Whether relaxing on a hammock in the middle of a breathtaking rainforest tickles your fancy or you're looking for an adventurous honeymoon, the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica offers a collection of unforgettable eco-tourism destinations. Eco lodges place travelers in the midst of diverse surroundings and wildlife, including lowland rainforest creatures and heavenly ocean beaches. Take the time to learn about the Costa Rica greenery or lose yourself in pampered visits to unique spas – all with low environmental impact.
The Osa Peninsula
One of the best places to experience biological diversity is at the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica, where more than 700 species of trees, 365 species of birds, 117 species of reptiles, and nearly 10,000 species of insects congregate in one harmonious setting. Stretching 100,000 acres, the Corcovado National Park is another highlight of this eco-tourism destination, where parrots, toucans and macaws take to flight. Tropical fruits and flowers blossom around every corner. It's the perfect place to catch sight of nature at its finest, including visions of jungle cats, monkeys, kinkajous and other delightful creatures.
Planning a trip to an eco lodge in Costa Rica means embracing travel that takes into consideration carbon footprints and their impact on the environment. The Responsible Travel website books trips to an Osa Peninsula Eco Lodge that uses sustainable practices in its construction, such as open-air designs that take full advantage of natural ventilation and light. Wood used comes from fallen trees in the vicinity. The lodge uses no public electricity, water or cellular service. They also run off a "100% robust solar power system" with a backup diesel generator. Other features of eco lodges in Costa Rica may include energy efficient bulbs, low wattage refrigerators, recycling policies, biodegradable non-bleach soaps, natural cleaners, solar power systems, and Energy-Star appliances.
Things to Do
Depending on the Costa Rican eco lodge you choose, expect a satisfying blend of free and paid activities, including cultural tours of local homes, bird watching, swimming, hiking, diving adventures, and mountain bike rentals. Other things to do at an eco-tourism trip to Costa Rica includes:
* Become one with nature, as you investigate rainforest trails and explore the wild Pacific coast – complete with mesmerizing tide pools, waterfalls, and calming sandy gulf beaches. Tour a cultural organic fruit farm. At the Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge, arrange a botanical gardens tour of Casa Orquideas, found in the Golfo Dulce region – accessible by a 20-minute boat ride.
* Get pampered with Chinese reflexology, Tibetan massage techniques, hot stone massages, and coconut body scrubs. Some luxury eco lodges provide spa treatments for their guests, such as the Luna Spa at the Luna Lodge.
* Active pursuits may include a variety of water and jungle activities, such as surfing, kayaking, boating, waterfall rappelling, ziplines, tree climbing, and deep-sea fishing. Take a horseback ride through the jungle. Fish in the mangroves with a resident professional. Enjoy a dolphin and whale watching tour at Drake Bay. For the highly adventurous, the Lapa Rios Ecolodge offers a Jungle Overnight, where you camp out in the middle of the rainforest. After an early dinner and hike, take in the natural scenery and explore the Lapa Rios Reserve for an once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
By Yona Williams