Southern Intensive Tour

Southern Zone Tour

 

We take you on tour for five days traveling from Central to South Pacific and to the inland mountains. We will explore dozens of micro-cultures: house-hunting, cultural coaching and the nitty gritty (doctors, dentists, banks and shopping) of daily life. We introduce you to people who we’ve helped to relocate here either full-time or for part of the year. Meet ex-pats and locals alike to give you a really good idea of what it is like to live in the Southern Zone of Costa Rica.

 

DAY 1

We leave from the Santiago de Puriscal area – the town of Barbacoas after lunch with George Lundquist and a presentation by Randall Zamora … We drive through the country and join the Auto Pista del Sol toll road that eventually turns into the Costanera or coastal highway. We cross the Rio Tarcoles, twice actually, and at the second stop we check out the crocodiles. We then drive through the Marriot Los Sueños Resort and down to Playa Herradura, then through the popular beach town of Jaco and then continue past the surfers favorite beach, Playa Hermosa. We then continue along the coast road through Parrita and Quepos often stopping to have dinner in Manuel Antonio before getting on the road one last time to go to Matapalo Beach and check into the cabins on the beach at Dreamy Contentment, where the sound of the pounding waves will lull you to sleep.

DAY 2

We often start with a brisk walk on the deserted beach before gathering to leave for breakfast at Tortilla Flats in Dominical. We then push on stopping to check out Dominicalito Beach where the fisherman hang out and the view from the La Parcela Restaurant. We head on south to go up the San Josecito road until you see a view of the Whale’s Tail, then to Uvita and the entrance to Playa Ballena National Park. We then head back along the beach going past the Dominical police check point and turn east to head towards San Isidro (EEE SEE DROH) Del General in the CANTON of Perez Zeledon. We started to head up into the mountains through the town of Baru and then up to check out the Cascada Azul gated community. We explore the waterfall and a couple of lots there and then go to visit their community garden. We meet with different friends who are RCSS Tour Graduates and other expats living in the area – they are all prepared to give you their impressions, both the good and the bad, of moving to Costa Rica. Then we head back north and up the beach road again toward San Isidro, stopping for a short tour of Sibbald & Jane’s Summerland Village Development, at more than 3000 feet above sea level, before going to visit RCSS TOUR graduates Marcie & Alex at their home in Pacuarito. We then drive through town a bit before going to Bazookas for supper – joined again by several expats in the area who are eager to share their experiences. After heading through town again we arrive at the Thunderbird Hotel, your home for the night in downtown San Isidro.

DAY 3

For breakfast we meet at Kafe de la Casa and, together with other RCSS TOUR graduates, we walk through town to the farmers’ market – locally called the Feria. On the way we’ll walk through the Parque Central in front of the Catholic Cathedral or stop briefly at the Symphony School. After touring the Feria we drive south of San Isidro to visit with Linda Hutto and Carlos & Marta Franks on their “compound” in Quebrada Honda. We see Linda’s open style living / kitchen area with the workshop area below and Carlos’s collection of prefab houses – built for less than $50/square foot! We lunch down here south of town heading down to see the pineapple & cane fields in Cajon. We may then travel further south to Pejibaye and Zapote for a trek into the mountains to see the early stages of the Serenity Gardens project. After exploring the Platenares Valley, we drive back into San Isidro and to see the progress on various remodel projects and then off to Mirador Los Chorros for supper. After supper we return to Pacuarito and tuck you all into Finca Lucita B&B with David and his lovely wife Lucita.

DAY 4

First we go check out Marcie & Alex’s guest house construction – prefab that doesn’t appear to be prefab, approx 650 sq ft under roof for about 45K. Then we head back towards the beach and check out the valleys to the north and south. The Diamante Valley is the home of one of the largest waterfalls in Costa Rica. Diamante Falls is a series of seven waterfalls beginning at 3,300 ft that cascade down a lush green rock face. We won’t have time to hike it but we will see it from different vantage points during our exploration of the Valley. One of our stops is Linda Gray’s Ranch Tranquilo – a 200 acre ranch deep in the hills with gorgeous views in all directions. After lunch we head to the other side of the highway and visit the lovely Cacao Ridge with gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean, the Guabo and Baru Rivers and as well as the valley and mountains. We then head to the town of San Juan de Dios and on the way we may stop at Rancho Encantado, one of only two Water Buffalo farms in the country. We head back toward San Isidro and go up to the Quebradas area – looking at houses for rent and sale and visiting with other folks in the Miravalles area. We end our day near Rivas, the base town for Mt Chirripo National Park – the 5th highest mountain in Central America at 12,530 feet. The hotel for the evening is in the foothills of the Cero de La Muerte at La Princesa Hotel – hosted by Billy Vargas and his lovely family.

DAY 5

After breakfast we go thru San Rafael Norte to visit with other tour RCSS TOUR graduates from Nevada, Cheryl and Gerry Kirby to see how their coffee crop is coming along. We then travel down to Fernando’s Inno Bambu furniture shop to see what he is up to and finally back up the mountain to visit with the Bahrs (from the Pacific northwest) – Tamara, her 14 year old son Sean, her sister in law Tandra (some will remember from the Feria) and the man of the house Casey – who has a wonderful almost daily blog called A Dull Roar. We may also visit with Jan Hart; celebrated Water Color artist and teacher, who lives in the same area. After our morning of visiting we will stop for lunch, most likely at Papa de Paramo to recap your trip before heading back to the San Jose area over the mountain pass called the Cerro de la Muerte.

Includes all meals, lodging and transportation.

SOUTHERN TOUR REQUEST FORM