A Visit to Makanda by the Sea

Makanda by the Sea Villa
Makanda by the Sea Villa

Surrounded by dense jungle with old growth bamboo and tall walking palms, our 950 sq ft villa at Makanda by the Sea in Manuel Antonio was a place of tranquil simplicity. We spent much of our time outside and there was ample seating options…the breakfast table, two comfortable lounge chairs or the hammock. Inside, we had a full kitchen, large living area, 4 poster bed with mosquito netting (it’s not really needed) and a modern bathroom with cut out block windows to the jungle.

We enjoyed lunches and dinner poolside with a stunning view of the ocean below.  During lunch we preferred the canopied area to shade us from the hot summer sun and at night we dined under the stars, the sound of crickets was louder than the music playing in the background. My favorite squirrel monkeys visited us during lunchtime and one of the servers showed us a half-asleep gladiator frog lounging poolside.

Returning late to our villa on our first night, the crickets had died down and we sat outside on the terrace lounge chairs, chatting quietly while enjoying the warm night air and listening to the waves crashing below us at Playa Biesanz.

Howler monkeys and birds (toucans, specifically) were our wake up call as the light shone through the curtain-less wall to wall terrace doors.  From the 4 poster bed, we could see the morning sunlight was just starting to kiss the jungle landscape and the ocean was a bright shade of blue.

We enjoyed a breakfast delivery each morning of gallo pinto (other options were also available) and freshly squeezed guanabana juice and mango juice.  And on our last night, after a very busy day, we decided to stay in and order room service for dinner.  Kevin enjoyed a steak topped with blue cheese along with mashed potatoes and veggies and I had a flatbread veggie pizza (that I’d love the recipe for!)

Each of the private bungalows at Makanda by the Sea have views of the ocean and are surrounded by lush jungle landscape. We never made it to Playa Makanda, a beach located below the 7,000 sq ft Casa Las Ventanas (a private vacation rental at Makanda) but we did hike down to Playa Biesanz, a white sand beach surrounded by tropical foliage and large volcanic rocks.  Kevin even got in a sunset surfing session at Playa Espadilla.

Makanda is an adults only hotel, located in the Manuel Antonio rainforest.  They’re known for “Romance in Nature” and while we were there for work, Kevin and I could both see that if traveling with someone else, that’s exactly the experience we would have had.

Enjoy the slideshow… (photos by both me and Kevin)


Pura vida…Chrissy

Note: While I am now paid and/or receive comped services at many of the places I visit, I will always offer my unbiased opinion to you, my readers. Fortunately, I almost always have experiences that exceed my expectations.

More food miracles in Costa Rica

I wrote about recent food miracles here in this post on my business page but I just have to share with you all another food miracle that recently came into my life…something I haven’t seen in 20+ months since moving to Costa Rica…Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!!  I nearly started crying in the store.  There was only bag and it quickly made its way into my shopping basket.


The cashier told me that it’s rare to find them here in Costa Rica (so I’m not crazy!) and that he actually likes them (the first Tico to tell me that the combination of peanut butter and chocolate does not gross him out).

It’s a Costco size bag of Reese’s so upon returning home, it immediately went into my freezer and I’ll be able to enjoy these little treats for many months to come.  I am SO excited!

Since moving to Manuel Antonio, everything just seems to be coming together.  Life is so very sweet.  After all, as I’m writing this from my terrace, I can see the bright blue Pacific in front of me, there’s a monkey eating a banana (from a tree next to the building), a blue morpho fluttering around my house, latino music blasting from one of my neighbor’s home’s and beautiful blue skies and sunshine overhead.  And knowing that there are Reese’s in my freezer makes it that much sweeter.

I am one lucky girl.

Pura vida…Chrissy

Small Town Charm in Costa Rica

“I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today” said Wimpy…

Imagine going into a Safeway or Whole Foods, picking up a few items and getting to the check-out line only to realize you only have $4 in your wallet and (let’s just say for the sake of this blog post), they don’t take credit cards.  What do you think would happen?

You’d probably find yourself picking out the most important items that add up to $4 (which at Whole Paycheck is probably 1/2 of any particular item) and then having to let the rest go until you could get to the bank (and again, for the sake of this post, there are no ATM’s in either of these markets).

But if you live in Costa Rica, it’s a different story…for example, I ordered fresh cacao powder from Jorge at La Iguana Chocolate and he put it on the bus before I could even get to the bank to make the transfer.  Read more about that delicious food experience here.

Or just recently, when I was at my local fruit and veggie market and really only did have $4 in my wallet.  For some reason, I thought they took credit cards but came to find out that morning, that was not the case.  So while I was thinking about what I could put back, the man at the cash register was putting everything into my reusable bag for me.  I kept showing him I only had the 2,000 colones ($4) but he just shook his head, smiled at me and told me: no worries, just bring the rest by later.Vegetable market in Costa Rica

It’s one of the reasons I love living here.  Because small town charm is something you find throughout the country and it’s a nice reminder of the decency and kindness of others that is often lacking in more fast paced societies.  And unlike in the case above of Wimpy, everyone did get paid.

Costa Rica’s Address System

I wanted to start 2014 off on a fun note and what better way to do just that than to talk about Costa Rica’s address system.  I know I’ve already written about this early on in the blog but it always makes me giggle, every time I either see an address or have to try to give my address to someone.

Here are two of my favorite addresses that I’ve come across:

100 metros este de Ferreteria Fertama, Edificio color verde #6 (100 meters east of the Fertama Hardware Store, Green Color Building, #6).  At some point, they may change the color of the building…but the address will stay the same

200 mtrs norte de Pizza Hut Paseo Colon (200 meters north of the Pizza Hut on Paseo Colon)

Oh and in case you were wondering, yes we do have Christmas trees in Costa Rica…and somehow, even with all the crazy addresses, Santa is able to find his way here.

Christmas trees in Costa Rica

Happy 2014!

Pura vida…Chrissy