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First trip To the OSA-Encanta La Vida or Iguana Lodge?

SoCal
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First trip To the OSA-Encanta La Vida or Iguana Lodge?

Hi,

I am just starting to plan my first trip to the OSA. We will be going the first week of May for 2 weeks. I was thinking of staying at Iguana Lodge just outside of Puerto Jimmenez or Encanta La Vida in Cabo Matapalo. I am leaning towards Encanta cause I believe the wildlife will be better??? Is there more opportunity to see wildlife in Caba Matapalo? It looks that way from what I have read so far on the internet?

Also would like to know what the beach is like at Encanta La Vida? Is it swimable??? What are other good options? Basically looking for a beach stay with as much wildlife opportunity as possible. Would love tour recommendations???

Thanks

San Jose, Costa Rica
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1. Re: First trip To the OSA-Encanta La Vida or Iguana Lodge?

Dear westyone..

Agree with you more chances and more isolated around Matapalo beach...more chances to see wild life...

roadadvisor

Seattle, Washington
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2. Re: First trip To the OSA-Encanta La Vida or Iguana Lodge?

I would go with Encanta La Vida. You will find more opportunities to explore trails and waterfalls around there. Although the beaches will not be as calm they are beautiful. Horseback riding with Miguel is a lot of fun (although I think it's his nephew running the tours now). The animal sanctuary is always a hit and the kayaking from Puerto Jimenez is beautiful too. You should check out Bosque del Cabo if you're leaning towards Matapalo. I end all my trips to Costa Rica here and the wildlife is amazing. Lots of trails right there too kept in great shape for hiking.

Slovenia
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for Costa Rica
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3. Re: First trip To the OSA-Encanta La Vida or Iguana Lodge?

Puerto Jimenez is a small town, several hotels and restaurants and markets. A base camp for visiting Corcovado NP. Cabo Matapalo is large area with private houses and some high end resorts. Between the two is about 45 min by car on a very rough road with some streams to be forded. There is much better oportunity to see wildlife in Cabo Matapalo. However if not staying at one of the resorts other accommodations are quite isolated housesand having a 4x4 car is obligatory. None of the beaches on Cabo is really swimmable, more for surfing but they are beautiful to relax on the sand and observe the flight of e macaws.

Ottawa
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4. Re: First trip To the OSA-Encanta La Vida or Iguana Lodge?

Definitely more wildlife in Matapalo area! I've eaten at Encanta la Vida and it's very nice and is surrounded by rainforest. Quick walk to a couple of beaches, Backwash Bay and Playa Pan Dulce, which actually ARE swimmable. I know because I've been in both. Wonderful! You are also close to Matapalo beach on the point, but I would not recommend it for swimming...surfing though, for sure. I've also kayaked from Playa Pan Dulce and it's great. If you rent a car, I warn you that the Matapalo road is extremely bad to drive on. If you are staying put while you're there, you don't really need a car. If you decide to book the animal sanctuary trip from P.J. pier, you can get a taxi from P.J. to and from Encanta la Vida. They could probably arrange that for you.

Buena suerte!

Seattle, Washington
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5. Re: First trip To the OSA-Encanta La Vida or Iguana Lodge?

Many people, if they have enough time, do a split between somewhere like Iguana Lodge, Black Turtle or Yellow Coco with somewhere at Matapalo so they can have a little of both. I agree with xelas, the beaches at Matapalo are really not that swimmable in the terms of smooth and calm, but that can often vary depending on time of year and weather too.

Ottawa
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6. Re: First trip To the OSA-Encanta La Vida or Iguana Lodge?

From my experience, swimming at the Matapalo beaches I have already talked about, either in March or in August, was not a problem. Sometimes the waves were bigger and I stayed very close to the beach. Still not a problem. Not sure why storm_puravida and xelas have concluded that these beaches are not swimmable. I do not agree. I am not even an incredibly strong swimmer, yet I still do not even hesitate to jump in when I'm there. I am careful if it is a windy, wavy day. Usually it is as calm as calm can be. Enjoy!

Slovenia
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for Costa Rica
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7. Re: First trip To the OSA-Encanta La Vida or Iguana Lodge?

Osalife, when I am about to promote a beach on a forum as a swimmable one then it has to be a safe one, with calm waters. Like the one in south part of Punta Uva. Whichever beach has surf good enough for surfing is not a swimmable one in my book. Been on both, Backwash Bay and Playa Pan Dulce this August and neither one looks like a swimmable one to me. Yet they are both gorgeous beaches for relaxing and even wading in the sea for some wave action. In any case no one should come to Cabo Matapalo because the beach there is swimmable or not. It should be for the nature, the jungle and the wildlife. Pura Vida.

Ottawa
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8. Re: First trip To the OSA-Encanta La Vida or Iguana Lodge?

xelas...in my humble opinion, these beaches are safe for swimming. I guess we disagree on that. I will continue to swim there, using my good judgement to guide me. Westyone, I would not recommend these beaches for swimming if I thought they were unsafe. I guess you can be your own judge when you're there. Enjoy your time!

Slovenia
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for Costa Rica
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9. Re: First trip To the OSA-Encanta La Vida or Iguana Lodge?

Yes, osalife, I am confident that your point is as valid as mine. I am always more "nervous" re.open sea beaches since our own is a closed type (Adriatic Sea) and thus very calm. Swimming in Caribbean, Hawaii or Costa Rica is for me very different affair then swimming in Adriatic Sea. Now the OP has both sides and could come prepared. And I also wish Westyone an unforgettable time in Costa Rica.

10. Re: First trip To the OSA-Encanta La Vida or Iguana Lodge?

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