Everything has a price and the price to visit Cabo Matapalo is paid in either long drives or high fares on domestic airlines. You can either drive down the coast and past Puerto Jimenez (4x4 required in this area) or take a flight to the aforementioned town and taxi it down by 4x4 to Matapalo. The drive along the Gulfo Dulce is quite bumpy, but anybody that has driven this route will recall the spectacular scenery that defines the area.
There are three main beaches along Cabo Matapalo that are separated by large rock outcroppings. To the south, Playa Matapalo is an excellent beach for experienced surfers. Moving north, there is Backwash Beach. Playa Pan Dulce is the northern most beach. It is good for swimming or surfing with a nice break at the south end.
As beautiful as the beaches are, the majority of visitors to Cabo Matapalo come to visit the wilds of Corcovado National Park. This is one of the most biologically intense places on Earth with thousands of species of exotic wildlife. Visitors to the area can expect to see up to four species of monkeys, two sloth species, hundreds of birds, reptiles and amphibians. There are even wild cat species such as jaguars and pumas in this area!
The jungles near Cabo Matapalo are also home to several waterfalls. The most extraordinary of which is the King Louis Waterfall, which is located about 750 meters (half mile) from Matapalo Beach.
Not to be forgotten, the Gulfo Dulce is inhabited by sea turtles, dolphins and or whales years round. Humpbacks come from the northern and southern hemispheres to rear their young here for a few months at a time at different times of the year. Common dolphins, False Orcas and Whale Sharks are present at different times as well.
There are several unique lodges in Cabo Matapalo including Bosque del Cabo and Lapa Rios, which are both in the luxury category. Mid-range options include El Remanso, Encanto La Vida, Ojo del Mar, and Kapu Lodge. Our travel experts can help you choose the best one for your needs.
December to late April is the dry season in southern Costa Rica and even then the Osa Peninsula enjoys a much lighter flow of tourists than most of the country, so you will still have an incredible vacation experience, where you will likely see more animals than people. Temperatures hover in the mid-80s to low 90s all year long. The months of August – October are the rainiest months, so be prepared.
Remember to pack a swimsuit, sandals, a hat, a beach towel, shorts, t-shirts, rain gear, insect repellent, insect sting creams, sun block, aloe vera gel, hiking shoes, binoculars, camera and extra batteries and memory cards. Also, any medications you may need especially if you are allergic to anything, as you will be a little further from medical service.
Fun Fact: The King Louis Waterfall is a stunning 90 foot fall, accessed from the stream running into Playa Matapalo. Just hike up the stream up about a half mile to the fall.