Avatar Eco Lodge — Puerto Jimenez

We stayed one week in January 2019 ($107 per night including taxes and three organic, mostly vegetarian meals per day). The lodge opened in November 2018 and ours was a special introductory price. We anticipate future rates for the same offering will be 2 1/2 to 3 times higher than the price we paid.

We recommend a two or three night stay to enjoy the lodge and one or two of these tour offerings to:

  1. Dolphin watching and snorkeling — 3-4 hours $380 per boat (max 6 people)

  2. Jungle zip line — 3-4 hours $80 pp (per person)

  3. Corcovado National Park — 1 day $90 pp

  4. Matapalo Park and Piro jungle — 7 hours $85 pp

  5. Chocolate tour — 3 hours $40 pp

  6. Surfing pan dulce beach — 1/2 day $70 pp

  7. Kayaking — 3 hours $60 pp

  8. Fishing — 1/2 day $500 boat or full day $900 boat

  9. ATV — 1 day $70

  10. Boruca tribe shaman ceremony — 1 day $200 pp (max 6)

Transportation is offered from the property as follows (max 4 people one way)

  1. To Corcovado — $90

  2. Puerto Jimenez — $30

  3. Preciosa — $40

  4. Matapalo — $50

We are accustomed to walking a couple miles at both sunrise and sunset. Because of this properties’ location atop a steep hill we took the week off from walking except for a lovely hike (#4 above) to Matapalo and Piro.

<p id="#5">Eco Vita Cabinas — Playa Bejuco</p>

We stayed just one week at Eco Vita Cabinas in Playa Bejuco and wished we had stayed two! It’s definitely on our “favorites of Costa Rica” list. Three attributes sealed the deal — the bed, the pool and the ocean. Excellent king size bed (not always easy to find in Costa Rica), lovely onsite pool with all-day filtered sun and shade and the ocean’s edge at Playa Bejuco is just a lazy 5 minute walk on an unpaved lane. With a generous weekly discount we paid under $50 per night in January 2019.

And there were other lovely features. We made breakfast and dinner every night in a snug, adequately equipped kitchenette. There’s a big shower in a nice bathroom. Securely screened door to keep bugs out. A sweet private front porch that was cool all day. Eco Vita only rents four cabinas at the time we stayed but there are plans for another building. Even then, there will be plenty of room for all in the fabulous pool.

The unit is a bit snug for luggage and foodstuffs. Even said, this is still an up-to-two week destination in our opinion! Unwind, bring a book. And there are services (shops, groceries and restaurants) very nearby.

With vigorous, cool walks on the beach at sunrise and sunset we earned relaxing either in the pool or under the beach palms just being lazy. Shannon at the front desk is an absolute gem. Very ecologically minded.

In our opinion, this destination is a super-value deal near a lovely Costa Rican Pacific-side beach!

<p id=#4>Lake Arenal Condo - Tilaran/Tronadora</p>

After a month in Tamarindo and the awesome heat and the best beaches in Costa Rica it was so refreshing to spend six nights near the wind-swept shores of Lake Arenal. Our modern two-bedroom condo with kitchen, balcony and parking offered commanding views of the Lake. Absolutely stunning. We snagged an extra special price of less than $40 per night.

There are a couple restaurants and a small shop nearby. The hamlet of Tronadora is a lovely 30-minute walk where you find a super mercado, bars, more restaurants and a low-key town square. Enchanting.

Casa Los Suenos - Tamarindo

Aside from the fact we almost burned this place down (listen to our podcast with the entire story) we thought our month-long stay went quite well. It can be difficult to create the comforts necessary for a month’s stay but Casa Los Suenos made it easy. It is a beautifully appointed and equipped one bedroom casita in a gated community with a pool and several outdoor lounging and sitting spots. There’s a gorgeous kitchen with absolutely everything you need, Perfect peace, quiet and seclusion. Bring a couple good books.

Hosts Bill and Lon were like neighbors. The Rancho Vila Real subdivision has a beautiful clubhouse and a second large infinity pool within a short walk away. Morning and evening walks offered the chance to explore the surrounding streets. The beaches of Tamarindo, and other beaches to the north, are a short drive away.

<p id="#1">Studio Hotel - Santa Ana</p>

This is our second visit to this stunning destination hotel property in the suburban town of Santa Ana — just outside Costa Rica's capital city of San Jose. Visiting this property (November 2018) begins our three-month, more in-depth exploration of this lovely country in Central America.

In addition to hotel conveniences and amenities, you will be captivated by Costa Rica's largest private art collection on display throughout the property both inside and out. And all the artists are Costa Rican! Be sure to ask for one of the handful of rooms specially prepared with the same quality of art found in the common areas — at no extra cost! Tell them the Hotel Guys sent you.

Note: we did not receive any complimentary goods or services during our two night visit. In fact, the hotel staff did not know we were video reviewing the hotel for hotelguys.com until we met Manuel, the hotel manager, at checkout.

The rack rate for this time of year is US$95; we paid US$82 via booking.com having made our reservation several months earlier for best price. A great value!