We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Visiting the Osa on a budget (kind of a trip report)

Providence, RI
Level Contributor
41 posts
3 reviews
Save Topic
Visiting the Osa on a budget (kind of a trip report)

I'm starting to research for a third trip to the Osa early next year, and thought it might be helpful to start a thread detailing ways to visit the Osa (Puerto Jimenez side or Drake Bay side) while sticking to a fairly reasonable budget. Due to its remoteness, a trip to the Osa can be an expensive undertaking -- as most people quickly find out when they start to research for their trip.

We've visited the Puerto Jimenez side twice and had two very different vacations. Both were excellent while being fairly budget conscious.

In early December of last year, we did a combination of four nights at Iguana Lodge and three nights at Encanta La Vida in Matapalo. At Iguana Lodge, we stayed in a Club Room, which runs about $120 per night and includes an excellent breakfast. Lunch and dinner are available at the Pearl of the Osa, the on-site restaurant, and the food is excellent. The beach that fronts the lodge is AMAZING, and perfect for swimming and boogie boarding. You can also take a taxi into town (on the very bumpy road) for about $10 each way and eat at one of the restaurants in PJ.

Encanta La Vida, like most places in Matapalo, is full-board and includes breakfast, lunch and dinner -- and the food is amazing. We stayed in the upstairs Deluxe Cabina (very recommended) which has four queen beds and two decks. The rate at Encanta was $120 per person, so for the two of us it was $240 per night. Encanta, unlike Bosque del Cabo, Lapa Rios, etc., is near the beach, but is set back into the jungle enough to have great wildlife sightings.

Our second trip to the area was this past April, and we decided to rent a house near Matapalo. We settled on Casa Dos Rios, which is actually on Playa Carbonera, and is very close to Martina's (Buena Esperanza restaurant). Renting a house for the week is very different experience of course, as you have to do your own shopping, cooking, etc., but we had a great time. The owners of the house live next door and are great people and very helpful. The house is huge with four bedrooms, and I think the rental rate was right at $1000 for the week. Having Martina's next door is a enormous benefit, as it's the only stand-alone restaurant in the area so it's easy to pop in for a few drinks or a meal when you're tired of cooking for yourself (and the food is outstanding). Martina's is kind of the social hub for the area, and it's great fun.

I know these are not the least expensive options in the area (and everyone's idea of budget travel is different) but when compared to the rates at the the major eco-lodges (Bosque, Lapa Rios, El Remanso), I think they're very good for middle-of-the-road travelers. And I'm not knocking the other eco-lodges at all -- we had lunch at Bosque and drinks at Lapa Rios, and they both look amazing.

If anyone else has other budget suggestions for this area or for the Drake Bay side of the Osa, please post them -- I'm sure lots of people would be interested! Thanks and if anyone has questions about any of the above locations, please let me know.

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
Level Contributor
5,405 posts
132 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Visiting the Osa on a budget (kind of a trip report)

Finca Maresia is a great budget option for Drake Bay area, but it's a little far from town and doesn't offer ocean or wildlife like other places might.

We stayed there when we used Drake as our base for a 2-night stay in Corcovado.

Providence, RI
Level Contributor
41 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Visiting the Osa on a budget (kind of a trip report)

I looked at Finca Maresia recently and it seems like a great deal -- but the if it's not near a good beach or wildlife, I think it will be out of the running. I actually have a lot of questions about Drake Bay. If we're not planning to visit Corcovado, does the area offer enough to do / things to see to justify a visit? Can you do self-guided hikes in the immediate area to see wildlife? Are any of the beaches there particularly nice? Any information you can provide would be appreciated! Thanks.

guanacaste
Level Contributor
3,091 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Visiting the Osa on a budget (kind of a trip report)

La Leona Lodge is a good option.

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
9,523 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Visiting the Osa on a budget (kind of a trip report)

Loved Las Caletas near Drake Bay. The lodging sits on a hill with direct access to a swimmable cove at Caletas. Range of lodging options and prices from the Honeymooon Cabin at the top of the property to smaller rooms and even tent accommodations. Onsite staff and naturalist were great. Food was served community style at large tables. Interesting mix of visitors from around the world. There is a trail paralleling the beach that you can wander for miles either direction and check out deserted coves or wander into town.

Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
15,521 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Visiting the Osa on a budget (kind of a trip report)

We were also budget conscious, and have stayed (3 persons) at Cabinas Jimenez, bungalow, for 95 US$ per night, no breakfast. A/C included. Walking distance to restaurants, but a 4x4 is needed to reach Cabo Matapalo and wildlife. As for Drake Bay side, I am also interested to learn about a nice lodge in similar price range. Main reason for staying in DB is availability of (reasonable priced) boat transfer to Corcovado.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
46,665 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Visiting the Osa on a budget (kind of a trip report)

Thank you nice KIND of report as you said!

roadadvisor

Providence, RI
Level Contributor
41 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Visiting the Osa on a budget (kind of a trip report)

Crfan -- thanks so much for the information on Las Caletas -- it's one of the options I'm currently considering.

Just out of curiosity, has anyone done a combination of Uvita and Drake Bay? I'm wondering about 3-4 nights at each (we really enjoyed Uvita and would like to stay at TikiVillas again). Is there a car rental place in Palmar Sur? If so, I think we could possibly fly into Palmar Sur, rent a car for the Uvita part of the trip, then return it before transferring to Drake Bay -- would that work?

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
46,665 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Visiting the Osa on a budget (kind of a trip report)

Great idea about staying again in Tiki Villas...what a place...and the staff and owners great humble people...just the best!!

Another idea...maybe get the car in Uvita and drive to Drakes Bay..!

Check with Solid rent a car they offer cars in Puerto Jimenez...they do not have the best reviews but for a set of wheels to drive around Osa they are OK!!

roadadvisor

9. Re: Visiting the Osa on a budget (kind of a trip report)

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 5:17 am, September 13, 2013