TikiVillas is the most biologically intense place on earth.
TikiVillas Rainforest Lodge is located in Uvita on the southern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, which has been described as “the most biologically intense place on earth” (National Geographic). It is the ideal location from where to explore an amazing and unique tropical paradise.
There are two nature reserve parks close by, Baru Reserve and Ballena National Marine Park as well as a further three – Manuel Antonio National Park, Corcovado National Park and Caño Island National Reserve only an hour and a half away. There is something here for everyone with many nature and adventure activities on and off shore.
From TikiVillas Rainforest Lodge you can set off horseback riding on beaches or mountain rainforest trails leading to hidden waterfalls!
Hiking, sport fishing, kayaking, ultra-light flying, white water rafting, snorkelling, scuba diving, learning to surf are just a few of the many activities our guests can enjoy!
Nature watching is a must and besides the hundreds of species of birds, including toucans and parrots you may also observe dolphins, whales, sea turtles. Other exotic wildlife spotted in the area includes coatis, anteaters, giant iguanas, four types of native monkeys, three toed sloths and various small cats such as jaguarundis.
Living up to its name of “Beautiful Beach”, Playa Hermosa of Uvita is situated just in front of TikiVillas Rainforest Lodge – a few minutes walk down from your Bungalow. Bordered by a breathtaking jungle cliff on your right and the beginning of the Marino Ballena National Park to the south, this secluded and little known scenic palm-lined tropical beach is backed by dramatic rainforest covered mountains.
The Playa Hermosa of Uvita beach is a secret spot for a few surfers in the know and the occasional sunbathing green iguana. It is perfect for horseback riding, beach combing, sunbathing and in the evening watching the bright orange sunsets as it disappears into the sea.
On night visits to the beach between May and November Olive Ridley and hawksbill turtles can be seen laying their eggs.
Located 10 minutes (12 km – 7 Miles) drive north is the laid-back surf village of Dominical. Having its origins as a small fishing and farming village it has been known for years by surfers from around the world due to its consistently good waves.
More recently is has also started becoming an attraction for its areas of natural beauty and pristine beaches. Dominical has a good variety of international and local restaurants as well as small shops and nightspots . Although the village has grown, it still remains very cosy and you can still walk from one end to the other in a few minutes.
Looking out from TikiVillas Rainforest Lodge you can see Ballena National Marine Park named after the whale as humpback and pilot whales migrate each year through the park.
Dolphins are also regular visitors and include the common dolphin, bottle-nose dolphin and the pantropical spotted dolphin. The park was created in 1989 and protects a coral reef with 18 species of identified corals, second largest in terms of diversity in the pacific coast of the country and one of the largest marine parks on the Pacific Coast of Central America.
The Nucura (Porites labata) is the most common and within these diverse reefs commonly seen are the bumphead parrot fish, butterfly fish, yellow fin surgeonfish, freckled porcupine fish, lobsters, starfish and sea fans. By diving the white-tip reef sharks and nurse sharks can also be seen. You can easily assess the park via Playa Uvita and Playa Ballena beaches nearby.
Playa Arco and Bahía Ballena beaches are also located in the Ballena National Marine Park and only about 8 to 10 minutes south of TikiVillas Rainforest Lodge.
Playa Arco is a small pristine white sand beach protected by a primary forest. The beach, which also has a small cave can be accessed during low tide. Off shore from Playa Ballena you will spot the stunning islands known as “Las Tres Hermanas” (The Three Sisters) and “Ballena” (Whale) – these are made up of rocky formations that have depth of between 6 and 20 meters, making it home to many species including lobsters and barracudas.
The island is also home to nesting reptiles and colonies of birds like the brown booby (Sula leucogaster), the white ibis (Eudocimus albus). The beach has long gentle waves which are perfect for learning how to surf or boogie board.
A 15-minute drive south will take you to Playa Ventanas named after the beautiful sea caves in the volcanic rock which are accessible from the beach.
Two caves extend from the beach out to the ocean and during low tides you can walk all the way into the caves leading to another small beach, local legend says there is a hidden pirate treasure here! During high tide with the correct conditions the waves crashing through the caves form a “blowhole” effect which is a spectacular sight.
Caño Island is located offshore about one and a half hour away and is easily reached by many of the boat tours organised by TikiVillas Rainforest Lodge. It is renowned as the best place in Costa Rica for snorkelling and scuba diving.
The island is bordered by white sandy beaches and the well-protected inshore coral reef with crystal clear visibility reveals a multitude of bright and colourful fish and other marine creatures including dolphins, whales, sea turtles & mana rays among many others.
On the island you will find a well-maintained trail that leads through primary rainforest where you can discover an abundance of flora, fauna and wildlife as well as pre-Columbian tombs which are scattered along the trail. The island housed hundreds of perfect stone spheres of which some can still me seen.
A five-minute drive (6 km – 4 miles) from TikiVillas Rainforest Lodge will take you to the entrance to the Ballena Marine National Park. Just before you enter the park, there is a small fisherman’s village where you can sample freshly caught delicious seafood with a nice cold drink at one of the local soda restaurants.
On this long sandy beach bordering the Marine National Park you can walk out to Punta Uvita “El Tombolo” also known as the “Whales Tail” during low tide. This is a small island rock formation of coral reefs that are being slowly reclaimed as sand and debris deposit forming a land bridge of about 1 km in length. From the air this rocky formation looks like the tail of a whale. “El Tombolo” is a hike that definitively should not be missed!
Snorkelling is possible from the shore and diving and snorkelling boat trips are easily arranged to several of the smaller islands. You will discover a pristine and fascinating underwater world with a multitude of bright and colourful fish and other marine creatures as well as amazing living coral reefs with sponges and various crustaceans.