Costa Rica Travel News – There’s no doubt your travel agent has recommended Manuel Antonio. It’s one of the hottest places to visit in Costa Rica. It’s a town that has an excellent balance between touristic attractions and the warm local culture. I recently took a trip there and checked out a few of the most recommended restaurants and tours to scout them out for you, before you make the trip. Here are a few that I can recommend 100 percent:
Café Milagro. This picturesque café has evolved from a micro coffee roaster in 1994 to the full scale restaurant it is today. It all started with Adrienne’s question, “Why can’t I find a decent cup of joe in this country so famous for its coffee?” She found out that Costa Rica exports most of its good coffee and sells locals the rejects. How terrible! So she bought a coffee roaster and books about the subject. Her partner Lance joined her in 1996.
They now serve single origin, micro milled java and finely mixed variations of the best of the best. They pride themselves in using local food and coffee, organic whenever possible. They work with a local organic coop, so you know the taste will be fresh and the quality high.
After 20 years in business, they have become successful and well known as one of Manuel Antonio’s best places to go for a meal, specialty coffee or even a night out that features live music (7-9 pm Monday-Saturday).
I was most impressed by the fact that when I ordered a coffee they gave me the choice of light or dark roast. That was the first sign that they really know what they are doing. The servers, Sigrid and Johnny, are really friendly and knowledgeable.
Adrienne and Lance have a motto that “Café Milagro not only tastes good, but does good.” They give 1% back to the planet and have also helped to start the Titi Conservation Alliance, a group that protects endangered monkeys through conservation efforts. They work with 14 local schools to promote conservation through education and reforestation. In their Rio Naranjo Biological Corredor project, they have planted over 60,000 native species trees to provide habitat for the endangered Titi monkey and other wildlife.
You will definitely want to stop in at least once on your trip to Manuel Antonio. It’s an excellent chance to get souvenirs at their shop and support a company that helps the environment all while eating the best french toast in Costa Rica. There are also a number of fusion choices that take typical dishes or ingredients and give them a spin, like the Mango Chayote Salad with spiced macadamia nuts and one of their homemade dressings. If you are around from 4-6 you can take advantage of happy hour specials at the full bar.
You are sure to fall in love with their coffee and want to take some home with you. When you run out, don’t despair because you can order some more online, as they export it. For more info or to make a purchase, check out http://www.cafemilagro.com/
Costa Rica Unique Tours. With so many tour companies in the area, how can you choose which one to go with? It’s all about the reputation, in my opinion. Unique Tours was a name I’ve heard only good things about, so I contacted them and was impressed from the start. Julio got back to me quickly and was very professional. He helped me find a tour that would be good for my needs. I wanted to have fun and see wildlife, but in a relaxed way, since I have knee trouble. He recommended we go on the floating trip, white water rafting on the Savegre River class 1 and 2 rapids.
They picked us up from our door and along the way to the starting point they told us about the history of the area and about the African Palm plantations we were passing. They made a few stops to impress us with interesting fruits and leaves.
When we were ready to start rafting, they gave us a safety briefing and taught us how to use the equipment. This can be done in English or Spanish, depending on the group. The equipment seemed up to date and I felt perfectly safe the whole time.
The trip was a thrill. I enjoyed every moment. I’m so glad there was a photographer, Jeffrey, riding in front of us, so I’ll have lasting memories of this fabulous day. Kanutto was a great guide, very personable, friendly and knowledgeable. He’s been in the area over 20 years and has plenty of experience and knowledge about flora and fauna and can answer all your questions. It was my first rafting experience so I liked the fact that there was some calm water between the rapids so I could take a break and look for birds and other wildlife. The Savegre River is gorgeous. It’s one of the cleanest and is lined with beautiful tropical trees. After the rafting, we were treated to delicious fruits and then a hearty lunch before being taken back.
For those wanting a more adventurous rafting experience, they offer tours on class 3 and 4 rapids that are nonstop action and fun. Unique tours also offers other day trips, such as mangrove and sea kayaking and hikes through the precious Manuel Antonio National Park. Their coastal hike is a short intermediate-advanced one. It’s about 1.5-2 hours long and takes you through the mountains and beaches. Unlike hiking through the park, the coastal hike is secluded from other people. It ends in a nice place to enjoy a cocktail and watch the sunset.
They will help you experience this paradise unlike any other tour company, because their service is very personalized. They’ll even help you design and plan your whole vacation. On any of their tours, the guide will be your good friend by the end of the day. This is why they have many return clients, year after year.
For more information or to book a tour, contact:
or check out http://www.costaricauniquetours.com/