The Holiday Rental Concierge As Your Local Best Friend

2018-05-03T17:49:10+00:00By |

I don’t remember the name of a single hotel concierge from any of the hotels we’ve ever stayed at over our many years of travel writing and we’ve checked into thousands. Yet I can name a couple of dozen or so concierges of holiday rentals we’ve settled into. I could also share some of their …

The Art of Doing Nothing

2018-11-26T11:00:50+00:00By |

There’s no shortage of things to do in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. We’ve been wildlife-spotting on a walk through Manuel Antonio National Park, we’ve hiked in the forest for a spot of bird watching, we’ve strolled around a spice plantation, we’ve cruised through mangrove swamps, and Terence has dug his feet into the wax of …

Cruising the Mangroves of the Pacific Coast Costa Rica

2018-05-06T12:35:13+00:00By |

We’d gone wildlife spotting in the Manuel Antonio National Park and bird watching in the forest at El Silencio nature reserve, so the next logical thing to do seemed to be to get on the water and check out the wildlife from a boat, cruising the mangroves of the Pacific Coast Costa Rica. One of …

Birdwatching in Costa Rica — In Search of the Scarlet Macaws

2018-05-11T18:11:41+00:00By |

Birdwatching in Costa Rica is a must-do experience, even if you're not a twitcher or birder. There's such an abundance of beautiful birds and with good guides they're not hard to see. And that's how we found ourselves on a birdwatching adventure in search of the Scarlet Macaws. Birdwatching in Costa Rica — In Search of …

Local Knowledge: Ivan from Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

2015-10-23T13:09:08+00:00By |

The Pacific coast town of Manuel Antonio in Costa Rica is hot and humid. Stand still long enough here and you’ll see mould appearing on your body. The locals, however, have standing still down to an art. Languid and laid-back, Costa Ricans take their time with everything. It’s common sense when just the act of waxing …

Learning to Surf in Costa Rica

2018-05-28T09:25:08+00:00By |

It’s been a long day learning to surf in Costa Rica. I can barely lift my arms above my shoulders. My knees are red raw. As are my ribs. My back feels like I’ve been bent over breaking rocks with a chain gang. I can taste salt and I still have sand in my hair. …

Monkey Business — Our Friends in Manuel Antonio

2015-08-01T17:47:36+00:00By |

How open to the elements were the holiday rental properties we stayed in at Manuel Antonio? Susan, our brilliant concierge suggested we leave a light on at night on each floor of Casa Elsa “so the bats don’t think it’s a cave”. She wasn’t joking. At the second property, The Beach House, there was a cute …

Our Home Away from Home in Costa Rica #2

2018-11-25T17:28:39+00:00By |

Our second home away from home in Costa Rica is called The Beach House. Now, there are plenty of resorts in this neck of the jungle that attach the name ‘beach’ to their title as often as they do ‘spa’. Some may well have a spa, but most are generally not on the beach. The Beach House couldn’t …

Planting Trees to Save the Titi Monkeys

2015-12-03T15:59:09+00:00By |

Stay at Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, for a week and you’ll never again complain how hard it can sometimes be to meet locals when you travel. We had visitors casually dropping in daily at Casa Elsa – families of friendly, white-faced Capuchin monkeys. One day we also had a group of the cutest Mono Titi or …

A Sweet Spice Tour to Villa Vanilla

2018-05-06T12:35:54+00:00By |

As we stroll across the lush lawns of the Villa Vanilla Spice Plantation, just 10 miles east of Manuel Antonio, we see various spices hanging out to dry and we inhale the heady aromas of vanilla, cinnamon and cocoa. Aaahhh. Our lovely local guide leads us into the weathered old wooden house where she presents …

Some Home-Delivered Pampering with an In-Villa Spa Break

2014-09-25T19:08:15+00:00By |

When you stay at a five-star hotel or luxury resort you expect a certain level of comfort, services and amenities to be available, such as in-room dining or room service and spa facilities or at the very least in-room massages. We never expected a holiday rental property to offer such a level of service so …

Manuel Antonio National Park – A Walk in Our Backyard

2018-05-12T12:10:08+00:00By |

One of the first things we do when we arrive at a new destination and move into our ‘home’ is to explore our surrounding neighbourhood. As our latest ‘home away from home’ is in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, it made sense to begin exploring our own backyard, the Manuel Antonio National Park. And what an …

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