SOUTH CARIBBEAN

South to Cahuita

 

Footprint
COSTA RICA
Peter Hutchinson
Second Edition

SOUTH CARIBBEAN
South to Cahuita

Highway 36 begins its coastal journey south to Cahuita just west of Limon. A thin line of palms breaks the view of the beautiful beaches which hide dangerous currents found down the stretch of coastline north of Cahuita.
Hidden in the mountains is the incredible ecotourist destination of Selva Bananito Lodge, and further down the road is Aviarios del Caribe animal reserve. (See page 390)
Sleeping
South to Cahuita p. 383

Selva Bananito Lodge and Reserve, head inland on the challenging road at Bananito, T/F 2253 8118, www.selvabananito.com.

A family-run rainforest lodge that is probably winner of the "Most difficult Lodge to Reach" award, Selva Bananito is beautifully remote, close to Cerro Muchilla on the border of La Amistad Biosphere Reserve. It is also ecologically very considerate as the Stein family is committed to low-environmental impact living and sustainable farming, and use funding from tourism to help maintain their conservation projects. More than a holiday stop, it is a place for body, mind and soul. 11 exquisite cabins are made from earthquake- salvaged hardwoods. Tiled bathrooms with solar heated water, lead from terracotta-tiled rooms with a balcony complete with hammock, opening onto spectacular views of the mountains. Without electricity, the evenings are lit by candles and the days start with the sun and the dawn chorus from the surrounding rainforest. Meals cater for vegetarians and non vegetarians taking influences from the highlands and the Caribbean. Beyond tree-hugging calmness, you can also enjoy some serious activities it you are up to it: tree climbing and rappelling, mountain biking, hiking, waterfall swimming, horse riding or the more sedate pleasures of bird-watching and simply enjoying the gardens. Getting here can be amusing and involves crossing 4 rivers, 4-wheel drive is essential, but Selva Bananito will pick you up or provide a map if you want to drive yourself.