Welcome to the Caballitos del Mar blog.

This site is intended to provide more information for our guests who are staying at our homes in Dominical, Puntarenas, Costa Rica, or for anyone traveling to that area. Please feel free to visit our vrbo.com listing. Caballitos del Mar consists of three homes one km south of Dominical, owned by the Bernardi and Hawley families. Our property manager is Neil Harding, who is a wonderful resource when planning a trip to the South Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. We hope you enjoy the site.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Activities Near Dominical

Activities are generally half day or full day, and can be booked at many places in Dominical, including through Neil Harding, our property manager. Many are free if you're willing to do some driving or hiking on your own. Here are some of our favorites.
Nayuca Waterfall. Best day trip ever.
Nayuca Waterfalls and Horseback Ride. A wonderful family will take you on a gorgeous horseback ride to the family home for a delicious breakfast, followed by a trip to a waterfall and swimming hole. On the return you’ll have lunch at the same home. Takes about 5 hours, cost is about $50 per person.
Corcovado Ranger Station and Boat Ride. This takes an entire day and consists of a drive to Sierpe, about an hour south, and then a boat ride out the Rio Sierpe, through the surf, and down the coast to the Corcovado Ranger Station. This is one of the most bio diverse areas in the world, and is a must for birders, monkey seekers, and naturalists of all types. Breakfast and lunch are provided, plus transportation and the boat ride. About $70pp.
Bug on Rio Sierpe. No extra charge!
You can also drive to Sierpe and rent a boat and a guide for a two-hour trip on the river. Very pleasant mangrove swamp with bats, birds, cayman, and other creatures. About $25pp.
Another alternative is to go to Isla CaƱo instead of Corcovado. This is an island off the mouth of the Rio Sierpe with good snorkeling and hiking. This is also one of the key scuba spots on the coast, since the water is not as turbid as it can be on the coast. About $70pp.
Zip Lining at Hacienda Baru. This is north on La Costanera (The Coast Highway) from Dominical about 5km. Fun zip lining in the jungle with naturalists. Safe, exciting, and reasonably priced. $25pp

Surfing in Dominical. Many, perhaps most, people visit Dominical for the surf. Depending on the tide and swell, you can have surf that's great for anyone from beginners to experts, and it's extremely accessible by just paddling out from the beach. It can also be a little overwhelming, so know the conditions and consider taking lessons from one of the many excellent surf schools and surf camps in town. We like Costa Rica Surf Camp, but others are very good as well.
River Rafting. We’ve now done this on two rivers in the area: Rio Guabo is narrow and in a narrow canyon while Rio Savegre is quite large and about half way between Dominical and Quepos. Either is loads of fun. The guides provide the requisite helmets, paddles, and safety instruction. A fresh fruit lunch is served along the way. We generally book at Dominical Surf Adventures, on the left as you enter town. Ask for Henry. $80-100pp.

The gorgeous swimming hole on the river that
passes through Dominicalito. 
Swimming Hole in Dominicalito. This is a lovely, quiet swimming hole on the river that passes through Dominicalito, about half a kilometer south of the homes. You have to know what to look for, but it's a short hike up the Dominicalito road and off to the right. Ask a local for directions.

Secret Swimming Hole with Waterfall: If you're really into bouldering and exotic locations, we have a secret waterfall hike that we love, and it's virtually unknown to tourists. We won't tell you where it is until you book with us, to keep the traffic down, but it's worth it. Gorgeous swimming and diving with total privacy.
Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio. This is the big draw in the Quepos area, and when we visited the park in 1992, it was very sleepy and quiet. On a recent visit, the touristy shops have now lined the park entrance and there is a $10pp charge to walk into the park. It’s still probably worth it, but it’s lost some of its appeal.
Sportfishing. There are a few smaller sportfishing boats available to charter in Dominicalito. We haven’t tried it yet, but the fishing is supposed to be great in Quepos and we presume it’s good in Dominical as well.
Disco Nights. If you’re interested in partying and dancing, there is generally one place in town each night that hosts a late night disco. Roca Verde, for example, has disco night on Saturdays. Maracatu, Patron's, and Coco also host alternate evenings. Like many Latin nocturnal activities, the party doesn’t really get going until after midnight.

Kayaking. There's both sea kayaking and river/estuary kayaking available in the area. An easy choice is to go just north of Hacienda Baru with a local Dominical outfitter and  explore the mangroves. Very reasonably priced.

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