The Best Places to Stay on the Osa Peninsula
Many people wonder if the Osa Peninsula is the right choice for them, and it’s totally fine if it’s not. The Osa Peninsula is remote and wild and definitely not for everyone.
But those who love wilderness areas and rainforests rave about the Osa. Many go back year after year for an experience they'll be hard pressed to find anywhere else in Costa Rica.
So, what is it about this place? What draws people to the Osa Peninsula? In short, the Osa attracts nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, hikers, and those unafraid of getting wet, sweaty, or coming face to face with all manner of creepy crawlies and larger animals.
The Osa attracts people getting to grips with their inner Indiana Jones'. It's a place for explorers.
Are you ready to explore the Osa Peninsula?
Is the Osa Peninsula the right choice for me?
Being prepared to explore the rugged Osa Peninsula, however, doesn't mean you have to sleep rough or forgo many of the perks of luxury travel.
While most eco-lodges on the Osa pride themselves on their environmental efforts, they don't skimp on the amenities to keep their guests exploring in style.
Just know, though that you'll go without a few things while staying in the Osa, things you'll most likely end up not missing at all.
TVs for example. It's rare to find an eco lodge with TVs in the guest rooms. Most of these hotels generate their own electricity and TVs are a waste. And why would you need a TV when you can tune in to the sights and sounds of the rainforest?
A/C is another example. Many places won't have A/C to help preserve power. The best eco lodges are built in a way that harnesses natural breezes to ensure A/C isn't needed anyway.
If you're okay with details like this and know that staying in the Osa is as far removed from typical resort-like vacation time as it's possible to be, then you might be a candidate for a truly life changing experience in the deep rainforests of this remote peninsula.
The Osa Peninsula is really two different communities, separated by the vast primary rainforests of the Corcovado National Park.
In the north, there's the area around the community of Drake Bay while the southern part of the peninsula is home to the main town of Puerto Jimenez. Outside of Puerto Jimenez, heading toward Cabo Matapalo, you'll find many eco lodges primed to help you explore this area.
There are no roads between Drake Bay and the southern Peninsula - just vast swathes of protected rainforest. Whichever side you stay on, you'll experience the true wilderness of this area.
Hotels in the Drake Bay Area
The best hotel options in the Drake Bay area are perfect for observing nature and wildlife, and participating in numerous rainforest and marine activities.
Copa de Arbol
Anyone looking for a slightly more luxurious arrangement (like A/C in their rooms) will prefer the Indonesian-style cabins and genuinely friendly and helpful staff at Copa de Arbol.
Part of the fun is that Copa de Arbol is only reachable by boat from Drake Bay—what a great way to start your jungle adventure off right! It's a truly remote eco lodge in the jungle.
Aguila de Osa
Aguila de Osa offers a more authentic Costa Rican-style lodging. It has natural wood furnishings and basic amenities. It stands out because the suites overlook the stunning bay from the cliffside. WiFi is available, but TV and air conditioning are not. All meals are provided at this hotel. There are also complimentary kayaks and hiking trails for guests to enjoy.
Hotels in the Southern Osa
Below are some of our favorite eco-lodges in the southern Osa Peninsula.
Lapa Rios is an excellent option when visiting the Osa Peninsula. This award-winning hotel is one of the best eco lodges in the world.
The lodge features open-sided, thatched-roof bungalows overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It offers complete immersion with unfiltered nature. You will enjoy outdoor showers, patio gardens, the sound of the ocean from your hammock, and an endless array of wildlife.
Stays here include many on-site tours, filling your days with great activities. Nine tours are available, including early-morning birdwatching, a night walk tour, a sunset tour, and a sustainability tour. Ask about transplanting a seedling for reforestation purposes.
The lodge provides boots and walking sticks to make your adventurous hikes more comfortable. Meals and snacks made from locally sourced ingredients are included. Many like to take binoculars to the bar and admire the creatures that pass by, including sloths, toucans, and monkeys.
What can I do on the Osa Peninsula?
The Corcovado National Park, a dream destination for nature enthusiasts, is the biggest attraction on the Osa Peninsula. In fact, it's Costa Rica's biggest and wildest national park altogether.
You can enter the park from two sides, Drake Bay in the north and Carate, near Puerto Jimenez, in the south. To hike the park, you need a guide - it's prohibited to enter the park alone without someone to show you around. Most hotels offer Corcovado hikes as part of their packages when staying.
Another attraction in the Osa Peninsula is Caño Island (Isla de Caño), a suburb diving and snorkeling center off the north coast of the peninsula, near Drake Bay. This is one of Costa Rica's prime diving and whale watching spots.
Travelers staying in the south of the Peninsula also have access to the town of Puerto Jimenez, and the delights of the Golfo Dulce for dolphin watching and exploration. The bottom tip of the Osa, around Cabo Matapalo is known as a solid surfing area.
Is the Osa Peninsula worth visiting?
It’s remote and takes a while to get there, so it’s not for everyone. It is worth it, however, for those who appreciate nature and true wilderness.
Many places in Costa Rica offer rainforest views from hotel windows, but the Osa offers the real deal - deep rainforest exploration and the chance to see some amazing wildlife.
Where should I stay on the Osa Peninsula?
We have three favorites in on the peninsula: Lapa Rios is for those who want an array of on-site tours while experiencing a world-renowned eco lodge.
Aguila de Osa offers stunning ocean views and access to Isla de Caño. also complimentary kayaks. Copa de Arbol is the most luxurious of the three options.
What is the Osa Peninsula known for?
The Osa Peninsula is famous for its wild remoteness and pristine rainforests protected by the Corcovado National Park, home of big cats and tapirs.
Is the Osa Peninsula safe?
Crime-wise, the Osa is safe. There aren't many people down here. Don't hike alone and get yourself lost. And watch out for rip currents in the ocean. You're a long, long way away from any lifeguards in this remote part of the world.