The Osa Peninsula is located in South West Costa Rica, with the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Golfo Dulce to the east. It is an area of absolutely stunning natural beauty. It is a bit ‘off the beaten path’ but really worth going out of the way to visit and experience some of Costa Rica’s outstanding coastline and jungle with a wide variety of nature, birds and animals to discover.
You can fly from the capital, San Jose, to Puerto Jiminez with only a 45 minute drive from the airport to some of the beautiful coastal lodges. Alternatively you could drive from San Jose, but it takes up to 6 hours. Finally, you could have it as your last stop on your trip, and come at it from the North from the Arenal area or from Manuel Antonio National Park (a 7 hour or a 3.5hr drive respectively).
We chose the latter, doing the drive from the Arenal area, to Manuel Antonio, to the Osa Peninsular. If you aren’t wanting as many stops on your itinerary as we did, I highly recommend the Osa Peninsular. It’s truly beautiful and so relaxing and of all the places we visited, this is where we’d choose to stay longer.
Where to stay
There are lots of beautiful lodges in the area, perched on the beach front or amongst the jungle. I don’t think you can really go wrong with any choice, but some great options include:
- El Remanso Lodge – It had a lovely welcoming feel, and was the nicest of the accommodations we stayed in in Costa Rica. It makes a great stop for relaxing and resting in comfort and luxury. There are even suites with private pools if you want the ultimate luxury option.
- Jungla del Jaguar Lodge & Hostal – For a low cost option, Jungla del Jaguar is a clean, comfortable and perfect for getting close to nature as it sits right in the middle of the jungle.
- La Paloma Lodge – For ultimate seclusion, this luxurious lodge has only 11 thatched villas across 12 acres, for a feeling of privacy. They feature expansive balconies with hammocks, lush grounds and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.
What to do
1. Nature walks
The Lodge we stayed at, and most of the others locally, offer various nature experiences, although you don’t have to leave the Lodge to be close to nature! You can watch the wildlife from the open restaurant, and we saw everything from parrots to monkeys – and couldn’t understand why the monkeys didn’t come in and steal the food!
You can choose to do guided jungle night walks, botanical walks or just stroll through the grounds yourself – discovering spider monkeys, red frogs, sloths and snakes. We did each of those options at a leisurely pace and saw some of the best wildlife we had seen all holiday.
2. Private Beaches
Many of the Lodges have access to beach trails. It’s advised not to go barefoot on the beaches due to the snakes in the area, although we didn’t see any. The beaches are spectacular though, and tend to be private, with rock pools, forests, coconut tress and miles of sand. In fact, we only saw two other people as we explored.
We spent a day and a half just relaxing on the deserted beaches with a book, and exploring along the coastline.
3. Whale and Dolphin watching
The Osa Peninsular is a prime dolphin watching spot. You can go out on a boat to spot them. Our visit didn’t tie in with whale season, but dolphins are present in the warm waters all year round. Getting close to them was truly special.
Thanks for reading! Are you planning a trip to Costa Rica? We loved our time at The Osa Peninsula and would recommend this for any Costa Rica itinerary so hope you found it an interesting place to read about as well. Stay safe and happy travelling everyone.