Getting back to nature at Bosque del Cabo
Imagine waking up surrounded by lush tropical foliage, awakened by the sounds of the ocean. Trees heavy with exotic fruit provide you breakfast as the forest around you begins to wake up. Rainbow hued birds respond to the day’s first sunlight with their songs shortly followed by the unmistakable roar of a howler monkey. Creatures of the four-legged variety begin to stir and slowly the jungle around you comes to life. Is this Eden? No my friends, this is Bosque del Cabo.
Located on the southern tip of Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula, Bosque del Cabo is one of Central America’s premier nature lodges. Set upon a cliff 500 feet over the Pacific Ocean, Bosque del Cabo is surrounded by over 800 acres of lush secondary rainforest just begging to be explored. Owners Phil and Kim Spier have been running Bosque del Cabo for nearly 25 years with an eye toward sustainable tourism and a commitment to preserving this incredibly diverse ecosystem and supporting the local community.
My home for several days was the Congo, one of the deluxe thatched roof cabinas. Our cabina was appointed with a plush bed draped with mosquito netting (which is more decorative since the cross breezes on Bosque’s perch high above the Pacific leaves the lodge practically mosquito free) and a gorgeous outdoor shower; both of which are positioned to take in the spectacular ocean views. With the beautiful surroundings there is no need for a TV here and with the lodge generating its own electricity (much of it from solar power) its best to leave your hair dryer and other appliances at home. There is also no cell service here; Bosque invites you to unplug, unwind, and connect with nature.
Then I turned around and saw this.
This view, combined with the gentle lull of the ocean and the sounds of the rainforest has the power to melt any stress you may have in 3 seconds flat. Seriously, I could have done nothing but sit in those chairs for 3 days straight and had the best time of my life, but there was so much more to explore.
The lodge has 8 trails meandering through primary and secondary rainforest and a couple that will take you down to the rugged Pacific coast. Bosque offers a number of guided naturalist led hikes but the trails were designed to be self guided and were great for exploring on our own. Our daily adventures took us deep into the rain forest, past secret waterfalls and along secluded stretches of beach. Looking for a little more adventure? Bosque also offers a variety of tours including ziplining, waterfall repelling, surfing, kayaking and a visit to a nearby wildlife sanctuary.Each evening found us sharing stories of our adventures with fellow travelers at the communal dinner. Locally sourced, gourmet cuisine with a Costa Rican flare (I’m still dreaming of the yucca tots and mango gallette) was a great way to wind down before returning to our cabina for a well earned night’s rest.
We opted to further explore the Osa on horseback. We met Kolbi and his uncle Miguel (famous for never having worn shoes in his life) at a simple tin roofed home in the jungle on land that has been in their family for generations. Starting our journey through the dense jungle along the Rio Piro, Kolbi stops occasionally to clear vines with his trusted machete. I held onto the reins tightly as I marveled at how nimbly the horses traversed the uneven terrain and muddy river banks. About 45 minutes later the jungle cleared to reveal a wide expanse of secluded coastline. Not another soul was in sight as we trotted along the surf for 2 miles.
The real lure of Bosque del Cabo and the Osa Peninsula is the wildlife. The Osa Peninsula is one of the most biologically diverse places on earth with over 700 species of trees, 365+ species of birds, 117 species of reptiles, and nearly 10,000 species of insects. Jewel toned frogs and neon iguanas scamper underfoot while lines of leaf cutter ants march with military precision. Agoutis, coati and peccaries go about their day without paying you any mind. The Osa is also home to to a number of elusive jungle cats including ocelot, puma and jaguar. Puma sightings at Bosque aren’t uncommon though they do require a great deal of luck.
Overhead the treetops are ruled by four species of monkey. You’ll no doubt be awoken by a howler monkey announcing the sunrise while later in the day troops of white-faced capuchin monkeys can be spotted fiercely guarding their mango tree. Spider monkeys and the endangered squirrel monkey can also be seen frolicking through the branches. Masters of camoflage, slow moving sloths may also be spotted by the keen observer.
Bosque is also a birder’s paradise and where I personally got bitten by the birding bug. Sunset colored maccaws can easily be spotted from your deck and a vareity of zippy little humingbirds were often on display during breakfast. More ardent birders can hit trails with binoculars and scopes in tow in search of toucans, mot-mot, trogon or any of the other 365+ species that call Bosque home.
When researching Bosque del Cabo I found review after review singing high praises.
“Best vacation of my life”
The skeptic in me wanted all those people to be wrong, just a little. I had seen the pictures and I knew the surrounding was gorgeous but was I really going to have that great a time in a thatched roof hut with limited electricity?
The answer was an unequivocal yes. Within minutes of arriving the rainforest, ocean and wildlife started to work their magic. Every sound and sight here is more vivid, more alive than anyplace else I’ve been. Bosque del Cabo, I’ve fallen under your spell and I most definitely will be back.
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