Bored and Frustrated in Uvita and Dominical, Costa Rica

dominical and uvita, costa rica, header

Above: view from Villas Alturas, close to Dominical.

DominicalI’m pretty disgusted with my blogging on Costa Rica. I re-read this post and bore myself. Sorry. On most of our trips we travel around, visiting national parks, towns, various sights. We meet interesting people and I usually have something to write about. I find Costa Rica frustrating – everything is far to get to, transport is inconvenient (and taxis really expensive). I should have rented a 4*4 but I don’t drive manual. Even if I had wanted to, I’ve been told by a few frustrated tourists that all the rental agencies were rented-out. I wanted to see the Nauyaca waterfall in Dominical but I was told that you can not go privately by taxi, you have to go as part of a tour group. I was then told that the tour was sold out for the day in question. This basically sums up our experience in the first ten days of this trip. It just seems for whatever reason we get stuck at a hotel or resort. I’ve never experienced that before, not anywhere. Everything feels so isolated here.

So this post contains my notes and photos taken from a few days spent at different resorts along the Central Pacific coast. I did however take some pretty good photos as you’ll see below.


Oxygen Villas – Uvita

This European owned luxury retreat is a 15 minute drive into the hills behind the town of Uvita. After Manuel Antonio all we wanted was to get away from people and relax. That’s what we did here.

A beautiful place; villas all glass and white furniture, very minimalistic and modern. Nothing Costa Rican about this place; the grounds are beautiful and decorated by imported Balinese art, the staff all American. Haven’t see one Tico here. Restaurant serves meals all day and at night you can have their special ‘surprise’ meal which is a 4 course meal. Ok, it all sounds snobby and a bit pretentious (compounded by the constant lounge music in the background) but the staff was nice and friendly and didn’t act snobby or pretentious. We were told that it is a popular place for honeymooners and I can see why.

pool at Oxygen villas

room at Oxygen villas

Below: A toucan in the tree next to our villa

Toucan at oxygen villas

Costa Paraiso, Dominical

Another stay on the Pacific Coast. The hotel is on a large, beautiful site and the American owners have done a great job with landscaping. Located right on the beach, we took some long walks down the coast. I have to say though that there is nothing very appetizing about Costa Rican beaches (at least this stretch of coast). We had a few issues with this hotel but they had nothing to do with the wonderful geographic setting.

gardens, costa paraiso

beach at Costa Paraiso

sunsets and flowers in dominical, costa rica


Villas Alturas, Dominical

I’ll be truthful – after a week, nothing has impressed us in Costa Rica. No sights that have left us breathless, no place that we would say “wow, I’m sorry to be leaving”. Villas Alturas, on a high hill about 10km south of Dominical, changed that. Tthe location was spectacular, the owners (again American) friendly, and the food great. I woke up at 5:30 am one morning to see the sunrise and felt spectacularly happy watching the sun come up. A really magical moment and I would suggest that anyone coming here get up just for that.

sunrise views, villas alturas

pool at Villas Alturas

Villas Alturas

Sunrise in Dominical, Costa Rica
Sunrise at Villas Alturas
After a week at these resorts we were ready for action. Our next stop, La Fortuna, is supposed to be the adventure capital of Costa Rica.


For more on Costa Rica, see our detailed Destination Guide.


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  1. Hey there!!!!

    Man! How displeased I was to read that you have such a negative experience in/around Dominical. I’ve got property down there and have been going for about ten years. I’ve been around the world and can honestly say that this is still one of the greatest spots i’ve been to. However, yes, you must have transportation and MUST get even higher than Villas-Alturas to truly appreciate that part of CR. I wish I would’ve found you before you experience. Could’ve gotten you on horseback to Nuyaca Falls and had amazing sunsets at BellaVista Lodge. All up in Escaleras. Trust me, if you ever want to return, I’ll twist your emotions around and you’ll have an enlightening experience.

    That’s one issue with travel sometimes…. Gotta get the VIP tour to truly appreciate.

    Don’t hesitate to reach out: Jonathan

    Cheers and thanks for sharing your blog!!!!!

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Hi Jonathan – thanks so much for your comment and generous offer. Very nice of you. Honestly, I don’t know if we’ll ever be back as we spent 5 weeks there. Just too much of the world to explore.
      But thanks again.
      Frank (bbqboy)

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