Traditionally, late November to April has been considered the high season for Costa Rica, with rates averaging at least 30% more than in the off season. Due to the popularity of the region, you may also find higher rates beginning as early as September and extending into June. If you can avoid the high season you will be able to get some incredible rates for your lodging and airfare.
When reviewing your options for lodging, consider a private all-inclusive villa. Many are available at rates comparable to an all-inclusive resort, but offer far greater privacy, ample square footage, and lots of amenities. If you are considering this trip with a group of family members or friends, this is definitely an option you should explore as the cost savings will be significant.
My husband and I vacationed at a villa at the recommendation of a friend who had stayed at this particular villa several times. The villa included 4 bedrooms and 4 baths, a houseboy and cook/maid, all meals, all beverages (including local alcohol), a private pool and Jacuzzi, all overlooking a breathtaking view of the ocean. The price was very reasonable, especially when compared to the rates of local hotels and resorts. The villa also had an association with a local tour group for booking excursions, which were very reasonably priced. Our houseboy took us into town for shopping and recommended local shops for specific items of interest like art and jewelry. He also took us to the local beach for snorkeling whenever we wanted, all at no additional cost. We indulged in massages, which turned out to be a wonderful experience as they came to the villa and provided the service outside on the sweeping terrace overlooking the ocean. We enjoyed it so much we booked them for a second day!
Atop a catamaran we sailed to our scuba destination where I witnessed something I have yet to see again. While scanning the area as our scuba master guided us along the ocean floor, I spotted something out of the corner of my eye and had to double back to see what it was. The current was strong and it was difficult to stay in one place for very long. As I came around to the location again, I spotted an octopus putting on a brilliant light show with flickering rays of color streaming through its body. Octopuses are known for being chameleons and blending into any environment, but this little guy was putting on a show as if calling attention to it. Sadly, my attempts to photograph it were not successful given the condition of the current, so I enjoyed the fleeting moment and moved on to catch up with the group.
One morning we embarked on a deep sea fishing tour where two deck hands and the captain catered to our every need. No sailfish were landed that day, but we caught many mahi-mahi and wahoo. We gave some of the fish to the crew and captain and some we took back to the villa for the staff. They prepared the fish for us for dinner that evening infusing local cuisine. It was wonderful as were all the meals.
One of the great perks in having these accommodations is the constant attention by the staff. When I say constant attention, I am not referring to always being there asking if you need anything, but being somewhere close by, out of sight, and instinctively knowing when you need something. Imagine sitting by the pool and as soon as your drink is almost empty another appears without you having to say a single word. You are their only concern, not you and the 50 other people in your immediate area. They would arrive in the early morning and have breakfast ready whenever we were ready. They departed in the evening after dinner and always made sure we had whatever we needed.
Costa Rica is a beautiful place to visit with so much to see and do. Plan ahead to get the best value and research all the fun things to do for an action packed adventure or just relax and unwind as the beauty of the region surrounds you.
You can view more pictures and a few underwater videos from our stay at my website Sydney Busch Photography.
If you are interested in knowing more about where we stayed, please visit CRVillas.com for a complete list of amenities and view of the properties. We stayed at Villa Escondido located in Playa Ocotal, Guanacaste Province Costa Rica. Villa Puesta Del Sol is located a short walk away and is featured in some of the pictures at my website.
© Sydney Busch © Sydney Busch Photography