Few places in the rainforest of Tropical America give you the opportunity to enjoy the exuberant nature, guided by people of the Ngöbe (Guaymí) indigenous community, and to share with them their traditions, their foods and their ancestral way of living in harmony with their environment.
Their indigenous reserve is located in the Osa Peninsula in the South Pacific of Costa Rica. This area hosts one of the largest and most diverse population of plants of the American Continent. 134 families of understory plants have been studied and distributed into 662 genera and 1315 species, together with more than 300 species of trees, thousands of insects, hundreds of mammals and birds and many reptiles and amphibians. Some endangered species of animals make this place their last refuge such as; the jaguar (Felis onca), the marguay (Felis wiedii), the ocelot (Felis pardalis), the scarlet macaw (Ara macao) and the Baird’s tapir (Tapirus bairdii).
The Osa Peninsula is one of the few corners of the Mesoamerican area with a tropical rain forest in the Pacific watershed. In Costa Rica it is protected by the National Park of Corcovado, covering a surface of 54539 hectares of inland area and 2500 hectares of marine area, in the Forest Reserve of the Golfo Dulce, which covers an extension of 60000 hectares and the Guaymí Reserve of Alto Laguna with 2800 hectares. This Reserve borders the Corcovado national Park, sharing 18 kms. and the Golfo Dulce Forest Reserve along 13 kms.
The Guaymí Reserve is mainly a forest zone and in its highest part is covered by a cloud forest where you can observe a variety of oak tree and ferns, epyphite plants, palms, mosses, lichens and mushrooms. It has a hilly topography that creates different landscapes. Besides the biodiversity it boasts, the lower sections of their territory is covered by a rainforest almost untouched, this is the home of the Ngöbe (Guaymí) tribe. The Ngobe have, for centuries, been present around todays’ Costa Rica-Panama border. They are a group, among other regional groups, of Chibcha speaking peoples native to this region since early Pre-Columbian times.
With a visit to the Alto Laguna Ngöbe (Guaymí) Lodge one can immerse themselves in this universe where all the members of the 22 families that live there contribute to the sustainability of their way of life and their environment. Still alive as part of their traditional lifeways, they continue several ancestral activities such as subsistence agriculture, the making of traditional arts and handicrafts, fishing, hunting and forest products gathering. They live in their world still very steeped in their particular aboriginal cosmology.
Following the trails that depart form the lodge, you will be able to observe animals and plants in their natural environment. There are guided tours that take you through the peninsula where you can visit beautiful beaches, swim in the rivers, go by horseback through the mountains. A medicinal plant/botanicals tour by a Ngobe specialist is also available.
The lodges, built in the venacular native architecture, are equipped to take visitors overnight and are sure to be quite a unique experience from what one is usually used to. Don’t forget your camera, binoculars, raincoat, insect repellent, hiking shoes, flashlight and plenty of film.
Tour includes all transportation with accompaniment by your hosts from where one is left off by bus (La Palma), lodging, food, tours with local guides, horseback riding, handicrafts.