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“Best Ecolodge in Costa Rica”

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Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Hope, AR
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Best Ecolodge in Costa Rica”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 December 2007

We have visited Costa Rica at least annually since 1993; we have covered the country and without a doubt Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge is the best of the best. In '93 Bosque del Cabo consisted of 3 cabinas; there was no electricity and no hot water, but it was totally comfortable with wonderful beds, linens, food and a friendly staff who couldn't do enough to make our trip memorable. The wildlife there was like no other place (monkeys in the trees, squawking scarlett macaws in the air and a jaguar in the forest). We have been privaledged to watch this resort "grow up", but in the best of ways, never change. It still has friendly staff and a home like atmosphere in the amazing open air restaurant and bar. The food was outstanding on our last stay and even frozen drinks are now readily available in the bar. More cabins, deluxe cabins & houses are options; all are solar powered and have hot water. The views from all cabins are spectacular (all except the garden have ocean views). A swimming pool provides a great place to cool off after hikes in the forrest. Actually you don't have to venture into the forrest; we saw howler, white face and spider monkeys, a 3 toed sloth, agoutis, pizotes, scarlett macaws and toucans all from our cabin's deck, or on the lawn of the lodge. On the driveway we saw a Puma and a black jaguarundi. Nearby our animal sitings included a collared anteater and squirrel monkeys. If you love nature and want to experience Costa Rica to the fullest, Bosque del Cabo is the place to go! It matters not whether you are the ultimate adventure traveler or a "older" bird watcher. This resort can provide thrilling adventure (such as repeling down an amazing waterfall, tree climbing, zip-line, world class surfing) as well as guided birding and wildlife viewing on relatively level, well maintained trails. If you can only go one place, this should be it!
Stan and Delia James
Hope, AR., USA

  • Liked — rustic luxury appropriate for the setting
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed November 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Dadooley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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780 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Ontario
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 November 2007

Where do I start? Bosque Del Cabos is like stepping into another time and place. The location is at the edge of the Osa peninsula, 500 feet above the crashing Pacific ocean and lovely Dolce bay. The towering rainforest trees and lush lawns studded with incredible flowers and bushes were enough to bowl over this colour deprived Canadian, who's home and native land is at this time of year just going to sleep in shades of grey and brown. The smells and sounds of the rainforest woke up all of our senses and the abundance of wildlife from hummingbirds that flew through our room to the white-faced monkeys that swung from the palms and trees by our cabins was enough to make one feel soooo alive. It was my husband and my very first visit to gorgeous Costa Rica. Our first days at Bosque were spent on the edge of the cliff overlooking the Pacific in a lovely deluxe cabina. It was great to just relax and to let the sounds of the ocean..and the breeze move the stresses that we carried with us. I borrowed a yoga mat and was doing my routine on the lovely deck overlooking the ocean when I suddenly felt as if I was being watched. When I looked up....I noticed 2 very curious white-faced monkeys watching and moving closer and closer. I ignored them....but as I went down to do the floor part of my routine....the two little monkeys moved to a tree bow directly over my head to get a closer look at my strange routine. I started laughing so hard.....that I had to give up my yoga...as the two scampered away!!!!!
For the second part of our trip we stayed in the Tropical Garden in LaPaz. It;s an incredible cabin with open sides on 3 sides. The primary rainforest begins just behind this lovely cabin...and just below in the valley...not one but two incredible waterfalls tumble over rocks echoeing up to the cabin above. By the end of the week....we sat in our hammock....watching a sloth just behind our cabin and as mentioned before, watched with glee and delight as hummingbirds would fly right through the cabin!!
The food was simple but so healthy and fresh.
The other guests were in the same head space - mostly professionals and thinkers and naturalists. Even the children that came with their parents were delightful and fun to watch as they explored with wonder the next surprise that appeared around the corner...or trail.
We can hardly wait to go back.....between the staff...and the lovely philosophy that all the staff seems to share.
It truly was like going to another world....where we could find ourselves again!!!!

  • Liked — The natural setting.
  • Disliked — Nothing!!!
  • Stayed November 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank OntarioNaturegirl27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington D.C.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 November 2007

I just returned from a 3-4 day stay at Bosque del Cabo. The property was amazing! You will see wildlife around the property and generally in this area (Osa Pennisula) that you will not easily see anywhere else in Costa Rica. On a walk up the driveway, I watched all four types of monkeys found in Costa Rica swing in the trees overhead. The atmosphere is very laid back, with options to hike alone or with a guide. The staff were the most pleasant and happy that I have ever encountered (and I have traveled a good deal). The food was absolutely fantastic, very simple and healthy, with a good selection of choices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Of note, I did meet several return guests, who offered that they continue to explore new areas of Costa Rica but always try to return to Bosque del Cabo.

  • Liked — Wildlife and Food
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed November 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank algneb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kansas City
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 November 2007

I just recently completed a seven day stay at Bosque Del Cabo on the Osa Penisula in Costra Rica. If you are looking for a "back to nature" experience with many of the amenities of civilized life, this place is for you.

Bosque is about as laid back as you can get. Your day is your own. While the nearby town of Puerto Jimenez (45 minutes by car) offers various excurisions, my wife and I never could get ourselves to leave the grounds at Bosque. Mornings start early (as do the evenings since you're so close to the equator). By 5:30 a.m. each morning we were up searching for wildlife to photograph. It didn't take long. After a quick cup of outstanding coffee, we strolled around the grounds of the main buildings where capuchin monkeys, toucans, scarlet macaws, roadside hawks and growler monkeys began to stir.

Then it was back for breakfast (delicious, as was all the meals at Bosque!). It's there where we decided which rainforest trail we'd walk, or maybe we just took the Pacific Coast trail down to the the stunning beach 500 feet below Bosque. Check the board in the lobby for low/high tides, as you definitely want to go to the beach at low tide. Get ready for a good workout coming back up as you climb all 425 steps (yes, I counted them to take my mind off how sore my legs were getting.) Once on the beach, go right, walk about 20 minutes to a large creek coming out of the jungle. Follow the creek about five minutes to a stunning 75-foot waterfall. So awesome! Despite the hike back up the trail, it's definitely worth it.

Now it's lunch time. My wife was fond of the Curry Chicken and Papya sandwich. Melt's in your mouth. Speaking of melt, try the "fresh" tuna melt sandwich with an Imperili (the local cervaza- Muy Bueno!).

After lunch it was either time for some reading in Bosque's quiet library or in our "cabina" - Mariposa, where stunning views and tranquil sounds of the Pacific down below made it hard to keep my eyes on my book.

Then another afternoon jungle walk, pausing every 30 feet or so to look up, look down and all around. You just never know what you may see.

A nice, relaxing shower (hot water readily available) in our cabina's outdoor shower (very neat experience), then off to dinner. It gets dark at 5:30 so don't forget your flashlight or a "miner's light", that fits around your head. A couple cocktails to relax, then off to the buffet style dinner (outstanding!!) where the tables are pushed together and you have great conversations with other guests (a total of 16 others while we were there). We met terrific people from Holland, Germany, Canada and the States.

Post a reply to this if you have questions but it was just one incredible trip. 458 pictures later, I plan to post some as soon as I get through them all.

Regards,

KCBadger

Helpful?
6 Thank KCbadger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 November 2007

Have just returned from 4 nights at Bosque del Cabo (should have been 5 nights but the airport at San Jose closed due to bad weather). I agree with all the previous reports about it being a wonderful place. I stayed in a deluxe bungalow with outdoor shower and bath, verandah with hammock and chairs and an observation platform. I am not very mobile (in particular with a lot of steps or steep climbs/descents) so was only able to do the beginnings of the trails (I knew this before I booked), however the gardens are wonderful and there is a nice walk along the drive. I just wanted some peace and quiet to chill out so was also happy sitting reading on my verandah. The food is fresh and interesting (eg Mahe fish with caper sauce, beef fajitas) and the three meals a day are ALL large. The staff are all very helpful and more like a family than staff.

I cannot praise Bosque del Cabo enough, however there were some downsides (which relate to the whole area, not the lodge) which I must mention. Now, I know it was the rainy season but I did not expect it to rain almost all the time (especially as this is the very tail end of the rainy season). It also got chilly enough a couple of evenings to have to put a jumper on. I didn't mind the rain and had gone prepared, but there was not the abundance of wildlife that I expected. Yes, I did see some monkeys, coati, mackaws and a few other birds (in the odd couple of hours each day when it didn't rain) but I was disappointed I did not see more. Also pictures posted by previous reviewers give the impression that there are 'tame' animals on site - this is not true and I think any photos of someone holding an animal , were actually taken at the animal sanctuary (you just HAVE to visit the animal sanctuary!). Other guests who went on the trails did not see much either.

Yes, my clothes got wet and even my quick-dry trousers took three days to dry - but the clothes I had hung up also got damp! I also took some lightweight plastic ponchos (made out of that very thin polythene sheeting you put down when decorating) which come in a very small pack - I found one of these really useful, better than any sort of jacket because you don't get hot in them and you can leave them behind when you leave (I think I paid about £6 for a pack of 10 - via the Internet in England).

Wary of the warnings to take a good flashlight, I took a large powerful one, which was excellent but the batteries made it very heavy (thinking about the weight restrictions for luggage). They do have flashlights you can borrow that, although they are not that powerful, are perfectly adequate for getting to/from to the deluxe bungalows, so you don't need to take a heavy one with you. I did not get to see the accommodation in the tropical gardens, but I suspect you might need your own, more powerful flashlight as I understand the walk to them is through the rain forest (you might like to check this out with the hotel).

Finally, a comment about the luggage restrictions on the internal flight to Puerto Jimenez of 30lbs and only one piece. I totally forgot about this restriction and actually had about 50lbs and two suitcases - I was worried I might have to leave a case behind in San Jose. However, they don't refuse excess luggage but they did charge me $25 on the flight to PJ (nothing on the return trip) -
I also had to pay another $25 and $20 on two further internal flights. However, I would have found it impossible to take only 30lbs and I think the extra $70 was worth it. I did discover that Air Nature will store luggage for you for 15 days (I cannot remember the cost, but it is not much), so if I went again I would pack into two cases, one of which I would store with Air Nature and then swap them before the next internal flight (most, although not all, flights start in San Jose) .

I would definitely visit again if I could, but not in the rainy season!

  • Liked — The verandah overlooking the rainforest; large room; outdoor shower; comfortable.
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed November 2007, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Angie4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston
Level Contributor
50 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 November 2007

I am the mother of two teenaged girls and the three of us stayed in Casa Blanca, one of the houses on the property. One of the highlights of my trip was standing outside the house early in the morning, mug of coffee in my hand, and watching a troop of monkeys jump from one tree, right over the unpaved roadway, to another. Mothers with baby monkeys on their backs tested the branches, taking a bit of a running start, feeling confident that they could make it.... and then, pulled back. I waited anxiously, and another guest tiptoed toward me, and we watched as a mother monkey with the baby clinging on finally took a swift running leap and yes! she and her baby made it safely to the other side. This describes Bosque del Cabo for me. It was a series of magical moments, from the electric blue morpho butterfly that fluttered over the lawn while we ate lunch, to feeling the suspension bridge beneath your feet, to a quiet moment in the middle of the rain forest... and then a mint green frog hops by and a Toucan spots you and flies off. I learned that Toucans can be pretty agressive nasty birds despite their cartoon coloring. Who knew? We visited the wildlife sanctuary and LuLu the howler monkey climbed up the girls' legs and they had a chance to hold her. That was definitely the highlight of their trip! I was concerned about traveling by myself as a woman with my two girls. I read all of the reviews, wondering if it was hard to do. It wasn't. I arranged with the Nature Air people to pick us up at the airport. Once we arrived in Puerto Jimenez , one of the fellows from the lodge greeted us. All of that angst for nothing. I know that the hour ride from the town to the lodge may not be everyone's cup of tea because the road is rough, and you go through good sized puddles of water and over narrow bridges. However, the drivers are terrific, very competent and I loved it! The countryside is extremely beautiful, and you see wildlife as you pass by. Thinking about where you will stay on the property may be an important decision for some. I loved Casa Blanca because it has an stunning wrap around porch. Every day at 4:00 the Macaws would tussle in the trees, squawking and putting on a show. It's a few minutes walk from the main area with the restaurant and the pool. Right around the pool area there are lovely cabinas facing the ocean. Probably the best for the least adventurous. You can fall out of bed and have breakfast or walk to the pool or bar and you are still in the middle of the rainforest! The tropical garden area is over the suspension bridge and doesn't have ocean views. However, we made friends with a couple who stayed out there and they saw more wildlife than we ever did. I was a bit jealous about it. It's a trade off, but the tropical garden area is pretty cool. It is a bit of a walk after dinner, in the dark, and over a suspension bridge, so you have to be hearty to take it on. To be honest, if we had booked a cabina in the tropical garden area, I might have been a bit flipped out about it the first night, but after that it becomes routine to grab the flashlight after dinner, head out over the path, over the bridge and up to your cabina! Definitely the best wildlife sightings out in that area - our friends reported monkeys hanging over their heads while they showered.
The food at the lodge is first rate (loved it!) and the staff is exceedingly polite. The bar area is very nice and the bartenders made mango milkshakes for the girls. The owners, Phil and Kim are dedicated to preserving the rainforest on the Osa Peninsula and they are very involved in the community.
I highly recommend the day trips. We went horse back riding, out to a crazy beautiful deserted beach. The wildlife sanctuary, where a number of monkeys roam free is amazing. I took a night tour on the property with Phil and he pointed out sleeping bats under the leaves of trees, all types of frogs and how you can find animals and insects at night by their eye shine. Wow. It was incredible to be right in the middle of the rain forest with all of the comforts: a tropical bar, a wonderful restaurant, hot water, nice beds and a view of the ocean! It is not really a beach vacation, although you can hike down to the beach or you can have the lodge drop you off and pick you up. We didn't really bother because we were off on our adventures, and off on the trails looking for wildlife. The trails are exceedingly well marked and I am a novice hiker (maybe I've been hiking five times in my life) and I never felt anxious about betting lost. You can find challenging trails with a steep drop to the beach or flat trails for an easy walk. In terms of flights to get there, I recommend Nature Air over Sansa. Sansa is right at the International Airport, so it is more convenient, but I suspect that they are less reliable than Nature Air. Our friends had booked a flight on Sansa out from Bosque and ended up stranded because Sansa overbooked. They missed their flight and ended up getting home a day late. Our flights were reliable, although the Nature Air terminal is not near the International Airport. If I were you I would check in with Bosque when you make your lodging reservations and get the latest scoop on Nature Air vs. Sansa. Oh, and one last thing. Right around daybreak you will hear an ungodly noise, like a dog dying in the woods. Stupidly, the first morning I was in a panic, having been roused out of a hard sleep. No worries: it's just the howler monkeys high up in the trees, greeting a gorgeous new day on the Osa Peninsula.

  • Liked — Location, unique nature of Bosque del Cabo
  • Disliked — Nothing. Loved everything about it.
  • Stayed April 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Bostonstory
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston
Level Contributor
110 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 171 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 September 2007

My wife and I spent 4 days at Bosque del Cabo and we both agreed that it was one of the most enjoyable places we have ever stayed. We intend to return.

The physical appearance of the lodge and the cabinas and the surroundings are beautiful. We loved the outdoor shower - standing under the shower watching the ocean and the McCaws fly over head, simply amazing. Sitting on the deck and watching a troop of monkeys work their way over and down past the deck - again, amazing.

Staff was incredible - so nice, so friendly, so helpful - thank you all.

I had not given much attention to all the comments about the food in the TripAdvisor reviews - I'm often somewhat indifferent to the food where I stay. The food was superb - every single meal, including the box lunch we took to the beach, was not just good, but great. Whether the dish was simple or complex, the Bosque del Cabo chef was able to make it taste better than any 5 star restaurant I have been to.

I could go on raving about how wonderful it was, but on to more practical matters:

1. We went in the off season - there were only about 8 people there; it was wonderful; yes we were rained on a few times, but we also had some beautiful sunny days.

2. Bring lots of quick dry clothes. After each hike we needed dry clothes and cotton will not dry in the humidity there.

3. What mosquitos? - When we were there we never needed bug spray or even the netting around the bed.

4. Shoes - lots of people seem to say you need hiking boots - I recommend Tevas or water shoes. I did several hikes in thongs and had no problem. (I have a great deal of hiking experience and have been on hikes where boots were needed - these trails are smoothly laid out and don't require boots in my opinion.) I was glad I had worn my gym shoes the day we ran across a stretch of trail covered with army ants and we ran through them.

5. Don't forget your flashlight.

6. There was plenty of power to charge the camera and the computer (brought for a business meeting and used to download pictures).

All in all a wonderful place with wonderful people.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank HoustonFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge

Property: Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge
Address: | halfway between Puerto Jimenez and Corcovado National Park, Cabo Matapalo 60702, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Cabo Matapalo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3 star — Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bosque del Cabo is a romantic getaway and a naturalist’s dream, come true. Crowning a point 500 feet above where the Golfo Dulce meets the Pacific Ocean, nestled in the unspoiled jungles of Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula is a paradise found. Located in a unique and fortunate position at the very tip of the Osa Peninsula in the southern Pacific region of Costa Rica, this 750+ acre forest reserve features private, spacious bungalows and gorgeous houses perched atop the cliffs of Cabo Matapalo, each with beautiful ocean views, tropical breezes and the rainforest at your doorstep; or choose beautiful and rustic garden view accommodations surrounded by thriving rainforests. Hiking trails lead you through the forest to deserted beaches on both the Golfo Dulce and Pacific Ocean. Bosque del Cabo, which opened its doors as a hotel in 1990, is owner operated and dedicated to forest preservation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bosque Del Cabo Rainforest Hotel Puerto Jimenez

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