I just got home from Banana Azul the end of October. My wife and I spent a week in the Dolphin room. We really liked the corner room so we had 2 sets of balcony doors. These doors remained open the entire week. I dont know if it was just the time of year for no mosquitos, but we never even used the mosquito net.
I must respond to the reviewer just before me, concerning safety and privacy. We did not even feel the need to use a safe, nor lock any doors, nor close the doors. We felt very safe the entire time we were at Banana Azul, walking around Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo.
Tip for cigar fans, you can buy your cubans in the San Jose airport and bring them into the country. You probably wont find them near Puerto Viejo.
We booked excursions and transportation thru Gecko Trails. A private van/taxi took us between the airport and Banana Azul. This was worth the money, its an excursion just to see everything. Prior to 10am you can usually see all the volcanoes during the drive.
We went with Riqui thru the Jungle south of Manzanillo. He did a great job finding wildlife for us to see. Bats, yellow eyelash vipers, red dart frogs, sloths, howler monkeys and other things.
Thomas took us fishing and then snorkeling around Punta Mona down near Panama. Then his other captian, Pino, met us in Manzanillo and took us fishing a bit longer. Then we went to his place in Puerto Viejo and cooked up some fish. Mackerel and yelllowfin tuna, and he made his famous Rondon with lots of lobster and crab, plantains, coconut milk, and everything else, wow!! After about a case of Imperial we called it a day.
The dinners at Banana Azul are well prepared. We had seabass and snapper dinners. Some other meals we ate in the villages. 400gm lobster meal ran approx 8 USD. We also had some that were larger, but never over about 17 USD for the biggest lobster dinner.
One thing that turned out to be a great time for us, was cheap and took the least amount of time. We went to the Jaguar Rescue Center near Cocles. They ask for 10 USD per person for the tour. Worth twice this much, so go ahead and donate extra. Monkeys will crawl on you, wild cats will enjoy you scratching their chins, and I even got to hold a sloth for a bit.
One thing that was nice about this whole area, drinks and beers are very reasonable. Usually, 3 or less for Imperials or Pilsens and drinks made with real fruit are around 4 bucks.
I could go on and on, but you can go find out for yourself.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Banana Azul hotel is a small and simple hotel north of town on Playa Negra. The small boutique hotel has been created with care using local products and a philosophy that emphasizes relaxation. We cater to adults, 16 years and over. Blooming gardens adorn the property, as does several freely-hanging hammocks, providing the perfect spot for afternoon napping or leisurely reading. A meandering pond inhabited by fish and turtles flows through portions of the property adding a lighter element to the ongoing natural soundtrack of waves crashing against the shoreline. The hotel consists of 22 beautiful guest rooms with private baths, fans (some with A/C), and free WiFi. Most rooms are on the second floor of the main building, and open onto a large veranda with sweeping ocean views and of the garden. Banana Azul offers its guests a quaint restaurant that serves a complimentary filling breakfast, variety of lunch options and refreshing drinks throughout the day and a relaxing three entre dinner option in a romantic atmosphere at night. Caribe Fun Tours is on site to assist with tours and transportation needs and can assist with a variety of package options including visits to the Arenal Volcano, canopy tours, snorkeling trips, and even rafting excursions. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Banana Azul Hotel
- Banana Azul Puerto Viejo
- Hotel Banana Azul Costa Rica/Limon