We stayed Aug 10-13th at the Magic Moon House! The property was very nice, we utilized both levels ( 2 bedrooms upstairs and one downstairs). The layout of the house was great, a nice open kitchen, the outdoor space on the 2nd level is wonderful, my brother and cousins used the hammocks to relax a lot and you can see the ocean right in front of you. The rooms are very spacious and we appreciated the way the house was functional for us. The house grounds are really nice, it's like you're in your own oasis. We opened up the house doors and windows as much as possible....we even noticed a horse farm behind one of the bedroom windows that had live cattle, kind of cool for all the cows to do an about face and stare at us. The house does not have have AC, it has fans throughout the house but, honestly we were on the beach so, we felt the breeze...no need for AC. I will tell you that you will need bug spray and ant spray....the caribbean side is the natural side of costa rica so, you're living the simple life. We basically had our own private beach and we had a rental jeep so, we drove down to punta uva and manzanillo. Johnnys and Mangos are the best bars in Puerto Viejo. For food, we liked Mare Nostrum, Lydia's Place and Koki Beach. A lot of people recommended Tamares, do not order the chicken sandwich or burgers, definitely not a fan. Kind of dumb of us to order that anyway...fish with rice and beans is the way to go, costa rica does not really have a specialized cuisine. We went to the supermarket and bought food since the house came with a fridge, oven/stove and microwave. The rocky road leading to Magic Moon and Banana Azul is a bit rough, we were definitely isolated from the center town of puerto viejo but, it's only a 5 mins drive or 10 mins walk on the beach. If I come back to Puerto Veijo, you better believe I'm staying at Magic Moon again....we were really not impressed with any of the other hotels we saw in town and on the beach, most of them are rundown or just plain jane. Also, if you want to do ziplining, jungle tours, white water rafting, snorkeling or scuba diving, the Banana Azul hotel, where we had to pick up the house key, is a few doors down and offers Gecko Trail Adventures, great times! The best in costa rica hands down. Aaron and Pablo our guides were great. Ashton who arranged everything is very cool. Best time to go to Costa Rica is nov - feb and with that said, it was 80 degrees in august! We would have loved to have more sun but, we ovbiously understood we were in their winter season....there were still a lot of people at the bars though, especially after midnight....late crowds. Go to Mangos first or another bar on the small main road then venture off to Johnnys on the water, you're sure to have a good time. Also, for those who are interested, follow the smell of ganj, it's openly smoked outside by the locals, especially at the bars....the cops don't really hound folks, when locals see cops coming they just put their joints behind their backs until the cops roll past....so seamless. Our time at Magic Moon was very laidback and relaxing, we went to the Pacific coast afterwards, Jaco and Manuel Antonio and we preferred the Caribbean side the best even though they were not as advanced as the Pacific side. I believe the Caribbean side got electricity in 1986'. We didn't get a chance to see Samara, Mal Pais or Montezuma on the west pacific coast, must go by ferry from puntareanas which is 30mins from Jaco ....but, maybe next time. But, with that said, If I were you, I would check out both coasts...Jaco is packed in January (probably a good home base) which from a tourist perspective might work out better but, the Caribbean vibe had us wanting to go back to Puerto Viejo even when we were in Jaco. Puerto Viejo is about a 4 hour drive...if you don't get lost from San Jose. Jaco is about an hour half from San Jose so, plan accordingly. The rental car from Natcar.com helped us a lot to explore the country. You can take a bus shuttle to Puerto Veijo instead and then come back to San Jose and take a bus to the pacific coast or rent a car or vice versa, whatever works for you. We wouldn't have seen as much without a car. Stay at least 3-5 days in Puerto Viejo and 3-4 days in Jaco to truly experience the fun. If you don't have a car....it won't be the same experience to get up and go see and do whatever you want. Stay at Magic Moon in Puerto Veijo and any Daystar property in Jaco. I can go on and on...have fun! FYI, this is not the Ibiza or Miami party scene so, keep that in mind.
Book a house or cabana not a hotel in Puerto Viejo!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.