Costa Rica Ocean View Cottage

Private guest house on gated property.

 

Free WiFi

 

 

 

 

VRBO - vacation rentals by owner - listing #272006

 

Also see us on Home Away:

Central America, Costa Rica, Alajuela, San Ramon cottage rental – HomeAway.

 

Costa Rica Ocean View Vacation Cottage

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Serene Setting

 

Very Private

 

Non Smoking property

 

Quiet & Peaceful

 

Mountain Fresh Air

 

Tropical garden setting

 

Private walking trails

Tropical Birds

With a little patience, you may spot a variety of birds, including toucans, parrots, vultures, and more.

Click here for our birdlist.

Hot Water Throughout

Most Tico homes typically have hot water only in the shower provided by an electric "suicide shower"

The casita has a propane instant water heater, insuring safe hot water everywhere.

Here's "suicide shower"

For more information about your hosts' experiences in moving to Costa Rica, see our blog HERE

Activities

Our central location is ideal for day trips to explore some of Costa Rica's sights. We'll be happy to help you plan your day trips with directions and local tips. Here are a few that we can personally recommend.

 

Poas Volcano

 

Photo: Steve & Terri Roberts
poas

Poás Volcano National Park , which is over 5,600 hectares (21.6 sq. miles), is located on the continental divide of the volcanic Central Mountain Range. It has four different habitats including a cloud forest and a stunted forest.

Poas volcano is one of five active volcanoes in Costa Rica. It is 2708 meters above sea level, or 8884 feet. The park visitor center is open from 8 am to 4 pm. You’ll find a gift shop, small snack bar, interpretive center and auditorium.

From the visitor center it is a 750 meter (one half mile) walk to the crater overlook. The road/trail is bordered by cloud forest trees and shrubs. Large Gunnera insignis, poor man’s umbrella, plants grow along the moist road edges. Interspersed are Monoschaetum vulcanicum shrubs, melastoma of the volcanoes, with their pink wild rose like blooms. Bird calls will tease you as you try to locate them in the dense foliage. There are 79 species in the park. The Poas green-yellow squirrel is found only in this location. Trees and other plants are stunted because of the sulphorous gas emissions creating an acid rain.

The steaming crater, which is over a mile wide, is below the large, tiered viewing area. There is a cinder cone 40 meters high with very active fumaroles. A side trail leads to Botos Lake, a cold and clear water filled crater. It last erupted 7,500 years ago. The visitor center has information about trails beyond the walk to the crater overlook.

Drive time: approximately 2 hours from our casita. It’s a good idea to reach the volcano before 10 a.m., since the clouds come in and cover the natural show- the main crater.

Drive details: the drive is through fertile farm land and forest with spectacular views of mountains. You’ll see strawberry stands along the road and clumps of blooming calla lilies in the fields.

What to bring: drinking water and lunch or snacks, windbreaker or light water proof jacket or poncho, binoculars, camera, day pack. Comfortable walking shoes.

Non-resident entry fee: $10, parking fee: $3

More information:

www.infocostarica.com/places/poas.html

www.1costaricalink.com/eng/web/parks/pzr-npk-poas.htm

 

Pura Vida Gardens (with Tarcoles River & Doña Ana Beach)

 

Photo: Michael Moore

Pura Vida Gardens is located inland from the coast and has spectacular overlooks of the Tarcoles River and the Pacific coast. Because the gardens are at 2000 feet, it is a bit cooler than the coastal flatlands. The highlight of the gardens is being able to see the Scarlet Macaws. These large and colorful birds are endangered and often hard to see. At PV gardens we have seen multiple pairs flying and playing in the tree tops. In addition to Macaws we've seen tanagers, wrens, and kites. 397 species of birds were identified in the Gardens during a joint project by “National Geographic” and the University of Costa Rica. The 50 acres of botanical gardens are home to tropical plants from around the world.

The trip to the gardens can be combined with two other adventures. The Tarcoles River Bridge is a good place to safely view American crocodiles. The large pre-historic looking amphibians rest along the shallow edges of the river shore and banks. Vultures hover nearby looking for a few scraps. The crocodiles lurk, hoping to grab a heron stalking the shore. You can buy fish from a man on a bicycle if you want to see some action. Sometimes there is a colony of wood stocks sitting in bushes close to the river.

Photo: Michael Moore

Doña Ana beach is north of the river close to Puntarenas. The beach is clean with restrooms, showers, and changing rooms. There are lots of trees providing shade and home for a troop of white-faced monkeys. The monkeys are easy to see and like hand-outs (although I wouldn’t recommend feeding them).

Highlights: Botanical Gardens,Scarlet Macaws, Crocodiles, White-faced monkeys

Drive time: 1 ½ hour each way (excluding stops)

Drive details: You’ll drive West along the Pan American Highway towards Puntarenas and head South at the Esparza turn-off.

What to bring: Drinking water, binoculars, sun hat, beach towel, and swimsuit. Lunch if you are making a day of it.

Entry fee: $25 for the gardens, bridge walk is free, Dona Ana beach $3

 

Else Kientzler Gardens

The botanical gardens are located in the town of Sarchi and contain over 2,000 different tropical plants from around the world within the 17 acre grounds. The 2 kilometers of footpaths (1.3 miles) wander through the various gardens that are woven with ground covers under a canopy of trees and flowering shrubs. A river borders one side of the property. A pond is filled with lotus plants.

Torch Ginger Photo: Rex Olsen

There are cactus and succulent, bromeliad, citrus, heliconia, and orchid gardens. Most plants are well labeled. A large playground and picnic area is available for visitors. Much of the garden is accessible by wheelchair. There's a small gift shop with a good selection of plant books as well as some very reasonably priced local wood crafts.

The gardens are part of Innovaplant, an agricultural company that grows plants for exports.

Drive time: Less than 45 minutes

 

 

Drive notes: The gardens are located in Sarchi. The town is known for its furniture craftsmen. You’ll see the colorfully painted oxcart wheels in the park and adorning some of the buildings.

What to bring: drinking water and lunch or snacks (or have lunch in Sarchi afterwards), sun hat,, binoculars, camera, comfortable walking shoes.

Admission: $15, Children $10 CR residents 2200 colones

Passion Flower Photo: Rex Olsen

Hours: 8 AM to 4 PM daily

Parking : free and secure

Website: http://elsegarden.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Botanical Orchid Garden, Costa Rica

Located in La Garita, a short distance from Highway One, Botanical Orchid Garden is easy to find and less than 40 minutes from our property.

Throughout the year, flowering is varied and continuous and worth visiting any time. But January, February, and March is the best time to visit when hundreds of orchids are in bloom outside as well as in shade houses.

There are also several aviaries with various parrots and macaws.

There’s a small gift shop offering handcrafted items and baby orchids.

The “Vanilla Café” offers snacks, pastries, and beverages inside the garden.

The main paths wander throughout the grounds, are paved and wheelchair accessible.

 

 

Drive time: Less than 45 minutes

 

 

Drive notes: The gardens are easy to find, a short distance from the Pan-American Highway (Hwy 1), located in the La Garita area of Alajuela. Their website (link below) has a map.

What to bring: drinking water and lunch or snacks (or have lunch in Sarchi afterwards), sun hat,, binoculars, camera, comfortable walking shoes.

Admission: $12, Children $6, CR residents 3,000 colones

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 8:30a.m. to 4:30p.m. Visitors can remain inside the garden until 5:00 p.m

Parking : free

Website: http://www.orchidgardencr.com/info.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zoo Ave

“Ave” is the Spanish word for bird. Zoo Ave is a rehab center for orphaned, injured, confiscated, or mistreated birds and mammals. It is a non-profit organization, which in addition to rescue, promotes environmental education and care of endangered species. They breed birds and animals. Recently, 100 birds from 10 species were successfully released into the wild. 35 of the released birds were Scarlet Macaws, an endangered specie.

The grounds are pleasant and paths meander between the caged birds and mammals. Although we aren’t proponents of caged animals and birds, the mission of Zoo Ave is admirable.  

Drive time: less than 45 minutes

Drive notes: Zoo Ave is located 10 km west of Alajuela in La Garita de Alajuela. Princess Margarita is a popular restaurant nearby. The whole fish without bones is an excellent choice. We have also heard that there is also a nice, gated hotel 1/2 block past the entrance to the Zoo on the right that has a good Italian restaurant, although we haven’t tried it yet. If you are interested in ornamental plants, the road to Zoo Ave is lined with large nurseries (viveros). It is a great place to drool over tropical gardening options.

Admission: $15

Hours: 9 AM to 5PM daily

Parking: There is free secure parking adjacent to the entrance

Phone: 433-8989

 

Catarata Del Toro

Photo: Kim Miller Johnson
poas

Although we haven’t personally visited this waterfall, some of our guests highly recommend the Catarata Del Toro. It's off the beaten path. There are very few tour buses in the area.

The waterfall drops 100 meters and pools in an extinct volcanic crater.

First 500 meter of the trail is flat and has several lookouts, the next 500 meters is much steeper with stairs. They recommend that people with heart conditions or any other medical condition, older people, pregnant women, etc. should not go down.

There are concrete steps with railings and several sitting areas with viewpoints.

There is also a one kilometer nature trail through the cloud forest, with a scenic view point. If you're quiet, you may see a great variety of birds.

They also have three small cabins in case you decide to spend the night.

 

 

 

Photo: Kim Miller Johnson

 

Highlights: Waterfall, view points, jungle trails. Restaurant.

Drive time: Less than 1 ½ hour each way.

Drive details: A very scenic two lane road, via the quaint town of Zarcero with it's central park of topiary. Their website has good directions as well as a map, which I've copied here below.

What to bring: Drinking water, binoculars, camera, insect repellant, good walking shoes.

Entry fee: $10. For the more adverturesome, there's a rappelling excursion $62 see their website below for more information.

Parking: Free and secure.

Hours: Open daily 7am-5pm

Website: http://www.catarata-del-toro.com/

 

 

 

Humming Bird & Butterfly Garden

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Butterfly Garden

Bosque Nubloso El Cocora Hummingbird and Butterfly Garden is located 15 kilometers north of San Ramon and easy to find on the main road to La Fortuna

In Spanish, Bosque Nubloso means Cloudy Forest

This small family operated garden features a wonderful butterfly enclosure with living displays of butterfly larvae, or caterpillars and Chrysalis.

When we visited, there were scores of butterflies lazily flying around, including dozens of the amazing Blue Morphos.

Outside, there were dozens of humming birds zooming around, attracted to several feeders

They also have a small fishpond and trail where they're developing and orchid garden

 

 

Highlights: Butterflies, Hummingbirds, Orchid Trail, Snack Bar, Pond

Drive time: Less than 45 minutes each way.

Drive details: An easy, scenic drive on a two lane paved road, 15 Km from Downtown San Ramon

What to bring: Binoculars, camera, insect repellant, good walking shoes.

Entry fee: $6 CR residents: 2,000 colognes

Parking: Free.

Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday Noon-5pm

Website: http://elcocora.com/principal/index.html

 

 

A Message from the US Embassy in Costa Rica

We recommend that you take heed, here in paradise and in all your travels:

The US State Department has good information and advice at: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1093.html#registration

 

 

The casita is equipped with a safe for your passports and valuables, and we're happy to copy your passport for you, as they recommend.

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