Saladero Eco Lodge, Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica
Nestled into untouched primary forest in the Golfo Dulce, sits Saladero Eco Lodge.
We arrived by boat from the Mulle dock in Puerto Jimenez, and not 15 minutes into the trip did we spot a few playful bottlenose dolphins bobbing in and out of the water. A wonderful foreshadowing of things to come.
Saladero Eco Lodge faces the water and is spread out over an expansive lawn dotted with several tropical plants.
The owners, Harvey and Susan take great care in providing their guests with an authentic eco experience.
Cody and I were introduced to Alejandra, a biologist who is head of guest services at the lodge. Alejandra took us on an interesting tour of the grounds, and explained how important it is being an eco-lodge, that they grow a very large amount of edible plants.
Being vegan, we loved touring the grounds and learning about what plants bore what fruit.
Saladero has 29 varieties of tropical fruits alone. All of the juices made and served to the guests come from these plants.
Araza, a fruit similar to guava, is blended for fresh fruit juice at the lodge, as well as yo plum, lemongrass, cas, guananaba, lime, lemon, and ginger. Coconuts are abundant, and are used to extract coconut oil for cooking, as well as to make coconut ice cream. There are also papaya, soursop, banana, sour orange, pineapple and cashew apple trees.
Catouk leaves are mixed in salads, as well as moringa leaves, and cilantro; hibiscus is brewed into a refreshing tea, and yuca root is used for soups, or fried as an alternative to potato.
The entire property runs on solar power, and their water source comes from a fresh spring in the jungle.
The food was plentiful, fresh, and healthy. One of our favourite experiences was pizza night. Harvey and Susan have built a wood burning pizza oven. An assembly line of sorts is put together where guests can choose their own toppings; then the pizzas are placed in the heat and they come out beautifully toasted and full of smoky flavour.
All meals are served family style, so guests get to know each other quite easily.The atmosphere was extremely joyful which made it very easy to feel relaxed and at ease.
We were set up in the beach house facing Golfo Dulce. Every morning we awoke to the sounds of the water lapping up on the shore, and were greeted by a beautiful view of coconut trees.
There is also a very sweet treehouse for 2 tucked away in the forest, and 6 glamping tents equipped with 1 or 2 single beds for those with a budget or a more adventurous spirit.
Swimming, snorkelling, kayaking, bird watching, and hiking local trails are some of the activities you can partake in at the lodge.
During our time there, we kayaked quite a bit, and made our way to a beautiful reef about 15 minutes from Saladero. The water was absolutely beautiful to swim in. Hiking was also quite enjoyable.
On our hike, we spotted Halloween crabs, jesus christ lizards, agouti, and howler monkeys.
The inner sea of Golfo Dulce is known as 1 of the only 4 tropical fjords of the world.
A fjord is a deep, narrow, and elongated sea with steep land or cliffs around it. According to the Centre of Cetacean Investigation of Costa Rica, the fjord in Golfo Dulce is a critical habitat for humpback whales, and is essential to the species survival.
Whales arrive from 3,000 to 5,000 miles away to reproduce and give birth in the warm waters of Costa Rica’s south pacific coast. They are most likely to be seen in Costa Rica in between August and October.
Whale watching right from Saladero Eco Lodge’s shore is sure to be a magical experience.
Saladero Eco Lodge is an incredible place to return to nature, and log off. Great attention is paid to respecting, and doing what is best for the environment that is teeming with wildlife.
*Our stay was courtesy of Saladero Eco Lodge but these opinions are our own*