Local Activities


Click on the map for our favorite spots to visit 
map of the costa rica zona sur activities
We are indeed the center of the known world 
donna and daryl shelter from the storm
your hosts Donna y Daryl - ready to pontificate
on any subject in the neighborhood
donna and daryl shelter from the storm
hammocks, cocktails, waterfalls . . . the spectacular Nayauca falls
cayman sierpe shelter from the storm costa rica
on a day trip adventure
where the wild life finds you attractive
jungle atv uvita
Jungle ATV Quad Tours
just 11km from Shelter
jungle atv tours on stream
Darn! It's a jungle out there - ask us about jungle ATV
hacienda baru logo
The closest beach to Shelter from the Storm
San Martin Beach
dominicalito beach
Dominicalito Beach, calm swimming and fishermen's harbor
dominical beach
Dominical Beach where the Baru river
exits to the Pacific ocean
linda beach
If you love deserted beaches,
Playa Linda is what you're looking for
hermosa beach
It's hard to find a more beautiful beach than
Playa Hermosa. Throw in lifeguards and you
have a swimmer's dream
uvita area
How to find just some of our beaches
whales tale beach
Whales tale, our most spectacular natural feature
Playa Arco
Palya Arco, just south of the main Uvita Beach
ventansa beach
Ventanas Beach caves go out to the Pacific
ventanas beach
Ventanas Beach, a spectacular cave on a lovely beach
hacienda baru logo
If everyone was like Jack Ewing
(the founder of Hacienda Baru), the world
would be a better place - in our opinion :-)
jungle atv
The Hacienda Baru bird list is longer
than everything Donald Trump has ever written
jungle atv
More species in a day than many see in a year
jungle atv
Boogie the waves of - you pick it - Playa Hermosa,
Playa Domincalito, Playa Uvita
jungle atv
Contact us to find out what Dina
is up to the days you come to SFTS
jungle atv
Creative types messing with
Stand Up Paddleboarding
jungle atv
San Isidro farmers market, a nice
half a day visiting with the locals
jungle atv
Let us know in advance if you'd like to join us
at the Borucan children's christmas party
jungle atv
You will be most welcomed
into the artists village of Boruca,
the best indigenous art in Costa Rica
jungle atv
Some of the most exceptional birding can be done
by kayak - this is a day trip on the Sierpe River
jungle atv
Not your regular Disneyland
jungle atv
A photographers dream Kayak trip


Launching our Panga from Uvita main beach
jungle atv
Join us every September whale watching off Uvita beach
jungle atv
On a jungle walk
ventanas caves
ask us about places on the roads
or
caves less travelled
ventanas caves
the opposite of a whale breach at Playa Ballena
ventanas caves
friendly buggers
ventanas caves
humpback of a humpback
ventanas caves
from our panga rented at the beach
ventanas caves
painted houses near Ballena Beach entrance
ventanas caves
where the beaches go on forever - sometimes not a soul
ventanas caves
freshest beets at the farmers market in Uvita
ventanas caves
master carvers of Boruca
ventanas caves
Borucan family with balsa logs
ventanas caves
even Canadians love to visit (this one is called Andy)
ventanas caves
the chickens must cross
ventanas caves
not rated for cows
ventanas caves
Finca 6, a national treasure
ventanas caves
stone balls with no known history
ventanas caves
signage is limited
ventanas caves
kayak parking Uvita beach
ventanas caves
celebrating at Exotica
ventanas caves
celebrating at Exotica in Ojochal
ventanas caves
Uvita market on Saturday mornings
ventanas caves
where craftsmanship still includes wood

WELCOME TO THE BALLENA COAST AND YOUR SOUTHERN ZONE ADVENTURES

So much to do, so little time, make Shelter from the Storm the center of your southern adventures - click on any link below for experiences in the neighborhood:

HAMMOCKS AND COCKTAILS

When we moved to Costa Rica over 20 years ago, we somehow thought that it would be like a “permanent vacation” with our days filled with reading, hammocks, cocktails and lazy evenings on the beach. Well, so far it hasn’t worked out that way for us but at least you will have the opportunity (albeit for less than a couple of decades) to do just that. You can choose to just lie around the pool and rancho/bar, enjoy our lush gardens, enjoy our spectacular ocean views or watch the wildlife pass through. But should you decide that you would like to be a bit more active (adventurous) there are literally dozens of activities, tours, attractions and just interesting places to explore within an hour of Shelter From the Storm.

WATERFALLS, RIVERS, OCEANS AND SURFING

Located as we are, “where the mountains meet the sea” and between two of the most popular national parks in Costa Rica; Manuel Antonio Park and Parque Marina Ballena, Shelter From the Storm offers both mountain adventures and river tours like rafting, kayaking, exploring waterfalls, ATV tours, tubing, canyoning (that means “jumping off high waterfalls with a rope around your waist and hoping that you will slow down before you get to the rocks below) as well as beach/ocean activities like kayaking, surfing, snorkeling, SUP, boogie boarding, whale watching, boat tours, deep sea and inshore fishing and just plain swimming in the surf.

DAY TRIP ADVENTURES - EXPLORING THE CUTURE

Beyond the water and mountain activities, there are some fantastic day trips that can be made from our unique spot on the globe, like the trip to the Dota region in the high mountains of Talamanca, to see the Resplendent Quetzal in its natural habitat. That’s two hours from sea level to over 2200 meters (over 7,000 feet) and from hot tropical beaches to cool cloud forests. It’s less than two hours to visit the Boruca indigenous village high in the mountains above the Tarcoles River or on Thursdays and Fridays, in less than an hour, you can visit the largest farmer’s market in the southern zone in San Isidro de General, the center of the world for 250,000 people from Dota to the Panama border.

TRIP PLANNING HELP - ASK US?

Given all of the options available and the fact that you will probably have less than twenty years for your holiday, you will have to make some hard choices and we’re here to help. We will be happy to assist you in planning your trip from your arrival at the airport to your departure as well as making all reservations; so, if we’re all sitting comfortably, I’ll begin . . . from ATV to zip lining:

ATV TOURS

For those among you who are more inclined toward motorized transport than horseback, Jungle ATV fills the bill. With both single quads and dual seat 4X4 ATV’s you have the option to explore where and how you wish. We have had only rave reviews of the tours from our guests and suggestions that we MUST try it. However, after spending 50 years on highway motorcycles I just can’t see my way clear to ford rivers, climb 45 degree slopes or plow through muddy jungle trails. I seem to be alone in that opinion, though.

Every morning about at about 8am, everyone gathers at the Jungle ATV shop in Uvita center to begin a very scenic tour that takes you over several mountain ranges and into the deep jungle providing amazing ocean & valley views, stream crossings, coffee & banana plantations and a bamboo forest that you won’t believe.

Continuing on through a small village and pass through several farms on the way to the San Luis waterfall, one of the tallest in Costa Rica and often the top cannot be seen as it is in the clouds. Continuing through the rainforest, you will stop for some fresh local fruit and a refreshing swim at another waterfall before heading back to town.

If you'd like to book an ATV tour ahead of your arrival just contact us at Shelter from the Storm.

The tour lasts about 4-5 hours

 . . .and includes bottled water, fresh fruit and juice as well as granola bars. Beginning at about 9am after a brief orientation, you should return in time for a late lunch.

BEACHES NEARBY

There are at least a dozen beaches within a five to twenty minute drive from Shelter From the Storm; each distinct from the others and every one beautiful
Each beach has its own personality and flavor. All are for the public use and have public access, but those that are part of the National Park System or are maintained by the local community, will collect entrance fees. In general, all beaches are best frequented up to 3 hours after low tide. See “Ballena Tales” (which should be in your rental and the Rancho) or pick one up at restaurants in the area) Make your own discovery and let us know which is your favorite. NOTE: National Parks closed on Mondays.

San Martin Beach

Location: About ½ km (left) towards Uvita from the entrance to San Martin. Park near the highway and walk down the rocky road. Description: Lots of rocks with interesting inter-tidal pools where you will find lots of tiny ocean life in a microcosm. . A pretty beach around low tide. Very secluded.

Dominicalito Beach

Location: A little over 3 kms towards Dominical. Turn left at sign for “La Parcela Restaurant”.
Description: Nice around low tide. Photogenic and a good sunset watching spot. Many fishing boats leave from here, as it is a natural harbor.

Roca Verde Beach

Location: About 7 kms (turn right) north of San Martin entrance. Turn left at Roca Verde Restaurant and park there. Bar/Restaurant Roca Verde is a great place for lunch or an ice cold beer after coming in off the beach

Dominical Beach

Location: 9 kms north. Turn left into the village of Dominical and pass through town until you hit the water. Park anywhere along the beach.
Description: Very long, picturesque and popular with surfers. Good for boogie boarding and surfing. Not a swimming beach due to the currents - better swimming beaches are in Uvita, south of Shelter from the Storm.

Guapil Beach

Location: Go over the bridge at Dominical, heading toward Quepos . Turn left past the gas station (2 km. from bridge). When at Hacienda Baru, it is good to park in their parking lot and go on the walking trails to the beach. No worries about your car in their parking lot.
Description: Very long with palm trees lining beach. Totally uncrowded. You can drive on road adjoining the beach.

Playa Linda

Very private beautiful beach 11 KM. north of the bridge with police check point past Dominical. You will see large bushes on right with lots of white flowers and then up ahead 2 cell phone towers on left. Turn left onto this dirt road and follow til there is a turn to right or left. To the right is usually less crowded if there is anyone there at all. Not many gringos know about this beach and during the week, you will probably be the only ones there. There is a guy (Tico) that sells cold coconut milk (aqua pipa) on the beach. Buy some even if you don’t think you like it. He cleans the beach, picks up the dead palm fronds and generally maintains the area better than a national park. He is worth whatever you give him. 500 colones/pipa

Puerto Nuevo Beach

Location: About 2.5 kms south on highway towards Uvita. Entrance is a litte bumpy when you leave the highway and unless you have a 4WD with high clearance, we suggest that you leave your car up by the road and walk down the slope to the beach. Description: Very pretty with its palms, rocky point and large rock poking out of nowhere. Hardly ever anyone there.

Hermosa Beach

Location: about 4.8 kms south on highway with two entrances at north end, clearly marked and easily accessible. This is only one of two beaches with lifeguards as well has snacks and beach stuff for sale. It’s not nearly as deserted as it used to be but it’s a whole lot safer.
Description: This is the 4 mile-long beach seen from the Rancho and Las Rocas. Great for walking and surfing. Now, with lifeguards, it has become a more popular beach and there are fruit stands, and other people selling things at stands.

Playas Uvita and Bahia (pronounced "oo-BEE-ta" and "bah-EE-ah")

Location: 11 kms south. There are signs pointing to "Ballena National Park". Turn right 1/2 km after 2nd B M supermarket at Cabinas Gato and continue straight down the paved road to the entrance to the beach. (See the hand-drawn map in the guest info book.)
Description: This is part of the Ballena Marine National Park (pronounced "bah-YAY-na" and means "whale").

Don't miss this classic spot as this is where you access the "Whale's Tail" sand split. A very enjoyable outing is the walk out to the point 1/2 mile offshore towards the end of low tide. The best return to shore is when the water is lapping at your feet, giving you the sense of walking on water. Here are the gentlest waters in the area offering good safe swimming for the entire family. Fantastic sunset-watching opportunities as well. There is some point of contenction about the the destination of the money from the entrance tickets as it all goes to the central coffers of MINAE, the national department of the interior.  Before MINAE had anything to do with the park (about 23 years ago) the locals charged about fifty cents and with that money maintained the restrooms and welcome center along with keeping the beach clean and secure.  You need not insert yourself into local politics however unless you are of a mind.  This money goes to help the local community as they provide the upkeep, restrooms, and showers.

Playa Colonial

Location: 12 km S. On the way to Uvita/Bahia beach. After turning right off of main highway, turn left at the first intersection (Tienda Dona Julia on far right corner - pay phone in front). Continue along this road all the way to the beach. The $6 pp fee applies here, too (if someone is at the gate).

Description: This is the southern extension to the Bahia/Uvita beaches. Wide and usually gentle, especially around low tide (heard this before?) Often locals give horseback rides here along the beach for reasonable prices. Surfers like it here, too and some of our guests have claimed this is the best beach for body surfing.

Ballena and Arco Beaches

Location: 17 kms south just after The GoatHouse (20 minutes from Shelter from the Storm). Sign says Playa Ballena They might charge a $6 per person entrance fee, so don't be surprised. (To avoid the $6 fee, I park off the main highway alongside the grass landing strip just before the turnoff to the beach and then walk next to the airstrip to the beach.)
Description: Beautiful beaches. Go at low tide.

While Ballena seems like the typical long rather shade less beach, it is really Arco Beach that is the hidden jewel. From the parking lot walk about 1 km north along Ballena beach until it seems like it dead ends into a small cove which will be filled with water at high tide. Continue walking straight into the woods and cross over the low ocean bluff using the trail. A very short walk later will bring you to the privacy of Arco Beach and its fun cave - one of the prettiest beaches in Costa Rica. Bring a snack or a picnic if low tide comes at that time of the day as you won't want to leave!

Playa Pinuela

Location: 20.1 kms S. Near a good seafood soda. Look for the sign. Being part of the park system, they probably charge an entrance fee.
Description: Popular with locals.

Playa Ventanas

Location: 21.5 S. Turn right onto newly made road which takes you all the way to the beach now. You need to go through a small stream, so may need to go into 4WD if stream is high. Famous for the sea caves kayakers cruise through.This beach is a beautiful bay surrounded by tall trees. FAVORITE of most of our guests. A must see at LOW TIDE.1, 500 c. per car 7am-6pm

Although not as intriguing as it once was before the road was built, one can still enjoy the tunnels at low tide when the water is only ankle deep. At high tide they become “blow-holes” and offer high drama.

BIRD WATCHING

Here again, our unique geographical position and diversified terrain makes the Ballena Coast one of the best areas in Costa Rica for bird watching.  With over 900 species of birds in Costa Rica (according to the Audubon Society) In the past ten years our area, the Fila Costeña, has participated in six CBCs and identified more than 425 species of birds between the coast and the Tinamastes ridge, only a thirty minute drive from Shelter From the Storm.  

Add to that the high altitude cloud forests of the central mountain range, less than two hours from Shelter from the Storm, and you have the possibility of spotting dozens more.   In fact, a local “birder,” Brian Nice has noted 139 species while sitting on his porch (!) less than 2km from Shelter From the Storm. 

With Hacienda Baru Wildlife Preserve less than ten minutes away and encompassing over 800 acres of wetlands, primary forest and rainforest, the bird-watching possibilities are enormous. 

If one chooses not to “go it alone” with a day pass, Hacienda Baru offers both lowland bird hikes (secondary forest and mangroves) and rainforest birding tours, where the dense forest provides unlimited hiding places, and birding here is definitely hard work.

A guide is definitely recommended.  With a little luck, you will be rewarded with sightings of some of the more elusive birds such as: trogons, motmots, antshrikes, manakins, tinamous, curasows and others.  Besides the local (within 15 minutes) bird watching possibilities,

Manuel Antonio National Park (45 minutes to the north) and La Cusinga Lodge (20 minutes to the south) offer even the most avid bird watcher more potential thrills than can be had in almost any country in the world.    

BOOGIE BOARDING

So you don’t want to take the time nor suffer the potential trauma to learn surfing (let me tell you about my attempt to learn at 52 years old) don’t worry. You can still take advantage of the steady surf on the Costa Ballena (Whale Coast.)

At Shelter From the Storm we have boogie boards for your use and with a little practice, you can be sliding down the face of some great waves in no time.

Oh, and by the way, the boogie boards are just another of the “no extra charge” things that we provide at SFTS. We don’t believe in “nickel and diming” our guests to squeeze extra revenue. I suppose that is why we are only happy and not rich.

CHI QUONG

. . . or Qigong, depending on the Mandarin or Cantonese (according to a Chinese friend) is a martial art encompassing both the physical and mental focus so much lacking in my own life; hence my complete lack of understanding.

Dina Delany, the owner of Solfiggio Pavilion in Platanillo, will be happy to fill you in. You can write to her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

After years of international study under the tutelage of grand masters, she now conducts regular classes and retreats along with visiting grand masters. After attending only one class, I can certainly attest that the location and views are gorgeous and the construction both tasteful and well done.

DAY TRIPS

Not everything to do here involves intense physical activity, mortal danger or finely honed motor skills. Sometimes you just want to drive around and explore the area and maybe absorb a bit of the local culture. To that end, we’ve included some stuff that, after all of our time here, still interests us and therefore, you would probably like, yourself.

Farmers’ Market at San Isidro de General

Every week from early Thursday morning until about noon on Friday, hundreds of farmers (agricultures) come to San Isidro to sell their goods in the largest indoor facility in the Southern Zone.

Find amazing tropical fruits and vegetables and even if you are not interested in purchasing, the locals will be happy to give you samples and tell you how it is used/eaten. If you are looking for something in particular and you can’t seem to find it, ask any of the sellers in any of the stalls. They will take it upon themselves to help you and will lead you around while asking the other vendors when it might be found.

Never, in any venue have we found more people with more willingness to help. I suppose that it is both the natural Costa Rican philosophy of “que toda se queda bien” or “that everything turns out well” as well as the normal tendency of the campesinos, (country people) to help each other to “get by.”

Boruca indigenous village

The Boruca Indians, the only tribe never to be defeated by the Spanish conquistadores, live the area of the southern valley of the Terraba River with the main village high in the mountains overlooking the fantastic views of the valley.

Known primarily for their “fiesta de los diablitos” at the end of the year, this tribe has been celebrating the struggle between themselves and the Spanish for hundreds of years. Dressed in hop-sacks and corn husks and wearing fierce “devil” masks, they struggle day and night for three days with one of the villagers, selected anonymously by a few of the tribal leaders, to wear the mask of the bull, representing the Spanish conquistadores.

This is their biggest tourist attraction.

When I asked a few years ago, how the tourist response was, I was told, “Great, this year we had twelve tourists!” This gives you the idea that this trip may be a bit off the normal tourist route.

We at Shelter From the Storm sponsor a Christmas party every year for the children of the reservation and thus, have a little “in” with the village jefa (leader.) We can arrange a personal tour that you will remember your whole life where they will not only give you a personal demonstration of their centuries old weaving style but serve you lunch in their own home. The women of the village, grow the cotton, spin it to yarn, dye it with natural dyes from leaves and berries collected in forest and then woven into beautiful bags, table runners and purses and then sold to you for practically nothing!

Probably, the tribe is best known for elaborate carving and painting masks to symbolize those worn during their festival de los diablitos. It’s a day that you will long remember and something to “tell the kids back home.”

ABOUT THOSE BORUCAN MASKS

If however you would just like to take home some of their gorgeous artwork, masks or weaving . . . you’ll find a wide selection of everything at extremely reasonable prices at Pacific Edge Cabinas, just a few kilometers from Shelter from the Storm.  George and Susie have been promoting the Boruca crafts for years as a way to bring the tribe out of poverty and they are, as far as I know more responsible for their success than any other single source.  They will also be willing to tell you the stories as well as I can (well, maybe not “as well”) and you will return home with the facts, the fables and the souvenirs without the long drive.    

DINING OUT

If you decide you don't want to cook, the villages of Dominical, Uvita and Ojochal have plenty of international and local restaurants to keep you well-fed during your stay at Shelter from the Storm.  We have not dined at all of these restaurants but have included a short description of each one to help you make your choices.  Guest input can be found in the Guestbook.  Remember to add your own, if you like.

SOME "DINING TIPS"

-    Every international restaurant in the area has menus in English or side-by-side with Spanish. They usually have at least one person who can speak some English.

-    Local Tico sodas are not listed individually as there are quite a few of them and offer the same menu items. Menus are often in both English and Spanish.

-   Prices often shown on the menus include taxes and a 10% tip will automatically be added to your bill. The menu will usually say "precios incluye impuestos" at the bottom of the page.  This gives you the option of leaving something extra if you had great service, good food or just want to leave more as they don't receive any hourly wage. Also, be aware that while the menu might show a total price for each item, on the bill it might be separated out, listing the item, the taxes and the gratuity separately.  So before you think you might have been charged incorrectly, check out the bill.  Speaking of bills, you probably won't get one unless you ask for "la cuenta". 

-   For those of you whose Spanish is lacking (or completely non-existent), the first thing you will hear from your server is:  "Algo para tomar?" which means "something to drink?".  This will eventually be followed by "para comer" meaning "to eat".  Feel  free to point at the menu and smile a lot.

ON TO THE RESTAURANTS

Dominical Area

  1. La Parcela - Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, La Parcela is located on the water on Punta Dominicalito. Nice daytime views, varied menu, good service but the quality of the food does not, in our opinion, justify the cost. It does get decent reviews from our guests.  Very casual open-air ambience.  Located 2 miles north of SFTS Turn left at their sign just across from Soda la Macha and make your way around the point keeping to the left.   7:30 am to 9 pm.   2787-0016
  2. Soda La Macha - specializing in seafood and local Tico food, we have heard good things about them from all of our guests and enjoyed all of the meals we have had there. They have gotten a bit more expensive lately, though (a fish dinner with salad, veggies and potato for $12-13 plus beverage) Avoid the small fish stand next to the restaurant .  They have been known to substitute frozen fish for the fresh fish that you think you are buying.   There is a better “pescadaria” in Dominical on the river. 
    Located about 2 miles north of us on the highway on the right. Closed Tuesdays.  2787-0064
  3. Por Que No - Located at Hotel Costa Paraiso, directly in front of Rocas Amancio, the location of this restaurant has always been a strong point.  Just before high tide the view (very close) of the waves breaking over the big rocks is dramatic.  If possible, time your dinner here according to the tide charts.    I mention the location first because the restaurant has had its “ups and downs” and has at times been included in our list and at other times we have felt it best not included.    The food ranges from (at the low end) a Barbeque sandwich with mango sauce, French fries and cole slaw at 3,000 colones, to the full meal specials at 4,500 to 7,000 colones.    On average with everything included, you will be paying about 15,000-17,000 per person.  Good Food and gracious service.    RESERVATIONS REQUIRED for dinner.  
  4. Roca Verde - Roca Verde is primarily a large open-air bar that also serves food.  The food is always good and they serve lots of things that you know and like.   It's close to Dominicalito beach and might be a good place to get a refreshment or lunch while enjoying the beach.  There is usually live music there on Thursday and Friday nights starting at 7:00pm.
    Located about 5 km. north of SFTS on the left. 2787-0036
  5. Delicias Restaurant - Salads, sandwiches and baked goods, coffee, etc.in a cafe setting. A good place for breakfast. On the right as you enter Dominical.   2787-0097
  6. Rio Lindo Rum Bar - New York style pizza, buffalo wings, etc.More like a casual bar than a restaurant. Pool table, darts and large screen TV. Live music on Thurs. and Sun. Call to find out. 2787-00726. 
  7. Restaurant Rio Mar - Serving international and local cuisine and offering daily specials, this restaurant is open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner until 10 pm. Our lunches there have been very good. Nice garden setting, English-speaking servers and a good selection to choose from. Credit cards accepted. Heading into the village of Dominical, turn right at Pueblo del Rio shopping center and continue under the bridge up the river for about a 1/2 km.They are located at Villas Rio Mar, towards the left of the parking lot.   2787-0052
  8. Sushi - Not being a sushi fan, I can’t recommend it but lots of people have eaten there and says that it is very good.  Located in Pueblo del Rio shopping center.  If you like sushi, try it and add your comments. 
  9. Maracatu - They offer live music jams on certain nights. Went there once and unfortunately had the worst veggie burger of my life but I lived to tell about it and the entertainment was fun. Some of our guests were musicians and entertained the crowd for a few hours.Everyone else seemed happy with their meals... I went home and had a bowl of cereal.
    Located on the right side of the road across from the soccer field.  2787-0091
  10. Near the entrance to Dominical, you will find on one side of the road, The Mono Congo and on the other, Phat Noodle.  Both are the result of the efforts of the same couple and offer (among other things) meals that please even the most strict vegans.  Vegan, vegetarian, or lactose intolerant; the people in and around these restaurants can help you with what you need (along with the people at Mama Toucan market.)  I have absolutely no knowledge of what goes on here but I’m sure that it’s healthy. 
  11. Tortilla Flats - What you'd call your basic surfer's bar/restaurant (among the top ten beach bars in the world according to TripAdvisor.com) BUT they do have good sandwiches and fries, along with burritos, breakfast, etc. Right across from Dominical beach, this is the local hang-out for the surf/beach crowd.   A good spot to consider especially if you are at the beach or have teenagers with good appetites.  Ask for signature Margarita, Basil/Passion Fruit.  Heading through Dominical turn to the right at the electric/phone company and then turn right at the beach and it will be on your right.
  12. Restaurant/Bar Coco Lindo - This is in the “V” where the town road and the beach road converge. After driving completely through the “business district” of Dominical you will see a big green barn-like structure on the left.   ICE COLD BEER and a nice selection of dishes at reasonable prices and a great view of the beach make this a recommended restaurant.  It is not a gourmet spot but you won’t be disappointed. 
  13. Specializing in seafood, La Langosta Feliz or The Happy Lobster, is only 12 km north of the bridge over the Baru River on a straight flat road.  The prices are reasonable, the portions, generous and the food is absolutely delicious.
  14. Bar Jolly Roger - Just up the hill from SFTS is a funky little bar that is always hopping. Known for it’s burgers and chicken wings, it also has multiple TV’s for most major sporting events.  Live music five nights a week. 
  15. La Palapa at hotel Cuna del Angel - This beautifully designed open-air restaurant offers quality European-style cuisine. Comments lately are positive and it seems they have improved their service. Flambés, salads, sandwiches, quiche, pasta and another full menu for finer dining.  A great place to go to for a drink and a nice, relaxed meal but don't drink too much.  The drink prices are really high. Another problem as far as I am concerned, is that it is a totally gluten free environment.  When I was told that I could not bring my own bread as it would contaminate the place, I decided to not return. Located right at the entrance to Puertocito 2787-8012  

Uvita

In Uvita and Bahia, there are many local restaurants (sodas) that I'm not going to list here. Also, keep in mind that things come and go.    

  1. The Baker Bean (Next to the gas station as you enter Uvita) - Although technically, not a restaurant, Armando is open for breakfast with a nice selection of bagels, pastries, baked empanadas and breakfast sandwiches.  A scrambled egg sandwich with ham or bacon and cheese on a toasted bagel costs about 2,000-2500 colones and is tasty and filling.  Coffee is “so-so.”   He also makes a pretty good pizza and will “customize it” to your taste if you ask him to (more sauce, less cheese, thinner/thicker crust, etc.) 
  2. Turning east from the main intersection in Uvita  (you’ll know that it’s the main intersection because there is something on every corner) and going about 800 meters, you find a sign on the left for Los Laureles.   I hate to admit it but it can be kind of a “go to” joint when you don’t know exactly what you would like to eat.  The food is always tasty and the service is good albeit a bit acerbic if you give Cindy a hard time. Be nice if you know what’s good for you.
  3. La Fogata - Roasted chicken and pizza.  Very good salads. Cute little place.  12 pm – 9 pm.  Just after you pass the first grocery store (red and white stripped awning) & cross the bridge in Uvita. There will be a dirt road to the right. Turn there; restaurant is 200 meters on your left.   2743-8224
  4. Restaurant Marino Ballena - Decent Tico food in a nice outdoor restaurant.  Very cold beer.   Open every day 6 am – 10 pm .In front of the Banco Nacional on your left (next to a large grocery store) 2743-8104
  5. I mustn’t forget El Sabor de España although it isn’t hard to do being down 3 or 4 km of bumpy dark (at night, anyway) road toward the beach at Parque Ballena Marino.  It is worth the trip.  The service is gracious, the food is excellent and if you are a fan of Paella, this is your place.  
  6. The Flutterby House is a popular, bar and restaurant located steps from the beach in the Marino Ballena National Park; it is considered one of Uvita’s “social hubs” and offers some of the best and most eclectic food in the area. With a menu that features local, organic and healthy ingredients, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, everyone will find something they love to eat.. Open 7 days per week for breakfast (7AM-11AM), lunch and dinner (11AM-9PM*) *8PM in low season.
  7. A new spot in Uvita that I have had the opportunity to try is The Osa Thyme restaurant and I found it very clean with a touch of class. I suppose that the only reason that I have not been back is that there are so many places to choose from these days and I am probably a creature of habit.  It’s located at the base of a road up the mountain where half of the gringos in Uvita live so they have a built in clientele.  All in all it’s not bad.  Read the Tripadvisor reviews.
  8. Ever since we moved here twenty some years ago, the only things I missed from The States were, Italian loafers, NPR and Chinese takeout. At this point, I no longer have the need for the loafers and NPR is available on-line.  With the arrival of The House of Ginger in 2016 my life was complete here and now I have no reason to go north other than weddings or funerals.  I wish I could say that it is “great Chinese food” but it’s not.  It is definitely within the “acceptable” range but having a friend that is the best Chinese chef that I have ever enjoyed, I am ruined for most Asian restaurants.  Don’t get me wrong, it is far above the norm for Chinese food in Costa Rica but the bar has been set a bit lower since moving here.  We still order from there and several of the dishes are pretty good.  Just don’t order the General Tso’s Chicken.  You will be disappointed.


Ojochal

Pronounced oh-ho-chal with all syllables having the same accent - Ojochal is a culinary “destination” in Costa Rica with an annual culinary festival.  It is about 25 km south of SFTS.  You'll see signs (for restaurants, etc.) when you get to the Ojochal area. Turn left at the signs and head east along the dirt road.  

  1. Exotica - By far the most popular place with our guests is this restaurant offering “world cuisine”.  It's very small and very much in demand, so dinner reservations are a must.  Open Mon-Sat for dinner only.  Should take about 35 min. to get there.  2786-5050
  2. Citrus - Offering New World Cuisine, they are a bar/restaurant and lounge. Great salads at lunch.  Closed Sunday.  Plenty of signs. 2786-5175
  3. Mamma y Papa - Italian Restaurant offering homemade pasta, pizza, etc.   Italian/Tica  couple runs this cute place.  Seafood and meat dishes as well as homemade pasta (excellent) and a nice wine selection.  Open Tuesday – Sunday   Very good Italian restaurant.  One of the best you will experience anywhere. 
    Located on Calle Peresozo after turning onto dirt road for Ojochal –look for signs.   2786-5336 
  4. Ylang Ylang - Authentic Indonesian cuisine.  Open Thurs – Sun. Immediate left after turning onto dirt rd. for Ojochal going past Citrus 600 meters past police station – Ojochal   2786-5054
  5. French Bakery – well known and popular for his bread (baguettes, campensino, brown, and hotel).  MUST order ahead.  Ask me to order and for directions.   Pick up on MWF only.  
  6. Tilapia Farm - A fun thing to do on the weekend.  They are open Saturday and Sunday.  It is about a 30 minute drive from here.  Take the Costanera past Ojochal.  Be watching for a road on the left just before Punta Mala.  There is a sign for a Pet Hotel.  Go about 4 km. on a scenic road.  The Tilapia Farm is on the right—a big open air pavilion.  The pond is right there where they catch the fish or you can try your hand.  They fry it right there and serve with salad and sides.  That is the only thing they serve.
  7. Although I have already included The Bamboo Room under our Night Life section, I have been reminded that they are open for lunch (never been there for that) and have some pretty good food at dinner (I can definitely attest to that) which makes them maybe more of a restaurant than at bar.  I just prefer to think of them as a night spot.

Farmers Market Notes

Farmers Market (Feria) in Uvita (8am to noon Saturday) adj. new soccer stadium—turn right at crossroads just before Supermercado Del Pacifico and BCR.  Organic veggies & fruits. Lots of local handcrafts sometimes including Boruca Masks.  There are baked goods, frozen soups, & dinners.

Farmers Market all day Friday in Dominical at Pueblo del Rio shopping center.  

Farmers Market in Tinamaste on the road to San Isidro on Tuesday.   Follow road to San Isidro . Specializing in vegan, vegetarian, organic, gluten free and every culinary splinter group one can imagine.  A map is in your information book.

A relatively recent addition is the Wednesday Feria at the community center in Bahia Ballena.  With entertainment and a more “Tico” atmosphere, it has really taken off among the locals.

Again, there are lots more places to eat in the area.  As the Ballena Coast grows, new restaurants open (and close) with frequency.   The preceding list has been included in “stuff to do” just to reassure those of you that ask “Is there any place to eat nearby.”  For heaven’s sake, “Yes!” 

There are even more new ones (and old ones) that I could add but you will probably be here less that a year so don’t even hope for trying them all.  Once here, We will fill you in on the latest reviews and openings and closings.  That’s why you come to OUR place after all, isn’t it? 

FISHING

Some of the most amazing deep sea fishing in the world can be had off the South Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.  Since we have no protected marina (yet) on the Ballena Coast, most of the deep water boats have moved to the Marina Pez Vela in Quepos, about a 40 minute drive from Shelter From the Storm. 

Not being an avid fisherman, I always thought that about a thousand dollars a day is a lot to pay for a boat ride but our guests that are into that sort of thing have been thrilled.  They say that it is the biggest thrill in the world to pull in a hundred pound sailfish. I just don’t get it. 

However, (and I’m sure that you’ve heard this before) “I’ve got a guy..”  Captain Isidro, a local fisherman with a twenty-two foot panga (boat) with an awning will take you out “inshore fishing” (four or five kilometers from shore) for mackerel, rooster fish, snapper, tuna and lots of fish that are smaller than fifty pounds. He charges only $70/hour with a minimum of three hours. 

With a full day, he also provides lunch!  He has really nice fishing tackle, baits the hook, tells you when you have a bite and, once near the boat, he grabs the line, pulls it in and in 90 seconds you have fillets!  Also, if you get tired of just fishing, he will stop so you can go snorkeling, or as happened to me once, if a whale surfaces near your boat, he’ll just pull in the lines and go whale watching (but that’s a whole different category in “stuff to do.” 

Sightseeing along the coast; you can do that too.  But remember, this was all about fishing….

JUNGLE HIKING

If all you want to do is take a walk in the woods (have you ever read Bill Bryson’s book? mmmmm) there are plenty of places to do it around here.  From your villa at SFTS, just drop down 50 meters into a primary growth ravine and follow the stream up hill.  We will loan you a fifty foot rope and a machete (for climbing waterfalls and hacking through the underbrush) and we will will pick you up at the top in a few hours should you actually make it.  It’s the “real deal” as they say. 

If you are looking for something a bit easier however, there is always Hacienda Baru, a private wildlife preserve that encompasses hundreds of acres from the mangroves, through secondary forest and into the heart of dark primary growth with trees hundreds of years old; all this with trails and rudimentary steps, to help you survive.  No rope, no, machete, no compass necessary.  Just pick up Jack Ewing’s book, Paths of Discovery, and you can’t go wrong.

You can also hike to Nayauca Waterfalls (that’s the same one we talked about earlier) along a wide path gradually ascending to a fantastic set of falls where you can swim and impress the folks at home with your selfies. The entire hike is about 12 kilometers but it is shaded much of the way.  Take water in any case.

KAYAKING

Ocean, Mangroves and river kayaking; we’ve got it all here.  If you want the action of open water, take the “waves and caves” tour at Playa Ventanas.  Paddle around amazing rocky promontories carved by centuries of wave action.  Surf the incoming tide or paddle through arches and tunnels filled with sea life.  Rather rigorous.

Much easier and, although less exciting are kayak tours through the mangroves where you’ll encounter wildlife that you just won’t see anywhere else.  Our guests have had great comments regarding both Pineapple Tours and Dominical Surf Adventures, both in Dominical.  There may be others but our experience with them has been so positive, why go anywhere else?    

If you would like the tide and current to do most of the work, try the jungle kayaking along the Sierpe River.  Launching from Perla del Sur (ask for Jorge) according to the high tide (that’s right, the tide affects the current of the river) your private guide will “put in” several miles upstream from the center of the village of Sierpe and you will spend the next couple of hours easily drifting downstream through dark jungle and bamboo stands, teeming with wildlife; amazing birds, three species of monkeys, Boa Constrictors, and Crocodiles. You will feel so darned “jungle explorer” Remember to dress the part so the pictures you send home show how amazing you really are.  It’s also remarkably affordable! 

NIGHTLIFE

There was a time only twenty years ago or so, that we were thrilled to hear the occasional live music when the occasional itinerate musician passed through town and played to pay his bar tab.  These days however, The Ballena Coast is third after only New York City and Bourbon Street for the number of music venues. Maybe a slight exaggeration but pretty close. 

A perennial favorite since 1991 is Roca Verde with live music every Thursday and Friday nights.  The G-string Cowboys play original music with a slight country flavor and the occasional country favorite thrown in.  Great for dancing. 

For the more Rock n Roll fans, Friday is Ben Jammin and the Howlers. More of a concert atmosphere with a hard driving sound.

Relatively new on the scene in Ojochal we have The Bamboo Room with live music every night at sunset.  The genre changes depending on the night but there is something for everybody. 

The Flutterby House is a popular bar and restaurant located steps from the beach in the Marino Ballena National Park; primarily frequented by a younger crowd, it is considered one of Uvita’s “social hubs” and offers some of the best entertainment in the area, The bar has a hopping nightlight with a daily happy hour at 4:00PM, weekly trivia nights on Tuesdays, ping pong, lawn games, seasonal live music, theme parties and other events. The bar is open until 10PM (last call at 9:30).  Flutterby is located a 5 minute walk from the secondary entrance to the Marino Ballena National Park Beach in the Bahia neighborhood of Uvita

Who could forget The Bar Jolly Roger up in the hills of Escaleras.  Well known for its 35 varieties of chicken wings and burgers so big that I can’t finish one, they also have live music five nights a week, Monday through Friday.  On weekends the attraction is “sports” on their multiple screens placed all over the bar.  Oh yeah.  I have to mention the 15 or twenty brands of tequila available for those times when you have a taste for salt and lime and need something to go with it.

RAPPELLING

 Speaking of “the Indiana Jones experience,” have you ever heard of “Canyoning?” That combines rappelling and waterfalls to such a degree that , described as “quite rigorous,” we have never done it personally. After using these legs for seven decades, I’m not sure that they have enough left in them to do six waterfalls from 20 feet to almost 100 feet high and still walking down a sometimes raging river from one to the other.

The tour starts at the Costa Canyoning Base Camp where you are introduced to your guides and the equipment you’ll be using (safety harness, descending gear and helmet). >From Base Camp it’s a 15 min. 4x4 ride through the Magical Bamboo forest and then up the ridgeline to the top of the canyon. There you will receive thorough safety instructions before starting your adventure.

When you reach the first waterfall (which is 7 meters, or 21 feet high) you will be taught the fundamentals and proper techniques of rappelling. Then you are on your way – with 5 more waterfalls to go! The largest of the falls is 27 meters, or 90 feet! The canyon ends at the Uvita River where there are some pristine swimming holes for jumping & sliding or relaxing and reflecting. When you 've had your fill our Canyon Cruzer will pick you up and take you back to the Costa Canyoning Base Camp where you'll receive our famous "Pura Vida Picnic" (beer included)!

In addition to Costa Canyoning, there are also hiking tours (again, for the strong of leg) to the top of Diamante Falls, a 600 foot cascade (!!) the tallest in Costa Rica. These tours also including rappelling from 90 to 150 feet! If that’s your thing, this is the place to do it. Afterwards, come back to the rancho at SFTS and tell me your story. I’ll buy the beer.

SURFING

. . . coming soon

SUP

Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is an offshoot of surfing that originated in Hawaii. Unlike traditional surfing where the rider sits until a wave comes, stand up paddle boarders stand on their boards and use a paddle to propel themselves through the water. The sport was documented in a 2013 report that identified it as the outdoor sporting activity with the most first-time participants in the United States that year.

On the Ballena Coast we have available flat water paddling on the Baru River as well as though mangroves, teeming with wildlife, surfing on ocean waves or paddling in river rapids (whitewater SUP) Several Tour operators offer tours of this type including Dominical Surf Adventures and Pineapple tours; both with excellent reputations.

SNORKELLING

OK, OK. If you are a “serious” snorkeling aficionado, the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica is not the best place in the world to do it. Due to the terrain and the fact that water runs downhill (yes, I looked that up!) our hundreds of mountain streams carry lots of the mountain all the way to the ocean during the rainy season and then the wave action (that makes the area so popular with surfers) stirs it up near the coast. Therefore, don’t even think of stepping off the beach and swimming to a coral reef.

There are some options for the casual snorkeler for an enjoyable day.

Daytrips to Caño Island can be a wonderful adventure, not only for snorkelers but just for the opportunity to get out on the water. Our preference for tour operators is out of Sierpe, about an hour south of Shelter From the Storm. There are other excellent operators (such as Bahia Adventures and Dolphin Tours) much closer but Jorge of Perla del Sur in Sierpe is so easy to work with (and don’t we all want things easy for ME?) and about $35/person less expensive than the local tour operators as well as giving you the bonus of having an actual dock (!) from which to depart.

In addition to the snorkeling on the island (two locations punctuated with a little rest time on the beach) you will be treated with a trip down the Sierpe River where you will have a good chance to see exotic birds (some, not able to be seen in our specific area) as well as three species of monkeys, crocodiles and boa constrictors hanging from the mangroves; a very cool trip. But I digress.

Once in the water, you will find that unlike the Caribbean, where you swim with thousands of brightly colored small fish, here you will find hundreds of larger fish that will create a “tunnel” as you swim through their midst. There will probably also be sea turtles and other species as well. A late lunch on the beach on the mainland of the Osa Peninsula concludes the tour and then an hour and a half ride back to the Perla del Sur restaurant where you disembark.

A silly dispute between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Tourism (you gotta love this stuff) makes it impossible to eat on the beach on the island. I’ll explain the “dispute” over margaritas if you’re interested.

You can also go snorkeling at Roca Ballena (Whale Rock) and Las Tres Hermanas (The Three Sisters) within the Ballena National Park with Captain Isidro (remember him in the part about “fishing?) in his panga. The rocks are just far enough out to avoid the discoloration from the entering rivers and streams and, being within the protected area, are teeming with sea life. Well worth the trip.

SCUBA

A lot of the stuff that you can read in the “snorkeling” section below, can be said about the diving in the area so I won’t waste my time saying it just because I can. But added to the information in the snorkeling section, I would just like to say that we have some favorite dive operations that we would recommend and some others, not so much. Most of the reasons have to do with price and/or ease of doing business.

Remember, we all want things easy for ME. Just be assured that we will do the best that we can for you. At risk of offending the “lesser” dive operations in the area, I would prefer to talk with you about my preferences (as they fit in with YOUR agenda) in a less public forum. I’m sure you understand.

SPA

Oh my gosh, how things have changed around here. Twenty years ago, the occasional itinerate massage therapist would wander into town with his/her portable table and give massages on the beach or the back room of one of the local bars.

Now, there are spas all over the area with a selection of every service available in any “first world” facility at a fraction of the price. There are way too many services to go into in this limited forum (actually, it’s not that limited, it’s just that I don’t have the interest to talk about things like “dilapidation” or “permanent make-up.” That will be between you and your technician.

You also have the option of enjoying relaxation or deep tissue massage by Melanie in the privacy of your own villa or, if you prefer, under our cliff side palapa (thatched roof kiosk) with the most incredible views down the coast. She will do either 60 or ninety minute sessions, as well as sea salt scrubs and body wraps. I’ve never had those last two things but the first two are something to write home about.

SPANISH LANGUAGE LESSONS

Now first, you should know that all that stuff that you hear about “learn to speak another language in two weeks,” or It’s fast, it’s easy…” are nonsense. You are not going to be a fluent speaker in a second language simply by listening to a CD while you sleep or “by just following these three easy steps..” It takes motivation and devotion to study.

You can however, get a great start here with lessons from one of the local language schools. Individual lessons can be contracted as well as multi-day intensive immersion sessions. Probably the most prominent school in the area is Costatica in Uvita run by Katia. You can also study French or even brush up on your English, there. There is even a school in Dominical that specializes in Medical Spanish, for those of you that have Spanish speaking patients or expect to participate in some dangerous activities (see the above) in a Spanish speaking country.

Another school that sounds interesting, mainly due to the impressive credentials of its director, Gina Rodriguez, a Peruvian with 17 years of teaching at the secondary and university level.  The only problem that I have is the claim of “fast” and “easy.”  Having “sweated bullets” for two years of full time immersion and dedication to achieve my own command of the language, I truly do not believe that ANY method can be fast and/or easy.  Check her out however, at En Español in Platanillo, a mountain village about 15 minutes up the hill from Dominical.  

WHALE WATCHING

The Ballena Coast has two whale watching seasons; the first and most popular (with both the whales and the tourists) being from late July until Mid-November and the second from January through March.

The first season coincides with the Southern Hemisphere whales arrival in late July and the second with the arrival of the Northern Hemisphere whales after their trip from Alaska, somtime in late December.

An interesting point that I read in National Geographic is that of the eleven spots on the globe that feature gatherings of whales, The Bay of Coronado (that’s where we live) is the only spot where northern and southern hemisphere whales ever have the chance to meet and “Exchange DNA.” 

During the anual Whale and Dolphin Festival in early September, thousands of tourists arrive for the spectacular shows that these magnificent beasts put on.  To serve their growing market many marine tour companies have grown up in the Bahia área.  Among these are Dolphin Tours and Bahia Adventures.  

Another option if you have several people in your group, is a private tour with Captain Isidro in his 22 foot panga. (remember him from the fishing and snorkeling sections.) If you have five (the máximum that his boat can carry safely) the cost would come out to be equivalente to the cost of the public tours.

WHITE WATER RAFTING

If you’ve never done it, it is a “must do.” The danger is only perceived but the excitement is real! You will get wet (as is the case with most of the stuff that we’ve already talked about) but it’s worth it. Rafting is of course, a seasonal activity from May through December and varies according to the amount of rain in the mountains. As it turns out (and yes, I’ve looked this up) you need water to raft (!?)

There is some fantastic rafting in Costa Rica and we’ve done many of the rivers that you’ve heard about and some that you haven’t. In our area we have several rivers with rapids rated 1 to 4 with “1” being “family friendly” and “4” being “hang and paddle hard!”

Lower Savegre River

The Lower part of the Savegre River is only about 20 minutes from the village of Dominical and features an easy rafting experience of class I and II rapids. From older children to adults, Savegre will certainly impress everyone. The unique vantage from the raft provides an awesome panoramic view of the rainforest, offering ample opportunity to spot tropical plants and animals. The Savegre River is perfect for white water rafting beginners. Though somewhat easier, you’ll experience the great sensation of taking on a beautiful Costa Rican river.

Upper Savegre River

The upper Savegre River offers a bit more of a challenge for beginners to slightly experienced rafters and is one of the cleanest rivers and one with the most crystal-like waters in Central America; only a 30 minute drive from Dominical and surrounded by both forests and beautiful African palm plantations. A rafting trip in the Savegre is one of the best experiences that you may enjoy during your vacation and it is recommended even for families and/or rafting beginners, as its waters are classified as types II and III, so it gives you the pleasure of a perfect combination of excitement and safety. The river has very calm sections in between rafting areas, so this will enable you to appreciate the beauty of its banks, especially its wildlife, as you will see a great variety of tropical birds, such as tick birds, toucans, tiger birds, parrots, parakeets, and other exotic birdsIn the middle of your trip you will stop to hang out at a waterfall while having lunch or simply swim and feel the water falling against your back.

Naranjo River

A little further from Dominical, the Naranjo River is the natural southern border of Manuel Antonio National Park. The section you will explore goes from the town of Villanueva in the mountains to the Llamarón Bridge on the road from Quepos to Dominical. On these 8 miles of whitewater you will run rapids like “La Piñata”, “El Cesar” & “Robin Hood” running the first 5 miles of continuous action. On the second half of the run, the river opens up on the Pacific flat lands giving you the opportunity to enjoy the view of many species of birds like the Ringed King Fisher, Tiger Herons and the White Ibis. With a little bit of luck you might be able to see one of the river otters or crocodiles that live on the river.

Coto Brus River

Last, and my personal favorite, is the Coto Brus River Class III & IV Coto Brus River has some powerful class III and IV whitewater rapids. Now this river is about an hour and a half drive from Shelter From the Storm but well worth the drive. Beginning in the mountains near Coto Brus and San Vito, far from the typical centers of tourist activity The Coto Brus River does not attract as many rafters as other whitewater rivers in Costa Rica, making it ideal for people looking for a smaller number of rafts tagging along.

From our experience traveling the world and living in Costa Rica, the best spots, the ones that you will remember forever, the ones that make one feel like a “traveler” and not a “tourist” are those that are a little “off the beaten path” where you can leave  

YOGA

coming soon . . .

ZIP LINING

In our area you have a choice of two zip-line experiences; each very different than the other. This is not to say that in both cases you will not be suspended from a cable and flying through the canopy from tree to tree, but that is where the similarity ends.

Hacienda Baru Wildlife Preserve has eight lines running through the primary growth part of the property with the trails leading to each of the platforms bordered by interesting “jungle stuff.” Your guides, each trained by Jack Ewing, himself, and all with a true affection for the environment around us, will point out mammals, insects and birds on your hike while allowing you to take photos through their spotting scope. The fee for the zip-line includes a day-pass to the preserve that you might use to wander the trails from the mangroves through the secondary and into the primary forest. I guarantee that by the end of the day you will have a greater appreciation of the world around you.

Osa Mountain Canopy Tour, on the other hand, makes no pretense to being an ecological tour. It is a “thrill ride” with eleven lines; the longest a half kilometer long. It’s high and it’s fast. The second largest in Costa Rica, this tour runs though some wild jungle and the walk from tower to tower can be a bit more rigorous than at Hacienda Baru but in the world of zip-lining, you get what you work for. It’s truly exciting.

 ZZZZZZZZZZZ

  . . . . CAN"T MAKE UP YOUR MIND?

As you’ve probably noticed by now I am an (self-proclaimed) expert on almost everything to do in the área and I can help you to book most tours and give advice on how to spend your limited vacation days.  In fact, I’ve done this for literally thousands of travelers to our área of the Ballena Coast.  There are other options however, in that now there are real professionals that do that sort of thing.  Now, I’m not sure what professional standards may exist but you may ask Ellie Dufresne at "Choose Your Own Adventure Tours", a personal concierge and transportation service. She takes up to six people on a an adventure trip of their choice. An authentic Costa Rica experience  +505- 8451 9227 or call Shelter from the Storm +506-8373 2244.

Remember though; no matter what she says about tours, we would still like you to stay with us at Shelter From the Storm.  Remember, we are ranked #1 of all specialty lodgings in Puntarenas (that’s almost the whole Pacific coast) and even if everyone doesn’t agree, we can’t be all that bad.