Diego de Nicuesa: Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge’s namesake

Playa Nicuesa in Costa Rica

Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge gets its name after the picturesque little cove and beach in the Pacific gulf of Golfo Dulce in southern Costa Rica where it is located. Playa means beach in Spanish; but what does Nicuesa mean?

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Costa Rica rainforest scientific program at Nicuesa Lodge.

Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge in Costa Rica

Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge in Costa Rica offers a unique and exotic destination for an exciting six-night educational program in March about the animals and plants of the rainforest.
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Nicuesa Lodge welcomes guests for Christmas with fun activities

Beach at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, Golfo Dulce

Christmas holidays are nearly here! How fun it will be to spend Christmas and New Year’s on an amazing tropical beach alongside the incredible Costa Rica rainforest. Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge welcomes guests who will be spending their Christmas vacation in Costa Rica with us. Our staff is looking forward to celebrating holiday festivities with you and we have lots of fun activities lined up.

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8 Wildlife Spotting Tips for the Costa Rica Rainforest

White-faced monkey at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge in Costa Rica

The Costa Rica rainforest is full of wonders and wildlife – you just need to know how to look. The thrill of seeing a wild animal in its natural habitat, even if only for a moment, is unparalleled.

Costa Rica hosts more than 5% of the world’s biodiversity: 208 species of mammals, 870 kinds of birds, 1,250 kinds of butterflies and 8,000 different moths, 160 species of amphibians, 220 species of reptiles, and 34,000 types of insects. You’re certain to see something! Follow these tips to increase your chances of seeing wildlife in Costa Rica.
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A tale of dreams and adventure: Beginning Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge

Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge in Costa Rica
Guests staying at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge always ask: how did the Costa Rica eco-lodge get started?

The question is a reasonable one given Nicuesa Lodge’s isolated location in southern Costa Rica. It is a wild place of dense steamy rainforest and tranquil ocean, intensely populated by thousands of species of tropical wildlife. Playa Nicuesa is a little crescent-shaped beach and small bay on the pristine Golfo Dulce – “Sweet Gulf” – a critical habitat for migrating Pacific Humpback Whales, dolphins and hammerhead sharks. The region is a giant conservation area including the world-famous Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula, the Piedras Blancas National Park and three other private reserves.

Playa Nicuesa on Golfo Dulce from the air
What keeps Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge so unique and private is that the lodge is accessible only by boat. Almost directly across the gulf from the town of Puerto Jimenez, Nicuesa Lodge’s 165-acre private preserve is backed by rugged mountains and wild jungle of the Piedras Blancas National Park. There are no roads, and there is no development.

Dolphins in Golfo Dulce
So, how did a high-end eco-lodge come to be in this pure, remote place?
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Sparkling bioluminescence in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica

Bioluminescence-on-shore

Walking along a tropical beach at night or sea kayaking after dark, especially the closer you get to the equator, often you will see sparkling lights in the water. It can seem as if the ocean is a liquid sky of blue stars. This is bioluminescence.

“Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism as the result of a chemical reaction during which chemical energy is converted to light energy,” according to Science Daily.

Bioluminescent jellyfishBioluminescence occurs in a variety of marine animal species – bacteria, plankton, fish, jellyfish, squid and crustaceans. It also exists in some fungi, microorganisms and terrestrial invertebrates – think of fireflies and glow worms. Marine life depends on their bioluminescence for finding food, attracting mates and evading predators, according to Science Journal. Sometimes thousands of square miles of ocean shine with the light of bioluminescent bacteria or plankton. For instance, in Puerto Rico, there are three famous bioluminescent bays.

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