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
- Eco friendly
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 lodge can only be reached by boat: you are remote and in a pristine jungle. Central lounge and dining facility is architecturally appealing and functions well. Good food and friendly staff. All accommodation is reached down its own path and is comfortable and very private. The hiking trails could use some maintenance, but there is plenty to see in the jungle and on the water.
I could not have envisioned a better trip for myself. From the moment I landed in Puerto Jimenez to the boat ride, I felt this would be a life changing experience, and it was. I loved my beautiful cabin, the stellar waterfall hike, mind blowing meals and nightly companionship. It is such a special place to be able to be at one with nature in the rainforest and right on the beach at the same time, I feel so blessed to have had this experience. I can’t wait to be back.
The Nicuesa family including the people, the wildlife, and the natural habitat is all one needs to be at peace at Playa Nicuesa.
Thank you Nicuesa family! Pura Vida!
We had a great time! What a wonderful place!
The rooms embedded into the jungle, the gardens, the beach - this place could have been taken out of a fairytale.
The service and the food were also great.
Be sure to stay at least 4 days in order to have time to enjoy several of the tours and activities offered.
I cannot praise the staff and resort highly enough! My family and I had the most incredible 3 nights here in February. We were overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of the wildlife.You really feel like you are living in the jungle - the howler monkeys were our alarm call every morning and there is a constant buzz of insects, bird calls and the lapping waves of the ocean. On the boat to the resort, before we even arrived we had a close up encounter with dolphins and saw brown pelicans flying in formation! As we walked up to our lodge, 3 scarlet macaws flew over our heads and there were toucans chattering in the trees.The accommodation has been carefully designed to be both environmentally friendly and very comfortable. The food was excellent. There was a vegetarian choice every mealtime and they also catered for my parents who are vegan and my sister who is a coeliac. The food was fresh, interesting and delicious. I would highly recommend going on the trips - the staff go out of their way to make it interesting and to find you wildlife, if that is your interest. The staff generally were wonderful hosts.They have great knowledge, are good company and very considerate. My parents are in their late 70s, so not as nimble as younger folk and the staff looked out for them and made sure they were comfortable. The dining room and schedule is designed, so you can get advice from the guides and also get to know the fellow guests, which was an added bonus. We took advantage of the kayaking and snorkelling just off the beach, which is included in the cost of your stay and available any time during the day. If you're headed for Costa Rica, I would highly recommend you include Playa Nicuesa in your schedule. Three nights was not enough and I can't wait to go back!
Not easy to get to... but they say "the hardest roads bring the best people". Not cheap of course either. But this is a really amazing place. We made this our last stop on our tour and stayed 5 nights. It took most of a day (Car and boat) to get to and more than a half day to get back (boat, car, flight) to San Jose so keep that in mind if a 2 night stay is suggested by your tour guide. We saw folks arriving late and leaving earlier hardly having seen the place.
There are guides of course to do trips on the water and inland...and we also walked the trails on our own which take you deep into the forest. Staff were wonderful.. friendly and eco driven.The food is good, and dinner can often be a result of the days catch... great if you love fish!
And yes we were spoilt having massages on the secluded yoga deck to the sound of the sea and the breeze in the trees. A place to explore and also to relax...