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Tropical Costa Rica Wildlife Tour

Playa Cativo Eco Lodge invites you to experience a taste of paradise and unimaginable wildlife adventures in this extraordinary first-class Costa Rican destination! Accessible exclusively by boat, Playa Cativo Eco Lodge is nestled in the tranquil waters of Golfo Dulce, near the Osa Peninsula in southern Costa Rica. As you exit the gorgeous blue water of the open Golfo Dulce, you are met with the outline of an upscale beach lodge nestled within untouched Costa Rican rainforest, surrounded by perfectly lush grounds. It is more a state of being than a place - a sense of balance unlike any experienced before. It is a feeling of peace, of awe, of indulgence, and care for a holiday that will not be forgotten in a lifetime!

Key information

  • Children policy: Children from the age of 10 years are allowed to participate under the supervision of a parent or guardian.


  • 2 wildlife guided tours
  • 2 birdwatching guided tours
  • Nocturnal rainforest guided expedition
  • Main wildlife to be viewed: Birds, frogs, bats, owls, insects
  • Boat transfer through Golfo Dulce to the lodge
  • Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
  • Visit the Cativo’s organic farm
  • 4 nights' accommodation


4 activity days
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Check-in Time:
Check-out Time:


  • Swimming pool (outdoor)
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Garden
  • Lobby
  • Restaurant
  • Library

Playa Cativo Lodge

Surrounded by some of the most unspoiled and diverse rainforests in the world, Playa Cativo is a Costa Rican eco-lodge located on the calm waters of the Golfo Dulce (the only tropical fjord in America), the inner side of the Osa Peninsula in southern Costa Rica.

Unique in its native beauty, seclusion and natural treasures where everything is pitch-perfect, Playa Cativo (Cativo Beach) offers an unparalleled experience for those eager to be immersed in nature and away from it all. It is a strikingly beautiful setting and the ultimate in peace and serenity!

Walk along the secluded beach, feeling the fresh forest breeze, touching the calm clean ocean, and away from smoke and noises of cars and diesel generators.

Playa Cativo is like an island inside the Piedras Blancas National Park because even the shoreline in front of the property belongs to the Park (to preserve the needlefish spawning grounds).

Getting to Playa Cativo is an adventure by itself. The flight from Costa Rica’s capital city of San José to Golfito or Puerto Jimenez is a beautiful experience. The 50-minute domestic flight provides spectacular views of Costa Rica’s diverse landscape, including the mountains, farms, rivers, Pacific Ocean, Drake Bay, Osa Peninsula, and finally, the Golfo Dulce.

The friendly staff will meet you at the local airport to take you on a stunning 30-minute boat ride to Playa Cativo while you take in the magnificent coastline with tropical vegetation. You may even be welcomed by the occasional school of dolphins! Just sit back, relax, and prepare for the experience of a lifetime!

Deluxe Guest Room

All of Deluxe guest rooms are constructed from precious reclaimed hardwood and colorful tile works crafted by local artisans. They have an ocean view with a king-sized bed, ceiling fans, sofa (or day bed), Wi-Fi, and a safe box.

Luxury Guest Room

Luxury guest rooms have all Deluxe room amenities plus superior views of the ocean and rainforest, and are more spacious than the Deluxe guest rooms.

Premium Guest Room

Premium guest rooms have all Luxury room amenities, mini-bar, and fridge (complimentary daily refill); double-sink bathroom vanities plus incredible panoramic views of the ocean, the rainforest, and these are the most spacious guest rooms in the lodge.


Day 1

Meet and greet on arrival into Golfito or Puerto Jiménez airstrip. A member of the staff will be meeting you on your arrival to take you on a beautiful 30 minutes’ scenic boat transfer through Golfo Dulce to Playa Cativo Lodge.

It will be followed by a welcome, briefing, and personalized check-in to your accommodations. Then, you will have a three-course à la carte dinner. Overnight at Playa Cativo Lodge.

Day 2

You will have a full breakfast, followed by a morning guided tour: "Introduction to the Tropical Wildlife" guided tour (2 hours approximately). This tour will take you to a nearby valley where a variety of birds and animals are often spotted. Naturalist guides will walk you through some interesting facts about natural history and the interaction of the tropical rainforest, which are usually noticed only by experienced naturalists.

Another interesting part of this tour is to visit Cativo’s organic farm, where the proud farmers will show the different medicinal plants, vegetables, fruits, legumes, as well as the entire process from seed germination to harvest, and perhaps collect some organic eggs from the “happy hens”.

Then, you will have a three-course à la carte lunch. After that, you will have an evening guided tour: Nocturnal Rainforest Guided Expedition (1.45 hours approximately).

Nighttime is when the rainforest breathes. Layers of fragrances of nocturnal plants and flowers fill the tropical air along with sounds from the most spectacular inhabitants! Naturalist guides will help you discover a rarely seen world and uncover evening creatures in their habitats. It’s a perfect opportunity to see frogs, bats, owls, insects, and other wonders of the nocturnal world.

The guided tour will be followed by a three-course a la carte dinner. Overnight at Playa Cativo Lodge.

Day 3

You will have a full breakfast. Then, you will embark on a morning guided tour: Rio Esquinas Mangrove Birdwatching Tour (4 hours approximately). Playa Cativo is blessed to have one of the largest and most pristine river systems in Costa Rica just a few short beaches away.

The river mouth mangroves lead to picturesque views of the forest and remote farms. The diverse terrain allows for some of the best bird watching in the area, especially at sunrise and sunset. You will embark on a peaceful excursion and experience the magic of nature while cruising down the river. It will be followed by a three-course à la carte lunch.

You will have a free afternoon that you can enjoy relaxing around Cativo´s freshwater swimming pool, go for a swim at the beach, visit the adventure center and go for a stand-up paddleboard adventure, do some kayak or snorkel around Cativo´s bay or walk along self-guided trails to observe the abundant wildlife. Or perhaps go on another adventure like snorkeling and visiting the Osa Sanctuary. Then, you will have a three-course à la carte dinner. Overnight at Playa Cativo Lodge.

Day 4

You will have a full breakfast, followed by a morning guided tour: Beach, Rainforest, and Wetland Bird Watching Tour (3 hours approximately). If birding is your passion, here is your chance to set off on one of the world’s most exciting birding destinations!

With approximately 898 recorded bird species in Costa Rica, the country boasts one-tenth of the species of the world’s total bird population. The diversity of birds in Playa Cativo and Golfo Dulce is truly impressive for such a relatively small area.

Bring your camera and enjoy visiting one of the richest bird sanctuaries in Costa Rica, with over 372 species of birds recorded in Piedras Blancas and surroundings. Privileged conditions allow you to observe bird species that inhabit beaches, wetlands, grasslands, valleys, and even many migratory species.

You will be served a three-course a la carte lunch. Afterward, you will have a free afternoon to relax around Cativo´s freshwater swimming pool, go for a swim at the beach, visit the adventure center and go for a stand-up paddleboard adventure, do some kayak or snorkel around Cativo´s bay or walk along our self-guided trails to observe the abundant wildlife. Then, you will have a three-course à la carte dinner. Overnight at Playa Cativo Lodge

Day 5

You will have a full breakfast then you can prepare for your departure boat transfer to Golfito or Puerto Jiménez town.

Included excursions

The excursion of this tour is Cativo’s organic farm visit.


Costa Rica

Located in Central America, Costa Rica divides the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. It’s a small but remarkable country with many marvels to see, plenty of adventures and activities, and thousands of acres of protected land, nature reserves, refuges, and national parks that represent over 25% of the country’s territory. Definitely, Costa Rica is a great place for an active vacation.

Wildlife in Costa Rica is varied and fascinating, observing wild animals and bird watching are among the main reasons to travel to the Osa Peninsula and Golfo Dulce area in the Southern Pacific coast of the country.

Costa Rica is home to some of the world’s most beautiful and remote beaches and is a very popular vacation destination. A Costa Rican vacation is perfect for any family looking for adventure, wildlife observation, and connecting with nature, or to simply relax and get away from it all.

Costa Rica enjoys a year-round tropical climate. Playa Cativo is a birders’ heaven, too. Visitors can enjoy mountains, beaches, and rainforests. There is so much to do and see in this splendid and diverse country!

Piedras Blancas National Park

With its 35,000 acres of tropical rainforest, Piedras Blancas National Park, a former extension of the nearby Corcovado National Park (in the Osa Peninsula), protects some of the last remaining stretches of undisturbed lowland primary (or old growth) rainforest in Central America.

Of all the land-based ecosystems in the world, tropical lowland rainforests are the most biologically diverse and serve as a refuge for many threatened species. The Park surrounding Playa Cativo is a critical last stand for an estimated 750 species of trees, 140 species of mammals, 367 species of birds (with a number of species endemic to the region), 117 species of reptiles, and almost 10,000 species of insects.

Piedras Blancas offers visitors a chance to encounter rare and fascinating creatures, including all four species of monkeys (capuchin, howler, spider, and squirrel) found in Costa Rica, white-nosed coatis, two species of deer, kinkajous, agoutis, peccaries, and sloths. Although rarely seen during the day, the Park contains five species of cats: jaguars, pumas, ocelots, margays, and jaguarondis.

In addition to offering a safe shelter to threatened species, Piedras Blancas has provided the site for several reintroduction projects. The vibrantly colored but endangered scarlet macaw is another creature that has benefitted from the remoteness of the forest.

Playa Cativo’s idyllic location is accentuated by the absence of neighbors, other than the Park itself. The boundaries of our over 1,000-acre private reserve are rocky points and ridge tops encircling a mile of pristine beachfront closed off from the mainstream world.

Nearby places

  • Golfito Hospital - 25 minutes



  • Kayaking
  • Snorkeling
  • Stand up paddle boarding
  • Swimming


  • Beach
  • Dining area
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Lobby
  • Restaurant


  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Library
  • Toiletries


You will be served full breakfasts and three-course à la carte lunches and dinners.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Kayaking
  • Relax around Cativo´s fresh water swimming pool
  • Snorkel around Cativo´s bay
  • Stand-up paddle board adventure
  • Swim at the beach
  • Visit the Osa Sanctuary
  • Visit Playa Cativo's adventure center
  • Walk along self-guided trails to observe the abundant wildlife

What's included

  • Tropical wildlife guided tours
  • Nocturnal rainforest guided expedition
  • 4 hours' Rio Esquinas Mangrove birdwatching tour
  • 3 hours' beach, rainforest, and wetland birdwatching tour
  • Visit the Cativo’s organic farm
  • Boat transfer through Golfo Dulce to the lodge
  • Daily full breakfast
  • 3-course à la carte lunches and dinners
  • 4 nights' accommodation

How to get there

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO).

Once in Costa Rica, you can choose the air transportation (50 minutes from San José).

Arrival by ferry / boat

You may choose ground transportation (5-6 hours) to get to Puerto Jimenez or Golfito, which are the two local ports of entry to Playa Cativo. The last portion of your voyage is a 30-minute scenic boat ride into the heart of the tropical rainforest, courtesy of Playa Cativo Eco Lodge.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
5 days / 4 nights
from --

This wildlife tour is available all year round, please select an arrival date below.


Green season


  • May 1 - October 31
High season


  • January 5 - April 30
  • November 1 - December 22 

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