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Tag Archives: Osa

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monkey manuel antonio national park

Manuel Antonio National Park Tour

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Manuel Antonio National Park

This morning I saw a Facebook post that mentioned all national park entrance fees were waived for the day for National Park Day. So...guess what we did? We decided to go to Manuel Antonio National Park!

Getting to Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio National Park is located in the city of Quepos. Quepos is approximately 58 miles north of where we live in San Buenaventura.  We had to make a stop in Uvita on our way, so we ended up getting to Quepos around 10am.

After getting into Quepos (downtown), you must cross over the mountain to get to the park.  We figured it would take longer today due to the anticipated traffic. We thought there would be a lot of people going to the park since it was free today. However, the traffic wasn't bad.  The road is one lane each way and twists and turns, but every once and awhile there is this amazing view of the ocean.  Otherwise, the view is mostly hotels and restaurants for tourists.

As you get down the other side of the mountain, you run into a public beach, which is really nice (not in high tide though).  The road along the beach reminded us of Myrtle Beach with people walking everywhere, bars, and souvenir shops--but here it is only a couple blocks, not miles like in SC!

After you get on the beach road, which is running parallel to the beach, you take a left hand turn. There was a guy with a sign when we got there, which helped.

Then you will start to see people trying to get you to park your car.  These are not necessarily with the park, so just beware.  We were able to get parking in a huge field not more than a couple blocks from the entrance to Manuel Antonio National Park. It only cost us 2000 colones (less than $4).

manuel antonio national park sign
Sign at entrance to Manuel Antonio National Park

Tour

On our way to the park, we were approached by someone asking if we'd like to take a tour.  He had on a Park shirt, so we think

Boardwalk manuel antonio national park

Boardwalk at Manuel Antonio National Park

he was official, but you can never tell down here!

Since we weren't paying entrance fees (and we've had good tour experiences) we decided to go with a tour.  The tour cost US$20 USD (12,500 colones) each person.  For an additional $10, you can have a private tour.

Due to our circumstances, we did ask if the tour was strenuous/difficult and we were told it would be accommodated by the guide, as necessary.

The tour lasts approximately 1.5 hours and is well WORTH it!  There are platform trails that will lead you around the park, but the tour guide was able to spot animals that we wouldn't have seen ourselves.

So if you are going to see animals, take the tour. If you're going to just enjoy a walk, nature views, and the beach--you don't need a tour.

Entering the Park

Upon entering the park, besides taking your ticket, they do check bags to make sure no unauthorized items are brought in.birds of paradise

Before we left, we looked to see if we could take a picnic in with us.  We found that you could take sandwiches if in paper bags or Tupperware; same with chips and crackers.

However, when we arrived with our crackers in Tupperware, they were not allowed! (We did see people who  must have snuck things into the park, like chips in original bags).

We figured out that we were looking at some tour company site, not the official National Park site, so make sure you find the official site---or just take empty water bottle like we did.  NOTE: they do have a little stand that sells some food, but we didn't get anything but assume prices were probably high!

Tour Guide

Our tour guide was really good--he spoke very good English and communicated the whole tour in both English and Spanish, as we had mixed languages in our tour.

He was amazing at spotting the animals--but also really knowledgeable about them also.  For each animal he told us something about them, which made it that much more interesting.

The guide also carried a scope which allowed closer views of the animals---and he would use the scope to take pictures with your phone if you wanted!

He was very patient and made sure everyone heard his talk, got to look in the scope, and got pictures if they wanted.

Beaches

Within the park there are three beaches; however, we only made it to two of them while we were there.  But the views were spectacular; plenty of room to lay on the sand; water not too far away to walk out.

Our tour ended at beach #3 and that beach had picnic tables to sit and eat at.  The monkeys hang out at this beach and along the early path to beach #2---just remember to not feed them or even eat by them; they have been know to grab food if you're close by!

On our way out, we went a different way and saw beach #2. Both beaches had bathrooms with shower stations to rinse off, which is really nice.

Plus throughout the park are water stations where you can fill a bottle for drinking--and the water doesn't taste too bad!!!

Beach manuel antonio national park
One of the beaches at Manuel Antonio National Park
manuel antonio national park
Beach at Manuel Antonio National Park.

Animals

Below are some of the animals we saw on our tour in the park:

Note: we did see spiders, but you won't see pictures, I'm sure you can guess why!

Iguana--which we've come to think of like squirrels back home--they're everywhere!
Iguana--which we've come to think of like squirrels back home--they're everywhere!
Agouti manuel antonio costa rica
Agouti--which is related to the guinea pig?!?

We even saw a sloth! Check out the sloth video below!

sloth manuel antonio national park

We left the park around 1ish, but stopped to do some shopping in town, so we didn't arrive home until 5pm--we were tired and exhausted, but had an AMAZING day!


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citrus restaurant ojochal dining room

Citrus Restaurant Ojochal

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Citrus Restaurant Ojochal

Citrus Restaurant Ojochal is, arguably, the best fine-dining restaurant in the entire Costa Ballena region. Every year it seems there is a new fine-dining restaurant that opens in the area, offering new and exciting options. In fact, I would suggest, that there isn't a bad fine-dining restaurant in the region. However, even in an increasingly crowded marketplace, Citrus continues to stand above the others.

The reason can best be described in one word: DETAILS

One reason why I prefer Citrus Restaurant Ojochal is that it has been open for nearly as long as I have been visiting and living in Costa Rica - which dates back to 2005. Back in 2005 the only real fine-dining option in Ojochal was Exotica (another amazing restaurant in Ojochal, and some would argue, an even better option than Citrus - we will discuss Exotica in a future post). Marcella Marciano opened Citrus a couple of years later. The exact location has moved between two locations, but the current location is brand new.

Menu & Food

Let start off by saying, "I am NOT a foodie or a food snob." However, I LOVE the food at Citrus Restaurant Ojochal. The menu is unlike any other restaurant in the area, and does not have a clear definition. On the company's Facebook page, they state "Gourmet Mediterranean inspired menu". The Every time I go, I make myself try something new.

There is a lunch menu and a dinner menu (starts at 5 pm). The lunch menu has fewer options and is more affordably priced. The dinner menu is robust with many options to choose from. They also have options for vegans, vegetarians and almost any other dietary custom.

Service at Citrus Restaurant Ojochal

The service at Citrus is always fast, friendly and knowledgeable. They are experienced in providing great service at fine-dining restaurants. Most of them grew up in the area, and if you have a question about either the menu item or the area, they will probably know the answer. After just a couple of visits staff members will remember you and say, "Hi" (even if you are not seated in their area).

My experience is that they all speak Spanish (obviously) and English. I believe several of them may speak French also. This would make sense as the owner is a French-Canadian, and Ojochal is a large French-speaking population from the Quebec area of Canada.

I appreciate that the staff has a low turnover rate, which means that the staff is extremely knowledgeable about the food, drinks and the menu changes. It also shows that there is job satisfaction.

The Chef's focus on both taste and presentation. Annually, Marcella takes several trips to locations in the world to learn new techniques and to get inspiration for new dishes for Citrus.

Desserts, Coffee

Citrus offers a full variety of coffee, lattes, espressos and cappuccinos. During the day, the price for a specialty coffee is less than you will find at a Starbucks in the world. When one considers the ambiance, service and quality, it is the perfect place for a business meeting or to plan the next days' excursions.

The dessert options are a mix of decadent chocolate, fruit and a number of other deliciously 'sinful' options.

Vacation Rentals Nearby

If you're a foodie, or if  you'd like to spend your time in Ojochal within five minutes of Citrus, please consider one of the following homes:

Casa Aventura

Lluvia de Brasas (coming soon!)

Ojochal Suenos


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dominical paved road

Dominical Paved Road

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Dominical Paved Road

There have been fewer rumored infrastructure projects discussed in the Bahia Ballena/Osa region than whether or not there will be a Dominical paved road or if it will stay as gravel. As one can see, the rumors are finally becoming a reality. As of December 2018 there will be a Dominical Paved Road running from the Costanera Highway (Highway 34) down 50 meters into Dominical (past Delicias), turning left (south) at the first intersection, at the only stop sign in town, and then going all the way through Dominical until the ICE tower.

Additionally, the Dominical Paved Road will head north from the stop sign for several hundred meters also.

Dominical Paved Road Spanish

Below is Abigail Vargas explaining the Dominical paved road in Spanish.

Throughout Dominical (both north and south of the stop sign), large, new drainage systems have been built or are in the final stages of completion. All told, this is a very large infrastructural project that is being completed by the Osa Municipality to improve the customer experience of visiting Dominical.

The Dominical Paved Road is not without its opponents, however. There is a group of long-term resident ex-pats who prefer to keep the ruggedness of Dominical and consider the dusty, bumpy, road as Dominical's "charm". I used to work for a company based in Dominical's main street and I can attest that breathing in the dust all day, fighting for precious parking spots on the narrow and undefined road and watching vehicles and buses come dangerously close to hitting pedestrians, will not be missed by many.

As many people know, Dominical is home to some of the world's best surfing, has a great funky and energetic vibe and is a beautiful place to watch the sunset. Due to these amazing benefits, making the road safer for travelers, visitors and the people who work in Dominical, the Dominical paved road will be greatly appreciated.


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Palmar Sur Airport Remodel 2

Palmar Sur Airport Update Dec 2018

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Palmar Sur Airport Update

December 5, 2018

Recently we made several visits over the course of a week to Palmar Sur in order to provide a Palmar Sur airport update. The remodeling project began in August 2018 and involves many wonderful upgrades and updates from the previous airport terminal. The goal for the construction crew, based on several interviews with the Project Manager of the project, is to have the construction phase of the airport completed by December 30, 2018. Watch the video below or watch it on YouTube here.

We are doubtful that all of the work will be done by the end of the calendar year 2018. As of December 1, 2018, the following work still needs to be completed - and this is only a list of what we know about and can make assumptions about:

  • Half the runway and the area near the terminal needs to be paved with more asphalt.
  • Roof needs to be put on (we were told this won't take very long given the design and materials being used for the roof)
  • Internal walls are still being built
  • Skim-coating of 90% of the walls
  • Installation of CAT5 lines, telephony hardware, electrical lines and plug-ins
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Finishing work - which would take at least a week on this type of building
  • Installation of the custom made benches we were told about (with power plug-ins)
  • Perimeter fence needs to be moved to the property boundary
  • Clean-up work
  • Federal inspections by engineers and outside project evaluators

With everything that needs to be completed before opening, along with the Christmas/Holiday season just a couple of weeks away, we don't expect it to be ready anytime before February 1, 2019...at best.

In the short-run, this is definitely an inconvenience, and it is a bit frustrating that they didn't start the construction in May 2018, instead of August. Had they started the work in May, that would have left sufficient time to complete the remodel in time for the high season which is now starting (December 2018).

In the long-run, this is a wonderful upgrade and we will all soon forget the temporary inconvenience this closure has caused. Let us know your thoughts about the Palmar Sur Airport Update.

Also, if you are planning a trip to the Osa/Southern Pacific region of Costa Rica in 2019, or later, be sure to submit a form below to let us know and to let us help you with your trip planning. Additionally, if you are a home or lot owner in the region, contact us for a no-obligation bid on our property management services.


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uvita waterfall tour

Uvita Waterfall

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Uvita Waterfall

Costa Rica, and in particular the Bahia Ballena region, has many beautiful waterfalls. In fact, although there are several well known waterfalls within a short drive or walk from where we live, we are now just beginning to go explore them. Recently we were invited by Abigail Vargas, of Osa Property Management, to go and visit the Uvita Waterfall. Neither Lisa nor I knew where exactly this waterfall was, but when I asked Abigail what the official name of the waterfall was she said,"Uvita Waterfall. Everyone simply calls it that."  Ok! Let's go to the Uvita Waterfall! I've only seen one other waterfall in-person in my life, so I'm hardly an expert, but the sound, the power and the majestic beauty of them is amazing.

Based on Abigail's recommendation, arriving earlier in the day is advised due to the smaller crowds, so we met at 9 am in the parking lot. By "we" I mean myself, Lisa, our amazing Springer Spaniel 'Whiskey', Abigail and Abigail's four year-old son. We paid our admission fee of 1,000 colones ($1.70) per adult and kids are free (Whiskey was also free) and started walking to the waterfall.  We followed the cut-out path through the jungle for a couple of minutes, and with each step the roar of the Uvita Waterfall got louder, before arriving. Luckily for us, when we arrived, there was only one other couple there.

uvita waterfall vert watermark

Activities at Uvita Waterfall

This is the height of the rainy season so most creeks and waterfalls are flowing to capacity and are dangerous to swim in. However, although Uvita Waterfall was flowing powerfully, the pool below was calm and enjoyable to swim in. Lisa brought her GoPro video camera to capture some of our fun during the day (check out video below or click here).

Whiskey ran and enjoyed the cool water.

Abigail was a bit more daring than Lisa and I were...Abigail swam in the natural pool below the falls and jumped off a ledge about three feet over the water. There were other people (the Columbian's) who even climbed higher up the rocks to jump into the water. When I was a younger man I would have definitely climbed up some rocks and jumped in.

Meeting New People

As the day drew on Uvita Waterfall became a melting pot of people including locals, Columbians and Germans. This is very typical of the Bahia Ballena region of Costa Rica - a healthy and fun mix of locals and ex-pats enjoying each other's company. Not knowing Spanish had zero impact on our day and the few times I wanted to say something, and the facial expressions and exaggerated arm gestures didn't work, Abigail translated for us. Having Whiskey (the dog...) with us helped break the ice too, as everyone loves a friendly and happy dog running through and splashing in the water.  We were all eager to meet each other and learn from each other. This just does not happen in the United States too often.

By the way, the pictures don't to the waterfall justice. The roar of the water and surprisingly, the entire day was bug free.

So if you get the chance, talk to Abigail from Osa Property Management or look us up in San Buenas. We would be more than happy to show you Uvita Waterfall (really, that's the official name) and other amazing places nearby!! Pura vida!!

Lisa & Scott Norman

lisa and scott norman


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palmar sur airport remodel photo

Palmar Sur Airport Remodel Update October 2018

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Palmar Sur Airport Remodel Update

We recently visited the Palmar Sur Airport Remodel project currently taking place at this popular airport for travelers vising the Osa Peninsula and nearby towns of Sierpe, Chontales, San Buenas, Ojochal, Uvita and Dominical. The following video provides an update and some great information about the Palmar Sur Airport remodel.

Click on the photo below to watch or view it on our YouTube Channel.

As mentioned in the video, everyone here at Osa Property Management is hoping that the airport is completed with the remodel by the end of calendar year 2018.

We are recommending to our scheduled guests to have a back-up plan in place if their plans include arriving into San Jose's Juan Santamaria's airport first, and planning on flying down to Palmar Sur. We can help with securing a car rental in San Jose, or hiring a private shuttle for you and your travel companions.

Once the Palmar Sur Airport Remodel is completed, this regional airport will be one of the nicest in the country. Palmar Sur serves travelers from Sierpe, Rio Claro, Chontales, San Buenas, Ojochal, Uvita and Dominical.


Experience in the Area

Our team has decades of collective experience in protecting and managing real estate assets in the Southern Pacific region of Costa Rica, particularly in Uvita, Ojochal, Tres Rios, San Buenaventura, Palmar Norte.

We focus on:

We ensure our clients, whether renting a home, or buying Costa Rica real estate to develop, have a positive experience.

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Rio Lindo #bar and #restaurant in #Dominical #CostaRica is a great place to have pizza, play darts, meet new people or have a drink. #restaurantdesign #palm #palmtree #restaurante #travel #explore
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Roca Verde (green rock) #restaurant and #bar in #dominical is one of the oldest establishments in the area. Located south of Dominical and wedged between the Costanera Highway and essentially a private beach, it is a great place to relax and have a meal or a drink. #restaurantdesign #costarica #puravida #relax #funky #travel
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