Bird Watching Optics

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It is no secret that bird watching at Lapa Rios is an memorable experience and one of the resort’s most popular activities.

If you have recently taken up bird watching and you are looking forward to the Bird Watching Tour at Lapa we want to make sure that you have the best information on equipment to make your expedition a great one, and that is why we present you with a couple of options in case you want to invest in your own pair of binoculars.

First we suggest that you invest in a pair of binoculars that are comfortable for you, it is important to consider if you wear glasses as you should be able to keep your glasses on while using  binoculars.

For a person that wears glasses we can suggest the Eagle Optics Shrike 8×42
This is the least expensive good binocular you can buy with enough eye relief to work for a person who wears glasses. With a generous 17.6 mm eye relief, the Eagle Optics Shrike 8×42 offers good image quality and strong build. It’s waterproof, and it comes with the Eagle Optics Platinum Protection unlimited, unconditional lifetime warranty.

And if you are blessed with 20×20 eyesight but would still like to get a glimpse of those birds as if you were up close and personal with them  we can suggest to you, as your first pair of binoculars the Vortex Viper HD.
Vortex Viper HDThe Viper HDs provide beautifully bright, clear, high-contrast, images. Our favorite model is the 8×42..

And the warranty service is as good as it gets. If the binocular ever fails or suffers accidental damage, Vortex promises to repair or replace it for free.

 

 

 

Lapa Rios is one of Nat Geo’s Unique Lodges of The World!

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Lapa Rios is now part of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of The World for 2015, the news came yesterday and we could not be more excited and proud.

But what does this mean? Well, National Geographic, in spectacular places all over the world, has found rare retreats where gorgeous accommodation and world class cuisine are just one factor in a much greater equation. This collection is not made of simply hotels but the innovative concepts of dreamers all around the world that have come to life. These dreamers had at the center of their ideas a boldness in their design and detail while preserving the cultural and ecosystems the are kind to host them in their land.

In short, National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the world is a network of world class properties that take cultural and environmental sustainability seriously and support this idea through action.

National Geographic loved Lapa Rios due to its condition as a  pioneer in eco-tourism, “Offering environmentally friendly luxury and an upscale rain forest experience designed to celebrate and preserve the area’s biodiversity. Today, Lapa Rios is also a haven from technology, a rare opportunity to unplug, slow down, and fully focus on the wild world around you.”

So, what does this mean for you , traveler? well, when you reserve your space through National Geographic Unique Lodges, you’ll be treated to a private lunch in the rain forest with a waterfall as your backdrop. Join a guide for the walk into the forest, learning about the flora and fauna you spot along the way. Then soak up the jungle ambiance over delectable food and a chilled bottle of wine, served by dedicated waitstaff, and top off the experience with a swim in the waterfall’s natural pool.

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Eco-Friendly Swim Wear for 2015

Beautiful beach day.

Beautiful beach day.

Because at Lapa Rios we are committed to sustainable business sowe have made a list for 2015 with the top 4 Eco-Friendly Swimwear companies for you to chose a suit for your next vacation depending on your preferences and favorite vacation activities. We hope this list is of use and you find the best fit for you!

Vitamin A: Believes that style and substance can coexist. Since 2000, Vitamin A is at the forefront of swimwear design with signature innovations: chic details, neutral color palettes, the Little Black Bikini™ (LBB), and the iconic California cut. Now, Vitamin A lightens its environmental footprint, one bikini at a time. Vitamin A uses EcoLuxTM, a exclusive new superfine matte jersey swim fabric produced locally in California, using Repreve® recycled nylon fiber to conserve resources and LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™ fiber to extend the life of each swimsuit far beyond that of traditional spandex products. Vitamin A also employs waterless digital printing technology, incorporate sustainable fibers like Tencel into our après-beach styles, and choose factories that conserve water and energy use.

You can check out their chic and Eco friendly designs at http://www.vitaminaswim.com/

Koru Swimwear:  high-end swimwear for sport and leisure. Koru’s swimwear is made  from quality fabrics made in Italy and includes swimwear made from Eco-friendly fabrics with recycled materials and bulk dyed fabric processed without water waste and water pollution. Koru’s designs are fun and chic while remaining functional. The perfect fit for an active vacation in Costa Rica.

You can check out Koru’s playful designs at: http://www.koruswimwear.com/

Odina: Odina is highly-functional and fashionable swimwear that is locally made from recycled and reclaimed fabrics. Odina was founded  with the idea of making a suit using Eco-friendly materials that not only complimented a woman’s figure, but also her passions. Odina worled with surfers, not models to get feedback on fit and function.Through the process the Odina team tested a number of sustainable fabrics and a variety of recycled fibers before finding one that met their demands. The various styles underwent the same testing, with many success stories. The result was a suit that was not only ecologically sensitive but looked great on and rose to any challenge.

You can check out Odina’s surf inspired designs at http://odinasurf.com/

Faherty Brand:

Faherty Brand is the perfect example of how passion can create a new and innovative business that can also be sustainable, not very different from Lapa Rios!

Founded by 2 borthers, Faherty utilizes 100% organic cotton, and recycled fibers to create their swimwear while thier factory works on a closed loop filtration system to keep waste to the minimum. Faherty draws from everycorner of the world for its designs and patters, from sarapes in Mexico to colorful Indian textiles and Guatemalan bracelets, faherty is never short on inspiration. This is a brand committed to the environment and to the beach lifestyle, always looking for the next adventure.

You can check out Faherty’s collection at http://fahertybrand.com

A surfer rides the face of a wave near Lapa Rios eco-resort

Dinner at Lapa Rios

Lapa Rios’ dining tradition has been a passion project for co-founder Karen Lewis since Lapa Rios’ inception. Dining at the Brisa Azul restaurant will be an experience on its own as every dish is prepared from fresh local ingredients and following Costa Rican culinary traditions. Brisa Azul also has an excellent vegetarian menu that will please the most demanding palates. All meals are served a la carte and a typical dinner menu at Brisa del Mar could look like this:
First Course:
Costa Rican Tomato and Tortilla Soup
A creamy fresh tomato soup served with toasted corn tortilla strips along side diced avocado, sour cream and mozzarella cheese
Or
Octopus and Avocado Cocktail
Chunks of avocado and steamed octopus served cocktail style with olive oil dressing that hold hints of fresh garlic and zesty lemon.Entry:
Our Famous Lapa Rios Bouillabaisse
This longstanding signature plate is made with homemade red snapper stock, freshly grated/squeezed coconut milk, and laden with an array of the ocean’s bounty: octopus, calamari and red snapper, along with fresh vegetable chunks. Our bouillabaisse is a simply delicious, complete local Osa meal
Or a vegetarian option:Costa Rican Portobello Risotto
Creamy risotto made with portobello mushrooms, fresh spinach and homegrown basil leaves, topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheeseComplemented with our full service bar and a magnificent view of the pacific, this is a dinner you will not forget.

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.

 

Waking up to the sounds of the Osa Peninsula

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.

A view of Lapa Rios from the air

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!

A poison dart frog on the Lapa Rios steps

A poison dart frog on the Lapa Rios steps

Walking down at the beach

Walking down at the beach

Walking through the Lapa Rios property.

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

Waterfall
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.

School visit
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.

Guides at Lapa Rios ready to show you the local birds

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.

Walking through the Lapa Rios property.

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.

Two Lapas flying together over the Osa Peninsula

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.

Green breasted Mango sitting on a branch in Costa Rica

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.

Guides at Lapa Rios ready to show you the local birds

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.