If you’ve ever visited Costa Rica, you’ll understand the importance of the phrase “pura vida.” In English it means “pure life.” But it’s so much more than that – it’s a motto and an ethos that guides life in Costa Rica. I found the essence of “pura vida” during my week-long stay at Crocodile Bay Eco-Lodge. In this post I’d like to tell you more about this beautiful facility and show you all the fun and exciting things you can do when visiting there.
Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula
Crocodile Bay eco-resort is on the Osa Peninsula in southwest Costa Rica. It is an area rich in history, natural beauty, and wildlife. Nearly half of the wildlife species of Costa Rica can be found within the Osa Peninsula. It is also the home to Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica’s largest biological reserve in the country.
The peninsula is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, and Pavon Bay to the east. The waters of this area are great for fishing, boating and scuba diving.
Crocodile Bay Eco-Resort
If you’re looking to experience the wildlife, atmosphere and pura vida of the Osa Peninsula, you won’t find a better place to stay than Crocodile Bay Eco-Resort. It’s an all-inclusive resort that will cater to your every need – whether you crave action and adventure, or simply want to be pampered and to relax in the beautiful Costa Rican rain forest.
The resort is set on 44 lush tropical acres in a quiet and secluded area. The property contains 44 cozy and comfortable rooms ranging from their standard room (two queen size beds) all the way to their one-bedroom suites. There are also two casitas (cottages) for families or larger groups.
Getting to Crocodile Bay Eco-Resort
Crocodile Bay Eco-Resort is located on the east side of the Osa Peninsula in Puerto Jimenez, the main city of the Puntarenas Province. The resort is a quick ride from the small, single-runway Puerto Jimenez airport (airport code PJM).
Most visitors to Costa Rica transit through the capital city of San Jose and the Juan Santamaria International Airport (airport code SJO). Visitors can get to Crocodile Bay Eco-Resort by car or by plane.
The drive from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez varies depending on the route taken. The two main ways to go are via the coastal highway or through the mountains.
Visitors choosing to drive the coastal highway can count on a drive of approximately six hours. This is the faster, but generally less scenic route. Starting out, head west out of San Jose on Highway 27. This highway connects with Highway 34 – the coastal highway – just outside the town of Coyolar. This route continues south on Highway 2 at Palmar Norte and then to Highway 245 just north of Piedras Blancas.
The mountainous route starts on Highway 2 heading south out of San Jose. The route goes through Tapanti National Park and Los Quetzales National Park. The route meanders through the mountains and is longer by both distance and time than the coastal route. Drivers on this route can count on approximately 6.5-7 hours of driving time. As noted above, this is the much more scenic and beautiful way to get there.
Finally, it’s a quick flight from San Jose’s international airport to Puerto Jimenez. Visitors arriving in the country head to the domestic terminal. The flight is typically 30-35 minutes on a twin-engine 12-14 seat plane. Sansa Airlines offers three flights a day from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez.
I’ll be honest that I’m sometimes an anxious flyer…and I don’t like small planes. That said, the flight was a very quick and comfortable hop. If you head to the Osa Peninsula by air, you’ll be flying at about 10,000 feet which gives you awesome views of the mountains surrounding San José, the landscape on the trip south, and the beautiful waters surrounding the Osa Peninsula. It’s well worth it just to see the amazing landscapes!
Crocodile Bay Eco-Resort Services
Crocodile Bay offers a wide variety of services to meet the needs of every guest and to provide luxury and comfort. These services include:
Crocodile Bay Eco-Resort bills themselves as the place “where the world comes to fish.” This isn’t an exaggeration. They have the largest private fleet in all of Central America, and their professional sport fishing team is among the top in the world.
If you’re interested in inshore fishing, offshore fishing, or fly fishing the friendly and professional staff at Crocodile Bay will help ensure you have an experience you’ll never forget.
Wildlife Photography Workshops
Since my blog focuses on travel photography, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Crocodile Bay Eco-Resort’s world-class wildlife photography workshops. Crocodile Bay Eco-Resort regularly draws world-class photography instructors like Rick Sammon, Ralph Velasco, and Mario Moreno. The workshops offered through Crocodile Bay Eco-Resort focus not only on wildlife but also on culture and people photography. Many workshops also include sections on post-processing and editing skills, which can really help take your photography to the next level.
I was fortunate enough to do a workshop with one of their regular instructors – the fabulous Steve Perry of Back Country Gallery. Spending a week in the thick of the Costa Rican jungle photographing monkeys, sloths and birds with Steve was one of the top experiences I’ve ever had as a photographer. Not only did I capture hundreds of great photos that week, but I also learned how to identify Costa Rican wildlife and to understand the animals’ behavior and patterns.
If you want to really experience the stunning natural beauty of southwest Costa Rica, Crocodile Bay Eco-Resort’s eco-tours are just the thing for you.
They offer rainforest expeditions that explore Corcovado National Park as well as other nearby areas. Your rainforest expedition can be as low-key as a gentle walk, or as thrilling as zip-lining or rappelling down a river gorge.
You can also spend your time bird watching, visiting a chocolate farm or local sustainable farming areas, snorkeling, paddle boarding, whale and dolphin watching, or just about anything else that your heart desires.
If you need to be pampered, Crocodile Bay’s luxury spa will meet your every need. The spa offers massage therapy, hot stone treatments, skin care and full-body treatments, and relaxing and intimate couples’ massages. After a long sweaty day of trekking through the Costa Rican rain forest, a spa treatment can be just the thing to restore your sense of peace and well-being.
So…What Are You Waiting For?
If you love nature, wildlife, and exciting destinations you need to visit Crocodile Bay Eco-Resort! You will return from your trip really having lived the pura vida.
Disclosure: I stayed at Crocodile Bay Eco-Resort in Costa Rica for a photography conference in July. I paid for my stay and was not compensated by Crocodile Bay in any way for this post.