Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Physis Caribbean Bed and Breakfast, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

If Graham and I owned a bed and breakfast, we would want it to be like Physis Caribbean B&B near Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. It's clean, comfortable and adorably decorated. It's also relaxing and has amenities we loved.

We arrived in Cocles on Graham's birthday after being delayed for three hours. We were tired and hungry. We were welcomed by two friends of the owners who were taking care of the B&B for a few days. They were so warm and welcoming, and they had welcome drinks for us, which was much-needed after a long day. They showed us to our room, Room 3, which had an outdoor shower. It is located downstairs of the two-story home. The room had both queen and full beds, closets, a safe, a fridge and satellite TV.

Outside our room were two hammocks, a drink station, shoe racks, books and lots of tropical plants. A calming water feature and a vibrant mural on the wall added to the relaxing ambiance. In the back of the yard was the third room and a picnic table. A cat named Mr. Lucy roamed about. We often found him snoozing in a seating area located in the front of the B&B.

The B&B offered several breakfast options, and we tried nearly all of them: eggs and toast with a cup of fruit and tea or coffee; pancakes with fruit; and French toast with fruit. The upstairs dining area has no windows, so we always felt the breezes and watched the rain. Each morning we met and chatted with our fellow guests. We met a couple from Argentina, a businessman from Tennessee who was looking for his retirement home and a couple of Germany. We loved hearing their stories and about their long vacations. I envied the fact that most of them were spending weeks in Costa Rica.

Physis offers bike and snorkel gear rental. Bikes are $8 a day and are a great mode of transportation in Puerto Viejo, Cocles, Manzanito and the other small towns on the Caribbean side of the country. You see many people riding bikes on the main road. It was also nice to have the option to rent our own snorkel gear and snorkel at Cahuita National Park. Many online sites had said you need a guide, but some people we met told us they often do it without one.

Our hosts were happy to book a ziplining tour for us and tell us how to take the local bus to Cahuita. The owner Emily gave us a schedule to take with us and Jeremy gave us a recommendation to get sandwiches at Bread and Chocolate and take them on our hike. Good call! The bus stop actually stops at the end of the street leading to Cocles, so it's easy and cheap. A cab ride to Puerto Viejo was only $4.

The best part of our stay was the service. When we lost our GoPro, the first host's husband, Chad, helped us look for it in the water for more than an hour. He then gave us a ride back when we gave up looking for it. Owners Jeremy and Emily encouraged us and gave us advice about owning a bed and breakfast in the future. If we return to Costa Rica, I would love to stay at Physis. It's a well-run, comfortable B&B.

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