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Lapa Rios Ecolodge

Press Trips

Client Information
Company: Lapa Rios Ecolodge
Address: Cabo Matapalo
City: Osa Peninsula
Country: Costa Rica
Phone: (506) 735-5130
Fax: (506) 735-5179
Web Site:
Information & Reservations:
Owner: John & Karen Lewis
Company Media Contact: Hans Pfister
Phone: (506) 288-5803 or


Wake to the gentle sounds of nature.  Discover the secluded pristine waterfalls. Breathe in the freshest of air. Refresh yourself in the pool or just laze on the sundeck and let the days drift by.  Located on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica, this multi award winning resort is renowned globally as a "unique" haven set in an ecological miracle providing quality accommodations, exquisite natural beauty, local gourmet delights and an exciting array of adventures.  The unique Lapa Rios Ecolodge shares their vision "to demonstrate that a standing rain forest is more valuable than one cut down." It is the ultimate destination to capture the mood of the tropics.

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Owners and their Conservation Efforts

The developers Karen and John Lewis, two former peace corps volunteers, in 1990 decided to forgo their careers and pursue their passion in preserving and creating a  reserve with over 1,000 acres of mostly primary rainforest, with enormous biodiversity value, in a remote area of Costa Rica.  Initially planning to build a rustic lodge, their research showed a far stronger demand for an upscale wilderness resort.

They started their venture in 1993, and helped support and maintain the last remaining lowland tropical rainforest and provide sustainable economic activity to the local community.  The management and the staff continue to strive to make a difference by educating and raising the awareness & consciousness among locals and guests.  They believe that "acres of land are not needed nearly as much right now as acres of attitude."  To ensure their labor of love continues,click here to read more about their Mission, Values, Purpose and Strengths.

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Property & Activities

Unwind, relax, and enjoy this exotic and peaceful  Costa Rican paradise overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  16 large private open air bungalows offer their own patio and garden.  Each room has 2 queen size beds lined by mosquito nets, an indoor solar- and gas-heated shower, a private garden shower, 2 sinks, large closets, and a large deck that surveys the rainforest canopy. 









The main lodge which houses the restaurant and bar features local produce and serves international cuisine with a hint of tropical flavor.   A full service bar mixes favorite beverages from fresh juices, wines and spirits.  You are sure to find breathtaking ocean vistas from the rooftop observatory 50 feet above the restaurant.  Simple comforts like electricity and laundry service are available.


Lapa Rios offers a wilderness adventure few have ever experienced.  Become one with nature.  Take a guided hike in the  Gulfo Dulce Forest Reserve, which is home to over 300 species of birds, and a variety of wildlife including the rare scarlet macaw. 



Try sea kayaking, horseback riding in the jungle, visiting the botanical gardens, deep-sea catch-and-release fishing, taking guided coastal excursions on the shore, strolling along deserted unspoiled sandy beaches or just scheduling a private massage session and give those achy bones a rest while your mind interprets different wildlife calls.  There are plenty of activities to do in Lapa Rios, more than you ever imagined. 

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Model Ecotourism & Sustainable Development
Lapa Rios adheres to the ecotourism principles of conservavtion and sustainability.  Ecotourism has different connotations, but is typically defined as the relationship between tourism and the environment.  Broadly speaking it refers to tourism that is based on the natural environment but seeks to minimize the harmful impacts and, better still, seeks to promote conservation.  So how do they do it?


Lapa Rios recognizes the importance of and is committed to conservation and maintenance of local cultural heritage and natural wealth of the region for the present generation as well as the generations to come.    Throughout its organization, Lapa Rios helps co-ordinate, assist, educate and stimulate culturally and environmentally sensitive tourists as well as locals.   You can contribute by staying at the lodge which in turn helps fund projects, generate income, and create jobs for the locals.  Some of the  environmental strategies and sustainable methods implemented by Lapa Rios are as follows:

  • Utilizing tourism to acquire and protect endangered prime rain forest wilderness.
  • The bungalows at Lapa Rios have been built with architectural integrity with the surrounding area, and of natural materials.
  • Lapa Rios encourages indigenous staff and guides, and uses local products.
  • They believe wildlife belongs in the wild and not in enclosed cages.  They also report any illegal logging.
  • They minimize the use of non-biodegradable products and manage natural resources like water.
  • Negative environmental and social impacts has been avoided.
  • Striving to be a model demonstration of responsible ecotourism.

Click here to read more about their Success Stories, Goals and Actions.

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Unique & Authentic Honeymoon
Watch the sun sink beneath the waves, leave the footprints of your unforgettable honeymoon by planting a tree in the lodge’s private rainforest reserve, or take a boat ride to the nearby Golfo Dulce.   Lapa Rios is a prefect one of a kind romantic vacation for honeymooning couples.
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Carbonera School

Lapa Rios is continuing to support and sponsor the establishment of the local Carbonera School.  Located in one of the most primitive parts of the Osa Peninsula in Southwestern Costa Rica, even basic amenities like drinking water, electricity, sewage system etc. are not available.  Due to its rugged mountainous terrain, interaction within the community is minimal.  However, all the families in the area had a common goal of educating their children.  In 1993 the school was opened and now has a little over 20 students.  New children have been enrolling every year, and most of the days the school has 100% attendance indicating the desire and need for education.  To help support and learn more about the school, click on The Carbonera School.

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Lapa Rios offers an assortment of nature tours which are sure to become a highlight of your vacation.  All proceeds go towards the ongoing maintenance of the reserve.  

Choose from:                                                         

Early Bird Tour                     Wild Waterfalls

Medicine Walk                     Jungle Overnight

Rain Forest Ridge Walk      The Osa Trail

Carbonera School Tour       Starfish Walk    

Full Day Hike                         Night Walk


Corcovado National Park Tour



Hike in this 1000 acre reserve and learn about its flora and fauna.  Take plenty of water on your hike and be vigilant!  You will see 4 species of Costa Rican monkeys: spider, white faced, squirrel and howlers. Other animals include agouti, coati mundi, collared and white-lipped peccaries, jaguars, ocelots, margay and puma. You will also spot a variety of birds on your hike which include: crested and solitary eagles, toucans, macaws, great curassow, crested guan, trogons, aracaris, honey creepers, herons, and more.  The hikes are very informative and interesting.  All hikes start from the front desk. You will probably be guided by a local shaman or medicine man, who has spent a lifetime studying the indigenous plants and animals, as well as the mysteries and legends of the forest. Click here for more information on Rates.  


You can also take a tour to the Corcovado National Park which is one of Costa Rica's greatest assets, as well as an important tourist attraction.  However, lately the park has been under tremendous pressure from hunters and poachers.  Lapa Rios is working diligently with the Corcovado Foundation, having provided the park with additional rangers.  As funds are low, Lapa Rios appreciates any support you can offer by donations.  For more information please refer to SAVE CORCOVADO.

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Membership Organizations

TIES (The International Ecotourism Society)

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