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Lookout Inn, Playa Nicuesa or Iguana Lodge?

Old Mar 27th, 2006, 02:26 PM
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Lookout Inn, Playa Nicuesa or Iguana Lodge?

Trying to decide between these three, any yeahs or nays? I am looking to spend 3 nights at one of these, then I will continue on to Bosque del Cabo for 6 nights.

I'm leaning towards LI or PN, mostly because the wildlife seems a little bit more populated near these two. I like to walk/hike for hours and to me, LI looks like it offers that best, with maybe PN as well?

The only thing that really concerns me at LI is the logistics of getting from PJ to there and then from LI to Bosque. I guess I could pay the $60 taxi to get there (my plane would get in too late to take anything else) and then take the collectivo from Lookout to the Bosque turnoff - but I can't recall how long that road is from the main road to Bosque, might be a little too long with a duffle bag.

Any ideas to help me make up my mind?
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 04:39 PM
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I whole-heartedly recommend Playa Nicuesa. It is a wonderful place, and you can be as busy and active as you want to be or just chill out in the sun or in a hammock in the shade. You will see lots of wildlife -- the macaws fly right overhead, toucans are everywhere, there was a huge owl right in front, troops of monkeys swing through, and you might even see some peccaries and snakes. The food is fantastic and the staff is great. You can kayak on the gulf and feel like you're the only person on the planet, and the star-gazing is amazing. Everything is right there -- beach in the front, jungle in the back, so there's no stress of traveling to get someplace. Some of the people who came with us in January made some comments about Nicuesa on my website if you want to read them: go to http://www.joyfulheartyoga.com and click on "January" If you choose Nicuesa, tell Mike & Donna that Sandy said "Hi!"

Sandy
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 04:40 PM
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oops -- should have said click on "winter" rather than "january."

Sandy
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 05:09 PM
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thanks sandy, enjoyed your pics. I'm really torn! Wait...did you mention peccaries?! Show me a snake, a spider, but a little pig? I am petrified of those little things, I don't know why.

So just some random thoughts....what's the beach like, as far as walking? Not really into swimming, but can you walk a good ways? PN is right on the Golfo Dulce, right? Are the cabins set back or near the water? How is the upkeep of the trails? I'm solo, so any areas come to mind that I shouldn't wander off to? Sorry for all the questions, but thanks for any help you can give.

And as an aside, I can't get Lapa cabina at Bosque del Cabo this time but will be in Mariposa. Best I can remember from the quick peek I took after guests checked out it has a wrap around deck and a tub (!), but does anyone know if it has a deck like Congo & Lapa? I can't remember.
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Old Mar 27th, 2006, 06:53 PM
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Hey Tully!! Hi Sandy!!

Sandy you always did love Nicuesa. I will definitely have to get there one of these days. I am making my way around there. I stayed at Las Esquinas last year on my way to Panama.

Tully you can certainly hike to your hearts content down by Look Out. Hike back along the river and have Lana at Luna Lodge point you in the direction of their waterfalls. Really friendly people at Luna and they enjoy company stopping in for a drink. It is hot hiking there.

There is an afternoon colectivo to Carate around 1:30pm. It would get you in to LI around 3:30-4:00pm. You could hang out at Soda Carolinas in town if you get there early. Food is pretty good, lots of expats eat there. They could point you in the direction of the colectivo. You might even run into Kim from Bosque del Cabo. We ended up eating lunch with her there last Nov. I don't know if Look Out has an office in town like so many other places do.

As far as getting to Bosque from LI. If you let them know at Bosque that you will be catching one of the colectivos they can easily figure the time it would take and have someone meet you up by the road with one of the atv's or a car. Terry or Katya at Look Out could radio to Bosque that you are on your way. It is about an hour.

If you are looking for rainforest to hike in at all, Iguana lodge wouldn't be the place. It does have a great beach to hike on though and Escondido trex is up the road for kayaking. I have stayed there as well as their other place next door-Pearl of the Osa.

Don't know if we will get down to Bosque this year. We just got back from Guatemala and we are planning a trip to Peru for next year.

I haven't been in Lapa but have been in Congo and Mariposa. The Mariposa is wonderful. Way bigger than Congo with a covered porch and a deck overlooking the water. Congo has a better view of the ocean but I like being on the end with the monkeys. The tub is really nice at night.
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Old Mar 28th, 2006, 05:51 AM
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Hi Tully,

Yes, it's right on the Gulfo Dulce. You can walk on the beach, but it's not a really long walk -- maybe it would take a total of 20 minutes. But you can take a very long, peaceful kayak ride out there. The cabins are back from the water, hidden in the jungle. I could hear the "ocean" from mine, which was the closest to the water.

The peccaries are in the jungle -- you'd have to go looking for them and they'll try to avoid you. I saw one up close, but after he looked at us he turned around and ran.

Trails are maintained but natural -- they haven't carved out any steps or anything. The guides from the lodge will go with you so you don't get lost, and they can help you find animals. They'll go kayaking with you too. The first time I went there I was solo, and I had a great time. There are easy trails and very vigorous trails, and one has a little climb up to a waterfall.

Sandy
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Old Mar 28th, 2006, 05:54 AM
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Hi Suzie!

I see you haven't gotten tired of CR yet either! Do you still go to the AOL travel board? Did you like Panama as much as CR? Are you still thinking of moving there?

Sandy
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Old Mar 28th, 2006, 12:47 PM
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Tully,
My husband and I just came back from CR Sunday. We stayed north, then went to Lookout Inn for 3 nights and Bosque for 2 nights. We loved both, and they were very different. Hopefully I'll get a full report up soon. Lookout Inn arranged a taxi pickup for us at Puerto Jimenez. The ride was $60. It is about 1.5 hour drive, and you pass Bosque about 45 min into the drive. Bosque's driver, Kevin, picked us up at Lookout and took us to their resort and then to the airport 2 days later. The total transfer charge on our bill was $88. We had a cabin at LI right next to the lodge. Laying in the bed (covered with netting) we could see the ocean (a few hundred yards) and Macaws flying around all day. They are attracted to a row of almond trees along the beach and stay there all day. It was incredible watching and hearing them. Monkeys came up to the lodge to the lodge to eat bananas from the trees, the closest we came to them on the trip. We thought the food was actually slightly better at LI, but great at both places. You can get to Corcovado entrance via a hike along the road or beach (about 3 km I think), but we just hiked partway. There is a very rigourous path behind the lodge into the jungle to a waterfall or you can get to it on the road and a driveway. We spent a lot of time on the beach because it was so beautiful, with hammocks and beach chairs. Swimming is good at low tide. It is much more difficult to get to the beach at Bosque. Wildlife is more concentrated at Bosque, I think because the animals spread out more in the park. Bosque is a little more upscale, but also more expensive. The grounds at LI are beautiful and the pool is small, but surrounded by trees and flowers (attracting lots of birds), so we also spent a lot of time there. LI had about 15 people, so much smaller and much more personal. Terry, the owner, is from the US. He is a great host...wild!
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Old Mar 28th, 2006, 02:55 PM
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Well, no one here is making it any easier!

OBXBarb - thanks for your review, that's pretty darn recent too! I stayed at Bosque last year for 5 nights (had to up it to 6 this trip) and kept myself busy there pretty much non-stop (never took any of the guided tours even) so would you say 3 nights at LI I'd find myself pretty busy? I've seen the beach pics on their website and it does look tempting, just to be able to walk for miles & miles. I don't think I'm brave enough for one of their tiki hut rooms tho', think I'll just opt for one of the standard rooms. And their observation deck looks to die for. Were the stairs as daunting as they look on the website, lol? I've handled the Pacific trail at Bosque - that was enough steps for a lifetime!

Suzie - I remembered you raved about Mariposa, in fact now that I think about it, I think Mariposa was the 1 I didn't look into, I think I just remembered your description of the tub & it became my own! I'm thinking of cutting a night off of Arenal (3rd trip - I figured it was time to finally see the damn volcano! ), spending the night at Orquideas then getting an early start the next day so I can catch the afternoon colectivo to LI. And now you mention it, it shouldn't be too hard to co-ordinate the colectivo from LI to BdC, I know I heard those radios going all the time whenever I stopped by the office.

Sandy - thanks so much for answering all my questions. PN is definitely beautiful & enticing, and while I think I'm leaning more & more to LI, I haven't ruled it out entirely. I do love the cabinas there at PN but the views at LI and the long beaches are pulling at me. But there is always next trip!

Just some more ramblings....I paid $621 for my AA ticket this year, from Tampa-Miami-San Jose...I paid $323 last year! Incredible. And also...is there anything at the end of the road in Carate (which is where I assume LI is)? I thought I read there was a little market or something there, just curious. Thanks!
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Old Mar 28th, 2006, 03:25 PM
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There are a couple of cabins at LI. One is small and kind of open. The other is actually the owners cabin and is quite nice. If the owner isn't in they rent it. The rooms are quite pretty as well.

Yes, those stairs they put in at LI are quite daunting. I haven't made it up them yet. I have made it down to the hammocks on the beach though . Those tiki huts are new and look really neat. I slept alone in the open cabin at Bosque del rio Tigre and was spooked all night. The standard rooms are very pretty and so white and clean. I had the owners cabin and a room when I was there two years ago.

Sandy,
No, I haven't been over on the other board in awhile. How bout you? I am sure they miss you if you haven't. How could I ever get sick of CR. We have seriously looked at a couple of properties and do have a bid in on one near Buenos Aires. We always did want off the beaten track. We have just decided to broaden our horizons a bit and see some more countries. I have really been bitten by the travel bug again now that we have. Panama was nice. The roads were beautiful compared to CR. We only hit a small part of it. Boquete is a darling little town.





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Old Mar 28th, 2006, 04:06 PM
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tully,
Lookout Inn is about 1 km before the end of the road at Carate. There is a basic small store at the end of the road where the collectivo stops.
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Old Mar 28th, 2006, 05:45 PM
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Tilly,
Lookout Inn was in the middle of our trip, so we were ready for some R&R. It is very easy to read in the hammocks under the trees with Macaws all around and ocean breezes. Water was about 10 degrees cooler than the gulf at BDC. It was very hot (apparently March is the hottest month) and it hasn't rained in two months.Several people went horseback riding and took a park tour with a guide. There is a really cool short night hike to a lagoon down the road with alligators and great spoonbill as highlights. Hiking there during the day is also full of animals and birds. They also kayak there. Terry I'm sure has plenty of other options if you want. The views from the decks in the lodge are fabulous.
We did not stay in a Tiki hut, although they were nice, just shared a bath. As Suzy said, there are a few other cabins. Ours was on the driveway and open on 3 sides. There are also two screened-in with a deck and rocking chair. All have hammocks and sofas. The lodge rooms are nice and very clean. The stairs are significantly steeper than BDC (350 of them). I know that everyone did it at one point, and it is gratifying. Not sure how you go downhill to the waterfall if it is slippery though.
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 10:56 AM
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Hi Suzie,

I'll have to branch out to Panama and Nicaragua one of these days. I changed my email, so I can't get on AOL anymore. Take care -- maybe one day I'll run into you in CR!

Sandy
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 11:01 AM
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Sandy,
Duh, you sent me your new email. Sometimes I wonder where my brain is. Traveling to distant places without me no doubt LOL.
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 04:16 PM
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Finally made up my mind & booked at Lookout Inn, heard back today they have room & that the collectivo drop-off at BdC won't be a problem.

Only 44 days...not that I'm counting
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