Named after a tree, Playa Cativo was inhabited until the beginning of last century.
In the early 1900’s, Don Cayetano Almengor and his family started a self-sufficient farm in Playa Cativo, fishing and producing what they needed; living this way for nearly 40 years. This was the authentic sustainable way of leaving, by fully respecting nature and its surroundings. When traveling to Golfito and Puerto Jimenez, they had to do it by boat. For hours, they paddled their small wooden boat (called “cayugo” by the locals) to sell their products and buy tools. In 1980, the Rainbow Lodge was opened on the Playa Cativo property by a visionary developer, and adventurous tourists started to arrive to Peninsula de Osa and Golfo Dulce in Costa Rica, one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. Soon, Corcovado and Piedras Blancas National Park were created to protect these natural treasures.
In 2008, a conservationist bought the property after falling in love with the area. The new owner realized the importance of preserving and sharing this unique piece of paradise, and decided to remodel the old lodge to enhance the experience. Keeping the original spirit, the new luxury eco lodge was reconstructed over the same footprint using precious indigenous woods — mainly from the old lodge and a fallen-tree program, all strictly supervised by the MINAET (Costa Rica’s government agency in charge of sustainability and National Parks). A group of artisans joined the project to work on the wood, and most of the furniture was made by small family run businesses. In July 2014, Playa Cativo Lodge was proudly open to provide authentic costarrican experiences to those that want to immerse in nature.
With its pristine sandy beach, Playa Cativo hotel is truly in a class by itself.
Our Way of Life: In Playa Cativo, we are passionate about what we do. Every detail is important, as we strive for excellence. We are a team with a culture that embraces a common goal reflected in the flow of memorable experiences for our guests.
Mission: We are hospitable people delivering extraordinary experiences to each guest, helping them to immerse in nature, while enjoying unique luxury accommodations surrounded by the rainforest and beach.
Vision: Our vision is to preserve and share the beauty of the gulf and rainforest for the enjoyment of this and future generations, while developing a diverse and a 100% sustainable operation that will serve as a model for other communities to emulate.
• Hospitality. We are friendly and eager to serve
• Authenticity. We do what we do because we like it, believe in it, and because it’s the right thing to do.
• Learning. The more we learn, the more we can share.
• Responsibility. Our environment and our world depend upon us.
Following Don Cayetano’s legacy, the first habitant at Cativo Bay in Golfo Dulce, Playa Cativo Eco Lodge aims to be 100% sustainable. We believe that the protection of the rainforest and ocean is the responsibility of the community as a whole. Therefore, our commitment and actions support the local economy and we work together with the area authorities. Most of our all costarrican staff is native from surrounding communities and they often volunteer in activities to preserve the area. Purchasing at the regional stores or directly from the producers fuels the local economy while guaranteeing the freshness of the products.
Initially, our produce was grown hundreds of kilometers away and needed to be transported by diesel-powered trucks to Golfito or Puerto Jimenez, and then kept in a cold room until brought by boat to Playa Cativo. This situation inspired our farm program to grow on-site fresh organic produce and significantly reduce the carbon foot print. We were also inspired by our sister property, Goodstone Inn & Restaurant in Middleburg, Virginia. Goodstone has a vibrant farm-to-table program for their award-winning French restaurant.
We have successfully added many organic products, including tomatoes, carrots, yucca, peppers, beet, cilantro, celery, mustard, basil, green beans, beans, cucumbers, plantain as well as many herbs. We also grow fruits such as pineapples, coconuts, papayas, bananas, passion fruits, limes, oranges, mangos, star fruit and a large variety of exotic fruit.
As with many of the lodges and neighbors in the Golfo Dulce and Peninsula de Osa area, the lack of an electric grid creates the need to generate their own electricity on-site. At Playa Cativo Eco Lodge, we generate 100% clean electric energy with a small hydroelectric generator, complemented by solar panels. We also heat our water with solar power. The clean air and the silence by using these systems are truly appreciated by guests as much as by nature.
Playa Cativo’s local commercial partners join us in our effort to reduce waste. We pack our purchases in large plastic bins without bags and buy nonperishable products in bulk. At the property, we have a collection center open for the community, where all waste is classified, separated and later taken to the Golfito recycling center. The organic waste is kept at Playa Cativo, and treated at our compost center to produce fertilizer and rich soil, and then used in our gardens and organic farm. Containers that can be reused are utilized on back-of-the-house activities or donated. These activities help to preserve our natural resources, reduce pollution and reduce waste.
All bathroom amenities, as well as cleaning and laundry products are biodegradable and manufactured in Costa Rica to reduce carbon foot print. The use of biodegradable products significantly reduces the impact on the environment. We ask guests to use our complimentary quality products and avoid bringing non-biodegradable shampoos, conditioners, soaps and similar products.
Aside from the daily-operation efforts to recycle, reduce waste and minimizing the risk of any pollution, since starting its construction, Playa Cativo has been very careful to learn, plan and adapt best practices related to reuse and use of renewable materials. Over 80% of our building is biodegradable or reusable, and most unused construction materials were donated to nearby residents. The use of LED technology that reduces energy consumption and pollution when replacing lightbulbs, a solar powered filtering system for the swimming pool, four stroke outboard engines in all our boats, and solar cloth drying system, are other sustainable actions that contribute to our goal to preserve the environment and natural resources.
Guests are invited to learn, share ideas and take home some of the practices that we have implemented at Playa Cativo Eco Lodge. Those little improvements go a long way on keeping our planet healthy.
Published rates are subject to 13% tax or applicable taxes at the time if such should change.
Check-in time begins at 2:00 pm. Checkout time is 11:00 am. 3. Reservations and confirmations: To get the most of your experience and fully embrace the magic of Golfo Dulce, we recommend at least a three or four-night stay at Playa Cativo. A minimum of 4 nights stay is required during Peak Season, no check-ins / check-outs on December 31 and January 1st.
Deposits and Payment: An advance deposit, which is equal to 25% of the total amount of your stay, is required to confirm your reservation. Payment of the balance is due 30 days prior to your arrival for Green Season, 60 days prior to your arrival for High Season and 90 days prior to your arrival for Peak Season. Miscellaneous charges are due upon departure with VISA, MasterCard, American Express or Dinners Club. Payments not expedited immediately are subject to cancellation without further notice. Agency bookings can be subject to special terms, please consult our reservation department for details.
Cancellation Policy: Because of our small size and location, cancellations affect us significantly. A last minute cancellation allows us limited opportunity of re-selling our guest rooms. For this reason, we must impose a strict cancellation policy. Reservations for Green Season: Cancellation requests must be received in writing 31 days or more prior to arrival to avoid penalty, cancellations made in writing 30 to 0 days before guest’s arrival will apply a 100% penalty. Reservations for High Season: Cancellation requests must be received in writing 61 days or more prior to arrival to avoid penalty, cancellations made in writing 60 to 0 days before guest’s arrival will apply a 100% penalty. Reservations for Peak Season: Cancellation requests must be received in writing 91 days or more prior to arrival to avoid penalty, cancellations made in writing 90 to 0 days before guest’s arrival will apply a 100% penalty. Late bookings are NON-REFUNDABLE after the credit card charge has been processed. Payments not received in a timely manner are subject to immediate cancellation without further notice with no exceptions. Cancellations must be made in writing and sent by email to email@example.com, and all cancellations must be confirmed as received by Playa Cativo Lodge to be considered valid. NO-SHOW and/or un-used room nights, and/or early check-outs are not refundable regardless of the season.
Groups (Payment and Policy) Groups are considered 4 rooms or more. We require a 50% deposit of the total balance 5 months prior to group´s arrival and the remaining deposit 90 days prior to group´s arrival. Cancellation requests must be received in writing 5 months or more prior to arrival to avoid penalty, cancellations made in writing 150 to 90 days before group´s arrival will apply a 50% penalty and cancellations made in writing 90 to 0 days before group’s arrival will apply a 100% penalty.
Smoking: By law, smoking is prohibited in rooms and any of the common areas and trails. However, guests are permitted to smoke in a designated exterior area near the Lodge.
Pets: In order to preserve the wildlife, pets are not allowed at Playa Cativo Lodge.
Force Majeure Clause: Playa Cativo Lodge is exempted for the liability for failure to execute arrangements specified here in directly or indirectly caused by or in consequence of any conditions beyond human control. However, option to rebook is subject to availability of rooms covered by the dates of visit.
Responsibility: Playa Cativo Lodge assumes no responsibility for injury, loss or damage to person or property in connection with any service resulting directly from acts of God, detention annoyance, strikes, civil disturbances, government restrictions or regulations, discrepancies or change in transit.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions to assist you in making your travel plans to our Costa Rica Eco Lodge.
Q. What is the weather like at Playa Cativo?
A. Costa Rica has two seasons, which vary a little in the Osa Peninsula and the Golfo Dulce area. The “rainy” season runs from May through November and the “dry” season runs from December through April. While it may rain for a few hours in the afternoon or evening during the rainy season, it usually only rains once or twice a week during the dry season. The average year-round temperatures are in the upper 70ºs to 80ºs F (24º to 29º C) during the day, and in the 60ºs (18º C) during the night. Because the sun’s rays are more direct in the tropics, we strongly recommend the use of sunblock.
Q. How is the swimming at Playa Cativo?
A. Playa Cativo has about one mile of beachfront, with both sandy (two thirds of the beach) and pebbly (one third of the beach) stretches. The swimming is beautiful and the water is warm all year long —about 80º F (26º C). The tranquil waters of the Golfo Dulce are ideal for swimming, or simply relax at our freshwater pool.
Q. How close is the rainforest and wildlife from the Lodge?
A. Playa Cativo’s 1,000 acres (400 hectares) of rainforest are surrounded by 35,000 acres of Piedras Blancas National Park (the former extension of Corcovado National Park). For their ecological value, even the waters of our beach are part of the Park. You’ll be completely immersed in the beauty of nature at Playa Cativo and able to see — even from your room and at any given time — many species of birds, mammals and butterflies. Howler monkeys will wake you up almost every morning, and you will occasionally see dolphins swimming along Cativo Bay.
Q. How early should I book at Playa Cativo Lodge?
A. We recommend you inquire soon about your preferred dates, and book two to six months in advance due to our limited number of guest rooms. Most guests stay a minimum of three to four nights to fully enjoy the experience.
Q. How do I book a flight to Playa Cativo from San José?
A. We will gladly help you with your domestic Costa Rica travel arrangements. Or you can book directly with SANSA or Nature Air, the two airlines with scheduled flights to Golfito and Puerto Jimenez. Our Guest Services staff will meet you at either town for your boat transfer to Playa Cativo. Both towns are the same distance from the lodge, but we suggest flying to Golfito because of better docking facilities and the added spectacular views during the boat transfer.
Q. What about dining at Playa Cativo?
A. Overlooking Golfo Dulce, El Gavilán Restaurant features à la carte gourmet meals in a romantic and private setting. Our chef’s creations bring the best of the seasonal organic produce that we harvest daily from our on-site farm, creating delicious dishes along with organic poultry, responsibly and locally caught seafood, and grass-fed Costa Rican beef. Pair your gourmet farm-to-table meal with a glass of fine wine, Costa Rican beer or one of our signature tropical cocktails with premium spirits. (All smoothies and juices for served cocktails are made with freshly squeezed fruit from our farm). We feature vegetarian options in our menu. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in your room rate. For those choosing to dine in a more private setting, in-room dining is also available. Please let us know prior to your arrival about any allergy, dietary restrictions or special request regarding food and beverages.
Q. Is the water safe to drink?
A. The water at our Costa Rica eco lodge comes directly from springs nestled in the rainforest of Playa Cativo. Periodically tested, it’s consistently pure, safe and delicious. Our Bandera Azul certification also requires periodic testing from government authorities, and shows that all of our fresh water springs deliver perfectly clean and drinkable water to the ocean.
Q. Is Playa Cativo a good place for kids?
A. Children age six and older are most welcomed. They will have memories for a lifetime and will learn practices to help preserve our world. They will certainly enjoy the beach, wildlife, rainforest, swimming pool, special organic treats, and the opportunity to harvest the fruits for their smoothies. For safety reasons, we do not recommend Playa Cativo for children under six years of age.
Q. Can I use a hairdryer or coffee maker at the lodge?
A. No. We ask guests to use electricity wisely as we rely on the 100% clean electric energy that we produce (from our off-grid system). For your convenience, we offer a large selection of complimentary coffees and teas, which are served at El Gavilán Restaurant or delivered to your room at no extra cost. Charging cellular phones, laptops, tablets, cameras and other similar equipment are fine. Power outlets in guest rooms are 120v.
Q. What should I bring for my stay?
A. Because of weather conditions and location, we suggest bringing lightweight clothing, lightweight long pants, shorts and short-sleeve shirts, hat or cap, swim shoes, long socks to fit in rubber hiking boots (Playa Cativo provides hiking boots when required for some tours), swimsuits, a lightweight swim shirt if you intend to snorkel or swim for long periods of time, biodegradable sunblock, medication and personal toiletries, a pocket-sized flashlight and your favorite garment for a romantic beachfront casual dinner. Please note: domestic flights have a 30-pound maximum luggage weight policy.
Q. Is there air conditioning?
A. Playa Cativo’s open design allows the cool ocean breeze and freshness from the rainforest and ocean — from dusk to sunrise — to keep the lodge and bedrooms at comfortable temperatures all day long. Double ceiling fans in each bedroom provide additional airflow on warmer days.
Q. Is there Wi-Fi? Can we be reached from home?
A. Yes. We urge you to disconnect from the rest of the world and turn off all your electronic devices to best experience the splendor of Playa Cativo. However, we understand the need to check on your loved ones or emergency situations, and offer direct phone communication and free Wi-Fi in all rooms. Cellular phone reception at Playa Cativo is surprisingly good!
Q. How far are the medical facilities?
A. Our trained staff can provide basic assistance. In the event of an emergency, Golfito Hospital is just 25 minutes away. For an extreme emergency, helicopter service can be arranged from San José and can land at Playa Cativo. Costa Rica is known for its very high quality of medical care.
Q. Are there bugs?
A. Wildlife is abundant and we have strict guidelines to avoid interrupting the food chain of the rainforest. Bugs and other insects are an important part of the sustainability of our fascinating ecosystem. We recommend that you keep all screens closed during late afternoon and night, and also turn your lights off when you are not in your room. Although bugs rarely bother our guests, for your convenience, personal hand-applied insecticide is permitted.
Q. Do you have Concierge Services?
A. Yes. We pride ourselves on our attentive service and strive to provide you with a great and authentic Costa Rican experience, starting with a secure and effortless booking process. We are ready to help arrange any other services, such as your San José Airport greeting and transfer, San José hotel, domestic flights and tours.
Q. Is there laundry service at the lodge?
A. Yes. Guests who pack lightly rave about this service! Please keep in mind that we mostly use the sun to naturally dry your clothing, and it takes 24 hours to deliver it back to your room.
Q. How do I pay for miscellaneous expenses at the lodge?
A. We accept VISA, Master Card, American Express and Dinners Club credit cards. Due to the remoteness of the lodge, we cannot take personal checks or other forms of payment.
Q. What is the tipping etiquette?
A. It is customary to tip a Nature Guide, Yoga Instructor and Masseuse based on their effort and service. Tipping the rest of the Playa Cativo staff is purely at your discretion and should only be to reward exceptional service. If you choose to tip the staff, a $10 gratuity per guest, per day is appropriate and will be distributed evenly among all our staff members. Following Costa Rican law, our wait staff automatically receives a 10% gratuity from all food and beverages purchased.
Q. Can I smoke at Playa Cativo?
A. By law, smoking is not permitted in the guest rooms, social areas, pool, trails and the National Park. We have a designated smoking area near the lodge. Please enquire any staff member about it.
Set in the heart of Costa Rica’s rainforest across from Osa Peninsula, Playa Cativo is a luxury eco lodge offering exquisite accommodations in true harmony with nature. This Costa Rican hideaway is accessible exclusively by boat and its design compliments the surrounding rainforest, stunning grounds and oceanfront setting. The sustainable and exclusive eco lodge offers seven beachfront guest rooms and gourmet restaurant.
Cesar Vargas, Marketing Director
Playa Cativo Lodge, Costa Rica
Marketing: (USA) 508 7455779/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PLAYA CATIVO LODGE IN THE NEWS:
HONORS AND AWARDS:
• 2015 and 2016 TripAdvisor Platinum Level Green Leader Award
• 2014 Costa Rica Ecological Blue Flag Award
• 2014 USA TODAY 10 Best: Playa Cativo
PLAYA CATIVO, COSTA RICA
Telephone (Costa Rica): (+506) 2453-1300 / (+506) 2453-1301
Telephone (From UK): 08081891057
Telephone (From USA): 508-745-5779
General Inquires: email@example.com
GPS Coordinates: Lat:8.673009, Long:-83.306093