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Erin44 Apr 4th, 2004 04:12 PM

Cabina or house at Bosque del Cabo for family?
We are planning a return trip to Costa Rica for next March. After reading so many wonderful things about the Osa and Bosque del Cabo on this travel talk, we've decided we definitely want to spend a few days there. We will need accomodations for my husband and myself, plus our 2 teenage sons.

At this point our options are to stay in one of the deluxe cabinas that has a king size bed, plus a loft with 2 twins; or to stay in the Casa Blanca house that has 2 separate bedrooms and baths, plus a kitchen. It seems like a no-brainer, except that the cost for the 4 of us would actually be less to stay in the house than in the cabina, including all meals. So I assume the cabinas are much nicer, although smaller in size. I believe the cabinas are also closer to the main resort area.

I would really appreciate any input from those of you who have stayed at the Bosque before. How do the 2 different accomodations compare in terms of location, size, ammenities, etc. I think we would prefer to stay in the nicer of the two, but also don't want the 4 of us to be crammed into a tiny area either.

Lastly, I am wondering whether to stay for 3 or 4 nights. My husband and boys are concerned about being so isolated with not enough to do for 4 days. Yet most of what I've read from you seems to suggest that you need to stay longer to justify the travel time there and to really appreciate the area.

Thanks again for sharing your wisdom!

karenf Apr 4th, 2004 04:41 PM

Erin, If you go to the Bosque del Cabo website there is a spot where they list the activities that are available from kayaking to fishing, etc. maybe if you see those you know your own teenagers and what they like to do. If you love hiking and animals you will be fine just doing that for a few days. Also, you can walk down to the beach and arrange for a ride back up. (They will pack you a picnic lunch to take with you.) Just know that if you rent the house there is no quick or easy way to get groceries except before you arrive. I did not see the cabinas with the bunk beds, but it seems like the house might give the teenagers more room. While we were there there was a family with two teenage boys who were on their second trip and they rented the house. They went fishing one day and brought back enough fish for the small group of us that were there to have for dinner. There is a small pool. I think you also might be able to arrange surfing lessons for the boys. If you write to Bosque and ask more specifics about the house location they can tell you more. I don't think it was that far from the restaurant to be concerned.

janet Apr 5th, 2004 04:46 AM


Our family recently stayed in the Casa Blanca house (2 adults, 2 children - 11 and 13) for 4 nights. Of all the places that we have been to on our holidays, this was easily my favourite. Casa Blanca is an easy 5 minute walk to the restaurant (Casa Miramar is another 10 minutes up the road -- quite hilly to reach it -- would not recommend it), and is totally private. It is quite spacious (I believe it's 2000 square feet), overlooks the ocean, and has a huge deck (half covered providing shade) with 2 hammocks, and lots of seating. We enjoyed being slightly removed from the cabinas. We opted to eat all our meals at the restaurant, but it was nice to have a refrigerator to keep bottles of water cold.
Good luck.

Erin44 Apr 5th, 2004 08:37 AM

Karen, thanks for the info on the activities at Bosque. Their website does list numerous tours that I think our sons would enjoy. Just wasn't sure about after dark - although I know we'll crash early after an active day. At least one night it would be fun to do the guided night hike. Do you know if all of the cabinas and houses have electricity for reading or playing cards at night?

Janet, thanks for sharing your experience staying in Casa Blanca. Would you mind elaborating on the interior furnishings? Do you know how they compare to the cabinas? The extra space would be nice for our family. I just keep thinking that there must be reason that the house would cost less than the cabinas. Does it have electricity, fans, hot water? Are the showers outside like at the cabinas?

Also, you mentioned that Casa Blanca was more secluded from the rest of the lodge and you enjoyed the privacy. I think during the day it would be nice, but I'm kind of leary about being somewhere farther removed from the rest, in the dark, in the jungle. Did you feel at all uncomfortable, especially when you were walking back after dinner in the dark? I'd be interested in hearing what activities your family enjoyed, too. Our boys would probably be interested in surfing, fishing, hiking and the dolphin tour. Did you do any of these?

One of the concerns I have with us staying in a deluxe cabina is if the lofts get hot at night. I remember reading about the cool ocean breezes keeping the area comfortable, and seeing the large windows in the cabinas. But I'd like to know if there is much ventilation up in the lofts. Anyone ever slept in one of the lofts?

Thanks again for the help!

karenf Apr 5th, 2004 02:08 PM

Erin, We rented a deluxe cabina so it did have electricity. One night, however the reading light proveided did go out and never got fixed so we had to read by lantern. I would not worry too much about going back to the house at night. One thing that is not clear on the web site is that in the middle of Bosque there are cleared and mowed grounds. You are not in a deep, deep jungle. After dinner at night everyone walked down to th pond because there were snakes there to see. Bring strong flashlights. I am also surprised that it is less to rent the house with all meals than the cabinas. Is there any kind of price break on the kids?

janet Apr 5th, 2004 03:00 PM


We did not look at the cabinas, so I can't comment on the furnishing compared to them. However, we were quite surprised at how nice Casa Blanca was -- had not expected it to be so elaborate for the price. The showers are indoors as part of the bathroom -- there is no shower curtain, it is just a large corner of the bathroom. There's lots of hot water (propane heater). There is electricity, though you are encouraged to use it sparingly. We usually sat out on the deck in the evenings -- there are lights. We found that we were in bed very early (around 9) -- tired out, as the birds and howler monkeys wake you early every morning. There were no concerns at all about being somewhat removed from the rest of the grounds -- as a previous post mentioned, it is groomed around the accomodations. We did come across a tree boa (about 6 feet) crossing a path when we were on our way to dinner one evening, but that is apparently quite rare. The naturalist guide was giving an evening tour, and he was pretty excited about it -- I preferred to see if from a distance.

Re activities - we did lots of hikes. There are several hiking paths on the property. It is about 15 minutes to hike down to the ocean where the kids loved the tidal pools (were like giant hottubs). We also hiked to the gulf side (1 - 1 1/2 hours to get to the beach which is near where you can arrange for a ride to bring you back). It's not that it's all that far -- the heat really slows you down. The kids loved body surfing in the waves.

On another day, we all took a very early morning surfing lesson -- great fun, and the kids caught on quickly. We also did the zip line canopy tour --rather dull, and quite expensive -- would suggest you do this elsewhere if it's adventure that you are looking for. Another family that we met did the dolphin boat tour (several hours long, picnic lunch packed for you -- you get to be towed along behind the boat, amid dolphins which are in their natural habitat). The family said that when the kids were in the water, there were numerous dolphins attracted to the boat -- the dolphins seems to prefer the kids. They said it was an amazing experience. If we had had another day, we would have done this as well. There are also several guided hikes offered. We heard that these were excellent, but as they didn't interest the kids, we opted not to take any. Fishing is also apparently excellent there.

puckett Apr 6th, 2004 10:45 PM

Stayed in a Cabina, however I checked out the Casa Blanca and I would like to stay there next time. Huge deck with nice ocean view. I have pictures of the inside if you would like to see. E-mail me at [email protected].

Suzie2 Apr 7th, 2004 07:45 AM

We have stayed in the deluxe cabinas as well as Casa Teca. Casa Blanca is a nice easy walk to get to whereas Casa Teca was back up through the woods and into the garden area. Very isolated. A little too creepy for me. They have lights along the dirt road that goes there now but not last year when we were there. Last year we also stayed in the larger deluxe cabina and it had a good bit of room along with a couch. I would be concerned that it could be warm up in the loft although I think I do remember a fan being up there. There is electricity as was mentioned. This year it was a smaller deluxe but had a wonderful view of the ocean. I think the main difference in price is because of the distance to walk. The cabinas are all near the main rancho and pool. Even those require a flashlight to get to. You might be able to save a little money by preparing your own breakfasts and lunches at the house and then having dinner at the main rancho. It is a fun time to get together with others that are staying there to compare notes and seating is together at tables pushed together and is served at 7pm. Everyone usually gathers at the bar for a drink or two before the conch is blown. The rest of the meals are served individually with the tables separated and people eat at different times. They can arrange for the taxi driver to stop at the grocery store in town before you head up to the lodge. There is also a good bakery in town and the baked goods are incredibly inexpensive. If you do run out of something and do one of the tours in town you can stop again. They keep a running tab of drinks at the bar and restaurant. Water refills were free after you buy a bottle.
Last year we were at Bosque 4 full days plus 1/2 day. We could have stayed longer. This year we only had 3 1/2 days because of a yoga group coming in and it about killed us to have to leave after such a short time. We are already talking to Kim to find out when the yoga groups are coming in next year so we can get as long as we want. I highly recommend the kayaking trip with Tom over at Escondido. He has really embraced his new home (Costa Rica) and knows so much. He has actually been there several years now. The cost of the trip to and from can be a bit pricey because of the cost of the taxis, about $60rt but to us it was well worth it. He also has another trip which is just a mangrove tour with a little time out on the ocean. We saw some monkeys and neat birds, tons of crabs, turtles, iggies.
Kim herself suggested we skip the snorkeling. There is a person on this board who tried the inshore fishing trip and ran into some trouble with that. The kids would really enjoy the waterfall rapelling with Joel at El Remanso which is right next door.
I do hope that Philip is still there next year when you are there. He is a great naturalist guide and we really enjoyed talking to him. We did the daytime trip and my husband (so he could play with his night vision goggles) did the night tour. After hearing what they saw, I was glad I didn't go LOL. He is planning on marrying his Nicaraguan sweetie and moving up there but he seemed to think he would be at Bosque for one more season next year.

ctkathy Apr 7th, 2004 04:31 PM

My husband and I stayed there just last February. I think the house sounds great for your family, but I would pay the extra and have your meals at the lodge. As someone pointed out, there are no grocery stores nearby but you could provision yourself in Puerto Jiminez, I guess.

I would like for you to know that there are a lot of activities in the general area, but some that you mention involve a drive back to Puerto Jiminez. This is a one hour (at least) drive that is very, very rough and I wouldn't want to be doing that everyday. I would ask what activities are available directly from Bosque and then you will probably see that staying 3 nights will be just fine.


Suzie2 Apr 7th, 2004 07:19 PM

I am so used to doing the Tico travel down on the Osa that I don't always think to say how long it takes to get places. I know I have listed the times for travel between places down there but it has been awhile. I have also mentioned road conditions recently. The web site mentions most of the tours so I assumed that it had been looked at so didn't go into full detail of what they offered. Thank you Kathy.
Kathy, you sound doubtful about the grocery store but it is an option even if it is just to stop and pick up some fresh fruit or junk food for the kids to nibble on between meals or while hiking. Possibly even some coffee for the coffee pot. The stores carry many of the same things we have here in the states so the kids should be comfortable. We didn't know we were going to be in the little house last year or we would have picked some stuff up.

Erin44 Apr 8th, 2004 06:19 PM

Many thanks to all who provided invaluable information regarding our stay at Bosque. After hearing your thoughts, and actually seeing photos (thanks to Puckett), we have decided to stay 4 nights at Casa Blanca. It will be a little further away, but we figured we could then eat most breakfasts and lunches at the house, so we can put the money saved toward additional activities.

Karen, no our kids do not get a discounted rate - but they will be 13 & 18 then, so I guess they don't count as children at a lot of places. With renting the house, we just pay a flat rate of $260/night. Meal packages are optional and would cost $45/each per day (for the kids, too.) Or just dinners are $20/each.

Kim, at Bosque, said that she will arrange for the taxi to wait for us in Puerto Jimenez while we stock up on supplies. Suzie, can you give me directions on where the bakery is located? We'll definitely want to make a stop there. With 2 teenage boys, the best way to keep them happy is to have an unending supply of food nearby.

There are so many activities that sound like a lot of fun. It will be hard to choose. I know we'll definitely do the dolphin tour and will look into the kayaking, waterfall rapelling and surfing for the guys. And of course, we'll do a lot of hiking.

Thanks again for taking so much time to share your experiences with me. I am so psyched to spend a few days in what truly sounds like paradise!

Suzie2 Apr 8th, 2004 08:10 PM

The bakery is right on the main drag in Puerto Jimenez. It is only about 4 blocks long so you shouldn't have any problem finding it. There are actually two pretty close to each other. I remember one being better than the other-had more options. I think it is the one that is to the right of the other that is better. This probably doesn't make much sense but both are on the same side of the street. You can check them both out. Tell the cab driver you want to go to the Panaderia.
The kids will probably be really happy to have extra food around.

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