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“Costa Rica Travels with our 10 month old toddler”

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Jinetes de Osa Hotel
Ranked #8 of 8 Hotels in Drake Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 June 2006

Overview
We looked at several resorts in the Drake Bay area on Lonley Planet, trip advisor, among others, and sent inquiries to a few hotels/resorts in Drake Bay. We decided on Jinentes based on its price, reputation and its willingness to host our ten month old toddler. All in all, we were very happy with our five night stay at the resort. Great staff, and very accomodating with our ten month toddler, who actually gained weight during the week stay.

Location
Arriving in to Drake Bay airport (direct flight on SANSA from San Jose) we were met by a 4x4 sent by the inn. The ride took about 25 minutes or so on a dirt road (about 2.5km/1.5miles from airfield to Jinetes); the last quarter mile was a walk on the beach.

Jinetes is the first resort on the trail leading out of Drake Bay. The beach in front is clean, but is silty from the river drainage in to the bay. You can't really snorkel off the beach beacause of the silt (no reef either); the water is very calm, however, and suitable for wading small kids. There is another beach about a 20 minute hike away along the rain forest trail that is more suitable for spending the day - you will also see other properties along this trail (which continues along the coast, and is a very interesting trek in itself).

Room/Food
Our room faced the ocean, and was great value for money. The room had one double bed in it, but the staff moved in a single bed for our daughter (without us asking) the second day. The room has a shower/toilet, ceiling/floor fan, and desk/night stand. The temperature fell somewhat at night and the fans were sufficient for us to get to bed (I am very, very sensitive to hot weather). Nothing fancy, but clean and comfortable.

The rate includes three meals a day. Breakfast had fresh fruits, toast, eggs, meat, juice and coffee. They also bring hot coffee and muffins out to your rooom balcony early in the morning - great service. Lunch and dinner meals included fresh baked bread, a soup/salad choice, main course and desert (fruit, ice cream, or cake).

Think wholesome meals appropriate for the occassion - not a Le Circue menu, but tasty - we did think, however, that the red snapper was a bit too common menu item). Full bar, with great mango slush my daughter loved. Lunch can also be packed if you are going on a tour for the day. Meals were comparable to what we ate on higher priced African safari.

Activities
The main activity is the nature hike to Corcovado Park - we did it the third day when the ocean was calm enough to take us out on the 45 minute boat ride. We landed at the first ranger station (you can also go to the second station, which takes 1.5 hours, but apparently offers more animals) at about 8:30AM, and hiked the rain forest for about two hours. Our guide pointed out animals, plants and gave tid bits about the fauna and flora. An interesting walk, for half a day. The walk is not strenuous at all; just make sure you bring binoculars and waterproof gear for your cameras.

We also tried the Canopy tour (my wife stayed behind with our daughter), which involves zipping through the rain forest dangling from a steel cable. Very interesting to see the wild life from tree top level - I only wished that the guides did more guiding than zipping through trees (which is buckets of fun, but a little more info on the trees, or may be even how the tour got started would have made the event better).

Finally, we took our daughter on the boat for a trip to a remote beach (about 20 minute away) where we were the only tourists. The beach was fantastic - clear water (especially compared to the silty waters in Drake bay), and my daughter had a great time in the river next to the beach. Our guide prepared our picknic lunch, and we spent the rest of the time relaxing on the tourist free beach.

Note: Brian (the owner), had a child size PFD (life jacket) for our toddler, which was great help and made my wife feel better about taking a ride in a 20ft skiff.

Scuba
A dissapointment. I did three dives in Cano Island (which in itself is a terrific destination with archeological sites; I would have done that trip with my wife and kid if we had another day to spend). The vis was between 15ft-50ft, easy dives in 40-70ft waters, some areas had moderate current.

Note: I would highly recommend spending a day on Cano Island - would have loved to explore that small island - which looks more "south pacific - treasure island type" than the islands of Micronesia/Polynesia.

The underwater life looks very Carribean (think Bimini type) - if you are expecting Bali/Maldives/Tioman or any other South Pacific/Indian Ocean type reef, you will be dissapointed as the reef is a patchy at best and the biodiversity is just not comparable to the aforementioned reefs. We did see five to seven sharks on the first dive, along with a few rays, but nothing much past that. The vis is apparently an issue in most of Costa Rica, so is not unique to Drake. There may be other sites that I did not visit.

Travelling with a baby
We were rejected from several properties in Drake that did not feel comfortable taking a ten month old toddler. We have to stress that although the inn is not "childproof" by any means (nor is that ever advertised/mentioned in their literature), the staff made it very easy for us.

The usual precautions at home was sufficient for us (our Manhattan apartment is no where close to "child proof" either). We brought diapers, wipes, formula and baby food with us. Most, if not all of the food offered was suitable for our daughter to nibble on (fresh bread, bananas, cooked meats). In fact, she became very fond of the mango puree/crushed ice drink that Oscar (the bar manager) makes. There is also bottled water to mix formula with at the resort.

All-in
We were very happy with our stay in Jinetes - we can only positive things about Brian and his staff. While we think that some of the activities might be improved, it was a very smooth and fun trip for both us and our daughter. I do think that the place is best suited for children 9-18 (as they can fully take advantage of the activities), but Jinetes was great for a family with a toddler as well.

  • Stayed: June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
14  Thank niambh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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A TripAdvisor Member
California
114
Reviewed 5 April 2006

I had to plan a very memorable trip during peak season in Costa Rica with 2 months notice. A couple travel agents I talked to said that with my time frame there would be nothing left because everyone wants to go to Tamarindo, Manuel Antonio and Tabacon. Well I wanted to ask my girlfriend to marry me in a beautiful Costa Rican Paradise, and I found it! The beaches are nice the scenery is amazing, and the accommodations are great.

I I were to sum Jinetes up I would say that it is a romantic adventure getaway with great accommodations, friendly service that treats you like family and food that you will remember as one of the highlights of your trip. After being to Costa twice and staying at 5 different places across the country I would have to say that this place gave the best "Costa Rican" experience. The staff was so friendly it was fun to practice our Spanish and find out how locals lived and the adventures they organize really show the beauty of Costa Rica's oceans and rain forests. It also doesn't hurt to wake up to coffee and muffins outside your door where you can sit and watch the Scarlet Macaws play in the trees and listen to the waves crash on the beach.

So here's to the staff at Jinetes de Osa; Alexis, Oscar, Greg, and all the others that made my vacation a real Costa Rican experience and helped make my engagement a lifelong memory.


Thanks a bunch,
Bryce

  • Stayed: March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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14  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2006

Just returned from my first visit to Drake Bay and so happy that it included staying 4 nights at Jinetes de Osa. I am a travel agent and took a small group there. Everyone loved it! One guy wants to move there. The service, food, views, surroundings, sounds and the whole experience of getting there via a Sansa flight to Drake Bay were awesome. I highly recommend this place. We were greeted with a very warm welcome by the staff and they went out of their way to make sure we had whatever we needed. The excursions are operated by educated, informative, friendly guides. There is a great beach a short walk away and there are kayaks you can use onsite.

14  Thank viclasalle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2006

I stayed at Jinetes in8/05 for 1 week with husband and 2 teens. We flew to drake Bay via Nature Air from San Jose. We chose Jinetes based on my brother's recommendation. We loved our stay. We used it as a base camp because all day we were out on tours. The rooms are basic, but clean. There is not much to the hotel itself. It is the beauty of the setting that is to be appreciated. Where else can you wake up to Scarlet Macaws in the tree outside your room, or monkeys scampering on the roof of the hotel?
The food was fresh and filling. It is a family style eating so you get to know the other guests at the hotel. Our 2 15 yr olds had a wonderful time. They loved laying in the hammocks and receiving special attention from Oscar and the rest of the staff. The 2 kids never missed XBOX,TV, or telephones while we were there. They did bring IPODS and listened to them alot. The kids want to go back to Costa Rica this summer and spend another week at Jinetes!

  • Stayed: August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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10  Thank jillysue20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Montreal, Canada
544
Reviewed 20 September 2005

We were at Jinetes de Osa for 3 days at the beginning of September. I was part of a Diving group organized by “Diving Mania” in San-Jose. This dive shop (PADI 5 stars) is very well organized and professional witch is not a common business in Costa-Rica…

I was there with my wife and our 2 children (4 and 7)

First, getting there is an adventure. The boat ride from Sierpe is very interesting but be sure you are not afraid of water! The worst part is to get out the river when you run into the ocean. A lot of big waves!!!

The hotel is very interesting. The rooms are very clean and well furnished. It is not the Ritz but we were not expecting this in the middle of the Rain Forest.

The food was excellent. As we were part of a group we had the choice between the chicken or the chicken. I can tell you, they do the best they can, considering their supplying challenge. There are no "Sobeys" at the end of the street. There are no street too!

The diving was very very good. Only in a 1 dive, I counted 25 sharks... We saw a family of dolphins and 3 whales (From the boat). The corals are not the bests but the marine life is much diversified.

Now, for my wife and my children, I was not that great. I think it is not a place for young children. They have, at least, to be 10-12 to fully apreciate the place. They saw monkeys and other animals but the beach is not great. A chance we were not there for a week...

Finally, I recommend you to sleep a night there before coming back of your dives. The reason is very simple. As you can't go too high in the mountains, you have to drive on the Coast. The road is very nice up to Dominical but after that, it's getting worst, especially at night. It's much better to drive during the day or taking the plane to San-José.

Nice place, nice food, great dive, big adventure!

  • Stayed: September 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Jinetes de Osa Hotel

Address: 200 M Norte del Rio Aguajitas, Drake Bay, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Drake Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Drake Bay
#6 Romantic Hotel in Drake Bay
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Drake Bay
Price Range: $104 - $216 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Jinetes de Osa Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Come see Costa Rica as you always imagined; wild, beautiful and unexplored. Be one of the lucky few to scuba dive in the pelagic rich waters of Cano Island or explore one of the last remaining virgin lowland tropical rainforests of Corcovado National Park. Splendidly isolated in the tiny community of Drake Bay, Costa Rica, Jinetes De Osa Hotel is a friendly beachside retreat one hours boat ride down the jungle lined banks of the Sierpe River. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Jinetes De Osa
Jinetes De Osa Drake Bay

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