Playa Cativo

Surrounded by some of the most unspoiled and diverse rainforest in the world, Playa Cativo is a Costa Rica Eco Lodge located on the calm waters of the Golfo Dulce, the inner side of the Osa Peninsula in southern Costa Rica. (Golfo Dulce is the only tropical fjord in the Americas.)
Unique in its native beauty, seclusion and natural treasures where everything is pitch perfect, Playa Cativo (Cativo Beach) offers an unparalleled experience for those eager to be immersed in nature and away from it all.

It is a strikingly beautiful setting and the ultimate in peace and serenity! Walk along the secluded beach, feeling the fresh forest breeze, touching the calm clean ocean, and away from smoke and noises of cars and diesel generators.

Getting to Playa Cativo is an adventure by itself. The flight from Costa Rica’s capital city of San José to Golfito or Puerto Jimenez is a beautiful experience. The 50-minute domestic flight provides spectacular views of Costa Rica’s diverse landscape, including the mountains, farms, rivers, Pacific Ocean, Drake Bay, Osa Peninsula and finally, the Golfo Dulce.
Our friendly staff will meet you at the local airport to take you on a stunning 30-minute boat ride to Playa Cativo while you take in the magnificent coastline with tropical vegetation. You may even be welcomed by the occasional school of dolphins! Just sit back, relax and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime!

Piedras Blancas National Park

With its 35,000 acres of tropical rainforest, Piedras Blancas National Park, a former extension of the nearby Corcovado National Park (in the Osa Peninsula), protects some of the last remaining stretches of undisturbed lowland primary (or old growth) rainforest in Central America. Of all the land-based ecosystems in the world, tropical lowland rainforests are the most biologically diverse and serve as a refuge for many threatened species. The Park surrounding Playa Cativo is a critical last stand for an estimated 750 species of trees, 140 species of mammals, 367 species of birds (with a number of species endemic to the region), 117 species of reptiles, and almost 10,000 species of insects.

Piedras Blancas offers visitors a chance to encounter rare and fascinating creatures, including all four species of monkeys (capuchin, howler, spider and squirrel) found in Costa Rica, white-nosed coatis, two species of deer, kinkajous, agoutis, peccaries and sloths. Although rarely seen during the day, the Park contains five species of cats: jaguars, pumas, ocelots, margays and jaguarondis.
In addition to offering a safe shelter to threatened species, Piedras Blancas has provided the site for several reintroduction projects. The vibrantly colored but endangered scarlet macaw is another creature that has benefitted from the remoteness of our forest.

Playa Cativo’s idyllic location is accentuated by the absence of neighbors, other than the Park itself. The boundaries of our over 1,000-acre private reserve are rocky points and ridge tops encircling a mile of pristine beachfront, closed off from the mainstream world.

Costa Rica

Located in Central America, Costa Rica divides the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. It’s a small but remarkable country with many marvels to see, plenty of adventures and activities, and thousands of acres of protected land, nature reserves, refuges and National Parks that represent over 25% of the country’s territory. Definitely, Costa Rica is a great place for an active vacation.

Wildlife in Costa Rica is varied and fascinating, observing wild animals and bird watching are among the main reasons to travel to the Osa Peninsula and Golfo Dulce area in the Southern Pacific coast of the country.

Costa Rica is home to some of the world’s most beautiful and remote beaches, and is a very popular vacation destination. A Costa Rican vacation is perfect for any family looking for adventure, wildlife observation, and connecting with nature, or to simply relax and get away from it all. Costa Rica enjoys a year-round tropical climate. Playa Cativo is a birders’ heaven, too!
Visitors can enjoy mountains, beaches and rainforests. There is so much to do and see in this splendid and diverse country!

Research Station

Cativo’s Biological Research Station is located in Playa Cativo’s magnificent Nature Reserve, in front of Golfo Dulce. Surrounded by more than 400 hectares of Private Reserve, the unexplored Piedras Blancas National Park and connected with 3 other important protected areas in the Osa Peninsula.

Our ongoing research permits long-term studies to know the status of the different flora and fauna species of the tropical rainforest, including the Wildcats Monitoring program, Coral Reefs Restoration Program, Mammals & Birds Population Programs and many upcoming initiatives will help us preserve biodiversity in the region. This scientific tool allows us to create conservation programs in the area, as well as alliances with organizations on the same objectives and endeavors. Each developed research and monitoring program makes a real estimation of the diversity and population size of the flora and fauna of our nature reserve and the surroundings of the Piedras Blancas National Park, it is a great place to learn amazing aspects of the wildlife rainforest.

For more information on our Reseach Programs or if you’re interested in local history and nature, or enjoy helping others learn, we invite you to become part of our Volunteering Programs, please contact us at INFO@PLAYACATIVO.COM or visti

Our Biological Reseach Station offers opportunities for you to share your time and talents, do good and meet new people.

How to get there

Direct flights enter Costa Rica from many cities in North America, Central America, South America and Europe. A valid passport is required and a visa is necessary for some countries. (Most European and North American citizens do not need a visa). Many international flights arrive at Juan Santamaría Airport (our preferred airport) near San José, and some fly into Daniel Oduber Airport in Liberia, in Guanacaste, which is farther from Playa Cativo Lodge.

Once in Costa Rica, you can choose between air transportation (50 minutes from San José) and ground transportation (5-6 hours) to get to Puerto Jimenez or Golfito, which are the two local ports of entry to Playa Cativo. The last portion of your voyage is a 30-minute scenic boat ride into the heart of the tropical rainforest, courtesy of Playa Cativo Eco Lodge.

SANSA and Nature Air operate daily domestic commercial flights to both destinations. Private charter flights are also available. We are happy to assist you plan your domestic travel arrangements, including to and from other destinations in Costa Rica. Please keep in mind that all domestic flights have a 30-pound baggage limit per person.