Every tourist area in the world is unique. In dialogue with owners, experienced villa renters will ask questions that give the precise information desired for their specific area.

We villa owners want your business.  We will always answer questions in a way that will influence you to choose our villa. Therefore: It is your responsibility to ask us questions in the right way.

Do your research on Manuel Antonio, and be tough on us. Make us accountable for our answers.  Remind us that you love to write 5-star reviews, but are willing to do otherwise if we mislead you

Continue reading for more questions from prospective guests, asked the wrong way AND the right way.

NO: Can I walk to restaurants from your villa

YES: From your villa, how many restaurants can I reach if I walk 15 minutes? Please tell me their names.

TIP: This way you can check Trip Advisor to see the types of restaurants might are in your area.

NO: How many people does your villa sleep?

YES: When your villa has its maximum number of guests, how many people are sleeping in traditional beds? How many in “other” types?

TIP: After this answer you can improvise with follow up questions, depending upon your number of children and the actual body size of your guests,

NO: Is the beach within walking distance?

YES: From your villa how many minutes will it take me to walk to the closest beach?


  • Manuel Antonio is NOT a beach town.  It is a mountain town near the sea. “Beachfront” homes (regardless of what your read) do not exist here.  Home construction is prohibited within 200 meters of the (high tide) sea line.
  • Anything is “within walking distance” if you have plenty of time. When a villa states it is “within walking distance to” or “minutes from” the beach, always ask “how many minutes?”
  • Homes near “the beach” are intrinsically at sea level; therefore: no amazing views. While in Manuel Antonio, you will be in your villa enjoying your view many more hours than you will actually be at the beach. Make sure you choose have a view. The beach is never far away.
  • While it’s true that homes closer to the beach have shorter walks to the sea, they also have:
    • loud music from the beach discos,
    • more security challenges,
    • hot temperatures,
    • no aerial views,
    • long walks to the best restaurants on the mountain.
    • You must decide what is most important to you.
    • A Manuel Antonio visitor, on average, spends only six hours and 20 minutes actually “at the beach” in a week. The other 161 hours, 40 minutes are spent “at home”.
    • Even the most distant villa from the beach in Manuel Antonio is no more than a 12-minute ride from the beach

Being “close to the beach” may not be your best decision

NO: Is your pool heated?

YES: What time does the sun first hit your pool and what time does it leave?

TIP: Manuel Antonio pools are not heated. Some are really cold.  Manuel Antonio is a (rain) forest;  therefore tall trees often block the sun from pools.  Just being in Costa Rica does not mean you will get a tan at your pool. Make sure to ask this question if you rent a villa with a pool.

NO: What is the cost of the villa?

YES: My accommodation budget is $xxxx.  How can you help me maintain this number?


  • Luxury villas in Manuel Antonio calculate their rates meticulously.  Usually, the prices you see on VRBO, Trip Advisor, etc. are accurate.
  • Most villas have other methods we can use to help you achieve your budget, but you must ask that question. Asking for a direct discount will usually not provide your desired result.
  • It’s easier for villas to “add value” by offering an additional service that you would otherwise be paying for: airport transfer, restaurant coupons, chef meals, and tour discounts are good examples.  These are costs you will responsible for anyway, and villas are more willing to pay for these as incentives.
  • It’s a well-known rule: You get what you pay for.  You will always be likely to find some cheaper villa, but you will be in this accommodation for a week or more; do you want to compromise your comfort?

NO: How much do tours cost?

YES: What are your three favorite tours? Price of each?  Included in each tour?

TIP: Most (not all) tour prices in Manuel Antonio include your transportation (pick up) and a meal.

NO: Do I need a rental car?

YES: What are the advantages of renting car at your villa?


  • Depending upon the location of the villa, a car may be unnecessary.  But many villas are miles away from the main road.  Therefore, getting to restaurants, beaches, events may be a challenge.
  • In Costa Rica, there is a mandatory insurance all car renters must pay, regardless of your personal policy or credit card coverage.  Reservations made on line from The US do not include this extra amount.  You may be surprised to find the price you received on line is not the final cost
  • Public shuttles run frequently (~every 20 minutes), and take you everywhere in Manuel Antonio for about 50 cents.
  • Since the bus STOPS are only on the main road, it really important to ask:

NO: How close is your villa to the bus stops?

YES: How many minutes will it take to walk from your villa to the bus stop?


  • The bus system is very efficient and inexpensive (50 cents to go anywhere you want in the area).
  • There is no social stigma to using the buses, and you will learn more about Costa Rica on the bus that anywhere else.  Truly you will be “living like a local”.  They are great fun!