Helpful Information While At Lapa Rios
A Few Reminders For Your Stay at Lapa Rios
Watch your step wherever you go. Stop moving when looking around and examine surfaces before grabbing. Lapa Rios is full of natural surprises—be aware of your surrounding environment.
Avoid walking without a flashlight at night. Remember, it is dark by 5:30! While we have lights installed on the Lapa Rios property, these lights provide only minimal lighting (too many bright lights would frighten many of the nocturnal animals that inhabit the rain forest). Flashlights are available at reception.
Have patience while speaking with most of our staff members. Please remember to speak slowly. Understand that our staff works rigorously to better their English, the traveler’s language. Likewise, feel free to practice your Spanish! Our staff loves to help our guests improve and tourism is all about people. Share stories and find common interests.
Take the time to read the guest information book found in your bungalow, the Lapa Rios Story and the Sustainable Certification manual available in the library or reception. These books contain a wealth of information about the history of Lapa Rios, its mission, goals and current projects.
Remember to turn off all lights and fans when you exit your bungalow. Energy conservation is very important for all of us, especially in this remote area lacking an electrical grid.
Use the biodegradable soap, shampoo and conditioner in your rooms and make use of recycling receptacles below the sink. These products were specifically chosen to minimize our impact on the surrounding environment. Rather than leaving your non-recyclable trash in the Osa, please take it out with you.
Use towels specifically designated for the pool and the beach. Like with room towels, re-using pool/beach towels allows us to lower our energy and water usage and detergent impact.
Remember to always travel responsibly, choosing destinations where your travel choice makes a difference to the local culture and environment. Learn more about ecotourism at www.ecotourism.org .
A Few Recommendations from our Staff
- Sign up for a Living Green tour and learn about how we work to make Lapa Rios truly environmentally sustainable and socially responsible.
- Take advantage of some of our interesting cultural tours, such as the tour to the Carbonera School and Finca Ramirez. These tours will give you a better understanding of our culture, customs and ways of life.
- Join us in a soccer match! We often play soccer at Carbonera School and all guests at Lapa Rios are welcome to play with us. Ask us when the next practice or match will be!
- Try some typical Costa Rican food in our menu or from the table near the restaurant deck. The daily menu and displays inform you about traditional dishes found in this area of Costa Rica.
- Ask us about what it’s like to live and work in the rainforest. Most of us grew up on the Osa Peninsula and can tell you some incredible stories. We love to share our local lore and family histories with our guests and help you find that elusive bird or animal.
- Learn to appreciate Costa Rican music and dance by attending Bailes Tipicos (typical dances) and Music Night with Hugo, a staff guitarist. Join in on the festivities! We promise you will enjoy yourself!
Walking In Lapa Rios, Hiking The Reserve, Tours Away
- Shorts and T-shirts are best for hiking. Use boots with good treads. Walking sticks are helpful. All Lapa Rios hikes begin at the front desk at the time specified on the bulletin board. Rubber boots are available, ask your guide for help.
- Tour participants are limited to few hikers so sign up in advance. Tours are not usually full, however guests leaving the next day will have priority. PLEASE TAKE WATER ON ALL HIKES .
- Use your eyes before using your feet or hands. When walking, look down in front of you. Stop walking when you want to inspect something. Look at what you grab before you touch. Inside the reserve, only tours to the self-guided trails are allowed without a guide . It's a jungle out there! J and trails are not marked.
- Always use a flashlight at night , even on lit paths. Please talk with the reception staff if you need a flashlight. Boots and umbrellas are available in the main lodge. Please return them after use.
- CAUTION: stair treads may be slippery, especially in the unfamiliar rubber boots. Use walking sticks.
- Cancellation of a Lapa Rios Reserve tour, which is already “FULL”, will result in a cancellation charge if we cannot fill your place. (Usually 1/2 normal cost.)
- 24-hour arrangement notice is usually needed for tours offered OUTSIDE of Lapa Rios . Last minute cancellations will probably be charged, depending on the provider. Because the outside tours are not part of Lapa Rios we cannot guarantee availability of the guide . Note: many of these tours begin in an area other than Lapa Rios. Please check at the reception if in doubt.
About Services And Acommodations
- Sewerage goes to septic tanks. Only flush human waste and toilet paper in the toilets.
- Lapa Rios has limited 24 hour generated power. Turn off the lights (except the outside light) and the ceiling fan when leaving the bungalow. The electrical system and sink outlet were designed for battery chargers and razors. PLEASE, DO NOT USE CURLING IRONS, HAIR DRYERS OR CLOTHES IRONS.
- To limit “ever-curious insects” use few lights and keep no food or beverages in your bungalow. Before using boots and shoes check for insects; check garments stored on hooks or in the closet. Keep suitcases closed and duffels zipped. Store unused luggage on top of the closet.
- The warm water is convection-solar heated with a gas “on demand” back up system. If you find that the water is not hot enough, please let us know at the reception desk.
- Please leave bungalow furnishings inside as deck furniture is provided for outside use. Place extra pillows on luggage rack or in the closet, not on the floor.
- The bamboo shades help keep out wind and rain from the bungalows. Especially during the rainy season roll down the shades before leaving to keep your bungalow dryer.
- During most of the year the mosquito nets are not necessary. The nets trap your body heat. Request them removed or take them down and store them on top of the closet if you feel you don't need them.
- To avoid dirty or muddy floors take off shoes, boots and sandals at the door. Wash muddy or sandy items at the outside faucet and leave outside the front door. Lean wet umbrellas by the outside faucet.
- To reduce the impact of detergents on the forest the towels and sheets are changed every two days. If you wish towels replaced daily leave them in the sink. We suggest hanging your damp towels or clothing on the deck chairs as wind often tosses drying items from the railing.
- A personal laundry bag is on the luggage rack. Laundry brought to the reception before 9:00 am will be returned to the reception before 5 pm . Please sign the laundry list and include your room number.
- A small cubbyhole for each bungalow is located near the reception (for towels, books, sunscreen, etc.).
- DO NOT CARRY MONEY; we use an in-house charge system. ALL tours, bar services (please sign each evening) and gift shop purchases will be presented for payment upon departure.
- A locked safe is available in each bungalow closet for money, tickets, passports, cameras, etc. Lapa Rios cannot be responsible for your valuables.
- At dinnertime arrange with the reception for a wake up knock on your door with “Buenos Días!”
- WARNING : non-registered guests of Lapa Rios may not be in cabins nor use the reserve.
- Many environmental monitoring studies are continuously accessing Lapa Rios: Green Globe, the CST and Ecotel. We invite your cooperation, participation and comments regarding our overall goals and educational effort. Share your comments and evaluations. Any suggestions are welcome.
- Lapa Rios is about conservation; extract neither flora nor fauna from the reserve nor feed any animals .
Checkout On Your Departure Day
- Check out time is before 10:30AM . If you are leaving before 6:00 am the following morning please settle your account after dinner the evening before departure .
- Ask at the reception for transport departure times for flight connections. Put your luggage outside your door for pick up (inside if raining). Please allow 1 hour for your meal and 15 minutes for the check out. The evening before leaving you will be reminded about checking out and your time of departure.
- We will gladly take cash (US dollars, colones or euros, only), traveler's checks or credit cards (Master Card, Visa, American Express, Diner's Club) to settle your account.
- Envelopes for gratuities are at the reception desk. Unless specifically directed to an individual staff member your gifts will be shared among the 40 employees who assist in the operations of Lapa Rios. Your gift will ensure your gratitude to even those you haven't met. As recommended by several travel companies $10 per guest for each day here at Lapa Rios is a nice gratuity in a wilderness project like Lapa Rios. Drop gratuities in the reception “tip box” , signing all traveler's checks to “Lapa Rios”.
- Guides are not included in our gratuity system. You can leave a separate envelop for them at the front desk.
- For your information: by law you have already given a 10% gratuity to be shared by the restaurant and kitchen staff for your food and beverage service.