Cuna del Angel hotel & the South Pacific area of CR
Our LL package included a 5 night stay in an angel room, breakfast, $75 credit to use in the spa or dining room and taxes.
We arrived at the hotel around 4:30pm after a short local Sansa flight to Quepos to pick up our rental car. The drive from Quepos was around 45 minutes on a nice, scenic highway with views of the ocean, jungle and many palm oil plantations.
Check in was effortless thanks to Angelica the very personable front desk manager. She had all of our Ll details recorded and had arranged our rental car from Solid Rental car ahead of time – everything went very smoothly.
Our room was on the ground floor and had 2 queen beds, a large combination TV stand and wardrobe with plenty of storage, a refrigerator and a desk and chair. All made of local hardwood. The bathroom was a nice size with a full size bathtub and nice pedestal sink. Nice toilet articles and a hairdryer. It would have been nice if bathrobes and slippers were provided. There were sliding glass doors leading out onto a nice size patio with a table and 2 chairs.
The dining room was open and airy with nice views of the jungle and ocean. There is also a very comfortable lounge area, gift shop and computer. There is a staircase in between the lounge and dining area leading to the upper floor rooms and a rooftop viewing platform. The hotel is built on a hillside surrounded by jungle with no direct access to the beach. The pool area is very nice with pretty landscaping and plenty of seating areas.
There is also a jungle room complex further down the hill. We were not able to see one of these rooms but from what we could tell they are smaller than the angel rooms and have fewer amenities. They do have nice small balconies overlooking the jungle. The jazuzzi is in the jungle complex which is a short walk from the main hotel.
The spa is located under the dining room. We did not use any spa facilities so cannot comment on the treatment rooms. There is also a covered walkway at the back of the hotel which is perfect for wildlife viewing. I would recommend renting a car if staying at this hotel as nothing is within walking distance – it is about a 25 minute ride to Playa Dominical, 30 minutes to Uvita and about 45 minutes to Quepos and Manuel Antonio NP. This is a nice hotel and with a few tweaks would be a true luxury hotel. We would stay here again if in the area.
Our included breakfast was buffet style and adequate with scrambled eggs, sausage, rice and beans, bread, fruit, tea, coffee, fruit juice, fruit, yogurt, slices of local cheese and ham and cereal. We used our $75 credit for dinner and 1 dinner easily uses the credit. Food was very good but a bit pricey; however, I did notice that prices in CR have increased in the local supermarkets, shops and restaurants since our trip in March 2012.
Our 1st full day we drove to Uvita, checked out Marina Ballena NP (very nice) and continued all the way south to Sierpe – a small village which is a way station for boat tours into the mangrove river area and down into Corcovado NP. A sleepy, cute little place about a 2 hour drive from Dominical. We were going to do the turtle patrol at Reserva Tortuga this night however it got rained out as did our night hike at Hacienda Baru – 2 nights we had virtual monsoon rains!
The 2nd day we drove to the cloud forest area and Los Quetzales NP. No quetzal sightings but an interesting and remote park. Very narrow roads up through the cloud forests and we had to drive through a few rivers as some bridges were washed out. A few small towns were scattered throughout the valleys. We were up around 10,000 feet and it was a bit scary driving when the clouds rolled in – everything disappeared!
Day 3 was Quepos and Manuel Antonio NP. If you have never been to Manuel Antonio – go! I can see why this is the most popular park in CR – beautiful beaches and trails with plentiful wildlife. Clean bathrooms and shower facilities and very friendly park staff and police. $10/pp entrance fee was well worth it. We did see 3 silky anteaters, however, they were all dead on the side of the road after being hit by cars – I would have loved to see one of these beautiful animals alive! The town of Manuel Antonio has plenty of hotel and dining options.
Day 4 was Corcovado day and it lived up to my expectations. We were picked up at our hotel by our Bahia Adventures guide and drove to Uvita to catch the boat to Corcovado. No dock in Uvita so it was a very wet walk through the ocean to get onto the 8 passenger boat. 2 hour boat ride and we entered the Corcovado area – another wild entrance with the boat surfing the waves to get close enough for us to get off the boat and walk to the beach through knee high surf.
A short walk took us to the Pedrillo ranger station for a brief orientation – stay together and do not wander off alone as this park can be dangerous. Off we went for the 1st 2 hour hike through the jungle – many, many monkeys, birds and other wildlife to be seen. We did see tapir and cat tracks but did not see any – bummer ;-(
The 2 hour hike ended back on the beach and on to the ranger station for a picnic lunch. After about 1 hour we started off on our next 2 hour hike – this one was even more rugged trails and we had to walk through a few streams and saw many crocs! We ended up at a beautiful waterfall with a nice pool underneath for a bit of swimming for about 45 minutes. Back to the beach for the trip back to the hotel.
I loved this park and I know where we are staying on our next trip to CR – anyplace right near Corcovado. LL please bring back the Lapos Rios package! Lapos Rios is right near the Sirena ranger station which is deeper in the park and our guide told us we would see cats and tapirs here. You can also stay in hostel type accommodations at Sirena ranger station. This adventure traveler is up for this! Just as a side note, our guide had mentioned there were Fer-de-Lance snakes in the park so watch your footing. Well we did not come across any in the park but actually did encounter one in of all places, the Quepos airport when we were leaving to go back home. I saw all the staff getting very excited about something right outside of the waiting pavilion so I went to see what all the commotion was about and they pointed to the snake and said it was the very poisonous fer-de-lance and to stand back. The airport maintenance guy finally managed to pick it up with a rake and he took it across the street and deposited it safely in the jungle – nice to see they did not kill it!
Link to all our pictures