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Lapa Rios

Osa Peninsula , 12 miles South of Puerto Jimenez
Osa Peninsula , Costa Rica http://www.laparios.com/
506 2735-5130

Built around the rain forest (instead of the other way around), using indigenous natural materials and supporting local businesses whenever possible, the 16 palm-thatched bungalows and bamboo furniture remain the standard of eco-friendly luxury. The friendly service and surprisingly creative meals—not to mention alfresco showers, private decks, and abundant wildlife right outside your screen door (Macaw and monkey sightings abound)—make up for the rickety prop plane (and the airsickness) that gets you there. Built by a Minnesota couple as a nature reserve in 1993, Lapa Rios protects 1,000 acres of rain forest and is the largest employer on the Osa Peninsula.

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.