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Costa Rica advice

Old Jun 29th, 2004, 11:40 AM
  #1  
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Costa Rica advice

My daughter has been teaching english in Costa Rica for 2 months. I will be meeting her there in July. We have 9 travel days and are planning on the "basic" trip. We will rent a car, spend a couple of days in Arenal, a couple of days in Monteverde and a couple of days in Manuel Antonio. After reading many of your WONDERFUL travel logs and great advice, I'm wondering if we should change some of our plans. I would really like to see the arribada of the olive ridley turtles in Ostional. According to maps and travel books, it may not be easy to get to Ostional-even with a 4-wheel drive.

Does anyone have advice about Ostional or any other part of our trip. We are very flexable and have found that most hotels are very vacant during this time. We would be willing to change our itinerary in order to see something that we "absolutely shouldn't miss". Thanks for your help.
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Old Jun 29th, 2004, 05:20 PM
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Hi. We were in Nosara about 2 weeks ago and met some people who had to cross through about 3-4 feet of water to get to Ostional. I don't know if there is another way to get there or not. Plus, from what I was told, this isn't a good time to see the turtles.

Hope that helps! Have a great trip.
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Old Jun 30th, 2004, 05:07 AM
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There is a rather large river that needs to be crossed to get to Ostional. Depending on how much rain there is within a couple days of having to cross it, you may have to wait for a couple hours or a day or two for it to recede enough to cross saftely. Nosara is a nice quite beach town to wait it out if need be. Have you checked the moon cycle for the days you might be in the area? The turtles come almost EVERY month, but only at the beginning of the new moon.
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Old Jun 30th, 2004, 08:29 AM
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Ally, Where do you recommend staying in Nosara? We want to go back this year and maybe stay somewhere different. Last year we stayed at Casa Romantica which we liked very much.Did you get to see the turtles in Ostional? Also,rjd24 where did you stay? Thanks.
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Old Jun 30th, 2004, 03:07 PM
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karenski,
We stayed at Villa Taype. I have mixed feelings about it. I don't think they are taking very good care of the property. Our room had about half of the knobs missing on the dresser and they never had time to clean our room one day. Several people I met left and stayed somewhere else. The pool is nice (although the swim up bar was closed and pretty dirty) and the location is good. I looked in a newer room and it looked really nice.

I looked at Casita Romantica (used to be part of Casa Romantica) and really liked it. The rooms were new and very clean. It is run by the old managers of Casita Romantica.

Hope this helps!
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Old Jun 30th, 2004, 03:58 PM
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Dont stay at Villa Taype - the management is terrible. Money was stolen from my room by an employee and they would do nothing about it. Also the place has not been kept up.
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Old Jun 30th, 2004, 07:25 PM
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I was trying to be polite but I agree with Jamamac. I wouldn't stay there again. The management is terrible and the owner doesn't seem to care. It took me a while to realize she was the owner because she was always sitting around talking with friends and never paid attention to any of the guests. They really don't do a good job of taking care of the property. It has a lot of potential--it is too bad they are letting it get so run down and neglected. The tennis court they advertise is not useable and the second pool is empty (and dangerous if you walk near it at night since it isn't roped off and is about 8 feet deep). The web site they have makes it look a lot better than it is!

Correction: Casita Romantica is run by the old manager of Casa Romantica. He seemed very nice. I am planning on staying there next time.

People were also happy at Cafe Paris but it is a little further from the beach.

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Old Jun 30th, 2004, 07:35 PM
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rjd24, I actually stayed at I think what they are now calling Casita Romantica according to the web site. I was trying to figure out what happened to Casa Romantica which was on the same grounds. Is it undergoing construction? It was all one place when we were there. It was nice, but they raised the price and it does not include breakfast anymore. Were there two buildings operating as a hotel when you were there? Maybe it is still the best bet in Nosara. Thanks for the info on Villa Taype. Their web site looks nice. Sorry to hear is is run down and not safe. Karen
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Old Jul 1st, 2004, 05:20 AM
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We almost always stay at Villa Taype because we get the rooms by the pool for $50, and with the location and breakfast it's just been too good a deal to pass up. But, I don't think most people would get that price unless you ask...and then you still might not get it. We do because we've been there so many times. But, what everyone says is correct. The place has gone way down-hill since we first stayed there. This last trip in May, we even brought a couple of shower heads because the showers can be very bad with little water coming out. We didn't need it for our shower, as it was fine, but the shower in my sisters room was awful. Just a trickle of water. We took the old shower head off, and screwed in the new $5.00 one we brought from home and the shower was great after that! The reason it is going down-hill is because the property is up for sale. It's been for sale for years, but they are asking too much. But they don't want to spend a bunch of money to keep it up, as they are hoping it will sell and someone else can fix things.
Also, they still get many repeat customers who get good rates. And when we were there last Jan 2002., the whole place was full for two weeks, so they made some money at that time.
The 'owner', Gabriella that rjd24 refers to is no longer there. She was 'managing' (I use that term lightly) for awhile, but she and her husband Peter, the other owner, have split up. Peter is not much better than Gabriella. He has a terrible attitude and treats the employees just awful. I've seen him yell at employees in front of his guest, which is totally unprofessional. There is a good chance we'll stay there again in Sept., but only because as I said, we get a good rate, and I love the pool, which is probably the largest in the area.
If I were not to get that price, I would stay at the Gilded Iguana who also has a good location and they have 6 NEW rooms with
a/c and a new pool. I might also stay at the Harbor Reef again. They have some decent rooms and a really good restaurant, but their pool is awful small. I've seen hot tubs bigger than their pool. The new place, Casita Romantica looks lovely. The managers are the ones who were running Casa Romantica, which is now being run by their son! One more place to check out that my husband has been to was the Candinease (SP??) Condos. They are in a good location, are very clean, and have a seperate living room and kitchen. Also has a decent pool.
Now, if you can wait until Dec. 2005, we hope to have OUR hotel and restaurant opened by then. It will be a small 'luxury' hotel, a little expensive for the area at $125 or $150 but we think they will be worth it!

As for the turtles, yes, I've seen them in Ostional. My husband found out because he is a surfer. He went over there to surf and found out the beach was 'closed' as the turtles we're coming. We drove there late one afternoon and were going to have an early dinner then go see the turtles. We went to a restaurant up on the hill and noticed many, many tico's on the beach. When we asked the restaurant owner what was happening, he told us the turtles were already coming in so the towns people were there to collect the eggs. So, we left, promising to come back for dinner and went down to the beach. We were able to see dozens and dozens of them coming up, lay their eggs and then leaving, all at sunset. It was a beautiful, awesome sight and one I'll never forget!
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Old Jul 1st, 2004, 06:07 AM
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Ally, thanks for all of the info. Would you recommend flying into Nosara to access Ostional? I'm wondering if driving there during the green season is ludicrous? Could I hire a driver to take us from Ostional/Nosara to Manuel Antonio? If so, what would be the cost?
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Old Jul 1st, 2004, 07:04 AM
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I can't comment on cost of a private driver because we've always rented a car, but others who have had private drivers can help.
Generally, Nosara is not a great area to be at without a car, as it's very spread out, but depending on where you stay, there are usually at least one or two restaurants that are within walking distance to most hotels.
I think I've heard there is one taxi in town, but I've never seen it! Most hotels will arrange to pick you up at the airport if you decide to fly in, and most will also take you to Ostional as a 'tour' to see the turtles, but again, you'd need to make sure that you will be there in at the end or beginning of the moon cycle for a chance to see them. There is a new hotel at Playa Ostional that looks real nice and might be very nice for 2 or 3 nights. It's Hotel Luna Azul, and they also pick up from the airport. You can find it here:

http://www.1-costaricalink.com/hotel...ctures_eng.htm

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Old Jul 1st, 2004, 07:07 AM
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That's strange...the wrong site pasted! Try this one:

http://www.1costaricalink.com/eng/ho..._luna-azul.htm
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Old Jul 1st, 2004, 08:17 PM
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Schmooby,
I think Ally answered your questions. She always has such great info. Ally, keep us posted on the progress of your hotel!

As for Gabriella, she is still there. She had a baby (supposedly not from her Peter) so that may be why she wasn't there in May.

Ally is right. The pool is great; however, the swim up bar was closed and the bar area was pretty dirty but it wouldn't take too much time to clean it.

Casita Romantica is where I would stay. It used to be part of Casa Romantica and I think they divided in May. The new owners of Casa romantica were very nice but Casita Romantica was newer and I thought much nicer. I can't remember the prices but they were reasonable....less than what we paid at Taype.

I didn't see a Taxi in Nosara either.

We saw some sea turtles in the water when we went on a dolphin tour in Samara. I was told that if you go north of samara (about 10 minutes) to Buena Vista at the end of the day when the boats come in, there are always a lot of sea turtles. Another option if the timing of Ostional doesn't work.

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Old Jul 2nd, 2004, 05:23 AM
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Oh right! I remember hearing about Gabriella's new baby....not with Peter. ((&))
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Old Jul 2nd, 2004, 01:23 PM
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Hey Everyone,
Thanks for all of your info. I leave in 2 weeks and can't wait. All of the advice has been wonderful.

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