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
[**, $]. The inn is cozy, small, and intimate, and the staff is
exceptionally friendly and helpful.
Costa Verdi is actually a country inn with all the
amenities of a small resort (including a pool). Each day here starts with
a wonderful breakfast of toast, eggs, and tropical fruits served on the veranda.
Finding the inn
can be a bit tricky. It's just past the Escazu cemetery. Your cab driver may call the inn on
his cell phone to navigate the last few blocks - or use
map directions on their
We also like Escazu as a
base for day trips around the San Jose. One day: the Poas Volcano [**],
and have lunch with exotic window views at the cafe in the private forest
Albergue Ecologico La Providencia [**,$]. (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