A Vacation To Remember

Welcome to “Pura Vida -- The Pure Life.”  In Costa Rica the National slogan says it all.   It’s about great experiences, trips, foods, things, places. But sometimes even great won’t do and today, you get the best.

 

We want to make you stay at Villa Paraiso your best trip ever.  

Below is sample of what you might do on your trip to paradise:

 

Day 1 is travel to paradise.  Most flights arrive in San Jose around noon. The airport has recently been remodeled and is both modern and efficient. The major US car rental agencies are all represented.  You will want a four wheel drive SUV with GPS to maximize your adventure.  

The trip to the house will take around 2.5 to 3 hours and consists of new US quality roads.  A new expressway will take you through the mountains with breath taking views of the fertile Central Valley.  You will arrive on the coast in about an hour and follow it all the way to the house.  Along the way you will pass through palm plantations and Manuel Antonio State Park.  The house is located in the town of Dominical.

The sun sets at around 5:30 every day. If you made it in time head to the veranda right away and watch it go down. Every day is different and spectacular. Now it's off to dinner which is only about 2 minutes away.  The first night I would suggest the Parcella.  My favorites are the tuna tartar, the whole fish, and the tuna with Japanese noodles.  At this point you will probably be tired and it's back to the house. The sun comes up at 5:30 and so does the wildlife. 

 

Start day 2 by taking in the view and exploring the house. If you do get up early go for a hike. From the back veranda head to the left as you face the ocean. Cut across the empty lot and in the far back corner you will find a stone set of stairs. Descend and cross that lot to the road and then follow the road upward. You have 2000 acres to explore and there a only 8 residences. The roads are old logging trails. You should see monkeys, Toucans, and a large variety of birds. Hungry, head down to Tortilla Flats in Dominical for breakfast. It's right on the beach. The egg sandwich and banana pancakes are especially good. Check out the beach and the surf. You can see the house from the beach.  Now is a good time to set up surfing lessons. Ask at Tortilla Flats for suggestions.  This is Dominical beach.  It's the only one in the area with life guards.  If you walk the beach, the north end is marked by the Baru River and the south end by the large collection of rock.  As you stand on the beach and look south, you can see the house.  If you did not have the mangement team stock the kitchen for you, it's a good time to go grocery shopping.  The Domincal market usually has everything you can imaging, including a good selection of alchoholic beverages.  The pinapples and bananas taste like candy.  The eggs are free range.  There is a frozen dessert called "Trix" that you will wish they sold at home.

Back to the house and spend the day at the pool relaxing. You can fix lunch in the gourmet kitchen and serve Pina Colada at the swim up bar.  It's a good time to have Calle come over for massages and facials. The sunset is around 5:30 and it's a great time to open a bottle of wine and watch the daily show.  No two sunsets are ever the same.  Dinner tonight is about a five minute drive south:  Cuna de Angel.  The food is a combination of Austrian and Costa Rican.  The spring rolls are amazing and the banana flambe is not to be missed.

 

Day 3 is time to be adventurous and see why the area is famous for it's fishing.  With the famed Furano Banks only 15 miles in front of the house, you will not have far to go to cath the "big one."  Catches of 80+ sailfish in a day are not unheard of as well as Yellow Fin Tuna, Dorado, Rooster Fish, Triple Tail, Marlin, and Swordfish.  It's one of the best billfishing spots in the world.  If you catch a Tuna, you will never have had better sushi.  All of the local restaurants will glad to cook your fish for you.  If the part of your party wants to stay behind, facials local handmade organic products as well as maniqures can be arrange.  For dinner tonight it's got to be a trip to Jolly Rogers, about 10 minutes from the house.  They have the best wings I've ever had and almost as many flavors as Basken Robbins.  The burgers and fries are amazing as well as the drinks.  The bar is owned by an American and you will think you have found Buffetville.  The food is so good, that I had a friend once that ate every dinner at Jollys for a week.  Back home and it's time for a movie in the theater.  Either pick from the large selection at the house or bring your own.  The seats fully recline and even vibrate in response to the film.

 

Day 4 starts with another early morning hike, or just sit on the second floor veranda and watch the wildlife.  If you stare intently at the ocean, you might catch site of a Humpback whale.  This part of the Pacific ocean is their mating grounds.  If you didn't go fishing already, it's a good time to go down to the beach in front of the house.  Between 7 and 9am the fishermen return in their little wooden boats from an evening of fishing the ocean with handline -- much like Hemingway's "Old Man and the Sea."  The fish truck comes each morning to buy their catch.  You can buy right from the fishermen:  sea bass, snapper, and lobster or at LaMancha nearby you can get the most beautiful sushi grade tuna loin you have ever seen as well as shrimp.  This is Domincalito beach.  Each of the nearby beaches is different. While you are down buying your fish you can check out the small island that produces the natural harbor in front of the house, complete with bonsai tree.  In fact, Huffington Post lists two of the neighboring beaches on the worlds 10 best list.  Take a moment and stroll Dominicalito beach.  At one end is the above tree, at the other is the large rock formation which you can see from the house and for the agile, it can be climbed at low tide.  The beach here is a combination of sand and rock. In the middle is one of the area's most popular surfing spots complete with surf school.  Today would be a great day to check out some of the other beaches.  Look at www.crsurf.com and see when low tide occurs.  This is the best time to see Ballena Beach and the Whales Tale, a spectucular sandbar that forms at low tide.  Ballena Beach is a National Park.  The entrance is just past Uvita (15.2 km from the house and make a right).  There is a $6 per person admission fee.  Ballena is one of the most beautiful beaches you will fine with soft white sand.  The next must see beach is Ventanas, which is another 10 km south.  Ventanas has caves on the beach with passage ways that connect to the ocean.  At high time, the waves comes crashing through the caves and shoot out onto the beach, making thunderous sounds.   If you are dining on fish at the house tonight, check out the Happy Lobster (19.2 km from the house heading north).  This Tico restaurant is my personal favorite.  Their seafood is fresh and extraordinary.  Get the seafood platter with garlic butter.  The platter for one can serve 2-3 and the platter for two an entire family.  Depending on the day's catch, the platter will have lobster, crab, 4-5 different types of mussels, shrimp, fish, squid, and octopus.  The shrimp and pasta in garlic sauce is also very good.

 

Day 5  is Don Lula's horse back ride and waterfall tour.  Ask Ignacio and Alex to set this one up at least a day ahead of time.  Wear jeans and pack a bathing suite and a towel.  The horses are gentle and you don't need any riding experience.  You'll ride for about half an hour and then be fed a traditional Tico breakfast.  You will ride some more and get to the waterfall.  There is a place to change into your bathing suite.  Enjoy the fall.  For the adventurous, you can climb it and even jump off of it.  Along the way back you will stop again and be fed lunch.  Don Lula's is quite an experience and you will probably return tired.  Spend some time relaxing around the pool and get ready for a world class dinner.  Tonight head to Ojochal (28.9 km from the house) for a world class meal at Exotica.  Ojochal is a small French enclave with numerous French restaurants.  They are all very good, but Exotica is really, really good.