Two Costa Rican lodges have some serious bragging rights. The Pacuare Lodge, in Talamanca, and Lapa Rios Lodge, in the Osa Peninsula, have made National Geographic’s list of Unique Lodges of the World.
This prestigious collection of accommodations looks not only at the gourmet meals, guest experiences, and beautiful settings that these lodges offer. National Geographic’s rigorous selection process included an analysis of each establishment’s environmental sustainability programs. According to a release by National Geographic, “We looked for places where the guiding principles are an innovative approach to sustainability and a strong commitment to protecting natural and cultural heritage, and where guests are treated to a rich array of meaningful experiences.”
There are only 24 lodges, spread over six continents, that made this list. Both of Costa Rica’s representatives embody luxury, environmental sustainability, and cultural sensitivity.
Pacuare Lodge is tucked into the rainforest overlooking the Pacuare River. Getting there is an adventure in itself. Most guests arrive at the lodge as part of a multi-day rafting trip on the world-famous Pacuare River, where soaring cliffs, dense tropical foliage, and warm cascades punctuate the class-III and -IV trek. Once at the lodge, the adrenaline of the day’s activities transitions into deep relaxation as you enjoy gourmet food prepared not by three-star Michelin chefs, but by expertly trained people from the nearby communities – nobody uses local ingredients better. www.pacuarelodge.com
There are few better places to appreciate the splendor of Costa Rica’s rainforest than Lapa Rios. The lodge is located about an hour outside of Puerto Jimenez (depending on road conditions) and sits amid Costa Rica’s “last frontier,” the Amazonian rainforests of the Osa Peninsula. Monkeys, toucans, and scarlet macaws are more prevalent than humans, and here you really feel like you’re part of the surrounding ecosystem. www.laparios.com