterm during a happy hour naturalist presentation.
  • Enjoy activities that are fun for the whole family, from jumping in waterfall pools to watching monkeys and sloths, to swimming in the lodge's salt-based pool.

National Geographic Exclusive

Each of our lodges has created a special complimentary experience offered exclusively to guests who visit through a National Geographic Expedition. At Lapa Rios Lodge, National Geographic guests are treated to a private lunch in the rain forest. Join a guide for the walk into the forest to a series of waterfalls, learning about the flora and fauna you spot along the way. Take a dip in the falls' natural pools, then soak up the jungle ambiance over delectable food and a chilled bottle of wine, served in the treetops by dedicated waitstaff.

Lodge Features

  • 17 luxurious thatched bungalows with magnificent seaside views
  • Open-air restaurant with gourmet cuisine
  • On-site guides, biologists, and naturalists
  • Evening talks by naturalists and exhibitions by local artisans
  • Salt-based pool
  • Yoga classes and Ayurvedic massages available

Spotlight on Sustainability

Recognized globally as a model of sustainable tourism, Lapa Rios has helped protect some of Costa Rica’s most valuable biodiversity while bringing new life skills and professional opportunities to the remote communities of the Osa Peninsula. Lapa Rios works with Earth Equilibrium, a local nonprofit, to build school classrooms, dining rooms, and playgrounds; provide needed school supplies; and install water pumps and solar panels to supply clean water and electricity in local communities.

A new conservation easement ensures that the property's 1,000 acres, including old-growth primary forest, will be preserved in perpetuity. The Lapa Rios reserve helps buffer the Osa Peninsula’s Corcovado National Park—home to 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity—and serves as a wildlife corridor as well as home to thousands of trees, plants, birds, insects, and mammals in Central America's largest remaining tropical lowland forest.

Awards and Recognitions

  • Condé Nast Traveler Gold List, 2014
  • Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards: Best Hotels in the World, 2014
  • Forbes Traveler Hotels with the Most Beautiful Views, 2010

Photos from Our Lodge and Travelers

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