Bosque del Cabo vs. La Paloma

Aug 24th, 2004, 02:02 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 36
Bosque del Cabo vs. La Paloma

I've read many helpful comments on this site but nevertheless remain unsure which to select. I stayed at Lapa Rios a couple of years ago and was impressed with the room, food, service, views and abundance of wildlife. This time around I'm inclined to stay in a different part of Osa, and thus am leaning toward Paloma. I also would like to scuba dive, which I understand is not easily done from Bosque.

For those who have stayed at both Bosque and Paloma, is one substantially better than the other and, if so, in what ways? Would I be sacrificing much if anything (e.g., wildlife viewing) by staying at Paloma instead of Bosque? Thanks in advance.
mtea is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 03:53 PM
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Bosque del Cabo is located in the same area (Cabo Matapalo) as Lapa Rios. We loved it there, but when we decide to return, we want to stay on the Drake Bay side, do a tour of Corcovado and Cano Island. Isn't Paloma over there as well?
shillmac is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 05:35 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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I stayed at La Paloma in Feb 2003 and absolutely loved it. The setting is spectacular - up on a bluff overlooking the Pacific (the only drawback is that you have to walk up a steep paved hill to get there but the porters carry your luggage). As far as wildlife is concerned, I saw spider monkeys and macaws from the shower! On the hike in Corcovado, I saw more monkeys, various birds and a sloth. I also took a day trip to Cano Island and snorkeled. The water was a little murky but it might have been because of the weather. I did see several sea turtles though.

I don't know what the standard cabins at La Paloma look like but I would highly recommend a sunset rancho. There are two twin beds on the main floor, a bathroom and large terrace with a hammock and deck chairs. A spiral staircase leads to the upper floor with a queen bed and bathroom. Also, the food is so wonderful. Banana pancakes and fresh pineapple for breakfast every day - yum (but, you could order whatever you wanted)! I just could not believe how great it was considering we were in the middle of nowhere. They served a variety of food over the course of our stay - mahi mahi, shrimp, fajitas, steak etc.

Oh, I was supposed to stay at Bosque for this vacation but they failed to make my reservation. I am so glad they screwed up because La Paloma is amazing!
kcapuani is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 08:17 PM
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I have stayed at all 3 places (Lapa Rios, La Paloma, and Bosque del Cabo). My favorite of the 3 is Bosque. I did enjoy my stay at LaPaloma though.
My reason for liking Bosque is that it just seems more open to hiking and wildlife viewing which is what we really go for. We saw more wildlife there than any of the other three also. Lapa Rios was just too darned much work going up and down those stairs and it was really hot. We don't mind hiking but those stairs were not fun and we had to climb them 3 times a day at least for our meals. We just felt our energy could have been used for more enjoyable things.

That said, we did really enjoy our stay at La Paloma. The food was very good, served family style. There are some really neat things to do for tours away from the lodge. We went snorkeling, to Corcovado and did some serious hiking with a local (if it wasn't ten miles it sure felt like it!)who got us lost for several hours in the rainforest. It is different enough from Bosque to not feel like we were just seeing more of the same area. Nicole runs a great dive trip and you will have a good trip with her. She is also manager of La Paloma or was when we where there. We also stayed in one of the Ranchos and it was very nice. They have great porches on those Ranchos. Bring a flashlight as the paths, when we were there, were pretty dark. Not as fancy as Lapa Rios but still a very nice place.

As far as a substantial difference, not really. Both are different as far as lodging and offer different things to do but are very nice. You can have your diving and hiking at La Paloma. Both are up high although Bosque is higher-La Paloma is just a short hike up from the landing. Both have good food. Both have lovely people either managing or who own the lodge.
Jessie_ is offline  
Aug 26th, 2004, 05:13 PM
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kcapuani, you seemed to see a lot of wildlife just from your rancho. jessie, was that your experience as well. the bottom line for me is that while i would like to try the drake bay area of osa and spend a day scuba diving, i really do not want to sacrifice much in the way of wildlife viewing to do so. Is there a marked difference, for example, in the number of monkies and macaws you can see just from your rancho at paloma? thanks.
mtea is offline  
Aug 28th, 2004, 01:13 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
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I personally did not see much in the way of birds or wildlife at La Paloma. There were a bunch of agoutis running around the ranchos but that was all we saw. I have read others reports where they saw some great things. As always, with nature, it is the luck of the draw. One of the many reasons I never get tired of visiting CR. It is always different even when visiting the same places.
Jessie_ is offline  
Aug 29th, 2004, 08:38 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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mtea, I answered this on another post but I will answer it again. We saw monkeys, agoutis, scarlet macaws, and a sloth on the grounds of La Paloma. Definitely I think there is more opportunity at Bosque but I forgot to mention one thing. Did you say when your trip was? Bosque is building a new restaurant right now and the dining arrangements are kind of make shift. We did not see as much wildlife there this year as last and I am not sure if that was the construction or that it was totally full this year.Last year there were only a few familities there. It was so wonderful because we had the place almost entirely to ourselves. It seems to have grown in popularity so I would be sure to make reservations way ahead of time. We had to move three times in order to stay there.
karenf is offline  
Sep 1st, 2004, 11:31 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 54
This site is fantastic! My wife and I are planning a first trip to Osa next January, and are trying to decide between Bosque and La Paloma, so we have several questions.
How difficult is the trip to La Paloma from SJ? Once you fly in to an airport do you walk, ride a van, or take a boat?
Can you swim or snorkel off the beach at either place - is it calm, rocky, or good swimming?
Is the ride to Cano Island rough or smooth? Is there a bathroom or place to change into dry clothing on the island?
Do the rooms at either or both places have screens?
All of you recommend the Ranchos rooms at Paloma. We are only 2 people. Do all the Ranchos have 2 bedrooms, or can we get one with 1 bedroom?
nancylee is offline  
Sep 1st, 2004, 01:58 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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nancylee, i will try to answer most of your questions. You can fly to Drake Bay for La Paloma. They will have a taxi at the airport which is basically a dirt runway and a small house. You will have about a twenty minute ride to the beach where you will catch a boat to the lodge. (short boat ride.) You can swim and snorkel at both places. The beach at La Paloma is calm and pretty as well as a short walk. There are different beaches to access at Bosque. The ride to Cano Island depends upon the weather. When we took the dolphin tour the boat ride was very calm but the next day we went to Corcovado the boat ride was much rougher. The bungalows at Bosque have screened windows but the doors open directly to the air. The website for Bosque has many pictures of the cabinas which are pretty accurate. Bugs are not a problem. The room at La Paloma had huge open spaces at the top so it did not really matter if it had screens. On their webiste it looks like the ranchos did have screens.Both have mosquito nets which we did use. There were some bugs in the room at La Paloma but I am sure we had some at Bosque as well.I am not sure if the ranchos all have two bedrooms. If you email them they are very good about answering any questions as is Bosque del Cabo. It might take them a few days to get back to you. If Bosque only has certain cabinas available they will email you photos if you want them to. We have now stayed in four different ones and Casa Blanca. For hiking and wildlife viewing I still like Bosque the best but I did like La Paloma very much and would also return there again. They are just different. There is a ranger station at Cano Island and it does have bathrooms as does Corcovado.
karenf is offline  
Sep 1st, 2004, 08:08 PM
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For karenf - Glad you are back. It was nice to meet you at Bosque and hear about your trip to Drake's Bay. How did you like Casa Blanca? Did you see lots of macaws and toucans in the almond trees in the front and back side yard?
fae is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2004, 01:55 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Hello, Yes, we loved Casa Blanca,especially the huge deck. We saw lots of macaws and toucans all over the trees, but one day at La Paloma we had an unbelievable sight. There were eighteen scarlet macaws in one tree. Even the staff at La Paloma was watching that.
karenf is offline  
Sep 4th, 2004, 10:29 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 6
It is not a matter of which place is better than another. It is a matter of what you are looking for. Both are spectacular places that offer different things; the traveler decides which is to their liking. If you are looking to scuba I would say that it might be easier to do from la Paloma. It is much easier to get out to the area of Isla del Caño from there. If you want to be above the water and have a spectacular view I would go with Bosque. La Paloma also has a gorgeous view. In order to get to a swimable beach you need to hike from either of these. Going to La Paloma provides the cool ride through the Sierpe river where Bosque provides you with the ride through the jungle. My advice is that you can't go wrong with either choice. They are both spendy. Good luck on your choice and remember that neither is wrong, just different.
Michita is offline  
Sep 4th, 2004, 05:32 PM
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Michita, do you have an opinion on which offers better wildlife viewing?
mtea is offline  
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