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Costa Rica Vacation Rentals

Planning a tropical vacation to relax among lush jungles, secluded beaches, and friendly people? Costa Rica is the place to go! But where do you stay? Consider a private villa!

Selecting a great Costa Rica vacation rental can take your vacation experience to the highest level. No check-in lines, crowded swimming pools or kids running up and down the corridors.

A home away from home. It's true that much of your time will be spent in or on the water, or enjoying local attractions. But remember, your vacation home is where you'll be sleeping, waking up, having many of your meals, and resting.

If it rains or is unseasonably hot outside, you may end up reading a book or wanting to watch one of your favorite movies on DVD. A comfortable sofa would make those activities incredibly pleasant. And when you meet new friends, you'll want a nice place for entertaining. Your vacation rental should have the amenities to make your vacation a real treat.

10 Tips for Choosing the Ideal Costa Rica Vacation Rental

  1. Look at photos. It is vital to review recent photos of the interior and exterior of the vacation rental. It's one thing to read a great description—and some of them are quite 'complimentary' (sometimes overly so)—but you need to see what you are getting. A website is the quickest most convenient way to do this. Brochures, and guide books are nice, but may have out-dated information.
  2. List desired amenities. List the amenities that are important to you, the ones without which your space will feel incomplete. Next, jot down those that are nice to have, but not deal-breakers if not available. Use these lists to quickly eliminate those rentals that won't meet your needs. Some amenities to consider: proximity to water/shops/rainforest, # of bedrooms/bathrooms, kitchen type (full vs. fridge & microwave), TV/DVD, washer/dryer, A/C, outdoor amenities such as decks and BBQ grills, ocean views, private pools, outdoor eating areas, tennis courts. Secondary items might include things like a hammock for lazing about, pool waterfall for the relaxing sounds, exterior stereo speakers to enjoy your favorite music around the pool, ice makers to mix your favorite drinks, especially in the heat of the day, etc.
  3. Consider distance. Some rentals can take a half a day's drive and poorly planned can add frustrate to your trip. What do you want to do on vacation? Taking in a morning activity like snorkeling or zip lining then coming back to the villa to relax may be a high priority for you. Some people feel that a great vacation is being able to walk or bicycle everywhere. Others don't mind a short drive. Some people think nothing of getting on a freeway to enjoy attractions. (SEE Tour by Region to get a better idea of where you want to stay.)
  4. Choose your dates. Identify your first, second and third choice of dates for renting the villa. If you find a villa that you really want and you have alternate dates in mind, you save yourself the time and hassle of having to re-check everyone's schedule and call back (and risking losing new dates in the interim).
  5. Speak to the owner. Call the telephone numbers for the vacation rentals that seem to meet your needs and speak directly with either the owners or the person who is handling the property. Be prepared with a list of questions. This allows you to compare apples to apples, and keeps you from forgetting to ask something important. It also gives you a feel for the person who will be your contact should you rent the villa and then encounter a problem. If you don't get a warm, friendly welcome to your inquiries, don't expect anything different when you have a problem. ASK THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:
  6. What services are included? Does the rental have housekeeping (maid) service? Last thing you want to do is make the beds or clean the dishes, even if there is a dishwasher. Does the rental have a washer and dryer? If so, will the housekeeper wash your clothes for you? Is there a welcome basket? Will the owner have essential items in the refrigerator for you? Can they make the arrangements for your tours?
  7. What is available locally? Inquire about restaurants, events and activities and other forms of local entertainment that are close by. Here's where your list of preferred activities comes in handy. Owners are a wealth of information about the area and can give you tips on great out-of-the-way places that aren't in the guidebooks. You should also be able to find links to local attractions, calendars and restaurants on the website of your Costa Rica vacation rental.
  8. Are the owners local? If not, do they have a management team helping 24/7? This can make a huge difference; especially should something need immediate attention in the villa. There's nothing worse than calling the rental company about a stopped-up toilet and getting somebody's bored teenager who's manning the phones for the summer.
  9. How long has the owner been managing vacation rentals? If the owner has worked with rental properties, they know what tenants expect and how to get things done. If this is a new venture, beware. The owner may be in it for "fun" and have no idea how to prepare the villa so that you can have a great vacation.
  10. Return to the photos. Now, when you look back at the pictures, can you see yourself having a great time there? If the images make you want to go right now, and the answers to the questions above meet your satisfaction, you've found yourself a great Costa Rica vacation rental!

Live the dream. One of our partners traveled to Costa Rica on vacation in 2001 and fell in love with the people and their country. They purchased property on the last day of their vacation and built a villa in 2002. Soon they were handling five additional villas as rentals. Nowadays they have two, three, four and five bedroom villa's available, all of which are surrounded by Costa Rica's biodiversity and over-looking the Pacific Ocean. Find more useful information about Costa Rica Vacation Rentals visit


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A private villa is just one way to enjoy your stay in Costa Rica.