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Eco-comfort in the jungle

Article - September 13, 2011
Villas Rio Mar combines nature and adventure in lush, green surroundings
One of the most popular excursions for guests of Villas Rio Mar is horseback riding to the top of a nearby waterfall, says general manager Christiaan Vijselaar, followed by a swim in the natural pool there and lunch overlooking the tropical forests.

Indeed, set on the banks of the Baru River, Villas Rio Mar is surrounded by jungle and within easy distance of several large wildlife parks. A three-hour drive from San Jose that winds through incredible landscape and several microclimates even before arriving at Dominical, the nearest village, the resort offers comfort in an eco-friendly environment.

“We started building the hotel in 1993, and opened our doors the following year,” says Mr. Vijselaar, one of several Dutch investors behind Villas Rio Mar. “We aimed to combine nature and adventure and a comfortable place to stay. It was difficult initially, but things have really changed over the past decade as eco-tourism has gained in popularity and become better known.”

Villas Rio Mar, which has the Certification of Sustainable Tourism (CST), boasts 52 rooms, each with an individual terrace overlooking the gardens. It also features a swimming pool with wet bar and jacuzzi, tennis court, restaurant, spa, conference center and in-house activity center for organizing surfing, whale watching, sport fishing, scuba diving and kayaking excursions.