Go List 201325 PLACES TO GO IN 2013
Why Go NowIn a country known for its natural wonders, the Osa Peninsula represents a singular experience, with breathtaking views and the country's most abundant wildlife. One third of the peninsula is made up of protected rainforest in Corcovado National Park. Largely undisturbed by humans, this area offers the best chance of spotting endangered species like jaguars and the Baird's tapir. Hikes reveal toucans and scarlet macaws, but just sitting and observing from the deck of a lodge offers views of howler and spider monkeys. Lodges here put you on the edge of the country's wildest region yet offer up luxury, impeccable service, and value. –by Salwa Jabado
Where to StayWith its salt-water infinity pool and a chic minimalist design, the new Kurà Design Villas is the height of sustainable luxury en route to Osa, on a ridge high above Uvita overlooking Ballena Marine Park. Once on the peninsula, longtime Fodor's favorite Bosque del Cabo has outdoor showers and private decks. The property is set so deep into the rainforest, that you can spot plenty of wildlife without leaving the grounds. For stylish lodgings at rock-bottom rates, El Remanso offers simple yet modern rooms, and memorable jungle and beach experiences.
Insider TipThe easiest way to visit Corcovado National Park is via a day trip by boat organized by a lodge or tour company in Drake Bay, Sierpe, or Uvita. Once there, the only way to explore is on foot.
Word of Mouth "There are reasons why [Bosque del Cabo] is so popular on this board," writes Fodorite Cattail. "The amount of wildlife to be seen is staggering. They have a fantastic, well-marked, private trail system, though folks see almost as much at times from their decks or elsewhere on the immediate grounds. The staff is super-friendly, and the atmosphere relaxed.…We have stayed in a basic cabina and garden cabina, and loved them both for different reasons, but not the least is the view overlooking the ocean or gardens and monkeys swinging through the trees and macaws flying overhead. The outdoor shower!!! The food, included in the price, is excellent."
When to Go Dry season, from January through April, is the best time to visit with reliably sunny weather, but it's also the most popular and expensive. For the best value, travel in the green season, from May through September, when lodges drop their rates and afternoon showers are common. Roads sometimes flood and many lodges close in the rainiest months, October and November. Avoid the Christmas and New Year holiday season when rates peak.
Plan Your Trip Start planning using Fodor's Costa Rica Travel Guide.