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Bosque del Cabo alternative and other recommendations

Bosque del Cabo alternative and other recommendations

Jan 2nd, 2018, 05:59 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 99
Bosque del Cabo alternative and other recommendations

I am just starting my research for an upcoming trip to Costa Rica for this April. Our previous plans fell through because the travel company overbooked our lodge in Chile. We have decided to go elsewhere and have to make our reservations as soon as possible.

We are traveling with a group of 10 - 6 adults, 4 kids (husband, our 2 kids, SIL and husband/kids and MIL/FIL). The kids are ages 2, 5, 8, and 11. The eldest adults are in their 70's, but generally very active. The youngest two kids despite their age are often taken on hikes and other outdoor activities. So, while a resort-type atmosphere with some nice amenities and downtime is desired, we would like to balance it with excursions and day-trips.

My husband and I went to Bosque del Cabo about 15 years ago and absolutely loved it! For me it was the perfect blend of luxury (but not over the top), good food, scenery, wildlife, hiking, interaction with other guests, etc. Unfortunately, they do not have enough availability of a group our size. We also stayed at the Four Seasons and enjoyed our experience at BDL more.

Reading other recommendations, many advise to divide time between Manuel Antonio and Arenel. I would like to go the Osa Peninsula again, but am worried I will not enjoy the experience as much if we can't stay at BDC. Wildlife viewing is one of the most important considerations for me. At BDL, the wildlife was right outside your room vs. at Four Seasons, we had to take an excursion (except for the occasional Coati that invaded our patio). The lodging itself is also important to me too - some people look at it as just a place to lay their head a night. I look at it as part of the overall experience.

We have 10 days including travel time and would like to stay about 4-5 nights in two separate locations. Budget is moderate. BDC rates ok, maybe not FS for all 10 of us. But due to more limited options because of the nearing travel date and it being Spring Break, we may consider a more expensive trip if needed.

So, my main question is to find an alternative to BDC in the Osa Peninsula.

Any recommendations for a special resort or hidden gem in other areas of Costa Rica.

Any tips or considerations for traveling with kids in Costa Rica?
metcarl is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2018, 10:40 PM
Join Date: May 2007
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Have you looked at Tulemar Bungalows in Manuel Antonio? That's one of our favorite spots. We saw lots of monkeys and sloths right on the property, and they have their own beach. You get assigned a concierge, and the service is great.

In the Arenal area, check out the Springs Resort and Spa - they have a river that runs right through the property, and you can tube and kayak there plus use the hot springs.

If you wanted to stick with the Osa, have you checked Lapa Rios? We love BdC, but it could be an alternative. Gets good reviews. El Remanso is another one that people seem to like.
volcanogirl is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2018, 08:47 PM
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So, I found availability at El Remanso and Leaves and Lizards for our desired dates. Tulemar Bungalows are booked. My sister in law is expressing concerns over whether these resorts are kid-friendly for her almost 2-yr old. While supervision is obviously required, she is concerned about her falling off a cliff while going to the bathroom, for example. Maybe Manuel Antonio is a better option than Osa?
metcarl is offline  
Jan 4th, 2018, 07:45 AM
Join Date: May 2007
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Personally I wouldn't want to take a 2 year old to the Osa. I think you would have to be really on guard since it's a little wilder environment. MA has a lot more infrastructure and all the comforts of home. Sorry Tulemar is already booked. It's an awesome spot.
volcanogirl is offline  
Jan 4th, 2018, 07:57 AM
Join Date: May 2007
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I'm not sure if it would interest you because it may not be posh enough, but the Arenal Observatory Lodge in the Arenal area has tons of trails and loads of wildlife on site. We saw lots of monkeys, toucans, great currasows, and coatis right by our room there. They have a free guided hike each morning and a waterfall on the property. It's off a long bumpy road.

The Springs Resort I mentioned above is really posh. There's also Nayara.
volcanogirl is offline  
Jan 4th, 2018, 04:47 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Did you check into the villas at Tulemar? There are some larger homes in addition to the bungalows.
Birdie is offline  
Jan 4th, 2018, 05:05 PM
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Both Nayara and AOL full. So is Los Lagos and El Silencio. The Springs is a little out of our budget. Ugh - any other recommendations. I don't just want to stay anywhere that is available. I like the look of Leaves and Lizards, but am concerned with the uneven terrain and 10+ minute walk to the restaurant and main lodge area.

I think we may stick with El Romanso - they are recommending another type of lodging that is safer for young children. There are 6 adults and 4 kids, so we have a pretty good ratio (the 8 and 11 year olds are good looking after the 2 and 4 year old too).
metcarl is offline  
Jan 4th, 2018, 07:24 PM
Join Date: May 2007
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We've stayed at the Lost Iguana too and liked that one.
volcanogirl is offline  
Jan 17th, 2018, 11:52 AM
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As you no doubt know, booking this late for the quality places in CR is tough sledding especially for a large group of all ages.

Not sure Osa is appropriate for kids that young--we saw kids at Bosque del Cabo when we went and there was a lot of pouting and playing with screens. Not a lot of kid-friendly infrastructure, but there's plenty of chances for kids to get themselves in trouble with snakes, biting insects, etc.

Rio Magnolia Nature Lodge is sublime and they may have a separate house for rent (not sure when they have family staying there and when it's rented out) in addition to the lovely rooms. Not sure about their kids policy these days (but if you rent the entire place probably not an issue)

Thinking outside the box, have you looked at places outside Costa Rica (where places generally book up faster than other countries)?

Other options might include:

Honduras: The Lodge at Pico Bonito is spectacular with great service and very much in touch with nature and they are kid-friendly (not as many mammals but guaranteed toucans and Lovely Cotingas).

Belize: Lamanai Outpost Lodge--a real soft adventure location where you arrive by boat, are across the road from prominent Mayan ruins, and can do everything from getting so close to monkeys they almost poop on you to going on a crocodile tagging safari at night.

Panama: Los Quetzales Cabins near Cerro Punta in the western highlands are actually inside the Volcan National Park and La Amistad International Park. Our cabin (I believe #8) not only had hummingbirds visit it, but a resplendent quetzal and nightly appearances by Cacomistles (ring-tailed cats) who run across the roof and on the railings outside. VERY remote (you can go 48 hours without seeing anyone else)

Panama: Gamboa Rainforest Resort--this may be a bigger stretch, but it's a large, full service place that's right in some wildlife-hopping rainforest. As a big resort, it's kind of cruise-shippy, but there's a big pool to keep the kiddos entertained, it's accessible for people with all mobility levels, and there's incredibly wildlife on the grounds--we've seen Geoffroy's Tamarin (cool looking monkey) and Northern Tamandua (anteater) in the parking lot, and have seen porcupines, cayman, crocodile, capybara, howler monkeys, and even Panamanian Night Monkeys on the lodge grounds. It's right on the Panama Canal so you can do boat tours of the canal as well as do aerial tram rides, hike the nearby rainforest, etc.
RAC is offline  
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