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Poor Man's Paradise
Ranked #29 of 42 Hotels in Osa Peninsula
Washington, DC
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“LOVED IT!”
Reviewed 7 December 2008

We stayed at Poor Man's Paradise for five nights and loved every minute of it! We booked the trip as a package through Sunny Travel and it included five nights, all meals, three tours, and a taxi and boat ride to and from the Drake Bay airport all for a very reasonable price.

This place is the most remote place I have ever been to and that is the reason I wanted to go there. Do not stay here if you want modern accomodations and creature comforts. It is remote, it is basic, there is no a/c, limited electricity, and no hot water. BUT, you will have an experience that you could not get other places. It is all nature, virtually no tourism.

During our time on the property and on the tours we took, I saw sea turtles, dolphins, whales, toucans, maccaws, various other birds, howler monkeys, white faced monkeys, iguanas, hermit crabs, frogs, crocodiles, a tapir, and probably several more things I am forgetting. The tours were great. We did Cano Island, Sirena/Corcovado rainforest hike, dolphin watching tour, and we rented horses on the property for $10/hour! The guides (we had Samuel and Consuelo) were awesome, very friendly and knowledgeable.

In my experience, the staff was very nice. One night at the bar, I kept smelling a wonderful flower and didn't know what it was. The bartender stopped what he was doing to show me what/where it was coming from (ylang ylang it turns out). The food was good and at some times (red snapper for one dinner) great. The rooms are basic, but clean. The beach is pristine. The sunsets are amazing. If I make it back to Costa Rica, I would definitely stay here again.

Some of the European guests didn't seem to fond of Americans, so I would suggest going with your own group of family or friends. But that's not PMP's fault. I loved it. It was the best part of our trip.

  • Liked — Staff, beach, nature
  • Disliked — It is HUMID. COLD showers.
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Katrina K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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116 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Berkeley CA
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2008

With a sweeping beach and a smattering of cabins in beautiful gardens, Poor Mans Paradise was a memorable spot during our trip. The ride to the hotel was by boat from Sierpe and was a very pleasant way to "enter paradise", amidst monkeys and birds along the river banks.

We were immediately greeted by staff and shown to the dining hall for lunch. After we'd eaten, we were given a clear, personalized explanation of the available activities and the facilities. During our stay, we spent some time in one of the upstairs cabins which had a private bathroom and a hammock outside. Electricity goes out after 9 but the room was comfortable and clean. The other nights we spent on the beach in the tents that are set up with beds inside. They were less spacious and the sound of the waves woke me up at night because of the proximity but overall it was very romantic to be in the tent on the beach and a good deal ($45).

We went on a guided tour in Corcovado, the shorter of the two with a very knowledgeable guide who did her best to find us animals even on a day where they all seemed to be hibernating. We also took advantage of the nearby snorkel spot 20 minutes down the beach in a little bay.

The staff was ridiculously nice to us during the whole visit and very generously gave us some discounts when we paid at the end. Unlike another review I've read, they absolutely do accept credit cards and travelers checks. The bar was a really intimate and comfortable place to hang out in the evenings and play cards/dominos.

There is no internet so get used to that idea before you go. And, I hate to have to taint my review but the food was mediocre at its best. That is to say, do not try the french toast because it is soggy and be prepared for very bland tasting food. If you are addicted to chocolate, bring your own because there is none. And the mixed drinks in the bar were abhorrent. The pina colada and white russian especially. If you order Baileys, make sure thats what you get because after tasting the bizzare drink that I was served, I asked to see the bottle and found that it was "Molly's Irish Cream"...not the same thing at all!!

I recommend Poor Man's Paradise as a nice place to rest and enjoy Drakes Bay and hope that they can improve the food so that the next review will be the 5 stars they deserve.

  • Liked — The familiar feeling, the attentive service, the pretty location
  • Disliked — The food and the mixed drinks
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank LadyL99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mechanicsville, Maryland
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 February 2008

My husband and I just came back from Poor Man's Paradise (PMP). We had a wonderful time and hopefully we will return soon.

I booked our trip by contacting PMP through their website. A travel agent with Sunny Travels responded and handled everything. She reserved us a hotel for our first night in San Jose. We stayed at Brilla Del Sol. It was perfect for staying overnight (room and bathroom were nice and we had a good breakfast -- pick up from the airport, breakfast and drop off at the local airport were included).
She also took care of our round-trip tickets with Sansa airlines (I just had to tell her when we wanted to fly), the reservations for a taxi cab from Palmar Sur to Sierpe and our package with PMP (the excursion vouchers and the round-trip boat fares). She charged our credit card -- because we booked so early, she didn't charge the trip until a few months later. All communications were done by email and faxes. We had no problems with our travels.

We arrived at Palmar Sur airport, where our taxi cab driver was waiting for us. He took us to Sierpe where we hoped on a boat to PMP. They put everyone's bag in large trash bags to protect them -- I think
they would have been fine without the bags but better safe than sorry.
The boat ride lasted about 2hrs, then again it went by so quickly that I am not sure. It is a bit rough when you reach the Pacific, but it all went smoothly. PMP has different size boats, and if in one of the bigger ones, you need to switch to the small one once you arrive in front of PMP. In the small boat, you then get to experience the ride to the beach -- as described by other guests before. SInce the waves can be pretty big and due to the steep incline of the beach (at least that is my explanation as to why they do it this way), the boat comes onto the beach full speed. First time is quite impressive, but you get used to it.

Katia meets everyone at the beach and provides general info to all new guests. Meals are at a set time (unless you are on an excursion or previously asked for sandwiches), etc. Katia was a sweetheart and was always available whenever one of the guests needed something. She organizes the excursions and provides all needed information the night before after dinner. She speaks German, English and Spanish.

We had requested an ocean front cabin, which we got. The ocean front cabins are actually a little more inland than we thought, but you still get the breeze. Since we were given a first floor room, we simply asked if a 2nd floor room was available. We went on a hike and returned to find that they had switched us to another cabin. It was great! It was only our preference to be on the 2nd floor. The first room we had was fine. We loved the porch and especially the hammock (I just wished there were two). The inside is fully screened and breezy. The room is large and the bed was comfortable. Bathroom was small, but worked very well. The water is obviously not heated, and the first shower is quite refreshing -- again, you get used to it. Since the ocean front cabins are at the bottom of the "water system", you may find yourself in the shower with no water -- just be patient, whoever is using the water will stop soon, and the water will come back. And yes, the showerhead is a PVC pipe -- water comes out just fine!

Food was good -- Conzuelo (daughter of the owner of the restaurant; she is also a great tour guide) made the best grilled ham and cheese I have eaten in a while. She even bake my husband a banana cake for his birthday. Youcan request vegetarian meals, etc -- you just have to let Katia know at the start of your stay what you cannot eat.

All staff there were friendly and professional. No complaints.

The excursions (we did the San Pedrillo/Corcovado National Park hike and Cano Island snorkeling) were great. We saw white-faced capuchin, howler and spider monkeys, a tayra, fresh water crocodile, etc. Conzuelo was our guide and we even went of fthe paths -- can't always stay on them if you want to see the fauna. Rebeca was our snorkeling guide -- we saw white-tipped reef sharks, tons of fish (parrot, puffers, "Scar" from Finding Nemo, and even a Hawksbill sea turtle).

We also hiked on our own around the lodge. We went to the snorkeling beach (about 30 min hike) and also to the fresh water river (maybe an 1hr further). We had no problems. I returned on the same path on my own (well with Reef one of the dogs from PMP).

The beach in front of PMP is a little rough. If you are a strong swimmer, you should be okay. I swam and just got out when I had enough -- it is just a little difficult getting out because of the waves pulling you out and pushing you in ... worst that can happen is end up on the beach with pebbles in your swimsuit. My husband loves to body surf and beached himself a few times. He was fine =)

Overall, my husband and I had a wonderful time and had none of the problems mentioned in the reviews I read.

As others have written -- know where you are going .. It is a 2hr boat ride, realize that this is a place where you go when you want to escape.

  • Liked — Setting, wildlife, staff
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank vertluisant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colorado
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2008

PMP is a mix. The owners and staff are indeed aloof and not terribly friendly--on the other hand they are not really unfriendly. If you are looking for touchy-feely types or cheer leaders, stay away. There were lots of German guests. Pincho's wife is German, and her sister works there, too, so they clearly have travel industry connections back home.

The food was decent, the accomodations better than we expected--very basic/rustic, but fine. (Bring a flashlight as lights go out at 9:00 p.m.) The area is lush jungle and quite beautiful.

The beach sand is rather coarse, but diving booties or other beach footware take care of that. The waves are great, and the water is warm.

Prices for activities are a bit high, though we had no disagreement or problem with the bill when we left. We were treated fairly and professionally. Do be aware that almost all resorts in the area charge PER PERSON double occupancy.

All in all, we're glad we saw the area, but we'd probably not go back (so many other places to see!). The diving, which we'd heard was outstanding, was just so-so, and not as good as Herradura, near Jaco Beach. Corcovado was beautiful, and swimming in the rivers was refreshing, but we saw MUCH more wildlife on a river trip in Fortuna.

  • Liked — The isolation and privacy--but also meeting people from around the worls.
  • Disliked — The staff, 9:00 lights out.
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Perry_Petatic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victoria, British Columbia
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 December 2007

We've visited Poor Man's Paradise on two different trips to CR and plan to go back again. For the price you can't beat three meals a day and a beach all to yourself. We stayed in regular rooms there and, knowing there is no electricity in the region, were content even with the extreme heat. In fact, the no electricity was a huge draw for us goign to this part of the world. We found the food to be quite tasty and it's really easy to go out on any and all tours in the region. The beach in front of Poor Man's is quite rough and has very strong currents. I found myself being pulled when I was only waist high. However, it was nice to have an excuse to do a walk to Playa San Josecito beach, which is calm and beautiful. I am a professional nature photographer and I found that I also had lots to do just staying around Poor Man's photographing macaws. In fact, the two times we were there there were huge colonies of macaws that were very active at sunrise and sunset.

In fact, if you are an avid birder you will love this area. I went on a bird tour one morning and it was fascinating. There is so much diversity in this area. I've also done the park tour and it was awesome.

I found the family to be very accommodating and were very easy to get to know and they were very gracious. Personally, I'm shocked at some of the reviews here. In fact, on our last trip I decided to spend almost every day right around the resort because the macaws were so active. My husband signed up to do scuba a few times so I was at the resort almost alone and the family was completely fine with me hanging around. They would come up and talk to me occassionally about photography, tell me about macaw behavior, good spots to find other wildlife, etc. We have never had any of the ill treatment described in these reviews.

I'd recommend the place to anyone who is used to traveling off the beaten path. If you are expecting North-American style accommodations I would suggest you probably skip going to Osa/Corcovado entirely because this area of the world is for travelers who want to get away from other people and who enjoy roughing it a little bit. If you've never backpacked or don't enjoy hiking or adventure travel then you won't enjoy any of the places in this area. Another option is to stay in a more expensive hotel with more amenities, or perhaps go to Puerto Jimenez area (Matapalo is quite nice) since that part of the country has electricity but still enjoys close proximity to the park.

  • Liked — Proximity to park, great value, good food, great service
  • Disliked — Beach is hard to swim in, but no big deal really since there's a calmer beach nearby
  • Stayed February 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank ccraft
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tarpon Springs, FL
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 December 2007

Our family has stayed at Poor Man's for two vacations and would not hesitate to return. Understand when you go; if you expect the Hilton or Embassy Suites you will be dissapointed. It is not those properties; it is an oasis of rustic civilization in the middle of tropical paradise. Relax, fish, walk, swim and enjoy the locals. From
the family owners to the local staff, you will find them charming and gracious hosts. The food is often locally grown or raised on the propery. A fare of local dishes that are unique and mostly delicious (sometimes not, but that is the charm and adventure of the experience). It's an organization that respects the environment and loves to share their amazing little corner of the world.

  • Liked — The remote location and fishing quality
  • Disliked — The Heat of the day - no electricity or air conditioning. (But the remotness is why we were there)
  • Stayed May 2006, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Swordfish65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
costa rica
1 review
Reviewed 30 July 2007

When I went to Poor Man's Paradise I fell in love.
The ocean, the tranquility, the family, everything.
I continually returned summer after summer, vacation after vacation.
But unless you are ready to keep your kids safe please do not go. There are many workers there who do not respect women the way that they should, and I hope that you go with caution.
It is a great place, but the people seem so nice and in the end... need to be watched.
So please, watch you're kids and do not leave them alone with the workers I advise strongly against it from multiple first hand experiences.
It is the only reason which is keeping me from not going back to what is truly paradise.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Deceitful workers
  • Stayed February 2007, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank lileleyh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Poor Man's Paradise

Property: Poor Man's Paradise
Address: on the Amaya homestead, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula
Hotel Style:
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Osa Peninsula
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Poor Man's Paradise 2.5*
Number of rooms: 10
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Also Known As:
Poor Man`s Paradise Hotel Osa Peninsula
Poor Mans Paradise Osa
Poor Mans Paradise Hotel
Poor Man's Paradise Costa Rica/Osa Peninsula

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