Adventures of the Heart
Mary Zalmanek
Costa Rica - The Invitation

Friday, August 03, 2001


Jim and I are going to Costa Rica for 2 months in the fall to run a bed & breakfast. We want you to come visit any Villa Decarytime between September 23 and November 13.  You can take a look at the website for this beautiful place at 

Just in case you haven't heard the story, let me briefly recap.  In April Jim and I went on a 10-day cruise through the Panama Canal with my parents for their 50th anniversary.  After the cruise ended in Costa Rica, Jim and I stayed an extra 5 days to see Costa Rica.  We spent 3 of those days at bed & breakfast recommended by Dwayne, a good friend in Denver.  I asked the American owners, Bill & Jeff, if they ever get away for vacation.  They told us they usually take 3 or 4 months vacation a year, and find friends or former guests to run the place during their absence.  After talking about it for a while, Jim and I agreed to go this fall.

Jim and I are taking a crash course in Spanish, since the five people who work there only speak Spanish.  Fortunately for us, ninety percent of the guests are English speaking.  I am never far from my English-Spanish dictionary these days. 

Villa Decary offer discounted pricing during the off-season.  They are also offering 3 nights for the price of 2 in September and October, which is an even better deal if you stay 3 or 6 nights.  This price includes breakfast.  Check out their website for the details. 

Prices in Costa Rica are very reasonable.  Airfare is running about $500 from Colorado Springs or Denver.  The only thing that we found to be expensive was car rental, but a friend did some checking on the internet on found a 4x4 for around $200 a week, which was much better than what we paid.

Villa Decary is located on Lake Arenal, which is in the rainforest.  Rainy season Lake Arenalin Costa Rica runs from May to October.  Since Villa Decary is in a rain forest, it rains year-round anyway.  According to some of the locals, rainy season is actually their favorite time of year.  It is clear in the mornings, rains buckets for a few hours in the afternoon, then clears up in time for a beautiful sunset.  Sounds like Colorado in the summer.  The guidebooks said the same thing about the weather patterns.  Of course, a front could move through, in which case rain could be constant for a few days.

Things to do in the area include:

  • Canopy tours (my favorite, a tour of the top of the rainforest on zip lines)
  • Tabacon Hot Springs (incredibly beautiful gardens and hot springs heated by the volcano)
  • Arenal Volcano (it was a thrill to see red-hot lava shooting in the sky at night!)
  • Fishing on Lake Arenal
  • Horseback riding
  • Corobici River rafting (tame waters, good for wildlife viewing)
  • Arenal Botanical Gardens (walking distance from Villa Decary)
  • National parks and wildlife refuge
  • Bird watching (lots of beautiful birds right outside your door)
  • Hiking
  • Mountain biking (may be too muddy for off-road at that time of year)
  • Windsurfing on Lake Arenal

See you in Costa Rica,

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