Remote Splendor: Costa Rica's Nature Lodges

The narrow span of land that is Costa Rica allows for the following indulgence: Begin with a sunrise stroll along the white-sands of the Caribbean, then let the day turn to night while dining on fresh seafood on the Pacific coast. Not so interested in the shores? Those looking for more than aquatic distractions find that the country's lush, vibrant heart provides a truer sanctuary. Indeed, Costa Rica practically founded the notion of ecotourism and, to date, has more of its land under conservation protection than any other nation in the world. The country's remote nature and adventure lodges provide the perfect window into this world, offering numerous options for exploration, wildlife-watching, and the simple, passive joy of near-Edenic awe.
Glide through the rainforest canopy by traveling on a series of zip wires. Spot the quetzal, a pigeon-sized bird with iridescent green plumage and the Holy Grail for all Costa Rican birders, from high up in a giant Guapinol tree. Rappel down to the base of a hidden waterfall and relax in a natural hot spring, then return to the quiet of your room, minutes from the jungle and miles from the nearest tourist-infested hotel.
There are loads of adventure and nature lodges throughout Costa Rica—almost all eco-sensitive, each with a different glimpse into the country's heartland. During the summer and early fall, guests at Tortuga Lodge can observe female green sea turtles laying eggs on Tortuguero Beach. Selva Bananito Lodge, nestled on the eastern slope of Cerro Muchilla, runs outings for sunrise hikes, tree climbing, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Corcovado Lodge Tent Camp, located near Corcovado Lagoon in what's described as the Amazon of Costa Rica, offers guests the unique opportunity to camp in the rainforest, while Monteverde Lodge in the evocatively named Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve will let you explore the misty rainforest from the top down via an elaborate network of zip lines, suspension bridges, and tree platforms. Most lodges are located throughout the country's national parks, reserves, and conservation areas and each cater to different interests. Consider what you'd like to participate in—hiking, mountain biking, volcanic exploration, animal conservation practices, the daily routine of jungle life—then find the lodge for you.

Published: 18 Jun 2002 | Last Updated: 14 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

Best Hotels in Costa Rica

$96
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Volcano Lodge and Springs
$193
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Costa Rica Marriott Hotel San Jose
$408-$434
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The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal
$128-$171
Average/night*
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Pumilio Mountain and Ocean Hotel

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