Four days in Ostional, Costa Rica

Old Sep 17th, 2012, 08:29 AM
  #1  
RAC
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,951
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Four days in Ostional, Costa Rica

Over Labor Day we had the opportunity to spend four nights in the Playa Ostional area. We normally travel to Costa Rica in February (going back this coming February) but we had TACA plane tickets that were set to expire, so we booked a trip to Liberia and chose Ostional for the turtles.

Lodging:
Our hotel for all four nights was the wonderful, sublime Hotel Luna Azul between Playa San Juanillo and Playa Ostional. The one word for this place is 'relaxation.' We felt the stress flow out of our bodies upon arrival. The aesthetic is tropical with European sensibilities. Very sophisticated, but at the same time warm and inviting. The pool with an infinity edge overlooking the ocean and the forest, is very difficult to leave at times.

We were lucky enough to stay in one of the casitas facing the Pacific ocean. The view from the back of our casita was of a sweepisng vista of lush, green hills backed by the ocean. Parrots and other birds flew by on a regular basis. The bathroom is open air, with the shower opening up onto the casitas wrap-around deck. Complete privacy without any walls--nothing between you and the ocean. Sigh.

There are a good variety of birds and lizards at the hotel, and howler monkeys make an almost daily appearance there. You hear them every morning--4 troops live in the immediate vicinity.

The owners/hosts Andreas and Rolf do a wonderful job of making the stay a positive one. They discuss which activities are of interest to you, and work to make sure those activities can fit your schedule. They are also fantastic cooks, and the restaurant is very often in demand from others in the area (hotel guests get priority in terms of getting a table). Overall, you feel like you are staying with friends rather than at a business.

Activities
Our first day was spent hanging out by the pool and then relaxing in our casita in the afternoon. Our second day was spent hiking the Reserva Biologica Nosara, housed at the Lagarto Lodge in Nosara. We saw good wildlife, and probably would have seen better had we gotten an earlier start (it was a last minute decision because the tour we had scheduled needed to be postponed due to tides). It is hot and sticky and in a mangrove area, so be warned. The Lagarto Lodge itself has stupendous views, and from the looks of the grounds we would strongly consider staying there in the future.

Our other major tours were the sea turtle swimming/boat tour with Captain Mike and of course the night tour at Ostional. We weren't there during an arribada (wrong moon phase) but we did get to see three turtles, and got to see one dig her nest and lay all of her eggs, then return to the sea. Amazing experience.

Due to timing (low/green/rainy season) a lot of places were closed. We weren't able to do the boat wildlife tour in Nosara because it had closed for the season, and most restaurants in the area were also closed (lucky for us to be staying where we were).

Odds and ends:
We hired private drivers for travel between Liberia and the hotel, and rented a car locally for our driving around there. It would probably have been cheaper to rent a car in liberia and drive down, but timing (daylight) and general unfamiliarity with the area caused us to be more cautious.

Roads in the area--terrible (as in Monterverde terrible). But, paved roads generally make areas less attractive and pristine due to increased tourism and condos, etc. Eventually it will get paved, but hopefully that won't ruin the area.

Liberia airport--very nice airport, runs very well, Modern, clean, well laid out. But, EAT BEFORE YOU GET THERE. The only restaurant there is the single biggest rip off we have ever seen--we paid $45 for two sodas, a slice of pizza, and a hamburger with fries. Just awful.
RAC is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2012, 10:26 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,808
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post
Thanks for the report. Another to add to our list.
MichelleY is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2012, 05:26 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,340
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm glad that you liked Lagarta Lodge, as we're staying there early in "13. We aren't planning on renting a car, so we'll have to brave a return trip uphill if we decide to venture into town or to the beach, or else call a taxi.

Lucky you, seeing those turtles! Agree about the roads.
Cattail is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2012, 06:58 AM
  #4  
RAC
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,951
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would rent a car while in the area--otherwise you're really confined by the relatively remote location.
RAC is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2012, 12:22 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,340
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, RAC. Do you know if we can rent a car in Nosara? We do love to walk and hike, but unknowns are the heat and distance if, say, we want to go into town for some activity.
Cattail is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2012, 12:34 PM
  #6  
RAC
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,951
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, that's where we got our car. Toyota Rent a car in Nosara dropped off and picked up our car at Luna Azul. Very convenient.

Would recommend the bigger vehicle (Rav4) over something smaller--extra clearance really helps.
RAC is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2012, 12:54 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,340
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you!
Cattail is offline  
Old Oct 21st, 2012, 11:36 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 34
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would definitely rent a car if staying at LaGarta Lodge. Thre is also a National Car Rental next door to Rosie's Soda. I also agree the food at Liberia airport is a big ripoff!
skacian is offline  
Old Oct 22nd, 2012, 07:26 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,389
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Glad you got to see the turtles - sounds nice.
volcanogirl is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
jessies3
Mexico & Central America
0
Jan 12th, 2012 08:17 AM
bawlmerhon
Mexico & Central America
4
Sep 22nd, 2010 02:52 PM
fonzie
Mexico & Central America
4
Feb 23rd, 2005 03:53 PM
nzb
Mexico & Central America
7
Dec 5th, 2004 12:24 AM
Jay Weinstein
Mexico & Central America
32
Jun 3rd, 2002 05:35 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:15 AM.