Poss's CR trip-report, Part II (Peace Lodge/La Paz)

Old Jan 20th, 2005, 11:42 AM
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Poss's CR trip-report, Part II (Peace Lodge/La Paz)

Here's Part II of my trip report. Someone had suggested that it was easier to follow if I attached this to my first posting. But I didn't understand how in that case one could know that Part II was posted (i.e., I didn't know how to get "Part I" off of my original heading). Let me know, please, the best way to go about adding my next segments.
Though I've enjoyed reading some of the more anecdotal/chatty reports, mine will be more straightforward: My aim is to get out a bunch of detailed info in hopes that others may find it helpful. By the way, something I forgot to mention in my earlier general comments: We found that a number of places in CR did not accept Master Card, only Visa. If your card is MC, I suggest bringing sufficient cash or traveller's checks. (We didn't use ATM.) I followed the suggestion of others to bring a bunch of small bills for tipping purposes-- ones and fives: good useful advice.

Days 1&2 (Jan. 6,7) arrived in SJ around 3:00 after a good flight on AA. Getting out of SJ airport was a breeze. Easily found our driver from Costa Rica Sun Tours. When we travel to countries where the language is one where I'm the one with some knowledge of it, I enjoy being in situations where the other person speaks no-- or little-- English; I enjoy exercising whatever facility I have. Since my husband is the "Spanish" one of us, and since he less enjoys playing that game, we'd asked for drivers who spoke English if possible. No problem: Every one of our drivers spoke good English. In addition, as I've mentioned before, they were terrific about using Spanish as much as we wished. I was delighted that even my husband came to enjoy staying with the Spanish as much as possible. And though my Spanish is slight, it's much better now-- that was all terrific.

Peace Lodge: Though it's not a pre-requisite for us to enjoy a trip, we do prefer, when possible, to have high-quality accommodations ( though not fancy, which usually makes us uncomfortable). Peace Lodge was spectacular by our lights. We had a deluxe, 2nd floor room (in part because we're quiet freaks and didn't want anyone over us). The accommodations were definitely "over the top": as if created by Disney for God. Crazy place: 2 jacuzzis, 2 showers, enormous room. The bathroom is more fantastic even than it looks on the brochure/web. One's own little rainforest: bromeliads, waterfalls, the whole 9 yards-- and then some. Is it "overdone"? Sure. But we really grooved on it-- a blast. The view from the balcony was spectacular-- just about as beautiful as any of the scenery we saw in our 10 days. And we saw as many birds and flowers and hummingbirds as we saw anywhere-- more, actually. (They feed the birds.) I'd sit on the balcony simply mesmerized. By the way, there's a CD player. (Can't remember if there's a tv-- we never watch)

The trail for the several waterfalls (4?) was very beautiful-- very woodsy and lush. I believe that some people come to La Paz just for a day tour-- to see the hummingbird and butterfly gardens (spectacular!), but we think that's a mistake, that they're missing an equal pleasure. It rained pretty much the whole time we were at La Paz (and everywher else!), but the grounds were so beautiful-- the trails and gardens-- that we repeated the hike several times. Couldn't get enough of it. (Because of construction, the fern trail was closed. The new construction wasn't very intrusive though...)

The hummingbird garden was exquisite. There are, I think, 24 different varieties of hb's in CR, and I believe we saw about 20 of them-- a rare treat!
I stayed in that place for an hour at a time-- my husband couldn't tear me away: more mezmerization. Especially lovely to be able to feed the hummingbirds-- they eat right out of a little tube that you hold in your hand-- pure magic.

Biggest disappointment was that we pretty much missed the magic of the butterflies. Because there was virtually no sun, because it was raining almost steadily (butterflies don't fly in the rain), we didn't get to see the spectacular flights in the huge butterfly house (supposedly the largest in the world? we'd seen something similar in a lovely butterfly exhibit near Denver-- loved it!-- but this was much larger) Still, rain and all, the enclosed butterfly world was magical.
Food: not so hot. Ok, but nothing to write home about.
Staff: very good.

What am I forgetting? Don't hesitate to ask if you have questions.

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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 11:58 AM
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I enjoy reading peoples take on the Peace Lodge. It is quite amazing.

Actually we ended a trip here and I must say it was a shock to the system, after Tortuguero and Montezuma.

A question - the one thing we missed about PL was that there was no place that guests congregated in the evenings. We felt the dining room was rather cold and uninviting for conversation. Has this changed?

The TV you don't remember, yes it was there unfortunately. However my husband the news addict was so happy to finally get some CNN.

Yes, Peace Lodge may be a "bit over the top", however quite enjoyable and an amazing place.

Enjoying your report!
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 12:44 PM
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I agree about the impersonality of the dining room-- not a very convivial place. In fact, my husband and I are rather loners, so it was fine with us, but I can see how more gregarious people might enjoy something more conducive to mixing. There was, though, that little room-- bar cum game room-- right off the dining room (there was a free internet/e-mail thingie there too). We noticed some folks playing chess on their big game board a couple of times.
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 04:05 PM
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Thanks poss. I don't remember that room off the dining room last Feb, so sounds like there is a change.

We very much enjoyed PL, but we also - so enjoy the conversation with others traveling.
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Old Jan 21st, 2005, 02:25 PM
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Thanks for your review of Peace Lodge. My husband and I really enjoyed our stay there last summer. They were building a new dining facility while we were there. I'm curious to see what that will be like.
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