We planned on spending one night but ended up spending four nights. Dan is a great host and Miguel and Elkin made us feel at home. The Inn is well kept with clean rooms, dry towels and bed linens, in a very humid environment. The view is overlooking Lake Arenal in a rain forest setting. Gingerbread Restaurant is within walking distance and well worth the trip. The food was original, large portions for sharing, well prepared, reasonably priced and the service was excellent.
One of the highlights of our stay was a day with Elkin at his family finca (farm). The finca is about a 30 minute drive from Villa Decary. The roads were good, but the last 500 yards were difficult so we parked the car and walked to the farm house. After meeting Elkin's parents we spent the next two hours walking though the pastures passing horses, cows and pigs. We crossed the fast flowing creek many times and eventually ended up in a Virgin rainforest. Elkin is an expert in plants and birds. We saw many orchids and other unique plants. We eventually swam in the river under a waterfall. Elkin is knowledgable in the medicinal properties of the plants and told us how his family had used them for generations for their medicine. His Mother was one of 18 children. She was 76 and his Father was 81. Her mother and father are still alive and have been married for 72 years. They now live in town. The finca has only had a telephone for 4 months and they have only had a car for a few years. As a child Elkin and the family would ride horses to town to visit grandma. It was a two hour trip each way with 5 kids on one horse and his mother and 3 kids on the other horse. They were totally self sufficient for years and only went to town for salt or the visit grandma. Elkins mother prepared us a delightful lunch of chicken, beans and rice, homemade tortillas, fried eggs, salsa, tamales, green plantain ceviche, fresh fruit juice, coffee and fresh milk. Everything is cooked on a wood stove as it has been done for years. As I write this I am yearning to return.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Lake Arenal's most beautiful hotel. Botanical garden and rain forest setting, spectacular views of Lake Arenal, the Tilaran Mountains and the rain forest. All accommodations have private entry, private hot water bathroom, private deck, orthopedic mattresses. Rates include scrumptious breakfasts, beautifully served. Casitas with full kitchens available. Monkeys, 140 species of birds. Peaceful, private, serene. Close to many activities: kayaking, fishing, hot springs, volcano, birding, canopy tours, windsurfing, horseback riding, nature walks and more. Great eateries nearby. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Villa Decary Hotel Nuevo Arenal
- Villa Decary Costa Rica/Nuevo Arenal