We've stayed at the Tortuga house in Carate for 3 weeks on a home-exchange swap. The house was great and just next to the Look-out inn. Carate is at the far end of the Osa Peninsula by some called the wild West of Costa Rica ( see Tico-Times from 8/14 ).You need to look up to Look-out, the sign says and yes indeed this special hotel is nestled high up against the mountain facing the Pacific. So some climbing needed to get there- but if you are by car ( good chance ) you can drive all the way up. Once you get up there off go your shoes and a final walk up the staircase brings you to a wonderful place. Sure you will be welcomed by Polly, the tame scarlet macaw. Views are incredible and depending on the weather dramatic some times.Terry, the owner was on vacation when we arrived but we were immediately and very warmly welcomed by Osa Polar.
Everybody at Look-out has a nick-name and the polar bear is Jeff. Jeff natively from Florida, is the manager ad interim while Terrific/Terrible Terry is away. He's also a super bar-tender - a great cook ( not as good as Jockson but close ) - a wicked story-teller - an experienced bar-gamer and riddle-teller. Jeff is in the Osa for a few months less than a year and he has done a lot of very interesting things in his life.
The hotel itself has some very special Tico-style rooms of which the monkey-room is the wildest. As it is really all-most part of the jungle itself the smells - sounds and views are of the most enchanting ,on condition you like the jungle - but who would ever come to that place anyway if he is not a Junglo-phile. There is a very nice pool that we did not use as we were not staying in the hotel but our daughter Lara (9) was immediately invited by Itzell, the daughter of the cook to get a swim there. No need to go anywhere else to see all kinds of frogs at night as there is a very well kept frog-pool as well.The gardens are just beautiful and very well kept by Erwin and the gardener who was so friendly to show us a not so easy to see animal every now and then , like an ant-eater in a tree or an iguana. Crossing the dirt-road ( one car per hour ) brings you to the ocean with special facilities for the guests ( bar at certain times - big camp -fire - huge barbecue and other specials like the special guarded shower ( by Polly the macaw ).
Back to the bar where Jeff serves the best Margheritas I've ever had with the locally found lemons - the beers are served very cold as they should and free fruit-juice and coffee made by Jockson.The atmosphere at the bar was always top due to the nice people we met there - mostly a mixture between tourists who seem to come back there time after time and expats who like to have a drink and a story every now and than ( greetings Patrick - an determined biologist owning a huge piece of well kept forest there )
tAt 6/30 PM dinner is served one story higher that can be reached following the meticulously curved wooden spiral staircase.Views even more spectacular and the food was the best we ever had in Central America. Specialities are soups from fresh crab to mahi-mahi soup not to forget the special bean-soup. Mains are one choice only but always made with the best ingredients and a good diversity every other evening. The cook is also preparing great vegetables with butter-sauce and excellent salads. The price for this feast is 20 $ round.From this upper-deck restaurant there is another staircase leading up a lot higher - called Stairway to Heaven after a famous Led Zeppelin song. We tried that the next day or so and walked up 60 or more steps to a trail starting there and taking us to some very nice waterfalls. On the trail we saw several animals we thought we could only see in the Corcovado National Park ( more soon ).
Needless to say we spend lots of good times in the Look-out...but the best had yet to come.We were given excellent advise about trips to the National Park and got to know Erick Gomez who would become our guide.Erick is an independent guide but he was advised to us by the Look-out people. He was one of the reasons we always saw so many animals.We saw several tapirs, really special and big snakes, anteaters, sloths, BIG Iguana's, lots of frogs and Jesus Christ lizzards,all the sorts of monkeys Costa Rica homes, and then the lesser gods - but also very nice , the Koattis,muttis,peckarries etc..not to forget the morphos and other beautiful butterflies by the hundreds ( not the morphos but still a lot ).Now for the best...Early August Terry came back from vacation. He's the cream on the cake - a very direct guy - says all what he thinks, has a very free mind I suppose - a nature person but so very professional in all what he does- and you can tell he has made this place how it is - a strong brand and more.Very funny also so add this one to Jeff and you got bingo at the happy hour and beyond.
One day he came to our house - tortuga house remember and told me and my wife to drop everything and bring my camera. I had only my underware so to speak - forgot my glasses- no repellent on and off we went. About 1 km further Terry drove us to a place which was actually the end of the "stairway to heaven trail" and there it was - a magnificent aprox 1 year old mountain-lion ( probably male - not sure ) lying on a branch of a nearby tree. We were standing at 3/4 meter distance and the big cat staring at us but calm and steady. Not like me, this was a dream coming true - I was really shaking on my knees and afraid to blew it up. Photo-wise I mean, I got an OK camera with a pretty good lens but since I forgot my glasses and my monopod I could hardly see what I was doing. Luckily enough there was Terry who took the first shots.After a while I calmed down a bit and Rita had done a great job running after my glasses and the rest so I could take some nice pics. I was eaten alive by mosquitos and ants - but who cares in front of such a wonderful creature - who can ever think of shooting this during more than half an hour?
Thanks Terry, Jeff, Erick, Jockson and the others
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Lookout Inn Lodge is a Costa Rica eco lodge in the Osa Peninsula rainforest. It is located completely off the beaten path in the town of Carate and is next to the world-renowned Corcovado National Park. Ideally situated to offer comfortable and affordable eco-friendly accommodations to the traveler visiting this remote part of Costa Rica, the Lookout Inn Lodge is sure to impress. Nestled in the hillside right above the road and the black sand beach, the lodge provides spectacular views of the surrounding jungle rainforest, the majestic Pacific Ocean and an endless unspoiled Osa Peninsula coastline. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lookout Hotel Carate
- Lookout Inn Lodge Costa Rica/Carate