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Lapa Ríos

Type of destination:

  • Beach / ocean
  • City
  • Farm / ranch / rural
  • Forest / rainforest

Type of accommodation:

  • Hotel / inn

Rates: (in US dollars)

$150 and up


Lapa Rios is located on the Osa Peninsula in southwestern Costa Rica. The Peninsula contains the finest example of lowland tropical rainforest in Central America. It is estimated that at least 50% of Costa Rica's species are found in the area. Various species of monkeys, tropical birds, and large mammals including tapirs (Tapirus bairdii) and jaguars (Panthera onca) all call the Osa Peninsula their home. Lapa Rios is also located in a corridor of Corcovado National Park, home to a great number of endemic species and many representatives of South American species found nowhere else in Central America. The area also includes important marine resources, notably the Golfo Dulce, one of only four fjords in the tropics worldwide. Recently, observers have discovered that the Golfo Dulce is a calving area for both northern and southern Pacific populations of humpback whales, a circumstance unknown anywhere else. The Sierpe-Terraba wetland, located to the north of the Peninsula, is among the largest mangrove forests on the Pacific coast of Central America, and has been designated as a Ramsar site for the protection of aquatic birds.


16 bungalows.


  • Hot water
  • Laundry service
  • Pool
  • Private bathroom
  • Restaurant
  • Wheelchair accessible


  • Bird watching
  • Canopy exploration
  • Eco / nature / wildlife
  • Educational / research / volunteering
  • Fishing
  • Guided tours
  • Horseback riding
  • Visits to conservation projects
  • Walking / hiking

Making a Difference

Number of employees: 60

Percentage of local employees: 95%

By staying at Lapa Rios, guests support the conservation of the rainforest and provide direct employment and income to more than 50 families in the area. Lapa Rios also protects and preserves 1,000 acres of primary and secondary rainforest in the Lapa Rios private reserve in perpetuity; integrates and assists the local community through basic education and job training; maintains a commitment to sustainable hospitality design and practice; educates guests about conservation and preservation and about the rainforest and the local culture; fosters primary education among local children through the Carbonera School Foundation; creates an intimate experience that emphasizes environmental and intercultural education for guests, employees, and the surrounding community; and utilizes tourism to acquire and protect endangered rain forest.

Visit our Web site to learn more about our ccommitment to sustainability.

Lapa Rios participates in the Pack for a Purpose program, where guests can bring school supplies, medical supplies, and other small items from home to donate to the local community. Guests simply drop off their donation at the hotel's front desk, and the hotel will deliver it for them.


$150 and up

For more information about rates, please visit:

Getting There

Nearest international airport: San José (SJO)

Nearest local/national airport: Puerto Jiménez (PJM)

Travel time to nearest airport: 45 minutes

Flying: 98% of the people who visit Lapa Rios fly on domestic daily scheduled air. It is relatively inexpensive and the flight is only about 40 to 50 minutes long. The airstrip is in Puerto Jiménez right next to the Lapa Rios office and from there you will travel in our 4X4 Lapa Rios safari truck for 45 minutes to get to the hotel.

There are two local airlines offering domestic service to Puerto Jimenez from San Jose: Nature Air and Sansa. Sansa flights leave from a terminal next to the international airport and Nature Air flights leave from the other airport closer to San Jose in Pavas.

Driving: During the Green Season, May to December, 4-wheel drive is recommended. From San José, take the Inter-American (Pan Am) Highway (Ruta 2) to San Isidro de General (2-3.5 hours). An interesting rest stop for refreshments is at Ojo de Agua (Km # 76, 1-1.5 hours). Continue through Buenos Aires (1-1.5 hours) to Palmar Norte (1-1.5 hours). Thirty-three kilometers past Palmar Norte, take a right turn at Chacarita. At Chacarita, you will see a service station by the name of "Corcovado". The right turn to Puerto Jiménez is directly after the service station. On this paved road, you will drive 44 km to Rincon where the pavement ends. 33 more kms will take you through La Palma and eventually on to Puerto Jiménez (1-2 hrs). When in Puerto Jiménez, please check-in at the office. We are located on the corner of the town cemetary and the landing strip. Ask anyone in town where the Lapa Rios office is. Office staff will give you directions to Lapa Rios (another 3/4-1 hr).

An alternative route driving from San José is after San Isidro, turn toward the Pacific toward Dominical (3/4-1 hour) and then follow the coast road south to Palmar Norte. This route is shorter and faster. Approximate travel time: 7-10 hours depending on stops, sightseeing, weather, and road conditions.

Additional Information

Awards or Recognitions

  • Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) program – 5 Leaf Award Winner.
  • Travel + Leisure – Lapa Ríos Among the world’s best 500 hotels.
  • Condé Nast Traveler – Gold List 2011.
  • National Geographic – Adventure's Top 50 Ecolodges in 2009.
  • Fodor’s Choice 2009, 2010 and 2011.
  • Forbes Traveler – One of the Most Terrific Views, 2009.
  • Winner of the Rainforest Alliance’s 2007 Sustainable Standard-Setters award. View photo.

Additional Web sites

Date This Information Was Provided

June 2011.

Photos courtesy of Lapa Ríos, Costa Rica, for

Contact Information

Karen Lewis
Owner / Founder

Puerto Jiménez
Costa Rica

Tel: +506/2735-5130 ; +506/2735-5281
Fax: +506/2735-5179



Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST)

Sustainability level: 5 leaves

Date: September, 2011



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