Osa Peninsula

Located in the south west of Costa Rica, the Osa Peninsula is one of the most remote and ruggedly beautiful regions in the country. With pristine beaches extending to the bright blue Pacific Ocean and virgin forest, the Osa Peninsula is described by National Geographic as the ’most biologically intense place on Earth’.

Osa Peninsula

The Osa Peninsula, or the Peninsula De Osa as it’s known in Costa Rica, is the very embodiment of a tropical hideaway. Jutting out into the Pacific Ocean, this destination is equal parts remote and rugged, with a wild expanse of rainforest and beaches which offer the ultimate secluded getaway for those wanting to venture off the beaten path (and be rewarded accordingly). 

"For me, the Osa Peninsula is a must when visiting Costa Rica. Home to 2.5% of the world's biodiversity it is one of the best places to experience pristine rainforest and see a large variety of wildlife. The area is remote and takes a little bit of extra effort to get too but it is very much worth it."
Scarlett Bell, Travel Specialist

Things to Do on the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

There are so many things to see and do on the Osa Peninsula. Costa Rica’s remote rainforest destination offers the ultimate escape, filled with both relaxation and adventure; everything you encounter here is sure to fill you with a sense of reverence for the natural world. 

At Scott Dunn, our travel specialists create tailor-made holidays that showcase the Osa Peninsula at its best. Our specialists can put together your favourite activities and places to visit as part of a bespoke tour of Costa Rica that’s designed just for you. 

To give you some inspiration, here are some of our favourite Osa Peninsula activities:

Experience Corcovado National Park 

The main natural attraction of Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula is the sprawling Corcovado National Park. Home to rare and endangered species including jaguar, puma, crocodile, tapir, and poison dart frogs, visiting the park gives an authentic jungle experience. Notably, it’s also home to a monumental number of birds – over 350 species – including the harpy eagle and scarlet macaw.

This massive area of rainforest is crisscrossed by an extensive network of trails, giving you the chance to spot wildlife as you explore with your group. 

All visitors to the park need a permit and must visit with an accredited guide. Luckily, our travel specialists will arrange all of this for you. Whether you want to hike your way through the forests or swim in the park’s tranquil riverways, we’ll help you plan experiences to make your trip unforgettable.

Take in the beautiful beaches and surfing spots

Alongside its vast rainforest, the Osa Peninsula’s Pacific beaches are a must-see when visiting the region. With long stretches of sand creeping up to tropical palms that lead into the thick jungle beyond, this idyllic landscape is perfect for relaxation and adventure alike. Explore these largely undisturbed shores on foot, or head to the Golfo Dulce coast for calm swimming waters, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding. 

Surfing is a major draw for those heading to Costa Rica, and the Osa Peninsula is the star of the show for the most dedicated surf-loving travellers. Two of our favourite lodges, El Remanso and Lapa Rios are conveniently located within easy reach of Matapalo, a revered surfing spot on the tip of the peninsula where converging swells create big, consistent waves. There are other places to catch a wave, including Pan Dulce, which has gentler conditions more suitable for beginners.

Try some adventurous activities  

If you’re the adventurous type, you’ll absolutely love it here. All kinds of thrilling activities are on offer: from rappelling down a thundering waterfall in the middle of the jungle to riding a zipline through the lush forest.

One of our favourite places for outdoor activities is the tranquil Golfo Dulce. This serene, fjord-like bay is popular for snorkelling, whale watching, and fishing. Make sure you keep a lookout for the many dolphins which can often be seen frolicking in its waters.

Many of the Osa Peninsula’s resorts and lodges can also organise exciting activities for you, depending on your interests. Think nature hikes through the thriving rainforest, horseback riding tours, and night walks through the jungle to see nocturnal creatures in their natural habitat.

Relax in nature

Thanks to its remote location, you’ll find plenty of solitude and patches of paradise to call your own when you visit the Osa Peninsula. As you take in the rich sounds of the jungle around you, alive with birdlife, raucous monkeys, and hundreds of species camouflaged in the trees right under your nose, it’s easy to feel like nature is in charge. 

Many of the Osa Peninsula’s hotels and resorts offer gorgeous retreats deep in the heart of the jungle, complete with all the amenities you’ll need for a fabulous stay. Located on the Golfo Dulce in the beautiful Piedras Blancas National Park, Playa Cativo Lodge is a waterfront haven set in a private rainforest reserve. Accessible by boat only, this secluded resort offers a private beach, yoga area, and peaceful gardens – the perfect place to relax in a setting that feels utterly removed from the buzz of the modern world.

 

When to Go to the Osa Peninsula

When thinking about your trip, you may be wondering: when is the best time to visit Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula?

Thanks to its tropical climate and proximity to the equator, Costa Rica enjoys hot and humid weather most of the year. It also has distinct dry and rainy seasons, which can affect when you choose to travel. We’d recommend planning your Osa Peninsula holiday between December and April when the days are typically a bit drier.

The Osa Peninsula is renowned for its teeming wildlife, and the best time to see many of these incredible animals is in spring and summer. The months between September-January see a lot of rainfall, which makes it difficult to spot wildlife during this time and can affect other outdoor activities.

Where is the Osa Peninsula? 

The Osa Peninsula is located in the far southwest of Costa Rica, off the Pacific Ocean coast (as opposed to the Caribbean coast on the other side). The main town is Puerto Jiménez, which is where you will most likely arrive to begin your trip.

If you look at a map of the peninsula, you’ll see that there are very few roads, which is why some resorts and lodges can only be reached by boat. Reaching the area itself also requires some planning. While there are two airports in the region - one in Bahía Drake and one in Puerto Jiménez - these are only accessible once you’re in Costa Rica. We recommend you fly into San José and catch a connection here. 

Best Places to Stay on the Osa Peninsula

At Scott Dunn, we know that finding the perfect place to stay is key to an unforgettable holiday. That’s why our travel specialists will recommend the best jungle resorts and exclusive eco-lodges set deep within the heart of the Osa Peninsula’s lush rainforest, so you can truly immerse yourself in the wilderness. Browse our carefully curated list of luxury properties for inspiration and our specialists will do the rest. 

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10 nights
Wild Costa Rica

Wild Costa Rica

Central Valley, Tortuguero, Osa Peninsula & Manuel Antonio

Travel from coast to coast and explore Costa Rica’s rich natural highlights on this luxury tour. Stay at charming hotels in spectacular surroundings and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, like going off the beaten track to spot local wildlife. Finish off by unwinding at a boutique hillside retreat that shares a beach with iguanas and monkeys

Adventure Eco/ethical tourism Wildlife Beach

€6,000 pp

11 nights
Extraordinary Costa Rica

Extraordinary Costa Rica

Central Valley, Osa Peninsula, Arenal, Guanacaste

A luxury tour of Costa Rica is an amalgamation of thrilling activities, incredible scenery, tropical temperatures, unusual wildlife and gorgeous beaches. Spot monkeys and sloths as they peer at you from the treetops. When you're ready to recharge, savour delectable cocktails and enjoy dramatic sunsets at some of the country’s most exclusive...

Beach Couples

€7,200 pp

13 nights
Family Fun in Costa Rica

Family Fun in Costa Rica

San Jose, Pacuare, Osa Peninsula, Arenal & Papagayo

Explore the stunning natural diversity of Costa Rica. Sample the very best activities on this action-packed and fun-filled family adventure with an escorted tour across the jewel of Central America. Stay in jungle lodges inspired by Robinson Crusoe and go kayaking with dolphins, or try your hand at rafting, tubing and paddleboarding.

Adventure Wildlife Beach Eco/ethical tourism

€8,100 pp

12 nights
Ultimate Costa Rica

Ultimate Costa Rica

Central Valley, Arenal, Osa Peninsula & Manuel Antonio

Experience the very best that Costa Rica has to offer with this luxury tour. With verdant coffee plantations, active volcanoes, wildlife-rich jungles and adrenaline-fuelled activities, your stay is guaranteed to be unforgettable. To top it off, you'll enjoy effortlessly chic accommodation and authentic cooking experiences.

Eco/ethical tourism Wildlife Adventure

€14,500 pp

13 nights
Limitless Costa Rica

Limitless Costa Rica

Central Valley, Arenal, Southern Osa, Papagayo Peninsula

Sublime cloud forests, lively rivers, majestic volcanoes, lush jungles and wild beaches. That's just the start of this ultimate Costa Rica holiday tour. Experience unprecedented levels of luxury, personally curated activities, top-secret bolt-holes, unparalleled service and stunning properties that make for an unforgettable escape.

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