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
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.
The only word to describe Playa Nicuesa Lodge is paradise. We (family of 5 stayed), children ages 17, 15 and 11, for 7 days. We all loved our stay. For a start Golfo Dulce is one of the prettiest places in the world. It’s unique combination of rainforest and sea gives you the opportunity to see such an amazing arrange of flora and fauna. I feel really blessed to have had this connection with nature. We enjoyed all the activities offered by our AMAZING guides Valeria and Josue. The whole staff was amazing. The resort is very eco conscious. My daughters and I had the opportunity to clean the Beach Resort with Jahaira their sustainability manager.
I would say Costa Ricans in general are very nice people. Our cabin, the jaguar house, was very comfortable. It was really an unforgettable stay for the whole family.
This is truly the most special place I ever stayed. From the magical rain forest setting that is so perfect almost feels like a stage set, to the stunning location on the Golfo Dulce, to the superb staff who go above and beyond in every way, to delicious cuisine and charming villas, we adored our stay at Playa Nicuesa. You are truly part of nature while staying in the Nicuesa rain forest, and their focus on living in harmony through sustainability and education made the trip that much more gratifying. This is a beautiful corner of the world, and although we stayed 8 days, I could have easily stayed another week given the relaxing beautiful setting, kindness and attention from the wonderful staff, and the array of activities at/near the lodge or a quick boat ride away. Do yourself a favor and GO!