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 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 #3
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, and parks within walking distance.
Tia Lidia's restaurant, (currently under renovation), 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 #3
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.
Taxi´s charge $1 for initial pull and $1 for each additional kilometer. There is a $2 airport fee, so a taxi from the airport to the house will cost $10.
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 Silvia who live in the other house on the property.
Homely place. Note that property is in San Juan, Santa Barbara (vs. Santa Barbara). There are multiple 'mesetas' in the local area, so it took a while for our taxi driver to find the place. Isleivin met us, showed us the room, and kindly gave us information about things to do in Heredia. On the day of our departure, his father dropped us at the airport for a reasonable fee. Do check out Cafe Britt plantation tour if you get a chance, as well as Las Rosas bakery (opposite the accommodation) for some delicious pastries.
This was a very friendly, welcoming family of three generations. There was a full apartment, great value for the price, and the kitchen was well equipped for self-catering. Isleivin and his father spoke excellent English, which was helpful as our Spanish was deficient.
Although the location was a little out of town, the transport was excellent and fun. We were able to find our way around with a little help from the friendly neighbours.
Isleivin's mom makes the best tamales ever!
Yes, we enjoyed our stay here very much.
We live in Costa Rica and are very familiar with the Tico way of life. We were not disappointed and enjoyed a warm welcome from the family. The house is spacious and quiet, no barking dogs in the night which can sometimes be a problem. The hot shower was more than adequate to relax after our hike to the Barva Volcano. Thank-you for allowing us to bring our dog, one of the rare airbnb guest homes to do so.
My time at "True Tico" was very sweet! I didn't meet Peter or Krista because they live in Chicago but the rest of the family who live in the front house were kind and lively. After living in a remote area of the Nicoya Peninsula for 2.5 months, it was such a pleasure to so easily catch a bus right in front of the house to go into Santa Bárbara, Heredia, San Jose, etc.
I had mosquito visitors at night in room #3 that I could have prevented by keeping the louvered windows and door closed before dusk. Being the only one in the house, I found another room that had been closed and slept there quite peacefully.
I was able to prepare meals for myself and use the internet. During my stay there, I had some work to do that required internet connection and even though I had to sit on the porch in order to connect, I was able to do almost everything I needed.
AND when Rigalberto brought me freshly homemade tamales one morning, my stay went from peaceful to delicious!
While I was there, Isleivin was working daily to finish preparations for the restaurant that will open in the front of their front house. It's gonna be good, folks! This will be an even more delicious place to stay once the restaurant is open! Isleivin was also readily available to answer any questions and he gave me excellent directions to use the buses.
The house for visitors is pretty basic, no frills, and while something much more comfortable to sit on in the living room would be nice, the place is good overall, staying cool during the day and allowing fresh air throughout.
It was also nice and helpful that Rigalberto was my taxi driver to the airport at 4am for a reasonable price.
Ich war mit einem Freund für 2 Tage in San Jose. Wir haben die Unterkunft wegen der Nähe zum Flughafen gewählt. Das Zimmer war zweckmäßig. Es standen wirklich nur 2 Betten drin.Die Matratzen der Betten waren ok. Es war sauber. Neben den Zimmer ist das Gemeinschaftsbad, welches mit anderen Gästen, geteilt werden muss. Das Bad war ebenfalls sauber. Des Weiteren steht einem eine sehr große Küche zur Verfügung. In dieser Küche findet man alles was man braucht. Weiterhin kann man ein Wohnzimmer nutzen.
Vor der Tür ist direkt eine Bushaltestelle. Hiermit gelangt man in ca. einer halben Stunde ins Zentrum von San Jose. Zum Flughafen sind es höchstens 10min. Das Zimmer ist also etwas außerhalb von San Jose in einer ruhigen Gegend.
Der Gastgeber hat uns am späten Abend gegen 22:00Uhr persönlich empfangen und war sehr nett. Er spricht gutes Englisch. Er hat uns sogar gegen ein kleines Entgelt zum Flughafen gebracht.
Wer für kleines Geld eine Übernachtungsmöglichkeit in der Nähe zum Flughafen sucht, ist das Zimmer optimal. Zum erkunden der Stadt ist es auch ok. Man braucht halt nur etwas länger ins Zentrum. Etwa 30min.
We enjoyed a lot to stay with this very nice family near Santa Barbara. The place is clean, there is a big kitchen/living room. Soon they will have their own Ceviche restaurant! Good luck!
Fantastic stay! Islevin is super nice and very helpful. His family makes the best ceviche ever...do try some! We stayed at the end of our journey. For a small fee Islevins cousin picked us up from the house and dropped us off at the airport, which is about 15 minutes from the house. Very nice experience!
This host has 183 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 like to take visiting friends to the Art Institute, a concert in Millennium Park, or simply a walk around the river. If I'm available, I have a few memberships to local museums so I'll probably be able to take you as guests and access members only exhibits.
I'm a foodie and have been to over 200 restaurants in Chicago. I love it 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.