Sometimes when traveling, you find lodging with hosts that completely define your experience of the country. I had my first memorable stay in Monteverde, Costa Rica at Casa Batsú. The lodging itself was simple and the grounds beautiful, but it was the host Carlos that made my stay wonderful.
Owner, manager, chef, driver, and tour guide. Carlos wore many hats in the short time we stayed with him, and he did all of them well. You could easily see the care and love he put into his home, meals, and making his guests feel welcome. I have never met a more helpful and accommodating host.
After arrival at his property in Monteverde, we were taken on a tour of the site to see the animals and insects that lived on his family's land. The area was lovely and we even had a close call with a snake, to Jacob’s dismay. Carlos was also really knowledgeable about the birds in the area. I came home one afternoon to guests scouting the trees for winged creatures with him as the guide.
On my first morning I had a minor accident while zip lining. His wife offered to wash my clothes and they were always read to assist. We had just about every meal at the house, because his cooking was unbelievable and the prices so affordable. After dinner, we spent the night drinking and chatting about his family and life in Costa Rica.
Carlos and his wife made the transition into a new country completely effortless. I can’t recommend Casa Batsu enough, and Carlos is the reason I almost always opt for a guesthouse over a large hotel. Traveling is about exposing yourself to new and different cultures. By staying at a smaller place, I am giving myself a greater opportunity to interact with locals and meet wonderful people.