by Steve Jermanok
Si Como No, which translates to “yes, why not,” is nestled in a sliver of rainforest bordered on both sides by a sublime stretch of Pacific coast sand. The crescent white beach is hemmed in by rugged cliffs, creating a tropical paradise called Manuel Antonio National Park. A little more than 1,600 acres, Manuel Antonio is one of the most popular destinations for families in Costa Rica, as it should be and it’s only two miles down the road from the hotel. Families can expected to see butterflies, monkeys, slothes and tons of other wildlife during a Costa Rica family vacation.
It was in the 1970s when an art director in Hollywood named Jim Damalas first visited Manuel Antonio National Park and fell under the spell of the magical rainforest. On his return trip, he would invest in 40 acres of pristine Costa Rican forest overlooking the Pacific. He blended hotel rooms into the rainforest canopy, created bridges above creeks, installed solar-power heaters, a compost for all food waste, and sent all his glass, plastic, and aluminum recycling to a local woman’s auxiliary where it was reused. In 1992, Si Como No Resort & Spa opened as one of the first genuine eco-resorts in the world.
Damalas has reaped accolades for his eco-friendly design, becoming one of the foremost figures in the sustainable tourism movement. A significant hotelier in Costa Rica, now with four properties, he is also constantly working to save the dwindling rainforest. Damalas built student dormitories at Si Como No so burgeoning scientists can study the great wealth of biodiversity found in the ancient rainforest. So, when you book a room at Si Como No, you can feel good that your money supports saving the rainforest.
Si Como No is part of the Greentique Hotel Group which also includes Santa Juana Lodge.
Our Editor Loves
- Manuel Antonio National Park nearby
- Eco-friendly attitude
- Abundance of wildlife
- Horse Back Riding
- Free Wi-Fi
- Kids' Pool
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
All of the 58 rooms are surrounded by lush greenery, with high ceilings, adjoining living area, and balconies offering great views of both jungle and sea. There are no televisions in the guestrooms or suites so be prepared to unplug but there is air conditioning.
These guestrooms feature a jungle view and two queen beds. The bathroom features a shower
The superior guestrooms feature a king or queen bed and jungle or ocean views.
These high ceiling rooms feature king beds and a separate sitting area that can include an extra bed.
Splurge for the top-floor suites and the vista becomes that much more stupendous. The Deluxe Suite features a king bed and a sleeper sofa in a separate living room area. There's a large balcony and the bathroom offers a shower and bath. The suite has air conditioning but there is no television.
Si Como No caters to both families and couples as proven by the two separate pools on the property. Unfortunately, the one with a water slide is for the under 18 sect, but mom and dad can try the whirlpool and swim-up bar in the new adult pool. At night, Si Como No houses a 46-seat air-conditioned private theater to show films every night. Winged Migration is a popular request.
Manuel Antonio National Park and the Beach
The National Park only allows 600 people to visit each day, so arrive when the gate opens at 8 a.m. and pack a picnic lunch, bottled water, sunscreen, binoculars, camera, snorkeling gear, and beach towels. The beach is reason enough to spend the whole day here. But you might also want to bring a pair of binoculars and a camera with a zoom lens, because you'll no doubt spot white-faced monkeys, two-toed sloths methodically moving atop the tall trees, and hear the deafening cries of the howler monkeys. Have lunch on one of the four beaches, snorkel, and then climb the bluff for a spectacular vista of the verdant rainforest peaks bordered by the Pacific.
At night, Si Como No houses a 46-seat air-conditioned private theater to show films every night. There is even a concession stand.
Si Como No and Greentique offer several different tour and package options at this hotel as well as sister hotels. Walk across the street to visit the Butterfly Botanical Gardens at Fincas Naturales Wildlife Refuge. Trails weave through 25 acres of woods to the many butterflies found inside a large netted tent or check out the Crocodile Lagoon or a night wildlife tour each with certified guides. Other tours offered by Greentique include a mountain adventure, water adventure and zipping. Harness yourself into a cable and ride above the canopy of the rainforest as you fly from platform to platform. Also fun is a guided sea kayaking trip that brings you to rarely seen beaches to have lunch or a snack.
Rico Tico Jungle Grill
The breakfast buffet at the open-air Rico Tico Bar & Grill is no continental affair. Sit outdoors and get ready to feast on papaya, pineapple, bananas (small tasty ones that put the American banana to shame), omelets, cereals, and freshly baked muffins. More casual fare can be found throughout the day at Rico Tico. Kids can dine on nachos, chicken nuggets, burgers, and spaghetti found on the Children's Menu, while mom and dad can dive into the fresh fish and chicken dishes.
Claro Que Seafood Grill & Wine Bar
Dinner at Claro Que Seafood Grill, where the best entrees are recently taken from the ocean you're gazing at, is more upscale dining but still in a casual setting. The restaurant is located on the street level next to the gift shop.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Si Como No can book all excursions or tours before you arrive. And to help erase your carbon footprint, they'll plant a tree for everyone attending each tour. This includes going with a guide to Manuel Antonio, ziplining, sea kayaking, scuba diving, mountain biking, sunset sailing, river rafting, even learning to surf. Also consider bringing the kids deep-sea fishing. Costa Rican waters are home to giant marlin, sailfish, tuna, and wahoo. Fill out a reservation form from their website before you arrive and your vacation will be all set up prior to your arrival.
Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.
The resort offers babysitting.
The Art of Smart Timing
In Quepos on the Pacific side of Costa Rica, rainy or green season is from May through November. It's usually sunny most of the day, with a shower happening in the late afternoon like clock work. Being so close to the equator, Costa Rica receives 12 hours of sunlight year round. Prices drop significantly in the Green Season, so this is a good time to check out the country.
Also ask about packages with their sister property, Villa Blanca, which is located in the Cloud Forest near Arenal Volcano. They often give a night's free accommodation if you link the two properties.
For a price, the hotel can arrange to pick you and the family up at the international airport in San Jose, which is about two and half hours away from the hotel. Daniel Oduber QuirÃ³s International Airport in Llano Grand De Liberia, Costa Rica is more than four hours away from the hotel.
Families can walk or take a cab to many nearby restaurants, shops and the beach. Si Como No does feature a complimentary shuttle to Manuel Antonio, too.
For Mom and Dad
If you can slip away for an hour or two, head to the resort's Serenity Spa. The 90-minute Couples Massage will do nicely. Or go for one of the more indigenous offerings like the Costa Rican lava rock massage or volcanic mud treatment.