Puerto Viejo- questions about lodgings and safety

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Feb 5th, 2012, 12:51 PM
  #1
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Puerto Viejo- questions about lodgings and safety

I think that I may have read too many forum posts on another website! Now I am having doubts about traveling to Puerto Viejo. I noticed that some of my favorite Fodorites are still around and so I am hoping to receive some trust worthy advice.

This is what I am looking into: I would like to volunteer for three weeks at the Jaguar Rescue Center. I may travel solo or with my fifteen year old daughter. The two lodgings that are my favorites so far are Korrigan Lodge and Finca Chica. I also came across a house that it rented out by Jungle love that seems to have a good monthly rate. I had not been looking at houses because I thought that it would be better to stay where more people are around.

Okay first off- my over zealous reading of posts has made me worry if we will be safe, and if we will be worrying if we are safe while we are there. How bad is it?

With either Finca Chica or Korrigan Lodge we (or I) would be riding bicycles to and from the rescue center five days a week. Could anyone tell me what the ride is like, distance and safety?

Are there places that we can eat near to either lodging? Is it safe to get there at night?
From the reports that I have read, I worry about walking to a near by soda, if there is one.

Will it be safe for us to go to the beach? Will there be other people around and should we only use the beach if there are others around?

I am looking forward to some replies so that I can either shelve this trip or look forward to it.

Thank you!!
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Feb 5th, 2012, 02:32 PM
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I've taken my daughter, now 15, to PV 3 times over the past few years. We love it there and it's one of our favorite areas in CR. Personally, I wouldn't be out walking alone after dark (but this would apply everywhere) and use taxis instead. Bicycles for during the day. We always walked or biked and never had any trouble, but you will see a decent variety of people there which is part of what makes it interesting. The Jaguar Rescue Center is a great place and I imagine you'll make some friends to hang out with since you'll have so much time. Lucky!
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Feb 5th, 2012, 04:24 PM
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It is so nice to hear from you Hipvirgochick! I am feeling better about things. I was a little freaked out by some of the posts.

Do you think that it is too far to bike from Punta Uva to the Jaguar Recsue?
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Feb 6th, 2012, 03:28 AM
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PV is nice pachamamacaribe.com for me last daytime biking around Korrigan is fine.It is however sort of dodgy with a Rasta vibe and a known drug trans-shipment point.The military has a check point and frequently does tourist shakedowns and many kids come from all over to do cheap drugs there .Many of the rasta dudes will offer you drugs when I was there 20 times at least. I like PV but there is a dodgy risky element there particularly for solo females why
the postings on other boards there has been a convicted serial
rapist there in jail finally of late. travel.state.gov CR
for crime/entry info. If a savy backpacker odds are you will like it,if a newbie consider www.playamontezuma.net www.lunallena.com pretty way less dodgy particularly
with kids.Rescue at Cabo Blanco there too.

Good luck!

Good luck!
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Feb 6th, 2012, 03:31 AM
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The much talked about sexual offender in Playa ... Neither the Tico Times, a.m. Costa Rica, or Talamanca ... Rolando Brown is the accused serial rapist, and that is the ...

http://www.puertoviejosatellite.com/.../rapist-jailed
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Feb 6th, 2012, 03:34 AM
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Photos and description of the hotel Luna llena in Montezuma Costa Rica.

lunallenahotel.com
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Feb 6th, 2012, 03:53 AM
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Qwo - first off, CR has NO military, so hard for them to "shakedown tourists" if they don't exist. Next, the OP is asking about Puerto Viejo, not Montezuma. Lastly, yes there is a sanctuary in near Cabo Blanco, it has received extremely poor reviews (by people who have actually visited it), including hipvirgochick here at fodors.
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Feb 6th, 2012, 06:05 AM
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No way would I ride a bike on the roads anywhere in CR. Ever.
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Feb 6th, 2012, 06:21 AM
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You have to love reading these forums. It re-enforces why I choose to live here and have for 7 years. If you spend all your time watching CNN or reading about all the bad things that could happen to you, you like most Americans will never go anywhere.

We rent bikes to our guests all the time and there are many bike rental places. No, I am not aware of tourists getting hit by cars on bikes. That does not mean it does not happen... It is just currently not an epidemic.

Yes, there was Rolando Brown who was serial rapist the area. But thanks to serious efforts with police and locals he went to prison quite some time ago... I think 2 years now.

Yes, there is a rasta drug element to parts of the community. However, I as most tourists can overlook that and see the uniqueness and beauty of the area despite it's shortcomings.

Bottom line... You can read all you want... But balance it out with all the other stuff you read how people loved their vacation there and travelled without incident. If you still are not sure... Save yourself the agony and just don't go. That is what most choose to do.
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Feb 6th, 2012, 07:59 AM
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Thank you Colin, your input is much appreciated as you're there and are definitely in a place to know.

For myself, I am hoping to book airfare in the next 1-2 weeks and then book at Banana Azul to enjoy the area that I've heard so many great things about.
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Feb 6th, 2012, 08:16 AM
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Thank you for all of the replies. What a mixed bag! I have been doing more research and plan to go. I can't wait to hear about your trip Tully!!
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Feb 6th, 2012, 10:18 AM
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Colin and Roberto are excellent hosts at Banana Azul. My first time there they had just (barely) opened. Now the grounds are full and lush and gorgeous, the pool is a great hangout and the frog, coy and turtle ponds are just lovely. I hope you enjoy your time there as much as I have, Tully!
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Feb 6th, 2012, 10:19 AM
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http://www.ticotimes.net/Current-Edi...August-26-2011

http://www.ticotimes.net/Current-Edi...tember-09-2011

I'm sure Rolando Brown was in prison when this happened.
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Feb 6th, 2012, 12:43 PM
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Has it ever dawned on you that the media focus on the Caribbean for crime? In OSA peninsula on the Pacific, 5 or 6 foreigners have gone missing in the last 2 years. They have found the bodies of some.. Hardly a thing about was printed in the media.

Caribbean of costa rica is only place without an airport. Even the Limon one does not function. They have tiny airports all over the country and yet no airport except Tortuguero for travellers. Big money has put a lot of effort into making sure the Caribbean does not develop. Right now... Carbbean gets 10% of tourists. Imagine what the costs to the projects in the interior and the Pacific would if Caribbean was able to get 20%? It would be disastrous for the country.

Anyone that lives here will knows very well that crime in Puerto Viejo is really no different then the beach towns on the Pacific. And how anyone can compare crime risk to San Jose is totally beyond me.

All this is too funny. I am on my first trip to Thailand and Bali. I find it amusing that all these people have told me to be careful. What are they referring to? Have I done much research? No. Have I posted on forums asking a whole bunch of questions about all the details? No. Why? Because I have travelled a lot in developing countries and have an idea what to expect. I also love the element of discovering.

When I first moved to Costa Rica, my twin sister was worried about me. She said... Colin what if you get sick? ( I was 43 at the time). I thanked her but reassured her I was not going to feel better at 60 lying in a hospital with an illness thanking my lucky stars that I did not move to. Beach in Costa Rica. She now loves it and spends a couple weeks with me every winter she can.

I look at our happiest guests... And they are always the ones that are open to adventure and deal with life on vacation as it comes to them. I had 3 british girls that were trapped in a flood. I felt bad for them. Btw hey we're looking for fun and sun and got everything but. I apologized to them as I drove them to the bus stop. This one girl said "are you kidding... This was an experience I will never forget." I just thought WOW..

Again... If it is all too much for you to handle... Just stay at home. With no disrespect intended... Maybe take in the Disney Park. At least that way you will likely have a more predictable experience. Most people are just not ready for this type of adventure in their lives and that's okay.
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Feb 6th, 2012, 01:07 PM
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http://www.travelexperiencecostarica...uth-caribbean/

check out this website-this woman is an expat and she writes alot about the area. Frankly, it sounds wonderful, & i'm seriously thinking of going there now
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Feb 6th, 2012, 01:13 PM
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"We rent bikes to our guests all the time and there are many bike rental places. No, I am not aware of tourists getting hit by cars on bikes. That does not mean it does not happen... It is just currently not an epidemic."

No one mentioned "epidemic";I speak against tourists riding bicycles because the roads are narrow, almost none have shoulders, and CR drivers come very very close to them as they whiz by. It is not a "vacation adventure" form of transport, IMO, and should be done very cautiously, much more so than casual riding on streets in the U.S.
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Feb 6th, 2012, 01:17 PM
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"Again... If it is all too much for you to handle... Just stay at home. With no disrespect intended... Maybe take in the Disney Park. At least that way you will likely have a more predictable experience. Most people are just not ready for this type of adventure in their lives and that's okay."

I do not think that I deserve that. It seems like that might be your pat answer since both of your posts to me have the same tone.

I just wanted to know what the real situation was and was asking advice. I like to know what I am getting into before I go. I like to make the choice. The posts that I had read were very alarming and I wanted to know what was the real deal.

Everyone speaks so highly of you Colin and your resort looks lovely. I am surprised that your tone would be so condescending.
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Feb 6th, 2012, 01:18 PM
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It's pretty clear that Colinsito is one of those with the "cover it up" "it can happen anywhere" mentality. Fortunately there are other hotel owners and agents who believe in advising their guests about the do's and don'ts for a safe trip in this area. Their anti-crime efforts are making a difference, but that is because they've decided to not stick their heads in the sand.
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Feb 6th, 2012, 01:22 PM
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Thank you Lojobblais. I will check out the site.
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Feb 6th, 2012, 01:32 PM
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I did a bit of digging, and found this. If I had known about any of it, I might have been much more cautious on a recent Osa trip. Wouldn't stop me, but I would be more aware. Of course everyone should ask questions and plan trips with an open eye! Insulting people for wanting to be knowledgeable travelers, whatever their ultimate choice, is really not necessary.

http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/08/17/d...he-rainforest/
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