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Lokal Travel’s Upcoming Epic Trips to the Osa Peninsula

Quietly pushing off the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica lies the beautifully pristine Osa Peninsula, a magical paradise of untouched primitive rain forests, deserted beaches and rural communities relatively hidden to mainstream tourism. Known for its conservation efforts and robust ecotourism industry, the Osa Peninsula is one of the most biologically diverse places on the planet with over 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity in less than one millionth of the Earth’s surface area.

It is here where conservationist and filmmaker Eytan Elterman and his good friend photographer Marco Bollinger lived for five months to produce the award-wining documentary “2.5 %  – The Osa Peninsula” that would change the course of their lives and inspire them to create Lokal, an online booking platform and marketplace for community-based tourism in remote places around the world. Lokal is unique in that it also helps support the local economy and protect the environment by offering ways for locals to embrace sustainable, responsible tourism.

One of the many colors found in Costa Rica's biodiverse rain forests. Photo credit: Lokal Travel

One of the many colors found in Costa Rica’s biodiverse rain forests. Photo credit: Lokal Travel

I wrote about Lokal back in July when I first learned about their amazing, unique platform for local travel opportunities in some of the most remote places in Costa Rica. I have been in love with their work ever since and a colleague of mine, Kelley Louise, the Executive Director of Travel+SocialGood recently went on a trip with Lokal describing it as one of the best trips she has done in a long time.

Lokal Co-Founder Dave Koken embarking on a traditional 'ox cart' ride through the community of Cedral in the highlands of Southern Costa Rica. Cedral offers hiking, visits to an indigenous cemetery, waterfalls, tours of their coffee plantation and coffee roasting factory, and overnight accommodations in a guesthouse.

Lokal Co-Founder Dave Koken embarking on a traditional ‘ox cart’ ride through the community of Cedral in the highlands of Southern Costa Rica. Cedral offers hiking, visits to an indigenous cemetery, waterfalls, tours of their coffee plantation and coffee roasting factory, and overnight accommodations in a guesthouse.

Lokal represents a unique kind of travel opportunity to experience local life in untouched, remote and rural areas around the world. Places that most travelers would never ever dream of experiencing and a much needed income to preserve a way of life. All trips work to support local communities by putting money directly into the hands of locals and supporting work to preserve natural and cultural heritage. Generally, only 5% of money spent by tourism around the world goes back into local hands however with Lokal Travel 80% of the money is reinvested back into the community. It is a fantastic way to promote sustainable, responsible travel.

Getting to visit the Osa Peninsula Lokal-style is bound to be one of the most unique, inspiring trips ever, and luckily Lokal Travel is offering two one-of-a-kind epic week-long adventures for those conscious, adventurous travelers who want to get a taste for going local.

Lokal Co-Founder Eytan Elterman visting the Seacacar community tourism project in Guatemala. Seacacar offers tubing through the El Boqueron river as well as hiking and overnight accommodations at the local ecolodge.

Lokal Co-Founder Eytan Elterman visting the Seacacar community tourism project in Guatemala. Seacacar offers tubing through the El Boqueron river as well as hiking and overnight accommodations at the local ecolodge.

I wish desperately I could go as I’d be there in a heartbeat. I wanted to let you know about the trips in case you or someone else you know is interested in signing up. There is also a discount offered below. Here are the details. 

Introducing Lokal’s Epic Osa Adventure

osa-adventure-graphic

Jungle swimming holes? Check. Birdwatch in a private lagoon? Check. Stay overnight in unique guesthouses? Eat home cooked, healthy and local cuisine? Know that what you spend directly benefits the communities you visit? Check, check, check.

Yes, this is an epic trip. We can’t guarantee otherworldly light rays but we do guarantee you will experience the rainforest and 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity in a way that few people ever will.

These trips are a product of years of on the ground work by the Lokal team, getting to know local communities, and filming an award winning documentary in the Osa. We are really excited to finally take you there and show you firsthand the magic of the Osa.

About the trip:

Join a small group of intrepid travelers and Lokal co-founders on a unique adventure to Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula – home to an astounding 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity! You’ll connect with local residents from several rural communities who will welcome you into their homes, share their way of life, and provide a glimpse into a rugged, wild side of the country that few travelers ever get to experience. We’ll also venture deep into the rainforest to explore pristine swimming holes, observe incredible wildlife in Corcovado National Park and relax on a beautiful beach or two. Better still, every place we go will be tied to local efforts to improve communities and protect the beautiful, fragile environment on the peninsula!

Unspoiled coasline in Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula. Photo credit: Lokal Travel

Unspoiled coasline in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. Photo credit: Lokal Travel

Right for You?

Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights

Travel Style

Languages: English and Spanish.Lokal co-founders will facilitate and make intros, but you will interact with lots of locals who only speak Spanish.

Physical Activity: Challenging workout

Location: Rainforest, Rural Communities and Beach

Connect: Wifi: Limited. Cell: Limited

Highlights:

  • Explore the “worlds most biologically intense place” (according to Nat Geo)
  • Stay in 100% locally-run and unique lodging
  • Hike into Corcovado National Park and see amazing wildlife – scarlet macaws, monkeys, sloths, tapirs, and much more
  • Experience daily life alongside friendly locals
  • Canoe into a private rainforest lagoon
  • Swim in remote, pristine waterfall pools
  • Eat home cooked Tico style meals and try rare jungle fruits

Schedule: Two set departures: December 17th – 24th and January 2nd – 9th

Maximum of 8 Travelers (get ready to make a few new friends!)

For a complete itinerary click here.

Special discount: Please use this link to receive a $200 discount to any of my readers who book. I would LOVE to go but can’t make these trips given my family travel. But I am sure I will be on the next trip I can!

17 comments

  1. Mike Hohmann

    Sad to see this… just more promotion aimed at well-to-do ‘eco-tourists.’ Come visit ‘the most biologically diverse places on the planet with over 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity in less than one millionth of the Earth’s surface,’ where ‘recent plans to open up an international airport threaten the very beauty, uniqueness and ecological diversity of this place both to its inhabitants and its flora and fauna.’ Better see it soon, because in twenty years it will likely be very different. A good ‘business plan’ combined with well-meaning ‘eco-tourists’ is all it takes… to wreak havoc. Just a few thoughts from an old-guy who’s seen it all before.

    • Mike, I am so glad you wrote this comment because in my haste I realized that I was trying to combine my first post about Lokal and the amazing film they wrote to bring awareness of the threat to this place by the plans for the airport with a new post on their trips. If you haven’t read the first one in full, then this post will not make sense.

      So basically, these guys went down to Costa Rica for five months to film about the conflict going on between international development (building the new airport) and conservation. These guys are conservationist documentary film makers.

      When they were there, they realized that there are all these amazing people living in these remote areas of Osa that are offering local “tourist” experiences yet do not have a marketplace. (The film if you watch it on the link on the last post follows a few examples of poachers and miners who instead of doing this kind of work, gave it up and are able to do sustainable tourism instead). The founders of Lokal realized what if they offered help giving these people a marketplace to promote their kind of unique touristic opportunities?

      They formed Lokal which is an online platform that you can search out these opportunities and do them.

      The big issues right now with development in the Osa and everywhere that is still untouched is the huge, insanely expensive resorts or ones they claim to be “eco-resorts” that cost hundreds or thousands a night, do not support the local community, and the money is all going into other people’s hands. This is what has happened in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica, in Mexico and all over the place and it is terrible in my opinion.

      So for Lokal, they are offering very inexpensive (sometimes under $100 a day) opportunities to stay in a remote farm house with the locals and have them show you their farm or take a canoe down a remote river with just you and the landowner.

      This kind of travel is amazing as it helps support the local community, and is the least impactful way to inflict damage on a place.

      So I should have spent more time in the front talking about what these guys do to explain it better! I am so glad you wrote this comment Mike!

      As for this epic trips, this is a rare thing. They normally only act as a marketplace online to connect travelers to 1-2 day local travel opportunities but are actually putting together two group trips.

      Again, a big percentage of the money will go back to support the local community and the trips will be sustainable, ethical and responsible.

      Let’s hope the international airport isn’t opened up! For now, you can get to the Osa on tiny planes and yes sadly there already are some luxury resorts there. But thankfully there are still these opportunities to see things like a local and protect it.

      Thanks so much Mike! I adjusted my post slightly and will leave this comment in there for others who have the same questions.

  2. Nicole I would so love to do this. I have no idea if I’ll be strong enough by January to be able to. I’ve had so little exercise lately because of my sore joints but I’m starting a new treatment next week that could make all the difference. It’s possible that by January I’ll be good to go. Anyway I’ll follow the link you gave for details, and run it by Don. It’s just the kind of experience I’d like (though not sure about Don). Lokal sounds like an amazing company.
    Alison

    • Yes I am sure this will be quite an amazing experience and opportunity. If I can somehow get it to work I want to go myself. I hope your feeling better soon. 😌

      • I ran it by Don. These days when we convert the cost to Cdn$ it’s close to $2500. Each! We can’t really justify spending that kind of money for a week’s travel. 🙁

      • Yes with the exchange rate that is pricey but if you ever do want to go on one of their trips they offer as little as one day to two day Lokal excursions in Osa and in other parts of the world. Most of these cost around $100 per day and are very very affordable (less than going to Osa and staying at a fancy resort). Check out their website and you will see the different opportunities I mentioned. This trip is unique because the founders are putting together a special adventure. If you want to still do a Lokal adventure more affordably check out the site as you could easily tag it on at low cost to any trip to Costa Rica or where else you want to go that they offer trips.

  3. I have read and heard much about Osa Peninsula. And the way you present it and not the least your photos, makes it even more desirable to one day be able to go there. Gorgeous photos.

  4. Pingback: About Costa Rica | E Travel & Food

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