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FreshAir
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Joined: 02/23/12
Posts: 36
Loc: Middle America
Casa Banda Costa Rica Feb 20-March 6 trip reoprt
      #1575922 - 03/18/14 06:15 PM (174.74.114.64)

This is our second two week trip to Casa Banda http://www.cocr.info the first being in February 2012 when they began the transition to clothing optional. My first trip report with a little background on how it came to be such a great clothing optional paradise is here http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/s...art=1&vc=1. Arne and Bibi have made this a truly remarkable place to stay and is in a great part of Costa Rica. While we love Casa Banda, the facility, beautiful grounds and the fact that its clothing optional, it wouldnít be the same without Arne and Bibi as hosts.

We flew into Dallas on Thursday Feb 20 and connected on a 10am flight to Liberia. Thankfully, the flight was 30 minutes early. Clearing immigration is a snap and we grabbed our bags and weíre in the cab shortly after 2. Bibi sent us a form to pre-order grass fed meats and eggs from their supplier and they were in the freezer or fridge when we arrived. We also pre ordered organic produce from http://rainboworganic.cr to be picked up on Saturday. We had our cab driver make a brief stop in Nicoya for our liquid refreshments and other assorted needs not pre ordered. We arrived at Casa Banda in plenty of time to settle in, have a cocktail and watch one of many spectacular sunsets.

We stayed in the apartment called Buena Vista, the biggest of the one-bedroom units. While all of the apartments are nice and nicely appointed, we liked the extra space, especially the outdoor living space.

There are three beaches within easy walking distance of Casa Banda: Playa Pelada, Nosara and Guiones, the closest being Playa Pelada about a 5-7 minute walk south, Playa Nosara, about a 10 minute walk more to the southwest and Playa Guiones a bout a 16-18 minute walk to the southeast. Pelada has two great and very popular beach bar/restaurants, La Luna http://www.visitnosara.com/restaurant/la-luna or https://www.facebook.com/pages/LA-LUNA/187210908478
and Olgaís, https://www.facebook.com/BarOlgas In addition, about a block off the beach is Pepperoniís https://www.facebook.com/pages/il-pepperoni/324354620941978
We had wonderful meals at all three but remembered from our first trip, the Ceviche at La Lunaís is the best weíve ever eaten. Well, we had it 3 times and itís still the best ever.

At the east end of Pelada there is an easy path over a small hill that puts you onto Guiones. Itís about 3 or 4 miles long and very flat with hard sand by the water, which makes for great walking running. There are a lot of people on the beach early mornings doing just that. The really cool thing is this is the surfing mecca of Costa Rica and Guiones in one of the more popular surfing spots. There are small boutique hotels and hostels all around with cheap bunk-rooms. The surfers flock here, stay cheap and surf all day and flock to the beach bars for sunset. There are 4 or 5 surf schools as well if youíre interested in giving it a try. Many of the surfers are expert and itís really cool to watch. The third close beach is Nosara, which is a deserted beach. The only way to get to it is to cross the mouth of the river at low tide, which is good, as people donít go there given the easy access of the others. We walked it nude two years ago and did so again this trip.

While there are a lot of touristy things to do nearby, our days were pretty routine. Get up fairly early and head out for a walk on the beach by 7:30. Our favorite beach to walk was Guiones. After about 4-5 miles or 90 minutes or so, we come home to lots of water, shower, a cool swim, bloody Mary, big breakfast and settle in for a day of reading. We were in heaven doing just what we plannedÖ.nothing. We relaxed by the pool and read books.

We cooked all of our meals the first week. There is a grill and charcoal in the pool house addition to well-equipped kitchens in your apartment. This was the plan as we didnít rent a car until the following Thursday. On our first visit, the car sat in the driveway most of the time. Itís so relaxing, itís really kind of hard to put your clothes on and leave. Plus whenever someone goes to town, they usually ask if anyone wants to tag along or needs anything from the store.

While Nosara is a coastal town, itís also in the jungle. You hear the howler monkeys really loud in the mornings and evenings. There were days when we were walking to the beach and decided to follow the howls and find the monkeys, which we did a number of times. They are pretty cool to watch in their own element. Thereís a short video at the end of the pictures.

The sunsets are absolutely spectacular as well. The sun is mostly unobstructed setting on the water and the clouds that are around, really light up. There are great sunsets from Casa Banda or you can put your clothes on and watch from the beach or just down the road at a sunset bar.

As mentioned, we rented a car, but only from Thursday to Monday. With the car we ventured north to Marbella and had lunch at the TikiHut https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tiki-Hut-Bar-Restaurant/126758607434942 and over the few days dined at La Luna, Olgasís and Pepperoniís

Another cool thing we did for our morning walk was a walk through the Nature Preserve http://www.lagarta.com/reserva.htm which was a great morning walk. We explored this the last full morning and really regretted that in two trips we had just done this at the very end of trip two. Weíll definitely walk it more in future trips.

The last night Arne and Bibi joined us for dinner and they recommended a local place weíve been by several times never tried. Itís near town and from the road looks like a dive. Once inside, we were amazed how nice it was. Itís called Rancho Tiko. https://www.facebook.com/RanchoTicoNosara It featured great authentic Costa Rican fare and we thoroughly enjoyed our dinner and the company our final evening.

All in all, another great trip at a great place hosted by some really great people who have invested heavily in the facility; insuring their guests have a great vacation. During both visits, everyone got along fabulously, with email and contact info shared to stay in touch and coordinate future visits. Itís also worth noting almost without exception, when itís time for a guest to leave, everyone gathers to say their goodbyes and there are hugs and often tears. You know itís been a great vacation when that happens.

Prior to visiting Casa Banda, we took our 13th trip to St Maarten in January and have decided weíll probably not go there next year, rather will likely spend more time in Costa Rica, exploring other parts of the country and ending with a couple of weeks at Casa Banda.

Iíve posted a few pictures (no nudity) and a couple of videoís here.. http://s851.photobucket.com/user/freshair1/library/Costa%20Rica%202014


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DenitaLC
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Joined: 02/15/08
Posts: 201
Loc: WA State
Re: Casa Banda Costa Rica Feb 20-March 6 trip reoprt [Re: FreshAir]
      #1575961 - 03/18/14 10:57 PM (50.181.248.48)

Great pictures! :)

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Posts: 63319
Loc: Central Florida!
Re: Casa Banda Costa Rica Feb 20-March 6 trip reoprt [Re: FreshAir]
      #1576024 - 03/19/14 09:36 AM (71.101.42.17)

Thanks so much for the report! It does look really lovely. However, I think there is no a/c and no TV? I'm not sure what we personally would do in the evenings..

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FreshAir
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Joined: 02/23/12
Posts: 36
Loc: Middle America
Re: Casa Banda Costa Rica Feb 20-March 6 trip reoprt [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1576143 - 03/19/14 03:36 PM (174.74.114.64)

You are correct Carol. Their is no air conditioning or TV's. I know for some people they're both gotta haves. I will say we always slept with a sheet as it gets down into the upper 60's at night and there's a nice ocean breeze. I know guests use Netflix or other related services. We have a Slingbox which connects to our DVR at home so it's just like being at home. In two weeks, we watched it at night or in bed only 3 times. We are more music people and have a Bose remote speaker so the iPod was always going.

Now, for what we do in the evening :-)


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Casa Banda Costa Rica Feb 20-March 6 trip reoprt [Re: FreshAir]
      #1576146 - 03/19/14 03:49 PM (71.101.42.17)

So, the internet connection must have been pretty good then?

As far as the a/c is concerned, possibly this time of year you wouldn't need it, but isn't it a LOT hotter and more humid later on? Or not? What about mosquitoes? With all the issues with chikungunya in SXM lately, I worry about mosquitoes..


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FreshAir
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Joined: 02/23/12
Posts: 36
Loc: Middle America
Re: Casa Banda Costa Rica Feb 20-March 6 trip reoprt [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1576255 - 03/19/14 10:00 PM (174.74.114.64)

The internet connection is very good. There were some problems the first Saturday, kind of coming and going, but Arne was on it and didn't stop working on it until he had it back to everyones satisfaction and his as well.

It was hot during the time we were there, mid 90's every day and it would get there mid morning, but there was always a breeze. It does cool off nicely at night. I think the temps are pretty consistent year round but gets more humid as it gets into the rainy season which is during the summer months. I'm guessing on that though.

We had no problem at all with bugs or mosquitoes. There are candles provided for your outdoor balcony and we kept them lit, especially at night, just as a precaution and from our many travels and experiences in St Maarten. Neither one of us ever put on any bug dope and never had a problem.


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Casa Banda Costa Rica Feb 20-March 6 trip reoprt [Re: FreshAir]
      #1576256 - 03/19/14 10:02 PM (68.246.56.65)

Mid 90's is pretty warm to me, even without humidity..

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FreshAir
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Joined: 02/23/12
Posts: 36
Loc: Middle America
Re: Casa Banda Costa Rica Feb 20-March 6 trip reoprt [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1576261 - 03/19/14 10:14 PM (174.74.114.64)

No question mid 90's is warm, although the breeze and pool make it not seem so hot. Kind of funny you mentioned it though... we actually had a similar conversation around the pool and the consensus was as long as you didn't have to wear clothes, most anything was comfortable.

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seg615
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Joined: 03/23/10
Posts: 2
Re: Casa Banda Costa Rica Feb 20-March 6 trip reoprt [Re: FreshAir]
      #1576298 - 03/20/14 08:12 AM (68.37.74.83)

No a/c is a deal breaker for me anytime of year

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Casa Banda Costa Rica Feb 20-March 6 trip reoprt [Re: FreshAir]
      #1576299 - 03/20/14 08:14 AM (68.246.56.65)

Depends on what the humidity is too. Mid 90's here in Florida in August? All I want to do is sit in the a/c!!

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