We stayed in the Casita Los Colibries. Florian and Estelle were extremely helpful and warm during our entire stay, and were a pleasure to stay with. They provided fresh beach towels each day of our stay, and replaced them each morning with new dry ones, which was totally unexpected and helpful. Estelle even provided hats for us on a particularly sunny day when we were going out for a horse-back riding tour.
The included bikes were awesome, as the area at Punta Uva is a little scarce of close restaurants. Selvin's Restaurant, about 0.5kms North was delicious - try the Red Snapper and the Rondon while you're there. El Refugio Grill is about 1km South, and was one of the best restaurants we visited while we were there... definitely have Estelle or Florian make a reservation for you, as there are only 5 or 6 tables available. There's also a small grocery store about 100m's South which had a pretty good selection to fill our fridge. With our bikes, we were able to ride north about 3kms to Playa Chiquita, which has a few awesome restaurants (Jungle Love, Pita Bonita, etc).
If you're planning on riding at night, definitely bring a headlamp with you! Very helpful for navigating the road (as there are sections without street lights). I've read other reviews mentioning how treacherous and pot-holl filled the roads are between Puerto Viejo and Punta Uva, but I didn't find this to be true. There must have been recent paving in the area, as the roads are completely flat and easy to ride. We rode right into Puerto Viejo quite a few times during the day, and it was absolutely no problem.
The rooms were spotlessly clean every day, and the housekeeper always waited for us to leave in the morning before sneaking in to clean up the place. There is a safe available in the room, which worked perfectly for us. Breakfast was delicious each morning, with an assortment that usually had crepes, homemade muffins, or granola with a bowl of fresh fruit, yoghurt, freshly squeezed orange juice, spreads (fruit, peanut butter, and maple syrup), and more. We experienced howler, whitefaced, and spider monkeys all around our room while sleeping in the hammock on the deck, and saw lots of birds and other wildlife as well.
We tried the small motor boat tour that goes up the river about 1km. It is a short journey, but we saw a huge amount of wildlife in the 1.5hrs we spent out on the water. Estelle and Florian also took photo's of us in the boat and emailed them to us that evening. That brings me to the only 'con' we had while we were here... Internet access is very spotty, and when working is very slow. Don't arrive planning on taking care of any business (which you probably shouldn't be doing any way!). If you'd like to book any tours, let Estelle and Florian know and they can phone for you instead of trying to book online. Regardless, I found the best time to use the Internet was first thing in the morning. Unfortunately, the ISPs in Costa Rica have not gone further south than Playa Cocles or Chiquita, and they are relying on a slow expensive 3G cell phone service to provide the Internet.
We stayed for 7 nights, and could have stayed much much longer without becoming bored. We travelled on the bus to get here, which was an ok experience, but we decided to take a tour to return to San Jose. We booked the Tortuguero Canal and Banana Plantation tour with adventure connection through Gecko Trail Adventures, which was an awesome (and mostly private) way to return to San Jose after we were finished.
Estelle and Florian are obviously taking great care of the place, and are doing an awesome job keeping up the repairs in each of the cabins. It's a huge amount of work to stop the rust and corrosion from the humidity in the air, but any issues we had were dealt with the same day, and fixed. We had a wonderful stay, and will definitely return some time.
Thanks so much again, Estelle and Florian!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- South of the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, 8 kilometers from Puerto Viejo, within the “Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge,” Estelle and Florian welcome you, 200 meters from the wonderful Punta Uva beach, in their lush tropical garden at the edge of a river. Punta Uva beaches, ideal for swimming and all very beautiful are located 200 meters from Pachamama, at the mouth of Rio Ernesto, our jungle river. Enjoy the beauty and tranquility of tropical nature, while still being steps or paddles from the beach and close to local restaurants and activities. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Pachamama House & Bungalows Hotel Manzanillo
- Pachamama House And Bungalows
- Pachamama Jungle River Lodge Costa Rica/Punta Uva