Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge

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Travelzoo Staff

Why We Love It

  • Fodor's calls it "the best eco-lodge on the gulf”
  • Accessible only by boat, the lodge boasts a five-leaf sustainability rating, the highest awarded by Costa Rica’s Tourism Board
  • Snorkel with sea turtles, kayak through mangroves or hike nature trails in the surrounding rain forest, all included
  • Guests enjoy three traditional South American meals with fruits and produce from the on-site garden

"Hands down, this is the best eco-lodge on the gulf" -- Fodor's


Map & Directions

The easiest way to reach the hotel is to fly into Juan Santamaria Airport in San Jose then continue on a domestic flight to either the Golfito or Puerto Jimenez airports. Both are equal distance from the lodge, and a staff member will meet guests at either airport and provide transportation via boat to Nicuesa. The lodge cannot provide pickup for guests that arrive on flights later than 2:00 p.m. Contact the hotel directly to verify pickup times. Guests may also drive from San Jose to Golfito and park in a secure lot at the Fish Hook Marina then take a boat to the lodge. The drive takes around five hours on well maintained roads.

Rooms & Rates

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Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is an intimate eco sanctuary set on a 165-acre private nature reserve in Costa Rica’s Piedras Blancas National Park. This remote and rustic destination -- accessible only by boat -- appeals mostly to the rugged adventurer and wildlife explorer, but also to those who simply want to venture off the grid and relax for a few days.

The lodge’s focus on sustainability – composting, solar powered energy, recycled construction materials, locally produced artwork and locally grown food to name a few -- earns a five-leaf rating from Costa Rica’s Tourism Board, the highest awarded for sustainability.

Right out front sits the Golfo Dulce, a large bay surrounded by unspoiled beaches and a playground for kayaking, snorkeling and fishing with unlimited equipment for self-guided use. Out back is a rain forest paradise where nature trails, waterfalls and tropical wildlife abound. Guided activities are organized through the hotel for an extra charge with highlights like an organic chocolate farm tour, an edible landscape tour and night hikes through the jungle.

The open-air main lodge, reminiscent of an elegant tree house, is surrounded on all sides by the rain forest and outfitted with the lodge’s bar, lounge and dining area. Three meals a day (included in room rates) are served family-style around a beautiful handcrafted communal table. The emphasis is on traditional South American cuisine with local specialties -- mangoes, pineapple, starfruit, papaya and coconuts -- straight from the garden.

Accommodations are spread out over a few different structures that range from larger guest houses with multiple rooms to individual cabins. All have an airy feel with hardwood floors and beams, mosquito nets and ceiling fans. Most also include an al-fresco shower.

From the press:
  • "Hands down, this is the best eco-lodge on the gulf" -- Fodor's
  • "The wildlife and nature viewing here is fabulous" -- Frommer's



  • Bar
  • Private beach
  • Restaurant
  • No pets allowed

Services Transfer from Puerto Jimenez or Golfito to the Lodge is ncluded in the room rate.

  • 24-hour security
  • Complimentary airport transfer


  • Separate shower


  • Accessible bathroom in some rooms
  • Accessible restaurant
  • Facilities for guests with special needs

Please note: Some amenities and services may not be available in all rooms or may incur an additional charge. Please check with the hotel.


Check-in: Standard check-in time: 6am - 2pm. Minimum age required to check in: 18.

Checkout: Standard checkout time: 12pm.

Children and additional guests: Maximum per room is 2 persons in existing beds plus 1 additional person (in extra beds) or 2 Children under 12 years old. The Lodge is not recommended for children under 6 years of age.
Cribs are not available. Extra bed charges may apply. Charges will be added to your bill at the hotel.

Pets: No pets allowed.

Fees: Extra person charges will be added to your bill at the hotel and vary by season and number of guests per room to include children.  Please view rates per season:

Cancellation: Cancellation policy & booking conditions vary by 'rate plan'. These will be displayed on the payment page after you have searched for your dates and selected a rate.

Additional details:

  • Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is accessible only by boat.  Please contact the lodge at least 7 days prior to arrival to arrange transportation.
  • All reservations have a minimum stay of 2 nights.
  • The Lodge is closed from October 1 to November 15.
    • Rates are per person and include taxes, lodging, boat pick up and drop off from town of arrival and departure (Golfito/Puerto Jimenez), three fabulous meals, unlimited self guided hikes on preserve, use of kayaks, snorkeling and fishing equipment. Prepared Fruit Drinks, Carbonated and Alcoholic Drinks, Guided tours & Adventure Activities are available for an additional fee.
    • Minimum Stay: Two night minimum stay required regularly. Four night minimum stay required during Christmas/New Years.

Have a Question? Contact Travelzoo.

Customer Service available 24 hours

Rates may vary by date, are subject to availability and are not guaranteed until your purchase is complete.

The room rates listed are for double occupancy per room unless otherwise stated and exclude tax recovery charges and service fees.

It is the responsibility of the hotel chain and/or the individual property to ensure the accuracy of the photos displayed. Travelzoo is not responsible for any inaccuracies in the photos.

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Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge