R&R in Costa Rica

When we were headed toward Central America last month, we originally had planned to do a vacation home rental in Costa Rica with a handful of our ship friends from Semester at Sea. But due to the fact that all the homes we reached out to required a multi-day minimum—and we were there but a brief 36 hours—SVV and I headed down the coast alone instead toward Manuel Antonio to a resort I initially heard about through a flash sale on Jetsetter.

As it turned out, the property was being acquired by Vail Resorts this winter, and as I’m doing some writing for the company’s editorial site these days, they asked me to check out—or rather, into—Alma del Pacifico for the night.

Alma is super chill and situated south of Jaco, almost to Quepos. There are about a dozen beachfront villas, but while we were there during the shoulder season, there were only a total of eight guests. We’d go hours without seeing anyone else on the property—not a bad deal if you’re truly wanting a mental break, which we did.

The rooms are massive, ranging from 455 square feet to 800. We were initially in one of the base level rooms, which was as gorgeous as all the rest, but the air conditioning didn’t work (apparently…it felt fine to us).

So the manager moved us a few villas down into an even bigger room. I loved the sectional couch and all the colorful pillows and artwork. Apparently, the original owner did all the paintings herself.

Our room overlooked the Pacific Ocean, as well as Playa Esterillos, which was blissfully empty and on which I worked on my tan for pretty much the duration of our stay.

We had planned to take a crocodile tour in Carara or delve into Manuel Antonio National Park the following day, but after a delicious breakfast at Alma’s restaurant, we settled in by the pool instead.

There’s so much to do and see in Costa Rica, and regrettably we can’t say we saw more than the drive from Puerto Caldera to Parrita, but sometimes you just need to unplug and unwind, and this was one of those spots where I was fine doing just that. Besides, as it turns out, I’ll be back in this very area come May…

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Comments ( 26 )

  1. Going to have to pass on Costa Rica this winter and heal from oral surgery instead. But next year a big trip, somewhere.

    • The good thing is that you’re so close to Costa Rica, that you could hop down there any ol’ time.

      Hope your mouth is feeling better.

  2. This place is giant! It looks like such a nice break from the SAS madness. The people at Vail Resorts don’t happen to need a second opinion, do they? I’d be happy to help :)

  3. There are always flight deals popping up on my radar to Costa Rica, so I’m going to keep this exact place in mind if/when we ever do make it down there. Looks incredible!

    (I’d never get off that couch!)

    • Yeah, it seems super cheap to fly from Texas to Costa Rica. I was just looking at booking my flight back to Nashville in May post-Semester at Sea, and I have to fly through DFW! Jetsetter also has Costa Rica deals (including the Alma) all the time, so I’d suggest looking for discounted hotels through that avenue if you ever do make it down there.

  4. This, I can say truly pure vacation for you. :) Sometimes, I think it’s the best way to do it. Just stay in the property and unwind. Looks like a great place to visit and I love that sectional sofa!!!

  5. In.. .Love… You captured the tropical feel of Costa Rica perfectly!! Love the sweeping photos of inside the villa!

  6. Your Costa Rica trip looks like a heck of a lot more fun than my husband’s sounded when he went. Top four issues with his trip? He went when he was a teenager…with his family, their hotel was overrun by Iguanas, their rental car’s radio was swiped in some complicated radio theft/insurance ring thing and they got lost in the jungle.

    I’m totally going on YOUR kind of Costa Rican vacation! πŸ˜€

    • Oh, there were a LOT of iguanas roaming the premises, but I quite like reptiles! My one issue with Costa Rica is that I’m not so much a bug person, and no matter where you are in CR, there are LOTS of bugs…

  7. This place looks fabulous! Costa Rica is on my “to do” list. I have heard that have some great horseback riding.

    • There were random horses just roaming the beaches at Alma, ha. The beach areas were really wide, open and empty, so I imagine it would be a great place to ride!

  8. Gorgeous photos and property! Could use a tropical getaway right about now.

  9. OMG, this place looks amazing. I have a soft spot for hammocks, especially ones strung between palm trees and near the beach. πŸ˜›

    • Apparently, in past years, SAS students always bought hammocks in Vietnam and strung them up all over the ship. They put a stop to that early on in our voyage–boo!

  10. Another spot that’s on my list to visit. I’ve heard great and wonderful things about Costa Rica from lots of friends who have visited. It sounds like you guys had a wonderfully relaxing time.

    • It’s also really cheap to reach from the US. I’m going back in May for my next stint with SAS and just booked my flight–from TN, which is not the cheapest airport to fly to/from–for a mere 15,000 FF miles.

  11. STUNNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would never want to leave.

  12. looks amazing! we’re on the hunt for honeymoon deals so will take look at this one!

  13. Wow your photos are out of control!!! Gorgeous. If you fell in love with Costa Rica you should also check out some of the amazing spots in Nicaragua. Specifically the Corn Islands on the Caribbean coast. I think you would fall in love!

  14. Hey!
    I found your blog today, and i love it! Very inspiring!
    Im planning on going to Costa rica this winter. Was it expensive? How was the food etc? :)
    / Emma

  15. A similar exceptional picturesque location can be found in Ayada Maldives which is located in Gaafu Dhaalu atoll, where deep sea diving and snorkeling can be done with sparkling clear azure waters. This is what the independent villas in Chennai offer. Another laptop can be found in the basement of the house, in the room with all of the weapons.


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