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Location, location...

Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
9 posts
90 reviews
Location, location...

My husband and I are staying in Uvita for 4 nights before heading south. We are renting a car (first time ever renting a car in Central America!) so we will have some flexibility in where to stay, but are having a hard time deciding what area is best for us. We do like to hike, but aren't crazy about guided tours. We are looking for a romantic getaway.

We won't be spending $300/night on a hotel, so our options are limited on the Osa.

We are considering Cabinas Jimenez in PJ but wonder if we'll miss the 'jungle feel' of a more remote Matapalo or Carate area stay. Any advice??

Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
20,007 posts
62 reviews
1. Re: Location, location...

Puerto Jimenez is a place to stay in Osa if having a car. Cabinas Jimenez is nice, affordable option there. Plenty of small sodas for breakfast and several restaurants in walking distance, plus two quite big supermarkets. However not much of a "jungle feel" for that you need to go to Cabo Matapalo area. Many houses available in there, check VRBO or similar. Personally I preferred to stay / sleep near the town paying less for accommodation and spending time and money outside. Hiking along the Cabo Matapalo road / area on your own is straightforward, wildlife abundant and easy to spot. You will need a 4x4 car as there are several streams to be crossed. If having a proper car and enough driving skills you may even drive to Carate and hike to the entrance of Corcovado NP at La Leona Ranger Station.

Providence, RI
Level Contributor
41 posts
3 reviews
2. Re: Location, location...

We just returned from the Osa yesterday and I loved both places we stayed -- Iguana Lodge, which is closer to Puerto Jimenez, and Encanta La Vida, which is in Matapalo. Staying in a Club Room at Iguana Lodge would be a less expensive option, but it has more of a beach feel, while Encanta La Vida is in the middle of the rainforest (but close to amazing beaches as well). I'll hopefully be posting a trip report very soon. If you do decide on Matapalo, once there you really don't need a car at all. We flew to Puerto Jimenez, then took taxis to both lodges. If that's an option, I would definitely recommend it. At Encanta La Vida, the upper Deluxe Cabina is a great choice, and the rates include three meals a day -- which were all quite wonderful. For $240 a night for a couple, including meals, I think it's very competitive with other options in the area. Also, if you do rent a car, be warned that the road to Matapalo (as well as the road out to Iguana Lodge) is in pretty bad shape -- and includes a couple of small creek crossings. It's not a huge issue, but I probably wouldn't want to drive it myself. But as far at the Osa -- GO! It's fabulous. Also, we were in Uvita six months ago, and it's another great choice. We stayed at Tiki Villas, and I highly recommend staying there. We can't wait to return. Good luck! If you have any questions about either area, please let me know.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
52,462 posts
119 reviews
3. Re: Location, location...

Dear wanderlus

If you have a 4x4...drive to Carate...nice area...and close to the Park entrance...ISEAMI or Luna Lodge...

I also like the idea about Iguana Lodge in Puerto Jimenez...not far but really you feel like you are in a very remote area...that is my very personal opinion...

TIKIVILLAS...incredible nice place...nic area to hike...some great waterfalls around...


Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
9 posts
90 reviews
4. Re: Location, location...

We just booked 4 nights in a Club room at the Iguana Lodge, as it seems to be the best of both worlds; close to town but not in town, and feels like a treat but not over the top expensive.

We are looking forward to a much-needed vacation and really appreciate the info we've found here.

Thank you!

Level Contributor
90 posts
4 reviews
5. Re: Location, location...

In Uvita, we stayed at : www.terrazasdeballena.com/pictures.php. Romantic, beautiful, with a great view from up on the hill. Reasonably priced too.

Uvita is a nice place to unwind. Its away from the tourist rush, close to Domical surfing (if you like that), and has nice uncrowded beaches (but there isn't much room at low tide).

Level Contributor
33 posts
5 reviews
6. Re: Location, location...

We loved Cabo Matalpo! Our family stayed in a beautiful rainforest estate there last July! We saw lots of wildlife and really enjoyed being at the edge of rainforest and beach. It is very remote, though, and 4 wheel drive was absolutely essential. We had to cross several small rivers to get to the house. It may be less of an issue during the dry season.

7. Re: Location, location...

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