We started planning this trip 5 years ago, after we left Costa Rica after a stay near Puerto Jiminez in the southern Osa Peninsula. We debated 3 different ecolodges in the Drake Bay area before choosing Casa Corcovado, mainly due to it's proximity to Corcovado National Park and it's "remoteness" from the other lodges. This trip was for our 30th wedding anniversary and we had high expectations from previous reviews and the website. Not only were those expectations met, they were exceeded!!
Because our flight from San Jose was leaving a little later in the day, we arrived by flying into Drake Bay airstrip rather than Palmar Sur. We felt like adventurers, landing on the dirt airstrip and pulling up by the tin roofed "airport" with one guy in an orange vest standing by with his orange safety cone and lone fire extinguisher. This after a flight over the breathtaking scenery of the mountains and along the Pacific coast, picking out the Sierpe River mouth. We loaded up in the Range Rover for the trip down the potholed and muddy road into Drake Bay, through rivers and over bridges(?), down into the town which looked like the set of an Indiana Jones movie. There, we parked and walked down the beach to wade in the shallow water to board our boat, which would take us the rest of the way down the Pacific coast. The 30 minute ride viewing the magnificent Osa coastline made me feel like I was a contestant on Survivor!! On arrival, we were impressed with the skill of our boat captain. We are boaters, so appreciated the precision it took to maneuver the boat through the rock channel to the wet landing point, where we again waded from the boat to the beach. What a sight greeted us!! We loaded up on the trailer attached to the tractor to make the climb up the road to the lodge; looking behind, we had the beach with the Pacific Ocean, Cano Island, and the greenly sloping jungle down to the beach. On either side and to the front, the road uphill with lush jungle vegetation on all sides. We looked at each other and said "Oh, yeah!! We made the right choice!!"
We were blown away by the vision of the man who built this paradise in the jungle and is willing to share it with people like us. And, very thankful!!
The staff is beyond accommodating; Alejandro and Rudy, the waiters, always wanting to please; the tractor drivers like Wilbur and boat captains polite and smiling; the guides extremely knowledgeable and always looking for the chance to share their love and passion for nature with the guests. Steve, the manager, is determined to ensure guests have the best possible experience and it shows. Dinner is at 7 pm and the food was very good using fresh ingredients for preparation. It is even more impressive when you realize much of it has to be ferried in every day by boat from Sierpe. We especially enjoyed sharing our table with some of the people we met during the 6 nights we were there.
We had arranged for 2 days of sport fishing; they used a captain out of Drake Bay named Daydee and his mate, Dana. The captain was very responsive to fishing for what WE wanted and we were quite successful both days. We were able to share our catches with others staying at the lodge, as the chef arranged to cook the fish for dinner in place of another entree. It was prepared perfectly!! Daydee also managed to spot a humpback whale and her calf, even though it was not the right time of year for them. He allowed me on the T top deck to better see them and followed them for a ways so we could watch them surface several times.
The snorkeling trip to Cano Island was excellent, visibility about 20 feet, lots of tropical fish. We did the San Pedrillo hike and saw lots of wildlife with our guide, Gabriel. However, an observant person can walk the grounds at Casa Corcovada, especially down at the beach and by the Sunset Bar and see quite a bit. On the grounds we saw coati, agouti, toucans, scarlet macaws, capybara, red-lored parrots. No, you are not going to be inundated with wildlife every day you are there. They do not believe in feeding the animals as some lodges in Costa Rica do to attract the wildlife closer to their guests. One of the things that impressed us was how they practiced what they preached about sustainable tourism.
Which brings me to some cautions. This place is not for everyone. There is no air conditioning, but they do have excellent ceiling fans. The humidity is high and the temperatures average the mid to high 80's during the day, so it can be hot and sticky. It is, after all, the jungle in the tropics. At night, it cools off and is very comfortable for sleeping. The lodge has a combo of hydroelectric and solar power. Water is conserved, so showers have low pressure and the term "hot" really cannot be applied. I was very comfortable with my tepid showers and they did not bother me - actually felt refreshing - but not everyone feels that way. They have a "no blow dryer" policy - and really, if you think you need to blow dry your hair in the middle of the rain forest, maybe you want to rethink your vacation idea. We initially thought that the bed felt harder than we were accustomed to having. After 5 minutes, we realized they were very comfortable and I have to admit that we slept like babies and my back felt better than it had in years!! You may think you need to be in great physical shape for this adventure, but that is not exactly the case. One of the guests we befriended was a lovely "young" woman of 73 who snorkeled, kayaked, and hiked the rain forest!!
Tips and pointers - if you plan on hiking, use the rubber boots provided. Bring long socks to wear with them, they will chap your legs otherwise (they do sell long socks in the office). Take cotton or quick drying clothes if you plan on washing and reusing. They have clotheslines in the backs of the units, but it will take your clothes at least 36 hours to dry. They do offer laundry service, but in keeping with their philosophy. everything is line-dried, which takes longer. They supply flashlights for all guests, but we brought a "super light" that really showed things much more distinctly. Bring a waterproof pack for hiking if you want to bring water, camera, etc. Wet bags are provided for the snorkeling trips.
So, this is an amazing place where the nature lover can awaken to the call of the howler monkeys and parrots flying overhead; where you have fresh fruit and homemade bread for meals; where you can laze in a hammock on the beach while the scarlet macaws eat almonds from the trees overhead; where you can hike through one of the last primary rain forest jungles in Central America and cool off and get a "waterfall" massage while swimming in a pool along the way; where you can look up into the trees to watch the monkeys forage; where you can watch the sky change colors at sunset while sipping a margarita on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean while the parrots fly overhead going home to roost. I really did not want to leave. Nirvana!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set above a palm-fringed beach in tropical gardens, and surrounded by 170 acres of pristine rainforest, Casa Corcovado is the ultimate combination of luxurious comfort and adventure - a place where you can spot big cats on jungle trails, have an entire beach to yourselves, snorkel with manta rays, and relax with a gin and tonic by the pool. The tranquil hilltop setting means awe-inspiring views and the best of the both ocean and rainforest breezes. The lovely bungalows are spaced throughout the lush garden for maximum peace and privacy. Casa Corcovado offers the closest accommodation to Corcovado National Park, the crown jewel of Costa Rica's extraordinary, world-renowned national park system. As the two protected areas lie side by side, guests are able to access the national park on foot via the hotel's private trails - just one of the many guided tours on offer. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Casa Corcovado Jungle Hotel Corcovado National Park
- Hotel Casa Corcovado Jungle