Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge
What We Love
- The rate includes a boat transfer from Puerto Jimenez Airport (PJM) or Golfito Airport (GLF) to Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, three meals, snacks, unlimited self-guided hikes on the preserve, use of kayaks, snorkeling and fishing equipment
- Yoga bliss at sunrise and sunset on the seaside platform
- Great for a group of friends or families
- READ MORE: Find your perfect Costa Rica vacation
What To Know
- All additional person fees are to be paid upon arrival to the property
- This is an early-to-bed/early-to-rise-with-the-howler-monkeys kind of place
- The lodge is cooled by ceiling fans, not air conditioning
- Getting off the grid is all part of the appeal: no air con, guest phone or Internet
With a front-yard beach bordering Golfo Dulce, where dolphins play and occasionally a humpback whale swims in from the Pacific Ocean, and a back yard of pristine rain forest laced with trails and waterfalls, Playa Nicuesa is the ultimate back-to-nature escape. The main lodge is an open-air two-story affair, fitted out with a library, lounge and terrace bar, hammocks and game tables. On the second floor — open all around to the forest canopy — guests dine family-style (by candlelight at day’s end) at a long, handcrafted wood table, often joined by several staff members.
Bed and Bath
Surrounded by a jungly garden area and framed by mango trees, the four cozy guestrooms in the two-story Mango Guest House offer private terraces, handsome hardwood floors underfoot and ceiling fans overhead. Louver doors and windows wrap around the rooms for panoramic rain forest viewing, and there are queensize canopy beds (or twins on request), and private baths with open-air garden showers. Fresh flowers decorate the rooms each day, and towels are hung on pieces of driftwood.
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge caters to guests with delicious meals and exotic drinks, three resident naturalist guides, a yoga and aromatherapy massage specialist, a full roster of touring and sporting activities, and always attentive service. The meals are healthy, somewhat exotic and creatively presented, and they focus on national and regional cuisine. Request a garden tour with Memmo, Playa Nicuesa’s cheery groundskeeper, and you’ll hear all about sweet apples and the sour guava (harvested for juices and jams). Occasionally you may want to dine privately at a small table; just ask.
In the Area
Take the Edible Landscape Tour, and go foraging for exotic edibles in garden and rain forest, then play assistant to the chef, who works the findings into a savory meal. Or hit the Nocturnal Hike Trail toward the lagoon with Tomas, the lodge’s charismatic animal tracker; night scopes and flashlights help in the search of crocodiles, marine toads, bats and night mammals such as kinkajous and mapaches. Experience the Esquinas River by kayak, exploring the mangroves teeming with wildlife — crocodiles, caimans and myriad birds — or kayak easily from the lodge across Golfe Dulce to take a guided tour of the botanical gardens (and 100 orchid species) of Casa de Orquideas. Surfing aficionados can catch a wave off Playa Matapalo, at the southeastern tip of the Osa Peninsula, while novices can sign up for an all-day lesson.
How to Get There
This was one of the most amazing trip. Everything about this place is superb. The location is serene, in the middle of a pristine environment. The people are exceptional in their welcoming and service. Sven (the manager) has an incredible team and invests himself personally in every detail of the visitors' trip and makes everyone feel at home. The scenery is incredible and all activities worth the costs. I would definitely return to this amazing place.
One of the best places I have ever visited, food was great, I stayed in a private cabin and it was, spacious and very comfortable. I love the little bats that hung from the rafters but on the outside of the netting, also the sounds of the howler monkeys and red/gold macaws early in the morning. Went on a night hike, the guides were very knowledgeable, did yoga at 6am every morning. Spent the day sunbathing on the beach with a crocodile and watched the busy birds and lizards of the rainforest. The staff were great and if you are into conservation and animals the other guests are all very like minded. Can't recommend it enough, I didn't want to leave, I had fallen in love with the place.
I did write a review in May of 2019, and like I said I am a devotee of this remarkable place, and just returned yesterday from another stay there, with my son and sister. We all had a great time, again the service was just cut above perfect. The manager Sven is the most attentive host ever. I mean in all of my years, 65 of them, I have never experienced such a gracious and effective host. We took a hike to a Water fall in the Piedras Blancas park with the resident Naturalist , Valeria who is a true professional, with many years of experience in being a tour guide and has the benefit of being a graduate of the University of Costa Rica's Naturalist program, such knowledge you will rarely find anywhere. Awesome, reminding myself to book again. Hope you go, trip of a life time and you can go again and again and see different stuff, we did find a Lowland Paca at the water fall, and enjoyed the Scarlet Macaws air show at each breakfast from the dining hall, my son Curtis used the Paddle boards, and we all took a dip in the waterfall. Saw what I thought were unusually large Morphos too.