We recommend you inquire as early as possible about your preferred dates and book two to six months in advance due to our limited number of guest rooms. Most guests stay an average of 4 nights to fully enjoy the experience of Playa Cativo, Golfo Dulce, and the Osa Peninsula.
We will gladly assist you with your Costa Rica travel arrangements, including domestic flights. Or, you can book directly with Sansa (www.flysansa.com) they have regularly scheduled flights to Golfito and Puerto Jiménez. A team member of Playa Cativo will meet you at either town for your boat transfer to Playa Cativo. Both towns are the same distance from the lodge (30 minutes), but we suggest flying to Golfito because of the spectacular views during the boat transfer.
Traveling to the Eco Lodge is an adventure in itself. The flight from Costa Rica’s capital city of San José to Golfito or Puerto Jiménez is a beautiful experience. This 45-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 Golfo Dulce. Upon your arrival at the local airport, our staff will meet you to take you on a stunning 30-minute boat ride to the lodge while you take in the magnificent coastline featuring tropical vegetation and an array of marine life. You may even be welcomed by the occasional schools of dolphins, turtles, or humpback whales. Just sit back, relax, and prepare for an adventure of a lifetime!
Costa Rica has two seasons, which vary slightly in the Osa Peninsula and the Golfo Dulce area. The rainy season runs from May through November, and the dry season runs from December through April. During the rainy season, it typically rains for a few hours in the afternoon or evening, and it is one of the best times to visit Playa Cativo for wildlife and birding, as the rainforest gets greener and therefore produces more food and more animals abound, plus it is the nesting season for birds.
During the dry season, it usually only rains once or twice a week. The average year-round temperatures are in the upper 70s to mid-80s F° (25-32 degrees °C) during the day, and in the low 70s (20-25 degrees °C) during the night. Because the sun’s rays are more direct in the tropics, we strongly recommend the use of sunblock.
Playa Cativo has about one mile of beachfront, with both sand and pebbles. The warm and tranquil waters of the Golfo Dulce are ideal for swimming or sunbathing, or you can simply relax at our freshwater pool.
We strongly recommend that you use sun protection and wear water shoes when entering the water. The best place for swimming is the half west side of the beach due to its stunning dark sand. We also advise you to be careful when near palm trees and to avoid walking or staying under them due to falling coconuts.
Playa Cativo’s 1,000 acres (400 hectares) of the private, protected tropical reserve are surrounded by the 35,000 hectares of Piedras Blancas National Park (former extension of Corcovado National Park). For their ecological value, even the waters of our beach are part of the Park.
You’ll be completely immersed in the beauty of nature at Playa Cativo and be able to see — even from your room and at any given time — many species of birds, mammals, and butterflies. You will wake up to the sounds of howler monkeys, and you can casually see dolphins swimming along Cativo Bay while having breakfast!
Wildlife is abundant and we have strict guidelines to avoid interrupting the food chain of the rainforest. Bugs and other insects are an important part of the sustainability of our fascinating ecosystem.
We recommend that you keep all screens closed during the late afternoon and night, and also turn your lights off when you are not in your room. Although bugs rarely bother our guests, for your convenience, we recommend using bug repellent when walking in the exteriors. Screens will be closed for you every afternoon by our housekeeping team.
Because of weather conditions and location, we suggest bringing lightweight (and fast-dry) clothing, including long pants, shorts, and short sleeve shirts, rain jacket, hat or cap, swim shoes, long socks to fit in rubber hiking boots (Playa Cativo provides hiking boots that are required for some tours), swimsuits, non-aerosol biodegradable sunblock and insect repellant (also available for purchase), medication and personal toiletries, a camera, and casual attire for lunches and dinners.
Please note: domestic flights in Costa Rica have a 30-pound maximum luggage weight policy.
Yes, we understand the need to check on your loved ones or emergency situations and offer direct phone communication and excellent free Wi-Fi in all rooms and social areas.
Cellular phone reception at Playa Cativo is surprisingly good! We also urge you to disconnect from the rest of the world and turn off all your electronic devices to best experience the splendor of Playa Cativo and surrounding nature.
Overlooking Golfo Dulce, El Gavilán Restaurant features innovating multi-sensory dining experiences in a romantic and private atmosphere, with fresh organic produce harvested daily from our on-site farm, along with organic poultry, locally caught seafood, and grass-fed Costa Rican beef.
Each menu is inspired by the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the authentic Costa Rican cuisine.
The restaurant offers adaptable menus for authentic, palate-pleasing experiences, customized fine dining, and premium wine and cocktail selections. Service hours are 6:00 am to 10:00 pm daily. All smoothies and juices for served cocktails are made with freshly squeezed fruit. We feature vegetarian options on our menu.
For those choosing to dine in a more private setting, personal chef and in-room dining options are also available. Please let us know prior to your arrival (when confirming your reservation) about any allergies, dietary restrictions, or special requests regarding food and beverages.
The water for our Costa Rica eco lodge comes directly from spring water nestled in the rainforest of Playa Cativo reserve. It is periodically tested and is consistently pure, fresh, safe and delicious.
Our Bandera Azul certification also requires periodic testing from government authorities and shows that all of our freshwater springs deliver perfectly clean and drinkable water to the ocean.
For safety reasons, only children eight years and older are welcome.
They will have memories for a lifetime and will learn practices to help preserve our natural world while enjoying the beach, wildlife, rainforest, swimming pool, adventure center, special organic treats, trails, and the opportunity to harvest the fruits of their smoothies and other meals.
We encourage our guests not to use hairdryers and to use electricity wisely as we rely on the 100% clean energy that we produce (from an off-grid system).
For your convenience, we offer a large selection of coffees and teas, which are delivered to your room or served at El Gavilán, Tortuga Lounge, or at El Gazebo Sunset Bar Restaurant at any time at no extra cost. Charging cellular phones, laptops, tablets, cameras, and other similar equipment is fine.
The power outlets in your room are 120v.
Playa Cativo’s open design allows the cool ocean breeze and freshness of the rainforest and ocean — from dusk to sunrise — to keep the lodge and bedrooms at comfortable temperatures all day long so our guests can enjoy all the premium amenities of the room.
Double ceiling fans in each bedroom provide additional airflow on warmer days. There’s no air conditioning in the guest rooms except for the one Deluxe Guest Room.
Yes. We pride ourselves on our attentive Guests Services and strive to provide you with a relaxing Costa Rican experience, starting with a secure and effortless booking process.
We are ready to help arrange any other services, such as your San José Airport greeting and transfer, San José hotel, domestic flights, tours, and more.
Yes, guests who pack lightly rave about this service! Please keep in mind that we use the sun to naturally dry your clothing, and it takes 24 hours to deliver it back to your room.
We accept VISA, Master Card, American Express, and Diners Club as well as cash (dollars and colones).
Due to the remoteness of the lodge, we cannot take personal checks or other forms of payment.
It is customary to tip Nature Guides based on their effort and service.
Tipping the rest of Playa Cativo staff is purely at your discretion and should only be to reward exceptional service. If you choose to tip the staff, a $15 gratuity per guest, per day is appropriate and will be distributed evenly among all our staff members.
Following Costa Rican law, our wait staff automatically receives a 10% gratuity for all food and beverages purchased.
Our trained staff can provide quick first aid assistance on site. In the event of an emergency, Golfito Hospital is just 27 minutes away, as well as a couple of nearby private hospitals. In addition, we have a 24/7 on-call doctor in case of an emergency.
For an extreme emergency, helicopter service can be arranged from San José and can land at Playa Cativo. Costa Rica is known for its very high quality of medical care.
Please let us know at least 15 days prior to your arrival about any medical condition that we should be aware of, and be aware that some of the tours, experiences, or walking trails may demand moderate to difficult physical activity.