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Family Traveling to Mal Pais / Santa Teresa - Hotels?

Northern California
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Family Traveling to Mal Pais / Santa Teresa - Hotels?

We are planning our trip for next spring break to Costa Rica. My husband and I visited CR in 1995 - staying at Lapa Rios on the Oso Peninsula. Our kids are 7 and 10. We thought about returning to Lapa Rios - but it will be $800 per night for the family. So...we are planning to visit Manuel Antionio for 4 nights, then go to Mal Pais / Santa Teresa area for 5 or 6 nights. Any recommendations on hotels? Pool required after a long day surfing and exploring. Does anyone know about Esencia Hotel? Hotel Surf The Place?

My kids are not high maintenance....they love the beach, boogie boarding, swimming in the pool, exploring - and their other favorite spot is Hanalei Bay on Kauai, so I am not worried about the slow pace of the area. My husband is an experienced surfer....so breaks close to where we are staying will be especially nice.

We thought about Tamarindo - but I think it will be too developed for our taste - especially with our visit to Manuel Antonio. Any thoughts?

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Costa Rica
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Central America
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Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
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Manuel Antonio
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Mal Pais Freedom Riding SUP
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Atlanta
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for Jaco, Bocas Town
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1. Re: Family Traveling to Mal Pais / Santa Teresa - Hotels?

Sounds like Mal Pais is perfect for your family.

We stayed at Tropico Latino www.hoteltropicolatino.com We had a 2 bedroom bungalow with a kitchen. It was very nice for Mal Pais. We had 4 different patios, one out each door. Our own private garden with hammocks. The bathroom was very nice and large, again for Mal Pais, and there was also an outdoor shower. The age group sounds like your age. Most of the men their were surfers, but I don't know where they surfed. Surf camp was not too far down from us. There was a wonderful massage bungalow on the beach. The restaurant was good. Staff was wonderful. If you are into Yoga, it is a wonderful place to stay. There is a yoga platform on the beach and classes through out the day, or you can do it on your own. The yoga instructors could also be found handing from the trees with fabric doing acrobats inbetween classes. We were a big group so we also had a large bungalow as well. They are more charming than the 2 bedroom bungalow. The 2 bedroom bungalow is VERY secluded. On the beach there is a wonderful area with hammocks, lounges and chairs all shaded as well. We were a VERY loud bunch and even hosted parties nightly until the wee hours of the morning. The first night we were concerned that we were too loud. The owner of the place and the staff assured us it was no problem. They told us we could be as loud as we wanted to be. Other guests told us they didn't hear us either. The maids were wonderful and very patient since we tended to sleep in. There is a store right across the street from the entrance, so you can fill up the fridge. The stove was a camping type stove. I believe there is only a kitchen in the 2 bedroom. When we left 2 of the people in our group were rebooking for August. You do have to pay cash. We had to wire money to them to hold the reservation. The reception will book any tours you want or need. We asked them for special requests, like private boat tours and such and they would call around for different prices and options for us. The only negative we had was that they only gave us 1 key per bungalow. When you leave the bungalow the door automatically locks. Of course the 1st night at 2 am we locked ourselves out. It took us awhile to find the security guards. They had no way of contacting the management to help. Ultimately they helped us brake in the bungalow and after that we never got locked out again. In the smaller bungalow you needed a key to get in and out of the room. We booked this hotel because it was the nicest we could find in the Mal Pais area. We met many people in Mal Pais that came over to our bungalow and it was also the nicest they had seen in the area. Again Mal Pais is very remote and quiet. Don't expect a 4 star hotel or anything. We were just happy that we had air conditioning, in door plumbing and not a suicide shower. The website gives most of the info you need. Have a good time.

Middletown...
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2. Re: Family Traveling to Mal Pais / Santa Teresa - Hotels?

Surf The Place is great!!! See my review under Mal Pais hotels. Great location. pool and people.

3. Re: Family Traveling to Mal Pais / Santa Teresa - Hotels?

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Atlanta
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for Jaco, Bocas Town
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4. Re: Family Traveling to Mal Pais / Santa Teresa - Hotels?

MontezumaCR,

We used you guys to get from Mal Pais back to Jaco. You all were great, from the driver to Montezuma, to all the fun men helping us on board, to the captain of the speed boat. We have got your cards and recommend you often.

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Jaco
Jaco
Jaco District, Costa Rica
Montezuma
Montezuma
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
White Rock, B.C...
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5. Re: Family Traveling to Mal Pais / Santa Teresa - Hotels?

My husband and I are traveling to CR early December and like you, we were not going to stay anywhere near Tamarindo as it is believed to be a 'gringo' resort area. However, when we booked our arrival night with the Pura Vida Hotel near San Jose, Bernie said we should re-think not going to Tamarindo. He recommended the 'best B&B in all of CR' just south of Tamarindo, so we are going to do that for 2 nights. The B&B is called Villa Alegra. Go to their sight....it sounds wonderful!

Have fun. We are really looking forward to this trip.

SAN DIEGO, CA
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6. Re: Family Traveling to Mal Pais / Santa Teresa - Hotels?

My husband and i just got back from Santa Teresa last week, and we stayed at the Tropico Latino. We can't say enough good things about it! We had the beach front bungalow, #8, and my husband just walked right out the door to the surf. We were supposed to go somewhere else after two days, but thought too much of the Tropico Latino to leave it. Santa Teresa/Mal Pais is gorgeous!

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Santa Teresa
Santa Teresa
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Northern California
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7. Re: Family Traveling to Mal Pais / Santa Teresa - Hotels?

Thanks for the replies. We've booked our trip to stay in Manuel Antonio (Buena Vista/Tulemar) and Tropico Latino in Mal Pais. I also really liked the look of Latitude 10 in Santa Teresa also - but it was very pricey in comparion. The only other thing that I am still thinking about is a visit up to the volcano region - perhaps 1 night at Tabacon (relax in the hot springs). That would have us arriving in San Jose on a Thursday AM at 6:30 AM from the US, driving 3 - 3 1/2 hours - for one night at the volcano. Turning around and doing the same drive back to San Jose the next day - to fly down to Quepos. If we did add this on, we would then have 1 night at the volcano, 4 nights at Manuel Antonio, and 5 nights at Tropico Latino....the last night is at the Grano de Oro in S.J. (we stayed there on our first trip).

Is the volcano view and hot springs worth it? Would it be better to stay 2 nights, then 4 and 4?

Any thoughts? We normally don't like to move a lot - but do want to see the "good stuff".

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Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Santa Teresa
Santa Teresa
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Quepos
Quepos
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
denver
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8. Re: Family Traveling to Mal Pais / Santa Teresa - Hotels?

One night in Arenal is enough.

9. Re: Family Traveling to Mal Pais / Santa Teresa - Hotels?

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