Bosque del Cabo Frequently Asked Questions




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WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?

Bosque del Cabo is located approximately 200 miles from San Jose, at the very tip of the Osa Peninsula (latitude is N8.22; longitude is W83.17). The Osa is Costa Rica’s southernmost peninsula on the Pacific Ocean side, located just above Panama. There is a large gulf between the peninsula and the mainland, called the Golfo Dulce (“sweet gulf”). The largest town on the Osa Peninsula is Puerto Jimenez; across the gulf from Jimenez lies the port town of Golfito. Bosque del Cabo is 22 kilometers south of Puerto Jimenez (about a 45 minute 4-wheel drive ride). The lodge sits atop Cabo Matapalo, on the road halfway between Puerto Jimenez and Corcovado National Park. For more information on this subject, please click here.

HOW DO I GET PLANE TICKETS DOWN THERE FROM SAN JOSE?

There are daily flights to Puerto Jimenez on two commercial airlines, we will be happy to make reservations for you. The flights are “ticketless” when we make the reservations for you; you will get a faxed confirmation form from us and you just show up at the check-in desk 40 minutes before flight time with your confirmation fax. For more information on this subject, please click here.

WHICH AIRLINE IS BETTER, NATURE AIR OR SANSA?

Both of the airlines that regularly service this area are good and reliable. We and much of the staff at Bosque, use both Nature Air and Sansa regularly. One factor to consider is convenience of time. Sansa & Nature Air runs out of the Juan Santamaria Airport in Alajuela (the same airport that the international flights come into). As a general observation from our experience, Sansa & Nature Air does seem to have a better record for punctual flights. We have found that both Sansa and Nature Air gives a great service, and does a good job of addressing customer issues (such as lost or delayed baggage).

I READ THAT I CAN ONLY TAKE A BAG OF 27-30LBS ON THE DOMESTIC AIRLINES WITHIN COSTA RICA, IS THAT TRUE?

Yes! The domestic airlines, Sansa (weight limit of 27lbs. of checked luggage per person) and Nature Air (weight limit of 30lbs of checked luggage per person), do limit baggage to 27-30lbs per person for checked luggage. You are allowed a small carry-on as well (such as a camera bag or a purse or laptop), the weight of the carry-on is supposed to be no more than 10lbs/person. This is a very restricted amount and some people find it hard to pack- however, the airlines do weigh all bags (and will even weigh all passengers with their carry-ons) in order to have the correct weights on these smaller planes. The airlines will sometimes allow a passenger to have a slightly overweight bag, but they usually charge overweight by the pound (both Sansa and Nature Air charge $1/extra pound of luggage) and sometimes they will “bump” overweight luggage if the flight is very full. So try to pack light! Some packing tips: wear your heaviest shoes on the plane, bring your camera carry-on, leave heavy (and hot) pants like jeans at home and bring travel sizes of cosmetics and toiletries.

CAN I BRING A SURFBOARD ON NATURE AIR OR SANSA?

The answer is a limited yes. Both airlines allow surfboards as luggage but with restrictions, a monetary charge and a policy that boards are subject to being bumped if the flight is very full or other passengers have a good deal of luggage. Nature Air allows up to a 7 foot board (including the board bag in the measurement) and charges $15/each way for boards. Sansa allows up to a 6.9 foot board (including the board bag in the measurement) and charges $10/each way for boards. If you plan to bring a surfboard on your flight, be aware that the board might be bumped and have a plan for the board in case that happens (i.e.- sending it down on the bus or having a place to store it in San Jose). Also, a quick note about bringing longboards down to the Osa- any board over 7 foot will not be allowed to go on the plane, as it just won’t fit in the luggage compartment of the small planes. You can send longboards under 9 feet on the bus- but bus officials only send these boards down when there is enough luggage space for all their bus passengers first (that can take a few days, in our experience). Unless you rent a car, it can be particularly difficult to get longboards to the Osa (and back). As a side note, Bosque does have a variety of long and short boards for rent.

SHOULD I PICK A CLASSIC OR DELUXE CABINA?

Both styles of cabina are nice, and both classic and deluxe cabinas have great ocean views. The basic difference is that the deluxe cabinas have one king-sized bed and the classic cabinas have 2 double beds. Also, the deluxe cabinas are a bit bigger and have larger deck areas. There are three deluxe cabinas that do have loft areas (there are two extra beds in these lofts- a single and a double bed). Both classic and deluxe cabinas have excellent ocean views and comparable amenities. All of our accommodations have hot water, solar/hydro-powered electricity and maid service. Please click here to go to the accommodations section of our website for more detailed information.

IS THERE HOT WATER?

Yes, all of our accommodations have hot water. We added hot water in the last few years, so some of the accommodations do not have hot water in the sinks.

WHAT ARE THE GARDEN ACCOMMODATIONS LIKE?

We created the first garden cabina (Cabina La Paz) about 6 years ago as a getaway cabina for the lodge owners, Kim & Phil. They loved it in the garden because it was so peaceful and a nice way to get away from the main lodge area without going too far. The garden cabinas, La Paz and Almendra, were built as open as possible (they have bedrooms with three sides that open up to the surrounding jungle; they have protective laminated tarps that roll down in case of heavy rain or desire for more privacy) in order to take advantage of the amazing jungle sounds, smells and sights. These cabinas were purposely designed to give the guest a feeling of almost sleeping inside the forest, but in a very comfortable bed. The garden house, Casa Teca, was built to accommodate a family or friends and to give them a chance to experience the forest up-close. The bedrooms in Casa Teca are more traditional and are totally closed to the outside elements. These accommodations are less expensive and more simple and rustic than the ocean view cabinas and houses, but they are just as, if not more, exciting and exotic accommodations where guests can experience the rainforest. We always warn guests that book accommodations in the garden, that they will have a longer walk to the main lodge/restaurant area (approximately 550 meters), and that the shortest path to the garden does involve walking over a suspension bridge that is 75 feet at its highest point (for those that may be scared of heights). These cabinas are really suited for guests that enjoy experiencing nature’s sights and sounds and that welcome the dark nights and easy access to the rainforest.

IS IT SAFE TO LEAVE VALUABLES IN THE ROOM?

Accommodations/lodge facilities at Bosque del Cabo are kept open. There are safes in your accommodations, or if you have anything that you want us to store in our main lodge safe, no problem, just talk to a staff member. Obviously, use common sense and keep large amounts of cash or valuable jewelry with you or in the safe. This lodge has always enjoyed great privacy and has never had significant problems with theft or unwanted visitors. However, tourism is increasing in this area which means that there are more people around which leads to more potential for foul play. So, we officially recommend that you keep all of your valuables in our safe at the front desk or the safe in your room. Bosque del Cabo is not responsible for any lost or stolen items.

DO YOU HAVE A SAFE FOR VALUABLES IN THE CABINAS?

Yes, we do have safes in all the cabinas and the houses. And we do have a main safe at the front desk for anything you want to leave with us.

ARE KIDS WELCOME?

Yes, we welcome kids at Bosque del Cabo. It is a great place for kids to discover and experience the rainforest first-hand. We do caution, especially for parents of toddlers and small infants, that Bosque del Cabo is about a one hour drive from the nearest doctor or clinic, in case of emergency. And also, Bosque is by no means “child proof” and bringing children to the lodge does require a high degree of parental supervision as there are plants that can’t be consumed or that have spines or thorns, many decks without railings overlooking cliffs, hard tile-surfaced floors, no television, limited power and so on. Finally, since we do have many couples and honeymooners, we do ask that children be well-behaved. Of course we expect children to be well conducted and supervised by their parents.

CAN WE GET A BABYSITTER?

Yes, we can usually arrange a babysitter for you; most of our baby-sitters will be only Spanish-speaking. There is a fee for this service.

WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE THERE TO DO?

Hiking and bird & animal watching are popular activities for many of the guests at Bosque del Cabo. There are many trails that go through the rainforest down to the beaches and creeks around the area. In addition to the great hiking we have right on our 700+ acre reserve, we have an on-site tree platform; getting into the platform offers added excitement with a thrilling ride through the forest on a 250 foot steel cable zip line! Bosque also offers an on-site tree climbing experience that is a fun and active way to see the rainforest from inside a beautiful Strangler-fig Tree. There is also horseback riding, surfing, swimming, kayaking, fishing, boating, waterfall rappelling, tree climbing, and snorkeling, as well as relaxing massages and reflexology treatments. We also have a 300-foot suspension bridge on our property; a great leisurely hike would be to walk across the bridge to our Tropical Garden to see a beautiful stretch of forest and do some birding. Please click here to go to the activities section of our website for more detailed information.

I KNOW I WANT TO DO SOME ACTIVITIES; HOW DO I SIGN UP FOR ACTIVITIES?

The best way to arrange activities is to talk to the Guest Relations person once you get to the lodge. The only activity that we recommend signing up for early is fishing. Please let us know in advance if you are sure you want to book some days fishing. This will assure you the best chance of getting a boat and captain for the date you want to fish.

IS THERE BIRDWATCHING AT THE LODGE?

Yes! Costa Rica is known for great birding, and Bosque del Cabo and the Osa Peninsula offer excellent opportunities for birdwatching. You can arrange tours when you get to the lodge. Early morning and late afternoon are the best times for birdwatching. Additionally, we offer binoculars for half and full day rental at the lodge.

DO YOU HAVE A GUIDE?

Yes! Bosque has at least one resident naturalist guide, usually two. Our guides are very knowledgeable, some are biologists, and offer an enthusiastic approach to learning more about the rainforest. It is very important to us that we provide our guests with the option of a well-trained and knowledgeable guide. We highly recommend that you take a guided tour to learn more about the rainforest and the many species of wildlife in this special part of the world.

ARE THERE BEACHES THERE?

Yes, there are several beautiful beaches around Bosque. The Pacific Ocean has gorgeous beaches with tide pools, waterfalls, and caves. The Golfo Dulce beaches are perfect for swimming and surfing.

WHERE’S THE CLOSEST BEACH?

The Pacific beach is 20 minutes away (by foot), 0.3 miles on the traverse down to the Pacific coast, 1 mile to the waterfall from the bottom of the trail. It is best to visit this beach at low tide. There are beautiful waterfalls, tide pools, an arch rock to explore, and on and on. We recommend that you do not swim at this beach, due to the powerful surf. There is no car access to this beach, so it is usually gloriously deserted. However, the Pacific Trail is basically a switch-back trail traversing the cliff and as such it is mostly stairs. The trail is not dangerous but it does require physical exertion to get down, and especially back up, the trail. It is worth the effort, though.

WHERE’S THE BEST SWIMMING BEACH?

Backwash Beach (accessed by walking the Golfo Dulce Trail) or Pan Dulce Beach at high tide (also accessed by the Golfo Dulce Trail). These beaches are about 45 minutes-1:15 hour from Bosque by foot (the walk is beautiful) or car transfers are available for a small fee.

WHERE’S THE BEST SURFING BEACH?

Matapalo Beach (accessed by the Golfo Dulce Trail, which is 1.3 miles long) at medium tide, and Backwash Beach (also accessed by the Golfo Dulce Trail) at low tide, unless the swell is really big. Pan Dulce Beach (accessed by the Golfo Dulce Trail) is always good at high tide. Please click here to go to the surfing section of our website for more detailed information.

CAN I RENT A SURFBOARD?

Yes! We have several boards available for rent, including long boards, soft tops, and short boards. We rent the boards at a daily rate (boards are “rented” if they go to the beach and renter is responsible for any damage to the boards). We do recommend surf lessons at least once for guests who have never surfed to refresh your surfing skills, show you where the rocks might be and reveal where the waves will break the best.

CAN I GET A RIDE BACK FROM THE BEACH?

We can usually arrange a beach pick-up/drop-off from the Golfo Dulce beaches, just ask a staff member and arrange a time before you go. The Pacific beaches have no access road for cars.

IS THERE A POOL?

Yes. Our pool has two decks and a bar and seating area. There are several lounge chairs and stools for sunning and hanging out, as well as a lower deck with tables and chairs for relaxed conversations or card games. We have created an ecologically sound pool cleaning and filtration system. The pool water is kept clear and clean via an ionization system (which uses a minimal amount of chlorine) as well as a solar-powered pump system. Children are welcome to use the pool with adult supervision. There is no lifeguard on duty.

IS THERE SNORKELING?

You can go snorkeling in the Golfo Dulce, but as a general rule, snorkeling is not that great off the beaches here. If you would like to go snorkeling, we can help you arrange a trip to the reefs inside the gulf or a day trip to Caño Island, please click here to go to the activities section of our website for more detailed information.

IS THERE SCUBA DIVING?

There are no places to rent scuba equipment in Puerto Jimenez or this area, so it is not really possible to scuba dive if you don’t have equipment with you. But, we can set up a day trip for you to go scuba diving off Caño Island. It is about 1.5 hours each way in a taxi or several hours each way in a boat. And if you would like to go snorkeling, we can help you arrange a trip to the reefs inside the gulf (a great combination tour with kayaking or the dolphin tour), please click here to go to the activities section of our website for more detailed information.

CAN WE GO FISHING?

Yes, fishing is great here. There are a couple of sport fishing companies in the area that provide pick up in Puerto Jimenez and a great day of fishing (for about $550 and up). Normal catches include sailfish, dorado, roosterfish, snapper, and grouper. Also, smaller local boats can be contracted for less money. Additionally, there are some very nice, big boats that are very comfortable for a longer trip or a more serious fishing group. These boats are most expensive but promise a great fishing experience. And, if you have your own equipment, fishing off the shore has been rewarding for many guests. However, if you do want to fish from the beach you will need to bring your own fishing equipment, as there are no fishing equipment rental places on the Osa Peninsula. Please click here to go to the activities section of our website for more detailed information.

CAN WE (SHOULD WE) VISIT CORCOVADO NATIONAL PARK?

Corcovado National Park is approximately 100,000 acres of rugged rainforest, lagoon and beachfront terrain. It is an amazing place and we feel very fortunate that our lodge shares the Osa Peninsula with such an amazing park. However, it is sometimes hard to access and explore the wonders of Corcovado in day trips. We at Bosque are approximately 20 kilometers from Corcovado National Park and the terrain and vegetation are very similar to what you see in the park. Most guests are more than satisfied with the hiking and wildlife that we have at Bosque. If you still wish to visit the park, day trips can be arranged either by flying into Sirena or hiking into the park through Carate. Guests that have gone on these day trips have found it very adventurous and exciting, as well as tiring, but most agree that they see as much wildlife at Bosque. However, we do have a great tour company that we use for the day trips to the park, Osa Aventura. Please click here to go to the activities section of our website for more detailed information.

ARE THERE MANY OTHER PEOPLE THAT WILL BE AT AND AROUND THE LODGE?

Maximum capacity of the lodge is 35-50 people (not including our staff). Since we serve dinner at large tables, you’ll have a chance to meet all the guests and socialize. On the other hand, there is always plenty of room to have privacy even when we are full. Our restaurant and bar are private, so we don’t have lots of people in and out that aren’t staying at the lodge.

WHAT IS THE FOOD LIKE?

Bosque del Cabo is known for having consistently delicious and plentiful meals. Our food, and guest satisfaction with our restaurant, is really important to us. All of the meals are made from scratch and prepared with fresh, local ingredients blending American, Costa Rican, and international cuisines. We hope you will be pleased and satisfied with the meals. Please click here to go to the Food & Drink section on this website.

IF I AM A VEGETARIAN, CAN I GET VEGETARIAN MEALS?

Yes, we are happy to prepare vegetarian meals and it is no problem, please notify us upon arrival, and by email or phone call in advance. Also, please advise us of any foods that you cannot eat (i.e., “allergic to shellfish”). As a note, we always do our best to please vegetarians, but please remember that our variety of vegetarian foods is limited. Please click here to go to the Food & Drink section of our website for more detailed information and to see a sample of our menus.

IF I AM ALLERGIC TO CERTAIN FOODS, WHOM DO I TELL?

Please advise us of any foods that you cannot eat when you arrive. You can tell the staff member that checks you in and also write it on your registration form (i.e., “allergic to shellfish”), but please also advise us in advance by email or phone. Please click here to go to the Food & Drink section of our website for more detailed information and to see a sample of our menus.

IS THERE ANY PLACE ELSE TO EAT IN THE AREA?

Not really. Puerto Jimenez is a long drive (about 45 minutes), and there are no public restaurants close by. There is one open-air bar/restaurant called “Buena Esperanza” (locally known as “Martina’s”), it is usually open and sometimes has food or bocas. Our cabina prices at Bosque del Cabo include the cost of food.

IS THE WATER SAFE TO DRINK?

Yes, the water at Bosque is safe to drink. Although it is not purified, it comes from our own spring. We use our own filtered spring water for the water that we serve with meals. Also, we provide chilled bottled water for sale. We have our filtered spring water available for free water bottle refills for guests.

WHAT IS THE NIGHTLIFE LIKE AROUND HERE?

There are a lot of nocturnal animals that can be seen on night walks, but as far as discos, bars, and movies, no. We do have a wonderful night tour that can reveal the fascinating nocturnal world of the rainforest and gardens at night. Sometimes we will advise guests when we are planning to have a Latin dance class after dinner; frequently our staff will serenade guests with folk songs. The weekends offer the colorful local disco in town- taxis can be arranged.

IS THERE A BAR AT THE LODGE?

Yes, there is a full service bar located next to the pool. We stock a selection of wines, Costa Rican and international beers, well drinks, Margaritas, Mojitos and blended Tropical cocktails, plus sodas, lemonade, fruit smoothies and non-alcoholic drinks.
Please click here to go to the Food & Drink section.

ARE THERE MEDICAL FACILITIES AROUND?

Yes, Puerto Jimenez has a very basic clinic with a doctor on 24-hour call. For any serious conditions, San Jose is a 45-minute flight away from Puerto Jimenez by air ambulance. San Jose offers a complete range of modern health care facilities with many English-speaking physicians. Please note, bring important medication with you on your trip, as there is not a great pharmacy in Puerto Jimenez and we will have to make arrangements for it to be brought from elsewhere (usually San Jose).

WHAT IS THE NEAREST TOWN AND WHAT IS IT LIKE?

Puerto Jimenez is 22 kilometers from Bosque del Cabo (about a 45 minute drive). Puerto Jimenez is a typical small, sleepy Central American town with a population of roughly 4000. The center of town (basically a 2-block radius) has small restaurants and bars. There is all the local color and quaintness you would expect, plus most of the amenities that you need, including a bank, internet café, airstrip, post office, gas station, public dock, several markets, a bakery, a hardware store, and a soccer field.

CAN I RENT A CAR IN PUERTO JIMENEZ, AND DO I NEED A CAR?

Yes, you can rent a car. Puerto Jimenez has a rental car company called “Solid Rent-a-Car” and we are happy to give you information about the company and rates. We can also help you rent a car from an agency in San Jose. Most agencies in San Jose now offer a service where they will drop off or pick up a car from Puerto Jimenez for an extra fee (between $90-$200 each way). If you would like us to assist you in securing a rental car, just let us know we will be happy to help. A 4wheel drive vehicle is recommended and almost always necessary in this terrain. You will need a driver’s license and valid credit card. You probably do not need a rental car once you get to our property unless you foresee wanting to drive down to the beach a few times a day (a lot of committed surfers who want to go the beach multiple times a day or fishermen that are going to make daily trips to Puerto Jimenez to get on a fishing boat will rent cars to use during their stay). Most people find it cheaper and more efficient to get rides with our cars for the few car trips that they might want to make during their stay.
Please click here to go to the Getting Here section

CAN I GET SOME LAUNDRY DONE?

Yes. All the laundry is sent to town and will take at least 24 hours for turnaround. The charge for the laundry depends on the size of the bag of dirty laundry.

IS THERE ELECTRICITY?

Yes, we do have electricity here at Bosque del Cabo. There are no power lines running this far out, the closest grid power is 20 kilometers away. We produce our own electricity for the restaurant, bar/pool area, cabins and houses with a solar and hydroelectric system.

CAN I USE A HAIRDRYER?

No, we do not produce enough power to sustain the use of high power consumers like hairdryers, curling irons, hot rollers, irons or coffee makers. Please do not use these items when you are staying at the lodge.

IS THERE T.V.?

No, there is no TV.

WILL MY CELLULAR PHONE WORK AT THE LODGE?

The short answer is no. There are not many cell towers on the Osa Peninsula, so the main problem is reception. We have never seen a personal-use cell phone (from Costa Rica or any other country) work at the lodge. Every once in a while a guest will bring a satellite phone. These seem to have mixed results, but the general consensus is that even the satellite phones don’t get good reception here.

CAN I MAKE A PHONE CALL OR SEND A FAX?

The answer is a limited yes. We have a cell phone antenna in the forest (it was necessary to put it in the forest because there is no reception in the area where the cabinas and restaurant are located). You can make a call from our cellular phone. This phone makes international calls (with some limitations) and you can use a credit card, calling card or pre-paid phone card to make the call. You dial direct from this phone for a charge of $2/minute. Please understand that the phone is not always working (dependent on weather and the equipment), but we will try to accommodate you the best we can. If the phone is down at the lodge, we can send your message to our office in Puerto Jimenez. We cannot send a fax from the lodge; however, if you would like to write a short fax we are happy to send that from our fax machine in town (Puerto Jimenez), for a charge.

CAN I GO ONLINE OR SEND AN EMAIL FROM THE LODGE?

Again, the answer is a limited yes. We have a satellite system for Internet access at the lodge. We have half hour and hourly rates for use of the Internet. Hours for internet use are during the day- more information can be obtained at the reception area of the lodge.

WHAT KIND OF CLOTHES SHOULD I BRING?

Bring lots of t-shirts, tank tops, and shorts. Light clothing is best, since it is never very cold and can be hot and humid. Also, a pair of lightweight, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt are useful. Hiking boots and teva-like sandals are the most practical footwear for the Osa; although for some people old tennis shoes are great for hiking (not as much ankle support as hiking boots but much lighter for packing). Many people also bring the popular new shoes, Crocs, as a walk-about shoe for around the grounds (these shoes aren’t really suited for hiking, but are nice and light and can be rinsed off if they get muddy or sandy). A hat and sunglasses are good for sun protection. Sunscreen is always a good item to have, as well as any medicines that you may need. If you are visiting during rainy season, a lightweight rain jacket is a good idea.

WHAT KIND OF SHOES SHOULD I BRING TO WEAR HIKING?

Hiking boots and “Tevas” are the shoes we most recommend. Hiking boots are recommended for long trails through the jungle where ants, stumps and brush can make a closed toe shoe a better choice. Hiking boots also give you ankle support and better traction on slippery ground. “Tevas” are good for beach trails where you can use them to walk through water as well as on hot sand. Some guests hike in their tennis shoes, which seems fine for most people. “Reef Walker” shoes are great (mesh and rubber water shoes) for going in the ocean. Flip-flops or backless shoes are not recommended for hiking. Many people also bring the popular new shoes, Crocs, as a walk-about shoe for around the grounds (these shoes aren’t really suited for hiking, but are nice and light and can be rinsed off if they get muddy or sandy).

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD BRING?

Yes, a good flashlight, camera (and film and appropriate batteries), and binoculars (although we do have several pairs of 8 x 30 Swarovski lenses for rent at the lodge). Please remember any medications that you need- it is not easy to get medication in this remote area. There are surprisingly few bugs at Bosque del Cabo, but, it is best to bring some over-the-counter insect repellant to have on hand, in case you need it (although we do sell an all natural, Deet-free insect repellent). Sunscreen is a great thing to bring. Bosque supplies soap in the showers (liquid soap from a pump), but guests should bring their own shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and any other toiletries that they need.

ARE THERE BUGS, AND IF SO WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO REPEL THEM?

There are surprisingly few bugs at Bosque del Cabo, partly due to the location 500 feet over the ocean with prevailing winds and nature’s cycle still being intact. Most guests even forego the use of mosquito nets at night. But, it is best to bring some over-the-counter insect repellant to have on hand, in case you need it (although we do sell an all natural, Deet-free insect repellent).

IS THERE ANYWHERE FOR ME TO SHOP?

Yes! We have a small gift shop located in the main restaurant building. We have a nice selection of crafts from Costa Rica, comprising almost all of the items in the shop; we also try hard to stock the shop with local items that help to support local and indigenous groups. We have an especially good variety of crafts made by the Boruca Indians, including masks, bows and arrows, carved gourds, and carved animals; purchase of these crafts can be vital in helping indigenous cultures survive and continue their traditional crafts. We also have a nice range of hats and t-shirts available. Several of the t-shirts we offer are sold to support conservation groups working in this area- Bosque donates 100% of the profits from these t-shirts to the organizations (such as Women of the Osa, the Osa SeaTurtle Conservation Project and Friends of the Osa).
Please click here to go to the Giftshop section.

WHAT KIND OF ANIMALS AM I LIKELY TO SEE?

You may see Scarlet Macaws, toucans, parrots and parakeets, tanagers, and many other types of birds. There are over 365 species of birds identified in the local area (with several endemic species). As far as animals, the most commonly seen are monkeys (there are 4 types here, and it doesn’t take much hiking to find them all), coatis, agoutis, tayras, kinkajous, sloths, armadillos, peccaries and anteaters. Also spotted on our reserve have been pumas, ocelots, margays, and jaguarundis. This last year we also had several sightings of tapirs (large hoofed mammals) on the property! It is rare to see tapirs in forests outside of the national park, so we are very excited and awed that the wild tapirs have returned to this area. There are also an abundance of amphibians and insects to observe such as poison dart frogs, iguanas, boas, morpho butterflies, Leaf-cutter Ants, and many many more. Please click here to go to the wildlife section of our website for more detailed information.

HOW CONCERNED SHOULD I BE ABOUT SNAKES?

When you are walking, you should always be conscious that you are in an animal’s domain. Snakebites almost always happen because someone steps on them, so when hiking, watch where you step. This is not an area with a high concentration of snakes but you should be aware that there are some species of venomous snakes in this area. If you encounter a snake, give it space. Although there are only a few species of poisonous snakes in this area, treat all snakes with caution.

CAN I SEE A JUNGLE CAT AT BOSQUE DEL CABO?

Bosque del Cabo is probably one of the best places in Costa Rica to possibly see a jungle cat. Of course the main the ways to see a jungle cat is good luck- cats have a great sense of smell and hearing, so they will most likely know you are there before you see them and disappear. However, there are cat sightings about 2-3 times per month (mostly Pumas, Ocelots, Jaguarundis and, more rarely, Margays). If you hike quietly you have a better chance for a sighting.

IS THERE ANYTHING IN THE FOREST THAT WILL ATTACK ME?

No, unless you provoke the animals or insects, they will generally leave you alone. However, if you do encounter a group of peccaries use caution and do not try to provoke them, as they can be aggressive if they feel threatened. If you see a jungle cat (like a Puma, Ocelot or Jaguar) don’t try to chase it or run away from it. We have never heard of any problems with big cats in this area, but we want our guests to exercise caution and realize that this forest is their home.

DO YOU HAVE SPECIAL “LOW SEASON” RATES?

Yes, please check our pricing schedule. Please click here to go to the Reservations/Rates section of our website for more detailed information and prices.

HOW MANY DAYS SHOULD WE STAY?

We recommend a stay of 3-5 days, or more if you want to really relax and get in the groove of things; many of our return guests stay anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks. A 2-day stay is the minimum stay that we recommend, since it is quite a trip for such a short amount of time.

HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD I MAKE RESERVATIONS?

The Christmas/New Year’s week always books up about 6-9 months in advance. The Easter Break/Spring Break week usually books up about 6-9 months in advance, also. So, for those times, it is best to make reservations as far in advance as possible, to insure that there will be space. Otherwise, it is good to make reservations at least 3-5 months in advance for the high season (mid December to April). During the green season, there is usually some more flexibility in room availability, but it is always good to book those rooms as far in advance as possible. If you are interested in booking one of our rental houses it is best to do that as far in advance as possible, as these houses are very popular and get booked up quickly.

DO YOU HAVE A CHECK-IN/CHECK-OUT TIME?

We like to be really flexible here at Bosque del Cabo, so we don’t have an official policy about check-in/check-out times. But, as a guideline, we usually think of checkout at 11am and check-in at 2pm. We always try to turn the cabinas over by the lunch hour- so if you are departing late please be ready to vacate your cabina by 12noon, and if you are arriving before noon please have patience with us until at least 2pm. We will always try to work around the schedules of our guests to make it easy for everyone.

WHERE CAN WE STAY IN SAN JOSE?

We can either make your reservations or put you in touch with hotels in San Jose. There are a wide variety of hotels in San Jose, ranging from quaint bed and breakfasts, to luxury hotels. Just ask us.

CAN YOU CHANGE EXTRA MONEY FOR US AT THE LODGE?

Of course we can make change for your bill with us, but we have a hard time changing extra money. We are pretty far from the bank so we don’t always have lots of change on hand. If we can do it, we will be happy to make the change. But if we are not able to make the change, there is a bank with an ATM in Puerto Jimenez, as well as various businesses that will change dollars/Traveler’s Checks for you.

HOW BIG IS YOUR STAFF, AND WHO IS ON IT?

Bosque has a great staff of helpful, eager-to-please people. We do our best to hire people that have a great attitude, excellent skills and a genuine interest in helping us create a memorable and enjoyable atmosphere for our guests. We currently employ the following staff positions: a forest guard; an assistant manager/guide; 2 hostess/guest relations people; an in-house guide/biologist, three chefs, one sous chef, seven kitchen helpers, 4 bartender/waiters, 6-10 gardeners, 2 carpenters and 4 carpenter’s helpers/maintenance men, 5 maids, a masseur, 3 office workers who live in Puerto Jimenez, 3 drivers, and a cook for all the employees. And then of course Phil and Kim oversee everyone. About 95% of our staff members are Costa Ricans and we always try to employ local Costa Rican people when we get the chance. We also have interns from time to time, this year 3 interns are scheduled to come and work during different months throughout the year.

IS TIPPING APPROPRIATE?

Yes! The staff always appreciates tips, and tipping is appropriate. You can tip the person directly or give it to us upon checkout, and we will direct it where you want it to go. Tips for the cabina maid can be left in the cabina upon departure. Taxi drivers appreciate tips. If Leonardo, Jose or anyone in the office were very helpful to you (i.e. with arranging flights, etc.), a tip for the office is also appropriate.

I MADE MY DEPOSIT WITH A CREDIT CARD. HAS MY CARD BEEN CHARGED FOR THIS DEPOSIT?

No. We only use the credit card authorizations that you faxed us to hold your reservations. We never charge these authorizations through unless there is a “no-show,” or untimely cancellation.

IF I WANT TO CHANGE MY DOMESTIC FLIGHT DATE OR DEPARTURE TIME, CAN YOU HELP ME?

Yes, we are happy to help you with any flight reservation changes. We will do our best to help you with the changes you want, but please give us as much notice as possible. Both Nature Air and Sansa charge change fees.

WHY DO YOU CHARGE FOR SANSA TICKETS AND NOT NATURE AIR TICKETS?

We book plane tickets as a service for our guests; we book both Sansa and Nature Air. Sansa’s booking system is a bit more antiquated, and they ask us for weekly payments for the tickets we book with them. They only accept cash (no credit cards) as payment. Therefore, we bill our guests for these tickets on their final bill. We do ask that you pay the full ticket fares with cash or Traveler’s Checks. When we make the reservations for Sansa we do ask for a credit card authorization from our guests. We secure this credit card information to protect us if the guest makes a late cancellation or does not show up for the reserved flight. We do not use these authorizations as payment for the tickets. Nature Air has a more modern ticketing system, and will charge your tickets directly to your credit card. Nature Air usually charges the tickets when you make the reservations. However, please be advised that Sansa has tried to adopt a system more like Nature Air’s payment system, and they are hoping this season to fully implement payment by credit card- so it could be that some of the Sansa reservations we make for guests will be charged to their cards and some will need to be charged at the lodge, depending on what date we booked your reservations.

HOW DO I PAY?

If you are not prepaid, we accept cash (colones or dollars), or Traveler’s Checks (U.S. dollar Traveler’s Checks). We can also accept personal checks (that are drawn off a U.S. bank and in U.S. dollars) and VISA or MASTERCARD credit cards with advanced notice. We prefer cash or Traveler’s Checks to Visa/MC because the credit card companies charge us as merchants a large commission (6%) for these charges (which is, unfortunately, common in Costa Rica). If you pay with a VISA/MC card, there may be some extra waiting time involved while we get an authorization on the charge. We CANNOT accept American Express because of the local banking system (these cards do not have any affiliation with the only bank in Puerto Jimenez- Banco Nacional de Costa Rica). Typically, bills are settled right before the guest checks out, but if you prefer to pay earlier, talk to a staff member. If you are checking out before 8am, please settle your bill the previous night (before dinner is strongly preferred). We prefer to do the bills between 6-7pm, or between 7-8am. Please note that Bosque del Cabo does not accept American Express (the bank in town will not accept AMEX, so our lodge is not able to take AMEX either).

IF I PAY WITH A VISA OR MASTERCARD CREDIT CARD WILL BOSQUE DEL CABO ADD ON A 6% FEE TO MY CHARGE?

No, Bosque del Cabo will not add on any extra percentage charges for any charges on the VISA/MC for the rooms, taxes, or food. If you would like to pay for your other tours or Sansa tickets, for example, with a VISA/MC, then we will add on the 6% fee that we will get charged to make that credit card charge. We strongly prefer that these activities and tickets be paid in cash; however we do realize that some guests prefer the convenience of being able to use their VISA/MC cards for these charges as well, so we wanted to pre-advise you of this policy. We will even accept a personal check backed up with a VISA/MC, if you prefer to settle your bill in that way.

I HAVE A FLIGHT OUT OF PUERTO JIMENEZ; WILL YOU ARRANGE A TAXI FOR ME?

Of course, we are happy to arrange transportation for our guests to and from the airport, and if you have reservations with us, we probably have arranged the roundtrip ride for you before you even arrive. The times of when you will be picked up depend on your flight; but usually we plan for the ride to leave the lodge about 1.5-2 hours before the departure time for the flight. We can even help you with a taxi driver in San Jose, if you need, just ask. This year the airlines have informed us that they want guests to arrive at the airport 30-40 minutes in advance of departure time; so please be ready to depart from Bosque approximately 2 hours before flight time. Also, please be advised that if you do arrive at the airport with waiting time before your flight lands both Sansa and Nature Air have covered areas where you can wait. Sansa has an open air lean-to with benches that is right on the side of the airstrip; Nature Air has a building near the corner across from the airstrip that has a bathroom and a place to check in and weigh your luggage with one of their agents.

IF I HAVE AN EARLY FLIGHT FOR MY DEPARTURE WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE?

Both Nature Air and Sansa have flights that depart from Puerto Jimenez at 7am. These flights are a great way to catch an international connection and fly home all in one day. Since many travelers are making same-day international connections these flights are usually very timely in their departure time of 7am (they have even been known to depart early). So we try to get our guests to the airstrip in plenty of time to make the flight. The taxi for the early flights needs to depart Bosque del Cabo no later than 5:30-5:45am. If you would like coffee before the taxi, please arrive a little before 5:30am- the coffee will be ready! We can also make you a quick bite to eat (often we make egg sandwiches to go) if you get to the restaurant by 5:30am. Please settle your bill with us the evening before your early departure, and let us know if you want anything for early breakfast then (so we can tell the kitchen to plan for it). If you need help with luggage please arrive at the restaurant by 5:25am. Please remember that other guests may be on the same taxi to depart on the early flight- so please be on time for that taxi.

SHOULD I TRY TO CHECK OUT PUERTO JIMENEZ?

Puerto Jimenez is a small town with lots of character and while it may not be the most charming town in Costa Rica, it does have an interesting history. 30 years ago Puerto Jimenez was mainly a jumping-off point for goldminers going into the land that is now Corcovado National Park. The town had a Wild West feeling, with dusty unpaved roads, lots of bars and a healthy nightlife. Modern day Puerto Jimenez is a pretty quiet town, famed around Costa Rica for the Scarlet Macaws that fly freely around town and as a gateway to many wonderful destinations on the Osa Peninsula. This town has mangroves close to and in the town, a small boat docking area and pier, a water bird rookery just outside of town and a couple of cute stores where one can find nice crafts (Jagua is the best store in town, with Artes de Osa also a nice choice). If you have a little time before or after a boat or fishing tour, or before your flight departs, it can be fun to check out town.

ARE THERE ANY OTHER PLACES TO VISIT IN THE AREA?

We believe that the Golfo Dulce and Osa Peninsula area are the most beautiful in Costa Rica. If you would like any more information about visiting places close by, just ask us.

CAN YOU HELP ME RECONFIRM MY FLIGHTS?

We will be happy to help you reconfirm flights (either local or international) if we can. Please remember that we appreciate as much notice as possible for this service. Also please remember that we only have a cellular phone (which is run by solar power and sometimes has technical problems, as well as being more costly than a land line), so if there is another location from which you can reconfirm your flights, it would probably be preferable.

WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE?

Costa Rica has two main seasons, the rainy season and the dry season; the months vary a little from region to region. On the Osa Peninsula, you can usually count on December through April being dry with a few scattered showers per month. May to July is the beginning of the rainy season, and it will usually rain a few times a week, usually in the afternoon. Late August through early November bring the hardest rains; there is normally a pattern of hard afternoon rains followed by bright, sunny mornings. The temperature stays in the upper 70s and 80s, with the hottest time being March.

WHAT IS THE WEATHER IN THE OSA LIKE DURING THE DIFFERENT MONTHS OF THE YEAR?

Here is a general rundown of the weather here in the Osa:

January: beautiful and sunny, not much rain at all, very lush and green vegetation, heavily traveled tourist month
February: beautiful and sunny, not much rain at all, heavily traveled tourist month
March: beautiful and sunny, not much rain, starting to get a little warmer and drier, heavily traveled tourist month
April: beautiful and sunny, not much rain, the warmest and driest month, heavily traveled tourist month, very busy tourist time during Easter week (expect lots of families and children during that week)
May: beginning of the rainy season towards the end of the month, some rain, usually lightning storms, light tourist month
June: the rainy season starts to set in, usually there are afternoon rain showers that last 2-4 hours, clear mornings and starry evenings are typical, towards the end of the month there is a break in the rain that is called the “little summer” (like an Indian Summer), moderate-heavily traveled tourist month
July: the rainy season, usually there are afternoon rain showers that last 2-4 hours, clear mornings and starry evenings are typical, moderate-heavily traveled tourist month (popular time for families and students)
August: the rainy season starts to move into a stronger mode, usually there are afternoon rain showers that last 2-4 hours, clear mornings and starry evenings are typical, towards the end of the month there is a greater chance for more showers during the day, moderate-heavily traveled tourist month
September: one of the heavy rain shower months, after the middle of the month there is typically strong rain every day, cooler temperatures, one of the least traveled tourist months
October: probably the heaviest rain shower month, rain can last all day, cooler temperatures, probably the lowest traveled month for tourism
November: the rainy season usually ends in this month, but there can still be heavy rains in the beginning of the month, also greater chance of lightning storms, very nice weather towards the end of the month, lush green forests from the rainy season, moderately traveled tourist month
December: usually beautiful and sunny, not much rain at all, especially towards the end of the month, this month begins the heavily traveled tourist season, perhaps one of the best months of the year for great weather and not many crowds

WHEN ARE THE BEST TIMES TO VISIT FOR GREAT SURF CONDITIONS?

Cabo Matapalo receives swells from the southern hemisphere; these swells are the strongest May-October, although there can be waves any time of the year.

WHY DON’T YOU CALL BOSQUE DEL CABO AN “ECOLODGE?”

We never really liked the term “ecolodge.” Bosque started before this term came into popular use, so we always had called ourselves a “nature lodge.” We hesitate to label ourselves “ecolodge” because we feel like that term is overused and undefined. Of course Bosque practices sustainable procedures, recycles and supports conservation. We feel like striving for conservation and protection of the forests and biodiversity is our main goal, and we have dedicated many years and a great deal of effort towards this end. However, we don’t want to water down honest efforts towards conservation by taking on a vague label and trying to capitalize commercially on it. Please click here to go to the Sustainable Tourism section of our website for more detailed information about environmentally sustainable practices that Bosque del Cabo uses.

DO YOU RECYCLE AT BOSQUE DEL CABO (AND CAN I RECYCLE SOME OF MY TRASH)?

Yes! We are proud to say that we do recycle at Bosque. There is a new recycling center in Puerto Jimenez, and our drivers bring the recycling there. The Recycling Center sorts and processes it and then it is picked up by various companies that take the materials to be recycled in San Jose and the surrounding area. We have recycling bins (large plastic bins) that are located next to reception. We recycle glass, aluminum cans and plastic bottles. You can recycle things like plastic water bottles and soda cans, etc, by giving them to a staff member or placing them directly in the recycling bins. There are also small recycling receptacles in your accommodations.

WHAT ARE THE SUSTAINABLE PROCEDURES/ENVIRONMENTAL MEASURES THAT BOSQUE DEL CABO PRACTICES?

Bosque del Cabo is always trying to create habits and procedures that will impact the environment as little as possible. One of the most complicated and important measure that Bosque takes to protect the environment is to create our own power from hydro electric and solar power. As far as we know, Bosque is one of the only lodges on the Osa and in most of Costa Rica to operate the majority of its daily operations with power created in a renewable way. All of the light fixtures at the lodge are compact fluorescents or LED lights (that have a longer life and use a fraction of the power that regular light bulbs consume). Our pool uses a non-chemical ionizing system, as well as a solar powered pool pump. We cook with organically grown food whenever it is available, and we support small businesses that promote and sell organic food and locally grown produce and herbs. The kitchen makes a point to try and cook local and typical Costa Rican foods and to mainly use and serve vegetables, fruit, and herbs that are grown and commonly used in this area- this not only highlights the cuisine of the region/country but it also economically aids farmers and businesses in this area. And, in fact, Bosque supports the local economy of Puerto Jimenez by purchasing most of our food locally. The grey water from our main lodge and restaurant is naturally processed and cleansed with an engineered wetlands filtration system. Organic food scrapes and plant cuttings are used as compost for our gardens. Buildings at Bosque are made with plantation wood whenever possible (we mostly use the teak from our own plantation) or bamboo- both materials are a renewable resource that does not require cutting down of old-growth forests. Biodegradable soaps and cleaning products are used at every possible opportunity. Drainages created around structures are responsibly engineered and erosion control plants are used whenever appropriate. Bosque hires Costa Rican workers whenever possible and has around 95% Costa Rican workers on the staff (with a majority of these being locals). Education is provided to workers regarding hunting/fishing of natural resources. Carpools are set up for workers in order to avoid multiple vehicles going in and out from town. We at the lodge recycle plastic, aluminum, glass, steel and cardboard ; we also recycle paper, envelopes and anything we feel can be reused. We try to limit our use of plastic bags by using specially designed vinyl bags for hauling laundry and fabrics back and forth to town. Additionally we sponsor beach clean-ups for our beachfront and the beaches in the area. Bosque hosts interns from around the world in order to teach them about the workings of a small business, and more importantly to us, how a business can sustainably interact with and work to protect the environment. We encourage opportunities for guests to learn about some of the interesting cultural facets of Costa Rica (for instance with the free dance classes that we offer from time to time, a gift shop stocked with local crafts made by indigenous people, a small museum, musical selections from different parts of the country and with an ample library full of Costa Rican history and natural history books). Finally, we encourage lectures and educational opportunities for our guests; this year we are trying to offer weekly discussions on topics such as turtle conservation, biodiversity in the Osa, the history of conservation in the Osa and talks on the varied and interesting research projects occurring on the Osa. Bosque does support and donate to local non-profits in this area, mainly including Friends of the Osa, Nueva Hoja (the local bilingual school) and Women of the Osa. Please click here to go to the Conservation section of our website for more detailed information about conservation at Bosque del Cabo and the local groups that we support.