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5 Great Costa Rican hotels based on location, price and off the beaten path.

By Kryssia Quesada Creet  2023

Sometimes hotels look great online, but then you get there and you realize how difficult it was to get to the beach.  Or you could not get good service because it was too commercial making it too busy.  Sometimes the best hotels are the ones that are remote, closer to the beach and easy to walk to.  It could pose a problem when you have to walk an hour up a mountainous street in the heat just to get to the entrance of the beach that would have been a 5 min Uber ride. Another problem, the local cabbies recognize this need so they may price gouge innocent foreigners. One place in Mexico charged tourists 50$ each way for 5 mins just to get to the beach taking advantage of tourist's desperation. 

So, here are some great hotels that receive an A or B rating based on logistics and off the beaten path.  The way to see Costa Rica is to prepare the logistics ahead of time in order to get the most out of your trip. 

Disclaimer:  The information given is provided for any reader seeking travel information.  onlyhappythings.com is not responsible for any risk which can occur to the traveler.  Travel at your own risk. The information gathered is a collection of data and it is true and accurate according to real travel experience.  

Off the beaten path hotel. It is a great area to have a private beach all to yourself. No one travels to this beach because it is somewhat hard to get to. But it is well worth it as the name indicates- Hotel Clandestino, meaning secret. The best part is the beach is literally in front of your room.  It is just a 5 min walk though your lobby and some stairs and you are right there on the beach.  Also, it is away from tourists. It is on an isthmus, so you have water in the front (the Pacific to be specific) and water mangrove behind the hotel.  Located in Parrita, Palo Verde  Puntarenas Province South of Costa Rica.

* Off the Beaten Path

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Photo taken at Hotel Clandestino

2. Karahe Hotel and Villa

Karahe is one of the original hotels in the Manuel Antonio area during an era when tourism was low. As a result, they were able to pick the best beach front property. It is still privately owned by a Costa Rican family.  Most of the other hotels in the area are not on the beach as is Karahe Hotel and Villa. This prime location is selected based on the logistics proximity to the beach, and wildlife experience. They have adorable cabins on top of the hill making it easy to see the spectacular view of the ocean. Because of it's proximity to Manuel Antonio National Park, its tucked away mountainous location is a playground for Capuchin Monkeys, iguanas, birds and other wildlife. If you want to see monkeys then this is the hotel for you. 

* Logistics --easy access to the beach

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Photo taken at Karahe Hotel and Villa 

3. La Cusigna Lodge 

The Uvita Beach area is really impressive, and it is not as populated. Drive along the coast and stop from beach to beach and make sure to look along the way for some spectacular waterfalls.  Walk along the miles of empty beaches in peace and relaxation.  There are plenty of cute hotels along with spectacular views.  La cusinga Lodge.

Logistics--close to beach

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Courtesy of La Cusigna Lodge

4. Arenal Volcano Inn

Go to Arenal Volcano Inn for a quiet relaxing experience among the peaceful mountain side.  You will hear the tranquil rumble of Arenal Volcano as you gaze at the Volcano. Drink your morning Costa Rican coffee on your private patio  and listen to howler monkeys from the far mountain rainforest.  It is absolutely a one of a kind experience. Other hotels just won't give you the same ambiance because the environment is too open.  These tucked away cabins and lodges make it a completely amazing experience. There is something special about having it all to yourself, because that is exactly how it feels. A five star resort, does not allow for this private experience. 

*Off the beaten path, non commercial.

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Courtesy Photo of Arenal Volcano Inn

Now that you did the rustic drive from beach to beach, sweated out your toxins and watched monkeys jump from tree to tree.  Enjoy the authentic hot springs by bathing in various real hot spring baths, walking through wooden trails while the steam from the ground clouds over you. Relax in the saunas and cover yourself with natural volcanic clay which promotes healing.  Located in upper Northwest of Guanacaste.

*Off the beaten Path

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Photo taken at Boriquen Villa by Kryssia Quesada

5. Do as much as you can and get dirty in Costa Rica.
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