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Recent Costa Rica reviews

  • Exceptional

    "A minor disadvantage to the wonderful setback which does not allow building on the beach at Nosara is that you tend to be "in the trees" with little sense of the sky. This elevated condo allows enough openness from your balconies to see all: sky, moon, stars, trees, and birds. This stylish modern, up-to-date, villa was very important for creating a perfect week in March. While crime is very minimal (we walked back to the villa in the dark many nights), the fact that the villa was near the end of the street up a short hill with a guard and a dependable safe freed us to enjoy ourselves. The 10-minute walk to the beach was just right. The owner took care of us in every way without overdoing it. He gave great advice for getting from the airport to Nosara, renting a vehicle, and activities in the area. There was a very minor problem with one bathroom drain and it was fixed immediately. Nosara is not fancy, not a Westin Resort town. We came because we wanted to be laid back, walk/run the beaches twice a day, enjoy the local food, drive the coast each way, and do a few local activities. While the town is full of expats and tourists, it give more get more of a sense of the pura vida (pure life). Drive north and walk on endless beaches by yourself (unless the turtles are coming ashore). Take the local river kayak or SUP environmental river tour with a great guide. Thanks for your help in making our vacation exactly what we had hoped for."
    Guest: Al Date of Stay: March 2014 Review Submitted: April 5, 2014
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  • Just a perfect 9 days

    "This home sits above one of the best views we saw in Costa Rica. We loved swinging in the hammocks and listening to the waves crash at high tide. We felt very secure as the neighbor is very vigilante. The only negative is he wakes up at 5:30 AM to the radio! This is a confortable home, everything works and the small pool and outdoor shower was wonderful. One of the best things was the huge mango tree next door filled with ripe mangos. Cindy was the perfect host concierge making all our arrangements and available after hours and weekends via text if we had any issues."
    Guest: Nick A. Date of Stay: June 2014 Review Submitted: June 25, 2014
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  • Spectacular!

    "We have stayed in many Villas all over Costa Rica and all I can say is, we were very impressed with Villa Catalina. The Villa itself, it's location, the views and the beach club all make this an amazing place for your next visit. Don't think twice this is worth every penny, we will definitely be returning soon."
    Guest: Nick A Date of Stay: May 2014 Review Submitted: May 13, 2014
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  • Beautiful Place to Relax in Tambor

    "This was our second 2 week trip to Tambor, Costa Rica. We were 2 couples. The weather of course was absolutely beautiful. We were 2 couples and stayed in the Casita at the back of the property beside the beautiful refreshing pool. The landscaping is breathtaking! Property owner has done a fabulous job! The beach is just a 1 minute walk from the door, we enjoyed morning or late afternoon walks on the beach when the temperature and sun were a little less hot. You can walk for miles. The homeowners were there during our stay and were extremely accommodating and helpful to provide information and assistance when asked regarding contacts for tours, best places to shop for groceries, etc. We had a car which we would recommend but not a definite necessity, as you could book local excursions in Tambor which is a 5 minute walk from the property. There is also a small grocery store located in Tambor, as well as several restaurants which are all within walking distance. If you intend to consume alcohol, we strongly suggest you purchase it at the duty free shop prior to leaving the San Jose airport, as it is a lot cheaper there. Accommodations were very clean and well kept. The casita is not equipped with air conditioning, however, all rooms are equipped with ceiling fans (including the outdoor eating area) and we found this to be sufficient (at least during the month of February). The kitchen was well equipped and had all the necessities. It was a good location to go out on day trips to Montezuma, Mal Pais and Cobano. Lots of Howler monkeys and Macaws can be seen (and heard!) around the property. The property backs onto the main road used to travel from the ferry in Paquera to Malpais, Cobano and Montezuma. The only negative feature was that sometimes vehicular traffic could be a little loud early in the morning and late at night when vehicles were passing through coming or going to catch the ferry. The annual rodeo was on in Cobano during our stay which more than likely added to the volume of traffic during our stay. After a couple of nights when we got totally relaxed and into vacation mode, we seemed to tune this out! If you're looking for a very relaxing and slower paced place to stay away from the busier populated areas such as Montezuma and Malpais, this is the perfect spot! We will definitely be returning!"
    Guest: Rose and Dwight Date of Stay: February 2014 Review Submitted: February 22, 2014
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Costa Rica Travel Tips

Costa Rica is a paradise for eco-tourists. With 27 percent of the land dedicated to national reserves and more than 500,000 different plant and animal species, Costa Rica is no ordinary walk in the park. You can soar over the rainforest canopy on ziplines, hit the waves for world-class surfing or go on exotic hikes that will leave you in awe. From coast to coast, this Central American gem is a must-see.

Nicoya Peninsula

Boasting more than 80 miles of shoreline stretching from the northern air lowlands to the southern moist hills, the Nicoya Peninsula is packed with beach towns, powdery sands and affordable getaways for all. Its beaches are its crown jewel, as they’re ideal for an assortment of water sports, including snorkeling, scuba-diving and surfing. The surf here is always up, and is deemed one of the best spots for the sport in the world. Shred the waves in the morning, and then take the kids to the turtle beaches or subterranean caves. The Peninsula is divided into two provinces, Gaunacaste in the north, and Puntarenas in the south, but you may want to explore it all.

Manuel Antonio

Less than two hours north of San Jose lies Manuel Antonio National Park, where the rainforest meets the sea. There are four main beaches here: Espadilla Sur, Playita, Teloro and of course, Manuel Antonio, all of which are bursting with marine biodiversity and amazing coral reefs. Be careful, though, as there are rip currents.

Manuel Antonio is only one of two places in the country where you can see all four kinds of monkeys: howler, white-faced, spider and squirrel varieties. Once you’ve got your monkey fix, rent a fishing charter for an afternoon of family fun reeling in fish that are as big as you are. You’ll find sailfish, blue marlin, red snapper and tuna that’ll have you rattling off epic fishing tales to your friends. Last but not least, speed down the legendary ziplines that hang in the tops of the trees for a thrill of a lifetime. Don’t worry, safety is key.

San Jose

With a population of 309,000, San Jose constitutes roughly 40 percent of the country’s total. It comes equipped with your usual commercial stores and side-street cafes, yet also showcases the National Theatre (Teatro Nacional). The amazing opera house is decked out in golden ceilings and marble staircases where you can watch a variety of different acts. Everything that glitters is gold in the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum (Museo del Oro Precolombino), a three-story underground structure below the Plaza de Cultura. The museum houses Central America’s largest collection of pre-Columbian gold jewelry. To practice your Spanish and socialize with the locals, head down to Parque Central, and for serious foodies, be sure to eat at the Hotel Grano de Oro, where you’ll find fine dining amidst a gorgeous ambience.

Arenal Volcano

This behemoth volcano is a cornerstone of Costa Rican wonders. It is located in the 29,960-acre Arenal National Park and in 2010, was said to have moved into a resting state. Interestingly enough, 75 percent of all bird species found in the country can be spotted here. You can partake in a list of adventures for days, but the special ones to try are waterfall rappelling, whitewater rafting and hiking through the breathtaking jungle. You can even go spelunking in caves as you glimpse the colorful fish and frogs all over the rocks, or head to the Butterfly Exhibit in Castillo for a whole metamorphosis of fun.

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Yes, you read correctly, Cloud Forest. Located in the Tilaran Mountains northwest of the capital San Jose, Monte Verde is a wonderland for biodiversity buffs. Its lush jungle is teeming with wildlife, such as the red-eyed tree frogs that you find in National Geographic. It also hosts the longest zipline in the country, and insightful guided nature tours where a professional will point out bits of the flora and fauna that will blow you away. The night tours are a blast as well. Don’t forget to step across the Sky Walk, a series of suspension bridges with well-maintained walking paths that will take you through the canopy of the tropical forest.

Costa Rica is perfect for all ages. It’s animal-filled adventures and charismatic coastlines practically breed excitement. From volcanic peaks to vast rainforests to a culture that places family at the heart of life, Costa Rica is an end-all be-all getaway.

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