San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Costa Rica's Green Image

Southern Gem: Aguila de Osa Takes Luxury Ecotourism to a New Level

and tender, with a slight tang that complemented the meat’s naturalflavor.I enjoyed a light apple pie for dessert, and red and white winewere available throughout the meal. Although Champagne served22 people that evening, his artistic touch and flare for subtlety madeit seem as if he had cooked everything just for me.The gourmet dinners often include fish caught that day, as wellas a chicken option, vegetables, pastas and other surprises. Guestswith special dietary requirements or requests are happily accommodated.Meals are included in the room rate.PEOPLE come from all over just to sample Champagne’smenu. The crew of the yacht School’s Out – on its way to Golfitofrom Los Sueños, on the central Pacific coast – made a specialtrip to Aguila de Osa for dinner, after having tried it on a previoustrip.“It’s the best food I’ve had in Costa Rica,” the boat’s head cook,Lisa Bendient, said. “It’s in the upper price range for Costa Rica,but it’s worth every colón.”Meals are served family-style, allowing guests to interact andshare. School’s Out captain Josh Huckaby commented that therestaurant’s family-style dining is an attraction.“You get to hear people’s stories and interact in a way thatbrings travelers together,” he said.AGUILA de Osa offers daily excursions led by the hotel’s inhouseguides. Side trips include treks through Corcovado NationalPark, nature walks, sportfishing (the hotel maintains its own boatand equipment), snorkeling, scuba diving and a night tour.Because of the remoteness of the area, the hotel lies off thepower grid but has two 78-horsepower generators that provide 24-hour electricity. A local fishing captain said “Aguila is the onlyplace in the area you can get an ice-cold beer, or even a beveragewith ice in it.”The hotel is in the process of acquiring its CST (Certificate ofSustainable Tourism), and is working on becoming a member of theGreen Hotels Association.High-season rates run $265 plus tax for a double, and includelodging, all meals, on-the-table wine and appetizers. For moreinformation, call 296-2190, e-mail orvisit

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