My husband and I took our children (ages 7 and 8) to the Osa this summer to show them the "wild" side of Costa Rica. We had been previously with the kids and wanted to expose them to the jungle atmosphere (we had both been to the Osa previously, my husband has been 5+ times). In the past we relied on Lapa Rios and had every intention of going there. The reviews that we read about El Remanso seemed to make it a no-brainier - could they be any more positive? - and so, we decided to give it a try. When we arrived in Puerto Jimenez we were greeted by the office host and set off in a Land Rover to the lodge, roughly 45 minutes away. The lodge is next door (quite literally) to Bosque del Cabo (another well-received Eco-Lodge). El Remanso has a main lodge for dining with a bar, a very small plunge type pool and then the assorted "casita" style lodgings. Our "hut" as we called it was in no way luxurious. Inside there was a sparse bed (with a not very good mattress), a desk with an ashtray and a pack of matches, a tiny sink, an enclosed shower and a toilet with a door. There was also a hammock inside the room and one on the porch. There was an outlet for small electric appliances (to charge a camera battery, etc.). The doors were folding type on old rusty hinges that did not fully close. Windows had metal louvered shades on them. Luxurious? No. Still, having been to the Eco-Lodge type place before, we smiled and shrugged our shoulders. You need to know that when you go there you are roughing it. We did know that and enjoyed the solitude on the porch and the surroundings. Expect lots of noises (which are pretty cool when you consider they are scarlet macaws in the trees!). Once we settled in we decided to take the hike to the beach. Be warned it is a HIKE to the beach. 15 minutes down...20-25 minutes up, depending on your level of fitness. The beach was nice, deserted...not swimmable. We were told to not swim and you really can't...the waves are a good 10-15 feet high and crash hard. High tide comes in really high and there's not a lot of room to walk on the beach. This was never mentioned at all, nor is it addressed anywhere on the web site (It would have been nice to know) However, about 10 minutes up the beach there is a very cool lagoon where you can swim. The tide pools are about 15 minutes the other way and can be neat, but they can also be slippery and a bit dangerous to climb on. The beach has lots of hermit crabs and there are hikes to waterfalls about 10 minutes in from the beach. Lots to explore. As for other activities, there are hikes around the property, a very good guide on staff and opportunities to go into town to kayak (we did this - lots of fun). You can also make arrangements to visit the animal preserve in Golfo Dulce (from town about 30 minutes by boat) - we saw monkeys up close, sloths, toucans, macaws, etc. The owner of the preserve is knowledgeable and kind to the animals - very cool place. The main lodge serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. I have read reviews that rave about the food, but I just can't. The first day the food was good, but it got progressively worse. For some reason the chef was attempting to prepare french style fare in the middle of the jungle. The servers couldn't pronounce it even and we often had to read through the description because the preparation was so obscure that honestly we could barely pronounce it either. Luckily, you are so active in the jungle that you are mostly starved, so meals are good regardless. Maybe that's where the good reviews came from? The staff at El Remanso is really it's best feature. Everything I have read is true. They really aim to please. My daughter got sick while were there and everyone was concerned and helpful. The young owners are genuinely concerned that guests get to do what they want to do and see what they came to see. Daniel was a very good host and made sure that things went smoothly most of the time. When we decided to leave 2 days early he was understanding and helped to facilitate our early departure. Yes, we left early. Honestly, we were disappointed by the place. It's not luxurious (can an Eco-lodge in the jungle fit that description?) - so that's a joke. The web-site is slick and really paints a different picture of the place. Some of the things that looked so great on the web-site were a bit of a sham. The zip-line is a joke. It's a short zip up to a platform on the side of the walkway from hut to hut. I can't believe they actually charge people to do it. The beach is beautiful, but you truly cannot swim in it, nor go too near the surf. I can't say that any of the other lodges in the area are better...it had been a while since I had been to the Osa. We had previously stayed at Lapa Rios and Basque del Cabo (my advice is to check around..I honestly wish we would have gone back to Lapa) We were honestly swayed by reviews that we read right here. Everyone has a different idea of what luxury is...of what "wild" is...to me, having been to the Osa before, this is not the top place down there (at least I hope not!).
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- Also Known As:
- El Remanso Hotel Osa Peninsula
- El Remanso Osa
- El Remanso Lodge Costa Rica/Osa Peninsula