Mira Olas was the highlight of our Costa Rican trip. Pavones is a really beautiful place with a clear river and beautiful beaches, not to mention the famous wave. Elizabeth's place was a peaceful jungle paradise right up the hill from town and 5 minutes walk from the beach and the wave. The grounds are beautiful and well cared for by Elizabeth. Elizabeth was very helpful and welcoming. She gave us advice about the area and brought us cacao to try. There are exotic fruit trees everywhere and Elizabeth encouraged us to taste test our way through the property. The trail to the river was an adventure and the river was a beautiful clear river between dark jungle canyon walls. We swam in the river and my children floated down the river out to the ocean on boogie boards!
We stayed in the Jungle Lodge which is more beautiful than the pictures and bigger than I expected. It was incredibly exotic and comfortable. The dining and living area were open. It was a pure joy to cook in such a beautiful kitchen. While we had breakfast a troop of squirrel monkeys came by our room and jumped from tree to tree. It was amazing! From the balcony, we would watch all kinds of beautiful birds and blue morphos would float by. At night, we would see fireflies and hear howler monkeys. The bedroom was completely screened so we were cool and comfortable but could still feel close to the nature around us. It was a beautiful peaceful place to stay and truly magical with all the wildlife.
Pavones and Mira Olas were recommended to us by surfers. We were looking for a cool place to surf in Costa Rica, and Pavones suppose to have an impressive left point break that ran the entire length of the village. The surfing in Pavones was indeed very impressive; high waves that you could ride very long and fast. For a beginner like me, maybe a bit to harsh, also with the rocks and pebbles that you run into when you hit the beach, but for a bit more experienced surfer a real treat.
Pavones is not the easiest place to reach, but if you're not in a hurry it is doable by public transport (only 2/3 times a day by bus), by taxi or with your own/rental car (preferably a 4wheel drive, goes faster, or a car that is high off the ground).
The little village of Pavones was really quiet when we were there in May/June but we found that very relaxing. You have some nice places to eat, but only 2 small supermarkets which we thought were very expensive. So if you have your own car, stock it with groceries AND money, because there is no ATM in the village and the nearest ATM is a few hours away by bus.
At Mira Olas’ place they have a few rooms (didn’t see the inside of those), but also a ‘jungle deluxe cabin’ were we stayed in for four nights. It was a really cool experiece! The (simple) kitchen/livingroom is open, which is super nice with the hot weather over there, and looks really cool. Though it also means that there are a lot of bugs at night when the lights are on. That didn’t bother us much as it is al part of the experience! You don’t go to Pavones when you want a luxury resort kind of vacation. Just make sure to keep the bedroom door closed, so they don’t bother you when you sleep. To make the experience complete, you can pick all different kinds of fruit from the fruit trees on the court and we saw a lot of monkeys up close in the tree next to our balcony. Lily from Mira Olas is always willing to give you advise and help you where she can.
There is no wifi in the cabin, only at Lily's cabin or you can go to the café next to Mira Olas, Jolly Roger. A really cosy and relaxed place to have a beer and a (really big) pizza or just to hang out and listen to good music. We nearly went there every day/night. Because the not so accessible wifi it’s a good idea to book accomodations and stuff for your next destination in advantage before going to Pavones.
Overall we loved Pavones, the jungle cabin at Mira Olas and our first surf experience. The place is very traquille, a great spot for a few days of surfing and relaxing!
Getting here is not fun but once you arrive you are in for a treat. This is the jungle and you feel like you are apart of it. The rooms are spacious, clean and comfortable. There is a high powered ceiling fan so it is hot. The room comes with a mini fridge, coffee maker and coffee, and a single burner stove. We felt like we had everything we needed and were a close walk into town and to the beach. The grounds were gorgeous and you could hear the jungle alive around you at all times though particularily at dusk and dawn. Highly recommended.
Mira Olas was my favorite place in Costa Rica. We came to Pavones for the amazing waves, but staying here was another highlight. The cabinas are perfect surf hideouts- set back from the town amidst tropical fruit orchards and blissful silence. The river running through the property was a lovely bonus- as were the hummingbirds, macaws & toucans we saw daily. Lilli was a lovely host & we appreciated the gifts of fresh fruit she left for us each day. The room was perfect for our needs, and I respect Lilli's choice to not install air-con. Also, the handwritten guidebook was an extremely informative & thoughtful resource.
Mira Olas is just a quick walk up the road from the break, but those few feet of elevation get you more of a breeze to cool off with in the evenings, and you're out of the main "town's" noise and activities. Lilli and Steve take meticulous care of the property, and the fruit trees respond with luscious harvests of mangoes, bananas and more.
Unlike some other local properties this one is very secure (thanks in part to Cujo the dog, who keeps his eye on all proceedings). I stayed in one of the bungalows for a week, and it was exactly what I needed after getting thrashed each day by the waves during a big swell. I had no interest in cooking because I was also traveling around the area and helping friends restore a house. I would eat with them at their home and in local restaurants. The room and bath were clean in a spartan way, and perfect for my needs which precluded hanging out inside much. There as no A/C, but I think in this area it's pointless -- you just want a fan to keep the air moving, not an air conditioner which cannot keep up with the heat and humidity. Better to acclimate. The rate I paid was a total bargain.
When you travel to Pavones you're at the end of the (long dirt) road. Next stop is Panama. You want a place that's convenient, secure, and not needlessly or ostentatiously fancy. This is it.