Girlfriend getaway

Time for a girlfriend get away.

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It was a wonderful summer of hiking, mountain biking, surfing and beach bumming in North America for you and your girlfriends but, while fall begins to set in, you are starting to feel the urge to find a place to carry on with all your adventures when the cold weather arrives . There will be plenty of snowboarding and skiing opportunities in that long Northern Hemisphere winter so you want to find a place where you don’t have to wear 4 layers of clothing while on your board.

This is where Lapa Rios comes in.  Lapa Rios is the perfect spot for you and your girlfriends. Why? well, here is a sample 48 hours at the Lapa Rios Ecolodge.

Day 1- You will be waking up early in the morning and go for a surfing lesson, or a guided surfing tour if you are already an accomplished surfer, followed by an afternoon of rest and relaxation on the beach. You and your friends can then enjoy a massage in your private bungalow while listening to the trees and sipping on pina coladas made with fresh fruit.

Day 2- enjoy waking up by birds and other fauna around you while you sip on a cup of freshly ground coffee. After breakfast you will head on to a zip line adventure over the Osa Peninsula followed by a Horse riding tour into the mountains. You can finish your day dining at our world class restaurant and then catch up with your life time friends over drinks.

And this is only day 2!

The rest is up to you and your friends to figure out. Nothing is impossible at Lapa Rios and adventure awaits for you and your friends.

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The Osa Peninsula Experience

A stay at Lapa Rios is unlike any other hotel accommodations in the world. Often time guests will let us know how their trip went on TripAdvisor, and other times they send us letters directly. We were thrilled to get this letter from a guest about the great time they had at Lapa. I’m sure anyone who has stayed with us can relate to the experience.


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Waking up to the sounds of the Osa Peninsula

Dear Lapa Rios team

I wanted to thank you for your hospitality  at the Hotel. From the moment we were  picked up  to the last wave  goodbye we  felt like we  had truly  experienced a  gem  in Costa Rica.

The staff at Lapa Rios really understands the meaning of customer  service.  They were friendly,  helpful and extremely  approachable. On numerous  occasions we  commented  about how  seamless  the operation  and service  was.  Please  extend my thanks to all  the staff  and let  them know  that  they are doing  a  fantastic  job!

We  were able to wake up early both days and experience the room service coffee from our balcony ( one of our favorite parts!) I have attached a picture! We even woke up at 4.30 am  just to make sure we had time to  enjoy the moment.  We LOVED the birdwatching tour with Edwin!  I don’t have to tell you how amazing he is. We saw numerous  species that  would  convert  even  non  birdwatchers !  We then  walked  down to the beach  and also  had a chance to  swim in the waterfall.  The afternoon we  spent by the pool and on our  deck  ( again  one of our favorite places!)

The food  was  outstanding!  I love that  the menu is so varied and has  very unique  dishes.

I  am looking forward to showing  my clients  the Lapa Rios  property  in my presentation to various agencies  in  Canada.

Thank you again for everything

There’s no elevator?

At Lapa Rios we have stairs.

They snake all the way down to the lowest casitas and all the way back up to the restaurant and main lobby. We are an ecolodge that is set into the upper part of a valley. That means our entire grounds slopes down and gives every room an incredible view of the valley below.

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A view of Lapa Rios from the air

Now this can pose a challenge, if you’re not ready for the Lapa Rios experience. On our TripAdvisor page we had this comment:

Many other reviews mentioned this, but it does bear repeating, there is LOTS of walking. 240 steep stairs that you will need to climb multiple times a day. This is not a place for people with anything but perfect health.

While we disagree that you need to be in perfect health (none of the Lapa Staff are professional athletes and they climb these stairs many times a day!) the reviewer is right that there is lots of walking. We do not have an escalator, an elevator, golf carts or any other way to move around the resort. It is impossible for us to offer the Lapa Rios experience without having guests walk while they are here.

Because our guests walk everywhere they also see the most amazing things!

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A poison dart frog on the Lapa Rios steps

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Walking down at the beach

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Walking and bird watching through the Lapa Rios property.

An active vacation is not for everyone, but for those who are willing to put in the steps will discover that an active vacation at Lapa Rios is unlike anything else you can find in the world.

Explorers at heart

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If you were born an avid explorer Lapa Rios is your destination as in Lapa Rios you will be right in the middle of the action. Set in a private nature reserve spread over 1,000 acres of Central America’s last remaining lowland tropical rainforest in Costa Rica, Lapa Rios allows you access to a vast array of activities including zip lining, hiking, bird watching , plane tours, dolphin and sea life tours, kayaking, horseback riding, surfing, and waterfall rappelling just to list a few.
Furthermore, we at Lapa Rios are committed to sustainability and we like to share our vision with our visitors. We believe it is possible to run a lodge like ours while giving back to the local community and preserving the ecosystem This is why we also include among our activities a tour around the Eco lodge in which you learn what actions we take every day in order to preserve our home the rainforest and a tour of a local primary school built and sponsored by Lapa Rios Ecolodge.

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Lapa Rios is the kind of place where you will recharge your batteries by being active, by leaving your phones, computers and electronics behind and getting back in touch with nature.

What optics are best for bird watching?

One of the most popular things to do while at Lapa Rios is wildlife viewing.

The Osa Peninsula is so densely populated with wildlife that it is not uncommon to see sloths, monkeys, birds, lizards, and many many different kids of insects.

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Guides at Lapa Rios ready to show you the local birds

Wildlife typically does not want to get up close (unless it’s a sloth who can’t move away very quickly!) so we need to find a way to get closer without startling them. Our preferred spotting scopes and binoculars are made by Swarovski Optics.

The Swarovski Optics have proven to be the most durable scope for the Osa Peninsula and the quality of the magnification is fantastic.

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Walking through the Lapa Rios property.

If you are planning a visit to Lapa Rios rest assured that your guide will have the best spotting scope possible to ensure you are seeing the wildlife as they are meant to be seen.

Bird watching in Costa Rica

With close to 900 species of birds, Costa Rica is home to some of the world’s most diverse and plentiful bird habitats. Birding is one of the most accessible activities for visitors to Costa Rica, even for those who may have never previously considered it. At Lapa Rios Ecolodge, we provide an added level of assistance when it comes to birding by ensuring that our expert guides are on hand for each tour, helping to point out rare species (often transitory and visiting from North America like many of our guests) and provide in-depth knowledge of the bird’s habits and habitat.

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Two Lapas flying together over the Osa Peninsula

At Lapa Rios Ecolodge, more than 360 bird species have been recorded among the 900 acres of tropical rainforest surrounding the property. Lapa Rios Ecolodge offers visitors the opportunity to see a wide range of bird species, including the scarlet macaw, parrots, parakeets, falcons, toucans, and many colourful hummingbird species.

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A Green breasted Mango

Whether you’re taking part in the early morning bird tour (don’t worry, we deliver a thermos of hot, local coffee to your door!) where you can witness scarlet macaws and other beautifully plumed species taking flight in the morning light, or the sunset bird tour where the golden rays catch the wings of parrots, parakeets, herons and toucans, both tours offer the expertise of our expert guides.

Even if you’re sitting by the pool, admiring the view of the Golfo Dulce to the south, or the rainforest and Drake Bay to the north, you’ll often bear witness to toucans feasting on the almond trees or macaws gliding by in pairs.

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Guides at Lapa Rios ready to show you the local birds

Thanks to the conservation easement signed between the founder of Lapa Rios Ecolodge and the government of Costa Rica, the more than 900 acres of tropical rainforest that surround the lodge will be preserved in perpetuity, providing permanent and transitory homes to our winged visitors.

Leave That Phone… At home

Winter is upon us and you are looking around the web in hope that you will find a worthwhile destination to pass your vacation in when suddenly you come across the term “Luxury Eco Resort”. That sounds great you think, but what does it really mean to me?

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Well, it means you will truly get away from your every day. Luxury Eco Resort means you will experience the rainforest and its wonders during the day and be able to relax in a 100% electronics free environment while resting in your bungalow at the end of it. There is no WiFi or television in the bungalows so that you are able to unplug and really take in the sounds, sights and smells of the rainforest and the ocean in front of you. There is, however, a king size bed, complimentary morning coffee, waffle cotton robes, a private outdoor deck, biodegradable bathroom products and the full attention of our staff.

It means a world class kitchen, with some of the best chefs in Costa Rica preparing fresh, locally sourced meals at Brisa Azul.

But finally, and most importantly, it means getting back in touch with nature. “Luxury Eco Resort” means leaving all that media fuss about a phone that bends behind and we recommend you leave your phone, at home.

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For Future Generations

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Here, at Lapa Rios, we believe that we are the safe keepers of one of the world’s most valued treasures, the Rainforest. We think that it is our responsibility, as inhabitants of the Osa Peninsula, to care for it and educate as many people as possible on the importance on keeping this ecosystem alive for future generations.

We believe in sustainable tourism and sustainable business and here are a few of the specific actions we take to take care of our surroundings:

1-Absolutely no caged animals or clipped birds. You will be able to experience these magnificent creatures in their own habitat and in the least intrusive way possible thanks to our experienced and knowledgeable guides.

2- Speaking about our guides, we hire local. Our staff is hired from within the area, with an emphasis on their education and training. We strive to be a positive economic force that can provide for the local communities.

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Local staff that know and care about their land.

3-We have a strict recycling policy, a waste separation and management system, and over 75% of the materials used in the construction of the bungalows are renewable.

4- There is always a forest guard on duty to prevent any illegal hunting in the reserve.

Overall, however, our most important action is change through education. All of our activities aim to highlight the importance for preserving this ecosystem and the different ways in which everyone can help.

Birding for Beginners

Birding or Bird Watching has been on the rise in the last couple of years and every day there are more and more people falling in love with this activity.

With thousands of people picking up birding every week, we are happy to say that there is no better place to start exploring the world of Bird Watching or Birding than Costa Rica. The Osa Peninsula, home to the Lapa Rios reserve is one of the most bio-diverse regions in the entire world and it will turn you into a life time bird watcher.

A few tips that will make  if you are just taking on this activity for the first time are:

1- Get a Guide; even experienced birders look for a guide’s expertise when traveling to a new location, so if you are just starting make sure you use a guide and use his/her knowledge to locate birds and learn about them.

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2- Invest in a good pair of Binoculars. Yes, this is not the ” No need to get a good bike until you get really good at biking” case. If you don’t get a good pair of binoculars all you will see is a fuzzy ball of feathers. Although you can see lots of birds at Lapa Rios using only your eyes, binoculars will enhance your experience, specially if you have decided this is an activity you wish to carry on with.

3- You need to know what to expect in the area and read about the birds. Knowing what you are looking for,  and knowing about what your looking for (where should you look, at the top of a tree, near the bottom, at a lake etc)  will make your first experience so much more exciting.

4- Take a tour with other birders, sometimes this tours are designed for beginners, but often you will have the expertize of a seasoned birder joining in. Birders are very friendly and love to share their knowledge.

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Helping Costa Rica’s Endangered Species

Costa Rica has only 1% of the land surface of the world and 5% of its biodiversity. This makes Costa Rica a very unique place. However, as in most countries around the world, there was a time in which the Costa Rica’s forests suffered from widespread cutting. This originated a crisis for 3 of Costa Rica’s most beloved residents the majestic emerald feathered Quetzal, Central and South America’s largest land mammal, Baird’s Tapir, and today’s guest, the agile and sleek Jaguar.

Costa Rica, has long changed its view on regards to economic development and now focuses on the conservation of its natural resources. One of the benefits of this is the creation of enormous national parks and private ecological reserves like Lapa Rios that serve as a safe haven for a great number of species.

One of this national parks is the Parque Nacional Corcovado, our next door neighbor on the OSA Peninsula and to which Lapa Rios Ecolodge serves as an important buffer.

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A view of Lapa Rios from the air

Today, Lapa Rios Ecolodge, as a part of the Osa Peninsula, forms part of one of the last bastions for the Jaguar in Central America. The Jaguar is the third-largest feline after the tiger and the lion, and the largest in the Western Hemisphere; It is a carnivore with a length from 1.2 to 1.9 meters and can weight up to 120 kilograms. The beauty and might of this animal was recognized by pre-Columbian Central and South American civilizations who included it almost unanimously in their mythology as a symbol of might and royalty.

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We are proud to be home to such a majestic creature at Lapa Rios and to be a part of the conservation effort in Costa Rica.