Sleeping with the Toucans: 100 Great Places to Stay in Costa Rica
By Chris Fields and Alison Tinsley
You may think it’s nothing but fun flitting from place to place, staying in luxury hotels, eating, fabulous meals, bathing in limpid pools under cascading waterfalls and being wakened in the mornings by wandering troops of howler monkeys. You’d actually be right. But every now and then the constant on-the-go gets a little tiring and a girl just needs a good massage. Bosque del Cabo was clearly the place to get it. From the moment we pulled up the long, tree-lined driveway and saw the spacious lawns spreading out around the thatch-roof lodge I thought, Aaaahhh, I’m going to like it here. I sought out Jutta, the resident massage therapist, and she led me back into the jungle about 200 meters beyond the swimming pool to a small grove surrounded by huge trees. It was perfectly silent except for the sound of wind rustling the leaves and birds singing. Jutta told me that one day an ocelot emerged from the trees and padded by when she was giving a massage. I lay on my back on her table, gazed up into the lush green canopy, and surrendered myself to pure bliss.
The massage renewed me enough to join Chris on a hike down one of Bosque del Cabo’s trails, across a small river (there’s a waterfall further downstream) and up through primary rain forest, then back to our room by the tropical garden and the frog pond. As well as trails through the jungle, you can walk to the Pacific coast (only accessible during low tide) and to the Golfo Dulce where you can swim at one of several beaches and then arrange for the folks at Bosque del Cabo to pick you up. Bird-watching in the garden or from the lodge is fabulous and all types of jungle animals, even large cats like pumas, have been spotted in the 600+ acre forest reserve.
Eleven thatched-roofed, screened bungalows are situated in the gardens around the lodge, each with a private deck overlooking the ocean and a modern bathroom with an outdoor shower. The furniture is simple bamboo, elegant in its classic design. A ten-minute walk from the lodge, across a long suspension-bridge, the two open-air garden rooms are smaller and less luxurious (and less expensive), but tucked into the jungle in a way that makes you feel like you’re on safari. If you’re traveling with friends or family, you might prefer one of the three houses, two with ocean views, that Bosque also offers.
All meals are served in the main lodge (which made walking across the suspension bridge to our room after dinner a real adventure) and are simple but well-prepared. Before dinner, guests gather at the poolside bar to compare their day’s activities. Dinner is served family-style and lunch can be a picnic prepared ahead of time for taking with you. Despite its proximity to the jungle, Bosque del Cabo feels country estate-like in its garden setting 500 meters above the ocean. It’s the perfect place to renew yourself.