Costa Rica bike friendly hotel with great location
A few days ago in Costa Rica I came up higway CR 6 from Canas to Upala and discovered this hotel and I just have to tell everybody about it.
The place is called Vista Point Bed and Breakfast and is owned and operated by a man named Walter Badilla Bogantes.It is located right beside the highway CR 6 a mere 4km north of the village of Bijagua and 20 km south of Upala. It is at the point where the road starts to drop down after crossing the saddle between the two forested volcanos V .Miravalles and V.Tenorio.
On the west side of the hotel the mountainside drops away nearly vertically and you have a great view over the rainforest. There are parrots, oropendula and lots of other birds to be seen and heard. Howler monkies and other types at times come into the tree tops at eye level close to the balcony, they sometimes are looking at the people there. Other animals are at times to be seen among the plant growth below. Deep in the chasm a roaring river can be heard constantly . To the north there is a great view to the flatlands that stretch to Lake Nicaragua and the Caribbean coast.
Being up higher the climate is somewhat cooler than on the flatlands,very pleasant at night . Morning can bring some fog which soon burns off slowly lifting the veils from the volcanic slope jungles . The night I was there in early April it was great, spent several hours just sitting in a rocking chair on a balcony over the jungle watching the sunset behind the V .Miravalles chatting with Mr Badilla while the stars came out.Lights of towns on the plain below revealed how crowded it was getting there. Yet here on the slopes it was quiet except for the chorus of crickets, frogs and night birds.Sleeping was not a problem , surprisingly no mosquitos to pester the snooze, only once or twice a little fly bit me , no hordes of black flies.There are lots of moths and other insects though, but nothing nasty to interupt the beauty rest..
Mister Badilla built the whole place himself starting from the property of the farm-ranch where he was born . He studied in the USA and worked there as a teacher for 25 years. After aquiring the farm from his father he began the conversion project 20 years ago doing all the work alone or with occasional hired help. It has been a long slow process and the construction style is rather basic , rudimentary or rough, whatever, but it plain works. Now that he is retired he wants to take it easy and was going to open the place for business soon. Apparently I may have been one of the first guests.It is now officially open!
There is a restaurant corner where simple meals can be served. The night I was there it was shredded cabage and tomato wedges salad, pasta, fried plantains , black coffee and delicious juice made from green mangos. Breakfast was beans and rice ( gallopinto) with eggs, torilla, and Costa Rican tameles(in banana leaf) and coffee. Both meals at a very reasonable price.There is a bar for those so inclined ,and two pool tables . Refreshments like sodas and pipa fria ( cold coconut juice in the nut) are sold to quench your thirst.The water is safe to drink too.
Mr Badilla asked 7000 Colones per person ( about $12 ) for a basic cabin style room with a basic toilet and electric shower head. No fan and no TV needed. The cabins have multiple beds, simple cots with foam mattress but no complaints here. He now has 25 beds but will expand to about 50.There is also a shared toilet and shower area. My cabin's front door opened directly onto the view of the valley. If I made a wrong turn there would be shear drop into part of the 600 hectares of forest at my disposal.
Now for the bike friendly aspect. Motorcylists can roll their bikes right into the huge tiled and roofed patio area for secure night and day parking .The front gates get closed at night enclosing all cars . If motorcyle guests wanted to just throw out a sleeping pad or free standing tent there ,there is no complaint from the boss.
This is a full -on resort if you ask me. Mr Badilla can arrange a number of excursions to some of the many tourist attractions in the area.,e.g Thermomania thermal springs, Volcan Tenorio,Rio Celeste,Cano Negro and a two day trip to Los Chiles and from there a boat trip to the islands in Lake Nicaragua.And of course you can do your own excursions and hikes in the surrounding hills and jungle to do bird-, butterfly-, animal - watching. You could spend a month here.!Some motorcyclist put their bikes on boats from Los Chiles and then enter Nicaragua to continue north.
This place has loads of character, give it a try and reward Mr Badilla 's efforts , he desrves it.
Last edited by Sjoerd Bakker; 26 Oct 2009 at 22:26.