Tucked back into the seaside cliffs of Ocotal, Costa Rica, Villa Casa Blanca overlooks the stunning view provided by Golfo de Papagayo.     With seasonal winds creating small whitecaps in the Pacific Ocean, guests gaze out over the blue waters and catch a glimpse of a passing catamaran harnessing Mother Nature’s thrust as it glides out to open water. Most of the villa’s visitors will be contemplating their own itinerary for their vacation, deciding which of Guanacaste’s attractions fits their speed. The nautically-inclined will find an abundance of water activities, including sailing, scuba diving, and snorkeling. For the adrenaline junkies, zip-line tours and bungee companies are more than happy to attach a harness and help quicken the heartbeat. Nature lovers can visit the area’s numerous volcanoes, national parks, and relaxing beaches. Bargain hunters can barter with local craftspeople and search for the perfect trinket to commemorate the journey. For those committed to actual rest and relaxation, the abundant sunshine and temperatures in the high 80s makes the Villa Casa Blanca pool a desirable location. Even those eager for some night life will find restaurants, bars, and a couple night clubs in nearby Playas del Coco. No matter the schedule, Villa Casa Blanca is a hidden gem in the area.

Beach at Ocotal Beach, Ocotal, Costa Rica

Beach at Playa Ocotal

Surrounded by all-inclusive villas, large hotels, and multi-million dollar mansions, the quaint B&B offers travelers another option to typical travel in the northwestern region of Costa Rica. For those looking to manage their own schedule and maximize their dollar, Villa Casa Blanca may be a perfect fit. Established in 1991, the boutique establishment offers 12 rooms, two of which are second-story master suites with stunning Pacific Ocean views. Prices are reasonable and fall between $85-$145 per night depending on the room and the season, with a discount for those who pay in cash. Breakfast, as well as a wealth of local information from owner Modesta Rodriguez, is also included. A Mexican-American transplant from Texas, Modesta’s fluent Spanish and nearly two decades in the area are an invaluable resource, especially with the increased emphasis on tourism in the area.

Ocotal Community, , Costa Rica

Ocotal Community

With the newly renovated Daniel Oduber International airport continuing to increase the number of weekly flights, Playa Ocotal is benefitting from its close proximity. A 30-minute drive makes it one of the closest and easiest beaches to access, a welcome relief for weary travelers. Villa Casa Blanca offers airport transfers at competitive rates for those unsure of renting their own vehicle for their vacation. While treacherous Guanacaste roads are a thing of the past, thanks to substantial investment in infrastructure, some travelers may still feel intimidated by driving in a foreign country. Luckily, an army of taxi cabs and very affordable public transportation can accommodate jaunts throughout the country for carless tourists.

Best time to go

Villa Casa Blanca, Ocotal, Costa Rica

Guanacaste boasts a Mediterranean climate with two distinct seasons, dry and rainy. In Ocotal, the latter is not too much of a concern, as it receives only 40-60 inches of rainfall per year, well below the national average. The rain starts in May and lasts until the beginning of November, usually in the form of early morning or late afternoon showers. The dry season is exactly that: Dry. Without a drop of rain from December until May, this season is when the majority of tourists decide to visit, many escaping the cold of North America. And while travelers enjoy a temperature increase, the prices for many goods and services also goes up. No wonder it is labeled “high” season. For those looking to maximize their dollar, the rainy season is where deals are more plentiful. No matter when you decide to visit, the weather will be the least of your concerns. You will most likely spend your time figuring out how to enjoy it.

© 2012, -- Posted April 16, 2012 at 6:00 am

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