Saturday, June 28, 2008

Costa Rica: day 10 - Lapa Rios!

We were on our way to Lapa Rios, a luxury ecolodge that has been featured in numerous travel articles and best hotel lists. This was our honeymoon splurge of the trip. After arriving in Puerto Jiménez, it was going to be a forty minute 4x4 ride into the remote jungles of the Osa Peninsula. A forty minute ride from the nearest phone, internet connection and civilization. It sounded like paradise!

The Nature Air flight left San José at 8:30 and arrived in Puerto Jiménez at 9:35. It was quite smooth.

Hey, that's us!

The Lapa Rios Puerto Jiménez office was right there at the airport. (Also, right there at the airport, just off to the side of the little runway - I so wish I had taken a picture - was a cemetery and three downed planes. Hmm... Now that's...not where I would build my airport. But that's just me.)

Anyway, the Lapa Rios staff that greeted us were warm and accommodating. They offered us cold drinks, and we could use their bathroom before the ride to the lodge.

The ride in the Land Rover was fun.

We saw a Green Kingfisher and a Chachalaca (I remembered it as "Chocolaca," like some kind of Costa Rican Count Chocula! - One of the bungalows at Lapa Rios is named Chachalaca.)

* * *

And we arrive...

I don't have a fitting photo to insert here that would give you any indication of how absolutely incredible this place is, so I've added this aerial view of Lapa Rios. (Not my photo - I got it from their website.)

(photo taken from

This place is simply AMAZING!!!

The staff warmly greeted us with a refreshing, welcome drink, which was blackberry and cas (sour guava). Yum-my! And they gave us cool towels. A staff member then sat down with us on the deck (with an incredible view!) by the hotel's office/restaurant to tell us more about Lapa Rios.

We then checked in and walked to our bungalow. On our way there, I spotted one of those green and black frogs in the pathway. (Picture was too blurry.)

The path to our bungalow...

Our luggage was there waiting for us.

The bungalow was FANTASTIC! The view was INCREDIBLE! Sights, sounds, smells.

My impressionist panorama.

The Golfo Dulce.

As we took in the view from our private deck, we saw a troop of Squirrel Monkeys go by through the trees. They're so funny! (All the animals remind me of my silly cat!) You're literally immersed in wildlife...

And some are immersed in you! (Well, it was maybe more interested in the potassium in my sweat than saying hello. I read this in my book.)

We took a nap then walked to the hotel's restaurant Brisa Azul for lunch. (The bar's name is Lapapalapa!) Three meals a day are included in your stay.

The walks to and from your bungalow are like walks through a zoo without any barriers. Our bungalow was one of the more remote ones; I'd say it was a 5 minute walk to the restaurant.

A walk with gorgeous views...

I had the sopa de limón-cucumber-camarones (lime-cucumber-shrimp soup) and the casado con pescado, which was delicious and refreshing. The fish was amazing! It had this reddish-brown spice that I have to find out what it is. All of it was so delicious!

They also have the chip of the day and the juice of the day. I was too late, however, for the chip and juice of the day because after lunch, I went to the deck to take in the view. I saw two interesting, tri-colored lizards at the stairway to the lower deck.

Lapa Rios - most highly recommended!!!
$1956 Honeymoon Package (Green Season) - 4 nights: includes taxes, 3 meals per day, non-alcoholic beverages, 2 guided tours, Living Green tour, airport transfer to and from lodge, and private dinner for two. ($489 per night). Keep in mind this is rated one of the top 500 hotels in the world.

Other notes: in-room safe, coffee delivered to your room for $3/day, laundry service (charged per article), no hairdryers/irons allowed, superb restaurant, very remote location. Nature Air San José/Puerto Jiménez round trip flight - $238 per person. Link to activities in and around Lapa Rios.

next post > day 10 - Lapa Rios Observations
previous post > day 10 - Leaving San José
first post > day 1 - Adventure, Exploration and Relaxation

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