Bliss. It’s the one word that sums up my recent experience at Playa Cativo while hosting an amazing FAM with Costa Rica Sun Tours. From time to time in my incredibly rewarding work in travel, I come across a place that quite literally settles my soul and this lovely lodge on a remote beach amid verdant rainforest is one of those few.
Why Bliss? Maybe it was the luxurious, colorful, and uber comfortable room with plunge pool, the warm, salty water of the gulf, the fresh cuisine infused with a riot of flavors from their own organic gardens (a short hike through the rainforest on the 1,000+ acre private nature reserve) or maybe, it was the healing hands of my massage therapist Berny during a therapeutic massage at the new and beautiful spa.
Wildlife played a large part, as well. Large green sea turtles bobbing in the water, a pod of 50 + spotted dolphins surfing along our boat, a pair of macaws, and large raucous troops of howler monkeys ever-present. Brilliantly hued gardens of tropical flowers and zen-like pathways led from one activity (or meal!) to the next. The constant company of the tide ebbing and flowing, paddle boarding and kayaking in the warm rain, and yoga classes in the morning. The warm welcome and guidance from the incredible staff including Felipe, the GM, who was more than accommodating with a unique ability to make guests comfortable (and a great laugh to boot), Gustavo, our young local guide who shared his backyard with wonder, and Moses and Maggie and Tracy who were all so completely authentic, lovely, funny, and warm (and made some tasty drink specials each day!).
I won’t hesitate to recommend that spending several days at Playa Cativo is exactly the nourishment for body and soul that most of us need – generally without even realizing it.
Named after a local tree, Playa Cativo is situated on the Golfo Dulce, at the edge of Piedras Blancas National Park – a natural extension of Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula. Given its location, it’s no wonder the biodiversity of plant and wildlife is so intense here.
The 18 rooms are divided into four categories. Each has robes, slippers, mini bar (with exception of the second floor of the main building), wonderful beds and bedding. All but one is open-air for ventilation with large windows on two or more sides.
There are many activities to choose from and the lodge has its own adventure center so guests can make plans as they wish. There are hikes on the private reserve and into the National Park varying from an hour or two, to full-day. Kayaks and paddle boards are always available to take out. Mangrove tours by kayak or motorboat are highly recommended (and tide dependent). In addition, definitely take a ride into the warm waters of the gulf to spot the year-round resident pods of bottlenose and spotted dolphins and whales in season (Humpback and False Killer Whales come through Sept – Dec each year). Guests may also opt to snorkel, join a sunrise yoga class, or perhaps strike out on a night walk to enjoy the nocturnal creatures and bioluminescent waters! A full list of activities, descriptions and any cost may be found here.
I have lots of ideas of how you can combine Playa Cativo with other areas of Costa Rica so please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or the team at Costa Rica Sun Tours to begin planning.