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Looking for a remote area with beautiful beaches for surfing and excellent restaurants? You will find all of this in the south of Nicoya Peninsula - more precisely in Mal Pais.
With Casa Chameleon at Mal Pais [ad], we have tested the best hotel in this area for you.
Casa Chameleon is located in the small town of Mal Pais, in the very south of the Nicoya Peninsula on the Pacific side of Costa Rica.
If you are arriving from the north of Nicoya Peninsula - for example from the area around Tamarindo or Liberia - you need about three hours on relatively bad roads. A 4WD certainly helps, but is also not absolutely necessary. At the time, we were driving this road, a new road was about to be built. It should be ready soon and at least cut the journey time in half.
If you arrive from San Jose or the southern Pacific side of Costa Rica, the best way is to take the car ferry from Puntarenas to Paquera. The trip from Mal Pais to Paquera takes about an hour and a half. The road is well paved.
From Paquera, the ferry ride to Mal Pais takes another one and a half hours.
Find more information about the ferry in our Costa Rica travel tips.
After arriving in Mal Pais, take the coastal path and then go uphill. Just follow the signs to Casa Chameleon. The gravel road to the hotel is really steep and has a lot of holes. Best have a 4WD for the steep ascent.
When you have arrived at the hotel, park your car in front of the hotel at the small parking lot. When there are no available lots left, there is another parking twenty meters up the street.
Casa Chameleon in Mal Pais offers ten villas - each one has spectacular sea views and a small private pool.
There is also the Brasas del Mar restaurant and a slightly larger community pool.
The distance to the surrounding villas is so far, that you neither hear nor see anyone else. So, you are completely protected from insight and enjoy absolute privacy.
The villas are equipped with a large and very comfortable king-size bed. We really slept very well.
A glass door front to the ocean offers magnificent views of the sea and the setting sun. This glass door front can easily be opened to create the feeling of an open bungalow.
In front of the window, there is a large terrace with its own small private pool.
You also have two loungers, a table with chairs and a lounge sofa to relax.
The bathroom is next to the bedroom. In addition to toilet and sink, you will find a glass shower that can be opened to inside and outside, which you can open both from the room and from the terrace.
In addition to fragrant bathroom accessories such as shower gel, shampoo and body lotion, there are also other small details such as a very fragrant anti-mosquito spray, a refrigerator with minibar and a bluetooth speaker.
The lush planting of the whole property skillfully integrates every building into the surroundings.
The best place for sunset is the reception or the hill road in front of the hotel. From there, you have got an unrestricted view of the ocean when the sun sinks into it and the sky shines in the strongest shades of red.
Half board was included in our booking.
So you will have breakfast and then you choose between lunch and dinner every day. We decided to have dinner on both days.
But now for breakfast.
For breakfast, you choose a dish from the breakfast menu and additionally get fruits, juice, water and filter coffee as well as tea. You have to pay extra for coffee specialties like cappuccino. We had a choice of Tico Breakfast, Gringo Breakfast, Chia Bowl with Granola & Yogurt, Pancakes or Huevos Rancheros. Everything, we tested was delicious. The portions were okay. We were not fed up with the Chia Bowl - even if it was delicious.
If you did not book breakfast, you pay a fair twelve dollars per dish.
The dinner was delicious both times. Big compliments to the chef. You will always be served three courses.
Choose starters and main courses á la carte. The waiter will tell you the homemade dessert every day and you choose your favorite. We took the cookie sandwich with vanilla ice cream twice. While this is a very rich dessert, it was also one of the best desserts, we have ever eaten.
The selection of the dishes is really very good and exactly to our taste. For the starter, choose between sashimi, ceviche, other seafood dishes, salads or quesadilla.
Choose a main course from burgers, fish tacos, salads with seafood, grilled fish and great steaks. Vegetarian and vegan dishes are also on the small but fine menu.
The drink prices are fair. We paid a good twenty dollars for a bottle of white wine. You pay five dollars for a beer. Soft drinks less.
The service in the restaurant is still to improve. In comparison to the friendliness of the other employees, restaurant is doing ok. Especially the ladies at the front desk were of great help and very friendly.
You are asked to reserve a table for dinner.
You can have the food - breakfast, lunch or dinner - delivered to your room for an extra charge and enjoy the delicious food on the terrace in intimate togetherness.
The girls from reception are really smart and are happy to help you with all kinds of activities and their organization.
They organize a private yoga lesson for you, help you book a ferry to Puntarenas or recommend the best beaches in the area.
On Katherine's recommendation, we visited Secret Beach. This beach is also called Playa des Suecos. It is really very nice and relatively little visited.
Casa Chameleon is the best hotel in Mal Pais and we also felt comfortable there.
The privacy offered is unique. The views of the Pacific and sunset are a highlight and the food was delicious.
We would come back and love to recommend Casa Chameleon to you.