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“One of Our Favorite Places in CR” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Howler Monkey Hotel

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The Howler Monkey Hotel
El Yugo, Cabuya, Montezuma, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Cabuya B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Zancudo, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“One of Our Favorite Places in CR”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

My wife and I were taking a trip around Costa Rica after a year-long house-sitting gig in the Southern part of the country, and we came into Montezuma with very little idea of what we were going to do and where we were going to stay. We are so happy we found this place. Montezuma didn't feel like the right vibe, so we drove down the dirt road, saw the sign for the hotel and decided to stop in. This was the best place we stayed, hands down. We saw the entire country, coast to coast, and usually just stayed for a night and moved on, but we stayed for the rest of our allotted time with Jim at the Howler Monkey. He's a great host, the beach is secluded, the grounds are diverse and funky, and you're a short drive to both Montezuma and Malpais. Furthermore, Jim has kayaks, fishing rods, snorkel gear, bikes and all kinds of stuff that you can use free of charge. Also, a full kitchen for cooking meals. Save money on food, create your own adventure tours, and relax on the secluded beach.

I should also say, Costa Rica is a tropical country. The beaches meet the jungle everywhere. There are hundreds of species of birds, mammals, fish and flowers (and Jim knows them all intimately, and this place has way more wildlife than you'll find elsewhere). There are also mosquitoes, flies, crabs, and all kinds of other stuff that you might find different from where you live. If you can't deal with the jungle, DO NOT COME TO COSTA RICA. YOU WILL NOT LIKE IT HERE. GO TO FLORIDA INSTEAD. The charm of Costa Rica is its diverse tropical climate and its laid-back vibe. The Howler Monkey Hotel exemplifies exactly why people like us and many others enjoy this wonderful, vibrant place.

Pura Vida, Jim. Keep it up. We'll be back soon.

  • Stayed March 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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118 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
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English first
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

My wife and I are from Hawaii originally but now live in Panama and Thailand. Cabuya is like going back to the North Shore of Oahu 50 years ago.... It is incredible and there is much information on this in the usual places. Jim O'Callahan runs this place and he is a good man. When you add all the value that is supplied with free snorkeling gear, kayaks, mountain bikes, surf boards etc. this is the best value in Costa Rica. The cabins are rustic and homey. The kitchen allows you to save on the now "Hawaii like prices" that are part of the Costa Rica experience. You will not find a nicer person than Jim and the location is just like "Old Hawaii" that we have experienced first hand. Howler Monkey is the best value in Costa Rica, not to be missed ... Thank's Jim ........

Room Tip: Bring surf shoes for access to the beach and walking around and to Cabuya Island which is accessible...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Warrenton, Oregon
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

This hotel was amazing! It isn't fancy, but it's comfortable, clean, and RELAXED! From the moment we got to the hotel we felt like we were home. (If home was on the beach and had monkeys swinging overhead!) We only wished that we could have stayed longer.
Jim (the owner) was friendly and helpful...his relaxed and kickbacked demeanor helps create the atmosphere of hanging out in your best friends backyard.
The pool was refreshing, the views spectacular, and the room was clean and comfortable. There wasn't a tv, or air conditioning. But who goes on vacation to a beautiful country like Costa Rica to sit in their room and watch tv?? As for air conditioning, we did what the Costa Rican people do...we opened the windows and turned on the fans...was comfortable in no time!
The hotel was just far enough out of town to get away from the "crowds" but close enough to drive into town for dinner and our scuba diving tour. It truly was a little slice of heaven!
The people that have posted negative reviews on here need to get their heads checked! This hotel was perfect! If they want all of the ridiculous unnecessary comforts of home while in another country, maybe they should stay home and watch the Discovery channel. Or perhaps go to one of those all inclusive hotels that cater to the spoiled Americans. Go there and stay on the resort, and don't you dare leave the resort...you might accidentally soak up some cultural experiences...
Thank you for your hospitality Jim! We had the best time...staying at your hotel was one of the highlights of our trip!
Pura Vida!

Room Tip: The cabin in front of the pool has the best view of the ocean!
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brantford, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

This place was great! The cabins where awesome consisting of a fully equipt kitchen,3pc bath, and sleeping for at least 6 in some cabins The view from your bedroom is so beautifully tropical you feel like your in a postcard The owner is very friendly and willing to accomondate.The experience of waking up to the monkeys in the morning is forever branded in my memory as one of those stories you tell friends about your holidays.And if your looking for a little more excitement at nite you can just head over to Motezuma.Remember your in the jungle Baby!
Thanks for memories Jim Kathy

Room Tip: This beach is on the rocky side....bring some water shoes
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
White Plains, New York, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

For those of you that like to get native when you travel.... I wish there was a hotel like this in more than just the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. The Howler Monker Hotel in Cabuya is a dream come true. Jim the owner lives on the premises and you're damned lucky when he's around. He makes everything on his property available to you, snorkeling gear, surfboard, spearguns, bicycles, four-wheelers, etc, but he is a world of knowledge on the entire peninsula, offering a full education on trees, plants, fruits, insects, wildlife, and just how to live in the jungle. NO charge!
Each cabina is like a mini apartment. Your bedroom is a spacious a-frame above your open kitchen, dining area, and bathroom. The bedroom has a little dresser for your things and a fantastic overhead fan that surprisingly makes it chilly throughout the night, which always makes me sleep better. There are monkeys, iguanas, hundreds of parrots, ducks, chickens, and one chick I might add, as well as his dog Roxanna that frequently pass you by as you lay out on the hammock, or sit poolside. It's never too hot around the room as there are beautiful trees shading your spot, and just beyond them, about twenty paces, is your very own beach. Here the sun rises just for you and you'll hear the entire jungle around you wake up together as it lights up the day.
The pool was immaculate and did not feel like there was a drop of chlorine in it. We were able to walk easily to either the Super David or Super Chico (Two grocery stores) both of which we wouldn't have known about without Jim. He also took us to a farmer's market on Friday in Cobano so that we were able to cook locally the whole time we were there. It was really satisfying to open all of the shutters and just cook some vegetables in an open kitchen while listening to the birds and monkeys hang right outside above you. Also with the four-wheelers you can take the main road just about four miles to Montezuma for a good time, some yoga, and some overpriced trinkets for those that you left in your hometown.
The Cabo Blanco Reserve might be the closest main attraction to the Howler Monkey hotel and so worth it. After you enter the reserve, it's about an hour to get all the way down the sueco trail to the private white sand beach but absolutely breath-taking. You can reward yourself with a delicious smoothie and or dessert from a wonderful bakery called La Panaderia just down from the hotel and on the way to Cabo Blaco. They might have made the best smoothies I've ever had.
There's a local fisherman named Tito, who comes by the hotel selling a fresh catch just when you're thinking about what to do for dinner. Jim will set you up with a nice fire and foil to put on top of the grill and it's almost as if you caught the fish yourself and are prepared to live like this for a good long time. Jim may ask for a piece but he'll hook you up with a cold beer or even better a howler monkey cocktail, but he'll keep you laughing and remembering why you came to paradise in the first place. He's never forgotten.

Room Tip: There's no one room that is better than others. It depends on how many people you are traveling...
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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.
Marseille, France
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

This is a perfect place to stay a few days with your family and visit the Nicoya peninsula. The place is not a 5 stars hotel, and I have to admit that we threw away a rusty bowl for cutlery. Other than that, and unlike what I read from other visitors, we found the place perfectly clean, including the cabin, the shower and the swimming pool. We were there in July 2012, a couple and 2 kids, and had a great time, despite the spiders, crabs and other crawly little things. If you hate bugs, monkeys, birds, coconuts, kayaking, wonderful sunrises over the ocean, not being surrounded by people that look and think like you… in other words, if you hate the jungle and the best Costa Rica can offer you, do not go there. Do not miss Cabo Blanco, just a few miles from Cabuya. We met a great guide in Montezuma, Armando Castro (tel: 86 54 23 92), who took us through Cabo Blanco and around Montezuma. He is particularly good at interacting with kids. Last, but not least, Jim the owner of the Howler Monkey, is a really charming and I would say rather original Irish man. He is always available to help you out with anything and to share with a coffee or a good conversation about life, science, music, monkeys, the ocean and all those things that matter when you are in place like this.

Room Tip: The cabin in front of the swimming pool has a great view, otherwise the one on the right is very goo...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

The people rating this place as terrible are missing the whole point of the adventure. Go back to Club Med or visit a zoo if you want the mall experience. Cabuya is a quiet town and with the exception of the wildlife, the hotel is very tranquil. Jim has kayaks, bikes, and masks/snorkels for use which we took advantage of to explore some amazing fish off of Isla Cabuya. We kept the windows open and woke up with the sunrise and the sound of dropping fruit from the monkeys in the trees overhead. I highly recommend it for the adventurous traveler who doesn't need things to be spotless.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about The Howler Monkey Hotel

Address: El Yugo, Cabuya, Montezuma, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Montezuma > Cabuya
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Cabuya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Howler Monkey Hotel is located only a couple metres away from the beach and near the beautiful Cementry Island of Cabuya. There is a market and a few restaurants within short walking distance. We offer four Cabanas with oceanview, private bathrooms with hot water shower, private kitchen, fans and nice patios with hammocks. There is also a wheelchair accessable disability suite available with airconditioning and an on suite bathroom. All rooms are situated around the refreshing pool.For our guests we provide free wifi and a washing machine, snorkel gear, fishing poles, spear guns, kayaks, surfboard and bicycles. You can also rent quads from us for a discounted rate. Enjoy your day lounging in your hammock, around the pool or take a short walk through our garden to the beach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Howler Monkey Hotel Costa Rica/Cabuya

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