Travel & Outdoors | September 2005
|Costa Azul: A Wide Slice of Paradise|
Marla Hoover - PVNN
Tucked away at the end of a long stretch of white sandy beach in the small town of San Pancho, 30 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta, is the hotel/resort 'Costa Azul.' Touted as an adventure resort, Costa Azul offers a wide slice of paradise.
|Owner, John Cooper, has provided everything under the tropical sun for a great getaway.|
The location is truly lovely with the tip of Punta de Mita to the south and a rocky out cropping a few hundred yards down the beach. The sprawling resort encompasses the hillside above and across the street from the main resort area, a large expanse of beachfront property, a big lawn complete with hammocks hanging from the several varieties of palm trees that afford privacy from the beautiful private villas that dot the landscape just beyond the confines of the resort. There is also a large swimming pool with swim up bar and kiddy pool, generous patio area, a gift shop and restaurant with inside and outside seating.
Guests have the options of several room types from suites to family sized condos and villas to a large luxury hillside villa with private pool, all finely appointed with everything one would expect at a finer resort. Several of the newer rooms are located in compounds just outside the main gate and have spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean from their private decks and pool areas. Walking to the resort grounds from these 'Moroccan' style units, guests encounter cobblestone streets lined with the high walled, flowering vine covered entries to stylish villas giving what can only be described as a charming village feel.
Owner, John Cooper, has provided everything under the tropical sun for a great getaway. The staff is extremely friendly, courteous, helpful and bilingual. Guests are given an orientation slide show-cocktail reception on the evening of their arrival in order to learn how the all-inclusive resort program works. This is held in the hub of the resort, Wahoo's Bar and Grill, the gigantic and impressive palapa restaurant. Each day's activity schedule is printed on a reader board so guests can plan their day accordingly. They can sign up from a long list of adventure trips and activities such as horseback riding tours, surfing at various locations along the coast, mountain bike rides, sea kayaking, snorkeling, hiking as well as longer excursions to San Blas, Yelapa, Marieta Islands, Puerto Vallarta and other locations.
Meals are served virtually all day at Wahoo's Bar and Grill. Breakfast is from 8 to 10:30 am, either buffet or menu. Lunch is from 11 am to 5 pm and dinner is served from 5:30 to 10 pm. All three meals are from an ample variety of Mexican and American menu selections, the servings are generous, and the quality is excellent. A buffet is offered on Friday evening during Mexican Noche (Night) when a colorful, entertaining and delightful floor show is presented. Other entertainment is provided several evenings a week. The flamenco guitar music of Latcho and Andrea on Saturday evenings during high season is a real treat and not to be missed.
Costa Azul has several packages to choose from. The most popular is the Adventure Package, which includes meals, all the adventure tours, activities and equipment; Surfer Packages; Kid's Adventure Packages that consists of tours, Spanish lessons, arts and crafts, beach fun, and a turtle conservation project at the resorts turtle refuge. They also have a special Honeymoon Package and will soon be offering wedding ceremony services. Room only or rooms with meals included are also alternative choices. Scuba diving, sport fishing, golf and a surf school are also available as add on options. Package prices are per person per night, beginning at US $79.00 depending on season.