Lapa Rios Ecolodge & Wildlife Reserve  

Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

This small Central American country is home to hundreds of diverse habitats, making it easy to enjoy beach days, eco-tourism, and outdoor adventures in the same trip without having to travel long distances. The geography is infinitely varied, ranging from rugged coastlines and bustling towns to misty cloud forests and active volcanoes. As so much of the country's tourism is dependent on its breathtaking natural surroundings, a determined commitment to eco-friendly practices can be found in most hoteliers, and Oyster has stayed in everything from compact eco-lodges to rustic-luxe hideaways during our visits. Here are our favorite eco-friendly stays:

Lapa Rios, located in the remote coastal rainforests of the Osa Peninsula, is Costa Rica’s original luxury eco lodge. This is the opposite of a Cancun-style beach resort -- guests come to the upscale Lapa Rios to enjoy the spectacular surroundings, learn about sustainable tourism, and re-connect with nature. The 16-bungalow lodge sits amid 1,000 acres of rainforest filled with wildlife, but it's far from a no-frills jungle camp. There are many comforts here, including a pool overlooking the ocean, a splendid restaurant serving sumptuous cuisine, and rustic-luxe rooms with private decks. This is a place to get in touch with nature without roughing it.

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