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TXgalinGA Dec 18th, 2005 05:35 AM

La Paz Waterfalls- do you have to eat lunch there?
We leave tomorrow!!!!!
We have a private driver taking us to Poas and La Paz on Tuesday :) I know admission to La Paz is $33 pp and includes lunch. Is there a way to pay less and eat elsewhere? If so, what is the price to La Paz without lunch? And, any recs on where we should eat? Thanks!!!
We have the entire day with our driver. He will be taking us to Poas, La Paz, maybe a coffee plantation if there is time, and then onto Manuel Antonio. So if you have any last minute suggestions, that would be great. :)

Jayneann Dec 18th, 2005 06:57 AM

Lucky you!!! We are leaving Dec 26 and plan to be at Poas and La Paz on Jan 2. We will have a rental so we're on our own!! :) Shillmac thought there's a restaurant nearby that people like. Maybe do a search!! Have a great time and post when you get back!!!!

shillmac Dec 18th, 2005 10:03 AM


We went to La Paz in July without eating lunch. I think we paid about $22 per person. We were there just under 2 hours (in the late a.m.) and found it was plenty of time to see what was there. We spent extra time in the butterfly garden and the hummingbird gallery, plenty of time seeing the cascadas (in other words, we weren't rushing), and a few minutes in the gift shop. I know you are counting the hours. Enjoy your break from those 4th graders---and say hello to Pura Vida for me! :)

shillmac Dec 18th, 2005 10:12 AM

I ran a search on Colbert's on this board, and the poster who wrote about it said it was about 15 min. from La Paz with excellent French/Costa Rican cuisine--interesting combination?! You'll have to ask around--don't know which direction from La Paz. Good luck! The folks at Poas can probably tell you. They can give you directions for Chubaca's as well (Restaurante Don Julia) is across the road from Chubaca's. I'd depend on their advice more than I would the La Paz staff.

I do know that many of these restaurants are there primarily to feed the flow of people traveling back to Alajuela from Poas/La Paz. Some of them even close by 5:30 because the Poas crowds are already lone gone.

shillmac Dec 18th, 2005 10:21 AM

Okay, looking a little further, I found a website that talked about Restaurant Colbert. Sure enough, French cuisine with Costa Rican dishes as well. $4-10 (as of 2 years ago) with house wine available. Fresh baked bread. It is near Poas. Open until 8:00 in the evening. Directions were to stay on the "Poas highway" from either Alajuela to Heredia, go through Birri to Varablanca. It is located in Varablanca 400 meters east of the cross. Phone number is (506) 482-2776. About 10-15 minutes from Poas.

TXgalinGA Dec 18th, 2005 12:22 PM

Thank you Shillmac! Colberts *really* sounds like a place our group would enjoy! Looks like we'll be eating there on Tuesday!!! I am seriously counting the hours!!!
Happy Holidays to you all!

shillmac Dec 18th, 2005 01:36 PM

Feliz Navidad y Buen Viaje!

Kennedy3 Dec 18th, 2005 03:51 PM

I am the poster who first reported on our meal at Colbert's, I believe.

Just wanted to fill you in on our story as it was certainly one of the most memorable experiences of our trip to Costa Rica.

Our family ate dinner upstairs at the Peace Lodge in the dining room reserved for guests only. We were terribly disappointed with the meal, especially given the $28/person price tag. So, the next night we asked the Peace Lodge staff for recommendations on local dinner restaurants and more than one staff member suggested Colberts.

When we were ready for dinner we went to the front desk and asked for a cab. The clerk and bellman looked at each other and then back at me and said it would be imposible to get a cab at that time for whatever reason. The bellman told me to wait a moment, left and then returned with our waiter from our Peace Lodge meal the night before.

This young man graciously volunteered to drive us to Colberts and then return for us after our meal. We got into the back of his older model something-or- other and noted a decided lack of seat belts. When asked how long the drive would be the young man said it was just down the road.

Well, after driving along winding roads well after dark with essentially a stranger, we were convinced we were being kidnapped and prepared for the worst. Just then, the driver pulled over and drove up a hill toward a building with a man in a chef's uniform and tall white cap standing outside glaring at us.

The driver stopped the car and told us to wait before exiting since there were large, vicious dogs on the property. He came back in a moment and said all was clear. I got out of the car and started walking toward the building. Suddenly two HUGE shephard dogs appeared out of nowhere growling, snarling and lunging toward me. I took off running for the door at breakneck speed and only stopped when I heard my husband laughing hysterically behind me. Apparently the dogs were chained and stopped running after me when they hit the end of their leash.

Sweating and shaking I walked into a huge building with probably 20 tables scattered around. We were the only ones in the entire place besides the growling chef and the 14 year old waitress. As skeptical as we were by the appearance of the place we ordered a 4 course meal complete with a $7 bottle of Chilean red wine. The girl poured our wine and within moments there were flies everywhere swarming around us and doing the backstroke in our wine. We asked for new glasses and learned to cover them with our napkins.

Well, despite all of this the meal was superb. Actually it was the best meal I've had anywhere, at home or away. Absolutely delicious!!!!

After paying our bill of less than $40 we asked to speak with the chef. He came out and talked with us for a long time about his background at Le Cordon Blu in Paris and how he came to work in Costa Rica. A fascinating man with great talent in the kitchen.

I highly recommend a stop at this interesting place and a chat with a truly fascinating man. Have a wonderful trip to Costa Rica.

marthag Dec 18th, 2005 04:01 PM

Kennedy3....What a great story! You sure got my attention. I'm adding Colbert's to my "must do" list for our trip in March '07. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience.

shillmac Dec 18th, 2005 05:01 PM

Wow! Now I don't know if I really want to check that out or not! :)

Snarling dogs are definitely not my thing--chain or no chain! That could give someone a heart attack. Or at least necessitate a change of clothes!

Glad the food was so good--thanks for giving all of us a heads up on what to expect when we do the "Colbert's visit"! I agree---amazing story! You may have just won the "unofficial" prize for interesting Costa Rican stories on Fodor's!

I am a little surprised that the staff at Peace Lodge was so willing to help you get to another restaurant. That speaks well of them and attests to the graciousness of los Ticos!

Jayneann Dec 18th, 2005 05:09 PM

Unbelievable! La Paz will be the last excursion of our CR trip so maybe we'll brave the dogs and flies for a great meal and last hurrah too! Thanks for sharing!

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