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Costa Rica 





Our first stop in Costa Rica is always Escazu because it is close to San Jose airport (actually closer than San Jose) and has the very charming  Costa Verdi Inn [**, $].  The  inn is cozy, small, and intimate, and the staff is exceptionally friendly and helpful. 


Costa Verdi is actually a country inn with all the amenities of a small resort (including a pool).  Each day here starts with a wonderful breakfast of toast, eggs, and tropical fruits served on the veranda. 


Finding the inn can be a bit tricky.  It's just past the Escazu cemetery.  Your cab driver may call the inn on his cell phone to navigate the last few blocks - or use map directions on their web site.


We also like Escazu as a base for day trips around the San Jose.  One day:  the Poas Volcano [**], and have lunch with exotic window views at the cafe in the private forest Albergue Ecologico La Providencia [**,$].  (It's near the entrance gate to Poas Volcano.  You may have to ask for directions.)  Another day: the coffee plantations and the Tara Resort Hotel.  The town of Escazu is also charming and worth a short exploration.  For dinner with exceptional view we recommend the mountain top bar-restaurante Tiquicia [*, $$].  Its up a long windy road and difficult to find.  Take a cab from Escazu or get very detailed instructions from the Casa Verdi staff.  Also recommended by Frommer's and we second it:  Santa Ana Tex Mex (best for lunch), also in the hills.  We also recommend that you DON'T spend much time in San Jose.  There is not much there.  Your time is better spent in the country side surrounding the city, or just hanging out at the pool and veranda at the Costa Verdi Inn.



Recommended day itinerary from Escazu base:  Start the day with breakfast on the veranda of Costa Verdi Inn.  Then...



Drive up Poas volcano,  which is close to San Jose but still a long and scenic drive up. Follow visit with lunch at nearby Albergue Ecologico La Providencia.



Finish the day with a romantic candle-lit dinner (sometimes with musicians) at Tiquicia, up the mountain from Escazu.  Photo above is from inside dining room overlooking San Jose city lights.





2005 R. Abileah

Last updated February 27, 2008