A leader in global travel experiences, National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World has found the best winter getaways in Costa Rica and the Caribbean for travelers who seek high-end adventure in pristine settings, with a minimal impact on the natural environment.
Compared to other beach getaways, National Geographic Lodges are among the most extraordinary luxury resorts in the world. Staying in one of them is a once in a lifetime experience.
National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World is an exclusive collection of hotels that embody the values of National Geographic and its travellers. These distinctive destinations, including Rosalie Bay Resort in Dominica and Pacuare Lodge in Costa Rica, are pioneers in sustainable travel with a commitment to preserving the integrity of their surroundings while treating guests to a variety of meaningful experiences.
This growing collection of lodges sets the standard for authentic and responsible travel. Each lodge offers a rare kind of experience where protecting the local culture and environment goes hand-in-hand with top-notch service and accommodations. If you want a life-changing travel experience and preserving the planet is important to you, this is your answer. National Geographic Unique Lodges has done all the work for you. All you have to do is decide when and where you want to go.
An unmatched benefit of the collection is the National Geographic Exclusive – an experience available only to National Geographic guests.
Nat Geo Exclusives
Each lodge has created special complimentary experiences offered exclusively to guests who book through National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World. These opportunities span the spectrum, from a research outing with a resident scientist to intimate meals in memorable places. No matter what the experience, all National Geographic Exclusives are designed to enrich your stay by helping you connect more deeply to the unique place you’re visiting.
Three Ways to Travel
Through the National Geographic Unique Lodges website, you can independently browse the entire collection and reserve your space in several ways: 1) request a reservation at the lodge of your choice directly from the website, 2) book a private expedition for you and your traveling companions that includes one or more of the lodges, or 3) join a National Geographic expert-led group expedition that features one of the award-winning lodges
Below you will find National Geographic Unique Lodges’ picks for the best warm weather getaways for this winter. You’ll experience extraordinary accommodations and exclusive benefits only available to guests of National Geographic.
Read on to find the experience that fits your interests.
Petit St. Vincent Private Island Resort
PETIT ST. VINCENT, ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
A private island in the Windward Islands, Petit St. Vincent is an elegant, secluded Caribbean paradise for those who love sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, or just reading on an empty beach.
- Head barefoot to the beach restaurant for a barbecue accompanied by steel pan music.
- Take to the waters and pick from the fleet of the Sunfish, kayaks, Hobie Cats, paddleboards, and windsurfing boards for guest use.
- Set sail on Beauty—a traditional sloop—island hopping, snorkeling the reefs, or simply enjoying the open sea.
- Dive into an unrivalled scuba and snorkelling adventure, only available to National Geographic Unique Lodges guests, with master instructors from the island’s five-star PADI –Dive centre established by Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of the legendary explorer, Jacques Cousteau.
- Learn to windsurf or sail a Sunfish with the help of the island boatmen, or charter a yacht for a full-day cruise.
Rosalie Bay Resort
MORNE TROIS PITONS, DOMINICA
Rosalie Bay Resort comprises an intimate collection of Caribbean-style cottages built with heart, by hand, to share the incredible natural beauty of the island.
- Join a guide for an excursion that’s exclusive to National Geographic Unique Lodges guests. Your tour will take you to the friendly village of Grand Fond for a glimpse of every day life as you meet residents and farmers along the way. Learn about the local flora and fauna from the your knowledgeable guide, and stop for a refreshing dip in a Rosalie River swimming hole on your return to the resort.
- Dine on excellent cuisine sourced from the resort’s organic garden and local fishermen and farmers, or enjoy a drink at the thatched outdoor bar.
- Cool off in the saltwater, onyx-lined pool, enjoy a complimentary yoga session in tranquil meditation areas or work up a sweat in the well-equipped gym.
- Walk on the beach with a turtle expert to learn about the three species that nest here and their distinctive behavior.
PRIVATE EXPEDITION: COSTA RICA
Private Expeditions are specially crafted itineraries designed for independent travelers. They combine guided excursions, fascinating insights into culture and wildlife, and top accommodations. Simply decide with whom you’d like to travel and when you want to go. National Geographic Private Expeditions will take care of the rest.
The National Geographic Costa Rica Private Expedition takes adventure to the next level for the group of family and friends you choose to travel with. On this nine-day rain forest adventure, you’ll raft, hike, and zip-line through the lush jungles that teem with diverse wildlife. Enjoy breathtaking views of the magnificent Arenal Volcano from your lodge’s private geothermal hot springs. Join a naturalist in spotting monkeys, scarlet macaws, jaguars, and other jungle dwellers.
Along the way, you’ll stay at Lapa Rios Eco Lodge and Pacuare Lodge—prime examples of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World—tucked within two of Costa Rica’s most pristine rain forests.
LIMÓN PROVINCE, COSTA RICA
Pacuare Lodge is nestled deep within 25,000 acres of pristine, protected Costa Rican rain forest on the banks of the Pacuare River—and best accessed by white-water raft.
- Arrive in adventuring style, by white-water raft, spotting wildlife, including jaguars, monkeys, and sloths, as you glide through gorgeous jungle scenery.
- Sip Costa Rican coffee or tea while taking in the rain forest view from your private deck.
- Sit down to a delightful candlelit dinner at a table set high in the rain forest canopy or on the riverbank.
- Set out on a spontaneous jungle hike to a nearby swimming hole, bathe under a waterfall, or spend the afternoon zip-lining and canyoneering.
- Indulge in the restorative powers of the rain forest at the spa, which uses local, natural elements in all its treatments.
- Meet with the son of a Cabécar shaman, exclusive to National Geographic Unique Lodges guests, to gain personal insights about this indigenous culture and the daily lives of its people.
Lapa Rios Eco Lodge
OSA PENINSULA, COSTA RICA
Set within the tropical rain forests of its own private nature reserve and edged by sandy shores, Lapa Rios Eco Lodge is an intimate jungle retreat.
- Wake up to the call of exotic birds and drink morning coffee on your private terrace overlooking the ocean.
- Savor delicious meals and incredible views of the Pacific at the open-air restaurant.
- As a National Geographic Unique Lodges guest you’ll be treated to a private lunch in the rain forest with a waterfall as your backdrop.
- Step into the guide hut to satisfy your curiosity about local wildlife, and enjoy a happy hour slideshow by the lodge naturalists.
- Soak in the salt-based pool with fantastic views and occasionally a close-up encounter with wildlife drawn to the water.
- Whiz through forests at a height of 2,000 feet on a zip-line, catch the waves on a surfing lesson, or go horseback riding along the Osa Peninsula.
- Tour the Lapa Rios Reserve and learn about native wildcats as you set up a camera trap in the rain forest with an experienced biologist.
When you reserve your space through National Geographic Unique Lodges, you’ll be treated to a private lunch in the rain forest with a waterfall as your backdrop. Join a guide for the walk into the forest, learning about the flora and fauna you spot along the way. Then soak up the jungle ambiance over delectable food and a chilled bottle of wine, served by dedicated wait staff, and top off the experience with a swim in the waterfall’s natural pool.
Travelers on the Costa Rica Private Expedition enjoy the world-class accommodations and amazing experiences of two members of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection, Pacuare Lodge and Lapa Rios Eco Lodge. Learn more about this exotic rain forest experience on the expedition’s web page.
A stay at any of these National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World will provide you with inspiring travel moments and the perfect eco-friendly winter vacation getaway.
Photo Credits: All photos are property of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World and their respective lodges.