Traditional painted Costa Rican oxcart
The restaurant of the Pura Vida Hotel
Pura Vida Hotel guide books in reception
All the guide books you can eat

Our rentacars can get pretty dirty in the temporada baja

The big one - Katydid Casita - sleeps 4 to 6

Privacy for honeymooners - the Rain Forest Casita
Toucan Casita in the garden of the Pura Vida Hotel Alajuela
Family Style - the Toucan Casita sleeps 4
Mariposa casita with view to Poas
2 bedrooms/2 bathrooms/Mariposa sleeps 2 to 4 - big deck
amherstia nobilis

The Pura Vida Hotel is a colonial style former coffee finca. There is a main house/reception (Casa) and the rest of the hotel is "in the gardens". Our gardens have a nice view to Poas Volcano. If you want to go to Poas today, you can tell what the visibility will be like from your Casita or the restaurant area. We have 4 free standing Casitas, a studio and a room in the main Casa set in a secret garden overlooking the Rio Itiquis valley below.

At A Glance (detail below) 

  • Rain Forest Casita (deluxe one-bedroom villa) 1 bedroom/2beds sleeps 2 to 4
  • Toucan Casita (one-bedroom villa) 1 bedroom/3 beds sleeps 2 to 4
  • Mariposa Casita (two-bedroom villa) 2 bedroom/2 beds sleeps 2 to 4
  • Katydid Casita (deluxe two-bedroom villa) 2 bedroom/3 beds + 2 futons sleeps 2 to 6
  • Volcano Studio (studio) 1 bedroom/2 beds sleeps 2 to 4
  • Orchid Room (double room) 1 bedroom/1 bed sleeps 2

A walk through the garden will find you face to face with many bird and butterfly attracting tropical bushes and trees. Likely as not you will spot a few hundred orchids too. You will meet many butterflies, a few squirrels, maybe some bats, lots of geckos as well as hummingbirds, many yiguirros (the national bird), a Passerini Tanager or two and maybe a Mot Mot as you wander. After a drive from wherever relax on your patio or the Orchid Restaurant. A sip of wine . . . a euglossine bee floating by. . . Tuetal village and the slopes of Poas at sunset. . . Pura Vida!

We think this is the best place to start or end your marvelous journey to Costa Rica.

La Casa/Reception area and Orchid Restaurant

Pura Vida was originally a coffee plantation but now the old house or Casa serves as the reception, Orchid Restaurant and public areas. In reception you will find perhaps a botanist debating a Sarchi rocking chair, an internet station, TV, public telephone (always free inside Costa Rica), a small gift area focusing on unique Pefi ceramics and masks from the indigenous village of Boruca. Down a few steps to the Orchid Restaurant where breakfast is served as well as gourmet dinners at night with your own Chef Nhi and host. On most days you will likely find a selection of orchids often in bloom waiting to delight you.

"Before we left we could check out Poas from the restaurant... We had a wonderful early morning excursion to Poas Volcano, a great view of the volcano and a hike too."
Suzanne and Bruce, San Anselmo, California

"Thank you Pura Vida Hotel. We simply enjoyed this very relaxing place with a wonderful breakfast and an amazing dinner, surrounded by your beautiful garden."
Florence, Paris, France

The Secret Garden - a botanical experience

You can also wander though our herb and orchid gardens and check out some of the fresh fruits and veggies ready to pluck or eat.The gardens at Pura Vida are often the most welcome surprise - each Casita is set on its own (as private as we can make it) - surrounded by our secret garden of palms, the giant pink flowering oak, a huge avocado and many fruits such as mangoes, star fruit and grapefruit.

About the Amherstia Nobilis

We have one of these lovely trees near the restaurant and this year it has flowered 3 times - December, February and May. This pretty good description was found online here:

"One of the tropic's most beautifully shaped flowering trees, the pride-of-Burma is also one of the rarest plants since it does not readily produce seeds. Some plant collectors refer to it as the "queen of flowering trees." This slow-growing evergreen is native only to the monsoonal teak forests of Burma in Southeast Asia. It develops a rounded, wide-spreading canopy with cascading branches and foliage. Today, it is considered a highly endangered plant species, if not already extinct in the wild. First discovered by Westerners in 1826 growing in a Burmese monastery garden, this species has been encountered growing in the wild only twice.

The evergreen leaves are compound, comprising oblong, dark green leaflets. When a new leaf emerges, it is first fuzzy and silver and then elongates to look like a limp coppery handkerchief. Flowering occurs only after rains disrupt a long dry spell, or the long rainy season ends and the soil finally dries out. The orchid-like blossoms are held on branched clusters on the branch tips. An individual blossom has red petals and long filaments. Sometimes specks of yellow or white litter the red petals. Only in Burma, where natural insect pollinators exist, do the bicolored seed pods develop viable seeds. Curved and initially crimson and yellow, the seed pods ripen to brown."

There are a couple of interesting descriptions of the history here.  And I reproduce the second article from here.

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