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Crocodile Bay Resort - An All-Inclusive Resort
Ranked #4 of 12 Hotels in Puerto Jimenez
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 July 2008

We spent 3 nights at Crocodile Bay during our recent trip to Costa Rica. We felt that it was a first class operation from start to finish and was glad that we picked there to stay. We went fishing 2 of the days and an eco-tour between fishing trips.

As part of the package, they'll pick you up at the airport and deliver you to your hotel in San Jose. You'll then be picked up around 5am (Jonathon picked us up there and his enthusiasm, professionalism and pride of the company rubbed off on us and set the pace for our entire stay. Great guy!) and fly to Puerto Jiminez in a little prop plane. The trip was beautiful and the landing exciting. And, not to worry, should things go awry, the strip is located adjacent to the local graveyard, so you won't have far to travel. The hotel in San Jose is very nice (Double Tree Cariari).

First day fishing was really good, we were in one of the open fisherman boats with Jonathon & Pitti. Great great captains. We caught the most that day and were on the smallest boat. Caught 1 sail (my first) and I hooked (but lost) another. Also bagged 2 large dolphins and a good sized triple tail, which were grilled fresh for dinner that night.

The next day we took an eco-tour. We wanted to go to the national rainforest park, but the water level was too high, so that tour was cancelled and we went to the Osa rainforest instead. It's always disappointing not to get what you want, but the trip itself wasn't disappointing at all. Dennis was our tour guide and after the rainforest walk, we visited a few isolated beaches on the way back, had a picnic and at one of the beaches watched some surfers cruising picture perfect waves. Great tour, great guide. A trip highlight. We loved it.

We were "upgraded" to another boat to make room for some others to do some inshore fishing with Jonathon & Pitti. (Who caught so many rooster fish (19, the most ) that they were worn out and asked to come back early that day) We had an upgraded boat, the 33' Striker, but I can't say it was an upgraded crew. We trolled all day long, not even one bite, and the first mate was at times even sleeping. A little note: The type of fishing that they do is troll jigs that splash the water in an effort to raise billfish. Once you see them, then you put the pre-hooked baits and wait for a strike. Ok. I spotted a marlin behind the boat early in the morning, but neither the Capt or mate saw it jumping behind the boat and didn't even put in a bait to catch it. Jonathon & Pitti certainly would have at least hooked it. They were like fishing machines. Bottom line, not all crews/captains are equal, keep that in mind. That day, other boats in our general area did rather well. One even landed a decent sized marlin. Besides us, only one other boat got skunked, but at least they had one hooked. This wasn't only disappointing, it bordered embarrassing because usually I catch fish. Oh well. Next time (yes I would return) I'll certainly check the boards closely and request captains that don't typically get skunked. Life is full of these little lessons.

The seas were fairly calm and the ride out is about 35 or 40 minutes and very scenic. While in the deep water we saw some red tide, but fished around it and easily fished around all of the rain. The larger boats are very comfortable, worth considering the upgrade.

The resort grounds are very nice, the staff especially friendly, and the spa is nice. (I'm not really a spa guy, so take that for what it's worth) We borrowed the resort bicycles and rode into town (about 15 minutes) and enjoyed watching local life. We'd do that again, actually we'd do everything again except fish with captain Francisco. The prob could have been with the first mate, but as the saying goes, the capt is in charge of the boat.

Overall, it was a great trip, could have been amazing had the second fishing day been at least a little productive. Like I said, if I were to return to Costa Rica to go fishing, I wouldn't hesitate to return to Crocodile Bay. This is a first class outfit and beautiful resort.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank kindredspirits
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 16 April 2008

My husband wanted to do some fishing and I wanted to explore culture and rainforest - we looked around the web and found Crocodile Bay Resort - We saw on their website that they had a new Spa, a tour department as well as a reputation for being one of Costa Rica's top fishing destinations. From the moment we were greeted at the airport our expectations were surpassed - the staff is so friendly it's unbelievable! We explored orchid farms, the rainforest canopy,chocolate farms, and enjoyed the small village where the resort is located. My husband was introduced to a 314lb blue marlin and I to the wonderful staff at the Crocodile Bay Spa (which by the way looks and operates like the high-end Spas I am used to in FL) So, if you are looking for a vacation destination that offers great fishing as well as several tour and spa options, Crocodile Bay is a great choice. Needless to say, we will be back with our children and grand chidren next year!

Pura Vida! (Spanish for "Pure Life")

Milly Morrison
Pompano Beach, FL

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MARYSC82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2008

The facilities were nice and most of the staff were nice. The fishing was fair. My bad experience occurred on the last day.
As a return customer, I was disappointed that we were treated second rate. At that time Crocodile Bay advertised that if you were a repeat customer that particular time of the year, you could name your captain. The 4 previous days everything went well until a corporate group came in. My boat, I assumed, was taken by them. In my opinion, they probably overbooked and they gave us over to a contracted inferior boat from the area. The captain was not skilled and he did a terrible job of hooking up. In addition, a major thunderstorm started coming in. The other boats recognized it and brought their clients on in. Ours did not. We came back in a very high-risk electrical storm with high winds that tore up their dock. We were thankful to survive that ordeal. I complained to their fishing mgr with no explanation or apology. Apparently my travel guy didn't make an impression with them either. I will not be back unless I have some assurances that this would never happen again.

  • Stayed: March 2006, travelled with friends
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6  Thank Pescadore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 February 2008

Four of us traveled from Virginia to Crocodile Bay after seeing it on an outdoor show. Having never been to Costa Rica before we had no idea what to expect. Our November trip was at the end of the rainy season and it did rain some but even with the rain it is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Primarily a fishing destination for us we were taken back by the beauty of the flowers, birds, jungle, water and the resort. Accomidations are first class. Everyone smiles and helps anyway possible. The fishing was excelent even in the rain. We caught so many big dorado on one trip we put the rods down and enjoyed many cervesas. The food was awesome. We will go back. I can only say that if the Lord ever blesses you with the opportunity to go to Crocodile Bay like He did us it will be a vacation of a lifetime.

  • Stayed: November 2006, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank CapnM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2007

..if you want to have a wonderful experience that includes superior guestroom accommodation, wonderful food, excellent meeting/conference facilities, first class recreational activities, including a wonderrful spa....supported by outstanding personalized service.....then go to Crocodile Bay.....the entire experience was wonderful.....this property has "it" pegged..............the highlite of our visit was a successful day charter fishing.......our team landed two large billfish.......125 pound sailfish & a 235 pound Blue Marlin...."The King of The Sea"........but don't wory......we put the fish back in the ocean...so they are waiting for you!!!!!! Thanks to Captain Melvin & crew member Jenkinds for making our stay memorable........the entire staff were great......Todd, Maria, Brian, Will, Jose, Markus......just to name a few........ I know that I will be going back to Crocodile Bay & I hope it is soon!!!!!

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled on business
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Thank GeoffNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2007

I am in a wonderful,beautiful place with an excellent staff,delicious fresh fruits,veggies,fish,homemade sunflower bread,great salads,creamy soups,and anything you want,ask for it and it will be cooked..Nowhere have I been that everything was this pleasant incuding the other visitors..You all become a family here and visit like home..I met some very wonderful people from all over the USA ,Germany,and England..This is the place for the most wonder selection of spas,fishing,sun,beach,and being extra spoiled by all staff..They wait on you hand and foot every day..Since I am handicapped, it it more trouble for me,but they do not act like I am a problem. They treat me with utmost dignity and I don't feel different..Anyone,any age would love this environment...I would like to stay longer,but my trip is over tomorrow after 6 days in paradise..You must make reservations not to see what I mean .....I will miss being here,but plan to return soon...LOVE IT HERE....Kathleen fleming,Arkansas Oh, I forgot to tell you ,I have adopted EVER and Kerem for COsta Rican family...Hope they can come visit me.. Marcus, the driver,host,etc...is wonderful taking me to veryyy difficult places in my wheelchair,,,,wonderful and helpful to me..I can't say enough,great happy staff at your feet 24-7...

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled as a couple
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Thank sunlover000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2007

Our experience at Crocodile Bay was top notch. We travel quite a bit and this particular location and resort more than exceeded our expectations.

Here's a detailed review of our experiences at the resort and on the ecotours:

A. General Resort Facilities
The resort is very well maintained in terms of building structures and the grounds. I was actually surprised to hear that the resort was more than 5 years old as it was certainly in great shape! The main building houses reception, offices, three games rooms (one with slot machines, another with a pool table, and another with a TV and fooseball table), a bar, a very large gift shop, and dining room. At the reception area they provide a computer with free internet access. The bar is quite busy at night with most folks back from a long day of fishing and ecotours. The atmosphere is laid back and friendly - I even noticed a few solo travellers who had no trouble fitting in. The gift shop is full of a variety of clothing (a HUGE selection of men's shirts!) and local souvenirs from throughout Costa Rica. The prices actually didn't seem too bad when compared with San Jose.

The pool area is really relaxing and clean. I really enjoyed seeing the "Jesus Christ" lizards playing around - they are called this because they like to run across the pool water once in awhile. They also have a jacuzzi tub which is nice in the evening. Nearby the pool is a large patio with 6 large hammocks on it. It's a great place to relax.

They planted many almond trees at the resort and these have attracted several pairs of Macaws (the beautiful red birds). You see them flying around (or hear them!) all the time which is great!

B. Accomodations
Crocodile Bay is made up of a series of small 2 story buildings. Our unit was #27 within a building of 4 units, 2 units upstairs and 2 on the main floor. We loved our particular unit as it was at the end of the buildings and mid-way between the pier and the pool. It was also on the upper floor. The units are very large. Our had a large verandah with 2 rocking chairs, a small air conditioned entry room with a single bed, couch and desk, a large bedroom with 2 double beds and a desk, and a large bathroom with closet, double sinks, toilet and large shower. We certainly had more than enough space for 2 people. This style of room is great for families as the kids can have their own space separate from the parents. Some rooms have hardwood floors and others have tile. I loved the hardwood but did worry that our neighbours below us would find it very creaky when we walked across the floor! Note that there are also a few standalone "houses" for larger families. My husband visited one of them and said it was very spacious and nice.

C. Spa
The spa is just over one year old. They've designed a beautiful, comfortable building with ample room for growth. I estimate more than 6 treatment rooms! You will find your experience at this spa to be of the caliber and quality of what you'd find in a classy spa in North America. I went to the spa twice. First, I had a volcanic clay body wrap with mini facial. I liked the idea of being lightly scrubbed down in "mud" and then wrapped in huge banana leaves - it was really a true rainforest experience! On my second visit, I had an "after sun package" which included a gentle body scrub, an herbal massage and a hydrating facial. Both experiences were great and I would highly recommend them. The hours of the spa are also extensive which allows almost any traveller to be accomodated.

D. Food/Drink
Although this is a small resort, the food and beverage selection and quality is excellent. Some meals are served buffet style and the selection is very diverse to meet a variety of dietary needs. For dinner, for example, on buffet offered BBQ chicken, fish, and beef, PLUS chicken lasagna and seafood paella. Most days at lunch, you can order what you want from a menu. Again, the selection and variety of options is excellent. There were 7 of us in our group (included a 12 year old boy) and no one ever had difficulty finding something they liked. The staff is also quite flexible in terms of any special wishes like "no cilantro on my salad", etc. The resort also serves snacks at 4pm in the bar. In terms of drinks, the variety, again, was very good. As I don't drink alcohol, I can't comment on the variety there - just on what I saw on the shelves behind the bar. For non-alcoholic beverages, they had a variety of options. I especially loved their banana milkshakes.

E. Fishing
My husband went fishing 4 times (both in and offshore). I think it's great that each night they write up the fishing results on a whiteboard so folks can compare their successes with others. They also stock the boats - which are very modern - with ample food and beverages for the day. The pier is apparently one of the longest in the world. I don't think I heard a single complaint about the quality of their fishing program. My husband seemed very happy with it!

F. Ecotours
This is where I spent most of my time! Below is a quick summary of what I did and my rating. Details on what each tours include are posted on the Crocodile Bay website.

-Osa Wildlife Santuary by Boat: My favorite! You actually get to experience monkeys, sloths, etc. firsthand - like literally running around the area, climing on your head, etc. Worth every penny! Tip: Don't wear suntan lotion (wrap yourself in a towel on the boat for the 30 min ride over) so you can hold the baby animals. The area is well shaded.

-Finca Kobo Chocolate Farm: Very informative in terms of learning how chocolate is made. Nice and quick tour which allows you to get to the good part - the chocolate tasting! They give you a HUGE selection of fresh organic fruits, nuts, and homemade banana bread to dip into a large bowl of fresh melted chocolate. It's a dark, gritty chocolate - yum yum!

-Miramar Canopy Zip Line: Our first time and it certainly won't be our last! In fact, we loved the tour so much that we went back the next day to do it again in the NIGHT. Both the day and night experiences were fantastic. You get to go on 8 zip lines which is just the right amount. During the day tour, a travel agent from the UK was in the group and she said the safety measures at this particular place were significantly better than other places she's visted in the world. I'm not really an adventurous athletic person and I loved it!

-Mangrove Kayak: Although you don't see very much in terms of wildlife, it's a nice and peaceful way to pass a morning. I've never kayaked before and didn't have too many issues. You do need strong arms though for a few spots where the current is a tad stronger.

-Jungle Night Walk: This one was a disappointed. The guide was very knowledgeable and nice. But, the area didn't really have much wildlife. We only saw a few frogs, a couple poisonous spiders, and one snake (sleeping in a tree). If they changed the area this was located in, it would likely be a better tour.

-Butterfly Farm and Crocodile Lagoon: This is right on the resort and free. The butterflies are really a site to see and worth the 2 minute walk over. Lots of crocodiles to see as well!

-Playa Preciosa: Great private beach area with a long extensive beachline that you can walk along. Safe swimming with nice sand. There's also a lodge there where you can buy drinks - although Crocodile Bay gives you a cooler of drinks to take with you. They have several palapas (covered areas) where you can sit in the shade on the beach. The lodge there has a really funny Golden Retriever dog who will quickly become your buddy and even lie in the sand right in the water with you!

*Although I didn't have time to go on the RainForest Tour, I talked to many people who said it was the best tour out of all the ones they went on. I strongly recommend investigating this tour before selecting your ecotours.

**For each tour, they provide you with a cooler of drinks (which stay in the truck/boat while you are enjoying the tour). A guide - all speak excellent English - accompanies you on each tour. I really liked the fact that you can usually book the tour the night before - they are very flexible about this.

G. Location in Costa Rica
I really liked the fact that we were visiting a more remote area of Costa Rica, as opposed to the NorthWestern parts. Puerto Jimenez is a quaint area where you could easily feel safe walking around. Crocodile Bay is only a 5 minute ride from the air strip. I liked the fact that we were on a gulf. This meant we could enjoy almost "lake like" conditions, as well as true beach conditions (Playa Preciosa), and a rainforest environment - all in one place!

H. Process to Get There/Home
Crocodile Bay has really perfected this process. When you arrive in San Jose, they have someone waiting right outside of customs with your name clearly displayed on a sign. They then take you to your overnight hotel in San Jose (if required). The hotel we stayed in was the Melia and, except for a few slowness issues at reception and in the restaurant, everything was enjoyable. The next day, the Crocodile Bay staff pick you up and take you to the other airport for your Nature Air flight to Puerto Jimenez. Wow - what a beautiful experience - these planes have large windows in them so you can truly see the beauty of Costa Rica. It is breathtaking and changes quite a bit every 5-10 minutes. When you arrive in Puerto Jimenez, the staff is right there to pick you up. They take your luggage to your hotel room separately and there are no issues of trust. In fact, my husband's passport accidentally fell out of his pocket on the drive over. The driver promptly returned it to him the next day when he discovered it while sweeping the truck. Phew! When you arrive, it only takes about 5 minutes to check in and they already have a welcome drink waiting for you - even at a 7am arrival! I was VERY impressed at how smooth the process is. You literally don't have to think when you arrive in San Jose. The return process is just as smooth and easy.

I. The Staff
All staff speaks English. Of course, some are a bit better than others but generally we didn't have any issues communicating. In fact, when you arrive, they tell you that the key to a great vacation is communicating your needs. If something isn't working for you or you want something else, just speak up - they will do whatever they can to meet your needs. We found all staff to be very receptive to our needs. They all seem to really enjoy working there.

Phew! Lots to say about our fabulous experience. Feel free to email me if you have questions!

  • Stayed: April 2007
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16  Thank jcrickbc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Crocodile Bay Resort - An All-Inclusive Resort

Address: Airport Road, Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Puerto Jimenez
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
#3 Family Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
Price Range: £236 - £527 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Crocodile Bay Resort - An All-Inclusive Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
All-inclusive packages for World-class Billfishing offshore or Roosterfish, Snapper, & Dorado inshore. Kids love our 24 exclusive Ecotours - Corcovado Rainforest, Zipline, Mangrove Kayaking, & Moms love our luxurious state-of-the-art Spa with a full complement of 30+ Spa massages, facials and full body treatments. Set on 44 lush tropical acres in the bio-diverse Osa Peninsula. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Crocodile Bay Hotel Puerto Jimenez
Crocodile Bay Resort - An All-Inclusive Resort Costa Rica/Puerto Jimenez

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