Swimmers race with dolphins and whales in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica

In southern Costa Rica, Golfo Dulce’s extraordinary beauty and pristine habitat made it easy for swimmers in the 2016 Cruce Aguas Abiertas Golfo Dulce to be joined by dolphins and humpback whales as they swam across the gulf.

2016 Cruce Aguas Abiertas Golfo Dulce in Costa Rica

A Dolphin leaps in joy at the 2016 Golfo Dulce open water swimming race in Costa Rica

Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge once again hosted the launch of the 2016 Cruce Aguas Abiertas Golfo Dulce (Golfo Dulce Open Water Swimming) at the beginning of September.

The unique open water swimming race crosses the pristine Golfo Dulce – one of only four tropical fjords in the world – on a direct route of 14 kilometers from Playa Nicuesa to Puerto Jimenez on the Osa Peninsula.

2016 Golfo Dulce open water swimming race

Swimmers raced from Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge 14 km across Golfo Dulce to Puerto Jimenez.

Under blue skies in sun-sparkled sapphire water, hundreds of swimmers competed in three open water competitions held Sept. 3 and 4 in the beautiful Pacific gulf in southern Costa Rica. Swimmers of all ages from all over the country had the experience of a lifetime joining dolphins and humpback whales in their swim across the gulf.

At 6:30 a.m. on Sep. 3, 45 men and women jumped into the cool jade green water in front of Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge to swim the 14 kilometers to Puerto Jimenez. Swimmers were accompanied by assistance kayaks, stand-up paddle boarders, and boats with lifeguards and rescue personnel from the Costa Rica Red Cross.

2016 Golfo Dulce Cruce Aguas Abiertas

Swimmers in the Golfo Dulce open water race were accompanied by rescue personnel.

Open water races of 1.5 km and 5 km were held the following day on Sep. 4, starting from Puerto Jimenez.

Rodolfo Sanchez won the 14 km race across the gulf with a winning time of 2 hours, 50 minutes and 36 seconds. Coming in at second place was Angelica Astorga with a time of 2 hours, 58 minutes and 13 seconds; and third place went to Mario Bonatti who finished in 2 hours 59 minutes and14 seconds. Sanchez also won first place in the men’s 5 km race the following day.


Cruce Aguas Abiertas Golfo Dulce 2016 winners (right to left) Rodolfo Sanchez #1, Angelica Astorga #2, Mario Bonatti #3

This was the second year in a row that Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge has been the starting spot for this unique open water swimming competition across Golfo Dulce.

“We are sponsoring one of the most important nature-sports competitions taking place in Golfo Dulce. We are proud to host this challenging competition and be it’s starting point for the second consecutive year,” said Marcelo Lopez, Resident Manager at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge.

The races in Golfo Dulce are part of the World Open Water Swimming Series (WOWSS), a 17-race series of open water swimming competitions around the globe (Africa, Central America, North America, South America, Asia and Europe).

Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge on Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica

The boat dock at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge on Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica

The extraordinarily beautiful Golfo Dulce is one of the most important marine habitats in Costa Rica. The 31-mile-long (50 km) gulf by the Osa Peninsula is home to abundant marine life including dolphins, sea turtles, hammerhead sharks, giant whale sharks, sea birds, and migrating endangered southern Pacific humpback whales (August to October).

Golfo Dulce at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge in Costa Rica.

Enjoying Golfo Dulce at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge in Costa Rica.

Discover the secret beauty of southern Costa Rica when you stay at the Playa Nicuesa eco-lodge near the Osa Peninsula. Take advantage of Nicuesa Lodge’s special offer: “Reserve 3 nights, get the 4th night free”, valid from Nov. 16 to Dec. 15, 2016. The lodge will be closed from Oct. 1 to Nov. 15 for annual maintenance.

Article by Shannon Farley

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