Introducing Cabo Matapalo
Matapalo isn't so much a village as it is a loose string of buildings at the the tip of the Osa peninsula and the entrance to Golfo Dulce, almost completely obscured by jungle. It lies just 17km south of Puerto Jiménez, but this heavily forested and beach-fringed cape is a vastly different world, and can be very hard to reach. A network of trails traverses the foothills, which are uninhabited except for migrating wildlife from the Reserva Forestal Golfo Dulce. Along the coastline, miles upon miles of beaches in pristine wilderness are virtually empty, except for handfuls of surfers in the know.
Although facilities in this remote corner are extremely limited, Cabo Matapalo is home to a number of luxurious lodges that cater to travelers searching for peace and seclusion. Of course, it’s hard to feel lonely out here given the breadth of animals about: scarlet macaw, brown pelican and all breeds of heron are frequently sighted on the beaches, while four species of monkey, sloth, coati, agouti and anteater roam the woods.
From the Puerto Jiménez–Carate road, the turnoff for Cabo Matapalo is on the left-hand side, through a crumbling white cement gate (called ‘El Portón Blanco’).
Those who intended to surf their way down the country will find expert waves at Playa Pan Dulce. The best swell is from the south and it can be surfed at all tides. Sometimes, they reach double-overhead height.