by Susan Benton
Bungalows atLapa Rios.
Photo credit: Susan Benton
Thanks to efficient and somewhat-reliable domestic travel options, newlyweds can visit one or several different regions to get a taste of this diverse and fascinating country. Whether you choose the dry tropical forest in Guanacaste, the cloud forest in Alajuela or the rain forest of the Osa Peninsula - each destination offers a unique, incredibly romantic and original experience for couples who want to feel miles away after the big day.
For U.S. travelers, Costa Rica is accessible. Most airlines offer direct, non-stop flights from many major U.S. airports including Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta and Miami. From the U.S., the average non-stop flight to San Jose, Costa Rica is five hours or less. Once there, domestic carriers, Nature Air and Sansa Airlines, offer frequent flights throughout the country.
Miles away from what would loosely be described as “civilization,” where the Golfo Dulce meets the Pacific Ocean, lies Lapa Rios Ecolodge. Nestled unobtrusively among the hillside of the Osa Peninsula, it’s highly unlikely you will ever experience another place quite like this.
The sixteen bungalows are arranged to afford each guest absolute privacy and spectacular ocean views. All rooms have private wooden decks, gardens and outdoor showers (cold water only).
With plenty of activities to choose from, you can be as involved – or antisocial - as you like at this eco-luxurious hideaway. With thousands of miles of unspoiled rainforest and challenging terrain surrounding the resort, honeymooners can choose from high-adventure excursions – like strenuous day hikes through nearby Corcovado National Park – or a mellow respite, such as yoga on the wooden sundeck overlooking the ocean, or a massage in the privacy of your bungalow. Take a romantic boat ride and, if you’re timing’s right, you may even be able to swim with dolphins.
Guests are encouraged to sign up for a morning “wake-up knock” and coffee delivery the evening before. Don’t be surprised if your suggestion of “sleeping in” is met with a courteous nod and bemused grin from front desk staff. One morning at Lapa Rios and you’ll understand: if the knock doesn’t wake you, the wildlife will.
In a region National Geographic deemed the most “biodiverse area in the world,” newlyweds will delight in the overabundance of hard-to-spot wildlife sightings: including four species of monkeys, sloths, marine animals, reptiles and a dizzying array of birds, including the elusive white hawk and toucans.
Lapa Rios’ location is remote, so you’re at the mercy of the limited food choices available in these parts. Lucky for you, your one choice is Briza Azul. The resort’s only restaurant serves up some of the finest fusion cuisine anywhere in the world. (It’s so good it has its own cookbook.) Visitors enjoy truly succulent, creative combinations of the freshest fruits, vegetables, meat and seafood. A freshly prepared snack accompanied by the “juice of the day” is available each afternoon.
Lapa Rios is a model for eco-tourism in every regard – lauded as much for its sustainable business practices as it is for its commitment to supporting the community. As part of the resort’s reforestation effort, honeymooners may choose to plant a tree to commemorate their marriage.
Honeymoon packages at Lapa Rios start at $1956 per couple in the low season and reach $3180 in the high season. Call ahead to customize the trip of your dreams.
If You Go…
The Rain Forest:
Lapa Rios Ecolodge
Telephone: 011- 506 - 2735-5130 or 011 - 506 - 2735-5281
Fax: 011- 506 - 2735-5179