Frequently Asked Questions
Dear Future Guest, here are some answers to assist you in making your travel plans to our Costa Rica Eco Lodge, because we are to provide you wonderful memories that will last for a lifetime.
Getting to Playa Cativo?
It is an adventure by 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. There are regular local flights during the day. On your arrival to the 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 with tropical vegetation. 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!
Q. What is the weather like around Playa Cativo?
A. Costa Rica has two seasons, which vary a little 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. While it may rain for a few hours in the afternoon or evening during the rainy season (this is one of the best times to visit Playa Cativo for wildlife and birding, as the rainforest gets greener, therefore more food and more animals around, plus it is the nesting seaeson for birds), it usually only rains once or twice a week during the dry season. The average year-round temperatures are in the upper 70s to mid-80s F (25-30 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.
Q. How is the swimming at Playa Cativo?
A. Playa Cativo has about one mile of beachfront, both sandy and pebbly. The warm and tranquil waters of the Golfo Dulce are ideal for swimming, or simply relax at our freshwater pool.
Q. How close is the rainforest and wildlife from the Lodge?
A. Playa Cativo’ s 1,000 acres (400 hectares) of rainforest 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 able to see — even from your room and at any given time — many species of birds, mammals, and butterflies. Howler monkeys will wake you up almost every morning, and you can casually see dolphins swimming along Cativo Bay.
Q. How early should I book at Playa Cativo Lodge?
A. We recommend you inquire soon 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 four nights to fully enjoy the experience of Playa Cativo, Golfo Dulce, and the Osa Peninsula.
Q. How do I book a flight to Playa Cativo from San José?
A. We will gladly assist you with your Costa Rica travel arrangements, including domestic flights. Or, you can book directly with Sansa (www.flysansa.com) or SkyWay (www.skywaycr.com), the two airlines with 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.
Q. What about dining at Playa Cativo?
A. 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 Rica cuisine. The restaurant offers adaptable menus for real wonderful palate-pleasing experiences, customized fine dining and premium wine and cocktail selection. Service hours are 6:00 am to 10:00 pm. In-room dining is also available. 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 are also available. Please let us know prior to your arrival (when confirming your reservation) about any allergy, dietary restrictions or special request regarding food and beverages.
Q. Is the water safe to drink?
A. The water for our Costa Rica eco lodge comes directly from spring water nestled in the rainforest of Playa Cativo reserve. Periodically tested, it’s consistently pure, fresh, safe and delicious. Our Bandera Azul certification also requires periodic testing from government authorities and shows that all our freshwater springs deliver perfectly clean and drinkable water to the ocean.
Q. Is Playa Cativo a good place for kids?
A. Children ten years and older are most welcomed. They will have memories for a lifetime and will learn practices to help preserve our world. They will certainly enjoy the beach, wildlife, rainforest, swimming pool, adventure center, special organic treats, trails and the opportunity to harvest the fruits of their smoothies. For safety reasons, we do not recommend Playa Cativo for children under ten years of age.
Q. Can I use a hairdryer or coffee maker at the lodge?
A. 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 Restaurant at any time at no extra cost. Charging cellular phones, laptops, tablets, cameras and other similar equipment is fine. Power outlets in your room are 120v.
Q. What should I bring for my stay?
A. Because of weather conditions and location, we suggest bringing lightweight clothing, lightweight long pants, shorts and short sleeve shirts, hat or cap, swim shoes, long socks to fit in rubber hiking boots (Playa Cativo provides hiking boots required for some tours), swimsuits, biodegradable sunblock, medication and personal toiletries, a camera and your favorite garment for a romantic beachfront casual dinner. Please note: domestic flights have a 30-pound maximum luggage weight policy.
Q. Is there air conditioning?
A. 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. Double ceiling fans in each bedroom provide additional airflow on warmer days. There’s no air conditioning in the guestrooms.
Q. Can we be reached from home? Is there Wi-Fi?
A. Yes. We 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. However, we understand the need to check on your loved ones or emergency situations and offer direct phone communication and free Wi-Fi in all rooms and social areas. Cellular phone reception at Playa Cativo is surprisingly good!
Q. How far are the medical facilities?
A. Our trained staff can provide quick assistance. In the event of an emergency, Golfito Hospital is just 25 minutes away as well as a couple 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.
Q. Are there bugs?
A. 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 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, a personal hand-applied insecticide is permitted. Screens will be closed for you every afternoon by our housekeeping staff.
Q. Do you have Concierge Services?
A. Yes. We pride ourselves on our attentive Guests Services and strive to provide you with a lifetime 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, and tours.
Q. Is there laundry service at the lodge?
A. 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.
Q. How do I pay for miscellaneous expenses at the lodge?
A. 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.
Q. What is the tipping etiquette?
A. 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 $10 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.
Please let us know if we have left any unanswered question for your coming trip to Playa Cativo or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.