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Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge

Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge

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A unique adventure travel destination: lush, green vegetation as far as the eye can see, with leaves as big as elephant ears. Jade colored water. Toucans, monkeys, iguanas, dolphins, majestic blue butterflies – all are here at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge in Golfo Dulce and can be seen on a Costa Rica trip.

If physical challenge on your Costa Rica tour is what you want... it's here. If rest and relaxation is what you need... it's here. And everything in between! Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is a destination lodge that offers kayaking, fishing, snorkeling, rain forest hiking, wildlife viewing, horseback riding, and yoga practice right out your doorstep.

Lodge Features
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge embraces conservation and harmony with nature, and offers a perfect blend of comfort with environmental preservation.

This unique Costa Rica eco lodge is sensitively designed with the environment and constructed from naturally fallen trees, recycled materials and harnesses the natural energy from the sun to provide electricity.

And, after a day of playing hard, stretch out with a yoga class and enjoy the rainforest from a hammock in our uniquely designed tree-top level lodge, or retreat to the private terrace of your deluxe cabin. Before savoring the fabulous tropical-Latino inspired dinner menu, join others for appetizers under the thatch roof candlelit bar.

What also makes Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge so unique, pristine and private is that the lodge is accessible only by boat. Dramatic views of the mountains surrounding the Pacific Coast gulf welcome you to the lodge as you approach by boat. Once you arrive at the lodge, lose yourself in the tropical paradise that surrounds you, and let the adventure begin!

Exotic Destination
Playa Nicuesa's location is amazingly unique: Pristine, Private, Beautiful! It is a perfect example of why Costa Rica is world renowned for adventure and ecotourism travel. Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is a 165-acre private preserve located within the Golfo Dulce/Osa Peninsula region which has been called one of the most biologically diverse places on the earth. This area contains Central America's largest remaining Pacific Coast rainforest.

Playa Nicuesa is a roadless mecca for nature lovers and adventure sports enthusiasts of all levels --- Reachable by boat only.

Adventure and Nature Activities
People refer to Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge
as a "Selva y Mar" (jungle and sea)
location because their front yard is literally
a gulf right off the Pacific Ocean, and
out their back yard is literally thousands
of acres of pristine tropical rainforest.

Adventure and nature activities are unlimited,
as you may discover by navigating
through the sections below:

The Front Door leads to the Golfo Dulce's 80 degree blue green waters. Kayak the Golfo Dulce (sweet gulf) right off our beach front. Jump in! The water is calm and perfect for swimming. Spend a relaxing hour or a challenging day kayaking and exploring along the coastline and through nearby mangroves. Stop and snorkel along the way! In-shore and off-shore fishing guarantee a fresh fish dinner. And, from the Golfo Dulce you can also access several rivers and the Pacific Ocean leading to a variety of marine environments that make this area so unique.

The Back Door of the 165-acre preserve is surrounded by thousands of acres of pristine tropical rainforest, full of fruit trees and tropical flowering plants. Explore the jungle by hiking our labyrinth of trails that wind through the rainforest canopy, up the mountainside, and connect through the National Park. Listen to the howler monkeys, watch and hear the calls of any one of the 250 species of birds, and end up at a waterfall. OR, just relax in a hammock under the almond tree by the sea and take in the ocean and mountain views while listening to the rhythmic waves.

Rainforest Eco Adventures

Hiking and Wildlife viewing:
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge Private Trails. On the lodge's 165-acre preserve there are numerous trails that wind through the rainforest canopy, fruit trees, and coastal lagoon areas. These trails are perfect for all levels of guided and self-guided hikes. These trails offer a casual walk/hike as well as challenging climbs. There are selectively sited view terraces to observe wildlife or just relax and enjoy the solitude of nature.

National Park Trails: The lodge property borders the Piedras Blancas National Park. Several private trails on the preserve connect with trails in the national park. Since access to the park is through private properties accessible by boat only, you can be guaranteed little to no encounters with other people... making your experience truly one-with-nature.

Listed below are just a few of the hikes out the back door into the park:

Waterfall Hike: This is a 2 hour hike (one way) that leads from the lodge to a beautiful waterfall where you can swim in a natural swimming hole tucked away in the jungle. This is a mostly flat trail that offers interesting and serious hiking but avoids steep elevation changes.

• Piscina Grande Trail. This is a 3 hour hike (one way) that leads from the lodge, climbs high into the rainforest canopy of primary forest before dropping into a beautiful valley. The trail ends at a large waterfall and swimming hole. This is a trip for the adventurous and fit, as you will walk up steep terrain to reach your destination.

Among the wildlife frequently seen are White Faced monkeys, Howler monkeys, over 250 types of birds including toucans, trogons and parrots, numerous butterflies including the majestic blue morpho, and tropical mammals such as pizotes and tyras; reptiles such as Iguanas, lizards and amphibians such as the wonderous red- eyed tree frog.

Santuario Silvestre Wildlife Sanctuary:
Santuario Silvestre Wildlife Sanctuary, only reachable by boat, is located a beautiful 15 minute boat ride along the coast of the Golfo Dulce from Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge. The Sanctuary mission is a rescue center for the wildlife in the southern zone of Costa Rica.

Santuario Silvestre is a unique animal refuge that offers an incredible opportunity for guests to learn from area and visiting experts about the rescue, release and rehabilitation of local wildlife, as well as poaching and other issues related to maintaining a healthy animal population. View up close and photograph in a natural but controlled setting a variety of wildlife including all four species of monkeys found in Costa Rica, anteaters, sloths, scarlet macaws, parrots, toucans and other beautiful birds that live in and rely on the jungle as their home. Overall, a fun and interesting educational opportunity! The tour when combined with a beautiful boat ride is a unique 3 hour excursion from Playa Nicuesa.

Horseback Riding
Enjoy a day in the rainforest by horseback. Half-day and full-day guided trips can be arranged to a variety of locations including many hidden waterfalls in the area.

Mountain Biking
Motorboat to one of the small nearby towns in search of roads (remember, no roads go to the lodge!). This is a great way to experience the local life and then to head out on one of the many quiet dirt roads in the area. We can arrange short trips that will allow you to bike to beautiful beaches, or just cruise around and see open space and farming communities. Hard-core bikers can choose rugged trips that will have you crossing through rivers and streams and climbing steep hills, all the while looking at beautiful jungle scenery.

Tropical Botanic Gardens Tour
Short boat or kayak ride will land you at Casa Orquidias, a botanical garden where you will learn about the many indigenous tropical fruits and plants while touring the grounds of a beautiful private reserve.

All does not have to be about activity. Please feel free to grab a beach chair or hammock and enjoy the tropics from one of the lodge's many peaceful spots!

Ocean Eco Adventures

The Golfo Dulce is a special place to kayak. Travel along the blue/green waters with the dramatic rainforest canopy in the background. Keep your eyes open for dolphins and other marine life swimming by. There are also several nearby rivers where kayaking offers a great chance to paddle into the jungle and see a variety of sea and jungle birds that live in the area. This is a safe paddling area that is ideal for beginners to spend a relaxing hour paddling, or for the experienced and adventurous to spend a challenging day exploring the coastline and nearby mangroves. Ocean kayaks are available for all guests to use in the vicinity of the lodge at no charge. The lodge also offers guided kayaking adventures to other parts of the gulf.

River Tours:
Spend the day exploring a pristine river. Your guide will describe the interesting bird and marine life and vegetation of the Rio Esquinas, as you wind through the river that flows between the Golfo Dulce and inland jungles.

Golfo Dulce Dolphin Tour and Coastal Adventure:
This is a wonderful tour of the Golfo Dulce, a spectacular, protected gulf off the Pacific Ocean. You have a great chance to see at least one of the three types of Dolphins most common in the Golfo Dulce (spinner, spotted and bottlenose). You will spend several hours touring the blue, green waters of the Gulf looking for dolphins, sea turtles and marine birds with one of the Nicuesa's guides and boat captains. You will also stop for a snorkel at one of the area's reefs and/or a secluded beach to swim and enjoy fresh coconut and other snacks. Guest will learn about the natural and cultural history of the Gulf, one of the deepest in the world, and one of the few tropical fiords that exist. (This tour is approximately 4 hours)

The Golfo Dulce offers tremendous fishing opportunities both in-shore and big game sport fishing.

On any given day, you will be able to enjoy both:
Inshore Fishing - Jump on a boat and a few minutes later you can be catching a variety of in-shore fish including red snapper, grouper and countless other fish. The lodge will have a full supply of equipment for fishing in the Gulfo Dulce, and local guides that know the best spots. Or, just fish right off the pier.

Big Game Sport Fishing - A 30 minute boat ride leads to the best sportfishing that the Pacific Ocean can offer anywhere. The Golfo Dulce area has numerous sportfishing operations that have based themselves here for the great fishing. We have arrangements for trips with the areas best captains that have modern boats equipped with specialized tackle that will help you catch Marlin, Tuna, Sailfish, and Dorado (Mahi Mahi). Charters complete with a professional captain and first class boats range from $550 to $850 for a full day, depending on boat and number of people.

Snorkel right off the beach to see many beautiful tropical fish, or in minutes you can be whisked away to a beautiful rocky cove or one of the reefs of the Gulfo Dulce for a fun snorkeling trip. The lodge will have a full supply of snorkels and fins for guests to use within the vicinity of the lodge at no charge.

Windsurfing and Sailing:
The Golfo Dulce has deep water and few obstacles, making it an excellent place for a day sail. The lodge has several windsurfers. Lessons are available, upon request. The lodge also has a Hobie Cat for use by guests with experience. They offer opportunities to go sailing with our staff for those who want to just relax and enjoy a nice trip.

There are two excellent day trip opportunities to enjoy world class surfing. Lessons are available.

Yoga and Wellness
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is proud of its rotational Resident Yoga Instructor-Massage Therapist Program. Every month they host a highly qualified yoga instructor/massage therapist to live at the lodge and provide yoga classes and massage therapy to guests daily. The intensity of the lodge's multisport premises makes the yoga classes and massage therapy services the perfect potion to replenish your vitality and enable you to enjoy and discover further.

Yoga classes are based on the teachings of Iyengar, Kripalu and Kundalini Yoga. Each session is an opportunity to explore the body through cultivating a connection to breath and movement, building flexibility and strength through alignment principles, and exploring the wisdom of the body
through self expression and attunement to prana. Participation fee varies according to format:

Therapeutic massage may be arranged upon request in the privacy of your cabin or on the beach; making it a perfect reward after a challenging day of exploration and activities.

Both the yoga & massage services are provided by an ongoing schedule of certified and highly experienced resident instructors.

Family Adventure
For families who want more than gated resorts, Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge offers an unparalleled opportunity for your entire family to learn together about the rainforest, tropical marine environment, conservation and sustainability...

All while being immersed in two natural adventure playgrounds in one location!

The Golfo Dulce is the "front door" to the Lodge -which is only accesible by boat. This Sweet Gulf is one of only four tropical fjords in the world; and its calm, warm waters are perfect for snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, and fishing.

Their "back door" sends you right into the rain forest. The series of private trails surrounding the lodge, as well as those attached to the Piedras Blancas National Park, will provide your family with days of rich & fun adventures.

The lodge's vacation approach is authentic, educational and adventurous, fit for all ages. They provide you with the right mix of adventure and quality down time with family. You may choose from plenty options for self guided activities and unstructured adventure or relaxing; or take a guided adventure tour.

The small size of Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge allows for a more intimate experience with nature. The cabins, guestrooms and the main house are uniquely designed to create a seamless and enjoyable transition between the indoors and outdoors.

The open-air main house rises up to the level of the surrounding jungle canopy, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of the rainforest even as you relax or dine. The main house has a terrace bar that overlooks the jungle and the sea, and provides the perfect respite after a long day of challenging activities. At night, enjoy stargazing from the dining terrace.

Three exceptional meals are prepared each day by our chefs. Emphasis is on local cuisine and fresh fish, tropical fruits and vegetables. The 165 acre preserve abounds with tropical fruit trees bearing mangos, pineapple, starfruit, oranges, lemons, papayas, water apples, bananas, and of course, coconuts. The fresh squeezed juices and salsas are limitless!

The lodge's five private cabins (three 1-bedroom and two 2-bedroom) and the Mango Guesthouse with four rooms offer privacy and comfort in a natural setting. All cabins and rooms have canopied beds, ceiling fans, private terraces, and private baths with hot water and open-air garden shower.

The full length louvre doors that wrap around your room and private verandas afford panoramic views of your natural surroundings. Electricity is provided by solar energy. However, candles are still used throughout the lodge to maintain the natural experience. Candlelit pathways and dinners are reminders of our efforts and commitment towards conservation, and sensitivity to the natural environment.

Photo Gallery

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Visit the lush jungle and stunning waterfalls

Wild Costa Rica

8 Day Itinerary
  • Spend two days rafting the Pacuare
  • Camp along the river
  • Tour the jungle with a naturalist
  • Take a night walk to see wildlife
Fishing, Kayaking, Land, Snorkeling, Whitewater Rafting, Wildlife Viewing
Activity Level:
Easy Active
Tour Details


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This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
Karen Snider

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