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.
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…