When past guests speak about Lapa Rios, they often use the word “magic” in their description. And we agree, our location is truly magical, perched at the southernmost point of the tropical Osa Peninsula, surrounded by rainforest and located on a ridge overlooking the turquoise waters, beaches and surf breaks of the Golfo Dulce. Factor in the incredible biodiversity and abundance of wildlife found at our doorstep, both marine and terrestrial, and there’s simply no place like “our home” on the planet.
Lapa Rios was created with the duel missions of conservation and exploration. Our inclusive, safari-style rainforest lodge experience draws inspiration from private concessions in Africa where high end wildlife & nature tourism directly funds scientific research, sustains local communities and creates incentives for environmental protection. All stays at Lapa Rios include numerous small group excursions into the rainforest and coastal ecosystems, led by our expert naturalist guides who bring to life the exquisite fauna and flora of the rainforest.
Our design incorporates appropriately luxurious accommodations & social spaces, immersed within and in harmony with nature. At nearly every point on the property you are ensured unobstructed views over the canopy and fjord where you are sure to spot Scarlet Macaws, sloths, monkeys, dolphins and more. The main lodge, pool, lounge and dining area are all open-air while bungalows and villas are completely screened in, ensuring comfortable rest and privacy but without compromising the amazing ocean views from each unit. All of our 17 accommodations have spacious verandas, indoor & outdoor showers, hammocks for lounging and energy efficient ceiling fans. Premier & Lapa Villas have Evening Breeze Canopies above the beds and Premiere Villas have private plunge pools. WIFI is available throughout the communal lodge areas and radios are located in each room to enable private and direct communication between guests and Lapa Rios Staff. Guests walk between their accommodations and the main lodge, along illuminated paths and staircases through the rainforest, spotting wildlife along the way
All meals are served in our main lodge and while the atmosphere is casual, the culinary offerings are creative, delicious and refined. Several rotating menus – including extensive vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options – emphasize fresh, local and organic ingredients and ensure that diners have a variety of choices during the course of their stay. In 2020 , we will debut a new wine cellar, offering a curated selection of varietals from around the world.
Lapa Rios was built in harmony with nature with a mission to preserve the surrounding lowland Pacific rainforest (1,000 acres of which has been forever protected from development.) Sustainability is in our DNA. The lodge is 100% powered by renewable energy (solar and hydro) and uses state of the art technology in design and materials to keep all of our emissions very low. We have been single-use plastic free for over a decade. Our staff and ownership are 100& local and Costa Rican and we provide indirect employment for the hundreds of outfitters, fishermen, organic farmers and coffee growers who we partner with as suppliers. Through our Conservation Fee, guests directly support ongoing scientific research on big cat populations in Corcovado National Park, waste management & recycling initiatives in Puerto Jimenez and environmental education programs in local schools.
The following is a list of suggested items to bring on your rainforest adventure. Please keep in mind that domestic flights in Costa Rica limit checked luggage to 1 bag per person, weighing a maximum of 30 lbs.
Lightweight, casual clothing appropriate for hiking such as light pants, shorts and shirts. Quick drying, athletic fabrics are recommended. Our dress code at the property is completely informal, so don’t worry about bringing smart clothes for dinner or formal apparel. Bring a couple of extra shirts as hiking in the rainforest can be a sweaty affair.
Knee-high sports socks (for comfort should you choose to wear our rubber boots for the rainforest hikes). Should you bring your own boots, we recommend lightweight, comfortable hiking or walking shoes that are waterproof.
Sandals or water shoes
Bathing suits & Reef Safe sunscreen
Ball cap or sun hat
Light raincoat when visiting during the rainy season
Basic medical kit (aspirin, band-aids, Imodium, antiseptic cream, antihistamine cream, any prescriptions etc.)
A headlamp or small flashlight (the lights along our pathways are kept intentionally low so as not to disturb wildlife. Each room is equipped with one flashlight)
Refillable water bottle
Binoculars (or you may borrow them from reception)
We’re located in the tropics and close to the equator with consistently warm temperatures throughout the year. There are two well-defined seasons:
Dry Season: December – April
Rainy Season: May – November
The rain, especially on the Pacific coast & Osa Peninsula, typically occurs during the afternoon or evening and is “warm”. We experience a short mid-year mini Dry Season towards the end of July and beginning of August when rainfall decreases significantly for 3-4 weeks. The rainiest months are September and October, especially in the south Pacific region.
Note: The climate in the central highlands often very different to the coastal regions. A medium-weight fleece jacket is highly recommended for cooler nights in and around the capital or San Jose or in the Cloud Forest.
Below are some general visa guidelines, but please check with your airline or travel agent to confirm your legal requirements for entering Costa Rica. All visitors to Costa Rica need a passport valid for at least 6 months at the date of entry.
Visa notrequired for nationals of the USA, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea (Rep), Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay, and the UK and its dependencies for stays of up to 90 days.
Visa notrequired for nationals of Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Chile, Dominica, El Salvador, Estonia, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & The Grenadines, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Suriname, Taiwan, Turkey, Vatican City and Venezuela for stays up to 30 days.
Absolutely! Lapa Rios is the family vacation of a lifetime, providing the ideal environment for rainforest immersion, abundant wildlife and wild tropical beaches. The whole family will have a myriad of opportunities to see wildlife up close and personal, learn all about this rich, tropical ecosystem, and experience inspiring nature conservation in action. Both Premier Villas and Lapar Vilas are ideal for family groups, accommodating up to 5 people.
Browse Some of our Favorite Family Experiences
*Please note: The minimum recommended age for children at Lapa Rios is 6 years old.
Yes! For couples seeking an unforgettable Costa Rican honeymoon or romantic escape of a lifetime – providing equal parts romantic luxury, exhilarating adventure, natural immersion and rejuvenating seclusion – Lapa Rios has it all. With so much to experience around the lodge, you’ll have no shortage of opportunities to create lifelong memories together at Lapa Rios. For the ultimate luxury in the rainforest, consider our Lapa Villas with King Beds, wrap around canopy-level decks and private plunge pools.
Our guests tend to book 2-6 months in advance, sometimes even earlier. As such, we recommend that you enquire about availability as soon as possible if you are interested in staying with us. Guests interested in staying with us over peak holiday dates in December and January should book a year or more in advance.
We offer three room categories at Lapa Rios – Deluxe Bungalows (ideal for couples, two friends or single travelers), Premier Villas (for couples or friends who want greater luxury, space and privacy) and Lapa Villas, the finest rainforest accommodations on the Osa Peninsula. While we can’t guarantee a specific bungalow or villa number based on our small location and flexible arrival and departure dates, we will do our best to accommodate special requests.
At Lapa Rios there’s enough going on to keep you occupied from sunrise to nightfall if you wish. Early morning birdwatching tours, post-breakfast rainforest hikes, afternoon surfing lessons and night walks will keep you busy. Guests who appreciate less time on-the go can still enjoy wildlife viewing & the spectacular scenery from our pool, balcony lounges and new “private beach club” service on Playa Pan Dulce. For well-earned relaxation, we also offer a selection of in-room Spa & Massage services. Guest researchers and visiting photographers often host informal evening discussions about conservation or documentary film making.
Rooms at Lapa Rios have low consumption/high efficiency ceiling fans but does not have air conditioning. Our Villas have Evening Breeze canopies above the bed which provide an individually controlled cooling environment for sleep.
We’ve made the choice to not offer air conditioning because we are a low impact lodge that works rigorously to reduce our footprint and effects on the surrounding environment. The architectural design of our ocean-facing bungalows allows for the constant flow of air & ocean breezes through the screen walls, creating a naturally fresh environment. The majority of our guests are comfortable and enjoy their bungalow experience.
While Lapa Rios offers the perfect opportunity to put away your device and connect more meaningfully with the natural world, we understand that communication is essential, particularly in this era of increasingly remote work possibilities. We currently offer 100 MB of WIFI connectivity in all social areas of the Lodge (lounge areas, bar, restaurant and pool.) In 2021 we plan to expand WIFI to all rooms via fiber optic cable.
The eight guided walking tours & experiences included as part of your stay at Lapa Rios are best arranged after you arrive, and you can discuss your interests with our hosts and/or our guides. Some of our tours like the Early Bird Tour and Waterfall Hike are offered every day while others depend on tides, weather and trail conditions.
Off-site tours that require arrangements with a trusted & vetted local supplier should be booked in advance. These tours have an additional fee and include surf lessons, kayaking in the mangroves, SUP excursions, ocean fishing, canyoneering and more.
Corcovado National Park allows a limited number of visitors to enter each day. Guests interested in the day trip to Corcovado National Park should confirm this at the time of their reservation so that permits can be reserved.
I have special dietary requirements. Can you accommodate my needs?
Yes. We are committed to making fresh and delicious food for each and every one of our guests and strive to accommodate all food allergies. Our menus feature a number of vegetarian and vegan dishes, and lots of our traditional Costa Rican dishes – being corn rather than wheat based – are naturally gluten free. To discuss specific dietary requirements, please get in touch and ask about accommodating your needs. Exquisite dining is part of the Lapa Rios experience for every guest.
Should you have special medical needs, please let us know ahead of time. This includes any difficulty walking up and down stairs (there are over 200 steps on the property), and allergies (such as bee stings, nuts, shellfish, etc.) etc. Our main lodge and some of our rooms are wheelchair accessible and we will endeavor to accommodate the needs of all guests.
Yes. Water throughout Costa Rica is generally safe to drink directly from the tap, and at Lapa Rios our water is sourced from a pristine aquifer in the rainforest. The water tested on a regular basis to ensure its consistent quality and passes through two filtration systems before it reaches the tap. We do not offer bottled water at our properties.
Remember to bring your refillable water bottle or purchase one at the hotel to stay hydrated while enjoying the rainforest at Lapa Rios.
We really don’t have a problem with mosquitos or other bugs at Lapa Rios. Our location on a ridge near the ocean ensures a consistent, gentle breeze and our property around the lodge is free of standing water that often attracts mosquitos. The bedrooms in all of our bungalows and villas feature mosquito netting though this is as much for its aesthetic appeal as it is for guest peace of mind.
You may encounter some bugs on excursions deep into the rainforest, like the Osa Ridge Walk or day trip into Corcovado National Park. For these excursions we recommend wearing long pants, long sleeve shirts and closed-toed walking shoes.
Nature is everywhere at Lapa Rios. We do everything we can to preserve the natural environment and bring the rainforest and its inhabitants as close to our guests as possible while respecting their safety and nature’s space. We do not use insecticides or herbicides so as not to affect the food chain for all the little critters that attract the progressively larger and larger ones that everyone wants to see.
Wildlife is abundant in the common areas and near the bungalows. Sloths, toucans, scarlet macaws, iguanas, poison dart frogs, geckos and all four species of monkey found in Costa Rica are regularly seen on the property. The bungalows themselves are visited by a variety of small insects, lizards and amphibians but nothing large or dangerous. Before going to the main lodge for dinner, we recommend that guests turn off all interior room lights so as to attract as few critters as possible. Remember, we are visitors in their home and tolerance of this ever-present animal population is a necessary compromise in order to fully appreciate the luxury that nature has provided us with.
Lapa Rios is one of the few rainforest lodges on the planet that is also located along a pristine beach with world-class surfing. And when you factor in the abundant rainforest and marine wildlife, there’s simply nowhere else like it. While most travelers first come to Lapa Rios for the rainforest and terrestrial wildlife, the beauty of our coast, easy beach access and warm, turquoise waters featuring dolphins, rays, sea turtles and humpback whales (in season) is often a surprise highlight. We encourage our guests to turn their gaze outward and experience the incredible Golfo Dulce!
Many of our guests spend a morning or afternoon exploring the sprawling, undeveloped beaches located just below the lodge, stretching southward almost 2km. The two beaches directly in front of Lapa Rios are safe for swimming. Pan Dulce Beach is the closest. You can reach it on foot in about 10 minutes or allow us to drive you down, set up lounge chairs, and outfit you with everything needed to enjoy your own private “deserted beach club” where the rainforest meets the ocean. You may encounter a few other human visitors though most likely you will run into monkeys and scarlet macaws.
Playa Pan Dulce is also an excellent spot for beginner surf lessons or to paddle a SUP around. Just a few minutes away are two more excellent surf spots for intermediate and advanced surfers and we can arrange private lessons or a surf guide, plus top of the line equipment for a variety of water sports.
While not right on our property, a rich & expansive mangrove ecosystem is found a short distance from our lodge and makes a wonderful kayak or SUP excursion for nature enthusiasts.
Modification / Cancellation Notice: Must be received in writing to [email protected] The following charges will apply when cancellation is made after the booking is confirmed by Lapa Rios.
Cancellation Policy (Same fee applies to partial cancellation of bookings): FIT reservations (1 to 3 rooms): A 4% penalty will apply for cancellations received once booking is confirmed. Cancellations received less than 30 days prior to arrival during Green Season will be fully penalized at 100% (the entire package rate). Reservations received less than 60 days prior to arrival during High Season or less days prior to arrival will be fully penalized.
High Season: from January 5th to April 30th and from December 1st until December 21st Green Season: from May 1st until November 30th, 2020
During Christmas Season (December 22nd until January 5th): We do not accept group reservations. Cancellations made with less than 90 days written notice prior to arrival will be charged at 100%. Please note a 20% penalty applies on all Holiday Cancellations once the booking has been confirmed.
Check in is from 2pm. Should you arrive at Lapa Rios earlier, you are welcome to use the pool, visit the beach or enjoy some lunch. Check out is at 11am. While we try to do all possible to accommodate early check-ins and late check-outs, these can only be guaranteed by paying for an additional night.
When you arrive by plane in Puerto Jiménez, our staff will welcome you right on the airstrip and take you to our adjacent office. A cool beverage, refreshing towel and restroom stop will prepare you for the remainder of the journey to Lapa Rios.
Upon departing the Lapa Rios office in a new and comfortable 4WD vehicle, you will travel along a dirt road for 45-60 minutes, first passing through cattle pastures before heading deeper into the rainforest and crossing three shallow streams. Our staff will welcome you and depending on your arrival time, either escort you to the restaurant or provide an orientation of the lodge. After you’ve been shown to your room, we’ll give you some time to refresh and relax before one of our hosts contacts you to discuss plans for the following days.
Guests are asked to prepay their stay, normally via credit card. We send you a credit card authorization form by email to be completed and sent back to us. While staying at Lapa Rios, all your incidental expenses can be charged to your room. When you check out, we accept US Dollars, Costa Rican Colones and all major credit cards.
Tipping is always at the discretion of the guest. As all of our staff contributes to your stay at Lapa Rios, general tips can be left with the front desk and are divided among the whole team with the exception of naturalist guides. Service staff are also excluded from these tips as by law they automatically receive 10% of all food and beverage purchases. If a particular member of our staff provides exceptional service, you may request an envelope from the reception and leave a tip for them individually at check out.
Costa Rica has strict laws that forbid smoking in public places. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the Lapa Rios property, including at the beach, pool and along pathways. Thank you for your understanding.
Lapa Rios was conceptualized as a vehicle for a greater goal: conservation of a unique, valuable natural area named by National Geographic as the most biologically intense place on earth. The Osa Peninsula is facing the pressure of population growth, poverty in surrounding communities and lack of environmental education which enables humans to peacefully co-exist within nature in ways that are non-extractive.
We believe it is important for our guests to understand how they are helping Nature with their stay. All reservations include a Conservation Fee of $25 per person, per stay to help us take our sustainability efforts even further. Please Click here to learn more about our current efforts and future plans.