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What to See and Expect From the Pearl of Costa Rica, the South Pacific Coast

You have picked the most gorgeous part of Costa Rica to visit and stay, the “Pear of Costa Rica”, the South Coast. This part of Costa Rica is mostly unknown, even to many native Costa Ricans. It is only in the last 5 years that the coastal road was paved and only late last fall, 2010 that the coastal road was paved and opened between Quepos to Dominical. Prior to that, you had to drive over a very bumpy unpleasant road or drive the mountain route from San Jose to San Isidro and then to Dominical and further South.

Many people come to the South coast to visit the OSA Peninsula where more biodiversity has been expressed in plant and animal life than any other place on the planet. Sierpe, a fishing town on the OSA Peninsula is the departure point for many trips through the Mangroves to go fishing in the best fishing grounds off the coast, or to Cao Island to go snorkeling. Between Sierpe and Palmar Sur is where the new International airport is to be built. When? “Soon”, the say. Drake Bay is another interesting day trip out of Sierpe.

Driving north from the OSA Peninsula, the new Cortes Hospital was recently built near Cortes as well as a number of eco-building communities. One is OSA Mountain Village and the other is La Joya Perfecta. Just north of these two communities is a hardware store. The Mangroves are along the Pacific between Palmar Norte and Coronado. Just off the highway and north of the hardware store is San Buenas De Ventura. Here the owners have built the first Golf course in Southern Costa Rica. Just north of San Buenas the beautiful Costea Mountains begins to slip into and border the Pacific Ocean. At the entrance to Coronado the first bowling alley is about to be constructed. This is also the entrance to Tres Rios de Coronado.

The most southern hotel/villa Spa rental location is in Tres Rios de Coronado at the Mango Tree Spa. While Tres Rios is not on most maps it is a very special small pueblo with glorious mountains, jungle, the Coronado River running alongside the pueblo all the way out to sea at Punta Mala. Vergel has a camping hotel, a dog kennel and two wonderful Talapia Restaurants. Tres Rios and Vergel both offer many river adventures both for hiking and exploring.

North of here is a research marine biology station on the way down to the Isla de Tortugas. It was here that Hurricane Mitch changed the whole terrain of the Terraba River mouth. Before Hurricane Mitch large ships traveled up the river to Cortes. Back then it was approximately 60 feet deep. After Mitch the mouth of the river filled in and wiped out all the concession stands and huts on the beach. During low tide the river mouth and river are almost a sand bar. There is very little river left.

North of Playa Tortuga is the road into Ojochal, a very French and Canadian community with a few Americans. The area is gradually building with gorgeous homes spotting the mountain sides. There are three of the top restaurants in all of Costa Rica right here in Ojochal, Citrus (cosmopolitan), Exotica (French) and Ilang Ilang (Indonesian). Ojochal has a nice small grocery store and a couple of hotels. Just north is another progressing hardware store that now has many items not here 4 years ago. North of here is a liquor, gift, diving and grocery store. About a km. further north are more beaches: Ventanas and Pinuela. Ventanas is a must see with its two caves at low tide.

Before the next town north are two more hotels, Crystal Ballea and Mar y Selva. The next town (about 15 minutes driving North) is Uvita (grape in Spanish). This town is very Gringo with a number of start-up businesses that weren’t completed with the economic turn-around in 2008. Still, there is a vet, two excellent grocery stores, a small Saturday market and more beaches, Playa Ballena and Ballena Park with the Whales Tale beach. Here one can snorkel, but it is not as good as a trip to Cao Island through Sierpe. This is a wonderful long beach for hiking.

Going further north (about 20 minutes) are a couple of more hotels, La Casinga and Cuna de Angel, just off the highway. Finally, you will arrive at Dominical, a well developed seaside type of town with many young hippies, restaurants, hotels and potential drugs. This is a very young people’s town with an older presence. It was the beginning of the Southern corridor for many years before the road and development started to happen south of here. You have now reached the northern extension of the Costea Mountains where they no longer slip into the Pacific, but have moved back inland. Here the road splits for you to choose to drive north to Quepos and Jaco or turn toward San Isidro and the mountain route back to San Jose.

The total distance between Dominical to OSA is 1 hours to 2 hours depending how far down the Peninsula you might want to venture. Uvita is about 20 minutes South of Dominical and Coronado is about half way between Dominical and OSA. Depending on where and what you are planning to do, choose your vacation rental to optimize your driving time.

Know The 4 Best Hawaii Hotels: For A Purely Fun And Worriless Vacation

Have you always dreamed about going to Hawaii but now that you have your tickets you are somewhat nervous because you are totally clueless as to where could be the best place to stay or what could be the best vacation packages to avail? Well, end your worries because this article will give you some of the best Hawaii hotels you may stay in to make your vacation worry-free for you. Here are just some of these hotels that you may consider for your vacation:

1. Grand Wailea Resort and Spa

If you are not too anxious about how much you are going to spend on your vacation to Hawaii, then you might as well experience the luxury of having to stay in Grand Wailea. This 40-acre hotel garnered high ratings and reviews so you will definitely have no complaints about staying here. Pamper yourself in their cozy hot tubs, delightful pools anytime you feel like plunging and taking a dip and their world-class spa treatments. Or better yet, be awed with the classic paintings that will greet you in the hotel by world-renowned painters such as Warhol and Picasso.

2. Hilton Waikoloa Village

If you are after a perfect Hawaii vacation, then make sure you head nowhere else but to Hilton Waikoloa Village. This hotel is ideal especially if you have kids with you traveling. The experience of watching the dolphins jump and swim right their very eyes will surely be all worth it. You will also find watching the man-made waterfalls a truly relaxing activity that will surely soothe your senses. There are also slides for the kids as well as snorkeling adventures for the grown-ups; or perhaps simply jump into the pool to swim!

3. Four Seasons Hotel Hualalai

What is more, there is also the Four Seasons Hotel Hualalai which is guaranteed to be one of the best hotels in Hawaii. In case you do not know, Four Seasons actually represents “superiority” or “distinction”; that is why you can be certain that when you book your accommodations in this hotel, you will surely be delighted with the amenities plus of course, the kind of service that you will receive. What is more, Four Seasons Hotel Hualalai is perfect for duos, lovey-doveys or married couples who would like to get a glimpse of the beautiful and romantic sunset by the pool.

4. Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa

Last but not least should you have any plans of staying in Kauai, then never leave Hawaii without considering staying in the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa which is likewise one of the most excellent and highly recommended Hawaii hotels. Try to look for vacation packages where your accommodation bookings will be included along with your air fares and even the transportation service you may avail while traveling around Hawaii. That way, you will have a 100% worry-free vacation!

Hospitable Downtown Salem Oregon Hotels

Salem promises a lot of wonderful memories, exciting adventures and learning treats to visitors. With thousands of tourists going to Salem every year, hotels have reached their peak. Aside from the large selection of events like the Bite of Sale, Oregon State Fair, World Beat Festival and Salem Art Fair, hotels in the region continue to surprise guests with their excellent Salem hospitality.

Here are some of the best downtown hotels in Salem, Oregon:

Phoenix Grand Hotel

This hotel is situated along the downtown Salem in Oregon. They are the new additions to Willamette Valleys. It is also considered as the headquarters for the recent Salem Conference Center. It is near major business districts, area attractions and medical centers. In close proximity to the hotel is the State Capital Building, Willamette University and the gateway to the gardens and wineries of Willamette Valley.

The hotel has a total of 193 spacious suites and guestrooms that have separate living and work areas. Each room is provided with either wireless or wired high speed Internet, wet bars, extended suites, desks, executive chairs, gas fireplaces, Jacuzzis and complimentary breakfast buffets. It also has an adjoining conference center having a total of 14 meeting rooms, AV equipments and Internet access.

When looking for a place to eat, do not miss out on their Bentley’s Grill cocktail lounge and full-service restaurant. Apart from this, they have a heated indoor pool, 24hr business center, fitness center and Spa. Thus, check in time is at 3PM while check out time is at 11AM.

Howard Johnson Inn

This smoke-free hotel is located at 2250 Mission Street South East Salem, OR b97302. Aside from downtown Salem, it is near the Salem General Hospital, Willamette University, Bush House Museum as well as the State Fair Ground & Expo Center. This is along with the Electric Castles Wonderland, Lancaster Mall, Enchanted Forest and Pringle Park Plaza among others. Restaurants like Applebee’s, Burger King, Olive Garden Italian Restaurant, Denny’s, Dominos Pizza and Papa John’s Pizza are all nearby.

Howard Johnson Inn guarantees comfortable, quiet and friendly services throughout your stay. They provide complimentary Continental Deluxe breakfasts, a heated outdoor pool, fitness center and elegant guestrooms that are equipped with iron with boards, hairdryers, coffee makers as well as in-room safe deposit boxes.

Best Western Mill Creek Inn

This full-service, pet-friendly, 3-star hotel is located at 3125 Ryan Drive South East Salem, OR 97301. It is situated along the Willamette Valley. It is near Silver Falls State Park, Oregon State Capitol and Oregon Gardens.

As you step in the hotel’s lobby, you will be greeted by their friendly staff. Whether you are going to Salem for pleasure or for business purposes, the hotel can cater to all your needs. Guests are provided with a lot of room options. This includes their well appointed standard rooms up to their elegant King Suites. Each room is equipped with microwaves, Cable/Satellite TVs having 66 channels, refrigerators, pay-per-view movies, high speed Internet and even free breakfast at nearby Denny’s Restaurant.

The hotel also has an indoor pool. Steam room, Spa, exercise facility, a 24hr business center and meeting rooms that can accommodate up to 160 persons. You can also accommodate with the staff regarding wine tours to Willamette Vineyards and Bethel Heights Vineyard.

For tours, you are in close proximity to the A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village, the Enchanted Forest and Oregon State Fairgrounds as well as Historic Deepwood Estate and Willamette University. Check in time at Best Western Millcreek Inn is at 2PM while check out time is 12NN.