One of the things I enjoy about living in Costa Rica is that you can travel a short distance and be in a completely different environment.

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I live and work near Playa Conchal in Guanacaste, but frequently travel outside the area on “mini-vacations”. I recently returned from a trip to the Osa Peninsula where, once again, I was amazed by the beauty and diversity Costa Rica has to offer.

Because of the difficulty in getting to the “Zona Sur” (southern zone) my wife and I decided to use Nature Air to get us to our destination. If you are a legal resident of Costa Rica, you can sometimes get special rates on flights, especially in the slower times of the year.

We flew from Tamarindo to San Jose and then onto Puerto Jimenez with a short layover in Drake Bay to pick up a few passengers. The flight into the southern zone was amazing. The skies were overcast, but just as we started to land at the airport (or basically the landing strip) at Drake Bay, we hit a clear patch and were able to see the surrounding area.

It was incredible. Very peaceful looking as there was basically nothing around and then just before touch down, we looked below and there were some people fishing near the river mouth looking up, smiling and waving. It was really a pleasant moment. It was a short drop off and pick up of some passengers and then it was off to Puerto Jimenez.

We arrived in Puerto Jimenez and were ready to begin our mini-vacation. We had left Tamarindo at 7:30am and with changing planes and a couple stops, we arrived at 12:30pm in Puerto Jimenez. It was roughly four hours later and I was already there. Flying was definitely the way to go, or at least it was for me. With our resident discount it was $150 round trip. Not too bad if you figure in the amount of time and gas it would have taken to drive (about 10 to 13 hour trip via land).

At the airport, a representative from the lodge we were staying met us to take us to the property. It was still an hour ride. Our driver “Burrito” loaded up the Defender and we were on our way. Crossing several small rivers and kilometers of muddy, pot holed roads. I again was thinking what a great decision it was to fly.

We finally arrived at “El Remanso Lodge“. This Rainforest and wildlife lodge is a low density hotel with only 12 rooms on the entire property. El Remanso is ‘off the grid’, so they produce their own electricity with solar and hydroelectric. There is no phone, no TV and limited use of satellite internet in the lobby. You come here to relax and leave everything else behind. The rooms are rustic luxury, but have no A/C but do have fans. Surprisingly, we never felt hot with the lack of A/C.

Our room was perched about 200 feet above the ocean, so we always had a good breeze. The manager, Cindy, who was a fantastic host for our entire visit, immediately greeted us and gave us a short tour as she led us to the restaurant where we were served lunch and given the lowdown on everything located on the grounds.

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They have over 185 acres of privately owned land that includes primary and secondary rainforest. There are several hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty and a couple that lead down to one of the most amazing beaches I’ve seen here in Costa Rica. The surf was rough and not the typical calm waters of Conchal, but still a pristine beach.

There were lagoons and tide pools that were close by to when we got hot and needed to cool off. Another trail, just off the beach, leads you to a spectacular 80-foot waterfall. We saw one person the entire time we were on the beach and nothing was built along the shores. The only things there were the ocean and rainforest.

At the lodge you can choose to do several activities or nothing at all. We did several hikes, including a full day hike in the Corcovado National Park. This was an eight-hour hike that began in the small town of Carate with a 45-minute hike down the beach just to get to the ranger station where you register and pay to enter (again residents get a discount, we paid 1,500 colones and the British family hiking with us paid $10). This turned out to be a great hike and along the beach there were countless Scarlett Macaws that either flew by or, were sitting chattering in the trees.

We were able to see four species of monkey–the Howler, Cappuchin (white faced), Spider and Squirrel. Just before lunch, we had the best sighting of the day, a Puma. I couldn’t have asked for a better view as it crossed directly in front of our path about 10 yards away. The guide told us how lucky that was because he had not seen one in about a year. He did say that fortunately, they are becoming more common though. What a great day it was.

Besides hiking we also surfed at a place called Playa Sombrero. We had great waves and there was only one other person in the water. Incredible, compared to the busier beaches in our home area. Other than that, we did a lot of nothing, my favorite activity of the trip!

Our short trip had to end and we flew back after a four-day stay. The entire experience was fantastic. We were on the plane to San Jose with other tourists who were ending their trip to Costa Rica and headed back to their home countries and I was landing in Tamarindo in a few hours and headed to the office. Even though I had to work, I still felt that I was the lucky one.

Now it’s time to start planning the next adventure.

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Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula – Incredible beauty and diversity.

Article/Property ID Number 2707

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