What are people talking about?

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These are the latest comments and questions from our visitors about the Puerto Viejo area and the topics covered on the site

Page 18

Comment on Gecko Trail Costa Rica

What are people saying about us?

Benjamin Trunk

Hi Maythe!

We are back in Germany, and I wanted to write to you to thank you for your hard work. We really had a great time in Costa Rica and everything you planed worked out perfectly! Thank you very much!

Just 2 little suggestions (maybe for our next trip) or to make you guys at Gecko even better (if that is possible):

The trip from Monteverde to Arenal with Grayline is really annoying, we had to switch buses and it took nearly all day. While we were there, we heard of the jeep-boat-jep transfer, which is not only cheaper, but also a lot quicker and supposed to have some great views.

And while the hike-dinner-and spa trip on our last evening in Arenal was one of the best activities we had, the hike took so long that we had to eat rather quick and still had only about one hour left in the spa. It was totally worth it, but if we had known we would surely have visited one of the many other spas before.

The only time we were disappointed was in Cahuita at the Magellan Inn, which we picked by ourselves. Not only were they really far off (which would have been fine), but contrary to their homepage they didn’t have a restaurant or the promised TVs (which was really sad because it was the only time we actually wanted one to watch the Oscar-Night…). And although the breakfast was technically included, it only consisted of bread and jam, and for luxuries like “jamon y ceso” or fried eggs it was another 5$ or 3$... But we don’t want to complain, it was an amazing trip and we will always be happy about our time in Costa Rica!

Thank you very much,
Kathy and Ben

April 18, 2011

Comment on Gecko Trail Costa Rica

What are people saying about us?

Stephan Wininger from Nashville, TN USA
Thank You Gecko Trail Adventures!

Don't hesitate to utilize Gecko Trail's talented and professional staff to plan every detail of your Costa Rican vacation!

Everything went flawlessly and I could not be happier with all they did on my behalf to ensure a wonderful vacation. I highly doubt any other agency could be more informed or helpful.

Ernesto's patience and prompt responses to each and every question during the planning phase of my two week vacation was comforting and most reassuring.

Once I arrived in San José, I immediately took a regional Nature Air flight to San Manuel/Quepos for a week at the beach. Then a second Nature Air flight to La Fortuna to visit Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Thermal Springs Resort and Spa. Finally a third flight Nature Air flight back to San José where I enjoyed the last few nights of my Costa Rican vacation.

Gecko Trail's staff's attention to detail ensured each and every connection was perfectly choreographed and each hotel reservation perfect. Ernesto even had cabs waiting for me when appropriate. How nice not have to worry about any details!

On my next trip to Costa Rica, I will definitely be using Gecko Trail Adventures again. Soon, very soon!

Thanks again Gecko Trail Adventures!

April 18, 2011

Comment on About Puerto Viejo

What are people saying about us?

Harry from Canada
Thank you for being honest

Hi there, Thank you for being honest about the "petty" crime. We bought a house in PV near Playa Negra. We had stuff stolen ALL the time. We were naive though and learned quickly. It does get a bit tiresome but you just have to learn to let go of valuables there. It's beautiful and most of the people are friendly, but not all. Just know that anywhere in the world there are situations like this. Be smart, friendly, open but not too naive. I can't say I would choose to live there again, but I would visit. You don't have to own paradise to enjoy it. Sometimes visiting is better. We got weighed down by living there and always having to worry about theft, etc. Some neighborhoods are more dangerous and you should be aware of this. Our neighbor was mugged walking home alone at night ( a young woman) and hurt pretty badly. Just use common sense and get a good caret taker if you decide to purchase a property and live there. Good luck. It truly is one of the most beautiful places in all of Costa Rica.

April 13, 2011

Comment on Cahuita

What are people saying about us?

margo

I have not spent much time in Cahuita , but it looks nice . There is not too much to do around there as in P.V. Maybe you guys could split your time up ..half in each area. That would be fun , I think! Playa Cocles would be good for the P.V area. It is close enough to town and there are nice beaches nearby also. Hit the farmer's market EARLY saturday in P.V! Have fun!

April 12, 2011

Comment on About Puerto Viejo

What are people saying about us?

D Carol Kurmis from Valparaiso, IN, US
I love Pureto Viejo

My husband and I were in Pureto Viejo 2 years ago and we're making plans to return. We have considered other countries, but we keep coming back to Costa Rica, Puerto Viejo. Why? Because of the people. When we were in this beautiful country the first time, we were in awe because of the warmth and friendliness of the people. The laid back way of living was just what we wanted/needed. We can't wait to come back!

April 10, 2011

Comment on Cahuita

What are people saying about us?

Jane from USA.
Puerto viejo vs cahuita.

I spent week in Puerto Viejo four years ago and plan to go back next January for a month. I will be traveling with my brother & sister in law. We are looking for a house that is comfortable and with screens. Any suggestions welcome.
my main question is about Cahuita. I loved Puerto Viejo. My sister in law found a house outside Cahuita that she likes. When I was last in PV, Cahuita was not much of anything
I see that there are now lots of restaurants and hotels but it feels like this has all grown up rapidly the attract the tourist
trade and doesn't have the vibe of PV. Please let know war you think

Thanks

April 10, 2011

Comment on About Puerto Viejo

What are people saying about us?

Leesa from Antony, France/San Diego, CA
Thanks for your post!!!

Hi there!
I just spent about 3 glorious months in PV- my parents live near the Botanical Gardens in Playa Negra...
My first impression of the town was not really a good one, but over time, it really 'grew' on me and I felt more like a local than a tourist! I agree with all that you wrote here and I'm really glad you dispelled those myths... and to give people your personal views/perspectives!
I am coming back again next winter- too cold in France for this So. Cal girl!! Anyhow, my blog about Costa Rica is being updated daily, so please stop by and have a look when you have a chance... Take care, Leesa

April 04, 2011

Comment on About Puerto Viejo

What are people saying about us?

Doug Dosdall
Maps

There is a tourist map or two that get published by several companies and you should be able to find in Puerto Viejo. The other place you can usually get one is at the MEPE ticket office at the Caribbean Bus Terminal in San José. However, the maps are updated on an irregular schedule so check back to Puerto Viejo Satellite for the most up to date info and much more comprehensive listings (not just advertisers).

April 04, 2011

Comment on About Puerto Viejo

What are people saying about us?

Marie

Was wondering if there are color maps of the Puerto Viejo area available and if so are they free or how much do they cost. Thanks.

April 04, 2011

Comment on Puerto Viejo Health and Safety

What are people saying about us?

Carla

does anyone know of a practicing midwife in or fairly close to the area? Or, someone to contact that might know? thanks!

April 03, 2011

Comment on Gecko Trail Costa Rica

What are people saying about us?

Sarah Haynes from Scottsdale, AZ

Gecko Trail Adventures made the arrangements for me to visit Puerto Viejo. I traveled by Interbus. Unfortunately, I left my computer charger at the B&B. Through Gecko's persistence the charger was relayed to the Interbus main office in San Pedro where I was able to recover it. They went above and beyond the call of duty! I highly recommend their services!

April 01, 2011

Comment on Mother Dear

What are people saying about us?

Daniela and Georgi from Virginia USA
We fell in love with this place..It was magical!

I and my husband spent ten days in Costa Rica in March 2011 -first Monteverde, then Arenal and the end of our stay was in Puerto Viejo at Mother Dear (It was the most wonderful place we've stayed in Costa Rica.). I found Mother Dear on Tripadvisor and after seeing the beautiful pictures and excellent feedback posted by previous visitors I didn't hesitate at all to book it. The place looked gorgeous from the pictures, but I have to admit it was way more beautiful in real! Just takes your breath away! The location, the romantic room, the beautiful bathroom, the amazing balcony, nice kitchen - they couldn't be better. One of the nights we cooked dinner with a Swedish couple we met first in Arenal and then shared the same route to Monteverde and Puerto Viejo. We had our dinner on the terrace, watched the waves and stars and it was just magical! The beach in front of Mother Dear (called "Playa Negra") is excellent and you can go deep into the water and swim when the waves are not too strong. The beach was most of the time, if not all the time, just for ourselves. Debbie and Jimmie were extremely hospitable and kind and helped us organize activities for the Volio Volcano and a visit to a local house where they produced hand-made chocolate. We strongly recommend Mother Dear! It is the perfect romantic place! We will definitely go back there soon!

April 01, 2011

Comment on Puerto Viejo Health and Safety

What are people saying about us?

Doug Dosdall

I've never heard of a tourist contracting Malaria in Costa Rica. I believe that the reason people get this conflicting advise from their doctors in US and Canada is that there does exist the possibility of Malaria in the country but it is in remote jungle settings where indigenous folk live. Unless you're going on a serious multiday backcountry trek into road free areas this shouldn't be an issue.

What is unfortunately an issue on occasion is Dengue fever however there is no preventative drug for this. The best prevention here is to try to avoid mosquito bites. Very few cases of Dengue are of the serious version though so that's the good news.

March 30, 2011

Comment on Puerto Viejo Health and Safety

What are people saying about us?

Kate Scowen from Canada
malaria

I am coming to Puerto Viejo for ten days in April, with my two kids and husband. Travel doctor has prescribed Malarone (anti-malarial) but I am concerned about the side effects for my kids. There seem to be conflicting reports as to whether malaria is a problem in PV and surrounding area. Can anyone advise?

March 29, 2011

Comment on Puerto Viejo

What are people saying about us?

Doug Dosdall from Puerto Viejo

Several churches in town but definitely no websites that I'm aware of. They're pretty low tech places! Gandoca is quite a distance from Puerto Viejo, over an hour by jeep. You'll need an experienced local driver to get you there. Unless you meant is the project close the village of Gandoca to which I believe the answer is yes.

March 28, 2011

Comment on Puerto Viejo

What are people saying about us?

Melissa from New York, USA
Church in Puerto Viegjo

Next Easter (April 8th) I will be taking a student group to Costa Rica... our first few days involve a sea turtle project in Gandoca. Does anyone know if that is within walking distance of the town? Also, I know there is a church... any chance of them having a website? Thanks

March 28, 2011

Comment on Gecko Trail Costa Rica

What are people saying about us?

Joe from Coeur dAlene, ID

We scheduled our entire trip through Gecko Trail Adventures and things went off perfectly! We made changes to our plans up to last week before our trip and Gecko Trail helped make all our reservations work out for us.

If you have any hesitations about trusting folks located in Costa Ricato help you with your travels rather than a local agent...have no worries! They are great at what they do, their staff is wonderful, helpful and understanding, and prices are great.
THANKS AGAIN GECKO TRAIL ADVENTURES.

March 24, 2011

Comment on The Preserve

What are people saying about us?

Jeannette Chaves from Costa Rica
The best investment

I am in love with Puerto Viejo is one of the nicest places in the world. The preserve in Playa Negra is the best investment in real state you can find in the area.
With electricity and water in the properties it is so ready to build if you want so. The entrance to the properties it is full of tall beautiful trees and it is around 5 minutes walking to the beach. But also you can find the beaches of Salsa Brava, Cocles, Punta Uva, Manzanillo, The National Park Gandoca Manzanillo. It is like a paradise there Just talking about beach make me want to take a plane right now to Costa Rica and drive to Puerto Viejo. I am in New York working and it is cold and gray right now.
Well I hope when you have the opportunity to visit Puerto Viejo and if you are looking to invest take a look of The Preserve, you will love it as I do. If you are in NY you can email me at jchavesr@yahoo.es and I can tell you more about The Preserve, Puerto Viejo and all the beauty you can find in this paradise.
PURA VIDA!

March 22, 2011

Comment on Mother Dear

What are people saying about us?

Michael Scoggins from Tulsa, Oklahoma
Perfect

I've never written a review before but I feel compelled to let everyone know how special this place is. My wife and I had an absolutely fantastic vacation at Mother Dear. I highly recommend it for couples who want to get away, relax, rest, and recharge. The "cabins" are beautiful, comfortable, and catch a refreshing ocean breeze. We spent 50% of our week sitting on our patio, taking in the incredible view and enjoying the solitude. Town is only a 15 minute walk down the beach when you get tired of making your own meals. The place is wonderful. I hope it stays this way forever. The hosts, James and Debbie, are great people and will make you feel at home. We were truly sad to leave.

March 21, 2011

Comment on About Puerto Viejo

What are people saying about us?

Anne from Denmark

Ok Valerie, that sounds good. I still dont know what my exact plans are, but let's stay in touch and see what happens around the third. However, I do know for sure, that ill be in San Rose on the third:) If you are intereset, I have some friends, who are envolved in a very cool project in CR. Check it out: http://coopesilencio.blogspot.com/. Cheers.

March 17, 2011

Comment on Maxi's Restaurant

What are people saying about us?

diego from italia
saluti dall' Italia

per Ricky Martin: " ... come cazzo si fa a tifare la samp ..."

March 17, 2011

Comment on About Puerto Viejo

What are people saying about us?

Valerie from Boston

Anne,

That's awesome! I'm flying down on the 3rd and then heading over to PV for about a week... I'd definitely love to meet up with you and pick your brain about volunteering. I've been looking at some projects that require a 3 month minimum so my plan is just to check out the area and feel the vibe and hopefully come back in the winter!

March 16, 2011

Comment on Magic Moon Beach House

What are people saying about us?

Silvana Lewis from Switzerland

Directly in front of the black beach, cute, comfortable, tropical, lovely gardens. We stayed there for 4 nights. It was very clean, the bed was comfortable, the kitchen was fully equipped and we spended most of the time on the porch, wich is a beautyful place to hang out in the hammock. The beach was just a cross a small street. Perfect! A great private place but a lot of amenities nearby.We highly recommend staying here, so much better than staying at a hotel. We had everything we needed! Thanks a lot!

March 16, 2011

Comment on About Puerto Viejo

What are people saying about us?

Anne from Denmark

Hey Valerie.

Im planning to going to PV either this weekend or the next. I am doing an internship here in San Rose, so will only be going for a few days... However, I would love to join you on parts of your travel to PV, if that would be of any interest. Im from Denmark -and speak spanish... I have been in Central America now for 5 moths, volunteering and travelling. Let me know what you think! Anne

March 16, 2011

Comment on Pecora Nera

What are people saying about us?

Annabella
Pecora Negra

Definitely the best restaurant in the whole area. Ilario and his team are great and the food is incredible.

March 16, 2011

Comment on Gecko Trail Costa Rica

What are people saying about us?

Brian from Chicago
CR Trip with Gecko

I arranged my entire trip through Gecko based on feedback from friends that had used them before. It took about a month of working with them, looking into their advice and some research on my own but I basically had my entire trip booked via Gecko before I went. Everything was as smooth as could be and I enjoyed the trip immensely.

Some MUSTS are Tabacon if you are in Fortuna and the zip line canopy tour in Monteverde. Relaxing on the beach in Manuel Antonio was also very nice.

I only had 1 small problem on the trip with confusion at one hotel whether breakfast was included. It only took one quick email to Gecko and they resolved it with the hotel. It was the hotel's mistake.

Highly recommend Gecko to help plan a fun trip to CR!!

March 15, 2011

Comment on About Puerto Viejo

What are people saying about us?

Valerie

I've been looking at planning a solo trip down to PV in the next week or two. I've been to Baja a few dozen or so times and across the US on my own, so am pretty independent but this will be my first Costa Rica trip.... any tips for the solo traveler??

March 15, 2011

Comment on Mother Dear

What are people saying about us?

Marge from Boston
Peaceful haven by the sea

Lovely private cottage a few steps from a beautiful Caribbean beach. Deck is a perfect spot for a massage while listening to the waves. Beautiful gardens and walkways. Wonderful, knowledgeable on-site hosts.

March 15, 2011

Comment on Mother Dear

What are people saying about us?

Still missing Puerto Viejo from St Helena Island, SC
A beautiful relaxing week away from the world

This cottage is simple and beautiful. Everything you need is right here; eat in or walk to town, stroll through the garden to the beach or enjoy the magnificent view from your cottage. Debbie and Jimmy are so very welcoming and available for day trip planning or grocery advice. They truly want your stay to be wonderful. Honey, Tiny, and Minki, the family pets, complete the scene with their entertainment.

March 13, 2011

Comment on Gecko Trail Costa Rica

What are people saying about us?

Mark Catalina & Megan Ebbrecht
Recognition for the devotion to your country

Dear Maythe, Karen and Gecko Employees,

We have just returned to the US after an 8 day trip to Costa Rica. Our visit to your country greatly surpassed any of our previous experiences to the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Haiti and Bonaire. Participating in the Arenal Volcano hike and Tabacon Hot Springs while staying at San Bosco in LaFortuna, Rafting down the Pacuare River, and Full day Canopy tour, zip line, waterfall and quads were the finest adventures we have ever been on. On the flight back home I thought to myself that when I get there I will write one of the best reviews that has ever been done for Gecko Trail Adventures, Banana Azul, and Costa Rica in general, but unfortunately so many past customers have beaten me to it!

Some of the important things that mattered to us, may not matter to everyone else. Many of your employees may not even realize this, since many have not travelled abroad or been dropped into unfamiliar surroundings. But, when arriving in a strange land (especially in the dark)where cultures and habitat are so different than you have ever experienced and communication skills are so limited (we speak no Spanish), it is so reassuring to meet that ‘local’ person, have them smile at you, try to understand your needs and concerns, reassure you that you are in the right place and that your schedule is in their hands and they are there ready to guide you throughout your stay. They are there for you.

We did not stay at the Banana Azul because they didn’t have any vacancy. Online, while at home, we rented a studio apartment nearby. We were dropped off at Azul in the dark after an extended ride through Limon due to an accident on RT 32 which halted traffic for more than an hour, not knowing exactly where are lodging was located. Our luggage in hand and driver gone, we approached Kristiam at Azul and asked for direction. We were so unprepared, with no address in hand, not even considering that no one would have heard of the place we were to stay. Kristiam jumped online to locate information, make a call to our destination, welcome us to Costa Rica and offer us all the amenities that would be available to us as if we were guests at their resort.

I cannot say enough about the way we were treated at Banana Azul. David, Kristiam, Frederik, and all the staff were wonderful to us. They listened to us when we needed to talk and shared with us some of their experiences from the US to Costa Rica. We were welcomed at their meals, to rent their equipment, to enjoy their beach and lounges and better yet… their guests. As much as we were looking to be away from other tourists and enjoy Costa Rican’s, it was even better to share our new experiences with other travellers like ourselves and immerse ourselves in the new found joys of a beautiful country.

Let me start now with Maythe. She was our first contact with Gecko once we arrived in Costa Rica and welcomed us. She was also the first to listen to our concerns about our living arrangements while visiting. She assured us that we were on schedule, going to live (inside joke), and with that beautiful smile convinced us that we would love our visit to her country. How could you not believe this beautiful smile! Well, she was right! Although she had very tough competition because every Gecko employee we met and spoke with gave us the same treatment. They were courteous, reassuring and were willing to manipulate your schedule at the drop of a hat. They never tried to sell us product, but always there to answer any question about the adventures and life in Costa Rica.

If you have been able to stay with me thus far, I will tell you the most important factor that made this trip the most enjoyable. The tour guides that accompanied us on these excursions were unsurpassed by any in the world. I will most likely be misspelling their names, which is a shame because they clearly deserve to be recognized by Gecko, their employers and explicitly by fellow Costa Ricans. The volcano hike - Jobi, the Pacuare rafting – Ricky & Yuda, the canopy tour – Edgar. Each one of these men were incredible guides. If everyone in all countries had just a small percentage of their character, we would have a perfect world!

All of the guides and drivers that participated in our excursions were excellent, but it just happened that these 4 men were the ones that we were able to discover and converse more personally with and/or placed with us during the events. Jobi, Ricky and Edgar you are some of the finest people found anywhere on Earth. Their love for their country is radiant. They were excellent at articulating their knowledge of the soils, trees, bugs, volcanic evolution, indigenous peoples, animals and anything else that was asked of them. They displayed and preached about the importance of a clean environment, limiting and eliminating hazardous insecticides, cleansers and litter. They were adamant about their respect of their land and countryside and the beauty that surrounded us at every turn. They made us feel welcome in their country and showed us how proud they were of it. That is something that has been missing here in the US for me, for some time.

These men and similar fellow Costa Ricans should be recognized by your government and compensated. They make the tourism industry special and help us all to realize how valuable our natural resources are and how important the message that they send to us visitors is, in regards to the health of their country, economy and the tourism industry. It is these attributes that will bring us back to Costa Rica and direct our friends and acquaintances your way for a wonderful vacation.

We have travelled to other countries that have the potential that still exists in Costa Rica, but found that they have been tainted by under-educated, environmentally-bliss peoples, litter strewn mountains, streets and streams. The fact that other countries are ‘laid - back’, or ‘chillin’ should not be the excuse for laziness or the lack of understanding the extreme importance of our impact on the environment and the balance of industry and tourism in a region.

All of the other countries we have visited, we were bombarded by time-share ‘thieves’, beggars and solicitors. All of which probably exist in Costa Rica, but we never once encountered. We spent 5 nights on the Caribbean coast near the town of Puerto Viejo in a rented apartment, rented bicycles for travel and ate mostly at local sodas while enjoying the beautiful turquois beaches at Playa Negra. Visits to Cocles, Punta Uva, and Manzanillo strengthened our love for the people of Costa Rica and your country. Sad to have departed, our hats go off to Gecko and all the others that we had contact with for the tremendous support and fun we had during our stay.

Love to all of you,
Mark & Megan

March 12, 2011

Comment on Mother Dear

What are people saying about us?

Dirk Giles from Fairbanks, AK
Ultimate Relaxation

Jim and Debbie have a true slice of heaven in their hands. I felt that "at home" feeling the second I walked in the gate. I am truly grateful that my girlfriend put in the extra search time, found and booked Mother Dear. It was a truly relaxing experience, set among a beautiful location, quiet beach, and the envy of every passerby, but don't tell anyone that. Jim and Debbie are two of the kindest warm-hearted people a person could meet. Their wonderful attitudes and beautiful property were an absolute dream. I can't wait to bring my family and rent the whole place. At the end of my stay I was ready for the hectic life that lay ahead of me, but every day I am thinking that Jim and Debbie have got it figured out. Definitely a great place for couples in love that want a quiet, clean, and wonderful experience.

March 08, 2011

Comment on About Puerto Viejo

What are people saying about us?

Doug from Puerto Viejo

April is a great time but remember that Apr 24 is Easter. The entire week leading up to April 24 is "Semana Santa" in Costa Rica which is when Ticos travel to the beach and so pretty much every accommodation will already be booked or will be very soon. Lots of great choices of place to stay on the Lodging page

March 07, 2011

Comment on About Puerto Viejo

What are people saying about us?

Gene from Sask.Canada
Thanks

Hi Doud/Margo.We need to go down and see things for ourselves. Is Apr.a good time and do you have any suggestions/recommendations where we could stay? Our spring will just be starting then,we now have 4' snow and -25. gene

March 07, 2011

Comment on Gecko Trail Costa Rica

What are people saying about us?

M Waugh from Canada
So helpful.

We used Gecko to help plan our trip. We provided them with the places we wanted to go and what we wanted to see ..... we had a hassle free vacation and amazing two weeks in Costa Rica. I have already recommended this firm to others. Thanks guys for making our vacation so special.

March 07, 2011

Comment on Gecko Trail Costa Rica

What are people saying about us?

Brian from New Jersey

Our 10 night custom vacation was spectacular thanks to Ernesto at Gecko putting it all together. Out trip included 4 cities: San Jose, Manuel Antonio, Arenal and Santa Ana. We had a mix of active days and others for relaxation so we reutrned home refreshed. The only suggestion I would make for those who can pack light (<40 lbs) and afford it is to fly between destinations rather than take the tourist vans. These trips can be between 4 and 5 hours with air taking about 30 minutes.

March 07, 2011

Comment on Chile Rojo

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Alida from Sweden

I eat delicious sushi here. They have a big variety on their meny and different things on special every night. The best food-experience in Puerto Viejo so far!

March 06, 2011

Comment on Gecko Trail Costa Rica

What are people saying about us?

fabian from australia
the perfect way to enjoy a holiday!

I'm super glad that we chose Gecko Trail Adventures when planning our trip to Costa Rica. Everything was easy and we didn't have to do any of our own research in order to see all of the best attractions in Costa Rica. The Gecko staff were friendly and helpful and our holiday was perfect! I couldn't imagine an easier way to travel!

March 04, 2011

Comment on Mother Dear

What are people saying about us?

Williams from Asheville
Nothing Compares!!

Mother Dear has got to be one of the most awesome cabinas on the Costa Rican Caribbean. Jimmy and Debbie have created 2 cabinas surrounded by luxurious gardens and elevated so that you look directly onto Playa Negra. It's a perfectly tranquil setting. Both cabinas are less than a year old and are expertly crafted with almendro wood that has been expertly finished. The cabina is finely appointed with hand-made furniture, a fully equipped galley kitchen, a king size bed, an exquisite bathroom and an outdoor porch with teak bar stools, hammock and cafe table. When we finally decided to descend it was 50 meters to one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen. I'll be back...

March 02, 2011

Comment on Puerto Viejo Hacer Compras

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Doug from Puerto Viejo

Thanks for pointing out the oversite Fletcher. The farmers' market is great and I've gone ahead and added it to the map. If you see anything else missing, feel free to add a listing for it. Keeping the site up to date and complete is a community effort!

March 01, 2011

Comment on Puerto Viejo Health and Safety

What are people saying about us?

mike from st louis missouri
Hotel Playa Westfalia

We are cruising to Limon in two weeks. Is it safe to catch a taxi at port and head to the Hotel Playa Westfalia? Is the beach there safe for swimming? Should I be concerned about being able to get back to the ship on time? Any information will be much appreciated.

March 01, 2011

Comment on About Puerto Viejo

What are people saying about us?

Ayshah from New York

I would love to hear about your experience living in Playa Chiquita with your family. You can email me at ayshahkfox@gmail.com if you're interested in sharing!!

February 28, 2011

Comment on Mother Dear

What are people saying about us?

Lewis from Rochester, NY, USA
It Doesn't Get any Better Than This!

If we were to build our own house on the beach in the comfort and style that make life most simple and enjoyable this would be the place we would call home. Mother Dear was the perfect place to spend a week and totally unwind. Listening to the pounding surf, watching the wild horses graze in the front yard, and hearing the sweet sounds of the myriad of birds surrounding us made for the perfect experience. The house was beautifully appointed, glistening from top to bottom, and just made our stay in Pto Viejo perfect. The location on the beach, the distance to town, and the incredible fusion food that we got to enjoy guarantee that we will return one day soon to this magical place. And if this wasn't good enough, our hosts exceeded our wildest expectations by their friendliness, helpfulness, and kindness. We have already recommended Mother Dear to all of our friends and have plans to return very soon.

February 28, 2011

Comment on De Paso

What are people saying about us?

Leslie from Los Angeles, USA
Best Tacos and drinks in town

I just returned from a trip to Costa Rica. My friend and I spent a week in Puerto Viejo. De Paso was the best place for drink specials and tacos. My steak soft tacos were overflowing with goodness. Great steak, a mix of lettuce and tomatoes and hot sauce. I ordered the fried potatoes on the side but really didn't need them. My friend and I both took advantage of the 2 for 1 drink specials. I had a great time hanging out at this place! Definitely will be back.

February 27, 2011

Comment on About Puerto Viejo

What are people saying about us?

margo
Puerto Viejo

Hi Gene,
Contact Erick Palmer. He is local resident and knows the real estate market and the area very well. He is a person of good quality and high integrity and trust worthy. I call him one of my good friends in the area. We own property there and love Puerto Viejo!

Erick's # is 506-8829-8216

Margo

February 27, 2011

Comment on Gecko Trail Costa Rica

What are people saying about us?

Inge
danke für die tolle planung!!

Hat alles super geklappt und ich hatte 3 schöne und abwechslungsreiche wochen in costa rica!! besonders in herz geschlossen habe ich manuel, den taxifahrer! absolut nett und zuverlässig!! hat am abend vor meinem frühen abflug sogar angerufen und war morgens schon 15 minuten vor der eigentlichen zeit da!
puerto viejo fand ich total klasse !! hab mir 2mal ein rad gemietet und bin bis kurz vor manzanillo gefahren!! war an den stränden und habe faultiere , brüllaffen und iguanas gesehen!! mit dem bus war ich im cahuita nationalpark und in gandocca habe ich mich einer kleinen gruppe angeschlossen und eine tour gemacht!

alle interbusverbindungen haben reibungslos geklappt und machmal war die fahrt schon wie eine " ausflug " -- die fahrer waren sehr freundlich und sind bis auf die letzte fahrt von samara nach san jose perfekt gefahren!!
sehr gut gefallen haben mir das casa 69!!-- das hotel san bosco!! und die palm lodge!! das guarana fand ich nicht so doll-- ist aber meine persönliches empfinden!

February 26, 2011

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Gene Hadland from Saskatchewan, Canada
Information

Hi Doug. It seems like you are in the "know". We are planning a trip to CR ,especialy VP.Looking for retirement property and bussiness opp.small hotel,B&B,multi-family rentals,etc. give me a shout back. Thanks Gene Hadland

February 26, 2011

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Ayshah from New York, USA
Moving to Puerto Viejo with kids???

So, I LOVE Puerto Viejo and have for many years, Ten to be exact. But I now have 2 small sons (ages 3 years and 9 months) and a husband who is very apprhensive about my obsession with relocating to Costa Rica! In your experience, are there many expat couples on the Caribbean side with kids? If so, what about schools, healthcare? How do you live there in terms of financial security? Where are the jobs (if any)? Is it possible that people just live off of savings or are most expats in the tourism industry (lodges, ecotourism, etc.)? Thanks for your insight!

February 25, 2011

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Janet Innamorato
Riding Review

We rode with Vanessa for three days along the beaches and through the jungle. The ride was beautiful and exciting. We raced along the beaches, jumped a couple logs, and I swam my horse for a bright shining moment in the ocean. Walking, trotting or cantering though, the views were extraordinary. The horse I rode was capable and calm. As is the traveler's wont, I became quite attached to her. The saddle was so comfortable as compared to the western saddles I had unsuccessfully been trying to adapt to. The jungle comes right to the water and in many places, we saw no other evidence of humanity. The weather was perfect, as compared with the freezing North which I had forsaken to come to Costa Rica. We visited the Jaguar Rescue Center, which was fabulous, the Botanical Gardens, full of enormous iguanas, Maxi's wonderful local cuisine restaurant, Carol's French Restaurant, Mare Nostrum, Arricife Restaurant, and Banana Azul Restaurant.

All had great food and it was fabulous to eat outside, morning, noon and night. Vanessa was extremely considerate and diligent in her efforts to make us comfortable. She is a fountain of information about the area and the culture. The town is full of Europeans, surfers and hippies. If your heart goes to horses, you cannot do better than taking a vacation to ride along the Caribbean with Vanessa.

February 23, 2011

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David from Winnipeg, Canada
Thanks to Ernesto and Gecko Trail Adventures!

My trip went really well. All the details planned by you at Gecko went flawlessly. A couple comments to keep in mind when you are dealing with other tourists follow:

1. The Arenal Volcano area is quite beautiful with great hiking and other activities available, but don't expect to see the top of the volcano as it is almost always cloud covered.

2. Of my two excursions on my full day in the Arenal area, the first one (the horseback ride to the La Paz Waterful operated by Desafio) was very scenic and nice, but I was the only English speaking person on the three-person tour so the guide primarily spoke Spanish. In fact he really only spoke to one person so it didn't seem he was telling us much of anything about the nature and scenery we were passing. The second excursion (the Arenal Volcano Hike operated by PVT) was excellent. The guide was amazing at pointing out and explaining so much. Our group members were also quite fit so he took us on a longer more challenging hike. I gave him a big tip!

3. In Manuel Antonio National Park, a lot of the trails are closed so if somebody wants to do lot of hiking they have to go around the barricades and hike the closed trails themselves (that's what I did). Manuel Antonio is beautiful.

4. Colours Oasis Resort is nice and a good gay place to stay in San Jose. It is easy to meet people there (especially as a solo traveller) so you can go with people on excursions into the city. I'm not sure I would have wanted to do too much in the city by myself ... at least not at night. Breakfasts were very good. Other food and drink was excellent but a bit pricey.

5. Hotel Mandarina is a nice place to say. It is gay-friendly but definitely not gay ... but that's good too. The people working there were really friendly and knowledgeable about the area whether it was the park, the beach, the clubs (including gay ones), etc. The room I had in the Hotel Mandarina was so beautifully decorated (somewhat modernist) that it was a real pleasure to stay there. There are no views from the rooms, but that's fine, you can just walk across the street. The breakfasts were excellent.

Overall the trip was excellent. I really enjoyed everything. I would definitely recommend Manuel Antonio as an area to visit. On a previous trip I went to Playa Grande and it was great too. The Arenal Volcano was alright to visit as long as you can accept you won't see the top of the volcano or any eruptions. I'm glad I went to Manuel Antonio on your recommendation instead of the cloud forest (there were enough clouds on the way to the volcano from San Jose and at the volcano).

Thank you for arranging everything. I would definitely use your services again.

February 22, 2011

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Dave Westhouse from London, England

I would like to thank the staff at Gecko Trail Adventures for doing such a wonderful job with taking care of the details of our vacation and allowing us (two couples) to enjoy a seamless vacation without having to worry about transportation and other STUFF. They got us to and from the airport, in hotels in San Jose and La Fortuna. We ...enjoyed the whitewater rafting, the 3-in-1 tour, and the zip-ling. The whitewater rafting was incredible and I am glad of hints to do it first to take advantage of transport from Costa Rica to Puerto Viejo. It was so nice to have the tour desk at Banana Azul and to have met the many faces who emailed us beforehand. We traveled from Feb 5-14, 2011.
Thank you once again. We truly appreciated your work.

February 22, 2011

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Beatrice from Toronto, Canada
Best Trip EVER!!

Thanks to Yetty and Gecko Trail for helping make our trip the best we've ever had. Yetty was extremely helpful and patient with me as I had many questions, but she organized everything so well, and we had a wonderful trip.

Our favorite part was the white water rafting and fishing trips. Exploredores is very professional and really made it exciting. "Ricky" was the best guide, very outgoing and I had fun joking around with him.

The fishing trip was amazing, we caught 5 big yellow fin tuna and took one to eat, yummmm!

Thanks again Gecko Trail and of course Yetty, for making this experience a GREAT one.

We will be back.

February 22, 2011

Comment on Puerto Viejo Health and Safety

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Doug from Puerto Viejo

Very sorry to hear about your experience Jim and Mike. Unfortunately there have been occasional incidents on this stretch of beach for years as there is a very poor community living back there and there is no road access for the police to patrol.

So I don't really recommend that particular walk although I personally have walked without problem the 3 hour walk or so from Puerto Viejo to Cahuita National Park. It is far, there are no services or marked paths (until you're well into the park) and there is that security risk. If one does take this route, nothing of value should be taken. Although it does sound like you guys basically did take this precaution, at least of not showing anything to steal, and were very unlucky anyway.

Thanks for sharing your experience with the community. If you haven't already filed a report with the security committee, you can do so here. They are a dedicated group of volunteers working hard on improving things and the reports help them hold police and justice services to account for enforcing and prosecuting offenders.

This kind of thing can happen anywhere (I was swarmed by 5 teenagers just outside the main tourist area in Panama City in the middle of the day) but I know that kind of platitude doesn't make it feel any better when you are a victim of t his kind of incident.

February 20, 2011

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Jim & Mike from Massachusetts,USA
unfortunate incident

On 2/10/2011 around 11 in the morning while visiting the Puerto Viejo area we rented bikes and took a ride north along a sandy road to an area the police refered to as black beach. Its a spot where the river meets the ocean about 4 miles north of town. We stopped and were exploring the beach and some snake tracks in the sand when out of the bushes came 2 men wearing cloth over their heads with eye and mouth holes. The men ran at us with long sticks and knives. My friend and I were about 20 feet apart with our backs to the river and no place to go. The men ran up to us and began beating us with the sticks and waving the knives at us at which time we began to empty our pockets throwing items forward into the sand. The men picked up our stuff and ran off into the bushes. We each lost Iphones, cash, and copies of our passports. The men had no way of knowing what was in our pockets as these things werent out and visible. We had done our research prior to our visit and were very much aware of the problem with petty theft but never saw anything suggesting violent crime. Isolated incident? I dont know but be aware and I would suggest staying in populated areas.

February 20, 2011

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Peggy from Toronto, Canada

Thanks to Gecko, we had a vacation that was both relaxing and adventurous. It was relaxing because everything was planned and paid for in advance and all of the transportation connections ran so smoothly. The trip also included so many wonderful experiences - hiking, snorkelling, whitewater rafting, kayaking, canal tours, hot springs, etc. We did the "Volcano, Beach and Jungle" trip with an extra two nights in Tortuguero. The hotels (Arenal Green, La Kukula, Rana Roja, Casa 69) were all wonderful. Each one was unique and had a different type of charm, but my favorite place was Rana Roja in Tortuguero. This lodge is not listed on tripadvisor so i was a little worried but it was so beautiful. The cabins are contructed so that you feel connected to the sights and sounds of the jungle. The food was excellent and there was a goregous pool and shared bar. We also did several trips with Gecko's partner Exploradores and they were very professional and fun. With the help of their guides, we saw a lot of wildlife and learned about the plants and animals of Costa Rica. This trip was also an amazing value.

February 17, 2011

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Peggy from Toronto, Canada

Thanks to Yetty and Gecko for organizing an amazing vacation. Everything ran so smoothly. My sister and I did the "Volcano, Beach and Jungle" trip with an extra two nights in Tortuguero. The hotels were all wonderful and reasonably priced. Each one (Arenal Green, La Kukula, Rana Roja and Casa 69) was unique and had a different type of charm, but my favorite place was Rana Roja in Ttortugeruo. This lodge is not listed on tripadvisor so i was a little worried but it was so beautiful. The cabins are contructed so that you feel connected to the sights and sounds of the jungle. The food was excellent and there was a beautiful pool and shared bar. We also did several trips with Gecko's partner Exploradores and they were incredibly professional and fun. This trip was also a great value.

February 17, 2011

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Hans Nijholt from Amsterdam, The Netherlands

A big thank you to Mauricio who did a fabulous job in preparing our itinerary in Costa Rica in January 2011. We first emailed about our favorite things to do in a holiday and he came up with some suggestions on what to do. He finally arranged all our hotels, excursions and transport. Everything was very good organized. The transport came always on time and the excursions were great. We first stayed in Manuel Antonio and from there we did Monteverde, La Fortuna and Puerto Viejo. We really liked the Wildwater rafting and the Canopy tour. I can really recommend Gecko Trail if you need a travel agency in Costa Rica.

Thanks again!

Hans and Marcel

February 15, 2011

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Paul from Windsor, CT
1st trip tp Costa Rica

I'm looking for a place owned by Dick Gossman and Holly Edmunson. Is this the place?

Thanks
Paul

February 13, 2011

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Bridget

Planning a trip to Puerto Viejo for mid June to mid July. I know it's the rainy season, but I wondering how much and when it falls during the day. Is it just a mud bowl or is it worth still going there for a beach vacation?

February 09, 2011

Comment on Puerto Viejo Hotels

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tcramsay from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Naturist/Nude Beaches

Hello I am a retired single str8 male that likes to tan/swim nude........ Are there beaches/accomodations that cater to the all over tan? please let me know.

I am also seeking 3-6 month accomodations @ $250 to $500per month (max). Something on the quiet side of things and not beside a bar/club, 420 friendly ;)

February 09, 2011

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