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Villas Alturas Road?

Peoria, Illinois
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115 posts
14 reviews
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Villas Alturas Road?

We are considering staying at Villas Alturas for 4 nights in July. It gets good reviews, but I'm concerned about the road to the hotel. We will probably be arriving to the hotel after dark, and since it's July there's a good chance it will be raining... We live in Illinois where all roads are very flat, so we're not used to driving up the sides of mountains. Are we crazy to think about driving up Villa Alturas' road at night? If it's raining? Or is the road not that bad?

I'm sure we'll be fine during the day, I just worry about our first drive up to the hotel being in the rainy dark :/

ON, Canada
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14,558 posts
45 reviews
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1. Re: Villas Alturas Road?

We're heading there on Saturday ( currently in Monteverde) for a 5 night stay, so I'll post then to let you know. Hopefully someone else can let you know in the meantime though.

Are you going there from SJO? If so, maybe it would be better to stay close to the airport your first night and do the drive the following morning.

Peoria, Illinois
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115 posts
14 reviews
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2. Re: Villas Alturas Road?

Yes, we are heading there straight from SJO. And I would love to hear how you guys like Villas Alturas! Especially about the road to the hotel. Thank you, thank you!

And actually that's a good idea about staying somewhere the first night (why hadn't I thought of that?). I had also been looking to stay at Costa Paraiso, but then decided I wanted the view at Villas Alturas instead. Maybe we should just stay our first night at Costa Paraiso... that might be perfect! Thanks Susan! And enjoy Monteverde! We won't make it there in July, but I'm hoping to on a future trip!

JENSEN BEACH
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11,223 posts
51 reviews
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3. Re: Villas Alturas Road?

We spent 5 nights at Villas Alturas over New Years. I had been concerned about the road. We rented a BEGO because we wanted a 4x4 for our 15 days in CR. The highways from San Jose to VA are all in very good shape. VAlturas is well marked on the main road just past Dominical/Dominicalito signs. The road is steep but well graded. Not sure how late at night you would be traveling. I would probably drive there from SJO if arrival was by 7pm. Any later than that I would stay closer to the airport and head there the next day. We loved spending our first night at Toucan Rescue Ranch. Villas Alturas is a fantastic place to stay. The view is terrific, very clean overall with a great on site restaurant. Countless birds (we saw parrots, toucans and macaws), monkeys come daily for bananas and are fun to watch....we'll be revisiting!

Peoria, Illinois
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115 posts
14 reviews
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4. Re: Villas Alturas Road?

Thanks obxpat! Our flight is supposed to arrive at SJO at 11:40 a.m., so if everything goes as planned, we should be able to make it to the Dominical area long before 7:00. BUT, we're flying on Spirit Airlines, and the flight we'll be coming in on has a terrible on-time percentage... so it's very possible we will be late. My main concern is driving up the road for the first time, in the dark, and very possibly in the rain (since it will be July). My husband doesn't handle stress well, and he's not quite as adventurous and laid back as I am... I don't like the picture in my head when I imagine him driving up a steep mountain road in the rain in the dark :) But staying that first at Costa Paraiso might be a great alternative. Although I'd really prefer to just check in to one place and stay, since we'll only be in the Domincal area 4 nights/3 days...

JENSEN BEACH
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11,223 posts
51 reviews
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5. Re: Villas Alturas Road?

Not sure you have a good idea of the road up to Villas Alturas....It is not very long, maybe 1/2 mile. Also, it is pretty straight. The only other traffic would be another vehicle going to/from VA. I think we only passed one other the whole time we were there and it was Tom the Owner. I have flown Spirit from Ft Lauderdale to SJO a few times with no delays. I have also flown Jet Blue and American. Once had 35 min delay on AA. If you get in at your posted time, rent a car and get on the road you should have no problems at all. The other idea would be to do what we once did. Rented from Vamos. They had a driver we hired to take us to our initial destination and he then took a bus back. Very reasonable and a stress free first day in Costa Rica! We stopped for lunch, enjoyed a cold beer and left the driving to him!

Peoria, Illinois
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115 posts
14 reviews
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6. Re: Villas Alturas Road?

Hmmm... you've made me feel better about the road! If it is that short and straight, I would think we should be fine. I would rather just check in to Villas Alturas and be done for a few days. Thanks for the info on the road - that's exactly what I was looking for!

JENSEN BEACH
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11,223 posts
51 reviews
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7. Re: Villas Alturas Road?

I think you'll be fine so long as you have a 4x4 and just take it slowly the first time. You'll want one for that whole area so you can explore waterfalls, beaches etc. This was our favorite place on our trip. If you can request Villa #3. It is private and the porch overlooking the Pacific was fantastic with rockers and a hammock. I loved making coffee and sitting there early mornings before breakfast. Also had cocktails and snacks at sunset and watched the various birds. The kitchen is nice and we could have cooked more meals there and probably will next time. The best grocery store (if you are interested) was just outside of Los Suenos in a modern plaza you pass on the way down. The one in Dominical was very small and ltd in what they have. The one down in Uvita had everything you need.

ON, Canada
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45 reviews
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8. Re: Villas Alturas Road?

Just reporting back ...we arrived on Saturday and it is a wonderful place to stay! We are thoroughly enjoying our villa, the grounds, pool, food, the views, birds, etc. The owner & people working here are very friendly and helpful...yesterday we went to the beach and they offered everything we needed...towels, chairs, boogie boards, umbrella. They even have surf boards to borrow.

The road up is quite steep right at the beginning' and at one other section. DH followed the advice on VA's website to put the veh into 4WD) ...it's not a straight road- there are a few straight sections mixed with curves and one 'switchback'. I don't think I would want to do it for the first time at night, but with your arrival time, you should have no problem making it here before dark. Our Gps map ( we're using OSM) did a good job of getting us here.

But for a stress free start to your trip, I like Pat's suggestion re Vamos

Peoria, Illinois
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115 posts
14 reviews
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9. Re: Villas Alturas Road?

Thank you so much for your help obxpat, and Susan!

Susan - I agree, I don't think we want to do the drive for the first time at night. I just know my husband will be upset with me... BUT would you be willing to do the road in the dark on another night, after you had driven it a few times? I'm thinking we might stay our first night at Costa Paraiso, since we were interested in that hotel anyway, and there is no steep drive to get to it, and then spend our remaining 3 nights at Villas Alturas. But I expect we'll want to go out to dinner at least one of those nights (Ojochal maybe?), and so will have to drive the road in the dark at least once. But would that not be so intimidating once you've already driven it and know what to expect? What do you think?

Obxpat - I tried to request Villa #3, but Ivette told me they don't allow reservations for specific villas :( I would love either Villa 3 or 5, but I really don't want Villa 6. From what I can tell, it doesn't have near as good a view as the other two one-bedroom villas. Taking the risk of getting a villa with not as good a view is the other reason I'm hesitating.

I just can't decide between Villas Alturas, Costa Paraiso, and a rental home called Casa Eko Mar. They all have their very strong pluses and a few minuses. I love the privacy and pool of Casa Eko Mar, but I worry it's location is not very "nature-y," and I also worry about break-ins in a rental home. Decisions, decisions...

JENSEN BEACH
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11,223 posts
51 reviews
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10. Re: Villas Alturas Road?

Hmm I am not sure we would return if we could not request a certain villa, or maybe I should say Not the ones by the parking lot without the view. We would be ok with 3, 4 or 5. Even 1 or 2. This could be a new policy. Our res was made and confirmed before Ivette and Tom took over VA. They have done an amazing job with the property and it is our first choice if we can get assurance we would not be on the parking lot.

Once at VA there is no problem driving to dinner after dark. We usually ventured out and had a late lunch down in Ojochal and Uvita. By nightime we were happy to enjoy the terrific food on site or just chill with cocktails and snacks on our balcony.