A Naturalist’s Paradise

One would not believe that just 15 years ago the land was barren, completely cut down and used as cattle pasture, it was not the lush mountain forest we know it as today. A quiet village, receiving it’s name from the ‘Ojoche’ Tree, is home to many long time expatriates and returning snow birds alike, and has gained a reputation of being the mecca of fine dining in Costa Rica. Perhaps due to the international community that has flocked south, there are many fine dining options available, even if it is a little off the beaten path. It is well known for its large French Canadian expatriate community, and just after a few days you’re sure to run into someone you now know. Fascinating stories always seem to light up conversations at the various social events held throughout the year. There are no ATMs, but there is a school, a few local churches and an abundant wildlife of birds and flora. Many homeowners take pride in their manicured and fruitful gardens. If you are looking to find some calm or raise your family in a residential area, this quaint, village offers a perfect setting, and the local community will always make you feel welcome.

This last year Ventanas beach received a makeover and there is now ample parking available at a small fee. Rental homes have been flourishing despite the fact that it is a somewhat remote due to limited public transportation (having a vehicle is the norm), however in the years to come public transportation and shuttle services are developing, making it more accessible over time. ‘Reserva Playa Tortuga’, a non-profit organization dedicated to marine conservation can be found in Ojochal. If you would like to see baby turtles released, contact them! And new to Ojochal, is the Osa Field Institute, also focused on education and conservation.

Ojochal possesses great mountain views and for walkers who love to get out in the morning the ‘Perezoso loop’ makes for a great walk of about 5 km which showcases the beautiful greenery of the mountain range and also features some of the best ocean views found in the area. Some views include that of the Térraba River, the largest river mouth opening in Costa Rica, ‘Isla Garza’, Drake’s Bay, Osa Peninsula, and on clear days views reach ‘Isla del Caño’. If you live in the lowlands of ‘el pueblo’, around 4 o’clock you can sit back and enjoy a breeze that carries the scent of the ylang ylang trees through the village, and listen to the bustling of workers heading jovially home for the evening. A river runs through the entire length of Ojochal and a tree that denotes a fork in the road makes it feel homey and you are reminded of the simplicities of life.

When you are looking for some fun in the sun, Playa Tortuga is the closest beach, followed by Playa Ventanas, Playa Piñuelas, and Playa Ballena. As for services, Ciudad Cortés and Palmar Sur, both within a 30 minute drive from Ojochal; offer all the services you will need. There is an airport in Palmar Sur with national flights thatdepart daily. And many decide to reside just outside the town, in areas such as Piñuelas to the North, or Coronado to the South.

Homes nestled in the mountains, halfway between Uvita and Ojochal, offer prime access to some of the most pristine beaches in the area, not to mention some of the most dynamic views. With changing tides and the rock formations, ‘Las Très Hermanas’ and ‘Isla Ballena’, one can sit and watch the tides of the ocean come in and out from afar and enjoy the landscapes that are altered by the passing of time.

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