The Lapa Rios Private Nature Reserve is located on the tip of the Osa Peninsula in Southern Costa Rica where the Golfo Dulce meets the Pacific Ocean. The 1000-acre reserve provides an important buffer for neighbouring Corcovado National Park and serves as a wildlife corridor for the incredible array of species endemic to the region. The Osa is one of the last strongholds of the jaguar in Central America, and is home to all four Costa Rican monkey species, including the squirrel monkey, white-faced capuchin, mantled howler and spider monkey. Other forest inhabitants include the three-toed sloth, silky anteater and different species of poison dart frogs. Over three hundred bird species, including the scarlet macaw and toucans can be observed in and around the reserve.

The Lapa Rios Nature Reserve is also home to 80 percent of the total population of the Sangrillo Colorado tree. It is one of 37 species of trees that is currently in critical state of extinction. During your stay at Lapa Rios, we invite you to plant a Sangrillo tree and help the conservation of this beautiful rainforest tree.

John and Karen Lewis, the visionary founders of Lapa Rios, have signed a conservation easement that will result in the permanent protection of more than 900 acres of tropical rainforest. Undertaken in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and the Costa Rican land conservation organization Cedarena, the easement turns the Lewis’ personal commitment to rainforest conservation into a binding agreement that ensures that Lapa Rios is preserved in perpetuity.

The easement comes with strict guidelines around land use. It prohibits all extractive activities, such as mining, forestry and hunting, as well as the building of mass tourism facilities and infrastructure, and even puts a cap on trail construction to a maximum of 10,000 metres (there are currently 8 km of trail in the reserve.) At the same time the easement encourages both scientific and educational activities on the reserve, all in line with the mission statement of Lapa Rios: “No matter how you cut it, a rainforest left standing is worth more.”

Lapa Rios also supports The Wildcat Conservation Program, which works to determine the status of feline populations and their prey on the Osa Peninsula. The project uses cameras and video equipment to watch wild cats in action, allowing for study of their behavior and population densities in order to better protect and save these highly endangered species. Lapa Rios donates money to purchase the cameras and video equipment and has supported the participation of the researchers in key academic conferences.