FUN THINGS TO DO

April 14, 2014

Many of our guests have told us that our Costa Ballena area is their favorite place in Costa Rica. The magestic Talamanca mountains plunge right into the Pacific Ocean, providing spectacular scenery as well as jungle and sea adventures. Nearby primary rain forests offer hiking, zip-line tree canopy tours, bird watching, horseback riding and waterfalls. Our beaches are perfect for early morning or sunset walks, picnics, surfing, boogie boarding, whale watching, people watching, scuba diving, fishing, and kayaking. Ultra-light aerial tours and day trips to Cano Island can be arranged. In Uvita and nearby Dominical there are daily yoga and pilates classes, as well as surfing and spanish lessons. Visit farmers’ markets in San Isidro or Uvita. There is always a party or event going on somewhere! If you are in the mood to unwind, with a few days notice, we can schedule a relaxing massage for you in the privacy of your casita.

 

A few of our favorite things to see and do:

 

Playa Dominical -- 15 kilometers north of us, check out the funky-surfer-beach-boho-bar vibe - cold beer, snacks, tasty fish sandwiches and good margaritas at Tortilla Flats - also cold beer, good margaritas and casados (local Tico dish) at Los Cocos bar y restaurant a few doors south of Tortilla Flats-right on the beach! Great surfing, people watching, and on-the-beach shopping.

 

Playa Hermosa -- 3 kilometers north of us. After a few hours at this beach, across the road and up the mountain is a gorgeous little rural place called Ranchos Remo -- a must see - between kilometer #157-158, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, beer and wine. Gorgeous sunsets! Great hiking-nature-jungle tours offered also.

 

Playa Ventanas -- Early in the morning, drive south about 12-13 kilometers and watch for the Playa Ventanas sign. Make a right on the small dirt road and park in the area on the left under the palm trees. There is a small parking fee to pay to walk to the beach thru the owner’s property. Bring a cooler w/beverages and towels for sitting under the palm trees. Watch the waves crash thru the caves on the beach. After a few hours on the beach, head further south for lunch at Talapias El Pavon Restaurante. After passing the entrance to Ojochal, drive south along the main highway another 3-4 kilometers, look for a large greenish colored sign on the left of the road that says Talipias El Pavon Restaurante. Drive up the dirt road about 3-4 kilometers, El Pavon waterfall is on the left, and the restaurant is up on a hill above the road on the right. note: Do not stop at the first talapia restaurant on the left that is about 1 kilometer up from the main road, keep going up a few more kilometers to Talapias El Pavon on the right.

 

Villa Leonor -- fabulous day and lunch at the beach - excellent seafood and locally inspired food. Drive south on the main highway, near kilometer 170 turn right at the blue triangular sign Villas Leonor. Have a beverage at the bar, order your meal and then spend some time at their gorgeous beach, come back and eat lunch after about an hour-ask them when lunch will be ready. (You must patronize their restaurant to enjoy their beach - thank goodness the food is good!)

 

Playa Chaman -- Our personal favorite beach, just south of the "Whales Tail". Drive south on the main Costenera highway. As you drive through the small town of Uvita, across from the 2nd BM grocery store you will see Banco National on your right. Just past Banco National, drive about 200 yards and on your right you will see signs for Cabinas Gato, a paved road to your right, and signs for Playa Uvita/Bahia. Turn right on this paved road, drive about 3/4 kilometer, and make a left on a dirt road where you see a "Flutterby House" sign. Follow this bumpy dirt and winding road, past the "Flutterby House" sign (dont turn right here, stay straight) all the way to the beach. Playa Chaman is especially magnificant early in the mornings at low tide and at sunset. At low tide, facing the ocean, if you walk to the right, you can access and walk onto the Whales Tail at low tide. When you leave Playa Chaman, come back to your jungalow, take a nap, shower, then head back to the Ojochal area for a romantic sunset at boutique hotel El Castillo - a charming small hotel w spectacular ocean sunsets! Make sure you get there around 4:45 PM to enjoy the whole sunset process. To get there...Drive south, past Ojochal entrance (do not turn into Ojochal stay on the main paved road). After the Ojochal entrance road, drive 30 seconds and turn LEFT on the next dirt road (uphill 4x4 needed), drive up the hill, in 2-3 minutes you will see El Castillo on the RIGHT, up a paved driveway. Enjoy the sunset over cocktails. Mediterranean inspired appetizers and dinner served.

 

Restaurants

Porque No? -- ocean-side dining at Hotel Paridiso-14 kilometers north of us, 2 kilometers south of Dominical at kilometer 146. Gorgeous ocean view, beautiful gardens, tasty breakfast/lunch/dinner. Bar Jolly Roger -- hot wings-cold beer-full bar-local-funky-boho-gringo hangout. 10 minute drive north, take the Escaleras road entrance across from Cuna del Angel hotel, (the entrance road to Jolly’s is on a curve, just across from Cuna del Angel... drive up the mountain 1.7, Jollys is on the left.Rancho Remo -- 2.8 kilometers north of us -- killer ocean view on the mountain above Playa Hermosa-serving breakfast/lunch/dinner, awesome place to watch the sunset after a day at the beach - beer and wine served - ask about their excellent guided walking tours thru their primary forested property. Baker Bean Bakery -- in Uvita, just past the gas station on the right - good bagels, breads, breakfast sandwiches, empanandas (spinach & cheese -yum) pastries, and pizza.The RoadShack -- delish deli style sandwiches, in Uvita, just past the gas station and Baker Bean bakery, make a right turn at the first dirt road across from BCR bank, Roadshack is on your left just past the Jungle ATV shop.The Dome -- in Uvita, excellent breakfast and lunch-tasty burritos, salads, and burgers.

La Fogata -- in Uvita, after the Uvita bridge, turn right at the dirt road just before the Dome restaurant, many exceptional kinds of pizza, pasta and local food.Marino Ballena Bar and Restaurant -- our local Uvita hang-out bar, next to the 2nd BM grocery store on the left side of the main highway - great local tipico breakfast, cold beer, full bar and excellent ceviche. restaurants continued...Villa Leonor’s -- fabulous lunch near the beach - excellent seafood and local food, drive south before you get to Ojochal, near kilometer 170, turn right at the blue triangular sign, order your meal and then spend the afternoon at their gorgeous beach. Special Sunday BBQ’s - reservation needed. El Castillo Hotel and Azul Restaurant -- charming boutique hotel w spectacular ocean sunsets! drive south, just past Ojochal, turn left up the dirt road (4x4 vehicle), drive 2 minutes and you will see El Castillo on the right. Enjoy the sunset over cocktails, mediterranean inspired appetizers and dinner served.Exotica -- in the village of Ojochal, 17 kilometers south of Uvita, excellent food with a french flair in a charming garden setting, open for dinner only 5-8 PM. Turn off the main paved highway into the village of Ojochal and drive along the dirt road following the signs to Exotica, which will be on your right. Citrus -- Upscale new world cuisine in a lovely and romantic setting, in the village of Ojochal. Reservations suggested for evenings.

Adventures Jungle ATV -- adventure motorsports - guided tours- jungles/rivers/waterfalls - excellent fun!

Bahia Adventures -- Excellent tours to Corcovado National Park and Cano Island by boat. Many types of guided tours for snorkeling, hiking, fishing, ocean, river, mangroves. Papa Kilo -- Ultralight plane tour - the ultimate flying experience- sightseeing and custom tours.

Mad About Diving -- PADI scuba diving courses, snorkeling, scuba diving, trips to Cano Island and Marina National Park, whale and dolphin watching, mangrove tours, sport fishing.

Osa Canopy Tour -- longest zipline tour in the southern zone, great fun!

Bahia Ballena Kayaks -- guided kayak trip to the whales tail, walk thru the palm trees on the beach to see flora and fauna, snorkeling on the reef near the whales tail, mangrove kayak tour, or customized tour anywhere you wish to go!

Uvita Surf School -- surfing lessons, stand-up paddle board lessons and tours, snorkeling, mangrove, beach and Ventanas cave tours.

Kokopelli Nature Mangrove Tours -- Mangrove wetland tours in the remote area of Sierpe. See crocodiles, monkeys, rare birds, and more, from a small boat floating along the Sierpe River. Good restaurant and souvenir shop. The drive to Sierpe takes about and hour and 1/2, thru lovely rural farmlands. Drive south on #34 towards Palmar Norte and Palmar Sur then make a RIGHT past the big bridge over the Terraba river, following the signs for Sierpe.

Isidro Fishing Tours -- Experienced local fishing guide, custom fishing trips inshore or offshore, full or half days.

Las Rocas Marea Alta Boat/Fishing Tours -- Fishing, sight-seeing, snorkeling.

 

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE : Please do not leave valuables visible inside your vehicle whenever you are parked at the beach or on a tour. Take as little as possible to the beach - only what you can carry on your body. Make a copy of your passport and take it with you, instead of your actual passport. Sorry, but this is the way of the world now-even in lovely Costa Rica.

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