About this listing
This is an opportunity to have an authentic Costa Rican experience: Eat typical food, see wildlife and farms before commercialization changes them and most importantly, experience the local people's kindness that defines Costa Rica.
This is an opportunity to have an authentic Costa Rican experience. Eat typical food, eat at the restaurants only the locals know about, see wild life and traditional farms before commercialization changes them forever. You'll have opportunities to visit local farms, my parent's organic shade grown coffee plantation in the mountains of San Ramon, and simply experience the natural beauty, delicious food, and most importantly, the local people's kindness that defines Costa Rica.
My family owns a property with two houses and typical restaurant that is located in almost the exact center of Costa Rica, only 15 minutes away from Juan Santa Maria International Airport. My Tia Lidia and her family live in one house, and the other has 3 bedrooms available for rent.
Bedroom #1: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/927879
This page is for bedroom #2
Bedroom #3: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1832055
My Tia Lidia has over 30 years of experience in the best seafood restaurants in Heredia and Alajuela. Her husband, my Tio Rigo, has over 40 years of experience in the tourism business, and my cousin Isleivin has over 20 years of experience in tourism. They currently own a small, local restaurant and are looking for additional income.
The house is conveniently located in front of a bus stop with buses that go to central Santa Barbara, San Juan, Alajuela, and Heredia. There are¨pulperias¨ (small convenience stores), bakeries, restuarants (especially my Tia Lidia's), and parks within walking distance.
Tia Lidia's restaurant,(currently in town, but they will deliver to house), serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The breakfast generally consists of fresh Costa Rican coffee, gallo pinto (rice and beans) with a side of either fresh pressed cheese, natilla, fried egg, fresh fruit, or an assortment of the above for $4 to $6. For lunch and dinner, she serves fried fresh sea bass ($5), Arroz con camarones ($6), Sea Bass or Shrimp Ceviche ($5), fried plantains ($3), as well as many other typical Costa Rican food like gallo pinto. She's extremely accomodating to guests and will be sure to come up with a dish that meets your dietary needs and tastes.
The house is a fully furnished 3 bedroom, 2 bath ranch house with a large front porch with rocking chairs. It is fully stocked with sofas, benches, dining counter for up to 10, utensils, plates, glasses, oven, microwave, rice cooker, pots, pans, etc. There is wifi for you to use, and the showers are equipped with hot water (which is not standard for Costa Rica).
Bedroom 1 has a full size bed (2 people) and twin sized bunk beds (2 people) with an ensuite full bathroom (4 people total).
Bedroom 2 has a bunk bed with a full sized bed on the bottom and single on top (3 people). The second bathroom is accessible through bedroom 2 as well as the common area.
Bedroom 3 has a twin sized bed with a roll away twin bed underneath it (2 people total).
This is a listing for bedroom #2
Notice of pets
Although there are no pets in the house, my cousin that lives on the same property owns a talking parrot.
Since the house is so centrally located this really opens up tons of great day trip opportunities. Within an hour drive you can
-Explore the crater of the Volcan Poas ($10) and go zip linning ($50) across it's lake.
-Visit my parent's shade grown, mountain coffee plantation. (For $35 a person you can rent horses from a neighbor and go on an amazing tour including a waterfall where you can swim and a mountain peak where you can see the ocean despite being in the middle of the country.) Also it's the spot George Clooney picked to buy the coffee for his high end nescafe line of products.
-Visit Sarchi, the country's cultural art center. See artisans construct highly decorated Ox Carts that used to be used to pull coffee (the nations previous #1 export) from the mountainous central region to the coasts to be shipping around the world. Also, the largest ox cart in the world is located here.
-Visit San Jose and see the beautiful cathedrals, government buildings, and attend a performance at the National Opera House. ($10 per person for professional tour)
-Go to Downtown Heredia and walk in the beautiful parks, enjoy homemade ice cream, or explore the great nightlife with salsa and cumbia dancing.
-Drive to Mirador Quetzal and go on a 5 AM walk through the cloud forest to try to see the elusive Quetzal.
-Drive to Jaco Beach and bum around the beach, take surf lessons ($40), or adventure into the nightlife.
-White Water Raft on the Pacquare River ($100).
-Go to a traditional farm that is also a butterfly sanctuary and learn about Costa Rica's wildlife and how local farmers try to grow organically. ($35pp with lunch included)
My cousin would also be happy to book hotels, tours, and anything else you'd be interested in doing. Please pick his brain on the over 200 different tour routes he's been a part of over the past 20 years.
The town of Santa Barbara is known for its fried chicken and seafood restaurants. If you decide to take a day or two to explore Santa Barbara, I highly recommend checking out the local church and its garden, playing a pick up soccer game called a mejenga in Costa Rican Spanish, and trying some exquisite seafood at my aunt's restaurant and others. The local bakeries make great pastries called Patitos, "little ducks", filled with dulce de leche. The local Ice Cream shops carry flavors of tropical fruits like passion fruit, guayaba, and melocoton that you should try if you get a chance.
In terms of night life, a cheap and quick cab ride can get you to either San Pedro where Kareoke reigns supreme or the dance clubs of Heredia. Definitely try the Chifrio, a combination of fried pork belly, rice and beans, and some times avocado or tomato that's a popular bar food. If you are feeling adventurous and they are in season, you can try a turtle egg shot at most bars. It is an egg of the Olive Ridley sea turtle in a tomato vodka shot.
Pedicures, massages, and spa treatments are all extremely affordable in the Santa Barbara area as well. Most will make in home appointments which is a great option if you choose to have a relaxing day in after an exciting tour the previous day.
There is a bus stop directly in front of the house that can take you to Santa Barbara, San Juan, Alajuela, or Heredia for $0.50-$3 a person. If arriving from any where other than the airport, simply take the train or bus from where you are to either Heredia or Alajuela from there ask for the bus that goes to Santa Barbara and passes through San Juan. Tell them the bus stop in front of Panaderia Las Rosas.
Taxi´s charge $1 for initial pull and $1 for each additional kilometer. There is a $3 airport fee, so a taxi from the airport to the house will cost $15, but it the most cost and time effective option from the airport.
Other Things to Note
Notice of pets
Although there are no pets in the house, my cousin that lives on the same property owns a talking parrot.
1. Instructions for toilet paper disposal
Please place all toilet paper in the trash can next to the toilet. Do not place the toilet paper in the toilet, since it will clog the Costa Rican sewage system and cause the toilet to back up and flood the bathroom. This is true in all of Costa Rica due to the plumbing infrastructure. Please take this tip with you anywhere else you visit in Costa Rica.
2. Instructions to use the washer and dryer
First fill the washer with water. Add soap to your liking. Start the spin cycle. Then, manually rinse the clothes using water in the sink. After clothes are washed, place them in the spin dryer. Make sure that the clothes are evenly balanced in the spinner. Start the spin cycle. This will remove the majority of the water. Hang the clothes on the lines to finish drying.
3. Feel free to store things in the refrigerator, watch tv, prepare meals, use the WIFI, and use the washing and drying machine. We only ask that you please be respectful of everything in the hosue and leave the house as you found it. If you have any questions do not hesitate to ask my cousins Isleivin or Jairo who live in the other house on the property.
We took a cab from the airport and Isleivin was very helpful as soon as we got there. This was a good stopping place to figure out where we wanted to go. Isleivin arranged a cab ride for us to the bus station the next morning. The house was clean, with a shared bathroom. The little town at the top of the hill has typical CR food, not tourist oriented at all. A great stopping point for before or after a flight.
Nous étions attendus, nos hôtes nous ont présentés notre chambre et les installations. Ils nous ont indiqués où manger.
Nous avions pas d'indication sur le logement, celui ci est à l'écart, en bordure de route sans aucun intérêt autours.
Excellent welcome eve though we arrived in the middle of the night. Room with shared bathroom is basic but clean, nice big kitchen is great. Good connection with San Jose (bus twice per hour).
Mucho que opinar sobre este lugar, quiero comenzar por explicarles que reserve mis boletos de avion una semana antes de llegar a Costa Rica asi que no tuve demasiado tiempo de contratar tours o investigar mucho acerca de los lugares turisticos, estuve en CR por 8 noches en las cuales 3 me hospedé en este lugar, al llegar 2 noches y mi ultima noche en este hermoso pais.
Son aproximadamente 10 minutos del aeropuerto a esta casa, para mi fue la mejor opcion que pude tomar, los hoteles estaban muy caros y poco atractivos para mi gusto, retirados del aeropuerto y lo mas importante para mi, el tener el honor de ser atendida por el Sr. Isleivin, una persona extraordinaria, muy servicial y en todo lo que necesites el siempre tiene opciones, yo llevaba una lista de todos los lugares en CR que quería visitar y el me dio los mejores tips, si gustan el ofrece tours de un dia o por varios, yo iba con mi familia asi que nos resulto muy bien el contratar los servicios de el o tambien de su primo, dependiendo a donde quieran ir, el y su familia son muy lindos.
El cuarto y baño estaban limpios y las areas comunes igual, no tuvimos problemas con nada, yo recomiendo ampliamente este lugar si quieren para comenzar su recorrido por CR o para finalizarlo, igual para mi es mucho mejor si de aqui hacen tours de un dia y regresan como ir a ver el Irazu o el Poas, tambien un City tour en San Jose, visitar las cascadas de La Paz, hay muchoas cosas por ver e Isleivin puede ayudarlos con todo lo que necesiten, definitivamente si regreso a CR me hosperaría aqui de nuevo ;)
The house was very clean and I felt at ease. We got off the plane and into a cab. It cost like 20 bucks in a cab fare to get there from the airport. I passéd out within a few hours of landing but my friends talked to some members of the family and told me how friendly everyone was in the morning. It was very easy to communicate and the directions our host gave to us via email were great. I would definitely recommend staying here if your trying to find a relaxed part in a little out of the San Jose hustle. Very convenient and I felt safe the entire time.
The family I stayed with was incredibly sweet and helpful. They went to the store and got ingredients for a salad, as I am a vegetarian, and made me some great food. I am so grateful and happy I stayed here, I also got help planning my trip in extreme detail. Many immediate responses from AirBNB hosts. Thanks so much!!
Un hote tres sympathique et toujours prêt à rendre servive. Logement confortable sur le lit double et l'équipement de la cuisine. Par conre lit rudimentaire et petite salle de bain. Le gros inconvénient est la difficulté à trouver l'hôte dans un quartier tranquille mais mal indiqué. A situer à partir de la place centrale du village.
This host has 195 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
About the Host, Peter And Krista
I grew up living between Chicago during the school year and Costa Rica during the breaks (The benefits of having both parents employed as teachers with summers off). I loved experiencing it as a child, teenager, college student and whatever label I am now. In all honesty, being able to experience the urban and rural through the different perspectives of age, responsibilities, interests, and groups of friends really expanded my knowledge of and interest in Chicago, Costa Rica, and the world in general. I like to think of myself as an aged local historian in training, trying to accumulate as much knowledge as humanly possible through first hand experience and people's stories. I am a huge fan of swapping travel stories over local ale and cherish getting local insider tips about anywhere I'm traveling to. If you stay with us, I will be sure to dish on all the great hidden gems Chicago or Costa Rica have to offer.
I'm a foodie and over the years have tried hundreds of restaurants in Chicago. I love them all. From the $2 tacos in Pilsen to the $200 dinner in the Fulton River District/West Town, I appreciate Chicago's unique culinary style. Feel free to ask for any recommendations, I love an excuse to share my passion for Chicago.