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“Great Vacation with Thomas and Vicky”

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Bahia Rica Fishing and Kayak Lodge
Ranked #1 of 2 Paquera B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 February 2013

My wife and I were looking for a Costa Rican experience that would give us exposure to both the natural beauty Costa Rica offers and a true picture of the "pura vida" that is part of the lives of the native Costa Ricans. While searching the internet, I found the Bahia Rica web site and its offer for a very reasonably priced vacation that was an intriguing mix of kayaking and learning Spanish. We decided to go with this interesting mix, and we could not have made a better choice.
I had some Spanish in high school and college (40 years ago) and my wife, Eva, was a beginner. So a class with two students at different levels of speaking ability would be a challenge for any teacher. But Vicky (Vigdis) and Marjorie (a native Costa Rican) did an amazing job of making the learning experience substantial and fun for both of us. Our classroom, under the canopy of trees next to the sea, was clearly the most beautiful classroom either of us had ever experienced. How many classrooms are shared with howler monkeys, a raccoon, hummingbirds, and colorful butterflies? We got many chances to practice our Spanish outside the classroom. We spent an afternoon walking around the town of Paquera with Marjorie, practicing Spanish the entire time. We also went on kayaking adventures with our Costa Rican guide, Juan Jose. Although he spoke only minimal English, he was able to communicate quite effectively with us.
My wife and I are no spring chickens, and we had no kayaking experience. But we were able to go on 4-hour kayaking adventures to both a mangrove swamp and to an island with a colony of spider monkeys. Our guide, Juan Jose, was patient, thoughtful, and a lot of fun. Our time with the spider monkeys left us with some unforgettable memories (see the pictures).
This vacation is not for the faint of heart. There are 258 steps between the open porch setting where we had our meals and our lodging up the hill nestled in the jungle canopy. We shared the lodge with a small group of sports fisherman. There was one shared bathroom. So if you are looking for a luxury resort experience, you might want to look further. But the beauty of the setting was incredible, and the facilities were clean and comfortable. And the care for us was beyond our expectations.
We enjoyed our meals on an open porch dining area below, where Vicky prepared excellent meals. She took extra efforts to accommodate our sensitivities to gluten, and every meal was both nutritious and delicious. Perhaps the best part of every meal was the camaraderie we shared. The fisherman would describe their exciting adventures with Thomas. We would look at pictures they took of some of the amazing fish they caught and released. Because we were a small group, we got a chance to interact more with each other. One night, Thomas and the fishermen took us to a restaurant on the other side of the peninsula. We were glad that we were not the ones driving those roads. But the restaurant setting high on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean was memorable.
Vicky and Thomas are both originally from Norway. A marine biologist, Thomas has a deep understanding and respect for the fish he helps catch (and release). Meals on the porch always involved an interesting mix of English, Spanish, Norwegian, and French. (The wife of a Canadian guest often conversed with Eva in French). Vicky was an amazing multitasker, able to organize excursions, prepare meals, and carry on relaxing conversations all at the same time. Both Vicky and Thomas worked very hard (and successfully) to make our experience and the experience of the other guests the "pura vida" that we will remember as long as our minds are still lumping on all 4 cylinders.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank DWinstonBrown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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82 - 88 of 132 reviews

Reviewed 22 January 2013

Check out Bahia Rica 3 day kayaktrip on Bahia Rica home page! We had a wonderful trip with Vigdis as an excellent guide, full of fun and knowledge. Wonderful beaches, wildlife, islands and company. The rest of the stay at this lovely, friendly place with hosts Thomas and Vigdis also met all our expectations of the ultimate holidaydream away from everyday life. Lovely food too! A holiday to remember.
Nina Cheetham

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Nina C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2013

We had a day between Arenal and Jaco and four of us were trying to figure out what to do. I was always fascinated by bio-luminescence and was googling such tours near Jaco and came across Bahia rica kayak and fishing lodge. I called them up and talked to Vicky and book night kayak tour and one night stay for four of us, two rooms. She gave us very good price.

My first impression of the place was great. It was right in the woods away from any buzz. The experience of night kayaking was even more phenomenal. It was close to full moon night and the moon was reflecting off of the bay which was a sight to catch. The calmness of the water in the silence of the night was just breathtaking. And inspite of it bring a bright light we were able to see algae lit up as we kayak through running our hands across the water. We had to do little exploring to find the best spots for algae to lit up and we did find some decent spots.

On the way back we rich the shore, to our surprise, there was plenty of bio-luminescence we got to observe. As we got off the kayak the small waves hitting the shore turned into lighting waves and I was so excited that I did little splashing around with my feet and each time there was brilliant light.

And even though we had asked them for dinner last minute Thomas had got a fantastic catch-of-the-day, mahi mahi, prepared for us. It was heavenly and so was the morning breakfast.

There were bit of mosquitoes around unfortunately at our lodge but the entire experience was so fantastic that I had forgotten about it.

I highly recommend this if you are around nicoya bay. You will come back with an experience that you will never forget.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Kimish P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Icedros, Owner at Bahia Rica Fishing and Kayak Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 9 January 2013

Thanks for your review.
We are really happy that you loved the night kayaking with us - and that it was worth your while to make the detour out to the Nicoya Peninsula for this experience.

Warm greetings from
Thomas and Vigdis
Bahia Rica

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Reviewed 23 December 2012

We contacted Thomas and Vicky and asked if they would pick us up in Puntarenas where our cruise ship would dock. They agreed and we had a half day of fun with them as we fished for Black Tuna and Roosterfish. The Tuna were plentiful and gave us a good fight. We went back to the Lodge for a wonderful lunch prepared by Vicky and then they returned us to the ship. This day was so enjoyable in no small part because of Thomas and Vicky who are the ultimate hosts. We did not stay at the lodge but if you want a "real" experience of Costa Rica this would be the place.

Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
1  Thank a5lson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Icedros, Owner at Bahia Rica Fishing and Kayak Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 9 January 2013

Thank you for your review!
It was a blast taking you out fishing, I think we enjoyed it as much as you.

We hope the rest of your cruise was delightful.

Warm regards
Thomas and Vigdis
Bahia Rica

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Reviewed 31 March 2012

We spent two nights at the Bahia Rica in between Manuel Antonio and Monteverde/Arenal, both pretty touristy areas. Can't say enough good things about this place. It was such a welcome change and easily the highlight of our trip! Vigdis and Thomas were excellent hosts and we really enjoyed the personal atmosphere of staying at a smaller place. We also loved the menagerie of animals that came to visit us at mealtimes--birds, monkeys, and most excitingly, a pygmy skunk!

The lodge was up on a hill, with beautiful wood construction. Perfect level of rustic, clean and well-maintained with good mattresses and pillows. The bathroom is open to the forest--taking a shower while watching howler monkeys crawl through the trees was quite the experience! The food was homemade and delicious (especially Norwegian bread at breakfast!) and they were very accommodating of vegetarian diets. Great activities as well; they worked around our schedule to design things that would work for us. Prices were all reasonable, too. We only wish we could have stayed longer!! Will definitely be back here next time we make it to Costa Rica. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank darasa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Icedros, Owner at Bahia Rica Fishing and Kayak Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 3 April 2012

Dear Friends,
thank you for your kind words. We are happy to know you had a great time with us and enjoy the Bahia Rica experience. Its all about relaxing, watching the nature and animals around and having a great time on the water with kayaking, fishing or just a boat tour !!. We hope to see back soon. Best regards.
post@bahiarica.com

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Reviewed 9 January 2012

The lodge was perfect for my wife, myself, and the couple we were vacationing with. The other couple had never been to Costa Rica. We'd just spent two nights in the Monteverde area and spent two nights here before continuing on to Samara. Thomas and Vicki were perfect hosts, making sure there were plans A & B for our adventures in the area depending on the weather and time of day. It was about 250 steps down (and up) from our rooms to the beachfront where we would access water transportation and their outdoor "porch" which was the dining, cooking, and visiting area so make sure you are in reasonable shape and bring a flashlight. The rooms we had were two on an upper floor that also had a large porch with seats, hammock, candles, lights, and reading material. In the morning we were visited by howler monkeys and at night a few bats. Breakfast and dinner were excellent for both the food and the conversation as Thomas and Vicki speak fluent English and Spanish - as well as their native tongue.

Room Tip: There is one room on the ground floor of the lodge with a community kitchen across from it. If you...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MissKahn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Icedros, Owner at Bahia Rica Fishing and Kayak Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 12 April 2012

Dear Miss Kahn!
Thanks for taking the time to share your experience of Bahia Rica. We are really happy you enjoyed your time here. As we say; if you want a different experience in Costa Rica come to Bahia Rica!

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Reviewed 21 November 2011

The Lodge runned by Vigdis and Thomas is very special and is situated in a place that makes you feel you are not caught in any "tourist-trap". It's fantastic to live in the wildlife and wake up every morning with monkeys dancing in the trees just outside your beedroom. Thomas and Vigdis make freshly homemade food every day. All the food that was served I will give topnotch score. The rooms are clean and comfortable. The service...? I don't even know how to start describing it. It was more than great! They make you feel so welcome and special. It's so "down-to-earth" atmosphere in this Lodge. And they give you excellent advice on how to make your holiday and your stay become more than you ever expected. I will definitly go back again many times. This is the best way to experience Costa Rica!

  • Stayed: October 2011
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3  Thank Kristin1977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bahia Rica Fishing and Kayak Lodge

Address: Punta Cuchillo, Paquera 60111, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Paquera
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Paquera
Price Range: £43 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At Bahia Rica you will be staying in big comfortable rooms in a real jungle setting. The place is perfect for relaxing in a hammock and enjoying the jungle sounds, or you can get some exercise by taking a kayak tour or walking up along the jungle paths. A relaxed atmosphere is surrounding Bahia Rica, with common areas for eating and socializing. Bahia Rica is at Punta Cuchillo on Costa Rica’s west coast. The place is perfect for people who enjoy a calm atmosphere away from the main tourist trails. We offer sport fishing, kayak and boat tours to several beautiful destinations in the Nicoya gulf. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Bahia Rica Fishing And Kayak Lodge Costa Rica/Paquera

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