CAFENET
EL SOL

Pto Jimenez, Costa Rica
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Matapalo

Map courtesy of Jorge Carranza

General Information

The Cape Matapalo region of the Osa, located 29 kilometers south of Puerto Jiménez, is one of its most popular playgrounds.  Boasting three world-class surfing breaks, spectacular beach and rock seascapes, and montane primary rain forest, Matapalo is mostly a residential area of vacation homes and wilderness lodges.  The Matapalo region includes some of the most renowned ecolodges of the peninsula, including two of the original wilderness resorts, Lapa Rios and Bosque del Cabo.  Primary forest, streams, and miles of spectacular rocky points and sandy coves have made Matapalo the most recognized place name on the peninsula. 

Getting There

For visitors staying in a lodge and especially for those with vacation rentals, a 4WD rental car is a very helpful commodity.  It is 20 km south of Puerto Jimenez on the Carate highway.  The Matapalo turnoff is located one km past Bar y Restaurante Buena Esperanza where you will take a left then a quick right to enter Matapalo.  A taxi costs $25.  The Carate colectivo passes by the Matapalo entrance twice daily, departing Jimenez at 0600 and 1330.  The fare is $1.50 and the colectivo passes by Matapalo on its Jimenez return about 0930 and 1630 daily.  There is a fairly large amount of highway traffic and hitch-hiking is fruitful.  To hitch a ride to Matapalo, go stand under the Mango tree at El Mango Real.

Tours and Activities

The spectacular coastline boasts three successive beaches, separated by rocky points.  Pan Dulce, is a great swimming beach with a surf break off the southern point that sweeps to the north across the bay offering long rides.  The next beach to the south is Back Wash, and the farthest south is Matapalo Beach, considered the most difficult of the three surf breaks.  The coastline can be walked beyond Matapalo Beach to the 300 foot rock cliffs that comprise the actual cape itself.  There are several streams that can be hiked up for self-guiding wildlife hikes.  The most impressive of the regional waterfalls is King Louis, located about 750 meters from Matapalo Beach.  Matapalo is ideal for exploring on one's own.  However, there are a large number of professional tours and activities offered in this region as well and are described below.

MATAPALO DAY HIKE

Explore Matapalo with a bilingual naturalist guide.  Includes primary and secondary forest, river, beach, and waterfall.  Transport and lunch included.  Departs Puerto Jimenez daily at 0600, returning at 1530, or join tour at Matapalo turnoff at 0645.  $45

 

TREE CLIMBING

Following an hour long hike through spectacular countryside, including King Louis Falls, climb up the inside of a strangler fig tree.  The parasitized tree is long rotted away, and a weave of branches makes it possible to climb 100 feet up in the inside of the tree to ring the bell at the top.  Climb back down and let yourself out a window in the side of the tree to be belayed down to the ground.  $60 Four hours.  Departs Matapalo Beach. 

WATERFALL RAPELLING

Rapell about 100 feet beside King Louis waterfall following a forty five minute hike up the stream bed.  Four hours.  Departs Matapalo Beach.  $75

COMBO TREE-CLIMBING/WATERFALL RAPELLING SAME DAY:  $100

BIRD WATCHING

With over 315 species in the Matapalo region and an avid bilingual naturalist with a telescope, you can´t go wrong.  $35

 

SURFING LESSONS

Learn to surf on the Pan Dulce breaks.  Foam long boards make it a snap to stand the first time under the expert guidance of local surfing experts.  No age limits, everybody guaranteed to stand their first lesson.    Two hours.  Pan Dulce Beach. $40.

HORSEBACK RIDING

Horseback tours make the run all along Matapalo trails and beaches.  Extensive wildlife.  Gallop on a tropical beach.  Four hours, daily.  $35

OTHER ACTIVITIES:  For sport fishing, you either have to drive into Jimenez to catch your boat or swim out to meet up with them as the regional sport fishing outfitters harbor in either Jimenez, Golfito, or Zancudo.  Also, spectacular Golfo Dulce motorboat tours with Changing Tide Tours depart daily from Puerto Jiménez, and rock diving trips are also available to groups of four.  Mangrove kayaking and sunset dolphin watching tours also have Jimenez departures, and all are well worth the hour and a half round trip ride to do them.  For the Matapalo-bound, Martina's Bar offers an alternative to nature saturation and is conveniently within walking distance. 

Accommodations:  All Inclusive

All-inclusive Matapalo ecolodges include the following.  For more information on the lodge of your choice or to make reservations, click on the link beside the lodge and let me know your dates.  If you would like general advice simply write me with your questions.  For budget hotels in the town of Drake, see the following section.

A WORD ABOUT PRICING:  Too avoid the possibility of dated information, Sol de Osa, no longer publishes prices for lodges.  We rate accommodations as budget (BUD), mid-priced (MID), and top-shelf (TOP) according to the relativities of the class of destination.  Most lodges are all-inclusive and are priced per person.  Others do not include taxes in their pricing structure, and hotels and vacation rentals are normally priced per night based on double occupancy.  Please inquire for current pricing. 

LOGO

DESCRIPTION RATE  

BOSQUE DEL CABO: An original Osa Peninsula Eco-Lodge, Bosque del Cabo is situated on over 500 acres of primary rain forest and has 10 sumptuously anointed bungalows nestled in sweeping tropical gardens overlooking the Pacific Ocean from the 500 foot escarpment of Cape Matapalo itself. Swimming pool, kilometers of private forest trails, staff tour guides, gourmet cuisine, bar, gift shop. World-class empty beaches, abundant wildlife. All-inclusive.

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TOP

LAPA RIOS: A spectacular rain forest eco-lodge destination for the well-heeled and discriminating. Fourteen cozy palm-thatched bungalows with spectacular views; gourmet cuisine in a full service restaurant; elegant accommodations; swimming pool; full bar; tour guides on staff. Private wildlife reserve. Kilometers of dedicated private rain forest trails. In the mountains but within walking distance of the spectacular beaches of Matapalo.  All-inclusive.

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TOP

EL REMANSO: Situated on 140 acres of primary forest mountain top overlooking the Pacific Ocean, El Remanso offers all-inclusive lodging amid serenity, seclusion, and a wealth of wildlife and nature. Extensive network of trails. Hydroelectric-powered, luxurious cottages and guest house, gourmet cuisine. El Remanso specializes in tree-climbing and canopy tours, though other tours are also available.  

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TOP

ENCANTA LA VIDA: Located in Matapalo, Encanta La Vida is an all-inclusive wilderness lodge and resort. Minutes away from a beautiful tropical beach, the lodge is located in manicured gardens at the base of the mountain slopes. With rooms in two large lodges and one private bungalow, Encanta La Vida can accommodate individuals, couples, and even large groups wishing to reserve the entire complex. Facilities include restaurant and bar, with access to horseback riding and kayaking. On site tour guide provides kayak and wilderness tours upon request. 

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MID

KAPU LODGE Steps away from spectacular Matapalo beach and its third of the world-class Cabo Matapalo surf breaks, KAPU LODGE is nestled into the forest and offers travelers the best option in budget lodging in all of Matapalo.  This lodging offers the option of staying in one of their two-person tents on platforms or staying in one of their fully-equipped and ready-to-use houses.

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BUD

OSA VIDA: Osa Vida Eco-Lodge is located within walking distance of both Matapalo beach and Backwash Bay.  It is also the only budget option inside of Matapalo with standard rooms starting at just $35 per person!  They offer outdoor living room areas with immaculate views of the rainforest.  Outdoor showers and toilet facilities, dining area, and common kitchen round-out their rustic wildlife experience in the heart of Cabo Matapalo.

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BUD

Accommodations:  Vacation Rentals

The most economical lodging alternative for groups are the large number of vacation rentals available in the Matapalo, Sombrero, Carbonera strip.  All are fully furnished and outfitted with kitchenware and linens and have potable water, alternative energy, and refrigeration.  For these destinations, it's best to have a rental car.  An onsite private cook can be arranged for $25-35 per day depending on group size.  Matapalo vacation rentals are described below.

CASA OSA MARMARIS  Top shelf beachfront Matapalo luxury home.  Sleeps up to eight, right on Backwash Bay.  One of the nicest homes in the entire region. 

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TOP
SURFSIDE BUNGALOWS    Luxury cottages, full amenities, broadband Internet, full power, pool, close to the waves. 

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MID
OCEANSIDE:  Located in Carbonera, a few-minute drive from Matapalo, Oceanside is an elegant beach house.  The tasteful yet simple decoration makes it an ideal place to have a peaceful vacation.  One can sit on the roof in the evening on one of three decks and watch the monkeys in the trees as close as fifteen feet away.  It is located about 200 meters from a beautiful, peaceful beach.

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MID

CASA KUMBAYA:  Beautiful beachfront open-air home on Sombrero Beach.  Single bedroom, sleeps 2-4 comfortabley with tent platform expansion for others.  On one hectare of landscaped gardens, beachfront, Wi-Fi, solar powered

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TOP
CASA TRES PECES    Beautiful guest home on Backwash Bay.  Waterfront, two bedroom, open-air, full kitchen and amenities, environmentally sustainable solar-powered home.  Full of amenities.

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TOP
CASA TRES PALMAS:  Spectacular, remote, oppulent.  This two-bedroom house, with its loft, situated on 25 acres of primary rain forest in the amid thousands of acres of private wilderness preserve overlooks the Pacific Ocean and offers the fullest range of amenities.

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TOP
CARBOENERA GARDENS:  Located in Carbonera, a half mile from Matapalo, these two cabinas are steps away from the beach, brand new, and fully equipped, furnishings, linens, kitchenware.  Well landscaped and private.  The lowest-priced vacation rental on the market today.

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MID

CASA ARENOSA:  Located steps from Pan Dulce Beach, this sprawling vacation rental has a swimming pool, outdoor kitchen, dining, and bar, fully solar powered.  Two story, two bedroom, sleeps up to six. 

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TOP

CASA DOS RIOS: Located in Carbonera, this consummately anointed home is steps from the beach, sleeps eight, and is available for nightly and weekly rentals. Solar-powered, this beach-front house is ideal for small groups or families.

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TOP
  CASA SUENO VERDE:  Delightfully cozy open air cottage about 100 meters from Matapalo Beach.  Refrigeration, alternative energy, open air, security, ideal for a couple.

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BUD  
CASA DULCE is an open-air style residence with loft that sleeps six, four upstairs and two down with mo.  Nicely equipped kitchen.  Has a pool, manicured gardens, ocean view.

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MID
CASA SOMBRERO PLAYA:  Luxurius one-bedroom two-story rancho style beach front home, large pool, separate kitchen, acres of manicured gardens and lawn, steps away from Playa Preciosa, fully outfitted

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TOP

CASA SOMBRERO RIO:  Gorgeous!  This two  bedroom, open-air, two story rancho style luxury beachfront home has everything!  Full kitchen, stereo, washing machine, swimming pool, acres of manicured gardens and lawn, steps away from beautiful Playa Sombrero, walking distance to Martina´s bar.

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TOP

  CASA LA LUZ:  Sumptuously anointed, Casa La Luz is right next to Pan Dulce beach and sleeps eight.  Immaculately manicured landscaping, security, cooking housekeeping available, hot water, solar electricity, fully outfitted. 

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TOP  
  VILLA FAMILIA.  Sleeps up to eight.  Steps from the beach at Playa Backwash Bay, thirty minutes south of town, private, secluded, security, cook/housekeeping available, alternative solar, potable spring water, hot water.$35 extra person.

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MID  

QUINTA SOÑADA: Quinta Soñada is a dreamy destination midway between Pto. Jimenez and Matapalo on the tranquil shores of Carbonera beach. This whole house has all the amenities and is available for parties up to four people, though ideal for couples. Solar powered.

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MID

CASA ROCA DURA: leeps up to four.  Steps from the beach at Playa Carbonera, twenty minutes south of Puerto Jimenez, private, secluded, security, cook/housekeeping available, alternative solar, potable well water, hot water.  Seven acres of private landscaped gardens.  Abandoned beachline, spectacular views.

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MID

CASA TORTUGA.

This spectacular two-story rustic home is steps away from Backwash Bay.  This home has a full kitchen, refrigeration, wrap around roofed porches, two bathrooms and sleeping room up to eight.  Power supply is 12 volt, so no electrical appliances, please.

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BUD

For general reservations inquiries, please fill out our Osa Peninsula Travel Information Questionnaire.  Alternately, please write me or call at one of the phone numbers provided below.  From the United States, remember to use the 011 direct dialing prefix.

Osa Corcovado Tour and Travel / CafeNet El Sol
Travel and Tour Agency, Information and Reservation Services, Internet Café
downtown Puerto Jiménez, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
English:  506 8632-8150
Spanish:  506 2735-5719
Facsimile:  506 2735-5717

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