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Top Vacation Rental Home in Manuel Antonio 2012 & 2013

Awarded by TripAdvisor and FlipKey

Imagine yourself on the most stunning beach in Costa Rica.

You look out over a gorgeous bay dotted with tropical islands and feel the warmth of the sun kiss your skin. You take a stroll along the shore and smell enticing aromas from restaurants you pass along the way. But they can wait for later. Manuel Antonio National Park is just minutes away and you’re looking forward to a day filled with waterfalls, nature walks and wildlife watching.

Back at your beachfront vacation rental home an award-winning staff greets you with waves and smiles. Each day they make you feel pampered in unique and personalized ways that make you feel like family, like you belong, like home. You smile and wonder, “How will I ever describe this to my friends and family without making them insanely jealous?”

Connect with Me

Evelyn Gallardo, Owner
Discovery Beach House

We Care!

Ordinary People, Acting Together, Can Achieve Something Extraordinary
Click Here to Help Us Make a Difference in Our Environment

Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International

Orangutan Foundation International

Jane Goodall Institute

International Primate Protection League

Kids Saving the Rain Forest

Pack for a Purpose

Tiger’s Nest, Paro, Bhutan

My daughter Dawn and I made the challenging climb to the most sacred monastery in Bhutan, Tiger’s Nest. This short video shows our ascent. We weren’t allowed to take in cameras or telephones, so stay tuned for Part 2 to read about what we saw and did inside. I highly recommend visiting this monastery built on a sheer cliff – it was an amazing experience!

Can I Drink the Water in Costa Rica?

In this Discovery Beach House FAQ, Evelyn talks about the purity of the water in Costa Rica.

Beyoncé and 4 other celebrities who visited Costa Rica during 2014

Originally Published www.ticotimes.net/2014/12/28/

Costa Rica released its 2015 ad campaign for U.S. and Canadian visitors this month, but the country’s history as a destination for the rich and famous is endorsement enough. Here’s a rundown of the biggest celebs who stamped their passports “pura vida” in 2014.

1. Destiny’s Child reunites in Papagayo:
Beyoncé Knowles flew down to Costa Rica for Destiny’s Child co-star Kelly Rowland’s wedding to manager Tim Witherspoon in May. The third member of the platinum-certified rhythm and blues group, Michelle Williams, was also in attendance. Entertainment gossip bloggers went crazy when they realized that Beyoncé’s husband, Jay-Z, was absent from the nuptials, which came shortly after the “Flawless” singer’s sister, Solange, was caught on film fighting with Jay in an elevator in New York on May 5 following the Met Gala bar.

U.S. group Destiny’s Child, from left to right, Michelle Williams, Beyonce Knowles and Kelly Rowland perform before the start of the NBA All-Star game on Feb. 20, 2005 in Denver. - Don Emmert/AFP

U.S. group Destiny’s Child, from left to right, Michelle Williams, Beyonce Knowles and Kelly Rowland perform before the start of the NBA All-Star game on Feb. 20, 2005 in Denver. – Don Emmert/AFP

Continue reading “Beyoncé and 4 other celebrities who visited Costa Rica during 2014” »

Costa Rica’s National Horse Parade attracts thousands to nation’s capital

Originally Published www.ticotimes.net/2014/12/26/

More than 3,000 horse riders gathered punctually at noon on Friday to begin the 3-kilometer course of Costa Rica’s National Horse Parade, or Tope Nacional. It began at Plaza Víquez, just south of San José’s central canton.

The San José Municipality organizes the parade every year on Dec. 26 to commemorate National Horse Rider Day. It is one of the favorite events held during holiday celebrations in the capital, along with the Festival of Light and the Zapote Festival.

This year’s parade marshal was Claudia Romero, a member of Costa Rica’s National Equestrian Team who on Aug. 28 fell from her horse during a competition in France. The horse died in the accident and Romero spent two weeks in a coma at a French hospital.

San Jose Horse Festival

A participant shows his roping skills during the Tope Nacional in downtown San José, on Friday, Dec. 26, 2014. – Alberto Font/The Tico Times

Continue reading “Costa Rica’s National Horse Parade attracts thousands to nation’s capital” »

Thai Culture & Language Class

Elephant Nature Park, Chiang Mai, Thailand, Nov. 3-9, 2014

On our second night working as volunteers at ENP we attended a Thai Culture and Language class to help us assimilate into our unfamiliar surroundings. We learned basic Thai phrases and that Thais are uncomfortable with public displays of affection.

For fun we also learned the Banana Song, which was highly appropriate after having spent the day unloading, washing, peeling, mashing and squishing bananas mixed with grains into elephant balls. Some elephants at ENP are old and have trouble chewing their food.

After we got the Banana Song down, our coordinator “Bang” asked for a volunteer to do a dance interpretation.

Awkward silence.

Dawn takes one for the team and volunteers. I shot this video at ENP in Chiang Mai. It makes me laugh every time I see it.

Heaven is…

Nang and Evelyn

Nang and Evelyn

…a massage with Nang at Numngeru Thai Massage in Khao Suk. I walk in at noon expecting to make an appointment for later but Nang, the massage therapist, insists on doing it now. I’m not a fan of deep tissue massages because frankly, they frikkin’ hurt! I decide to surrender because everything hurts after 23 1/2 hours in the air.

After 90 minutes of it-hurts-so-good pain (and a brief nap!) I ask her to do a reflexology massage. Embarrassingly, I didn’t make time to learn a little Thai, so I have to resort to hand gestures.
Continue reading “Heaven is…” »

Elephant Nature Park

Today was an amazing day beginning with unloading two tons of watermelons from one of the many produce trucks that come in every day. Each watermelon needs to be washed by hand. We also mashed bananas, cornmeal and other grains into elephant balls for the older elephants who can’t chew fresh fruit. Each elephant needs about 100 kilos per day. Their are 40 elephants here – that’s 4000 kilos of food prepped everyday!

Continue reading “Elephant Nature Park” »

3 Astonishingly Easy Tips to Avoid Vacation Rental Home Hype

In this episode of Evelyn’s Vacation Rental Home Tips, Evelyn reveals little known tricks used by unscrupulous rental agents and how to spot and avoid them.

Read the video transcript…

7 Insightful Tips to Tipping the Staff at a Luxury Vacation Rental Home

7 Insightful Tips to tipping the staff at your Costa Rica beach house rental.Whether this is your first or fifth time renting a luxury vacation home you may still be confused about how much to tip the staff. Luxury vacation villas generally provide more staff and a higher level of personalized service, therefore warranting more generous tips than staff at a luxury hotel. You’re likely to be in more direct contact and come to know the staff by name. The amount you tip will depend upon the quality and quantity of service, length of your stay and the size of your group. These recommendations are based on a 5-7 night stay. Follow these insightful tips and you won’t under or over tip.

Continue reading “7 Insightful Tips to Tipping the Staff at a Luxury Vacation Rental Home” »

Among the Orangutans: Publishers Weekly Review

This review was originally posted on PublishersWeekly.com.

among the orangutansAs orangutans slip into further endangerment due to poaching (mothers are shot in order that babies may be taken as pets) and destruction of their habitat, books such as this may inspire a backdraft of conservation. Written by a primate photographer who has accompanied Galdikas through Borneo’s rainforests, this first entry in the Great Naturalists series introduces the famed primatologist and her passion. With Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall, Galdikas completes the primate research triangle whose participants were mentored by the late Louis Leakey. And like these contemporaries, Galdikas possesses remarkable determination. Orangutan research proves especially daunting: “unlike the highly social chimpanzees, great apes . . . who travel on the ground, orangutans live alone in the trees and travel by swinging.” Each day, Galdikas traveled far from camp, “drenched by rain, caked with mud, and bleeding from leech bites”; she endured “mysterious infections,” subsisted on canned sardines, and watched her scant belongings rot in the extreme humidity.

In brief, well organized chapters and highly readable prose, Gallardo interlaces intriguing observations of orangutans with the life of their patient observer and rehabilitator. The book will rouse readers of all ages not only to a curiosity for primates, but also to admiration for those who brave adversity to eke out a larger understanding of the natural environment. Ages 8-12.

Foreign Luxury Vacation Rentals – 3 Critical Errors Travelers Make Before Leaving For the Airport

US PassportYou’ve booked your luxury vacation rental home in a foreign country. Exciting right? But when was the last you checked your passport? Was it a year ago or more? Did you read the fine print on your rental agreement? Did you double check your flight schedule? These may seem like no-brainer details but overlook and any one of them and your vacation could be ruined.

Fatal Mistake #1 – Not Checking your Passport Expiration Date

Since 9/11 stricter regulations apply and the country you’re traveling to my require passports to be valid up to 6 months after your travel dates. We live in an ever changing world and requirements may have changed even if you’ve visited your foreign destination before. Don’t rely on your travel agent to know the newest policies in every country. The reservation agent at your local airport won’t know either. He may board you with a smile but you can bet the immigration officer at your foreign destination will notice the oversight and send you packing for home. Check the expiration date on your passport at least 30 days before your flight to give you enough time in case you need to renew.

Continue reading “Foreign Luxury Vacation Rentals — 3 Critical Errors Travelers Make Before Leaving For the Airport” »

5 Key Tips Upon Arrival at Your Luxury Vacation Rental Home

Want to make sure you have the best possible experience during your stay at your vacation home rental? Evelyn Gallardo shares 5 Key Tips Upon Arrival at Your Luxury Vacation Rental Home. Evelyn is the owner of the Discovery Beach House, & Private Nature Reserve, a beachfront vacation rental home in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.

 

Read the video transcript…

Vacation Rental Homes – 3 Catastrophic Consequences When Costa Rica Tourists Feed Monkeys – Part 2

Janene Ament MonkeyOne of the many attractions to Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica is the abundant wildlife particularly its primates – capuchin, howler and the endangered Red-backed squirrel monkey. Having Manuel Antonio National Park in such close proximity to many vacation rental homes gives vacationers the added thrill of seeing them in their own backyard. Unfortunately out of indifference, ignorance or for a photo opportunity many tourists who visit Costa Rica feed the monkeys. However, they’re not fully to blame. Although vacation rental homeowners and hotel owners are completely aware of the dangers, a few still encourage feeding monkeys to attract more clients. When tourists see others doing it they assume it’s acceptable. But feeding the monkeys is detrimental to their health and survival and can have catastrophic consequences.

Continue reading “Vacation Rental Homes — 3 Catastrophic Consequences When Costa Rica Tourists Feed Monkeys — Part 2” »

3 Catastrophic Consequences When Tourists Feed Monkeys – Part 1

If you’re heading for a vacation rental home near Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica, you’re in for an incredible nature adventure. In addition to iguanas, toucans, coatimundis and more, there are 3 species of monkeys indigenous to the park.

Manuel Antonio National Park
Please don't feed the monkeys

Please don’t feed the monkeys

When the park boundaries were established in 1972 no one bothered to tell the Howler, Red-backed squirrel and Capuchin monkeys, so they continued to follow their established foraging routes beyond the park limits. Not all but many of Manuel Antonio’s vacation rental homes are located within these natural foraging routes known locally as the “Monkey Corridor.” However, staying in one of these vacation rental homes carries with it a big responsibility. It may seem cute, funny or thrilling to hand feed the monkeys, yet it’s extremely damaging to them in many ways.

Continue reading “3 Catastrophic Consequences When Tourists Feed Monkeys — Part 1” »

Molly & Chad’s Beach Wedding Dream Come True

 

Molly & Chad just had the Costa Rica beach wedding of their dreams. Watch this at your own risk because tears of happiness are guaranteed.

Donations to Costa Rican Non-Profits in Lieu of Wedding Favors

Our guest blogger, Randy Gritz from Celebrations Costa Rica blogs about a new destination wedding trend. When Whitney & Daniel Pace got married at the Discovery Beach House they asked their guests to bring donations for Kids Saving the Rainforest.

I’m often asked about what should we give our guests as a favor to remember our wedding. I have a list that usually includes things like Costa Rican coffee, personalized mugs with a tropical animal as the handle and sarongs for the beach. These are great gifts but I want to focus on another trend by donating something meaningful to the community. A card is left at each guest’s place setting letting them know that in lieu of favors a donation to the community has been made.

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