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Two-in-One Adventure Kids Will Remember


Vacation Costa Rica and Discover Family Value

by Chris Higgins and Margo Malcolm

Families want more for their vacation dollar. Instead of crowded beaches and blaring music, a journey into peaceful tropical rainforests in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula-Golfo Dulce region, families can explore two adventure playgrounds in one location. They can have a chance to reconnect and develop a new definition of a vacation with “value.”  

The Osa Peninsula-Golfo Dulce region is home to both a rainforest and one of only four tropical fjords in the world. And for added family value, they offer opportunities to learn about the region’s biodiversity first hand, along with its conservation and sustainability.

Located on the shores of Golfo Dulce is Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge which can be only accessed by boat, and is an adventure in itself. The calm, warm waters of the Golfo Dulce are perfect for snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, and fishing – here, “summer” lasts all year.

But out the back door of Playa Nicuesa Lodge there is a 165 acre preserve in the last remaining lowland rainforest in Costa Rica. The preserve is full of exotic wildlife, plants and trees, and a network of trails to explore. It’s saying something when the Lodge buildings are located on less than two per cent of their property.

Nature’s Classroom
Your kids won’t know that Playa Nicuesa’s mini-tours are educational because they will be having too much fun. They’ll learn how to open coconuts, find out how pineapples grow, and watch slide shows on local bugs and insects. They can even eat sweet tasting termites!

The guides at Playa Nicuesa are gregarious and friendly and love to tell stories. Tómas, literally born under a mango tree on-site and still fishes with a simple hand line and hook, entrances visitors with his experiences in the area, like watching Needle fish propelling themselves along the surface of the water.

From the Garden to Your Plate
Almost all of the food at Playa Nicuesa is that fresh, from source to plate in minutes. Here they believe in reducing their food miles too, and grow a variety of organic fruits and vegetables on site, and catch or purchase fish, meat and other food locally. You can even be a chef for the day and help collect jungle edibles.

Fishing guests can also contribute their catch to the menu. Be sure to take the two hour inshore fishing tour or learn how to fish like the locals from the beach or pier using a hand line.

Night scopes, Waterfalls and Wildlife
Tómas was once an animal hunter in the region and knows this jungle well. He now uses his animal tracking skills to take guests on wildlife hikes, day or night. Armed with night scopes and flashlights, hikers will find the jungle and the lagoon abuzz with activity at night. Snakes, bats, marine toads, crocodiles, lizards and peccaries are out and about in the cover of darkness. Frogs and night birds perform a symphony of sound.

Another hike goes through the rainforest to a majestic rainforest waterfall. The Golfo Dulce/Osa Peninsula region contains 13 major ecosystems and approximately the 2.5 per cent of the world’s biodiversity.

Staring up into the rainforest canopy, it’s almost like looking into a living Impressionist painting, your eyes dazzled by the flash of colors, your ears picking up the extroverted squawks and screeches. Scarlet Macaws have taken residence here as well. Posturing like the kings and queens of the birding world, they proudly display their formidable size and colorful plumage.  

There are also numerous Scarlet Macaws that seem to have taken up residence at the lodge. What magnificent creatures these birds are. No protective coloration. No skulking about trying to blend in with the jungle. Instead, they posture like kings and queens.

Another tour children love is a trip to Santuario Silvestre Wildlife Sanctuary, a 15 minute boat ride along the coast. They get a close-up view of monkeys, anteaters, sloths, parrots, and toucans that have been rescued. The sanctuary rehabilitates the animals and releases them back into the wild.

For Families Big and Small
Playa Nicuesa’s cabins offer comfort and privacy for families or the Mango Guesthouse with four rooms can be rented by large groups making it a natural for family reunions. You can even help save the rainforest by planting trees in the preserve. Its’ a way families can share, in a meaningful way, and give something back to nature. 

A trip to this magical location is an authentic and transformational journey. It will stretch the imagination and create memories of a lifetime. And that is money well invested.


The Family Adventure Package starts at:

  • $980 per person for four nights based on double occupancy in the Green Season (May 1/09 – Sept. 30/09), to,
  • $1770 per person for 7 nights based on double occupancy in the High Season (Nov. 16/09 – April 30/10)
  • Children 6-12 receive 25% Discount on Package Rates.
    Teenagers 13-17 receive a 10% Discount on Family Package

*The lodge is closed October 1 – Nov.15 each year

Price includes:

  • 4/5/6/7 Nights at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge in Private Cabin or Mango Guest House.  All rooms and cabins have private terrace, canopied bed, private hot water open-air garden shower and ceiling fan.
  • 3 Delicious Meals Daily; Snacks and Juices. *Prepared Fruit Drinks, Carbonated and Alcoholic Drinks are not included.
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