Discover the secluded tropical beaches of southern Costa Rica

Dolphin mother and baby playing in Golfo DulceOur location in the southern Pacific region of Costa Rica on the “Sweet Gulf” of Golfo Dulce by the Osa Peninsula is full of secluded beaches and amazing biodiversity.

Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge recently received the Ecological Blue Flag Award for the fifth time for Playa Nicuesa being one of Costa Rica’s cleanest beaches. The area is a perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure-seekers. In our tropical rainforest Squirrel Monkeys in southern Costa Ricayou can find all four species of monkeyswhite-faced Capuchin, spider, howler and the endangered squirrel monkey, Scarlet Macaws, toucans, coatis, wild pigs, exotic snakes, ocelots and jaguars, to name a few. Golfo Dulce is a critical habitat for migrating Pacific Humpback Whales, dolphins and sea turtles.

Besides our Playa Nicuesa, nearby there are 4 tropical Costa Rica beaches that you don’t want to miss when visiting Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge.

Casa Orquideas Botanical Garden, Golfo Dulce, Costa  RicaPlaya San Josecito

Just around a small rocky point from Playa Nicuesa, to the south, is Playa San Josecito – a long crescent-shaped dark sand beach that steeply drops into the water. At the west end of the beach is Casa Orquideas Botanical Garden, a beautifully landscaped private tropical garden with hundreds of species of ornamental and edible plants that have been collected and cared for by Ron and Trudy MacAllister, who have lived in this remote region since the 1970s. Best features: taking a guided tour of Casa Orquideas Botanical Garden; fishing by kayak just offshore.

Playa Cativo

This pretty little beach is within the Piedras Blancas National Park up in the inner gulf. Playa Cativo also won the Costa Rica Ecological Blue Flag Award for 2014. When the tide is low, there is dark sand beach; when the water is high, you only have the manicured green lawns of Playa Cativo Lodge. Best features: snorkeling at coral reefs nearby; spotting Humpback Whales during whale-watching season.

Playa Cana Blanca, Golfo Dulce, Costa RicaPlaya Cana Blanca

Home to the Osa Wildlife Sanctuary, which rescues and rehabilitates orphaned and injured wild animals, Playa Cana Blanca is also contiguous with Piedras Blancas National Park. This is one of the few completely sandy beaches in Golfo Dulce, and it is gorgeous. Take a tour of the sanctuary and you’ll meet a wide variety of animals, from spider monkeys and white-faced monkeys to sloths, kinkajous, tayras, ocelots, anteaters and Scarlet Macaws. Best features: meeting the animals at Osa Wildlife Sanctuary and learning about their work; relaxing on the beautiful beach.

Beach at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge in Costa Rica

Playa Balina

This little-known dark sand beach is located in the inner Golfo Dulce, and is best known for snorkeling.

About Playa Nicuesa

The beach at Playa Nicuesa is mostly small pebbles with dark sand, fringed by palm and coastal almond trees – usually full of wild Scarlet Macaws. Our beautiful wooden yoga deck fronts the beach and magnificent Golfo Dulce. When you are here, be sure to try our adventure and nature tours in the rainforest and around Golfo Dulce. Best features: crystal clear water that changes color from bright blue to jade green; jumping off the Nicuesa Lodge dock into cool water; and watching dolphins swim past shore.

Article by Shannon Farley

Waterfall hike- The Monkeys were on the Monkey Trail

Coming back from the waterfall, walking down the Monkey trail we heard a big noise and the tree branches breaking. We stopped completely and stood quiet paying attention to the forest to realize that it was the jungle mafia, yes the White Face Capuchin Monkeys giving us a warning: “HEY YOU GUYS! This is our territory”.

 Mike and Lisa were captivated by the scout of the group and the troop behavior. These are the smartest monkeys in the Tropical Rainforest, they are opportunists (they eat everything) and they can live up to 45 years. Capuchin Monkeys travel in packs from 6 to 8 males and as Mark and Lisa witness it, they fight to protect their territory.  
Guide: Freiman