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Author Archives: Amy and Jason McIntosh

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sierpe river wildlife tour

Sierpe River Wildlife Tour

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Sierpe River Wildlife Tour

We recently met a couple at BINGO in Ojochal who recommended that we take the Kokopelli Sierpe River Wildlife Tour in Sierpe --in fact, they've gone on it at least four times and take all their visitors on the tour. That was impressive enough for me to book a tour with them.

Kokopelli Tours specialize in small groups (min. 2 people) for mangrove and wildlife tours on the Sierpe River.  We contacted the tour company, via email, on Wednesday afternoon, and they responded within 30 minuntes. It was great to hear that they have tours every day of the week, so we could make the tour fit into our schedule.  We set up our tour for Monday 8:30am.

kokopelli tours
Kokopelli Tours

Tour Basics

My husband and I were the only two people on the tour; along with the guide/boat driver.  Our tour guide was:

  1.  English speaking
  2. Very knowledgable about the wildlife; and
  3. AMAZING at spotting the animals for us to see!!

The tour left a little earlier than 8:30, since we were the only guests and we were there and ready.  The tour lasted 3 hours!!!! and we were provided 2 drinks each (either water or Tropical brand fruit juice).

The boat was a smaller size, which was nice; as we were able to go down some of the smaller river pathways that other boats couldn't---however, the seats in the boat were on the sides and faced inwards, so it made it difficult to sit comfortably and see all the animals (as the boat is cruising down the river).  Don't get me wrong, we SAW all the animals, and the guide made sure to slow down/stop, back-up, and even turn around to ensure we got a good view--and as long of view as we wanted.

sierpe river wildlife tour
Sierpe River

The Wildlife

Lizards

Right after pulling away from the dock behind the tour building, we stop next to the shore (by someone's house!!) and we see at least 15-20 green iguanas.  Big ones, fat ones, males, females, some sitting, some crawling, some in the trees....and some eating!!!  I have never seen so many iguanas in one area out in nature!  It was amazing--tour would have been worth that alone!

It seems that there may have been some food left for them, hence the number of them in one area.

two iguanas sierpe
Two iguanas photographed on the tour.

We saw several other green iguanas sitting on tree trunks, along the river during our tour.  But we were also able to see two different Jesus Crist lizards--one posing....and the other one was running on top of the water (hence their name).  I wish we could have got a picture of it running on water, but hence that's not how pictures work!

During the course of the tour, we saw many other green iguanas sitting on tree branches along the river; however, we were also able to see 2 Jesus Crist lizards!!  One was posing, but the other one was running ON water (hence its name)!  I wish we could have gotten a picture of that one--but movement doesn't show well in pictures and not to mention it was FAST!

sierpe river wildlife tour iguana
One of many iguanas we saw

Birds

We saw lots of birds, but some specific, unique and rare ones we saw were:

  • Green Kingfisher
  • Green Heron
  • American Pygmy Kingfisher
  • Amazon King Fisher
  • Wood Stork
  • Yellow Crowned Night Heron
  • Boat Billed Heron
  • Barn Owl
  • Scarlet Macaw
  • Little Blue Heron
yellow crowned night heron sierpe
Yellow crowned night heron

Do bats count as birds??? I know they're mammals but heck, they fly, right? LOL  maybe I should have used the title "flying things".

bats tour
Bats on a tree.

Things in trees

Probably the best part of the tour (for me), was seeing the animals in trees... monkeys, sloths, and raccoons (okay I'm from the USA and I could see these nightly on my back deck, but the ones in Costa Rica are smaller and cuter!).

I love that I got to see these in real life versus at the sanctuaries here!

Monkeys

We were able to see 2 of the 3 monkey species found in Osa Peninsula; Squirrel Monkey and Howler Monkey.

howler monkeys sierpe costa rica
Two howler monkeys
howler monkeys sierpe
Howler monkeys climbing on bamboo trees
squirrel monkey sierpe
Squirrel monkeys in bamboo cluster.

Two-toed Sloth

two-toed sloth sierpe costa rica
Two-toed sloth

Things in and near the water

Okay these are the animals that give me the creepy crawlies....and sometimes nightmares---yes, the snakes--but guess the crocodiles are pretty cool--since I've never seen them in the wild!

We saw two different Tree Boas ---or course sleeping!

snake costa rica
Tree boa constrictor

Yep we saw a crocodile--and they can get up to 18 ft long (average is 14 ft)--this one was a little smaller at only 9 feet!! YIKES!!

crocodile sierpe costa rica
Crocodile in the Sierpe River

Scenery

While the animals were amazing, we don't want to forget about the scenery!

sierpe river wildlife tour
Siere River
bananas sierpe
Bananas

We LOVED this Sierpe River Wildlife Tour and give it a 4.8 out of 5--and we'll definitely bring our guests to enjoy this amazing hidden gem in Osa Peninsula.

Amy & Jason


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grocery shopping in uvita supermercado

Grocery Shopping in Uvita

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Grocery Shopping in Uvita

When grocery shopping in Uvita, there are two supermarkets and a farmers market to choose from. The supermarkets are:

  1. Supermercado el Pacifico
  2. BM

Both of these grocery stores are located on the east side of Highway 34/Costanera Highway in Uvita.

Based on gossip I've heard (but have not confirmed), both stores are owned by the same person/company, so you would expect the brands and prices to be the same....but not quite.

supermercado del pacifico uvita grocery store
Supermercado del Pacifico, Uvita.
bm supermarket uvita
BM Uvita (under remodel)

Products

Before we get into the unique stores, let's talk about the actual products here in Costa Rica. You may have read that groceries are cheaper in Costa Rica than in the U.S., which is true if you don't have any U.S. brand loyalty. While there are U.S. products here that we love, like Oreos, they come at a price. The price is higher on these products since they are imports and have costs associated with getting them to and into Costa Rice.

Eggs in Costa Rica

eggs in costa rica

Eggs are sold by the weight, typically 1200 colones per kilogram, and are not kept cold as they are in the U.S. Eggs in Costa Rica are not power washed to get rid of salmonella like in the US, so they have their natural coating so they don't have to be in the fridge.

Yogurt in Costa Rica

costa rica yogurtThere is Yoplait yogurt here in Costa Rica and it is sold in plastic containers (buckets), but the local yogurt (Coronado brand) is sold in a jug and lasts about 2 weeks. You will find the yogurt to be more liquid than those found in the U.S.; but great the flavor is good and they have interesting flavors, such as blackberry, peach, lemon, mango, strawberry, etc.

Condiments in Costa Rica

Again there are the U.S. brands of condiments, such as Heinz Ketchup and Mustard, or Hellman's Mayo, but they may not always be the cheapest. Many of the brands, even those U.S. ones came in bags. My guess is that the locals will initially buy the bottle of condiment, but then use the bags to refill the bottle. The bags are significantly cheaper, no matter what brand you choose. However, we've found that using the condiment directly from the bag works just fine.

I'm not sure about you, but I LOVE mayo! (I know some of you may be Miracle Whip fans, but you're going to be out of luck). What I found interesting is that most of the mayo's have lime in them. I was able to find Hellman's brand that had no lime and came in light also.

Laundry Soap in Costa Rica

laundry detergent uvita bm costa rica

Many options of laundry detergent - most of it is sold in large plastic bags.

There are liquid laundry soaps in the stores, but I've found that most locals use the powder, which isn't that unusual in itself; however, the powder comes in bags, which I don't remember seeing in the U.S. (However, I used those awful tide pods that people ate!). If my calculations were right, the powder is cheaper also---but I really like having a nice sturdy container--so will be figuring that out shortly.

Dish Soap in Costa Rica

Similarly, there is liquid dish soap, but most people use the paste. There are different brands, sizes, and fragrances of these dish pastes. I really really like them!!! If I would have not used my dishwasher in the U.S. and done my dishes by hand, I would have loved to have this available. Basically, you just rub your dish rag/scrubber over the top and you pick up a little of the paste and go straight to your dishes. It saves filling the sink with lots of water and dishes seem to go faster (or at least in my head)!

dishsoap costa rica axion
Dish soap cleaning paste

Soups and Spices

Many of the spices and soups come in packets. And many times you'll find you purchase 4 packets at a time, such as our Pico Gallo seasoning.

Alcohol

While maybe becoming more popular in the U.S., we definitely didn't see 1) Smirnoff in cans--usually glass; and 2) mixed drinks in cans. Bamboo brand is mojitos or rum/coke in cans. At one smaller store we saw the BamBoo rum/coke in a liter bottle, which we actually thought was just a type of soda a first!

Both the Uvita BM and the Supermercado have an air conditioned liquor room - it's like a liquor store within a store. The beer is kept in the main part of the store, but liquor, wine and specialty drinks are kept separate.

grocery shopping in uvita bamboo alcohol
Bamboo alcohol
grocery shopping in uvita spices
Spices sold in packets
liquor store uvita bm
Refrigerated liquor area at Uvita BM

Both the BM and the Supermercado have a large variety of liquor and wine to choose from. Wine and liquor are sold in refrigerated portions of the store, in both cases. Although the Uvita store will soon be 100% air conditioned (the only one in the whole area between Palmar Norte and Quepos).

Grocery Prices in Costa Rica

You will find that there are different products available at different stores. For example, we use a Pico de Gallo dry seasoning, which comes in packets of 4---however, in a can at the Supermercado, but not at the BM in Uvita. Surprisingly the BM in Palmar Norte does carry it?!?!

The store brand (we'll call it) for condiments at the Supermercado seems to be "El Angel", but it is "Banquete" at the BM. However many of the brands are the same, such as "DoniaMa" for white sugar; "Bimbo" for bread; or "Dos Pinos" for milk products. Typically you'll find a standard brand, but then one store will carry a different brand than the other store as an alternative.

In an effort to maximize our food budget, we decided to compare prices of our typical groceries between the Supermercado and the BM. What we found is that out of 74 items, 21 (or 28%) of the products were the same brand and price between the two stores. Of the remaining 53 items, approximately half were cheaper at the Supermercado and half cheaper at the BM. However, the price differences weren't significant. For example, Betty Crocker cake mix was .04 colones per gram cheaper at the BM; but Lengena Spaghetti noodles were .08 colones per gram cheaper at the Supermercado.

It should be noted that we did our comparison on the gram, milliliter, and kilogram level (for the most part). You really do

grocery shopping in uvita ketchup

Larger packaging does NOT always mean larger savings.

have to look at prices per measurement, as cheaper overall price doesn't mean cheaper and larger package doesn't always mean cheaper. For example, the Banquete ketchup (photo/left): There is one for 1530 for 610 grams, or 2.51 per gram. The larger size is 2140 for 800 grams, or 2.68 per gram.

Now all of our comparison don't take into consideration any sales that are going on; however, I haven't figured out how to determine if there is a sale before going into the store--like you would in the U.S. There aren't advertisements on TV or in papers, that I've seen (could be, but I haven't seen them. However, it might be helpful to take a laminated copy of the brand, price per measurement when you do go shopping, so you can check as you go.

Be aware of "freebies". Many times you will see a separate (maybe not even related product) that is included with another product. Sometimes it really is free---for example, once I received a 18 oz Pepsi with my 2.5 L Tropical ice tea and the price was the same without the freebie. But many times that may not be the case, so do your due diligence. These are our experiences grocery shopping in Uvita so far.

Store Layouts Are Different

What is interesting about the grocery stores in Costa Rica (at least in Uvita), is the layouts don't always make sense. For example, cheese slices may be found in multiple locations. You may see a case for local versus import brands (or some other weird segregation), so be sure to look around before finalizing your shopping. The layout can make grocery shopping in Uvita challenging, until you learn where everything is located in each store.

Typically, in the U.S. the butter is found with the other dairy products, but in Costa Rica, there is a separate "cooler case" for butter, which is found by the bread--way across the store from the dairy?!?! Or as you can see in the picture below, ice cream is by itself at the front of this store, but all the rest of the frozen food is in the back of the store.

There may even be a specially section, where there is Dijon mustard which is nowhere near the regular mustard.

speciality items uvita grocery
Dijon mustard is nowhere near where the other mustards are located.

Store Qualities

A couple things that set the Supermercado and BM apart are:

  • BM is currently expanding and will be air conditioned by the end of the year.
  • BM has a section for pre-made meals and rotisserie chicken which I haven't seen at the Supermercado
  • The specialty food section was found at the BM, but didn't see anything similar at the Supermercado

However, there are similarities in the stores also:

  • Both have an air conditioned liquor room (not the beer, but wine and liquors)
  • Both stores offer house hold items, such as towels, shoes, pans, plastic storage containers, etc.
  • Both stores have provided a "rebate" when spending over 20 mil. So far I've gotten 2 at the BM and 1 at the Supermercado; which were between 1200-1400 colones. You present the coupon receipt at check-out the next time you shop. Usually valid for 30 days. I haven't found a rhyme to it yet, as sometimes I've spent over the 20 mil and didn't get one.

Uvita Farmers Market (El Mercado)

Finally, the cheapest price for groceries may not be found at a supermarket at all. Uvita's farmers market typically has cheaper produce available than the grocery stores. The Farmers Market also has a wide variety of produce and other items not always available at the grocery stores. It is a good idea to add the Farmers Market to your grocery shopping in Uvita buying routine. Uvita's Farmers Market is every Wednesday, from 8 am - 5 pm, at the Salon Comunal Bahia Ballena.

grocery shopping in uvita farmers market uvita
Uvita's Farmers Market has a large variety of locally grown produce.

In conclusion, this post gives you some ideas around grocery shopping in Uvita, but how you approach it really depends how much time you have, how much time you spend, your budget, and if you really end up saving money by going to multiple stores--we haven't figured that out yet!

Let us know what you think and what your experiences are like. We're new here - and we're still learning!

Amy & Jason

CRLiving@OsaPropertyManagement.com

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alturas wildlife sanctary tour logo

Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary Tour in Dominical

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Earlier this week, we decided to take a Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary Tour, located just a few kilometers north of Uvita right off alturas wildlife sanctuary tour logo smallHighway 34. The sanctuary is a rescue and rehabilitation center for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. While the sanctuary tries to release the animals back into wild; there are many animals that are unable to go back into the wild, so they become permanent residents of the sanctuary.

The sanctuary was originally started up in the mountains above the town of Cortes, which is the town just seven minutes south of our house; however, the sanctuary was not able to continue at that location due to several logistical issues. However, an owner of a hotel had extra land and buildings and inquired on what he could do to help the sanctuary. So in 2014 the sanctuary was moved to it's current location between Dominical and Uvita.

The sanctuary will take in any non-domestic animal. There are five main reasons animals end up at the sanctuary:

  • Animals that have been electrocuted by the power lines
  • Animals who have been hurt on the highway
  • Animals who have been orphaned by the parents due to sickness/deformity
  • Animals who were unintentionally orphaned by people who didn't realize the parents were around (hence the need for more education)
  • Animals that have been previous 'domestic' pets.

Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary Tour Information

Typically tours are 15 people. When we signed up it was just the two us, but by the time we arrived, the tour had 17 people. The guide was extremely knowledgeable and spoke great English. We weren't allowed to go into the vet center, as they don't want any diseases to be transferred or to bother the sick animals. There was also the rehabilitation location and the baby housing, which we couldn't go see. We were only able to see the animals who permanently live in the sanctuary. These are typically animals who have been pets and now don't know how to live in the wild or they have disabilities and wouldn't be able to survive in the wild.

The tour cost: $25/adult ($32 if you want lunch), $15/kids (ages 3-12)

Below are some pictures of the animals we saw:

white faced capuchin monkey
White faced capuchin monkey

Photo below of sloths: 3 year old sloths--actually 2 there hugging each other. When sloths in captivity when they are little, they are given stuffed animals to hug, but because they were put together they hug each other all the time.

Alturas wildlife sanctuary tour sloths

3 year old sloths--actually 2 there hugging each other.

aracari toucan aracari toucan altura wildlife sanctuary
Aracari Toucan

Photo below: Spider monkeys (these two were about 75 years old, which is extremely old for them--so they don't move around munch)

spider monkey alturas wildlife dominical

Spider monkey

Photo below: The Amazon Parrot lived in a hotel for 35+ years and doesn't know that it can actually fly. There is nothing wrong with its wings and is kept in an open area, but it never flies away.

parrot at villas alturas wildlife sanctuary dominical

Amazon Parrot who lived in a hotel for 35+ years.

Below: Baby Scarlet Macaw who couldn't fly due to wing issue and does not eating the natural food, so can't go back into the wild.

macaw alturas wildlife sanctuary

Scarlet macaw (locals call them lapas)

Below is a photo of a Peccary - not related to the wild hog or any pig even though it has a snout like a pig---male was very 'angry'.peccary alturas wildlife sanctuary

Photo below: Scarlet Macaw mate for life and like a real live love story, one of the birds couldn't go back in the wild so the other one stays at the sanctuary, even though it can fly away.

pair of macaws alturas wildlife

Okay this was a white frog that was just on the side of the hotel building wall...not really in the sanctuary, right by here there alturas wildlife sanctuary frogwas a pond that had a large koi fish and at least 5 small baby turtles.

Nocturnal and Other Animals

There were a few nocturnal animals that we weren't able to see; hence no pictures. Those were a porcupine, kinkajou (also called honey bear; small and related to raccoon) and There was also a small American crocodile, but it was hiding in the water as it had just arrived a couple days ago, so couldn't get a clear picture. We did see two squirrels, but we've all seen those so I didn't take a picture! LOL.

Panama Owl Monkey

This animal is native to Panama, but it was illegally brought into Costa Rica over the boarder in a back pack when it was just a baby. Costa Rica was unable to get Panama to respond on how to get it back to them and into the wild there; so now it must stay by itself at the sanctuary since it's not native and also wouldn't know how to live in the wild now after so long. So sad really, since they are very social animals that typically roam in groups of 15+ - so sad for this guy!

Hotel Villas Alturas

I love animals, but besides the animals, the views at this hotel were AMAZING. You'll be able to see the whale's tail down on the shore (well hopefully you can see it!).

Tips about Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary Tour

A few things to note if you're going to visit: you can eat lunch there, but we didn't so can't provide any feedback on that. The volunteers were working towards the end of our tour (approx. 2PM) and it was slightly distracting and annoying as they were loud so it was hard to hear the guide. Not sure when they do the volunteer work (i.e. feed, water, clean the animals), but beware!!!

They do provide umbrellas, as you know it can rain at anytime in Costa Rica! However, they do not provide any insect repellent and there are lots of bugs that bite, so take some with you!

The path to the enclosures is a rock path which is steep both up and down, so ensure you're able to walk if you book the Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary tour.

Volunteer Opportunities

They are always looking for volunteers to help out. In fact, several times volunteering was mentioned, but it was for a full week or, even months at a time. The reason for this is that there is quite a bit of training needed. I did inquire if a local could volunteer and it sounds promising(!), so I'm going to check into that. How amazing would it be to be around these animals once a week! Fingers crossed!

Comparing Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary Tour

This is the second wildlife sanctuary we have visited while in Costa Rica. The other one was the Toucan Sanctuary and Reserve in San Jose. While we liked the Toucan Sanctuary/Reserve in San Jose, we liked this one slightly better. The main reason we like the Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary Tour a bit better was because it was more in the jungle and the animals' typical habitat. The Toucan one was in the middle of a residential neighborhood, which didn't have quite the same feel. However, both tours are well worth visiting and the entry fee is donated to the reserves to help these animals, which is the best part!

Contact Us for more information about this tour or other services

Amy & Jason | CRLiving@osapropertymanagement.com


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ojochal hiking group

Ojochal Waterfall Dreams…

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Last weekend my husband and I spent the weekend at a vacation rental house in Ojochal, that is now managed by Osa Property Management. We spent the weekend with long-time Ojochal resident Abigail (& her three kids) and another rental tenant (Derrick). After doing a majority of our work on Saturday morning, we decided it would be fun to get out of the house and do something. Abigail mentioned something about a waterfall in in the area that she used to go to as a kid, but hadn’t been there in 15+ years, so we decided that the group would go to the waterfall. Abigail couldn’t quite remember where the waterfall was, so she enlisted the help of her brother, Chuy, as he knew where it was. That’s where our Ojochal Waterfall Dreams begin…

ojochal secluded stream
Our walking “trail”

When deciding to go to the waterfall, we said we were going to leave the house around 10, but in Costa Rica time, that’s really 11! While we’re still at the house, Abigail tells us we’ll be leaving in about 10 min. When we come out to leave, she asks us if we were going to swim, since we didn’t have our bathing suits on…swim? I thought we were going to a waterfall. What I found out was that in Costa Rica any time you go to a waterfall, it means you’re going to swim in the little pond underneath the waterfall…that’s what kids do in Costa Rica…so if you’re asked to go to a waterfall–wear you suit and bring a towel (we changed)!!

We headed down the road from the house onto the main road of Ojochal and turned left onto a rocky dirt road right before the sign for the 2nd grocery store. Up and then down the hill, we arrived at a bridge going over a small stream and we park. hmmm??? I’m not seeing the waterfall, but okay he’s a local so he must know. Stay focused on the Ojochal Waterfall Dreams, I tell myself…

As we follow Chuy, he goes down a hill off the side of the bridge down into this stream and starts walking….what have I gotten us into?!?!

ojochal stream rocks
I know the rocks don’t look too big in the photo, but TRUST ME when walking over them, they feel 3 feet tall and are slippery!

We proceed to walk about a mile in the stream, which in most places is only ankle deep; however, there were a few spots where the water gets deeper and the rocks become bigger (and more slippery).

About this point, I’m thinking to myself:
1) This better be an awesome waterfall; and,
2) I wish Abigail would have mentioned that we were going to have to walk in a stream and that we needed to wear good water shoes to get there….(more to that story later).

Along the route, I sprain my ankle in between some of the rocks—and about gave up going the rest of the way. I wish I had been one of the kids who was being carried by Chuy and by Derrick!! My husband fell at least three times (don’t tell him I was counting and it was more than me!!). Thankfully, his camera backpack is waterproof.

ojochal hiking group

Chuy finally stops and all I see is this muddy pond….but guess there was this small entrance to the waterfall. Derrick, Abgail, and the kids all get into the water (my husband does for just a short period).

hiking in ojochal stream
Jason fell a few times, but still had a wonderful time!

The kids are having an amazing time playing in the mud; and Abigail and Derrick swim through the small rock through-way to the waterfall. Chuy and I don’t get in as we didn’t have our suits on.

Eventually the kids come out to have a snack, but are sent back into the water to wash the mud off. LOL. Finally, Derrick comes back and he tells us he walked 20 min past the waterfall, but didn’t see anything else exciting.

So here is the waterfall…

ojochal waterfall dream
My Ojochal Waterfall Dreams…came up a bit short this time.

Not even 5 foot tall!! We hiked through a stream and over huge slippery rocks (trust me they seemed huge!) to find that?! I asked Abigail, “This must have seemed big when you were a kid….”. She finally tells us (while laughing) that this wasn’t the waterfall she was thinking that we were going to…guess there was a miscommunication between her and her brother!! That’s good to see since we’ve had our share of miscommunication with locals as we learn Spanish LOL!!

Hence, this is why she didn’t tell us to bring proper shoes, as she didn’t remember walking in the stream, but on a path….well yeah…probably at the right waterfall. LOL!!

The lessons of this story are:
1) Be prepared for anything (i.e. water shoes, suits, and towels for any waterfall adventure; and,
2) This is the prime example of Pura Vida….we ended up at the completely wrong place, but we were with great people and if you go with the flow you’ll still have fun!

My Ojochal Waterfall Dreams are still alive!

Amy & Jason McIntosh


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ocean view vacation rental aventura

Weekend Getaway in Ojochal at Casa Aventura

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Our Weekend in Ojochal

Last week, Nick, the owner of Osa Property Management asked us to stay Friday and Saturday night at a new property they are going to be managing. In exchange for staying at the property, we had to do a little work. This included taking notes of what needed to be fixed or replaced; along with a blog post of our "Weekend Getaway in Ojochal" ....so here it goes...

Arrival at Casa Aventura

On Friday evening we headed over to the house, which is in Ojochal, only 10 min north of our place in San Buenaventura. About 25 meters off the highway, we turned onto the road that goes past this quaint little French bakery/coffee shop and the Ojochal spa (which is amazing and cheap compared to US standards). This strip mall is right across from the Ojochal police department. I never knew it was there before. We drove maybe 1/2 mile up the mountain to the house. However, when I say up the mountain, the road was nowhere near to the length and height of other mountain roads we've traveled. We really thought it was excellent placement for the house, as it supposedly has ocean views but it's really close to Ojochal town, the highway; and there wasn't this horrendous drive to get there.

We're following Abigail, who works for Osa Property Management, and she pulls through this gated entrance and go up a curved paved driveway. We pull up to this free standing two car garage... not something you typically see in Costa Rica--an actual garage with doors!

After we park, Abigail uses a remote control to open the sliding gate to get into the entrance of the house...not even the house itself, but the entrance, which is a covered staircase to lead you up to the house level (NOTE: The house was built on higher ground to get the amazing views). We walk through the door and immediately see the builder's vision for this house. Take a look at this first view as you walk in the front door...

ocean view ojochal vacation rental aventura

Let's not forget the view if you look behind you as you're walking in the front door...yes, that is jungle mountain, which is the 2nd best view in Costa Rica!

weekend getaway ojochal mountain views

As you walk into the house further, you see a comfortable seating area with the TV and these vaulted ceiling with a huge gourmet kitchen with one of the largest islands I've seen in a house (aside from the one I sold back in the US). And all the stainless steel appliances, which again you don't always get in Costa Rica houses. Most homes in Costa Rica may not have an oven, a dishwasher, or a microwave, so seeing all three was awesome, especially because I was cooking for the weekend! This weekend getaway in Ojochal is just what we needed.

Casa aventura kitchen ojochal

Amazing modern kitchen and island. Not something one sees very often in Costa Rica homes.

So many bedrooms...

We start walking around the property to check it out and it's a HUGE house with 4 bedrooms: 1 master suite with a king bed, another, second suite, and then a room with two queen beds. The master had a shower where you could shower inside or outside, which was cool. But I didn't choose that room...not sure why, but that would have been cool to experience showering kind of like in a balcony with these gorgeous views...but I don't know...maybe I'd be kind of shy also...thinking who might be able to see me...of course they probably wouldn't want to!

So we (as in I) chose the room with the King bed that had an attached bathroom (Suite #2). We left the two queen bed room for Abigail and her three kids to share, seemed to make the most sense for them to stay in that room. Our room had a great big sliding door and little balcony with good views, but can't take a shower on this balcony! lol.

weekend getaway in ojochal casa aventura king suite 2

Our bedroom for our weekend getaway in Ojochal.

In going through the house further, there was a bathroom in the hallway, which would be shared by the general living area and the room with the queen beds (Abigail's). Plus there was an office with two desks, not sure why you'd need two desks and a sleeper-sofa. Then there was the laundry room, which is bigger than my spare bed room with a full washer and dryer with lots of cabinets and shelves for storage.

A guest house too? Wow!

Going out the laundry room there was a small stepping stone path that went to a separate guest house....who has a guest house?!?! and this is a guest house at someone's vacation house...I'm in the wrong business! The guest house had a queen bed and separate bathroom. Beside the guest house was the pool utility room with another bathroom...glad I don't have to clean all those bathrooms!

Coming back into the kitchen/living room looking outside was a huge covered veranda that had a couple couches for sitting and a huge table that would seat 12 for dinner!! I guess if you have a house that can sleep 12, you need to have a place to have dinner for 12! LOL.

weekend getaway in ojochal casa aventura veranda ojochal

Swimming Pool and Jacuzzi

Just past the veranda was the private pool and Jacuzzi with those amazing views. This is what we enjoyed most - spending time relaxing by the pool with friends and enjoying the moment.

aventura ojochal pool

On Friday night we were pretty tired as we got to the house around 8, so I quickly made lose meat hamburgers for my husband and Abigail and the kids. While we went to bed, Abigail stayed up to talk to some workers about the screens in the house.

Time to Work!

On Saturday morning, we started our work! We quickly went back to our house to check on our animals and grab our good camera to take these amazing photos you're seeing. Then once we were back at the house, my husband took the photos while I made an inventory of the kitchen items. This is so the property management company can recommend to the home owner what things they should buy to help the quests who stay in the future. Then we went on to make a list of the things that need to be fixed in the house before being rented to guests, which were mostly light bulbs, which is good! cheap and easy to fix! Also on Saturday morning there were people there looking at the size of the house in order to estimate the paint job that was going to be happening soon.

Saturday evening, Derrick, who is another Osa rental tenant; and a friend of his came to the house just for Saturday night. They stayed in the master suite, which worked out well as they went swimming after dinner when we all went to bed, so they could use the sliding doors to their room that are off the pool. On Saturday night, I enjoyed cooking for everyone; in that awesome kitchen.... I cooked marinated chicken, rice with beans, green beans and carrots, and asparagus---and we all had a few cocktails...so I splurged and bought some amaretto at the store, even if it was more expensive than the airport!

Sunday morning we got up and changed all the bedding, did laundry, and cleaned up the kitchen. We were tired, so we headed home around 10 and just lazed around the rest of day. The house didn't have internet yet and our house didn't have internet when we got home due to the over night storm (typical Costa Rica), so we were without internet from Friday to Monday am. OMG--how did we survive!?!

Overall, it was a great weekend getaway in Ojochal and fun to spend time with Abigail, the kids, and Derrick (and friend), but we did a lot of work also---so maybe a few weeks before we agree to do this again!! lol.

Amy & Jason McIntosh

Weekend getaway in ojochal pinterest


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