Costa Rica abounds in unique Natural Areas
(click here for larger image)
peaceful Costa Rica is the southernmost country in Central America with
an immense range of climates, flora and fauna of particular interest to
naturalists from around the world.
1948 Costa Rica voted to abolish its army and today proudly spends 60%
of its budget on social services. It boasts a high level of sanitation
and education, and is one of the most literate nations on earth.
committed to ecology, Costa Rica has set aside nearly 30% of its land
as national parks or as private reserves.
has long, sandy beaches on both coasts which are ideal for an active or
relaxing vacation. Costa Rica is an excellent family destination. Once
you have savored the misty mountains, tropical rainforests, and warm,
friendly "Ticos," you will wonder why you stayed away so long!
have a variety of transportation modes in order to accommodate every budget.
Itineraries are quoted using the basic shuttle service, with supplemental
rates quoted for upgrades to semi-private and private services.
Comfortable, air-conditioned, late-model vehicles
transport visitors between most destinations. The departures are usually
in the mornings, and travelers are picked up and dropped off at their
hotels of choice, and are assisted by bilingual attendants. The shuttle
service is operated by an independent company, all departures are guaranteed,
and vehicles vary from mini-vans, micro-buses or 40 passenger motorcoaches,
depending on group size.
The Semi-Private Transfer Service is an economical
alternative to the shuttle service and is a privately operated service
of our own. The bilingual drivers are experienced and courteous, but they
are not guides. All departures are guaranteed, and the vehicle size may
vary from late-model cars or vans to micro-buses. Pick-ups and drop-offs
are limited to a maximum of three each, which will also limit the group
size. Most departures are in the mornings, with a few exceptions.
those who desire personalized service and flexible schedules, we offer
transportation all around Costa Rica via private four-wheel-drive vehicles
(depending on the number of passengers) with expert, bilingual drivers.
Our drivers are experienced and courteous, but they are not trained guides,
and are not expected to perform guide services. Quotes for private guide
services, in addition to the drivers, are available upon request.
We can quote a self-drive program to Costa Rica
upon request. Vehicles will be dropped off and picked up at the hotels,
and our representatives will review all contracts and paperwork with the
the vehicle is rented on arrival day, or dropped off on departure day,
our representative will assist passengers at the airports. All of the
vehicles are four-wheel-drive with manual or automatic transmissions.
However, this mode of travel is not for everyone. Driving conditions in
Costa Rica are not ideal, and many roads are not paved. Even where roads
are paved, the surface is not always well maintained. Some say that the
signage in Costa Rica is poor, whereas we maintain that something that
does not exist cannot be good or bad. Once outside of the major urban
and tourist areas, most Ticos do not speak English, and trying
to get driving instructions can be challenging. Finally, the following
destinations in Costa Rica are not driveable: Tortuguero National Park,
Nicoya and Osa Peninsulas.
areas of Costa Rica are served by air, and are indicated with the airplane
icon on the map above. Certain destinations, such as the Nicoya and Osa
Peninsulas are technically accessible by road, but the roads are in such
bad conditons that we have packaged them as fly-in destinations only.
Checked luggage is restricted to 25 pounds per person.
in 1738 San Jose is the capital and largest city of Costa Rica,
and is at the heart of the sprawling Gran Area Metropolitana located
in the Central Valley. San Jose is the seat of national government,
the focal point of political and economic activity. The city lies
at a mean elevation of 3800 feet above sea level, and enjoys a stable
climate throughout the year. Because of its elevation San Jose is
usually 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit though it can get chilly at
night. The rainy season is from mid-April through December, with
September and October being the rainiest months.
|Visit the picturesque
towns in the highlands
surrounding San Jose, such as Cartago, the
colonial capital of Costa Rica.
though the international airport near Liberia on the northern Pacific
coast has greatly expanded its capacity in the last year, San Jose,
via the Juan Santamaria airport is still where most people arrive.
is ringed by lush green mountains, valleys, and quaint towns. The
population of this city is probably half of the whole country and
contains the University of Costa Rica, the US' and other embassies
and many museums, cultural venues, hotels, markets, etc. Our downtown
hotel selections are in the Amon District, also conveniently located
for the National Museum and many shops, and approximately 30-45
minutes form the airport, depending on the traffic. Our hotel selections
outside of San Jose in the central valley are no more than 15 minutes
from the airport. Besides the San Jose City Tour, there are many
fun and interesting excursions around San Jose, such as the Butterfly
Farm, Britt Coffee Plantation, Poas and Arenal Volcanoes and La
Paz Waterfall Gardens, just to name a few. Many visitors to San
Jose are pleasantly surprised with the variety and sophistication
of the cuisine and many outstanding dining options.
San Jose Hotels
|Quality Hotel Real
Quality Hotel Real is conveniently located in the heart of the new business district of San Jose, in front of the Business Center Forum, and within 15 minutes of Juan Santa María International Airport - SJO. The Multiplaza Mall, the biggest mall in Costa Rica, is just five minutes away, while one of the finest golf courses, Valle del Sol, is three minutes away. The hotel's 154 guest rooms, including 16 extended-stay rooms, are all thoughtfully appointed and feature an array of modern amenities.
Park Plaza Hotel
Amon Park Plaza is a comfortable hotel
situated in the historic district of Amon in San Jose. It features
90 rooms and suites equipped with air-conditioning, complete bathroom,
mini-bar, and cable TV. The hotel also offers restaurant, two bars,
casino, gift shops, parking, and conference rooms.
by Marriott is a hotel that surrounds travelers with conveniences
that make business and pleasure travel easy. The hotel is conveniently
located five minutes from downtown San Jose next to a shopping/dining
and nightlife plaza, close to most industrial parks and international
companies and nearby Costa Rica attractions such as volcanoes, rainforests
and coffee tours. This warm and inviting hotel is tastefully decorated
in colonial decor reflecting Costa Rica's distinctive cultural heritage.
The Doubletree Cariari sits on 134
acres of lush landscaped grounds and gardens. The hotel has 220 oversized
guest rooms, including 24 suites. In additon to three restaurants:
Las Tejas Coffee Shop, poolside Los Mariscos Restaurant-Bar, and Los
Vitrales specializing in international and Northern Italian cuisine,
there is also an 18-hole golf course designed by George Fazio. Other
facilities and services include: Casino, nine tennis courts, business
center, gift shop, 24-hour room service, health club with olympic
pool, sauna, spa, beauty parlor, babysitting, laundry and valet service,
children's playground, currency exchange, and car rental desk.
|Deluxe Plus Class
Marriott San Jose is a colonial-style deluxe property situated on
a 30-acre coffee plantation on the outskirts of San Jose. It features
252 elegant, spacious rooms and suites appointed with colonial motifs
and equipped with air-conditioning, complete bathroom with hair dryer
and bathrobes, mini-bar, cable TV, and balcony. The hotel also offers
three restaurants, two bars, 24-hour room service, gourmet coffee
house, two swimming pools, garden Jacuzzi, health club, three tennis
courts, driving range and golf pro shop, boutiques, beauty salon,
chapel, valet parking, free shuttle to downtown, and conference rooms.
Finca Rosa Blanca Country Inn is situated
on ten lush acres of exotic tropical flora above Costa Rica's beautiful
Central Valley. Surrounded by towering Higuerón trees, the
Inn offers spectacular views of volcanoes, cloud forests and coffee
plantations. The Rosa Blanca Master Suite is a stunning duplex, with
the sleeping quarters occupying a tower 40 feet above the ground with
a 360-degree view of the surrounding verdant countryside. In addition,
the Inn offers three elegant, yet whimsical junior suites, two spacious
villas, and three uniquely appointed double rooms, each with its own
Xandari Plantation Resort & Spa is a deluxe, secluded property
situated on a coffee plantation with stunning views of the Central
Valley, yet only 15 minutes from downtown San Jose. Nineteen elegant
and unique villas feature custom-designed furniture, original works
of art, large panoramic view terraces, and walled-in patios. The hotel
also offers international restaurant, bar, two swimming pools, gym,
massage service, library, and extensive grounds with scenic trails
and dramatic waterfalls.
Xandari Prima Villa
Prima Villas are spacious villas of approximately 500 sq.
ft in a four-plex building. Most Prima Villas have two full beds,
and two Prima Villas have king beds. All Prima Villas have private
terraces with panoramic views of the Central Valley, an enclosed
terrace on the entry side of the villa, and a bar/kitchenette with
a small refrigerator.
Xandari Prima Plus Villa
Prima Plus Villas are similar to
the Prima Villas (500 sq. ft) but they are individual buildings.
In addition to large, private view terraces, they have private gardens
on the side and in the rear, large, double-sink bathrooms opening
to the gardens, and additional storage space. They also have a built-in
sofa that can be used as an extra bed. An electric cart is available
for transportation uphill 200 meters to the main building, restaurant
and swimming pools (does not apply for villa # 20 which is near
the west pool area). Note: The Allamanda (yellow trumpet flower)
Villa #20 is in an individual building with a dramatic palm roof.
Xandari Ultra Villa
Ultra Villas have a king-bedded sleeping
alcove with a Central Valley view on one side and a private garden
on the other side. All have private terraces with panoramic views
of the Central Valley, an enclosed terrace on the entry side of
the villa, and a bar/kitchenette with a small refrigerator.
Xandari Ultra Plus Villa
Ultra Plus Villas are the newest villas and are approximately 820
sq. ft., located near the Spa Village. They have a king-bedded master
bedroom with a Roman bath overlooking a private garden, as well
as a separate shower. The living room has a bar, kitchenette, spacious
balcony and two comfortable sofa beds that will sleep an additional
two people. An electric cart is available for transportation the
200 meters uphill to the main building, restaurant and pools.
Located outside San Jose Metropolitan area.
Lodge is located on the grounds of La
Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park and includes use of all the
amenities of the park. The rooms are designed with unique
features such as oversized balconies, Jacuzzi tubs, waterfall showers
and stone fireplaces. You will experience the true essence of
the rainforest through each of the rooms. Guests will wake
up in the rainforest to the sound of waterfalls rather than the
city noise of San Jose. The
trip to/from Arenal is via paved road all the way to La Fortuna and
the drive is less than two hours. The very scenic drive to/from San
Jose airport is less than one hour.
Rooms: These 650 sq. ft. rooms feature a king-size canopy bed
facing a grand gas fireplace. The interior design of the room is only
surpassed by the view from the balcony of the La
Paz River Valley and the Poas Volcano.
The best way to enjoy the view is from the Jacuzzi tub or swaying in
the hammock on the balcony. The bathroom has an oversized
mosaic tiled tub and elaborate
waterfall shower. There
is also satellite TV, stereo system, refrigerator, and coffeemaker.
Rooms: For those who want to feel the rainforest even when they
are inside, this is the room! This 800 square foot room has an unbelievable
garden bathroom designed for the true nature lover. A seven-foot
waterfall comes to life as you are soaking in the Jacuzzi tub
in the garden. There is also a garden shower and indoor shower. All
of this is surrounded by beautiful indoor
landscaping and illuminated by a skylight. The room also has
a Jacuzzi tub and hammock on the balcony for those picture-perfect
star-gazing nights. A grand gas fireplace to view from the king-size
canopy bed makes the room complete.