Accessible only by boat from Golfito or Puerto Jimenez, Nicuesa is an adventure travel destination that strives for total sustainability. A cross between a mini Club Med and a summer rental with friends, it is eco-everything without the preaching. In fact, the whole sustainability side of Nicuesa is underplayed.
Solar power, organic food, biodegradable soaps and shampoo, composting (everything is recycled at Nicuesa) doesn't get in the way of resort-like comforts such as hot-hot water, flush toilets, and clean towels. Nor does it inhibit the young staff from providing top-notch service all day long.
Nicuesa is located on the pristine Golfo Dulce, a bowl of ocean water surrounded by untouched coastal jungle in the southern part of Costa Rica near Panama. The two-story, open-plan lodge is hidden behind an unassuming beachfront of black rock and sand. It reminds of a tree house, but has the substantial feel and inviting quality of an Adirondack lodge without walls.
In its backyard are 14,000 acres of national park home to howler monkeys, pumas, snakes, wild ginger, scarlet macaws, and poisonous frogs among other forms of wildlife. The staff is prepared to help you get on site, offer you a welcome fruit drink upon arrival, and provide information about conducting yourself in the jungle and a host of activities. With a 24-guest capacity, the staff-to-guest ratio is just about 1:1. Three are resident guides.