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Reservation Information


You can book or inquire about

  • a room or Casita reservation
  • a car rental
  • an English speaking private driver/naturalist guide with a van
  • or simply ask for more information.

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Let us know

  • which date(s) you'd like (to avoid confusion use the format 12th July 2012 not 7/12/12 or 12/7/12)
  • if you'd like a car rental let us know if you need 2WD or 4WD, small/medium/large, manual transmission or automatic and start and end date of the rental
  • if you'd like an English speaking private driver/naturalist guide with a van let us know which date(s)
  • or simply ask for more information on any subject

If you have urgent requests (bookings for next 48 hours) please call us directly +506-2430-2929 at any time. We are happy to help! Note we are not always connected umbilically to the internet.


  • We do not pre-charge ANYTHING on a credit card. You do not have a confirmed reservation until you receive a CONFIRMATION email from us with a confirmation number. Any questions just email us 24 hours a day - happy to help!
  • We have a 48 hour cancellation policy ("Wot a delightful policy!", gasped Mrs Jones) so we have a chance to rent the room/casita you guaranteed. If you are a no-show we will charge your first night, so do please be sure to cancel the reservation promptly if your travel plans change.
  • If you are arriving on your first night in Costa Rica and your flight is canceled or diverted or otherwise distracted, you will not be charged for the first room night for airlines that you can't control - no worries and Pura Vida! ("Gee willikers!", Mrs Jones who hails from Calgary exclaimed, "no more worries about that one, eh!").

Life is too short to worry 'bout such things.


Your rates are double occupancy (additional persons of all sizes are $15 each) plus 13% sales tax. Your booking includes an excellent breakfast (or a "breakfast to go" for early exits at any time) and a San Jose International airport pickup (for International arrivals only). Taxis back to the airport are available usually within 2 minutes and cost about $6 (taxis are here within 2 minutes usually at any time of day or night). Our ACCOMMODATIONS/ROOMS page has all the room details. NOTE: our environment is not suitable for young children e.g. 2 large rambunctious dogs, orchids, irony etc. so, we are sorry but we can't accept children 7 or under although we have made exceptions for super kids with notes from their teachers.


DINNERS: The Pura Vida Hotel is a small renovated hotel, your casitas in the delightful gardens and a tasty private restaurant - as we buy what we cook each night, we need advance reservations - you will find information here: . If we do not have enough people for dinner on a particular night, we may cancel and refer you out to a good local restaurant.  We can create special menus for groups.  We do need to know any special dietary needs such as "vegetarian", "no red meat", "no nuts" (except the management), "nothing grown anaerobically" . . . we've seen it all :-).  Our 3 course dinner is $33/person plus tax - dinner is at 7pm and not available every night.

SHIZO TASTING MENUS: If you have a group, ask us about our 5 course gourmet tasting menu featuring indigenous foods and including a wine for each course at $55/person plus tax.  We do not do dietary restrictions for these special menus but most folks can eat around their "issues".

LATE MEALS: For those who need a dinner and don't want to go out we can provide a late meal or snack but we need reservations by the previous day - just let us know if you have any dietary requests such as "vegetarian" or "no cilantro".  Cost is $8 to $12 and ranges from cheese and fruit to sandwich/salad and depends on what we have that day fresh.

EATING OUT: There are no restaurants within walking distance nor any high end restaurants.Otherwise there are a host of restaurants in Alajuela and two we like - Jalapenos (Mexican run by a super nice Colombian from New York) and Princessa Marina (primarily fish but a full menu at excellent prices) - both are a short taxi ride from here and an easy taxi return.


If your flight leaves early, we'll be up with you to hand you your "breakfast to go" and call you a taxi at any time you like . . . 4am if you need it - just let us know the night before. Taxis are here in 2 minutes. The International airport is 10 minutes away. You do not need any more than 2 1/2 hours at the airport for your departure. We are the best option for your last night (well OK IMHO :-). NOTE: we have 2 domestic airlines - SANSA is next to the International Airport and NATURE AIR is a 30 to 40 minute taxi ride.


You can expect clean and nicely decorated rooms or casitas, coffee makers, comfy down pillows, a beautiful tropical garden, welcoming hosts and helpful staff all delivered with a slightly off kilter British sense of humor. When visiti

ng places we do not know about we like some help getting around in a language we speak. Be happy to help you with this stuff! Type A personalities may find our little country frustrating but, before letting it get to you, check out the smiles on the kids walking to school every morning.


Car rentals are available at competitive prices - request quotes for an:

  • Economy 2WD - the Toyota Yaris
  • Small 4WD - the Terrios BEGO
  • Medium 4WD - the Toyota RAV4
  • Large 4WD -  the Toyota Fortuner
  • Larger 4WD - the Toyota Prado Landcruiser
  • Van - the 12 passenger Toyota Hiace

Manual transmission on smaller cars can save you money. We have worked with Toyota now since our first rental in 1983 with flawless results. When checking car rentals make sure cars can be delivered and picked up here and that the cars are late model - no more than 1 or 2 years old - as you don't want to spend a day of your vacation chasing car issues. A GPS should be offered when the car is delivered (optional) but best to book ahead.

We can provide a quote from Toyota Car Rental who also delivers to your breakfast table. To request a quote, please let us know the following:
· 2WD or 4WD? (email us your route if you are not sure and we can advise)
· manual or automatic transmission?
· small (e.g. Yaris 2WD or Terrios 4WD), medium (e.g. Toyota RAV4),
· large (e.g. Toyota Fortuner/Prado or a 12 passenger van)?
· the date you would like it delivered here and the date you want it picked up?
One way rentals also available.

If you are arriving in the evening we advise not renting a car that night - take our free taxi to the hotel - driving in the dark is no fun in countries WITH great drivers and good signage(and Costa Rica has challenges with both).

Ask that rentacars be delivered to the hotel the morning after your arrival at the breakfast table and picked up on your last night if you like. You can hand us the keys and your bill can be faxed to the hotel that night. In the morning we call you a taxi at any time - it is usually here in 2 or 3 minutes. Make sure rental car quotes in Costa Rica always include the mandatory basic government insurance (cannot be declined in Costa Rica), taxes and car delivery to the hotel or at minimum a free shuttle. Often Internet quotes neglect to include that - usually adds $10 to $20 a day. Also check that your credit card covers car rental CDW in Costa Rica (most US ones do, many European ones do not). CDW does NOT remove the mandatory basic insurance (whatever your internet quote may say - this is a quirk of Costa Rican insurance only) but it will reduce the cost.


For private van info you can see more at our other web sight at We can book local reliable drivers we know well - they are knowledgeable "Ticos" and speak fluent English. They can take you to anywhere in the country in private vans. They operate on your schedule and we can find ways to "turn transfers into tours". Email us the request ahead of your arrival and we'll have a knowledgeable Costa Rican driver with excellent English, a great attitude and a late model, insured, air conditioned van ready for a trip of your choice at breakfast your first day.

This is a great way to start a trip with "a local perspective sitting in the drivers seat" while you start your relaxing vacation. We have many competitors but none we know of with reviews like this on TripAdvisor here: (driver/guide reviews for Sterling). Our guides are local Ticos with an excellent knowledge of their country and are trained naturalists – let us be your guide!
on your first day as an “Introduction to Costa Rica”.  Email us for a quote or use the reservation form.