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Trip Report Overdue Trip Report-Ojochal, Uvita and Lookout Inn, OSA Peninsula

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I've been home for over a month and all I can think about is going back! We spent 4 1/2 weeks in Costa Rica this year, and each year we return (have been visiting over 10 times starting in the mid 80's) it gets better and better!

Here is our itinerary:

January 26. - Pura Vida Hotel- Alajuela
January 27 - TikiVillas Rainforest Hotel - Uvita
January 28 through February 17 - house rental in Ojochal(Finca Maranon)
February 17th - Cabinas Jimenez- Puerto Jimenez
February 18th through February 25th - Lookout Inn, Carate, OSA Peninsula
February 26th - Vista Del Valle, Alajuela

Pura Vida Hotel - First night arrival to this beautiful country is very important to me. I want to luxuriate in the earthy smells, the birdsong and the "pura vida" that brings me back to this amazing country year after year. I thought we'd try something new this year, something a bit closer to the highway getting out of San Jose as we were heading out the next morning to Uvita via the coastal route. Pura Vida is a charming little B and B with a number of sweet little cabinas spread out amongst the gardens, just 15 minutes outside the airport. Downside is the ROAD NOISE!!!! We were lucky enough to get one of the bungalows further away from the road, but I still found the traffic sounds unbearable. Another negative is that the owners have recently opened a restaurant offsite, so they no longer serve dinners. First night dinner in Costa Rica was a cold, overpriced pizza delivered to the hotel. But hey, we were all so thrilled to be here, that nothing was going to get us down!!! Vodka Martinis also helped. Would we return - no. In Pura Vida's favour, they do a lot for the local community and Berni is extremely helpful in arranging rental cars, delivered right to the hotel. Breakfast was delicious.

We (my husband, John, and our friend, Sandra) were up with the birds next morning, and after breakfast, the rental car arrived. We all get in the car, and to our dismay, the front seatbelt on the passenger side did not work. So, we drive back to the Car Rental Place, wait 45 minutes to see someone, and he has the seatbelt fixed in a flash. Slightly embarrassing for us all. Then this guy draws a map to the new highway on a napkin, and we confidently head out with giddy anticipation - our first adventure!!! Well, what should have taken 3 1/2 hours ended up taking us over 5. We took the wrong exit to the highway and end up on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere for an hour and a half!!! Lesson learned: sense of humour a must. We laughed our ways silly all the way, finally find the highway, and stopfor lunch along the way at Villa Caletas outside of Jaco.

Villa Caletas is a must- visit spot, for the view alone. You are traveling up a windy mountain road for 15-20 minutes and are rewarded at the top with jaw- dropping views of the Gulf of Nicoya from the restaurant. This is an upscale resort catering to a more cruise ship style clientele. Not my type of place, but the ceviche and guacamole were fabulous. The staff were extremely friendly. Would I stay there? No way! Not my style, but really a great choice if you're looking for a stunning view and constant pampering with a lot of cruise wear.

TikiVillas Rainforest Lodge - Uvita - Finally!!!!! Pura, Pura Vida!!! What a magical place Cindy and Thomas have created!!! Up a steep mountain road between Dominical and Uvita lies this little gem of a lodge, perched on a mountainside in the rainforest overlooking the Pacific ocean. The common area is a Balinese inspired architectural gem with a soaring ceiling fringed by a beautiful infinity pool overlooking the ocean. The Villas are absolutely perfect and blend into the environment seamlessly. There are just a handful of villas (6?) each with a front wall that opens up to the ocean and rainforest, set in beautiful gardens. Toucans flit by in the trees, howler monkeys as alarm clocks, small kitchenette, and indoor and (heavenly) outdoor shower. Huge outdoor deck with comfy chairs. Bed linens to die for! Delicious Costa Rican breakfasts( included in price) of gallo pinto , fresh fruit, eggs and avocado. The crowning jewel are the owners, Thomas and Cindy , 2 of the most gracious hosts I have ever encountered. They are truly beautiful people who really believe in what they do and go out of thir way to make you feel welcome. The other crowning jewel is the price - $130 / night!!! I highly recommend this place and will be returning next year.

Next up - Ojochal Rental House

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