THE COSTA RICA COTTAGES


Cocles is the undiscovered gem of Talamanca, 5 km (3 miles) south of the relaxed bustle of Puerto Viejo de Limon. The 2,550 sq.m.(2/3 acre) property includes three delightful wooden houses. Our multi-lingual agents take great care of the place, with its many fruit trees for eating or juicing (cocktails anyone?), and flowering shrubs which include fragrant ylang-ylang trees and exotic daturas.

A small river forms one of the boundaries, in which otters have been seen cavorting. Parrots and numerous other birds are regular visitors, with toucans making cameo appearances. Squirrels love the carambola trees, monkeys and sloths have also been seen in the garden. The morning fly-past of beautiful blue morpho butterflies is a regular treat. The most beautiful, almost deserted white sand beach is about 250 yards away.

Local attractions include swimming (be very careful when it is rough), surfing further up the beach, snorkelling, SCUBA diving, or lazing in the river or lagoon. Also available nearby are treks through the national parks and rain forests, canopy tours, kayaking, dolphin watching, horse riding, botanical gardens, an Indian reservation, a sloth sanctuary and an iguana farm. The nearby Jaguar Rescue Center is well worth a visit. Relaxing is effortless, when you are within easy reach of several spas, massage and yoga classes.

Development in the area is low-key, and cosmopolitan North American, South American, Spanish, Italian, French, Dutch, English, Swiss and many other nationalities have roots in and around Cocles. An excellent grocery store is about 300 yards away, and there are several restaurants within easy walking distance. Joanna's is a great spot for fresh local food. Pecora Nera is a world-class Italian restaurant, a short walk past the simpler Gato Nero. Internet cafe's are available at a reasonable cost. The active nightlife of Puerto Viejo (especially at weekends) is a bike or short taxi ride away.

Year round temperatures are around 20 -30C (70-85F), cooler at night with a breeze from the river. The lush environment owes its beauty to rainfall, but there are usually sunny periods ranging from a few hours to a few weeks.

The setting is magical. For the energetic, there is so much to do. For the rest of us, there is always the hammock.

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