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Best Beach Lodging for Young Children? Kidsafe & Walkable?

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Mountain View, CA
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Best Beach Lodging for Young Children? Kidsafe & Walkable?

We will be visiting the area for two weeks in July and I just can't decide what would be best for our family, with two kids ages 1 and 3. We are looking for a place to stay with a kitchen or kitchenette and at least 2 BR (it's best if there are two large beds available, versus twins or daybeds or something). A restaurant is a plus, and a pool nice but not essential. AC depends on how comfy the rooms are without AC. Porches with hammocks and local howler monkeys are also a plus :-)

Kid-safe is a real bonus, as in no balconies where your kids can plunge off because they are an open design without railings (like the place we stayed at in Mexico in 2006, jeesh that was NOT relaxing). We would like to be able to walk to a few restaurants or something, since I'm not sure we'll be able to make the just-take-your-bike lifestyle work for us with young children in tow.

We want to be a really short walk to the beach and then the beach should be VERY calm. We will always be with them in the water for safety, but I want my older son to feel confident about the water and not terrified, plus I want to be able to be relaxed while we're out there. We had a trip to Samara once on our honeymoon where the water was AMAZINGLY calm. Is there a beach like that in the PV area?

We've gotten the adamant advice from friends to stay at Villas del Caribe at Playa Cocles, but I'm not so sure that the reef beach is where we want to be. I mean is a swimming area or does the reef scratch you up? I'm having a hard time picturing it. At Villas del Caribe we would have to rent two adjacent (not connected) Junior Villas because that's what they have available, plus then we wouldn't have to worry about children falling down the stairs. Any advice on Villas del Caribe for families?

But...I read the Punta Uva is a terrific swimming beach and all reviews I've ever read for Pachamama are compelling plus the owner has been terrific with his correspondence. But I'm worried it will be dark and damp there in the jungle setting, plus the river isn't such a draw since I can't really see putting a one year old in a kayak and it just makes me worried my kid is going to amble off and fall in the river. It seems practical to stay in Punta Uva and just drive up to PV for excitement, but maybe I'm missing something?

I can't get Casa Viva to respond to emails and I'm not sure why...anyone know what's up with them? Of course I would love to stay at the house at Banana Azul but it's not available, bummer.

I've also been reading about Itaita, Aguas Claras, and now a VRBO listing that is north of PV on the black sands beach...and my head is swimming. I think it comes down to which beach is best for little itty bitties and still fun for mom and dad, plotted against which lodging is best suited for a family.

Can anyone point me in the right direction, for a family vacation in the PV area?

Puerto Viejo, Costa...
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1. Re: Best Beach Lodging for Young Children? Kidsafe & Walkable?

Please don't take this the worng way, but this was one the main reasons we do not allow children. This area is just too undeveloped for most children from developed countries.

It is weird to watch... The local kids come over and play with our boogie boards in the surf... I din't give it a second thought. Then North American kids are playing in the water and I have a heart attack worrying about their safety.

All the steps that I would have to do to make our hotel and beach at a safetly level of North American standards for children under 3 would be a major undertaking for small places like ours that are well under the $100 night room rate.

The other reason, I recomend people not to bring children under 3 is that it is almost impossible to protect them from the perils of mother nature in the construction type down here. Almost every room is going to have some mosquitos, ants, gechos, lizards etc etc. Then there is the heat and humidity. I have seen where small children (and their parents) have a hard time dealing with all that and seem to have a constant level of worry.

So, given my observations, and if you are still interested in coming down here, I would absolutely suggest Villas Del Caribe. It is a nicer place with North American style rooms (newly renovated) that are sealed with AC. It has nice grounds and is located in front of one the more safer beaches. Coral front is an absolute must for safe beaches for children. This blocks most waves and currents. There are plenty of sandy pools in amongst the coral for kids to play in. If the thought of your child scraping himself on some coral, then I urge you to re-examine whether this area is appropriate for you.

Seattle, Washington
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2. Re: Best Beach Lodging for Young Children? Kidsafe & Walkable?

As I was reading your post, I was thinking back to all the places I have stayed in the area, and none of them were very kid safe, accept Villas Del Caribe, Its interesting as Colin mentions about children and safety being quite different compared to the US. Something I noticed right away was that children rarely ride in cars with seat belts nor car seats, in fact they are often right on their parents laps..you will also see plenty children riding on the handle bars of their mom or dads bikes and children sitting with their parents on the side of the road as cars are whizzing buy.

TRE: Stairs The room I stayed at in Villas had stairs, living room downstairs bedrooms upstairs. Do they have rooms that are not two stories?

Calmest water will be at Punta Uva, which you can drive to from Villas Caribe.

3. Re: Best Beach Lodging for Young Children? Kidsafe & Walkable?

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