This post was last updated on July 26th, 2016
Costa Rica’s Caribbean doesn’t receive nearly the justice it disserves. With beautiful beaches, Afro-Caribbean influences, and a bit of solitude, the Caribbean is the perfect place to let go and lose yourself in your natural surroundings.
If you’re visiting Cahuita National Park but aren’t keen on staying in the small city of Cahuita itself, we recommend a stop at Costa Azul—perfect if you want the blissful simplicity of camping, without the whole sleeping on the ground and putting up a tent thing.
We’ll be honest: if you’re looking for luxury or amenities, this isn’t the place for you. But if you are interested in escaping it all and reconnecting with nature, Costa Azul might be exactly what you need. A five-minute drive (or 35 minute walk) away from the back entrance to the park, Costa Azul offers the ultimate in tranquility and peace. Rather than the pulsating beats of bars and restaurants, you’ll hear only the sound of distant Howler Monkeys calling out from the jungle.
The private bungalows are basic but comfortable, with hot water, A/C, and a TV. They are also extremely spacious, perfect for a family of four. Behind the bungalows you’ll find a fully equipped kitchen and refrigerator, as well as a lovely, handmade wood table. The kitchen is an extremely nice feature to the premises, as there isn’t much in the way of restaurants nearby. However, if you aren’t up to shopping and cooking for yourself, there is also a delicious restaurant on the hotel grounds. The owners cook up authentic and delicious Italian fare, as well as a few Tico specialties, at absolutely fantastic prices. Each bungalow has its own private porch with tables and chairs, as well as a hammock.
The striking point to Costa Azul is the hotel grounds. The bungalows are spread out and spacious, as is the large, sweeping garden that constitutes the grounds. You can find a large variety of flowers and fauna; we recommend leaving plenty of time to amble around. The hotel grounds actually have their own walking trail as well. It doesn’t quite compare to the one at Cahuita National Park, but it makes a lovely morning walk. In just moments you’ll feel transported from your bungalows to the midst of dense jungle.
We must also mention that Franco and his family are lovely hosts. You won’t feel like you are staying at a hotel, but rather as though you are reuniting with long lost friends.
If you are looking for luxury, this isn’t the place for you. But if you are a family that wants to spend quality time together, connecting with the natural beauty that is Costa Rica, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better option.
Note: While it is possible to stay here without a car, we highly recommend one to facilitate transportation around the area.
We were guests of Costa Azul. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.