at the ark herb farm
Carolina at Jalapeneos will be ready with some tasty treats
green papaya salad
Beef tenderloin on green papaya salad - testing and tasting
garlic jumbo shrimp
This one was a special guest request - garlic jumbo shrimp in olive oil
happy guests on the road to poas volcano
We know you will love our special dinners - this was a Valentines evening event
lemons at the pura vida hotel just 10 mins from SJO
another lemon event, this year was a very good one for lemons in the gardens

Food Options Near the Pura Vida Hotel

". . . wonderful bookends you provided to our visit to Costa Rica, from the familiar face of Jose Luis at the airport to the fabulous, relaxing dinner overlooking the gardens the night before departure." Billie & Gene, Santa Fe.

It takes a long time to get anywhere in Costa Rica so leave plenty of time for your travels. If you have spouses who likely get stressed out with driving then leave a bit early eh? If the locals tell you "it takes 4 hours", it may take you 6 :-)) Or make sure you get a good infusion of Chilean Syrah on arrival? Try not to drive in the dark as we have few road signs and "things like this".

On your arrival night, be sure to order your late meal ahead of time if you know you'll be hungry. We do not cook every night so let us know ahead. Just let us know if there are things you do not eat like offals, gerbils and such etc.  

There are no restaurants within walking distance.  Otherwise there are a host of not great restaurants in Alajuela but a few we REALLY like - Jalapenos - fresh and delicious (Tex-Mexican run by a super nice Colombian from New York), Pesquaria da Limonta (splendid up market fish joint owned by Saul & Melissa), Chante Vegano (very vegetarian and does a great job) – all are a short taxi or Uber ride from here and an easy taxi return. The owners will call you a $3 to $4 taxi back.  Did you notice - yup, the owners are usually onsite - that's why their food is so good..

Carolina (top photo) will frequently be found preparing some of the best EATS in Costa Rica with the aid of her able assistant, Norman (the owner).

Friday is the Farmer's Market Tour Day

On Friday afternoon we are usually off to the Plaza Ferias/Farmers Market starting around 2:30pm (but invariably late). Ask us if we have space that day. We'd like to introduce you to "Don Oscar" also known as the melon man, the Papaya man, the Mango man and all the friends and acquaintances of the Friday market. That night we cook what you help us select. Book ahead for the farmers market tour.

"Our last night was in Pura Vida . . .the perfect end. Thank you for your hospitality and great dinner."  Eduard and Anneke, The Netherlands

"Awesome!" Matt, New York

"My trip to Costa Rica was like a dream. It started with a warm welcome to the Pura Vida Hotel. I didn't expect to stay in a beautiful casita, larger than a suite, set in spectacular gardens. Nor in all my years of travel have I had the help and personal service I received . . . " Lynne, Park City Utah

"Norman's (of Jalapenos Restaurant) jokes?  The less said the better." . . . Berni, Alajuela, Costa Rica

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