What is Ecotourism?
Ecotourism is a very over-used word in the travel industry. The true definition of Ecotourism is “responsible travel to natural areas which conserves the environment and improves the welfare of the local people”. Ecotourism is defined by several key factors, including minimize impact on the environment and respecting and preserving local culture and economy. For more information on how Tierra de Suenos is a Costa Rican ecotourism destination, see this link.
Is your place right for me?
If exotic plants and animals, and unspoiled tropical beaches interest you, it doesn’t get much better than this!!! If you are looking for a TV, air conditioning or a swimming pool you will have to look somewhere else.
Guests that fall instantly in love with Tierra de Sueños are nature lovers. Beach goers, adventure enthusiasts, and people who enjoy a mixed variety of food and culture are thrilled as well. When walking along the pebble paths upon your arrival you will quickly note that a stay at Tierra de Sueños is an experience in nature.
Although we are a few steps away from the beach, restaurants and grocery stores, we are located in a thick jungle setting and we share our space with many creatures. Often the neighborhood uses the same alarm clock- howler monkeys who like to start the day early and roaring. There are daily flybys in the reception house of various hummingbirds battling for first dibs on the surrounding flowers. The sound of the jungle at night accentuates the incredible biodiversity.
Guests staying at Tierra de Sueños are happy to be so comfortable while the jungle is at their fingertips. If our place isn’t right for you or if we’re full, check out these options.
What’s the weather like?
While it is true that the Caribbean side of Costa Rica gets more rain, unfortunately the way that weather is reported makes it sound like it never stops raining here! This is simply not true!
The Caribbean is often reported as 70% chance of rain when in reality, it is only raining in one of the micro-climates along the long seacoast and the rest is perfectly sunny.
Yes, it receives more rain than the arid Pacific coast. But for more lush vegetation, and most of the time nothing more than an afternoon shower, you will enjoy the verdant natural surroundings of the uncrowded beaches and reserves. And anyway, there’s nothing quite like a tropical downpour, it is an experience in itself!
As for temperatures, they vary little between seasons, with the average around 86°F (30°C) during the day and 70°F (21°C) at night. It is quite humid here year round, as we are in the rainforest, but it always cools down at night which makes for great sleeping conditions.
What should I bring?
Sunblock, beach gear, mosquito repellent (organic is available if you’d like to avoid DEET), raingear, comfortable hiking shoes, & a headlamp/flashlight for walking/biking in the evenings…but not much else!
What activities are there to do in your area?
There is so much to do here for all kinds of adventure seekers!
How far are you from…?
Puerto Viejo – About 6km which is a good 30 minute bike ride, 15 minute car ride (it’s a bumpy road) and if you’re up for walking it takes around an hour and a half.
Cahuita – About 26km which can be reached in about 30 minutes by car. There are also frequent buses that will take you there. We wouldn’t suggest biking, however, for it is a busy road.
Manzanillo – About 6km which is a good 25 minute bike ride, 10 minute car ride and if you’re up for walking it takes about an hour and a half.
Punta Uva Beach – About 2km which is a quick 5 minute bike ride or a nice 20 minute walk along the beach from Playa Chiquita.
San Jose – Takes about 4 1/2 hours by car or bus.
Is it a good place for families?
Yes! Playa Chiquita is a very kid friendly beach with calm, shallow tide pools. We do our best to accommodate families but do have limited space.
The Casita works well for 4 people, and although the other bungalows have only a queen bed, we are more than happy to set up a mattress on the floor for children. We also have a portable crib that we are more than willing to share. Just ask!
Is a car needed once we arrive?
Not really, if you don’t mind riding bikes around to the small towns on this coast, visiting the parks, restaurants and shops is easy to do without a car. Taxis are available for night activities, buses run frequently to the towns that are a bit farther away (Cahuita & Bri Bri), and scooters are a popular rental here in town.
What is the currency exchange & what is the best option of payment?
Although many places do accept credit cards here, it is recommended to pay cash in order to avoid surcharges, possible international charges from your banking institution, sales tax & to better negotiate discounts while shopping!
Most places will not accept traveler’s checks, however the one bank in Puerto Viejo will cash them and do currency exchanges.
Are there many jungle creatures there?
Yes, this is the jungle! Lizards, frogs, caterpillars, crickets, mosquitoes, spiders, snakes, bats, insects, beautiful birds, butterflies, sloths, monkeys, & many more creatures live here for you to see & hear.
What are the beaches like?
Gorgeous! The beaches along the entire Caribbean coast are some of the best. The coast line is virtually untouched providing a pristine view of the jungle while afloat in the warm water.
The closest beach, Playa Chiquita, is many guest’s favorite. It is a series of small tide pools and coves (great for kids) created by live coral formations.
For surfing there is the renowned Salsa Brava in town or the more consistent Beach Break in Cocles. Playa Grande and Manzanillo offer miles of coast waiting to be explored.
Do you have internet there?
There are internet cafes all over the area with many in Puerto Viejo and Cocles offering high-speed service. An internet cafe just opened up a minute walk down the road in Playa Chiquita.
We are working on being able to provide quests with wi-fi, but it’s unknown when high speed will reach Playa Chiquita.
Are there safety concerns I should be aware of?
Our bungalows are very secure and each one has a safe for valuable items such as cameras, passports, etc. The hosts also live on the property. As for the area, petty theft is a problem throughout Costa Rica and especially beach towns. As is the case anywhere, common sense goes a long way!
Are there many restaurants? What is the food like on the Caribbean?
One of the great things about our area is the variety & quantity of restaurants serving food from all over the world. Because of the various backgrounds of foreigners that have moved here to share their recipes with travelers, you can find Thai, Italian, Caribbean, Latin fusions, sushi, & more.
The traditional dishes of the Caribbean usually consist of rice, beans, plantains, seafood, chicken, & beef spiced with coconut milk and local flavor!
Do you have maids/ room service?
We tidy bungalows each day however, in our efforts to limit water use, linen changes will only be done at the guest’s request.
We do not offer room service, but the reception/dining house is a short walk from the bungalows where you can choose a tropical drink from our drink menu or snacks throughout the day.
What are the transportation options?
There are many options to reach Tierra de Sueños from San Jose or other parts of the country, it just depends on what will suit you best.
Can you accommodate groups/larger parties?
We can offer discounts for groups that would like to reserve several bungalows.
What is the Caribbean side of Costa rica really like?
The Caribbean is the kind of place that can be magical for many and not right for others.
It is the most diverse area in Costa Rica with descendants of Jamaica first populating this coast around the turn of the century. Foreigners began flocking here in the 70′s and Costa Ricans followed as more work became available.
Eco-tourism, private businesses, friendly people, beautiful beaches, adventure travel, verdant natural surroundings and wildlife are abundant!
Golf courses, five star resorts, tennis courts and posh facilities are non existent.