Airbnb Review in San Isidro, Costa Rica

This beautiful working coffee ranch is located about an hour from San Jose and 30 minutes from Heredia, another major city. We then found out it really depends on traffic and how fast your driver is!

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Our host was awesome and very friendly. I’m a planner so I need to know everything possible and ask every single question. He was very prompt to respond and assure me everything was perfect. He did warn me there is no such thing as addresses or street signs in Costa Rica so he gave me turn by turn directions on how to get there. He also recommended I downloaded and saved the map area offline in google maps. I also downloaded another great app where I was able to drop pins on specific locations and then use the app without internet or wifi.

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We arrived at SJO airport and took a taxi. When you say the city Concepcion de San Isidro no one really knew how to get there. It’s up in the mountains away from everyone and everything. Our taxi driver kept stopping every couple of turns to ask the friendly locals for directions. A couple minutes later we were lost and had no clue where we were. That’s when I knew I had to take over! Good thing I had my maps app I told him I knew how to get there and let me tell him where to turn. You basically take the main road and go through Heredia from the airport then make a left at the main gas station. Then go through San Isidro city center, on the second road make a left and all the way up the mountain you go passing the church. That’s the address!

Our host was in the states so the maintenance guy received us. Gave us the keys and the gate key and pointed to our little home and kept working on the plants. Ok make yourself at home! We dropped off our luggage checked the room out and started exploring. In the 3 days we were there we had the chance to see everything. I still wish we could have stayed longer!

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The room was spacious enough for two. I loved all the natural light coming in from the many windows. For some reason the first thing we always check out is the bed. It was very comfy and as I laid there I immediately noticed the beautiful wood beams on the ceiling. So many little details pull everything together.

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Next to the bed was a comfy couch we mostly used for our luggage and to leave our bags prepared. Across was a small tv and a table. On the far right you had the bathroom, closet, and coffee station. The bathroom was nice and had good toilet paper, yay! The water was very cold at first so you had to give it a minute but after it warmed up I didn’t want to leave the shower.

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On day 3 and last we were there we really got to explore more. Since we were pretty much on tours the rest of the time. We met the housekeeper and she was so amazing and sweet. She loved talking to us and telling us all about Costa Rica. We went to the back of the property where the coffee starts and after walking for what seemed like forever we went back to the home and she showed us the coffee grown there in bags. Of course we bought a couple, it tasted amazing!

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After walking the trails and even finding a running stream we walked back up the other way. We found beautiful plants and fruits. Everything was so colorful and pretty. I wanted pictures of everything!

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We then went back up to sit on the balcony and enjoy the views. We even made a little friend. He was so adorable and I wanted to take him home with me! He followed me everywhere and when I walked he walked and when I stopped he also stopped. So adorable!

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The housekeepers daughter was so kind to take us back to the airport saving us some money. We were so sad to leave and wish we could have stayed longer. Overall I give this place 5 stars. It’s beautiful, the hosts are beyond nice, it has all the amenities needed and it’s very affordable. The only thing I saw as a little downside was location. It’s amazing up in the mountains but it could be a little costly taking taxis back and forth.

 

I can’t wait to return! Pura Vida!!!

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EXPENSES

-Rate per Night $75 usd

-Taxi from SJO airport to Airbnb $40

-Taxi from Airbnb to SJO airport $25

-Taxi between Airbnb and Heredia $12

-Coffee from here $14 per bag

 

-Dayana

 

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Airbnb in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

The Airbnb we stayed at in Puerto Vallarta was amazing and we would book it again in a heartbeat if we ever decide to visit again, which will most likely be the case since we didn’t get to do everything we wanted. We really recommend staying at Eric and Nicki’s place, as it has a really authentic Mexican feel to it with really vibrant colors and an amazing tiled kitchen, which we honestly didn’t use, but if our stay would’ve been longer I would’ve been delighted to use.

The moment we walked into the place I knew we were going to love it. They had just cleaned, so it smelled great. The windows were all opened, so the billowing curtains announced a nice cool breeze and I could hear birds singing, which made it all the better. The fans were also on, so the air circulated around the whole place really well. We did end up turning on the AC at night and closing all the windows so we could sleep (we like it to be cooler at night, so the breeze from outside wasn’t enough). Every time we’d head out to explore, if we would see Nicki around she would give us really good tips on where to go and where to eat. She was really sweet and we were really impressed with her Spanish! She’s from the states, but has lived there I think she said for about 7 years, so she speaks it very well. We didn’t meet Eric, which I think is the actual owner of the place, but Nicki made sure our stay was a great one. She lives in the bottom part, so what you would get would be the second (kitchen & living room area), third (bedroom & bathroom) and fourth floor (washer/dryer & terrace w/ tiny pool). Keep in mind that the part of the house you would be staying at is on the SECOND floor lol. That means you’ll have to go up quite a few stairs to get to it, so we advise not to take too much luggage because it’ll be a hassle since to get to the bedroom (the 3rd floor) you’d have to go up MORE stairs and if you are not the active type it can get tiring. They do have pets (2 dogs I believe and a lovely cat) that mostly stay downstairs at her place. Their cat did wait for us outside our door the last two days waiting for us to come out and pet her, which we thought was adorable.

Click here to check out the video we made about our trip to Puerto Vallarta!

Huge 1br home private garden on river (click the link to book!)

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Outside the Airbnb
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Outside the Airbnb
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The river right across our Airbnb. There’s a really cool bridge to cross it.

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Let me know if you need more information on this beautiful Airbnb that I might’ve forgotten to add!

-Daylin

Airbnb in Peru

Peru was the second place we tried Airbnb out again and we truly loved it. We were going with my parents and wanted them to experience what Airbnb had to offer. We had so much fun on our trip and I’m glad we had the chance to share it with them.

The first place we stayed at was in Cusco, Peru. It had a Spanish style/feel to it that we loved. The host was really nice, although we never really saw her or her husband. They did have other rooms in the house and we would occasionally see other guests in the middle patio area. It was also very centric from all the things we wanted to do.

The best place to stay at, to then visit Machu Picchu, would be Cusco unless you ‘d like to stay in the town of Aguas Calientes (Aguas Calientes is the closest access point to Machu Picchu). The only thing is that it’s hard to get a place there because it books fast and I think it’s also expensive (I don’t really remember though), so make sure to book with time. It is definitely worth staying in Cusco in my opinion because the city has so many more places to see than Aguas Calientes. Don’t get me wrong, Aguas Calientes is incredibly magical and worth checking out for sure, but you can easily finish seeing it in a day so I would suggest looking for a place to stay at in Cusco rather than in Aguas Calientes (if you’re only going for a week or less) and just visit the little town instead of staying the night. If you’re staying for longer than a week and can fit Aguas Calientes in your trip, then, by all means, stay a night at least.

Charming Apartment in City Center (click link for more pictures and for booking)

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Neighborhood

I don’t have any pictures of the inside because I only took video of it, but you could click on the link above and there will be pictures of the inside on their page. Everything did look just like the pictures, so definitely recommend!

Our second Airbnb was in Puno, Peru. Puno is located on the shore of Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America, and they aren’t kidding when they say that because to me it looked like an ocean. It’s located at such a high elevation (12,556 ft) that if you’re from Florida, which is at ocean level, or any other lower point you would definitely have trouble breathing. My husband and I did get a little out of breath when we would run or walk fast, but my parents had a really hard time, so we would really recommend drinking lots of water, drinking coca tea, and/or buying oxygen cans before making your way up to Puno.

When we arrived at the place I thought it was so cute and castle-like on the outside. It’s pretty much located in the middle of nowhere with no wifi, which I honestly didn’t mind, and right next to Lake Titicaca. We were not too pleased to find out that there was no hot water. I blame ourselves for not doing so much research about the place and not preparing ourselves for what we would be getting ourselves into. It was really inconvenient because we were all wanting to take a shower so bad. They were pretty new at Airbnb and were still making repairs, so the shower was under construction. I felt like I was in Cuba again having to take a “shower” with a bucket full of warmed up water. They had to warm it up for you and take it to you. Also, it was extremely cold, so you can only imagine the experience we had.  We also didn’t like that the bathroom was outside. We didn’t mind or even think about it when we booked the place until there was a thunderstorm the next day and my husband and my dad both REALLY needed to use the bathroom. Extremely scary stuff! We laugh at it now and tell people that at least we have a story to tell. The hosts, a couple with a really cute baby girl, were the sweetest and humblest people and were so hospitable. They barely spoke with us, even though we speak Spanish, they had someone else that also helps them with all the bookings, not only speak with us but also give us the tour of the place. We thought they were just a little shy, but they were definitely welcoming and we loved that they made breakfast, lunch and dinner for us and everything was so yummy and different from what we are used to eating. Also, worth mentioning is the fact that EVERYTHING was spotless and approved by my OCD mom lol. We would think that by now they should have hot water and the shower should be finished so that more people can book this place because aside from that everything was wonderful.

Huencalla Lodge (click link for more pictures and for booking)

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The door they are peeking into is the bathroom. The top floor where the window is is the hosts’ bedroom.
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The patio area. We recommended for them to have some outdoor seating for future guests since it’s so nice outside.
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The view of Lake Titicaca was truly wonderful and my favorite part!
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That door you see was our room.
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Lake Titicaca
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Our room
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Breakfast
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After we rested a bit from the long ride there, they took us on a boat ride on Lake Titicaca

They had us try Totora Reeds that grow from Lake Titicaca and they reminded me of sugar canes, except for they are not sweet at all (does that make sense? lol). If you are willing to try one, I would suggest just having one bite and that’s it. Don’t keep eating them even if they insist. I ended up eating most of them because my husband didn’t really like them and to not seem rude gave them to me to eat them for him. I’m lucky I have a pretty strong stomach, unfortunately for my husband and my dad they weren’t so lucky. We later found out that Totora Reeds can cause diarrhea…I won’t go on lol.

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Me trying a Totora Reed

At night, they took us to an open area in front of the house where they set up for a bonfire and had roasted marshmallows and wine.

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Waiting for the rest of us.
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Just chilling

After Puno, we headed to Ica, Peru a place with one of the driest climates in the world. Located on the border of the Atacama desert we weren’t going to pass up on going sand boarding and riding a dune buggy (amazing experience & definitely recommend). We rented an Airbnb RIGHT next to a sand dune and although we didn’t get to do it, you can go up the dune whenever you’d like and take amazing sunset views. We will never forget our amazing host Luis! We were lucky the first few days of our stay there were no other guests in the other rooms in his house and got him to give us a tour of Ica and take us to some of his favorite local eats. He was such a sweetheart and we appreciated him giving us his time to give us a taste of his amazing city. He took us to a winery (click here to go to Tacama Vineyard’s website) and to his favorite chocolate shop (click here to go to Helena Chocolatier’s website) to buy their famous Peruvian chocolates. Another thing we are grateful for was for all the tips about safety he gave us and advice on where to go and cheapest places to buy things and get the best deals. The room was clean and although the bathroom in our room could use some repair, it was a beautiful place to stay at and they also included breakfast. We would definitely recommend this place to anyone wanting to visit Ica!

Vacation Getaway in Gorgeous House! (click link for more pictures and for booking)

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Patio area & pool
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Patio area
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Dune was right behind the house!
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Desert in Ica, Peru
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Desert sunset
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Striking a pose lol

 

-Daylin