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Frequently Asked Questions 2018-08-07T19:04:04+00:00

ADVENTURE-PLANNING

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The following is a list of suggested items to bring on your rainforest adventure. Please keep in mind that luggage on the domestic flights is restricted to 30lb per person.

  • Lightweight, casual clothing appropriate for hiking such as light pants, shorts and shirts. 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 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 & sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Light raincoat when visiting during the rainy season
  • Camera
  • Basic medical kit (aspiring, band-aids, Imodium, antiseptic cream, anti-histamine cream etc.)
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Binoculars (or you may borrow them from reception)

Note: We ask our guests to kindly refrain from using electric hairdryers as this would strain our biodiesel-powered generators. Thank you for your understanding.


We’re located in the tropics and close to the equator. Costa Rica is considered a rainforest country and warm temperatures are characteristic throughout the year. There are two well-defined seasons:

Dry Season: December – April
Rainy Season: May – November

The rain, especially on the Pacific coast, 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 San Jose is often very different to the coastal regions. A medium-weight fleece jacket is highly recommended for cooler nights in and around the capital.

TEMPERATURE & RAINFALL CHART FOR THE OSA PENINSULA

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Avg. Max. Temp. (F) 91 92 92 91 90 89 89 89 90 89 89 90
Avg. Min. Temp 72 71 73 73 73 72 71 71 71 71 71 71
Avg. Rainfall (inches) 6,30 5,70 8,00 11,00 18,90 17,50 18,90 20,90 22,00 27,70 22,30 11,60

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.

1. Visa not required 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.

2. Visa not required 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.


No immunizations, shots, inoculations or vaccinations are required to enter Costa Rica. However, it would be wise to check with your personal physician for individual recommendations.

Lapa Rios can be reached either by plane or by car from the capital city, San Jose. You can find more detailed information on travelling to the lodge on our dedicated Getting Here page.

Lodge Related

Absolutely! Lapa Rios is the family vacation of a lifetime, providing the ideal environment for rainforest immersion away from the distractions of phones, televisions and computers. 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.

Browse some of our family favorites.

*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, 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.

Read more about Honeymoons and Romantic Getaways at Lapa Rios.


Rooms tend to fill up 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.

We recommend staying at least four to five nights – Lapa Rios is an adventure! We’ve found that this is the minimum needed to unhurriedly experience all that this special place offers.

Due to our small size and the need for flexibility to accommodate different arrival and departure dates as well as guests’ varying levels of health and fitness, regrettably we cannot guarantee reservations for specific numbered bungalows. We appreciate your understanding in advance. However, if you have special physical requirements, please notify us so that we can help you have a more pleasant stay – bungalow access requires stair climbing at Lapa Rios.

At Lapa Rios there’s enough going on to keep you occupied from sunrise to nightfall if you so wish. Early morning birdwatching tours, post-breakfast hikes, afternoon cooking classes and night walks will keep you busy. For some well-earned relaxation time we also have a pool, spa, and easy beach access.

Browse our in-house tours.


Lapa Rios has ceiling fans but does not have air conditioning.

We’ve made this choice 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 through the screen walls, creating a fresh, breezy environment. The majority of our guests are comfortable and enjoy their bungalow experience.

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We do have internet access and Wi-Fi available near the main lodge for our guests, but not in the rooms, nor the restaurant. We want you to stay connected with the outside world if need be, but encourage you to disconnect your electronic devices in order to connect with the magic of nature at Lapa Rios.

We have no phone land lines at the lodge. In fact, we don’t even play music at dinner. Instead, we ask that you listen to the sounds of the rainforest at night: the crickets, the cicadas and the kinkajous. All this is very intentional. Lapa Rios is in a wilderness setting and we strive to take full advantage of this isolation to concentrate on the peaceful experience.


In-house walking tours are best arranged after you arrive and can talk with the reception and/or our guides. Some of our tours like the Early Bird Tour and Waterfall Hike are offered every day. The schedules for the others depend on the availability of the various guides. We do not know more than a day or two in advance which tours will be running on a particular day. However, all tours are offered at least every other day.

*If you are interested in visiting Corcovado National Park, due to limited space we recommend booking this external tour in advance.


Yes. We are committed to making fresh, tasty 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. Good food is for everyone!

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. We will endeavor to accommodate your needs.


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 well in the rainforest. We have the water tested on a regular basis to ensure its consistent quality.

Remember to bring your refillable water bottle or purchase one at the hotel to stay hydrated while enjoying the rainforest at Lapa Rios. We recommend that guests drink at least 2-3 litres of water per day here in the tropics.

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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. The bungalows themselves are visited by a variety of small insects and creatures 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. Tolerance of this ever present animal population is a necessary compromise in order to enjoy it here. Nothing is looking to bite human beings – they’re not in the food chain of the rainforest creatures. While you will see many new forms of life, with the ordinary exercise of common sense there should be little risk.


Lapa Rios is one of the few rainforest lodges in the world that is located close to pristine Pacific beaches. Many of our guests spend a morning or afternoon exploring the sprawling, empty beaches located just below the lodge, stretching southward almost 2km. The two beaches in front of Lapa Rios are safe for swimming. Pan Dulce Beach is a 10-15 minute walk and we offer a beach pick-up service twice a day. Spared of any beach infrastructure, one may feel as if they’ve encountered a deserted beach where the rainforest meets the ocean. Most likely you will run into monkeys and scarlet macaws too. Our nearby beaches also have some great surf spots (we offer surf lessons).

Our cancellation policies vary by season:

Holiday Season – Dec 20th – Jan 5th

– If cancellation is received 91 or more days prior to the arrival date, we will refund 100% of the paid total.
– If a reservation is cancelled between 90 and 60 days prior to the arrival date, 50% of the reservation will be charged.
– If a reservation is cancelled between 59 and 30 days prior to the arrival date, 100% of the reservation will be charged.
– Cancellation policies may apply to modifications or night reductions made 90 days or less prior to the arrival date

High Season – Jan 6th – April 30th, Nov 1st – Dec 19th

– If cancellation is received 61 or more days prior to the arrival date, we will refund 100% of the paid total.
– If a reservation is cancelled 60 days or less prior to the arrival date, 100% of the reservation will be charged.
– Cancellation policies may apply to modifications or night reductions made 60 days or less prior to the arrival date.

Green Season– May 1st – Oct 31st

– If cancellation is received 31 or more days prior to the arrival date, we will refund 100% of the paid total.
– If a reservation is cancelled 30 days or less prior to the arrival date, 100% of the reservation will be charged.
– Cancellation policies may apply to modifications or night reductions made 30 days or less prior to the arrival date.

In all cases:

– If there is a “no-show” 100% of the reservation total will be charged.
– In the event the cancelled room is resold, reimbursement will be made in full.
– Unused prepaid services (such as airport transfers or tours booking in advance) are non-refundable.


Check in is from 2pm. Should you arrive earlier at Lapa Rios, we will do everything possible to have your room ready. However, if you do have to wait, you won’t have to wait to start your vacation: go ahead and take a dip in the pool or enjoy some lunch. Check out is at 11am. If you would like to leave later in the day, please let us know at reception and if possible, we’ll be happy to accommodate you.

We customarily ask our direct bookings to prepay us by 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 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 exclusively at your discretion. As all of our staff contributes to your stay at Lapa Rios, general tips are divided among the whole team with the exception of nature guides. This also excludes service staff 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 a special envelope from the reception and leave a tip for them individually at check out.

Costa Rica has passed strict non-smoking laws that forbid smoking in public places. Regrettably no smoking is allowed anywhere on the Lapa Rios property. Thank you for your understanding.

John and Karen Lewis own Lapa Rios and operated the lodge until 1999. Since then, Lapa Rios has been managed by the Cayuga Collection. This Costa Rica based hospitality management company is dedicated to managing and developing sustainable and luxury hotels and lodges in Latin America. All Cayuga Collection properties are certified or in the process of being certified for their sustainable practices, nature conservation and the improvement of the local communities where they are located.

Read more about the Cayuga Collection.


General Questions

Costa Rica is the ultimate tropical getaway. Home to rainforests, cloud forests, active volcanoes, and both Caribbean and Pacific beaches, the opportunities for exploring – or relaxing – are endless. Despite its small size, Costa Rica holds approximately 5% of the world’s biodiversity, making it a dream destination for wildlife lovers too. Sloths, monkeys, scarlet macaws, toucans, quetzals and more are easily spotted in the wild.

Getting around is also hassle-free. Domestic, carbon neutral airlines like Sansa connect all the regions of Costa Rica. The longest internal flight route is under 1 hour. Roads and highways are well-maintained too, and driving between destinations is unlikely to ever take more than 4 hours.

Importantly, Costa Rica is also considered a safe travel destination. We don’t even have a national army!


The pristine rainforests, secluded beaches and raw natural beauty of the Osa Peninsula make this region among the most captivating in Costa Rica. Remote and unspoiled, the Osa is home to the world-famous Corcovado National Park as well as an astounding 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity. According to National Geographic, this makes it “the most biologically intense place on Earth” and a natural choice for nature and wildlife lovers.

Learn more about the Osa Peninsula.


In addition to the Osa Peninsula, there are many other popular destinations that are worth a visit. We recommend visiting some of the country’s active volcanoes (Arenal, Poás, Irazú, Rincón de la Vieja), and famous national parks. Manuel Antonio – Costa Rica’s most popular national park – is a must-visit, as well as the famous Whale’s Tail in Uvita. It’s the whale-watching capital of Costa Rica during Green Season. We recommend Santa Teresa up to Nosara for beautiful, white sand beaches and world-class surfing too.

If you’d like some advice on where to combine with the Osa Peninsula, we’ll gladly give you some ideas. You can also check out our sister properties in the Cayuga Collection, and design the perfect combination of tropical adventures to suit you.


If you’d like to explore the center of San Jose, we recommend staying at Hotel Grano de Oro. This tropical Victorian mansion is within walking distance of the capital’s main attractions.

In the case of an emergency, a medical clinic is located 30-45 minutes from the lodge. We always have a vehicle on the property in case emergency transport is needed. Additionally, Puerto Jimenez has an emergency flight service that can transport patients to the nearby hospital in Golfito (8 min flight) or to San Jose (50 min flight).

Medical care in Costa Rica is of very high quality and considered to be the best in Central America. San Jose especially has excellent hospitals, medical facilities and doctors, many of whom have qualified in the US or in Europe.

*Please make sure you bring enough of your personal medications as the pharmacy in Puerto Jimenez only offers basic medical products.


We advise taking out comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover yourself and any dependents/travel companions for the duration of your stay in Costa Rica. As a minimum, this insurance should include:

– Emergency evacuation expenses
– Medical expenses
– Repatriation expenses
– Cancellation or curtailment of trip
– Damage/theft/loss of personal luggage, money and goods

In case of medical emergencies, most Costa Rican doctors and hospitals expect payment in cash, regardless of whether you have travel health insurance or not. If your health insurance does not cover you for medical expenses while you are abroad, you should consider supplemental insurance. It may also be worth finding out in advance if your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or if they reimburse you later for any overseas health expenditures.


If you don’t speak Spanish, don’t worry. At Lapa Rios we speak excellent English, and are happy to teach you some Spanish phrases too! Apart from in the most rural areas of Costa Rica, you should have little problem with language barriers. Many Costa Ricans have at least a basic knowledge of English.

Carbon offsets are voluntary donations that can be made to compensate, or offset, greenhouse gas emissions from transport, electricity use, and other sources. In an effort to promote sustainable development and tourism, the Costa Rican Ministry of Environmental Affairs has created a program in which tourists can compensate the carbon emissions from their international flights by investing in programs that preserve and reforest natural areas within Costa Rica. You can find more information on the program’s website (http://www.fonafifo.go.cr/) or ask us!


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