Costa Rica’s unofficial slogan “pura vida” (meaning pure life) accurately describes this beautiful part of the world. National Geographic called the Osa Peninsula the most biologically intense place on the earth. Untouched by commercial businesses, you are able to really get in touch with nature with no distractions. This area is home to the Corcovado National Park, one of the most diverse tropical areas on the planet. It’s the place I went to enjoy eco-friendly lodging and spend time reconnecting with the world around me.
Eco-Friendly Places in Costa Rica: Osa Peninsula
I’m passionate about traveling with my kids. I love the experiences we get to have, the memories we make, and the time we get to spend together. However, when the opportunity presented itself for me to travel without my family to Costa Rica, I knew this would be a trip I couldn’t pass up!
Costa Rica has always been on my destination wish list, and getting to take a break from motherhood was a refreshing change (no diaper changes for a week). I also wanted to try green travel and stay at an eco-friendly lodge. When I travel, I gain a deep appreciation for all of the incredible places there are to see. It motivates me to do a better job taking care of the earth.
The Osa Peninsula
At the airport, on our way to the Osa Peninsula (located in the southwestern region of Costa Rica, about three hours south of the famous Manuel Antonio National Park), I met someone who said she was from the area and assured me that we were headed to a very special place.
At the time, I didn’t understand what she meant by that, but now I do. We got to disconnect from the outside world and stay at a very remote place in the middle of the rainforest!
I hiked to waterfalls, took boat tours to an animal refuge, kayaked at sunset, had dinner by candlelight every night and so much more. It’s going to be hard to top this travel experience.
Getting to Osa Pennisula
From San Jose, we took a domestic flight to the small town of Puerto Jimenez on the Osa Peninsula.
If you have never been on a small plane before, then I can assure you this is part of the adventure! My fear of heights was overshadowed by the incredible views overlooking the most beautiful green landscape that I’ve ever seen.
Once we arrived in Puerto Jimenez we stopped by a local grocery store for any last minute items we might need. Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen — a small bottle can cost up to $50 in Puerto Jimenez! Here’s everything else you should pack for a Costa Rica vacation.
Next, we took four-wheel drive vehicles through the rainforest. It was an exciting trip driving through dried-up riverbeds and through the lush greenery. Once I reached the Osa Peninsula located on Carate Beach, the journey was worth every moment.
Read More: Complete Guide to Planning Your First Costa Rica Vacation
Eco-Friendly Accommodations: Laguna Vista Villas
Once in the Osa, I stayed at the Laguna Vista Villas. The villas sit atop a small peninsula overlooking a freshwater lagoon. Solar powered and eco-friendly, these villas are ideal for anyone wanting to experience green travel.
The food cooked by the staff is some of the freshest I have ever eaten in my life. Every morning I woke up to fresh fruit juice and Costa Rican coffee. For breakfast, lunch and dinner, we gathered together in the outdoor dining area. At night, we ate by candle light and the organic meals were cooked to perfection.
Connecting with Nature
Sitting around with a group of people completely free from distractions was a huge reason to try eco-friendly lodging. Our dinners were never interrupted by phone calls. People were talking instead of texting. It was a beautiful thing!
Two things I had to get used to: Waking up to the sound of howler monkeys every morning and not having a wall next to the shower. Yes, there was no wall next to the shower; you can look out at the gorgeous rainforest as you shampoo!
The villa is in a private area so you really get the chance to get in touch with nature!
During our visit, we lounged by the pool, kayaked at sunset around the lagoon and visited the Corcovado National Park. Our electronics stayed in the suitcase and we reconnected with the world around us. Eco-friendly trips are a great way to disconnect to reconnect!
Things To Remember Before You Go
- Bring plenty of sunscreen and bug spray. Our small domestic flight would not allow aerosol cans, so keep that in mind when packing.
- The best time to visit is during dry season, mid-December to May. Laguna Vista Villas recommends visiting during December or January.
- During our visit in January, the sun would rise at 4:30 a.m.!
- The wifi at the villas was not working during our visit. We had to hike to a WIFI hut to get service. Prepare to be offline.
- Pack comfortable shoes; flip flops will not hold up. Closed toed comfortable shoes work best.
- There are no local grocery stores after you leave Puerto Jimenez and head to the Osa. Be sure you have everything you need.
- Bring a headlamp for walking to and from your villa at night. You are in the middle of the jungle and you might meet a slithering friend or two!
- This is a very family-friendly atmosphere. There were a couple of families with young children visiting the area. Don’t be afraid to take the whole family on this eco-friendly adventure.
Motherhood is the most amazing adventure I’ve been on yet, but all too often during the day to day life, I end up losing a part of myself. It felt good to reconnect with the person I am on the inside that all too often is covered in laundry, carpooling and the demands of motherhood.
Bonding together is always the motivation behind our travels together as a family; however, this trip reminded me that sometimes the person we need to bond with is ourselves.
Greg Robertson says
Hi Breeze, thank you for this detailed report on your visit to our lodge. Unfortunately, I just read it now, otherwise I would have commented earlier. As the owner of LagunaVista, it is really gratifying to read positive reviews like yours about our lodge and staff, and to know our guests have enjoyed their experience there. Your perception in realizing the designs of our units enhance guest interaction with Nature is notable, too. It would be great to have you visit us again some day, Breeze. We’ll give you a verygood deal if you do. ☺
Breeze, I felt like I was right there with you, always enjoy your adventures and your writing about them.
Can’t wait for your next adventure