Playa Cativo Lodge

A luxury beachfront rainforest lodge nestled in the heart of a national park, surrounded by magnificent wildlife.

library at Playa Cativo Lodge
Playa Cativo Lodge view from dining area
Playa Cativo Lodge pool
Playa Cativo Lodge room


Golfo Dulce, surrounded by Piedras Blancas National Park.


Playa Cativo Lodge is open year round.

Accommodation type


logoPlaya Cativo Lodge

Accessible exclusively by boat and surrounded by a national park, Playa Cativo offers the opportunity to immerse yourself in nature and observe some of Costa Rica’s abundant wildlife, you don’t even have to leave your room. This sustainable lodge is made of wood and generates 100% of its own electricity. The comfortable guestrooms were designed to allow the enjoyment of the fresh breezes of the rainforest and ocean, while admiring the sunsets over the gulf.  Many ingredients for the lodge’s acclaimed cuisine are harvested daily from the on-site organic farm.  An attentive and knowledgeable staff is eager to help you get the most from your stay, be it serving a cocktail by the pool or finding the best spot to photograph an endemic bird. The yoga deck is nestled in the rainforest, between the beach and a creek.


viewWhy go to Playa Cativo?

This is the perfect place to spend some quality time away from it all and remember what life is all about.  You’ll experience the magic of being close to nature, indulge in fresh organic ingredients, breathe the clean rainforest air, drink pure water directly from a mountain spring, and swim in the warm and calm waters of the Golfo Dulce.  There are complimentary self-guided trails, kayaks and stand up paddle boards which you can use whenever you want to. And you can learn from a skilled naturalist guide as you discover the wildlife of the tropical rainforest together.

Among the main activities are birdwatching, night expeditions, yoga sessions, river kayaking, waterfall tours, snorkelling, dolphin spotting, rainforest hikes, massages, artisanal hand fishing, learning about alternative energy and sustainability, stand up paddle board classes and tours.  After a long active day and a romantic candlelit dinner, nothing tops going to bed with the gentle sounds of the wildlife at the rainforest.

hummingbirdWildlife around Playa Cativo

Playa Cativo’s 1000 acre private rainforest reserve is located 30 minutes boat ride from the nearest town which guarantees complete isolation from humans.  This undisturbed rainforest is protected by the Piedras Blancas National Park, a former extension of Corcovado National Park, and is home to over 350 species of birds (many endemic), 750 species of trees, 140 species of mammals, 115 of reptiles and almost 10,000 species of insects.

Among the mammals, you will have the chance to see all four species of monkeys found in Costa Rica (capuchin, howler, spider and squirrel), white-nosed coatis, two species of deer, kinkajous, agoutis, peccaries, tayras and two species of sloths. Although rarely seen during the day, the park contains five species of cats: jaguars, pumas, ocelots, margays and jaguarondis.  The ocean also offers the possibility of observing 3 species of dolphins, whale sharks, rays, the seasonal humpback whales and the monthly spawning of the needle fish right in front of the lodge.

Playa Cativo Lodge Highlights

  • Accessible exclusively by boat
  • Excellent bird and wildlife viewing
  • Great atmosphere and renown culinary and organic farm-to-table programme
  • All rooms have ocean view, Wi-fi, king size beds
  • Guided naturalist expeditions, birdwatching, yoga, kayak, stand-up paddle boarding, and other tours
  • Season humpback whale watching (best in August/September) and year round dolphin spotting

Guy MarksCosta Rica Specialists Review

“Arriving at Playa Cativo by boat, staff bring out a metal ramp painted red so it’s a kind of wet red carpet welcome, and typical of the courteous treatment you’ll receive here! The gardens are beautifully planted and attract a lot of birds. I was even able to photograph toucans from my room and watch howler monkeys in the trees by the pool.

Rooms have open sides during the day, bringing light and sounds inside. The lodge staff come in the late afternoon to close it all up with screens, so you’re cosy and secure after dark.

Everything in the lodge is handmade; from the furniture to the painted pottery bowl basins in the bathrooms. There’s plenty to do if you want to, but the atmosphere may make you want to just relax. With world class accommodation and fabulous food, this place is a little piece of paradise. There are a few places in the world I fall in love with – and this is one of them!”

Holidays featuring this Hotel

Playa Cativo pool at night

Two of the best

Prices from: £2,650 pp for 10 days
Take your time to get to know two contrasting areas: Arenal with its mighty volcano, and the Golfo Dulce on the southern Pacific coast.

Playa Cativo Lodge


  • Restaurant overlooking the gulf and rainforest
  • Swimming pool
  • Yoga deck
  • Library with computers
  • Free internet access.


  • Self-guided trails
  • Naturalist tours, birdwatching
  • Rainforest hikes, waterfall tours
  • Paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkelling, swimming
  • Dolphin and whale watching
  • Artisanal hand fishing
  • Massages
  • Yoga sessions
  • Cooking classes
  •  Visits to the wildlife sanctuary and botanic garden can also be arranged.

What is included in the stay

Meet and greet at the local airport (Golfito or Puerto Jimenez), boat transfer to the lodge, breakfast, lunch and dinners, coffees and teas throughout the day, refillable water bottle, a guided tour (to select from: alternative energy, artisanal hand fishing or hike to the organic farm), use of kayaks, paddle boards and snorkelling gear inside Cativo Bay.


With just eight rooms over three categories, Deluxe, Luxury and Premium.  All are just a few steps away from the beach, with ocean views, king size bed, seating area, desk and private bathroom with rain shower and hot water.


premier room

The difference between Deluxe, Luxury and Premium is primarily the size of the room, being about 30, 40 and 50 sq meters respectively; and the extent of the views. Premium rooms have panoramic views.  Premium rooms also have a mini-refrigerator and double sinks in the bathrooms.


Recommended for children 6 and over.  Child rate applies for children 6 to 12 when sharing room with 2 adults.


Free Wi-fi in all rooms and social areas.  All rooms have telephones to place and receive international calls.  Complimentary computers with internet access are located in the library.

Swimmers entering the water during sunset on a costa rica holiday

Take the plunge...

We know and love Costa Rica, and would be delighted to help you plan your perfect Costa Rica holiday. Call 01473 599085 and speak to one of our Costa Rica travel specialists today.