Since most of these reviews already talk about the stellar service, great food and amazing experiences in and around the cabina's - which I wholeheartedly agree with - I will take a different tact and go through why A) I chose Bosque over Lapa Rios or El Remanso and B) Benefits of staying at Bosque. I'm a strong proponent of Bosque and would go back in a heartbeat, but I'm trying to stay objective in this review as prior to this trip, I found it difficult to conduct comparative web research.
Background - this was a honeymoon and we are a couple in their late twenties and early thirties
A) Why I chose Bosque over Lapa Rios or El Remanso
We chose Bosque mainly because of the drastic pricing difference, similar location and similar tours. Although their website looks quite dated compared with Lapa Rios and El Remanso, its not a reflection on their services and venue.
Lapa Rios is the best known of the lodges and El Remanso is the smallest and Bosque is right in the middle. Although they try and "distinguish" themselves by marketing themselves at difference angles, for a layperson looking for a "rainforest" experience, you could go to any of them and basically get the same experience. All the properties are all located next door to each other so you are in the same area anyways.
After chatting with some of the local tour guides, all the tours are conducted through the same companies depending on what activity you choose to partake in. For example, the waterfall rappelling tours only occurs on the El Remanso property because that is where the waterfalls are located. Whether you choose Bosque or Lapa, it all happens via El Ramanso. Moreover, all of the local staff and tour guides know or are related to each other at the respective lodges, and its pretty consistently understood that Lapa is able to charge so much more primarily due to its reputation amongst mainstream media and travel companies like National Geographic, Fodors etc. Although one can comment that the food or services could be better than some, I thought the quality of the staff and food at Bosque was amazing so its extremely subjective and to me, the differences would be so subtle that its irrelevant when making your decision as to where to get the most relaxing rain forest experience.
B) Benefits of Staying at Bosque
1) Hiking - Bosque boasted the most extensive hiking trail system, this is huge as we are a couple that enjoys venturing out on our own. You can hike down to the beach on the Pacific or Golfe Dulce side for a swim, you can wander through primary forest or secondary forest, you can go hike to the gardens and find lychee and mango trees all by yourself. The property itself is huge and even after spending 3 nights there, we found we didn't have enough time to make it to all the trails. For the most part, you are the only ones wandering through the rainforest, its both a eerie and humbling experience at the same time, great for those loving the thrill of adventure in a true living rain forest.
2) Communal Feel - while here, you have the choice to remain completely secluded to your cabina if you want, but for the most part, all the travelers loved meeting each other and chatting. Especially at dinner when its served buffet family style. Its great getting to meet other people from other walks of life and share all the little "secrets" - like waterfall entrances off a gorgeous beach or hidden swimming holes under a series of waterfalls - that you discover while exploring the huge Bosque property itself.
3) Resident Biologist - Phil, not to be confused with Phil the owner, is a 12+ year resident biologist living on the Bosque property. His night walk was simply amazing and we learned so much by just chatting with him. For those looking to learn more about the rainforest and its respective species, Phil is your resident professor that will greatly enlighten your knowledge and enhance your experience.
4) Family Owned and Operated - The owners of the property actually have a house at Bosque as well, and I think this truly speaks to the dedication which they have to ensuring their guests needs are well attended too. The owners are the primary face for customer service so if you have any qualms or problems, they are accountable - not a call center. Lapa Rios is run by a 3rd party managed company, which I don't object to, but I am a strong proponent of family and small business so I am somewhat bias towards this.
5) Dedication of Environmental Endeavours - I found that Bosque is truly trying to accomplish a zero foot print luxury feel resort. They harness the use of both the sun and hydro power, they have a recycling and compost programs and their internship program for university students to learn more about sustainable living is commendable. I hope this program is able to be expanded in the future as I think they are doing the world a great service.
- Also Known As:
- Bosque Del Cabo Rainforest Hotel
- Bosque Del Cabo Rainforest Hotel Puerto Jimenez
- Bosque Del Cabo Rainforest Lodge Costa Rica/Puerto Jimenez
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Bosque del Cabo is a romantic getaway and a naturalist’s dream, come true. Crowning a point 500 feet above where the Golfo Dulce meets the Pacific Ocean, nestled in the unspoiled jungles of Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula is a paradise found. Located in a unique and fortunate position at the very tip of the Osa Peninsula in the southern Pacific region of Costa Rica, this 750+ acre forest reserve features private, spacious bungalows and gorgeous houses perched atop the cliffs of Cabo Matapalo, each with beautiful ocean views, tropical breezes and the rainforest at your doorstep; or choose beautiful and rustic garden view accommodations surrounded by thriving rainforests. Hiking trails lead you through the forest to deserted beaches on both the Golfo Dulce and Pacific Ocean. Bosque del Cabo, which opened its doors as a hotel in 1990, is owner operated and dedicated to forest preservation. ... more less