One thing I love about ecotourism and the ecolodges that take it serious is the fact you can have a wonderful nature experience and not sacrifice all the comforts of home.
Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge sits on a 165-acre private nature reserve next to the pristine waters of the Golfo Dulce in southern Costa Rica. The lodge also borders Piedras Blancas National Park. Piedras National Park is approximately 35,000 acres and was established in 1992 as an extension of Corcovado National Park..
Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge offers a number of different ecotours. Kayaking up the Esquinas River was my favorite. The tour leaves just after sunrise. Kayaks are towed behind boats as you travel from the lodge to the river. Early in the morning the waters of the Golfo Dulce are calm and beautiful, increasing your chances to see dolphins and other marine wildlife.
After a delicious breakfast, the real fun begins. The Esquinas River is a calm and hearty river. The lower portions are all mangrove. I find mangrove forests fascinating. They help protect shorelines from erosion and provide habitat for a variety of fish and wildlife.
Guests are also welcome to Kayak in the protected waters of the Golfo Dulce. What’s beautiful about this is the fact that there is still some lowland-tropical rainforest left in southern Costa Rica. And along the Golfo Dulce, it comes all the way down to the beach.
There’s very little development along this portion of the gulf and views are stunning. Looking up at the different shapes and shades of green is an easy way to see some of the 100s of different types of trees in Piedras Blancas National Park.
There are also a number of rainforest related ecotours guests can take. The preserve and Piedras Blancas National Park are only accessible by boat so your chances of seeing another person is slight. However, your chances of seeing a diverse array of wildlife is really quite good.
Nicuesa is great for birding. They’ve cataloged 250 species on their preserve. Well maintained trails and great guides ensure you’ll see a variety of beautiful birds while at Nicuesa.
The lodge itself is built out of 19 different types of wood. No trees were cut in the actual construction of the lodge. Much of it had previously fallen on the property. The rest came from a tree farm. Guests are welcome to take a free sustainability tour to learn about everything Nicuesa is doing to be sustainable and a true example of ecotourism.
Everyone eats together at the long table in the main lodge. Guests, staff, owners, all at the same table. It’s great. You get to know your guides, the staff and fascinating people from all over the world.
It’s a very relaxed and comfortable place to be. After a while you get into the ebb and flow of the day and things happen. No need for agendas, clocks or schedules.
When you’re at Nicuesa, it all comes to you.