“Pura vida” (pure life): if you ever visit Costa Rica, this is the expression that you will hear the most. Costa Ricans enjoy life and their environment in a unique way, with great respect for local nature and wildlife. You can actually feel the love for their land through their kindness, warmth and friendliness.
Costa Rica is a surprising country indeed; although it’s small in terms of surface, it offers a wide diversity of landscapes and wildlife. Rainforests, cloud forests, mangroves, beaches and volcanoes are home to sloths, tapirs, monkeys, jaguars, pumas, toucans, macaws… As well as whales and sea turtles during their migration, to name just a few.
In this extraordinary natural environment I found many sustainable and environmentally friendly eco-resorts. These are ideal places to get close to nature in many ways, by land, sea and air: trekking, zip-lines, rafting, hiking… You will be able to penetrate the jungle day and night, to look for all the animals that hide behind the leaves.
After the long flight to Costa Rica, I was looking forward to have a rest. Grano de Oro is a small oasis where we were able to regain our strength before starting our journey around this great little country.
Our adventure began in the Tortuguero National Park, a maze of canals that penetrate the jungle, leading into the Caribbean Sea. The only way to get to the colourful town of Tortuguero is by boat. Along the way, we were able appreciate the natural richness and wildlife of this damp and marshy area: monkeys, sloths, iguanas, caimans, toucans… We had to tune our eyes to be able to spot them in the undergrowth! Once in the area, I recommend a hike to Cerro Tortuguero to admire the canals from the heights. Also, bear in mind that at certain periods of the year you can observe the turtle’s spawning and hatching.
Una vez en la zona vale la pena subir al Cerro Tortuguero para admirar los canales desde las alturas, y en época de tortugas se puede observar el desove y la eclosión.
After our first contact with nature, we traveled to the banks of the Pacuare River to spend a few days at Pacuare Lodge, a 100% eco-friendly lodging that supports the local communities with minor environmental impact.
With no electricity and little Internet access, Pacuare Lodge is an ideal place to reconnect with nature and enjoy adventure activities like rafting, abseiling, hiking and zip-lines.
After our get away at Pacuare we drove northwest, to the majestic Arenal Volcano.
This area offers a perfect combination of adventure and relaxation: after an active day of trekking and zip-lines or water activities on Lake Arenal, nothing better than relaxing in the hot springs of your jacuzzi in Arenal Nayara while admiring the views of the Arenal Volcano.
We left Arenal behind and headed towards the Pacific Coast to spend a few days in the Nicoya Peninsula, the coolest area in the country, ideal for surfing and enjoying the beach. Getting there is an adventure in itself, crossing dirt tracks and rivers on a 4×4.
After the journey, it was a pleasure to enjoy the peace and serenity of Latitude10, and the care of its friendly staff.
Following the Pacific Coast to the south, we stopped briefly at Manuel Antonio National Park to discover and admire its beautiful beaches. I recommend to get up early, to access the park and walk around at ease, before the groups arrive.
We continued southwards to one of the wildest areas of Costa Rica: Corcovado National Park. Corcovado is one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet, home to jaguars and pumas, whales and dolphins.
Corcovado is both a maritime and terrestrial paradise that’s certainly worth a visit.
From Corcovado we flew to San Jose by light aircraft, and during the flight we were able to admire beautiful views of Costa Rica from the air.
After so many adventures we deserved some rest, and The Retreat Costa Rica was the ideal place to unwind thanks to its healthy cuisine, wellness treatments, yoga classes, as well as its location. Situated on the side of a hill, this accommodation offers beautiful views that stretch to the Pacific Coast in sunny days. On cloudy days, the hotel submerges in the fog, conferring a mystical air.
Our last night in Costa Rica was spent at Finca Rosa Blanca, an ideal place to enjoy coffee, architecture and local art and crafts. There, we enjoyed the tranquility of a coffee plantation but only a few minutes from the capital. We were also able to admire the views from the signature hotel room. It was the perfect farewell to our trip.