The Resort & Local Activities

Botanical Gardens and Nature Trails:

La Ponderosa has acres of well-established gardens with a large collection of palms, tropical plants and fruit trees. There are self-guided trails to take you from the hotel through the gardens and into the forest. On these trails you will find staircases and bridges leading to our waterfall and lookout tiki hut. The trails and gardens are great place to catch a glimpse of wild life. Squirrel monkeys, howler monkeys, toucans, parrots, macaws, iguanas, and sloths are just a few of the creatures you may encounter.


La Ponderosa’s custom tropical swimming pool with ocean view terrace and plenty of lounge chairs is new as of 2008. The pool has a shallow beach style entry perfect for children.

Indoor Recreation:

Guests are not confined to their rooms they can enjoy a big screened in game room with ceiling fans.

  • Ping-pong table
  • Foosball table
  • Board games, Movie library and Book trade
  • Sitting/ Meeting area

This is a great place to escape the sun or hang out on a rainy afternoon.


You won’t be disappointed when you wake up to the sounds of the waves breaking. La Ponderosa is a perfect place for surfers because it is owned by, operated by and designed for surfers. Pavones is one of the longest waves in the world. You also have the options of taking a boat across to Matapalo to surf one of the many right point breaks or surfing the beach breaks of Punta Banco.

Surfing lessons are available.

We offer surfboard rentals.

More about SURFING.

Massage at the hotel:

Enjoy a therapeutic or relaxing massage in a beautiful garden setting.

River Walks:

This can be done on your own or with a guide, a great thing for a hot day. Also a terrific opportunity to see wildlife. *Howler monkey mom and baby photograph by Jim Mayfield.

Trail Running, Hiking & Beach Training:

Pavones with it’s spectacular views and lush landscape is great for running and hiking on the beach, up hills and along the gravel road.

Bird Watching:

In Pavones watching birds is enjoyable for the avid or novice birder. The trails and gardens at La Ponderosa are a great place to spot birds. Over 270 different species of birds have been observed in the area. Including tanagers, trogons, honeycreepers, toucans, hummingbirds, manakins and scarlet macaws.


Tide Pool Exploring and Beach Combing:

When the tides recede, sea life gets concentrated in pools of water on the coastal rocks. Many fascinating little creatures can be spotted. Some of these pools are large enough to snorkel in.

Beach combing or searching for shells, stones and other treasures in this constantly changing environment can be endless. There is miles of coast to explore.


We have boogie boards for rent and directly in front of the hotel is a great sandy beach for playing in the surf.


Relaxation is easy here. You are just footsteps from a great beach for swimming or beach combing.  Spend some time on the beach watching the surf. Pass some time in a hammock or poolside with a book. Of course to deepen your relaxation you can book a massage.


We have a Volleyball and Basketball court onsite.

Stand Up Paddling:

A tour on a SUP board can be arranged.

Nature Tours:

Tours at an 800 plus acre rainforest reserve (TISKITA) are offered daily by reservation.

Horseback riding:

We can arrange guided horseback ride in the rainforest or on the beach.


Pavones has THREE yoga studios offering both scheduled walk-in classes and private instruction.


Bring your own gear to fish off the beach and in the river mouth or go fishing with a local in thier “panga”.  Fishing photo courtesy of captain.

Boat Trip:

You can go for a boat trip in a local fisherman’s “panga”.  Enjoy a sight seeing voyage in the Gulfo Dulce and maybe even catch a glimpse of sea turtles, manta rays, dolphins or whales.


We have beach cruiser style bicycles for rent. There are miles of ocean view roads to explore.


All terrain vehicles (ATV) are available for rent locally.


This hotel’s private restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Meals can be purchased individually or as a package.

Pavones has a variety of restaurants (Costa Rican, Italian, N. American, Vegetarian). Pavones might not be known for fine cuisine. However these owner run, open-air restaurants might surprise you. Also the casual fun atmosphere and the fact that you almost always run into someone you know make it a uniquely special experience.