When I first visited Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge at the end of 2004, what struck me most was how in heaven did this amazing high-end Costa Rica eco-lodge come to exist in the middle of a jungle on the sea, with nothing else around?
The question is a valid one given Nicuesa Lodge’s completely 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 dedicated to environmental conservation, from the world-famous Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula to the Piedras Blancas National Park and three other private reserves.
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.
So, how did a high-end eco-lodge come to be in this pure, remote place?
The story starts with Nicuesa Lodge owner Michael Butler, when he was a young university graduate student studying urban planning in New York in 1992. The tale involves dreams, adventures, faith, hope and a lot of hard work, all leading to the successful Costa Rica rainforest lodge that stands today.
For the full story read our blog article on the Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge website.
Nicuesa Lodge really is a paradise. Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge in Costa Rica holds the highest rating in the Costa Rica Certification for Sustainable Tourism Program (CST), and recently received the Ecological Blue Flag Award for the fifth time for having one of Costa Rica’s cleanest beaches.
For owner Michael Butler, the best part about the maximum 30-guest lodge is the uncrowded pristine nature. “You experience a big rain in the rainforest. Go out for a kayak at sunset and you’re the only person out there. And then you have a bartender making you a cocktail and a chef cooking you a fresh meal,” he said. “You go on the waterfall hike, and it’s just you. There aren’t six groups coming up behind you. Our lodge seems to always be the highlight of people’s vacations, something they always remember.”
Article by Shannon Farley