Osa Peninsula Lodging for first time in CR

Old Feb 21st, 2014, 07:25 AM
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Osa Peninsula Lodging for first time in CR

Hello! Finally planning a warm getaway to Costa Rica. We would very much like a place that has plenty of wildlife, hiking and plentiful spots just for hanging out. Objective is definitely to explore and have time to rejuvenate! We've had to delay vacations for several times in a row and want both an active and at times restful getaway. It will just be the two of us.
We have narrowed lodging down to:

El Remanso (like the idea of platform breakfast!)
Bosque del Cabo
Playa Nicuesa Lodge (seems like plenty to do?)
Aguila de Osa Inn

Any others that we should consider are welcome too!
We would be travelling in mid March and staying in Osa for 4 or 5 nights and finish with 3 nights near Arenal
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Old Feb 21st, 2014, 07:42 AM
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Bosque del Cabo has the best hiking trails with wildlife, so I would certainly recommend that. Maybe you could do 3 nights there, two nights at the Iguana Lodge in Puerto Jimenez if you want to do yoga or boat tours of the Golfo Dulce to see dolphins, or just spend some time by the beach.

To be blunt, I'd consider just seeing the Osa with this trip--Arenal is more of an adventure destination (with plenty of very luxurious places to stay) than wildlife/hiking area (it has options for that, but other than the Arenal Observatory Lodge there's nothing there that compares to the Osa). You wind up losing a fair amount of time shuttling between lodge, to airport, flying one plane, then making the connection for the other plane, flying on that plane, then getting from the airport to the lodge, etc. Arenal's a very worthy destination, but the Osa is a place that for a variety of reasons really is best seen for 5 days or more.
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Old Feb 21st, 2014, 09:33 AM
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Thank you for the input. We aren't committed to the idea of Arenal and can adjust plans to stay in Osa the entire time. Have you been to Nicuesa? I would be interested in Bosque del Cabo or El Remanso then over to Nicuesa. My husband was drawn to Lookout Lodge but I was afraid after seeing mention that it draws a crowd that parties -- doesn't seem that would be relaxing.
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Old Feb 21st, 2014, 10:18 AM
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Have not been to Nicuesa, but everything I've heard/read indicates it's lovely. I certainly wouldn't try to talk you out of it.

Can't speak to Lookout Inn either.

Have heard lovely things about El Remanso--talked extensively with a couple who had stayed there while we were at Bosque del Cabo--seems to be more of a retreat whereas bosque del cabo seems a little more into the exploration of the rain forest.

Lots of good choices, can't go wrong really.
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Old Feb 21st, 2014, 07:05 PM
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We've only stayed at BdC on the Osa, but I agree with RAC that their wildlife and hiking are spectacular - we saw all 4 kinds of monkeys there, a sloth, macaws, toucans, angoutis, and even an anteater - best wildlife we've ever seen.

We love the Arenal area too, and there's tons to do there. The Cano Negro tour is a nice tour to see wildlife - monkeys, sloths, caimans, and lots of water birds; the Penas Blancas river float is nice too. Nice hiking at the beautiful waterfall and the Hanging Bridges - we saw howler monkeys and a toucan there, but I'd recommend going with a guide to increase your chances of seeing wildlife. The Lost Iguana is another good place to stay and has extensive grounds and is right next to the Hanging Bridges. The natural hot springs like Tabacon and Eco Termales are fantastic. Great ziplining, rafting, and all that too if you have time.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2014, 09:06 AM
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Wow-- Thank you for the information. The abundance of wildlife sounds amazing at BdC.
And the Arenal info helps immensely. I think we may extend our plans to include both areas, I've heard of Lost Iguana and the springs too. I think there are several places that have lodging/resorts with hot springs?
How many days would you suggest in Arenal for the activities you listed? 4 days?
What time of year were you there?
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Old Feb 22nd, 2014, 12:40 PM
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We've been there several times - July, April, September, and December I think. It's hard to keep track! If you have a bigger budget, The Springs Resort and Spa is fantastic and has several hot springs - 32 I think? - on property. We got a deal when we stayed there, but we loved it. Nayara is also really nice but doesn't hot have hot springs. The Lost Iguana is set away from town and is really jungly - nice if you want to get away from it all; it's out by the lake and the Hanging Bridges and does not have springs, just a heated pool. Silenco del Campo is a little more affordable and has springs. There are so many great hotel choices in that area. We usually go for about four days when we go. The Proyecto Asis animal rescue center is also neat; we were able to hold several animals and help feed them - saw monkeys, toucans, a raccoon, peccary, sloth, etc. very close up.
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Old Feb 24th, 2014, 12:15 PM
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volcanogirl, Thank you for all this info. It has sent me on to investigate adding some of these places in. It's great to get this input from someone who knows the area(s) so well!
I'm looking at what is available and how we can string them together!
My sister is bringing her daughter in July--she would be interested to know if July had intermittent rains in Osa or all day--and Arenal area (less so)?
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Old Feb 24th, 2014, 01:57 PM
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Also--it looks more likely to be able to get in to BdC if we stay in a garden cabina. I was looking at the ocean view ones, but only one night would be available then we would have to move. Have you stayed in one of the garden cabinas?
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Old Feb 24th, 2014, 04:10 PM
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wander, when we went to the Osa in July, we didn't get any rain. I was expecting some since it was rainy season, but we had nice weather the entire time. There's something called the little summer in July in CR and sometimes they get less rain during that time. We had rain every day in Arenal, but not all day rain. We were still able to do our activities. They don't usually cancel tours if it rains because that's the norm for CR, although they might cancel ziplining if there is lightning, which I guess is a good thing! Surprisingly the worst weather we had was in December. It can be unpredictable. I like the green season though; the rain helps cool things off and makes everything lush and green.
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Old Feb 24th, 2014, 04:13 PM
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No, we haven't stayed in a garden cabin. We like the ocean front cabins because we like to have a pretty ocean view, and the sea breeze helps keep things cool. I've heard garden cabins can have some nice wildlife sightings. I would stay in an ocean cabin for as many days as I could get even if I had to move. I love the ocean though.
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Old Feb 24th, 2014, 07:34 PM
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We split our stay, half in a garden cabina, then in a classic ocean view one. Moving was relatively easy; we just packed, and our things were moved into our new cabina while we were out and about. We were happy with both, but they were very different experiences.
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Old Feb 25th, 2014, 08:59 AM
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Cattail, Very different can be good or not so great! How rustic is a garden cabina? Kept in good condition I assume? Is there hot water in garden cabinas? The suspension bridge to get there sounds neat.
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Old Feb 25th, 2014, 05:37 PM
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Well.... for us it was rustic in a good way, kept up in the same excellent standard as their ocean view cabinas. All things being equal, we did prefer the ocean-view, but at the time we were able to extend our time at BdC by several days by dividing things up. Yes, the shower had hot water.

Plus: Private, kind of romantic actually enjoyed the walk to and from over the suspension bridge

Minus: Lack of a breeze, hotter.
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Old Feb 25th, 2014, 07:32 PM
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Cat, was it hard to find your way to the dining area from there at night? Is there any illumination, or is it enough for you to carry a flashlight? I'd probably wander off somewhere!
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 07:27 AM
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It wasn't hard, vc. It was kind of cool, actually. We made it into a night-walk, searching for eyeglow and under leaves. We weren't lucky enough to see them, but I recall people saying that they saw dozens of the most beautiful big crabs.

I definitely wouldn't trust myself to walk so far at night alone, but happily, my husband has a better (marginally) sense of direction than I do. I tend to get distracted, as in,.... "ooohhh, I think I see some movement in that plant a few yards to the right of the trail.....". Some nights there was more moonlight than others, so it varied.
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Old Feb 28th, 2014, 04:43 AM
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Ah, yes, me too! Was it the Halloween crabs? With the purple and orange shells? A personal night walk does sound kind of cool. We got stuck out on one of the trails one night since we were hiking late and lost track of time. It freaked me out a little bit. We were getting dive bombed by bats - ha, ha!
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Old Mar 1st, 2014, 05:27 AM
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That I don't remember. But Halloween crabs would make sense, right? Hee hee! I get freaked out when I'm stuck on a trail here at home at night; in the tropics, I would hate it. Glad that you made it out
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Old Mar 5th, 2014, 01:49 PM
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Yes, we actually ran! It must have looked really funny to anyone who saw us pop out of the jungle right as it got dark.
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