We are passionate about our surroundings and love sharing our spectacular corner of paradise with our friends, family and guests. Having always sought true, off-the-beaten-track adventures during our own travels, our aim is to let you experience our stunning location exactly as we would want to. We have created a selection of excursions which we believe do just that; an eclectic mix of rainforest and ocean adventures which we are sure will create unforgettable memories of your stay with us.
Our Ocean Adventures and Rainforest Expeditions are run exclusively by us for you; we will suggest you go off exploring at the right time of the day, the correct tide, and even the perfect moon phase! There are no set times as we want you to experience nature at its very best and of course everything is customisable to your own very wish. Importantly there are no large groups to follow as we only offer these excursions to guests staying at the Retreat. You may have to share the boat with another guest or two but you will likely be on your own. All our tours are designed for a minimum of two adults, but if you are travelling alone or with a child only, please get in touch and we will try to accommodate you.
For longer stays or for the most adventurous out there, we can also organise excursions further afield to some of our preferred destinations around Golfo Dulce: Pavones, a world famous surfing spot, and Caño Island, one of Costa Rica’s most pristine Marine Biological Reserves with superb snorkelling and diving opportunities. For beginner and intermediate surfers, we can also arrange excursions to the beautiful Playa Pan Dulce on the Osa Peninsula. Let us take care of all the logistics for you - for these particular excursions we have partnered with the best and most professional operators so all you need to do is relax and have fun!
Once the sun sets, the bay of Golfo Dulce becomes host to an incredible natural phenomenon. Disturbance of the water, from the passage of a boat, trailing hand or jumping fish, leads to a unique biological light show: minute organisms producing their own ethereal bioluminescence. On a clear, moonless night, the sky is spectacularly scattered with stars, mirroring the twinkling lights below. Golfo Dulce is one of a handful of places in the world where bioluminescent is always present.
We aim to set off immediately after dinner. Depending on whether you just want to gaze at this amazing spectacle from the boat or jump in with your mask and become part of the show, this outing lasts between 1 and 2 hours and costs between $45 and $55 per person ($25 per child). We require a minimum of 2 adults on this trip.
The waters of Golfo Dulce teem with a wide variety of fish. Early morning or sunset are the perfect times to go out on our boat and catch bonitos, mackerels, barracudas and tunas. This is also a wonderful and relaxing opportunity to take in the spectacular views and sounds of the rainforest... and have a possible chance encounter with Golfo Dulce's resident dolphins. Enjoy your catch as part of your four course dinner. We require a minimum of 2 adults on this trip.
This excursion lasts about 2 hours and costs $30 per person ($15 per child).
Osa Wildlife Sanctuary
A short boat ride from the retreat is the Osa Wildlife Sanctuary. Located in a small cove of rainforest with its own beautiful beach the Sanctuary is home to a wide variety of animals. Often rescued from the pet trade, these include sloths, macaws, ocelots, spider monkeys and many other spectacular species. The Sanctuary offers an informative and personal tour, allowing you to get close to some of the rainforests most iconic inhabitants.
This excursion lasts about 2.5 hours and costs $45 per person ($30 per child) including entrance fees and we require a minimum of 2 adults.
Take a trek to the edge of primary rainforest with one of our experienced guides, through dense jungle all the way to our beautiful waterfall. On the way there, make sure to stop by our ancient Ceiba tree. At the waterfall, you will be searching for the endemic Golfo Dulce Poison-dart Frog, with its distinctive orange markings. Finally, take a cool dip and a vigorous shoulder massage (courtesy of Mother Nature) before hiking back to the retreat.
This guided expedition lasts about 3 hours and costs $38 per person ($20 per child).We require a minimum of 2 adults on this trip.
Primary Rainforest Flame Hike
Venture into luscious primary rainforest - accompanied by our local guide - where you will encounter dynamic walking palms, giant vines and ancient vaco trees, the source of nutritious milk-like sap for past indigenous tribes . This hike truly comes alive when you reach the kerosene trees, named for their remarkable resin which is highly flammable. Keep your eyes peeled for peccaries, curassows and playful squirrel monkeys – you never know what you might find!
This guided expedition, which involves a steep climb and descent, is around 2 hours long and costs $35 per person ($18 per child). We require a minimum of two adults on this trip.
Picnic in the Primary Rainforest
Crossing the dry riverbed at the back of our grounds leads to an entrance directly into the primary rainforest. A challenging but fascinating hike up the steep jungle hills with one of our guides gives you the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the rainforest’s most mature trees with occasional glimpses of the ocean far below through the vegetation. This is a great way of getting a view into the higher rainforest canopies, with its abundance of bird species hiding amongst the thick foliage. Our local Park Rangers often spot felines in their camera traps on this route, so make sure to look out for mammal tracks and even puma scat. At the top of the climb, there is a flat area where you will be rewarded for your efforts with a picnic prepared by us surrounded by dense jungle amongst the clouds before returning.
This guided expedition, which involves a steep climb and descent, lasts about 3 hours and costs $45 per person ($25 per child). We require a minimum of 2 adults on this trip.
Ceiba to Ceiba Hike
Journey through thick primary and secondary rainforest to meet the first two of seven gigantic secular Ceiba trees which form a 30 mile long line from our property all the way to the border with Panama. Although the significance of this perhaps mystical passage has been lost throughout the centuries, we know that these magnificent trees were planted in Colombian times by local indigenous populations. Note that this is a challenging hike at 6 miles (10km) long and cumulative elevation gain of 1150ft (350m) and requires a good level of fitness.
This guided expedition lasts 6-8 hours and costs $58 per person including packed snacks and entry ticket to Piedras Blancas National Park (not recommended for children). We require a minimum of 2 adults on this trip.
Join us after dinner for a tour of our two wildlife ponds and their surroundings with our resident young biologist. You will discover the nocturnal inhabitants of the retreat, including the emblem of Costa Rica, the red-eyed tree-frog. Make sure to point your search light at eye level and discover an amazing spectacle!
This excursion lasts about 45 minutes and is complimentary.
Surfing in epic Pavones
Pavones is located on the southernmost tip of Golfo Dulce and its waves are considered by the pros as truly legendary. Regardless of how good you are at surfing, this is a great way to experience a world class and very remote surfing destination, learn the art with a top-class instructor and just have a great time.
The excursion will last 7-8 hours and will include a 2 hour surfing lesson, all necessary equipment including surf boards, boat and car transportation, packed breakfast and a sandwich lunch with juice at one of Pavones best cafes. We will require a minimum of two adults for this trip and the cost is $220 per person and $100 for any extra guest. Please note that we will need plenty of notice to arrange this trip as it is tide dependent so ask us as soon as possible!
Mastering the waves in Playa Pan Dulce
The waves in Pan Dulce are ideal for learning to surf or simply mastering the art. It’s a perfect right point break for beginner to intermediate surfers that makes learning fun without any hazards. You teacher Oldemar, a.k.a. ‘Pollo’, was born and raised in Cabo Matapalo and has been teaching surfing since 2002. He is an International Surf Association certified instructor and his expertise of the area is unbeatable.
The excursion will last around 5 hours and will include a 2 hour group surfing lesson, all necessary equipment including surf boards, boat and car transportation as well as snacks. We will require a minimum of two adults for this trip and the cost is $160 per person for the first two adults and $80 for any extra guest. Please note that private lessons or young children’s lessons (8 or younger) can also be arranged for an extra fee. We will need plenty of notice to arrange this trip as it is tide dependent so ask us as soon as possible!
The forests around the retreat consist of a vast variety of trees and plants. Our Tree Trail allows you to explore these species in greater depth, discovering details of how they live and contribute to the rainforest. Whilst on the walk, you will witness the enormity of our Ceiba, a gargantuan tree that was around when Europeans first explored Costa Rica. There is also a good chance of seeing animals including monkeys (spider, squirrel, howler and capuchin), curassows, agoutis and peccaries throughout your journey into the rainforest.
This is an easy self guided trek which takes around 1.5 hours to complete. Walking boots, water bottles, walking sticks and tree map will also be provided on a complimentary basis.
Kayaking and Stand-up-paddle boarding
Our pebbly beach is but a minute’s walk from the main living areas and provides an enthralling activity at both high and low tide. We have a number of kayaks and standup paddling boards available for use in our Beach Hut, and we will provide you with sports life vests. Kayaking along our beach Playa San Josecito will give you a magnificent view of our spectacular setting. Expect to see jumping fish around you, gliding birds and, if you're truly blessed, dolphins gently taking in air as they surface. For the more experienced and adventurous, paddle further afield to a small waterfall and take a closer look at our local colony of brown pelicans (March-November).
Use of kayaks and stand-up-paddling boards is complimentary. We will also provide you with snorkelling equipment, water shoes and sports life jackets.