Pavones, Costa Rica

La Ponderosa is a perfect place for surfers:

  • After surfing one of the longest point breaks in the world you can enjoy pure relaxation with a massage or lounging by the hotel pool.
  • Private hotel restaurant is open all day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a full menu designed for surfer appetites. Meals can be purchased individually or as a package.
  • La Ponderosa is owned by, operated by and designed for surfers. The owner has been surfing in Pavones since 1989. He is happy to help with information on tides, wave conditions and best times to surf.
  • Beachfront location of hotel lets you check the surf conditions while drinking your coffee.
  • Big game room is just the right place to escape the sun and not be confined to your room.
  • If not everyone in your group is a surfer then no problem. There are lots of other activities!

Multiple Surf Breaks:

While in Pavones you have the option of having a local fisherman take you in his boat or what the ticos call “panga” across to Matapalo to surf one of the many right point breaks. Also, when the point is small you can find bigger waves at the Punta Banco beach breaks (accessed by road or beach no boat needed). Photograph of “pangas” by Lily Mayfield.


Pavones Location:

La Ponderosa is located just outside of the town center with acres of gardens and jungle.

The hotel is within walking distance to Pavones “The Point”. We are located 1 mile south, 15-20 minute walk or a very quick ride.

La Ponderosa is 1.5 miles south of the TOWN center of Pavones (Rio Claro).

We are 2 miles north of Punta Banco BEACH BREAK.

La Ponderosa is 2.5 miles north of the TOWN center of Punta Banco.


Lessons:

Surfing lessons with qualified instructors are available.


Photography Service:

In Pavones you can buy a CD with professional photographs of yourself surfing world class Pavones waves.  Mateo (Pavones Hot Shotz) can be found most days on the beach taking pictures. From years of practice photographing surfers in Pavones Mateo knows how to get the best angles. He can even include on your CD some photos of surrounding wildlife, flowers and waterfalls. Mateo is available to hire for private surf sessions or to photograph other Pavones activities/ events. Surfing photography on this page, home page and the surfing gallery is courtesy of Pavones Hot Shotz (Matthew Banschenbach). Gracias Mattie!


Surf Shop:

If you find that you are in need of any equipment the Pavones town center has a well-stocked shop.


Ding Repair:

Locally, there are several people doing fast quality ding repair.


SURFBOARD RENTALS:

Board rentals are for registered hotel guests only.

Wax, fins and leash are included. The rental quiver consists soft-tops, standard and performance boards, ranging from 5’10” to 9’3″.

Prices vary depending on board $20-30/ day, $100-200 week.


FIND THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION AT MAGIC SEAWEED:

  • Tides
  • Sunrise/sunset times
  • Detailed surf forecasts
  • Seasonal conditions and historic data

Category:

Description

La Ponderosa Hotel and Resort:

This beach & jungle resort and hotel offers modern beachfront accommodations in Costa Rica’s pristine southern zone. Only about 15% of the property is developed the rest is lush jungle, botanical gardens, fruit orchards and trails leading to a beautiful waterfall. We have used our years of experience and installed all the amenities to insure that every guest leaves ready to come back and stay with us again. This hotel is the perfect destination for surfers and nature lovers. After surfing one of the longest point breaks in the world you can enjoy pure relaxation with a massage or lounging by the pool while your lunch is prepared. Pavones is located in the Golfo Dulce, home to world famous nature reserves. It is a great place to see wildlife. You won’t be disappointed when you wake up to the sounds of the waves and jungle.


L.P. History:

La Ponderosa opened in 1994 as a simple surf camp in the jungle.  In those days the “cabinas” ran only on solar and generator power.  In 1995-96 electricity arrived to the Pavones area, air conditioning was added to rooms.  During the late 1990s we focused on the botanical gardens and nature trails.  In 2005 we renovated the rooms and added satellite TV.  Also in the 2000s we added a custom pool and upgraded.  In 2006-07 phone lines and internet arrived to the Pavones area.  La Ponderosa now offers wireless internet. In 2013 we renovated and upgraded the rooms again.  So, this is the history and the future of La Ponderosa… improving one year at a time. We might be good now but we will be even better next year.

La Ponderosa is still owned by its original founder, a surfer from Florida, USA.


The Resort & Local Activities

Botanical Gardens and Nature Trails:

La Ponderosa has acres of well-established gardens with a large collection of palms, tropical plants and fruit trees. There are self-guided trails to take you from the hotel through the gardens and into the forest. On these trails you will find staircases and bridges leading to our waterfall and lookout tiki hut. The trails and gardens are great place to catch a glimpse of wild life. Squirrel monkeys, howler monkeys, toucans, parrots, macaws, iguanas, and sloths are just a few of the creatures you may encounter.

Pool:

La Ponderosa’s custom tropical swimming pool with ocean view terrace and plenty of lounge chairs is new as of 2008. The pool has a shallow beach style entry perfect for children.

Indoor Recreation:

Guests are not confined to their rooms they can enjoy a big screened in game room with ceiling fans.

  • Huge movie library
  • Dart board
  • Ping-pong table
  • Foosball table
  • Board games and book trade library
  • Sitting/ Visiting/ Meeting area

This is a great place to escape the sun or hang out on a rainy afternoon.

Surfing:

You won’t be disappointed when you wake up to the sounds of the waves breaking. La Ponderosa is a perfect place for surfers because it is owned by, operated by and designed for surfers. Pavones is one of the longest waves in the world. You also have the options of taking a boat across to Matapalo to surf one of the many right point breaks or surfing the beach breaks of Punta Banco.

Surfing lessons are available.

We offer surfboard rentals.

Massage at the hotel:

Enjoy a therapeutic or relaxing massage in a beautiful garden setting.

River Walks:

This can be done on your own or with a guide, a great thing for a hot day. Also a terrific opportunity to see wildlife. *Howler monkey mom and baby photograph by Jim Mayfield.

Trail Running, Hiking & Beach Training:

Pavones with it’s spectacular views and lush landscape is great for running and hiking on the beach, up hills and along the gravel road.

Bird Watching:

In Pavones watching birds is enjoyable for the avid or novice birder. The trails and gardens at La Ponderosa are a great place to spot birds. Over 270 different species of birds have been observed in the area. Including tanagers, trogons, honeycreepers, toucans, hummingbirds, manakins and scarlet macaws.

 

Tide Pool Exploring and Beach Combing:

When the tides recede, sea life gets concentrated in pools of water on the coastal rocks. Many fascinating little creatures can be spotted. Some of these pools are large enough to snorkel in.

Beach combing or searching for shells, stones and other treasures in this constantly changing environment can be endless. There is miles of coast to explore.

Beach:

We have boogie boards for rent and directly in front of the hotel is a great sandy beach for playing in the surf.

Relaxation:

Relaxation is easy here. You are just footsteps from a great beach for swimming or beach combing.  Spend some time on the beach watching the surf. Pass some time in a hammock or poolside with a book. Of course to deepen your relaxation you can book a massage.

Sports:

We have a Volleyball and Basketball court onsite.

Stand Up Paddling:

A tour on a SUP board can be arranged.

Nature Tours:

Tours at an 800 plus acre rainforest reserve (TISKITA) are offered daily by reservation.

Horseback riding:

We can arrange guided horseback ride in the rainforest or on the beach.

Yoga:

Pavones has THREE yoga studios offering both scheduled walk-in classes and private instruction.

Fishing:

Bring your own gear to fish off the beach and in the river mouth or go fishing with a local in thier “panga”.  Fishing photo courtesy of captain.

Boat Trip:

You can go for a boat trip in a local fisherman’s “panga”.  Enjoy a sight seeing voyage in the Gulfo Dulce and maybe even catch a glimpse of sea turtles, manta rays, dolphins or whales.

Biking:

We have beach cruiser style bicycles for rent. There are miles of ocean view roads to explore.

ATVs:

All terrain vehicles (ATV) are available for rent locally.

Dining:

This hotel’s private restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Meals can be purchased individually or as a package.

Pavones has a variety of restaurants (Costa Rican, Italian, N. American, Vegetarian). Pavones might not be known for fine cuisine. However these owner run, open-air restaurants might surprise you. Also the casual fun atmosphere and the fact that you almost always run into someone you know make it a uniquely special experience.

 

ROOMS & RATES


#7 La Palma

‘THE PALM’ room with ocean view, poolside, ground floor, patio, en suite bathroom, fan, air conditioning, refrigerator, TV with satellite channels, 330 square feet, 3 beds- (one QUEEN bed & two single/daybeds)

$130/night, $780/week *single or double occupancy, add $10/ day for each additional guest

> Nice for a couple or any 1-4 guests. Wheelchair accessible bathroom. No stairs.


#6 La Rana

‘THE FROG’ room with ocean view, poolside, ground floor, patio, table & chairs, en suite bathroom, fan, air conditioning, refrigerator, small TV with satellite channels, 300 square feet, 2 beds- (one FULL bed & one single bed)

$105/night, $630/week *single or double occupancy, add $10/ day for a third guest

> Easy access from pool. Nice for one guest, 2 friends or one couple. No stairs. Great value. Next door to la palma and below el tucan.


#5 La Iguana

‘THE IGUANA’ room with lovely garden setting, ground floor, patio, sitting area, en suite bathroom, fan, air conditioning, refrigerator, TV with satellite channels, 315 square feet, 2 beds- (one QUEEN bed & one single bed)

$130/night, $780/week *single or double occupancy, add $10/ day for each additional guest

> No stairs. Private. Great for a couple, any 1-3 guests or small family with young children.


#4 El Nido

‘THE NEST’ room with garden & creek view, ground floor, patio, sitting area, en suite bathroom, fans, air conditioning, refrigerator, TV with satellite channels, 375 square feet, 3 beds- (two  FULL beds & one single/ daybed)

$120/night, $720/week *single or double occupancy, add $10/ day for each additional guest

> Convenient access to game room and restaurant. No stairs. Across the creek from La Villa Perezosa. Nice for a family or any 1-4 guests.


#3 La Lapa

‘THE MACAW’ KING room with oceanview, second floor, screened balcony, sitting area, all hardwood floors, en suite bathroom, fans, air conditioning, refrigerator, TV with satellite channels, 530 square feet, 3 beds- (one KING bed & two single beds)

$150/night, $900/week *single or double occupancy, add $10/ day for each additional guest

> Perfect for a honeymoon couple or any for 1-4 guests. King room. Our biggest room. Numerous windows. Has stairs. One of two balcony rooms.


#2 La Lora

‘THE PARROT’ room with garden view, ground floor, patio, sitting area, en suite bathroom, fans, air conditioning, refrigerator, TV with satellite channels, 485 square feet, 3 beds- (one QUEEN bed & two single beds)

$120/night, $720/week *single or double occupancy, add $10/ day for each additional guest

> Convenient access to parking and beach. Small desk and office chair. No stairs. Great value. Good for a couple, 2-4 friends or family with young children. Below la lapa (same building).


#1 El Tucán 

‘THE TOUCAN’ room with ocean view, poolside, second floor, large screened balcony, table and chairs, en suite bathroom, fans, air conditioning, refrigerator, TV with satellite channels, 345 square feet, 3 beds- (two FULL beds & one single/ trundle bed)

$130/night, $780/week *single or double occupancy, add $10/ day for each additional guest

>Great for any 1-4 guests. Our best ocean view balcony. Several windows and nice breeze. Has stairs.


 

Villa El Oso Perezoso

‘THE SLOTH’ villa with two bedrooms, two stories, ocean view, wrap around balcony, private garden, 1.5 bathrooms, 6 ceiling fans, air conditioning, refrigerator, patio kitchenette & dining, TV with satellite channels, 2000 square feet, 4 beds- (one KING bed & three full beds)

>Great for a family or any 2-6 guests. Several spacious outdoor areas. Has stairs. Only accommodation with kitchenette.


More Information

  • Rates in U.S. Dollars
  • Room rates listed are for single or double occupancy, add $10/ day for each additional guest
  • Sales tax is included in listed rates, meals are not included in room rates
  • Our private restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Meals can be purchased individually or as a prepaid package. The cost of the optional 3-meal package is $35/person or 2-meal (breakfast & dinner) package $25/ person.
  • Daily maid service is included
  • All rooms have in-room safes/ lock-box, hot water showers, air conditioning, refrigerator and satellite TV
  • All rooms have windows that open with screen and fans if you prefer not to use air conditioning
  • FREE INTERNET ACCESS
  • FREE premium Costa Rican morning coffee in hotel dining room
  • None of the rooms have cooking facilities and bringing in your own cooking equipment is prohibited. Villa El Oso Perezoso has an equipped kitchen.
  • No pets allowed at La Ponderosa.
  • 7th night is FREE (see weekly rate)

Vacation Rental House:

Villa El Oso Perezoso

Private ocean view 2-bedroom villa within resort property.

Amenities & Villa Details:

Two stories with 2,000 sq. feet total.

Private garden and lawn with picnic table.

Patio downstairs and spacious wrap around balcony upstairs.

Living room with air conditioning, refrigerator, satellite TV & DVD player.

Fully equipped patio kitchenette and dining (sink, gas stove top, coffee maker, blender).

Two upstairs bedrooms with french doors, air conditioning and hardwood floors.

Safe/ lock-box in master bedroom.

Daily maid service is included.

Accommodations:

Beds- one KING bed, three FULL beds

Bathrooms- 1 full-bath (toilet, sink & shower) and 1 half-bath (toilet & sink)

Capacity- 6 guests

Minimum- 3 nights

Rate (USD)- $240/night$1,440/week (up to four guests, add $10/day for each additional guest)

Note- Great for family or group of friends. Rooms do have air-conditioners but the home was also designed for the option of open-air tropical living, the upstairs is completely screened and has four ceiling fans.

MENU

Dining:

The hotel’s private restaurant is open  for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Meals can be purchased individually or as a prepaid package.

Breakfast and lunch are made to order from the menu options.

Dinner options change daily allowing us to make the best use of what is fresh and in season. The dinner is also designed to cater for the needs and preferences of the present guests. Dinner is served from 6:00 – 7:00 and must be reserved before 4:00.

Special Groups or Retreats – For retreats or groups (5 or more guests) the meals are often served in family style buffet at times scheduled around the group’s activities. We are happy to accommodate any diet or food preferences.


Breakfast (7:00-11:00) menu:

Hearty b-fast

Banana Pancakes

French Toast

Custom Omelet served with wheat toast

“GALLO PINTO” rice with beans, eggs and tortillas

Homefries, Eggs and Toast

Light b-fast

Oatmeal with brown sugar and cinnamon

Cereal & milk

Egg and Cheese Sandwich

FRESH Local Fruit Plate

Two Eggs w/ wheat toast

Juice of the Day – Natural, Homemade with fruit grown on the property

Coffee or Tea


Lunch menu:

Assorted sandwiches on locally made bread.

Tuna Salad

Cheeseburger

BBQ Chicken

Bean & Cheese Quesadilla

Beef or Shredded Chicken Tacos (MX style)

Hand-cut French Fries

Beans and Brown Rice

Assorted Salads with fresh organic and hydroponic vegetables

Mac & Cheese

Smoothies – known here as “batidos” made with fresh seasonal fruit

Chicken Plate served with rice & beans AKA “Casado”


Examples of Dinners Served at La Ponderosa

Fajitas
Chicken, Fish, Steak or Veggie
Served with rice, beans, tortillas & fresh tomato salsa

Beef Tenderloin Kebabs

Homemade soups and creative, hearty salads.

Lasagna and other assorted Pasta Dishes
served with homemade breads and salad

Bar-B-Que Chicken – a big favorite
Grilled outdoors over a wood fire and basted with our homemade sauce

Curry with rice (vegan or chicken)

Fresh Fish – Tuna, Mahi-mahi, Snapper, Sea Bass, Snook…
Grilled, Pan seared, Beer battered, Tacos…

Homemade Pizza with fresh dough

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