Getting to COSTA RICA just got even easier as US carrier Delta Airlines announces it will begin daily flights from Los Angeles to Juan Santamaria International Airport starting on July 1st, 2013.  Great news!


A common misconception is that COSTA RICA is some far flung destination that is many hours of air travel away from major North American cities. The truth is that COSTA RICA is in the Northern Hemisphere and can be reached from most US and many Canadian cities by only a 3-6 hour flight. In fact the entire eastern seaboard of the US is no more than a 5 hour flight away. Here is a list of flight times to San Jose Costa Rica's modern Juan Santamaria International Airport from some of North Americas largest cities:

Chicago - 4hr 30min
Toronto - 4hr 50min
Las Vegas - 5hr 30min
New York - 4hr 30min
Dallas - 3hr 40min
Philadelphia - 4hr 30min
Miami - 2hr 30min
Boston - 4hr 45 min
Vancouver - 7hr 5 min
Los Angeles - 5hr 40min
Minneapolis - 5hr 10min
Denver - 5hr 00min
Montreal - 5hr 15min
Calgary - 6hr 50min
Atlanta - 3hr 20min
By now you have surely heard the term "green season" and Costa Rica in the same sentence. Many wonder what the term green season really means. We found a great article that sums it up so perfectly that it would be impossible for us to do it better. Because most people visit Costa Rica in the dryer months many tour guides and accommodations offer discounted rates. Both our CASA DE LA SELVA and TREE TOP COTTAGES have discounted Green Season rates which offer incredible value. 

Check out the article by Cozta Rica here:
The beach at Manuel Antonio National Park was recently rated "Best Beach in Central America" by TripAdvisor. Located a mere 35-45 minute drive from both our properties and viewable from the wrap around decks of TREE TOP COTTAGES Manuel Antonio National Park is a nature and beach lovers paradise. Definitely worth a day trip or if you want to beat the crowds you can always visit one of the closer, comparable and less crowded beaches just minutes from our rental houses. Just another reason why COSTA RICA remains the go to destination for scenic beauty and tropical beaches in the western hemisphere. http://insidecostarica.com/2013/05/24/manuel-antonio-ranked-as-best-beach-in-central-america/
"Perfect place for a great vacation.

A great experience, a welcoming place, surrounded by impressive nature, near beaches. The house has all the comforts to spend some time in complete serenity and relaxation. 100% recommended!

M Abarca
Casa de la Selva
Date of Stay 03/28/13
review submitted to VRBO.com and translated from Spanish

Thank you Michael! We are glad you and you guests had a great time and we are looking forward to having you back. 

To see the rest of our reviews on VRBO.com please visit this link...

serenity awaits
Costa Rica beat out 150 other countries to officially become the planets happiest country, again. The Happy Planet Index is an index that studies in detail many factors related to the human well-being and environmental impact of nations and then applies a ranking. Since the annual indexes inception in 2006 Costa Rica has maintained a top three position climbing to number one in 2009 where it has been ever since. We couldn't agree more! 

Here's a look at some of this years results....

Happiest Countries on Earth

1) Costa Rica
2) Vietnam
3) Colombia

Un-Happiest Countries on Earth

1) Botswana
2) Chad
3) Qatar

Some of the other countries happiness rankings

USA - 105th
Canada - 65th 
United Kingdom - 41st
Spain - 62nd
China - 60th
India - 32nd 

Visit the Happy Planet Index here....


CLICK HERE to book a vacation in the happiest country on earth today! 

But we already knew that ;) Read the original article here:
Hacienda Baru National Wildlife Refuge is a 815 acre nature preserve located near the town of Dominical, Costa Rica. Located a mere 10 minute drive from our Casa de la Selva and Tree Top Cottages properties the world renowned Hacienda Baru offers guided and unguided eco-tours, canopy tours, photography tours, wildlife viewing, zip lining, 7 kilometres of hiking trails and even a nice lunch. The preserve was founded by renowned naturalist Jack Ewing back in 1972 and offers both primary and secondary rainforest to explore. This is wonderful place to spend a day even with the family as it offers a wide range of activities for all age groups. We assure you that Hacienda Baru is one of the best places in the area to learn about and view exotic wildlife. What you will not find here are the large crowds that tend to scare away the animals in some of the other parks. We highly recommend Hacienda Baru as a must visit spot on the Ballena Coast. To learn more about Jack Ewing and Hacienda Baru please visit their website: http://www.haciendabaru.com
SELVA HOLIDAYS would like to introduce you to another member of our team: Carlos Mena, Head Gardener at Tree Top Cottages. 

Don't let the menacing looking machete fool you, Carlos is a sweet and gentle man and an expert gardener. He lives in the area with his wife and young son. Few in the area know the flora and fauna as well as Carlos as his family has been on our part of the mountain for over 100 years and they are well known as coffee growers and horse ranchers. Carlos works to maintain the gardens, lush vegetation and water run offs at our Tree Top Cottages property.

Carlos owns several horses and can take you on a private ride through the area to secret waterfalls and breathtaking costal vistas. He is also known to drop by and deliver our guests some of the bounty of organic fruits that grow on our property as well free range eggs from his chickens. 

Carlos has been with us since day one and is like a member of the family and we are very happy to have him on board.  Many of our guests fondly recall their nature hikes and horse tours with Carlos as highlights of their stay.
Both our Selva Holidays rental properties are located near a few weekly organic farmers markets. 

Our favorites are the Saturday market at the Rincon Uvita community centre and the massive San Isidro Feria food market in San Isidro which takes place on Thursdays and Fridays. Both offer a wide range of local and organic produce, meats and seafood as well as tasty treats like homemade breads, organic nuts, chocolate, eggs, cheeses and much more. 

The Uvita market is also a great way to meet and mingle with local food producers and area residents and the San Isidro market offers literally a hundred or so food stands from all over Southern Costa Rica. Get there early to get the best picks in Uvita and the Feria in San Isidro goes strong all day Thursday. By Friday the Feria is generally picked over and sees many of the stands packed up and gone but its also a good day to score some amazing deals on whatever is left. Both markets prices are far below what you would find at home and even around $40 can get you enough fruits and veggies for you and your travel companions to eat like kings for an entire week. Highly recommended! 

Cant make the farmers markets. No problem. Our area is covered in small fruit stands, mobile fruits trucks and food stands along the road sides and even at the beaches. The stands at Playa Hermosa (not to be confused with the Playa Hermosa near Jaco) serve some excellent Civeche and fresh fruit to make your day at the beach refreshing and tasty.