Costa Rica Places To Go – The Beautiful Orosi Valley

In an effort to bring you the best, most up to date information about living the ‘good life’ in Costa Rica, I must sometimes force myself to visit various luxury hotels, restaurants, resorts and other places of interest in Costa Rica.

It’s not easy but someone has to do it 🙂

Since my parents are visiting from Scotland we spent the weekend at the Orosi Lodge – a lovely, comfortable and very affordable (under $50 per night) small hotel located in the beautiful Orosi Valley of Costa Rica only 50 minutes away from the capital city San Jose.

The hotel has enjoyed excellent write-ups in many international guidebooks including ‘Fodor’s’ and ‘Lonely Planet’ and is owned and managed by Andy & Connie, a German couple who make you feel welcome the moment you walk in the door.

The hotel reception area features an art filled, cosy coffee shop where you simply can’t avoid sampling one of Connie’s mouthwateringly (is that a word?) delicious pastries… Hmm! That apple cake…

It’s easy to see why the Orosi area is a popular vacation place. It’s convenient to so many fascinating places. From the balcony of your room at the Lodge you can see the small, charming town of Orosi, the powerful shapes of both the Irazu as well as the Turrialba volcanos and….

Within an hour you could be horse-back riding up the side of the Turrialba volcano. In under thirty minutes, you could be luxuriating in a thermal hot spring or hiking through the ‘Tapanti Rain Forest Reserve’.

This park is mainly cloud forest, between 4,000ft (1,200m) – 8,000ft (2,500m), and contains more than 260 species of birds, including toucans, quetzals, parrots, as well as mammals such as jaguars, monkeys, ocelots, anteaters, otters and tapirs. The park has rivers, waterfalls and some hiking trails.

If all of that sounds just too exhausting, how about a leisurely walk around the ruins of the cathedral in the city of Cartago? (Founded in 1563), the ruins of the church in Ujarras (built 1681-93)?

Or visit Lankester Botanical Gardens, one of the most valuable botanical gardens in the Americas. Or visit the Indian Ruins at Guayabo which is dated 1000 B.C.

For truly original Costa Rica souvenir ideas, pop along to the tiny ‘Casa del Soñador’ (House of the Dreamer), where you can buy rustic, wood carvings featuring wrinkled, old coffee pickers carved from the root of the coffee plant for about US$10 each.

There’s walking, birdwatching or trout fishing and Costa Rica’s oldest church still being used which was supposedly erected by Franciscan monks around 1743. You’ll find this church only 400M from the Orosi Lodge.

The Orosi Lodge does not offer lunch and dinner, but they do serve a huge, delicious breakfast (about US$5), so the three of us walked the 200 metres to the ‘Media Libra’ restaurant (Half Pound) where we enjoyed two fillet mignon dinners, one spaghetti carbonara dinner, one pineapple and ice cream dessert, three Scotches (Chivas) and a bottle of beer which came to only US$10 each including a generous tip…

The average temperature here is 77 Fahrenheit / 25 Celsius all year round so you’ll be comfortable and if you want to explore the picturesque Orosi Valley, I think you’ll enjoy staying at the Orosi Lodge.

Bruce, a self proclaimed ‘Missouri hillbilly’ was also staying at the hotel (again) and he was agonizing over a decision to buy a three bedroom 1,500 square foot home in Orosi for US$50,000

Whoever told you that Costa Rica real estate was expensive was not telling you the whole story.

PS. It should be noted that I am recommending the Orosi Lodge because I think it’s a good little hotel for a great price and not because they pay me anything. They don’t! In fact, they don’t even know I am writing this…

Written by Scott Oliver, author of How To Buy Costa Rica Real Estate Without Losing Your Camisa and Costa Rica’s Guide To Making Money Offshore.

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