Want a different kind of adventure? Something the kids will talk about for years to come? Want to unplug from today’s hectic world? I mean, really unplug? Then head to the southern-most region of Costa Rica, all the way south to the Golfo Dulce and the Osa Peninsula. Our destination? The Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, nestled on the shores of the Golfo Dulce, it’s backyard an honest-to-goodness jungle.
So power down those cell phones and tablets. Leave those laptops and handheld gaming systems behind. You won’t need them at Playa Nicuesa, because you are going off the power grid! And that’s just the start of what will be a most unique and fun vacation.
Seven Reasons For a Playa Nicuesa Jungle Adventure
Are you getting the feeling that this isn’t your ordinary family vacation? Great! Because it’s not. This is one vacation that will take you and your family “off the grid” in so many ways. So grab the kids and let’s begin our adventure, shall we? Here’s seven reasons why you might want to consider your own jungle adventure.
1. Yes, You Really Are In the Middle of a Jungle!
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge isn’t your ordinary resort. It’s an ecolodge, built to sustain itself off the land, including it’s power source. Yes, that’ right. Playa Nicuesa is off the power grid. What!? No power, you ask? Well, not exactly. Playa Nicuesa is solar powered so yes, there is power. But you won’t find any electrical outlets to charge your menagerie of electrical gadgets! Remember my suggestion to leave your electronics behind?
But don’t worry, you won’t be lost without them. Really! As soon as you are immersed in your surroundings, you’ll quickly forget all about those electronics. Unless it’s to take a photo or two. So go on, step out outside. Gaze into the jungle, so close you can reach out and touch it. Because you can!
Note: You may not have outlets in your rooms and your cell phones won’t find a signal, but your Playa Nicuesa hosts can contact “the outside world” if need be. So yes, you really can unplug here.
2. Witness The Jungle Come Alive
Get ready for a true jungle experience. Open your eyes and ears to the wild and wonderful jungle surrounding Playa Nicuesa. Who knows what you might see or hear? Screeching spider monkeys scurrying across the treetop canopy. The call of a scarlet macaw. We saw and heard both. A family of monkeys flew through the jungle right above our cabin. That scarlet macaw? He kept an eye on my yoga class!
Take a night hike. Explore the jungle under the cover of darkness, when a whole different group of critters comes alive. You never know what critters you might bump into at night. From creepy crawlies to winged critters, perhaps tiny night frogs hopping across the jungle floor, all looking for a midnight snack. Thankfully we’re not the snack!
Cockroaches, centipedes, and crabs oh my! Snakes, lizards and spiders too. We saw them all. Don’t worry, though. Your guide will find the critters. And you don’t have to pick the critters up if you don’t want to. Your guide will do that too. Or perhaps your kids will, as mine did! With the guide’s approval, of course.
3. Explore Jungle Trails Teeming With Life
Walk the trails surrounding Playa Nicuesa. Be enchanted by amazing jungle flora and fauna at every turn you take, every path you cross. Spend an afternoon exploring paradise while scarlet macaws play overhead, butterflies flit by, and orchids grow wild along the trails.
Explore further with a morning hike to a jungle waterfall in the Piedras Blancas National Park. Don’t forget to wear your swimsuit! Nothing’s more refreshing than a cool dip after hiking through the steamy jungle.
Be on the watch for signs of wildlife along the trail. Look up. Look down. Look all around. Who knows what you’ll see in the trees above. Perhaps it’s a family of bats, peeking out from their tree-top home. Or a beautiful bird, like none you’ve ever seen before. Maybe it’s a butterfly sipping nectar. Jungle life is all around you.
Just watch out for those toucans! According to our guide, they may be beautiful to look at, but they can be aggressive. So don’t taunt them. Actually, don’t taunt any of the creatures. Remember, this is their home, not yours.
4. Kayak A Jungle River
Kayak down a jungle river right out into the Golfo Ducle. So serene. So quiet. It’s as if you are the only ones on the river. And you might just be! The odds are it’ll just be you, your guide, and a few river critters enjoying a gorgeous float down the river. Watch the shoreline closely. You might see tiny crabs skittering past, birds flying overhead, perhaps a dolphin at the mouth of the Golfo Dulce.
Be sure to look closely when kayaking underneath the trees. Listen for exotic birds as they call to their mates. You might even get lucky and see an anaconda just “hanging out.” Hopefully he’s all wrapped up and sound asleep!
5. Catch Tonight’s Dinner Fresh From the Sea!
It’s time to catch us some dinner! Make time for a late afternoon deep sea fishing expedition with a local guide. These Playa Nicuesa guides know exactly where the fish are biting so it won’t be long before you’ve snagged your own meal. Looks like red snapper and tuna’s on the menu tonight!
Nothing like a fresh catch to complete the dinner menu. Ok, you don’t really have to catch your own dinners here. The Playa Nicuesa chefs are amazing! Nobody went hungry, and our boys discovered new foods that I don’t think they would have tried at home. But if you do happen to catch your own dinner, the chefs are more than happy to cook it up for your evening meal. Yum! That’s how my boys discovered they liked fish.
6. Experience a Spectacular Wild Dolphin Show
Take a sight-seeing cruise around the Golfo Dulce. You just don’t know what might happen along the way. You may even find yourself in the midst of a 100+ dolphin pod, enthralled by their antics. Enchanted by their beauty.
Our particular dolphin experience? An impromptu wild dolphin show. Nearly an hour of jumps, spins and dives right before our eyes. Wow! That was one of the most incredible experiences of my life!
7. Marvel at An Incredible Sunset
Unwind from the day’s adventures by relaxing, fishing off the dock, or reading a book in a hammock. Wherever your evening finds you, slow down to catch one of the most spectacular sunsets around. No city lights to dull this amazing light show.
As the sun also set on our own fabulous family adventure, we were left to wonder, would we do it all over? Absolutely! Each and every adventure! Well, ok, I might skip out on that hike to meet the creatures of the night. Naw, I’d do that again too!
Getting To Playa Nicuesa Is Half the Fun!
Have you heard the saying, It’s about the journey, not the destination? Well, with Playa Nicueasa, it’s about both! Because it sure is a journey getting to Playa Nicuesa. But it is a journey well worth the effort. To start with, there are no roads that lead to Playa Nicuesa. Don’t let that discourage you, though. Remember – it’s about the journey as much as the destination.
So how does one get to Playa Nicuesa? By boat! Head on down to the docks of either Golfito or Puerto Jimenez, where the Playa Nicuesa “coach” will be waiting. Huh? That’s right – your “coach” is a boat! So sit on back for the thirty minute boat ride along the Golfo Dulce, and let the adventure begin. It’ll be worth it.
Check out Frequently Asked Questions for answers to more of your Playa Nicuesa questions.
Lights’ Out On a Magnificent Family Adventure
Sadly, our five day adventure at Playa Nicuesa has come to an end. Though our adventure has ended, our love for jungles has just begun. And we all agree – we’d go back to the Osa Peninsula in a heart beat! Can’t wait for our return to the Osa Peninsula.
Have you been to the Osa Peninsula? Have you taken a similar “off the power grid” vacation? Are you inspired to go on your own “off the grid” adventure? Let us know in the Comments section below.
Images from Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge (Logo, Map, and last lodge image) and C.Biederman (all others).