This is an example of our preferred hotel, though availability is not guaranteed. If a given hotel is not available for your tour date, we will reserve you a room at a hotel of similar appeal and quality in the same area.
Tiskita Jungle Lodge
Tiskita Jungle Lodge and biological reserve is one of the original ecolodges in Costa Rica having been around for almost 20 years. This family-run business, owned and managed by Peter Aspinall and his wife Lisbeth, started in 1978. Peter built himself a home while reforesting large sections of cleared land with native tree species and fruit trees he collected from around the world. In this fashion, the natural habitat has been restored and Tiskita is now home to a vast range of animal and plant species, including a collection of over 125 species of tropical fruit.
Set high on a ridge overlooking the Pacific Ocean and backed by primary rain forest, Tiskita Jungle Lodge is a remote tropical retreat perfect for adventure travelers, wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers of all stripes.
Tiskita Jungle Lodge is a private biological reserve and experimental farm. Located south of Costa Rica\'s fabulous Osa Peninsula-if you went any further south you\'d be in Panama-in an area of rich rainfall and dense primary forest, Tiskita offers guests ?rustic luxury?, personal attention and a world of wonder just outside your cabin door.
Tiskita Lodge is a collection of 16 individual cabins and private rooms set amid rich forests and fruiting trees. In total, Tiskita comprises a 550 acre private biological reserve, of primary, secondary and reforested areas, as well as 37 acres of tropical fruit orchards and farm, featuring over 100 exotic fruits, including carambola, mango, mangosteen, guanabana, durian, pineapple, papaya, breadfruit, guava, vanilla, zapote, and more.
All of the rooms feature broad verandas with sweeping panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Osa Peninsula. These verandas are thoughtfully equipped with both comfortable sitting chairs and even more comfortable string hammocks.
Meals are served in the large main dining room, which is open to the fresh ocean breezes and just steps away from our fabulous views. The cooks prepare a variety of hearty Costa Rican dishes, with an emphasis on our fresh, homegrown fruits and vegetables, as well as locally raised beef and poultry, and, of course, fish fresh from the nearby Pacific Ocean.
The newest addition to Tiskita Jungle Lodge is a refreshing pool set on a high hillside. Take a cool dip, while you watch the waves crash below and the birds and monkeys frolic around you.
Each room has a comfortable queen-sized bed or two twins, a ceiling fan, bedside tables, armories and a private bathroom. Most of these bathrooms are actually outdoors (although with plenty of protection and privacy), allowing you the unique and delightful experience of enjoying the spectacular sights and proximity of our jungle while you shower, shave and brush your teeth.
The Aspinall family has long been a force for environmental education and protection in Costa Rica. John Aspinall is president of Costa Rica Sun Tours, an inbound Costa Rica tour agency specializing in ecotourism; William Aspinall ran the Monteverde Reserve for four years and now manages the family-owned Arenal Observatory Lodge and forest reserve, an important Smithsonian Institute research base; Maryanne Aspinall has been an active member of many voluntary and conservation organizations in Costa Rica and heads the Tiskita Foundation; and Peter Aspinall manages Tiskita Jungle Lodge and biological reserve.
The biggest delight in this tropical haven is not simply the nature show - it\'s the idea behind Tiskita and its host. Peter Aspinall, a native Costa Rican with a Canadian and US education, is not your ordinary hostel owner catering to tourists. He\'s a farmer, first and foremost, and one who is intent on protecting the environment while being a successful grower. His eco-conscious approaches make Tiskita a beautiful and responsible Costa Rica tour option.
While Peter Aspinall believes the best way to protect the rainforests is to let people see them, great care is taken to ensure that neither the visitors they invite to enjoy the Tiskita reserve, nor the facilities they provide for them, threaten or damage the delicate balance of nature in any way. Collecting of any kind is prohibited at Tiskita and there are talks about the natural environment, its problems and solutions for staff, guests and local visitors alike.
In fact, Tiskita Jungle Lodge has been recognized for its commitment to responsible Costa Rica tour operating. The Aspinalls not only conserve the forests within the 550 acres reserve but, through the Tiskita Foundation, also raise money to support the local community and buy neighboring land for reforestation and protection. So far, with the help of contributions from former visitors and voluntary organizations, they have helped complete work on the Punta Banco Health Clinic, provided supplies to the village school and purchased native trees for reforestation in the surrounding area. The first land purchase of 125 acres for reforestation was made in 1993.
As one of the few tourist destinations in this remote area, Tiskita works to ensure that the local community also benefits from the presence of visitors and donates a percentage of its profits each year. Most of the staff is recruited locally and the local marimba band is hired for special events. Visitors have a tour of the village and are encouraged to buy crafts and souvenirs produced by the local Guaym? Indians. These opportunities enliven any Costa Rica tour experience. A plot of land has been donated to the local community, along with the timber to build a community center, library and shop.
Nearby Punto Banco is a nesting spot for the ridley, green and leatherback turtles. In 1996 Peter Aspinall carried out a survey on a 5 km strip of beach in front of Tiskita and identified six major nesting areas. However, almost all the eggs laid by the 350 turtles that nested during the period of his survey, were taken either by human or animal predators. To protect them during their lengthy incubation (45-63 days), a bamboo and chicken wire turtle nursery was built near Tiskita. In 1997 the Aspinalls released 10,000 baby turtles. Turtle eggs can now be reburied and stand a better chance of hatching.
Tiskita Tide Pools:
Rocks exposed along the beach edge, during low tide, at first appear to be lifeless compared to the colorful tide-pools of more temperate coasts.
However, a closer look will reveal a variety if interesting life forms. Organisms must be well adapted to live here as their environment changes radically with the tides. Some organisms are fully exposed while others remain in isolated pools.
High tide again bathes the rocks in cool water but now the powerful surf must be contended with... some animals are easily visible while others require some searching remember to replace any rocks you turn over!
Crustaceans are represented by several species of crab, lobsters and barnacles. Crabs of several species and variety of sizes may be seen tucked into the safety of a crevice or darting busily over the rocks.
During your stay at Tiskita, you can witness the fascinating ebb and flow of changing tides and its effect on local wildlife.
Over 275 species of birds have been recorded in the area around Tiskita, making it one of the best birding spots in the country. The lodge takes its name from a bird; Tiskita is the indegenous Indian word for a fish eagle. Well-marked and groomed trails through primary forest, wide open pasture land and lush fruit orchards, secondary forests and coastal areas offer a wide variety of habitats and bird watching opportunities. Some of the more common and spectacular local residents include the Great Black Hawk, White-necked Jacobin, Slaty-tailed Trogan, Turquoise Cotinga, Red-capped Manakin, Chestnut-mandibled Toucan and a wide range of Tanangers, Honey-creepers and Euphonias.
Tiskita Jungle Lodge is located in the southern Pacific lowlands a region in which both Central American and South American bird species are represented. The 550 acres reserve protecsts a range of habitats incluiding virgin and secondary growth rainforest and coastline and the tropical fruit-farm is a magnet for frugivores or fruit eaters.
Along the coast there are brown pelicans, brown boobies, cormorants and magnificent frigate, birds, terns, gulls, plovers and the American oystercatcher. The orchards lure chestnut-mandibled toucans out into the open, along with several species of parrots, aricaris and the crimson-fronted and orange-chinned parakeets tanagers and many...
Among the forest\'s flashier residents are the violaceous and black-headed trogon, red-capped manakin, great currassow and dozen of species of hummingbird, attracted by the heliconia and easily spotted hovering aorund the flowers on the grounds. There are many species of chckoos, woodcreepers, wrens and owls and a good range of raptors, from the peregrine falcon and white hawk to kestrels and kites.
The severe deforestation in the neighboring Golfo Dulce area, makes this rich reserve even more vital as a bird sanctuary. Through the Tiskita Foundation, the Aspinalls are raising money to buy more of the surrounding land in order to reforest and protect it.
Tiskita has a network of well-marked and maintained trails that pass through primary and secondary forest.It is also possible to hike for miles along the beaches that stretch south towards Panama. Daily guided hikes are included in the price or your room and the lodge also provides detailed maps and accompanying information for self-guided rain forest hikes and tidal pool explorations.
The premontane wet forest of this area is bordered by tropical moist forest a few kilometres to the north and tropical moist forest a few kilometres to the south. The steep infertile clay slopes contribute to the classification, as does the 3 to 4 metres of annual rainfall.
Tree canopy height is about 40 m.! As you follow the trail, sixteen stations will describe the vegetation andecology of the area. At a slow pace, a trail will take about one hour from ridge to stream valley and back to the ridge.
Tiskita Lodge is located on the shores of the Pacific ocean, just where it meets with the Golfo Dulce. Fish for marlin, sailfish, dorado and tuna on the open seas, or search for some snook in the nearby (and calmer) mangroves. Spend a morning or afternoon with a rod in your hand and a chef will cook your catch.
The area around Tiskita offers a wealth of wonderful options for horseback riding. Explore the coast or head inland, either way you\'ll be amazed at the beauty at every turn. Horseback riding is available at a small extra cost and with at least one day of advanced notice.
A Unique Project Bears Fruit at Jungle Lodge:
Tourists are willing guinea pigs at the experimental fruit farm where a grazing tour is a part of every visit. Mangosteen, rambutan, zapote, guanabana and guavas are firm favorites with visitors who also, season allowing, can try star fruit and star apples, lancium, cas water apples, ablu, jack fruit and the sweet slimy pulp that covers the seeds inside the inga pod.
Peter Aspinall has planted over 100 species and is looking at introducing lesser know varieties into the Costa Rican market and producing fruit pulp for juices, ice cream and yogurt. The mangoes we buy today are the result of a 40-50 year period of experimentation and perfection and until researchers find a way of controling production time and extending shelf life, some of the most delicious rainforest fruits will have to be enjoyed on site!
Aspinall traveled through Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, Singapour planted out at his first farm on the Burica Pen?nsula, along with species from Asia. When he moved to Punta Banco in 1978 he brought his tree collection with him and has been adding to it ever since.
The cabins in Tiskita are set amidst the rich forests and fruiting trees, while being distant from each other. Peter built them using precious woods: mahogany, purpleheart and rosewood, from trees that have fallen on the property. Each has screened windows to allow in the cool ocean breeze and hot showers for your comfort. Cabins also have hammocks on their porches with sweeping panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Osa Peninsula.
Families are accomodated in wooden cabins with multiple rooms, so mom and dad can sleep separately, yet next door to the kids. Couples can stay in our single room cabins, allowing for more private lodging.
Between each cabin are a variety of flowering plants and fruit trees that attract wildlife including monkeys, birds and butterflies. Lying in the hammock of your cabin can be one of the best places to observe wildlife!
There is an ocean view from each cabin.
Meals at Tiskita are prepared by local cooks who are well acquainted with traditional Costa Rican dishes, while using the low amounts of both salt and oil. Fresh produce is bought from local farmers and twice a week from a vegetable truck that passes by the lodge. Locally raised beef and poultry, and of course, fish fresh from the nearby Pacific Ocean are also staples in the meals. Vegetarian diets are easily accommodated.
A unique feature Tiskita offers at meals is the wide range of unique tropical fruit juices from an organic tropical fruit collection.
In addition to these juices, hot coffee and tea are available all day, free of charge. As well, chlorine-free drinking water is taken from a local spring stream and filtered.
The lodge provides a great setting for socializing with other guests and sharing experiences from your day. A variety of iguanas keep good company when one sits in the wooden chairs in the dining room.
The chlorine-free swimming pool next to the lodge is a great place to both enjoy the sun and cool off in the shade of the trees or the wooden thatched-roof bar. Sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean can be seen while being surrounded by trees that attract monkeys, birds, and countless other wildlife.
A lookout next to the swimming pool is just the place to relax. It offers a great vista of both the rainforest and the ocean below and has comfortable chairs and small tables.
Native trees planted in this area attract wildlife, including coatis, agoutis and dozens of species of birds.
The area between the lodge and the bar has a beautiful mahogany ping-pong table, fuse-ball table, dart board and a wooden chess table, to be enjoyed by guests.
In the dining room, a small library can be found with nature books and other relevant texts. There is also a book exchange supported by guests. Board games and cards are also available.
The Tropical Fruit Collection at Tiskita is one of the largest of its kind in the world with over 100 different species of fruit from around the globe.
No pesticides are used in the orchards, and all fruits are organic.
Peter, the owner, gives regular guided walking tours of the orchard, where guests can taste the exotic tropical fruits of the world.
After graduating from the University of Florida with his degree in tropical fruit culture in the late 1970s, owner Peter Aspinall traveled to Australia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico, the Amazon Basin, Thailand and Malaysia visiting local fruit markets, sampling fruits and collecting seeds for his tropical fruit orchard. The result is this staggering collection of tropical fruits, many of which are unknown to the western world.
The collection has many of the more ?common? tropical fruits including mangoes, star fruit, papayas, passionfruit, pineapple, banana, guava, lychee, longan, rambutan and dozen citrus including grapefruit, tangerine, lemon, lime and crosses therein.
The Tiskita Foundation
Conservation comes from real concern and care for the environment and the people of a place. As the Tiskita Foundation demonstrates, eco-conscious Costa Rica vacations are both fun and rewarding.
As part of their work at Tiskita Lodge, the Aspinall family has created the Tiskita Foundation, which raises funds for the purchasing of lands for reforestation and conservation in the Punta Banco region, while also working on educational and health projects serving the local communities. One aspect of the Tiskita Foundation over the past three years has been the successful administration of a local project aimed at monitoring and protecting the annual nesting of Olive Ridley turtles. There are even options on certain Costa Rica vacations that allow travelers to help sustain these gentle beasts.
The severe deforestation in the neighboring Golfo Dulce area makes this rich reserve even more vital as a bird sanctuary. Through the Tiskita Foundation, the Aspinalls are raising money to buy more of the surrounding land in order to reforest and protect it. If you wish to make a donation to the Tiskita Foundation, please ask for a copy or the Tiskita Foundation brochure when you arrive. Costa Rica vacations to the Tiskita Lodge are also available.