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
The cabins are exquisite. The staff are genuine, knowledgable and friendly people, not just smiling automatons. We loved talking to them and going to their guided tours. The property is jaw-dropping. Food is limited but great. Cocktails are delicious and reasonably priced. I might suggest bringing along a few little snacks and maybe a bottle of wine to keep in a special animal-proof box in the room. Valeria the guide was FABULOUS. She seriously knows her stuff and can find animals in pitch blackness. She might be magic. Can't wait to come back! Thanks for a wonderful time! PS - The only thing I might suggest is a clothes line or rack of some kind by the room as the humidity can make it a little tough to dry your suits etc. PPS - Say hello to our bat friends! :)
We really enjoyed our 4 night stay at Nicuesa lodge, we had one of the cabins, which sit in their own little bit of rain forest, and are completely private. The equipment for kayaking and snorkeling was really good, as was the guidance and knowledge of the staff. The lodge has a lovely welcoming feel, that encourages people to mix, but offers privacy. The food was good, much of it grown on site, and the drinks were reasonably priced. The combination of the gulf and the rain forest makes this place a real experience, the wildlife, the snorkeling, the birds are all very special.
I spent five nights at this wonderful lodge. Remote spot on the bay with forest right behind. Lots to do (hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, birding and more), the food is very good and the family style dining was great as I was solo. The staff is tremendous, very friendly and knowledgeable about the diverse wildlife that abounds and they go out of their way to help. I got into birding in the late afternoons on the upper porch, and every day a staffer came over to join me and tell me what I, a complete newbie, was seeing They do their best for eco sustainability which is great. You have to be willing to go without WiFi in your room, no air conditioning and small creatures visiting but totally worth it!
A wonderful, remote location in the rainforest, with all the comforts of a well run hotel. We stayed four nights and enjoyed every minute. The lodge and grounds are well maintained and are managed in a meticulously sustainable manner. It is a boutique lodge, with fewer than 30 guests at maximum capacity, and many of the accommodations are bungalows set apart from the lodge. So you very much feel like you are staying out of doors in the rainforest. Yet, the lodge and bungalows are very comfortable and the food is quite good. The staff are warm and attentive. We took advantage of the lodge's excellent trail system and saw wildlife everywhere, but we also saw toucans and howler monkeys and other wildlife from our bungalow. It was a wonderful experience for my son and me.
We stayed for 9 nights at this beautiful lodge, tucked in between the gulf and the rain forest. I was afraid that'd be too long, but not at all. There's much to do (hiking, swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, dolphin watching, yoga, etc) either on your own or with guides. But doing nothing and taking in the beautiful nature all around was wonderful too. The staff was attentive and fun, and went out of their way to accommodate.
If you want a resort where you can be waited on all day from the beach or pool, and one that mirrors every other beach resort you've been too, this may not be the place for you. But if you want to experience nature and beauty up close and personal, while knowing that you aren't harming the environment, Playa Nicuesa is an excellent choice. Since I'm returning, maybe I'll see you there.