Costa Rica is a popular vacation destination largely due to the country’s biodiversity. Visitors quickly fall in love with the stunning beaches, rainforests, hot springs, waterfalls and the wide variety of wildlife.
Costa Rica’s strong commitment to eco-tourism strikes a balance between protecting the country’s natural beauty and local economy and sharing it all with visitors. Restaurants support local farmers by using their ingredients, and tour operators follow guidelines that ensure visitors’ enjoyment of the wildlife and scenery doesn’t come at the expense of the plants and animals that call Costa Rica home.
One of Costa Rica’s most remote destinations is the Osa Peninsula, located in the southwestern region of the country. It’s widely considered the best place to visit for the most authentic nature and wildlife experience — but that doesn’t have to mean sacrificing comfort.
The Drake Bay Getaway Resort, an eco-luxury boutique hotel, provides lavish accommodations and a customized experience for every guest, right down to meal preferences. It also has the distinction of earning a four-star rating in the 2022 Forbes Travel Guide. Out of the hundreds of hotels in Costa Rica, fewer than 10 have earned this rating.
Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or an adventurous trip, the Osa Peninsula has a wide array of activities to fit every traveler’s preferences.
A romantic getaway or honeymoon
Yens Steller, co-owner of The Drake Bay Getaway Resort, says a favorite activity for honeymooners and couples on a romantic getaway is hiking the resort’s vast coastline. “The coastline is full of wildlife and there are many beaches along the way,” he says. It’s easy to find a spot where you’re the only two people on a beautiful beach full of wildlife such as toucans, scarlet macaws and sloths. Because the beaches in Osa Peninsula are volcanic, the sand is a unique gray color.
Couples on honeymoons or romantic vacations also enjoy the guided horseback tour organized by the resort. These four-hour tours can be customized depending on what type of nature and wildlife you want to see. Steller says that honeymooners especially enjoy the horseback tour that brings visitors to waterfalls where they can enjoy a swim.
Another popular activity is getting a couples massage at the resort. These one-hour massages can be done in your own room or balcony, so you can hear the sound of ocean waves and tropical birds as you enjoy a relaxing massage with your partner.
A family vacation
Costa Rica is also a popular vacation destination for families. Corcovado National Park is a “must visit” when you’re in the Osa Peninsula. This park is widely considered one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. The wildlife in Corcovado National Park includes all four Costa Rican monkey species, sloths, jaguars, anteaters, tapirs, snakes, peccaries and over 220 species of butterflies.
The park has a number of different hiking trails, so you can choose the hike that’s most appealing to your family. And if you have younger children with you, you can choose the least rigorous route without missing out on any of the natural beauty or wildlife that fills the park.
Snorkeling is also an excellent option for families. Just a 40-minute boat ride from Bahía Drake is Isla del Caño, an uninhabited island that’s the centerpiece of one of Costa Rica’s most important marine reserves. The only way to reach Isla del Caño is on a snorkeling or diving tour. Snorkelers can expect to see brain corals, sea plumes and fans, as well as schools of tropical fish, turtles and dolphins.
Steller says that families also love visiting the The Terraba Sierpe National Wetlands, the largest mangrove forest in Costa Rica. It’s best known for sloths, monkeys and birdlife spotting, especially water birds like herons, egrets and cormorants. And keep an eye out for crocodiles and boas in the water.
An adventure vacation
Osa Peninsula is a dream adventure vacation. In addition to snorkeling, Isla del Caño is an incredible spot for scuba divers. It’s home to the Devil’s Pinnacle, a top dive site frequented by reef sharks, manta rays and barracudas.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, Steller recommends trying the Bug Lady Night tour. Biologist Tracie Stacie (“The Bug Lady”) and her husband, Gianfranco Gómez, run one of the most fascinating tours in Drake Bay. This famed night tour gives visitors a glimpse into the world of rare, nocturnal wildlife.
Adventurers also find some thrills on dolphin and whale watching tours. During July and August, humpback whales come to these warm, calm waters to give birth and nurse their young calves. This magical sight can be witnessed on boat tours around Caño Island Biological Reserve and along the rugged coastline of Corcovado National Park. Species here include spotted dolphins, humpback whales, rough-toothed dolphins and the critically endangered Bryde’s whale. These beautiful creatures can jump from the water with incredible grace and power. It is an experience like no other.
Drake Bay Getaway Resort is an eco-luxury boutique resort with personalized hospitality for the discerning guest. Drake Bay supports a firm commitment to environmental sustainability, promoted through the ongoing education of staff, guests and the local community.