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“The best!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Toucan Stay Inn

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The Toucan Stay Inn
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in front of the Punta Uva pulperia, Punta Uva, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 70304, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 3 Punta Uva B&B and Inns
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“The best!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

The owner of Toucan Stay 3 Cannot, Jon, is truly one of a kind. Although we did not have the pleasure of meeting his wife, Mabel, we were treated as part of the family during our 9 night stay. Jon went out of his way to make excellent restaurant and tour recommendations to ensure we enjoyed our stay. That is if we were even hungry for dinner after his amazing homemade breakfast and Costa Rican coffee every morning.

The Toucan Inn provides a warm sense of homeliness combined with privacy and the feeling of being in the jungle. The room was neat and tidy when we arrived complete with fresh linens. I also like that Jon has a/c units in each apartment, although we never had the need to use it, we were quite comfortable with just the ceiling fan every night. We slept soundly almost every night with the sounds of birds and howler monkeys waking us up early in morning so we could enjoy the day. Please be aware that if you are looking for “night life” this place provides just the opposite of the bars and crowded streets of Puerto Viejo. You will experience a peaceful gem of a place located just a block away from the beautiful Punta Uva beach. The beach is best visited during the week and early morning to avoid the crowds, although, the crowds consist of only a handful of people.

Toucan Inn even has it’s own resident sloth as of the time I am writing this review. I took pictures of her every morning, what a special treat!
Besides the sloth, you will see wild chickens that I think live on the property, many other birds and several neat hummingbirds while you enjoy breakfast in common area. During a rain storm, it was so relaxing to read in a hammock in the open air common area.
On beach days, we were directed, by Jon of course, to the best spots to relax in the water, enjoy some spectacular snorkeling (toucan has snorkel gear for guest use) or just lie on a towel and soak up the sun.

The rooms also have a fridge, and a microwave! Perfect for our leftovers from the many delicious places we ate. If we did not go out for dinner, we were using the grill. We grilled some delicious steaks and fresh caught lobsters during our stay. It all added to the feeling of being at home while on vacation. Jon was always willing to share a funny story during our time together, and his charm made the stay unforgettable.

Please visit this place before it becomes overrun with tourists! What a gem!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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50 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012 via mobile

I stayed at Toucan Stay Inn with my husband. The b&b is located at walking distance from Punta Uva, which has beautiful beaches on both sides.
The garden is very nice, full of luscious tropical plants, and the huge porch is great for reading a book or listening to some music. Breakfast is served in the porch and is amazing...we had banana pancakes and tomato omelette, but it changes every day. The owner, Jon, is really kind and knows the area very well, so if you need advice just ask him. Unfortunately we had to cancel two nights, and he was very nice and tried to help us. Only a small remark: water from the shower was a bit too cold for my taste, but it's not really an issue since the weather is quite hot.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Canton, MI
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

Our vacation at the Toucan Stay Inn (but 3 can't) was complete PARADISE!! Let me start out by saying my wife and I vacation a lot and this trip was one of our favorite destinations so far. My wife and I were celebrating our anniversary and spent our entire 9 days with Jon at his marvelous little B&B from 8/24/12 to 9/1/12. Prior to booking our vacation, we had received very helpful information from Jon about things we could look forward to should we decide on taking a vacation to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. Jon provided us with detailed directions to the Toucan Stay Inn from the San Jose airport. The roads were not marked very well in the downtown area of San Jose, but we managed thanks to Jon and the landmarks he told us about. Our drive to Punta Uva was a lengthy one, (5 hours), but well worth the trip. The drive back to the airport took us under 4 hours.

Once we arrived at the Toucan Stay Inn (but 3 can't), we were greeted by one of the guests, who led us into the garden area where Jon and other couple were seated. After a short break, we all decided to grab some dinner at a local restaurant. One thing both my wife and I were surprised about was how great the food was at all the restaurants that we ate at in the area near our quaint B&B. Jon told us about many of the excellent restaurant choices near Punta Uva and Puerto Viejo, and believe me when I say there was enough places to eat at during our stay where we did not have to eat at the same place twice. We even grilled fish (amberjack) and local lobster one evening in the patio area, which was fabulous!!!

Each morning we woke up, Jon would provide us with fresh local fruits and juices. He made us a wonderful breakfast each day and gave us options of what he could make, which never disappointed us. The banana pancakes were phenomenal and the "ancient family recipe" will stay our little secret! The hammocks in the patio area were a great place to take a siesta especially after a nice little run in the morning. The weather was great and it only rained hard for once, but thankfully so because Jon needed it and water is such a precious commodity.

Our room was perfect and exceptionally comfortable with the king size bed. We stayed in "Hose B", which had A/C, refrigerator and a small dining table. The A/C was one of my prerequisites because I knew it was going to be hot. Honestly, I did not even need the A/C and only turned it on once during our stay. The night breezes and fan in our room was sufficient. Our days usually started out around 6am, because we would wake up to the Howler Monkeys and birds. That was fine because it started getting dark around 6pm. We even saw a group of Howler Monkeys hanging around at the beach which was less than a three minute walk from the Toucan Stay Inn. The Toucan Stay Inn (but 3 can't) was gated and we felt safe and secure with our belongings the entire time. We even had an additional guest (sloth) on the property while we were there :-).

There were so many fun and exciting things to do near Punta Uva, such as: the Jaguar Animal Rescue tour, Chocolate tour, waterfalls, hiking through the Gandoca Wildlife Preserve, kayaking, and swimming on both sides of the point at Punta Uva. The downtown area of Puerto Viejo was only a 10 minute drive from Toucan Stay Inn and there was many little shops selling local foods and gifts. The peddlers and shop owners were never pushy or persistent when you were not interested in purchasing their goods. Both beaches near the Toucan Stay Inn (but 3 can't) were absolutely marvelous and the best ones we visited while in Costa Rica.

Jon was more than the owner of the Toucan Stay Inn (but 3 can't), he is a very special person and host. He does not want to disappoint his guests and always tries to go above and beyond of what is expected, which is a remarkable and rare treat when vacationing. Our stay at the Toucan Stay Inn was very memorable and this will not be our last vacation to Costa Rica. Hopefully we will be able to see Jon again where we can even bring our kids and other family members/ friends to stay at the Toucan Stay Inn. PURA VIDA!!!!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aspen, Colorado
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2012

The Toucan Stay, (3 can't) has a strange name and indeed it is an unusual place. We give it five stars for many reasons, most of which have to do with its remarkable owner. We've stayed at many small hotels (this one only has room for six people total, in three nice AC units and lovely grounds.) But this one was special. Jon Stierwalt, the owner has a varied background in sales and entertainment and clearly this is a labor of love on his part. He bent over backwards to make sure we had a great time. He will guide your activities and make excellent recommendations if you like.

As for the beach, a very short stroll...and magnificent. Overall, not many bugs at all, didn't see one snake, felt safe, love the people, especially those we met along the sparsely populated beach. They were from all over the world.

The four other people staying there with us (End of August 2012) were from a wide range of backgrounds and all very compatible. I think a certain kind of adventuresome person looks for this kind of place. Thus, we planned a number of meals and activities together and it was always fun. Jon knows everybody in town (or close to it,) both expats and natives, and he is locally popular. Through Jon and his friends, we got a feel for the history and culture of the area. The people in the Punta Uva area in general are wonderful.

This truly is an undiscovered paradise. Oh and the fresh fruits are everywhere and the best you'll likely taste anywhere, and we got to make our own chocolate from scratch, play with baby howler monkeys (the wild adults wake you up at 6:00 am or earlier...what a wonderful way to wake up.) We also met the strangest jungle chicken I've ever seen. And there is a resident young sloth in a tree in the back yard. Cute little bugger.

In addition to being extremely clean with pleasant grounds Jon makes great breakfasts, including banana pancakes, fresh fruit, and omelets. He also provides good snorkeling gear, beach hammocks and even a boogie board. Everyone staying at the hotel bonded and spent wonderful evenings sharing stories, days at the beach together and activities.

If we sound enthusiastic, we are. The very best part of the entire vacation was Jon himself. He made us feel like family. He has a million stories of the area and its people and of his remarkable life. He loves to hear your stories too. He can sing and tell a joke like the professional stand-up he is. All in all we'd probably give six stars if we could. Thank you Jon for making our time there so very special.

Room Tip: The Jose room was great for us. The Owner's cabin was more lux then we wanted. All are a great v...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fulton, New York
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2012

It's incredible what a beautiful setting and inspiration can render. The accommodations were great and the morning shenanigans were wonderful. We happened to be staying the day of the host's birthday. You can tell the character of a person by the friends that support them. We were welcomed to join in the birthday party that evening. Well a plethora of admirers gathered to honor Jon. It was his 6_ birthday. People brought guitars, drums and even a Karaoke company showed up. Many brought covered dishes and Mabell "Jons wife", baked a cake. It turned out to be an awesome combination of live performances, oldies, sing alongs and sharing. We just have to book the same time next year to see what the community comes up with next! BTW Jon has an awesome voice. You might nudge a song from him over breakfast!

Room Tip: Just take the first room available! Hint!
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012

I stayed at the Toucan Stay Inn earlier this summer and the entire experience was absolutely wonderful! My room, a suite named "Jose," was clean, comfortable, and spacious. While all of the rooms are furnished with an A/C unit, I found that using the fan at night and a shady hammock during the day was more than adequte as a cooling mechanism. The grounds of the Toucan Stay Inn were lush, colorful, and brimming with life. I enjoyed prowling the backyard in search of exotic insects and tropical critters to photograph, and I had to resist the overwhelming urge to take the cute sloth lounging about on the fence home with me!

As for the surrounding area, Punta Uva beach is literally a three minute walk from the Toucan Stay Inn. The beach is absolutely stunning, but the best part about it is the feeling of tranquility that it elicits. Imagine visiting a pristine beach featuring golden brown sand and jewel-toned waters, hidden behind a luscious jungle of palm trees . . . now imagine having it all to yourself without any annoying tourists in sight! On the weekdays, Punta Uva was practically empty. I would walk the entire span of the beach without encountering more than the occasional beachgoer. It is the pefect place to soak up some sun, listen to the waves, and forget about your hectic life back home. One suggestion of note - bring plenty of sunscreen or you will burn to a crisp like me!

Having spoken about the beach and the state of the Toucan Stay Inn, it is time to address one of the most important perks of staying at this quaint B&B . . . the owner "Uncle" Jon! Jon was an amazing host. Since I was traveling alone and there were no other guests at the Toucan Stay Inn at the time, Jon essentially adopted me for the week. He recommended great local places to eat at, scheduled all my outdoor excursions, furnished tasty snacks and libations, introduced me to the resident expats, and chauffeured me around after dark. Jon is also a pretty decent chef. Breakfast was always delicious and consisted of such delicacies as pancakes, french toast, eggs made your way, fresh fruit, and granola. (Trust me, you will never look at the grocery store fruit the same way again after you sample Costa Rica's fresh fruits and juices!) He also makes a mean lasagna. Furthermore, if you lend him an ear, Jon is more than willing to entertain you with his vast repertoire of life exeriences and stories.

Overall, I had a fabulous time at the Toucan Stay Inn. It was a relaxing vacation completely different from anything I had experiened hitherto. Thank you so much Jon!

Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PuntaUvaJon, Owner at The Toucan Stay Inn, responded to this review, August 21, 2012
What a lovely review...Thank You. Needless to say, I'm thrilled with your comments....and, of course, it was my pleasure to share ideas, restaurants, tours, friends, and this little "paradise" with you. Come Back Soon...Pura Vida!!!
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San Francisco, California, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012

My husband and I originally made our reservation for 3 days thinking we'd start at Punta Uva and then travel back through the rest of Costa Rica. After 3 days we were smitten, and ended up spending our entire vacation at the Toucan Stay Inn. The rooms were immaculately clean and air conditioned, and the water was hot. There was nary a mosquito or creepy crawly inside our room for the entire stay, and we (and our possessions) felt completely safe.

The beach at the end of the lane is the *best* swimming beach in the entire area, we were there every single day.

I can't say enough how lovely John and Mabel were. John was an enormous help when we first arrived feeling more than a little lost and overwhelmed. Great recommendations for food and activities, and both went above and beyond to make sure we had everything we could possibly need.

Pro-tip: Take John up on his offer to set you up with hammocks at the beach on the other side of the point. It's absolutely paradise.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PuntaUvaJon, Owner at The Toucan Stay Inn, responded to this review, August 21, 2012
Jessica and Rob...

How nice of you to spend you entire vacation with us...to go from 3 nights to 8 nights was a surprise, but we were so happy that you were enjoying your Anniversary with us. Its nice to see a couple so well "connected".

Thank you for the Wonderful Review...and we hope you return to us real soon.

Pura Vida,

Jon and Mabel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Toucan Stay Inn

Address: in front of the Punta Uva pulperia, Punta Uva, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 70304, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca > Punta Uva
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Punta Uva
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The "Petite B&B" in a Garden by the Sea All Accommodations have: Air Conditioning Ceiling Fans Screened Windows (NO MOSQUITO NETTING NEEDED!!!) Quality Beds and Linens Private Entrances Private Bathrooms Tables/ Chairs (Seating Area) Refrigerators Coffee Makers Private, Gated, 1/2 acre+ just 200 meters from the Beach!!! Come...Relax & Enjoy!!! (Free use of Boogie Boards, Snorkel Gear, Beach Towels, Hammocks) ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Toucan Stay Inn Costa Rica/Punta Uva

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