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“Best Christmas Ever”

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Poor Man's Paradise
Ranked #28 of 41 Hotels in Osa Peninsula
san diego
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Best Christmas Ever”
Reviewed January 14, 2007

My husband and I took our three kids (15,13,11) to Costa Rica for ten lovely days, three of which were at Poor Man's Paradise. Our visit to Poor Man’s was truly an adventure and we enjoyed every minute of our stay. The property and beaches were beautiful, with an amazing waterfall just minutes away. The cabins were clean and cozy and we were really impressed with the food. The family who runs Poor Man’s was extremely nice and helpful and made our stay even more enjoyable. We went hiking, fishing, snorkeling and boating. I would recommend PoorMan's to everyone. However, I would like to say that the experience is much like camping (although not in tents) with no hot water or electricity after 9:30. We are not campers yet we still enjoyed the stay.

*I would recomend to bring a flashlight because it gets very dark at night.

  • Liked — Beaches / Property
  • Disliked — No electricty after 9:30pm
  • Tips/Secrets — Bring snacks and a flashlight
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank emily-kurtx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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112 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
washington dc
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2007

We stayed there just for 3 nights but we really loved it. The location is just perfect. Walking distance to Corcovado park and walking distance to the nicest beach on Drake Bay. The place is run by Tico familly and they are just great. They had a great person working for them Katia who was always there to answer all our questions and help. The best thing is that they have horses for 10$ an hour!!!!!!!!!!Also, they rent snorkling gear and organise tourse. The cabinas are not the nicer but everything else is just great.

  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank kijanka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St Paul MN
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2006

One needs to experience this place for what it is. The Amaya family has lived in this area for over 40 years and were more or less pioneers opening up this new territory(much like to old homesteading laws back in the last century of the US opening up the west). It is a very interesting story if you can get it out of a member of the family. The resort is part of the old family farmstead(which goes up to the higher land off the beach behind the the resort). In fact the entire beach used to be owned by the Don Concho who gave most of it away to relatives(who sold it in the most part to Americans), the local chuch and the school(which are still on the families old land with a new church now being build on anouther parcel of Don Conchos land that used to be a pasture for the horses). The area around PMP is still undeveloped with no roads or electricity...everything needs to be brought in by small boats from Sierpe that need to land on the beach(very expensive and a bit scary).

The family is truely an experience and the area around PMP is to die for lovely. There are birds of every type for the birders(I am not one), excellent cheap sport fishing with whales and dolphins to keep you company, wonderful places to hike in every direction, monkeys everywhere..etc

As there is no electricity other than a generator that runs at night where is no hot water or AC or TV's in your rooms...but you are in an area that if it had roads, electricity etc would be something else...which is what you can find anywhere.

  • Liked — the uniqueness
  • Disliked — the beach landing
  • Tips/Secrets — go
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bbb1007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Falls Church, VA
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed August 15, 2006

My husband and I travelled to Poor Man's Paradise this July with two other couples. We knew it would be rustic with cold water showers and no A/C, but we weren't expecting to be so moved by the experience. Highlights were being followed by a wild scarlet macaw down the beach, dance parties (self-organized) in the bar at night, eating tuna sashimi, and the millions of stars (and the Milky Way) that you can see on any clear night. We all LOVED it!

That being said, I can understand how some people wouldn't like it. You have to approach it with the attitude of doing as much cool stuff as you can, talking to everybody you meet, and having a good time. If you are someone who needs organized fun, TV, spas, etc -this is not your place.

BUT if you love the outdoors, seeing amazing birds and wildlife, becoming part of an extended Costa Rican family, drinking Imperials while salsa dancing in the bar, and a little skinny dipping - you might just love this place too.

The Amaya family that run PMP are a great cast of characters: Pincho is the older brother and boss - his most common facial expressions were "inscrutable" and "bemused".

Consuelo -the sister and nature guide. She is a talented photographer and knows many interesting stories about the plants and wildlife of the area. She may seem a bit aloof initially, but keep trying and you can win her over pretty quickly. When our husbands went skinny dipping one evening, she came up to us (the wives) shaking her head and told us, "they will die". And then walked away. We just laughed, they didn't die and we teased her the next day for being so melodramatic.

Sammy is a player, ladies! He is one of the younger siblings and he takes groups out surfing, snorkeling, and on nature hikes. My friend said he looks like Usher. I don't know about that, but he is cute. And a good dancer. Ask him to show you the sea cucumber if you go snorkeling ;)

Johann in the dining area and Pablo in the bar waited on us every night. They made sure to learn our names and favorite drinks and never forgot to make vegetarian options for my husband.

We found everyone to be very accomodating and flexible. They are a small family-run establishment, so there are limits on what they can do, but if you are flexible and there to have a good time, I'm sure you will. It's up to you, if you are fun and outgoing it will be a good fit.

Tips: bring Febreze -our clothes would get wet hiking or swimming and because of the humidity they never really dry out. So bring Febreze to freshen and enough changes of clothes that you will feel comfortable.

Buy some snacks in Sierpe in case you get hungry between meals -there isn't really any otheer option, but we appreciated having some sodas and chips on hand in the afternoons.

Wear bug stuff - you will get an array of interesting bumps and itchy spots. So far, none of us has had to get anything removed, extracted, or cut off!

  • Liked — The Amaya Family and the location
  • Disliked — Cold showers and general dampness (rainy season)
  • Tips/Secrets — Pretend you are on Survivor and have a blast
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Chimple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2006

If you are heading to the Drake Bay / Playa San Josecito area of Osa, do yourself a favor and skip Poor Man's Paradise. We were lured in by their lower rates and website photos, which, as it turned out, greatly distort reality.

In a word, this place is a dump. For $120 per night, my girlfriend and I got a shabby cabin on stilts with peeling linoleum flooring, a view of some tin shack, electrical pipe curtain rods, and a shower that was nothing more than a chunk of PVC tubing with an elbow joint (not even a shower head). This place would be 'rustic' if it was 1/3 the price. But at the rates they charge it is nothing less than a rip off. We were so disappointed we cut our trip two days short.

In addition to the place being a total dump, the folks running it are rather unfriendly. We encountered the oldest brother (and boss) Pincho in the bar one night and found him to be rather egotistical and somewhat confrontational. It was bizarre to say the least.

Besides the brother there is an older sister who organizes the tours. We felt intimidated by her and she seriously would try to pressure people into taking their tours. When we elected to hike alone to Corcovado (only two hours and a beautiful hike), she seemed offended, and when we encountered her on the trail in Corcovado she was downright rude to us. We elected to take the boat back with those people on her tour and she charged us 10 bucks a head. However, despite paying 20 bucks for the 10 minute boat ride she refused to allow her younger brother, the boat captain, to give us a cold soda. She spoke to him in Spanish (we both speak Spanish) and told him that we couldn't have one as we weren't on the tour. I'm paying 120 bucks a night for a room I wouldn't pay 15 bucks for on the mainland and they can't spare a 50 cent soda? Give me a break!

I would strongly urge you to spend a little more money at one of the other places in this area of Osa...this place doesn't deserve your stay.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Rod_Rooter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2006

We were disappointed with Poor Man’s Paradise (PMP). We spent 3 nights and 4 days there in early July 2006, after a week in Sierpe. We arranged the reservation with Pincho, the owner, in Sierpe. We explained that we wish to end our trip at PMP, relaxing and enjoying the wildlife and marine life. We had already gone diving at Cano Island, horseback riding, and hiking in the Osa area from Sierpe before setting out to PMP. Perhaps we should have asked specifically about each individual cost, item by item, when we talked to Pincho. But we established a rate per night and understood that tours are extra.

The bill proved to be a problem on our last night. First, they wanted us to pay on the last night in cash because the office is not open during the day. If you go there, bring cash as they don’t accept credit cards. Our other travel colleagues did not bring enough cash ($400 just for sport fishing alone) for all the tours. The tour organizer (Pincho’s sister) suggested that they can send one of the guys to town with a guest’s debit card number and pin to get cash. They said that they did this all of the time and give guests the receipt. For me, that’s a BIG no-no (my debit card is linked to all of bank accounts and I would not have internet access to my accounts until I leave PMP to check withdraws). We had enough cash, the issue was the charges. Pincho’s sister alleged that we agreed to a rate “per person”, effectively doubling the per night rate that we agreed with Pincho. She said that she confirmed it with Pincho just then. When we asked to talk to him on the radio, they could not raise him (hmm). After 30 minutes of lecturing them on scams, false advertising, breach of agreement, and a few more mildly heated words (we were trying to keep some form of relaxation for our vacation), the sisters decided to just charge us ‘just for the meals’. Bottom line – we ended up paying almost $100 more in transportation and meal charges than what we agreed with Pincho in Sierpe. The dishonesty was most troubling and disappointing (the money was nominal).

The ‘resort’ is not a resort, but a rustic bunch of cabins. We stayed in an upper cabin with private bath. The rooms were very basic. No a/c or fan. It gets very hot at night as there was no breeze due to the poor siting of the cabins. Frankly, it is not worth the $60 per person/night. It’s worth about $45/night with meals included. And the packages are outrageously overpriced, pay a little more and stay at the Paloma. They charge you for every little thing, include towels for the beach.

The food was the worst we had during the trip, sauces and noodles were obviously from cans. The pork was the worst, tough and drowned in canned gravy. The only fish (best meal) served was Tilapia from the pond. Every night, after diner, the tour coordinator asks you for your next day’s tour. Guests who prefer to do things on their own (not buying a tour) are given a little attitude and warnings. We wanted to walk around and go snorkeling. As we set out on the first morning, we were called back by the tour coordinator and told not to wander far from PMP’s beach because of a dangerous man with a gun in the area. She gave us some story about another gun-totting man who jumped into the river to get away from the police and got eaten by a croc. After spending a week in Sierpe and learning about how there were no incidents with crocs and humans, we were a little skeptical. We did wander off for the next two days and met nice women, children, and locals. They did not try to kill us with guns.

Although, we would never go back to PMP, everything else around the place was beautiful and wonderful. We saw many rare scarlet macaws (some while swimming in a nearly beach). We hiked up (allegedly dangerous paths) on the south side of the beach and saw at least two different kinds of monkeys. It’s a gorgeous spot with diverse wildlife. If only the people who run PMP were more honest and upfront and less worry about milking every dollar from every visitor, it would have been great. We don’t mind paying for services and spending money. It’s the dishonest nickel-and-dime attitude that is unnecessary and cheap.

  • Stayed July 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank brewmester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati Ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed November 28, 2005

My daughter,son and I spent 4 days at Poor Man's in March 2001 I don't know about Toucans but there were Scarlet Macaws every where . Up close and personal ,very noisey but wonderful to see. Pincho Amaya is an excelent fisherman and offers the cheapest rates in the Osa . Poppy Amaya offers horse back tours through the rainforrest and scuba diving can be arranged upon request . My son went back the next winter and spent 3 months working for this tico family . It didn't pay much but the experiance was something money can't buy . He also met people from all over the world and spoke great spanish when he returned .

  • Stayed March 2001
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank hardrock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Poor Man's Paradise

Property: Poor Man's Paradise
Address: on the Amaya homestead, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Osa Peninsula
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Poor Man's Paradise 2.5*
Number of rooms: 10
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Also Known As:
Poor Man`s Paradise Hotel Osa Peninsula
Poor Mans Paradise Osa
Poor Mans Paradise Hotel
Poor Man's Paradise Costa Rica/Osa Peninsula

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