Costa Rica

BOTTOM LINE: A country bursting with wildlife and activity, Costa Rica is the perfect destination for adventurers, couples, and families with older children.

We arrived in San Jose at 1pm. After meeting our driver we took off for Nayara Springs Resort in the Arenal area and followed the windy route three hours to our destination. Along the way we. saw coffee and sugarcane plantations plus lots of cows and sheep. This drive is through a lush thick jungle with sweeping views as you start to climb in elevation with pastoral rolling green hills dotted with cows and sheep. There are many locals living their daily lives in their shops and homes along the way and in contrast to US standards, their living conditions are very poor. Most are rundown villages 

Nayara Gardens, Springs, Tented Camp - 30% occupancy

Pros: food, attentive service, seclusion and privacy, couples, wildlife, hot springs beautiful and private pools with spring water

Cons: have to take cart everywhere, steep pathways, Reynaldo was very rude, short wait times for carts, cleanliness of rooms and service, turndown service, fresh fruit daily and free mini bar, chocolate massage was excellent, remembered your names

3 hour drive from SJO and would highly recommend a helicopter or van with large windows. 

The Springs - 40% occupancy

Pros: Tony was excellent and remembered all names, activities offered, never get bored, attentive staff, spring fed pools, views an scenery are AMAZING, better view of Volcano,

Cons: a lot of walking, chlorine in pools,

We stayed in Villa Palacio 

Building and tarps construction areas everywhere. 

Flew with Helijet from The Springs helipad to a soccer field in Brasilito. The flight took around 40 minutes (instead of 4.5 hours in a van) and they drove our luggage over in the van. We were able to fly around the volcano (not to the top though but pretty close, including seeing the original eruption site where the green lake lies, across some beautiful countryside, and then a quick glance at the coastline. It was $5300 and worth every penny for the 6 of us. 

Costa Rica


A lot of trash everywhere on the beaches in along the roadways. Watch out for the beach scammers to come put a chair next to your cart and then demand payment for watching your car/golf cart 

Many restaurants and pubs and scooter rentals ATV rentals all along the coastal towns


It is legal to drive golf carts on the road so that’s a great way to get around so you don’t have to rent a car. We went three golf carts for three days and paid $100 per qart


Pacheco Sierra very nice… When you smile they smile back. Most of them do not speak much English. 


There are very few luxury properties in Costa Rica. Make sure you lower your expectations when you are here. All of the pictures showed flamingo beach as one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica with white sand and turquoise water. We were in Costa Rica in November and that was not the case at all. The waters and beaches were very dark and murky. Not pretty in the least. Many of the waves were too dangerous to Swimmin


Be careful driving because there are many people on motorcycles, bicycles, golf carts, ATVs and cars and big trucks. They all share of the road


Be aware that if you rent a house or stay in a cheaper hotel, you will be dealing with insects and bugs every day all day. We spent $1600 a night and still had a uncomfortable stay in a huge 5 bedroom villa that they claimed met luxury standards however it did not even come close. Flamingo suffers from the call still stands of a typical vacation home where there is a musty smell in every room and every drawer you open. The windows and doors are not sealed well so the critters be peace and probably come in from everywhere and there’s no way to stop them. I ended up spraying bug spray around all of the windows but that only work temporarily. There is no air-conditioning in the main house and it was very Hot at all times.They only had air-conditioning in the bedrooms and this was not mentioned in their ad so make sure you ask if the entire home has air conditioning. It seems as if the pool is not heated either and there is no hot tub. These are all things you should double check about before booking any home anywhere in the world.


Just because you’re renting a luxury house for a villa, doesn’t mean thatHad a very long hot

Origins Luxury Lodge | Upala

Kasiiya Resort | Papagayo area

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