Spot a sloth. A humpback whale. Enjoy an empty, pristine beach then sit down to fine dining.

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I know you want to see a sloth. Everybody does, they’re kind of a having a moment. You know where you can find them? The Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. Not only that, you’ll also be able to see macaws, tapirs and monkeys. According to National Geographic the Osa Peninsula is “the most biologically intense place on Earth.”

I guess you’re going to have to take a trip.

Once you’ve made it to the peninsula, you’ll find loads of interesting things to do, but don’t get off task. Your first order of business is to find the sloths. Stay focused, and make your way to the small town called Drake Bay, located on the northern side of the Osa Peninsula. From there, you can take a boat ride through the Terraba-Sierpe Mangrove Forest to explore the calm waters and the sloth-laden trees. With a little luck, you may even spot a Jesus Christ lizard that literally walks on water.

When you’re done there, head over to the world famous Corcovado National Park. With 24 miles of beaches and 13 ecosystems, the park is chock-full of creatures. You’re likely to see tapirs, anteaters, monkeys, macaws, and even peccaries. Don’t know what a tapir is? I bet you will by the time you leave the Osa Peninsula.

Isla del Cano, a marine biology reserve about 12 miles off the shore of the Osa Peninsula, should be your next destination. The warm water that surrounds the island is some of the bluest in the country and you can expect to see sea turtles, dolphins, stingrays, manta rays, eels, barracudas, tuna, and even sharks (we’re not making this stuff up).

Furthermore, these waters are where the northern and southern humpback whales meet to give birth every year. Time your visit right and you could witness a life-changing event.

But visiting Costa Rica isn’t only about identifying mystery creatures that may hang from trees, leap from the water, or walk right across its surface. It’s also about relaxing on pristine beaches. Yens Jimenez-Steller, who owns the Drake Bay Getaway Boutique Resort with his husband, Patrick Ludwig, says his favorite thing to do is walk the peninsula’s coastline.

“Most of the people who come here are hikers,” Jimenez-Steller says. “If you decide to take a walk along our coastline, it’s a shaded path for the most part, you’ll pass beach after beach without anybody around. Since Drake Bay is a small town, you can find a beach and see nothing but the ocean and nature around you.”

After all that walking, you’re going to be hungry. In a place with this much biodiversity, there are bound to be some tropical and delicious treats. Be sure to sample the local tropical fruits – passionfruit, mangos, pineapple, bananas, Costa Rica’s cas, guayaba and guanabana. You don’t even need to know what they are. It’s not going to bite you back; it’s just fruit. Close your eyes and let your mouth decide how you feel about it.

(Drake Bay Getaway Resort)
(Drake Bay Getaway Resort)

Serving fresh and locally sourced meals customized to each guest’s dietary restrictions and preferences is a source of pride for Jimenez-Steller, who grew up on the Osa Peninsula and spent 15 years in Seattle studying at the University of Washington and working in tech before returning to build the resort in 2013.

“Right in our bay is one of the best spots for fishing, we have tuna, mahi-mahi, and red snapper, fresh almost every day,” he says. “We love to serve sashimi and poke, Costa Rican grass-fed beef, and several root vegetables that people have never heard of.”

Tiquisque? Malanga? Nampi? Who knows! Every day will be a new and delicious surprise.

So, take a trip down to the Osa Peninsula this winter. Maybe you’ll learn the ways of the sloth and slow yourself down. Maybe you’ll even come home inspired to make a few changes. Maybe you’ll decide to open your own resort in an exotic land. It could be the right thing for you, but like your sloth friend would say, take it slow and enjoy the journey.

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.