First off, don't confuse this place with Cabinas Las Olas Hotel in Playa Hermosa a Province of Guanacaste which is about 4-5 hours from San Jose. This place is associated with the town of Jaco and only a 90 minute drive from San Jose, CR. We booked our vacation through a wavehunter because two of our college-age kids wanted to learn to surf. There were five of us total that stayed here. We arrived late d/t delayed flight at this place, but the security guard who didnt speak english kindly led us to our cabina. The trip from airport to hotel was on a winding road, but a gorgeous trek if traveling during the day. The Cabina we stayed in was an A-frame cabin with two seperate floors divided by an outside staircase to the upper level. Floors and walls concrete, screens for windows, and a fan for air conditioning. I was initially put off because in order to use the bathroom I had to come down the stairs into the kids bathroom whenever I had to go or go down a path near restaurant and use public restroom. Not a good thing when 3am and all doors locked. Eventually, Jason, the owner moved two of us that were upstairs to a cabina that had it's own bathroom and much larger space. The kids thought the place was great right away. The more primative, the better. Afterall they were there to surf and wanted the full surfing/camping experience. The only bugs that bothered us were the no see ems. Take some sort of bug spray like off for your skin. To start our first day we ate at the restaurant of the hotel. It is strictly a Tikki hut (outdoor dining only) alongside the beach. The food was great! Banana pancakes, fresh fruit and a variety for a fulfilling breakfast. The lunch/dinners were really good, especailly the grilled Tuna. All of the chefs do such a great job preparing the foods the way you'd like and the servings are huge. You won't go away hungry. We were greeted by Cameron, the manager the first morning we were there. Very friendly and happy guy from the states. Laid back attitude and helpful in answering our questions. He was also one of our surf guides one day. Christian was our main surf guide. He is from Venezuela and what a dynamic personality..Happy, funny, crazy and just pure fun! He was the one who pretty much took us whereever we wanted to go not to mention he was our main surf guide for a week. We had such a blast with Christian and our vacation wouldnt have been the same without him! Jason, the owner was a real cool guy as well. He filled us in on all the local places to go to hike, zip line, get great ceviche (in Jaco) etc. Jason made sure that we were treated like family and went above and beyond to accomadate our every need. He was also one of our surf guides. His house is right in front of the beach in Jaco where we surfed every day. Being a family from Indiana, none of us had ever surfed, though we had done many other water-sport activities. Chrisitan was an excellent instructor. He took us through step-by-step instructions on how to get on our boards and all that info you need to know to surf. I can't say enough of how valuable he was to us during our stay. A local named Marcel was our surf guide for two of the days and he was amazing. He mainly stayed with the us (the older ones-in our 40's) and really taught us some valuable lessons in surfing as well as helping me ride the waves. I felt very safe with Marcel even when I was out in the deep water on the line (with the experienced surfers) with waves as high as 12-feet from "face" that were about to crash on us. He brough such a sense of peace to me. Jason came out almost on a daily basis to help us surf and give us tips. He took lots of pictures. A professional photographer was there taking pics of us and made cds for each of us for $39. The sushi restaurant in town was awesome. The little ceviche place in town had out-of this world ceviche (I recommend the fish vs shrimp/fish mix.) We took a trip to Manuel Antonio for a hike through the national rainforest. Lots of monkeys right up close and other wildlife native to the area, including a beautiful blue morphos. We stopped at a restaurant there before leaving the area. It has an old C-130 as the focal point. It is parked through the restaurant and is actually part of the restaurant. You can't miss it. It has phenomenal views of the ocean, forest, and great food. You must stop here. Really cool. If you stay at Cabinas Las Olas, within walking distance is a little mountain safe to hike up where (if you go in am around 630-7) you can see monkeys, toucans, and a possibly a blue morpho. I saw this beautiful insect a few feet down the path the leads to Jaco. Just ask Jason or Steve (a regular at hotel) about it. We also Zip-lined (in Jaco) in the forest way up in the mountain until we made our way down. It was so much fun. Anyone can do it and worth the money. I can't say enough about the entire staff at Cabinas Las Olas. The security guard made me feel safe. He even opened our door at 2am after he found our keys (accidentally) left in the door lock outside. Apparently petty theft is big in Costa Rica and this security dude really patrolled the area at night to keep everyone staying there safe. Very sweet man. A special thanks to Jason, Christian, Cameron, Marcel, and all the staff for making our stay so much fun! We didnt want to leave but we will definitely be back!!
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