Costa Rica is one of the world’s most stunning and sun-blessed destinations, popular for its natural beauty and the optimistic “pura vida” spirit of its people (the phrase, roughly translating to “pure life”, encapsulates a treasured local sense of peace and pleasure). Sandwiched between Nicaragua and Panama, the Central American country is home to a wide array of sustainable, eco-friendly luxury lodges offering visitors a taste of the good life. Here, three excellent accommodations cater to a variety of vacationers.
Just 15 minutes from the San Jose airport is Finca Rosa Blanca, a sprawling 14-casa resort set on a coffee plantation. Here, amid the lushness of Finca’s organic shade coffee plantation, guests may fully immerse themselves in the local coffee culture by taking a tour aimed at introducing them to the nuances of harvesting, roasting, and (yes) tasting excellent coffee at the source. Can’t get enough of the beans? Exquisite five-course coffee-inspired tasting menus from executive chef Gustavo Alvarado are available at on-site restaurant El Tigre Vestido & Bar Búhoare (grilled chicken in tamarind coffee sauce and tostadas with black bean and coffee hummus are a couple of his rotating specialties). For downtime, Finca’s poolside beckons, or, better yet, skip over to the El Targuá Spa for a Pura Vida Coffee Detox scrub that will leave you smelling scrumptiously of coffee and dark chocolate.
For wildlife enthusiasts
For those seeking wildlife and adventure, head south to Osa Peninsula and Lapa Rios Ecolodge. The 1000-acre rainforest reserve and National Geographic Unique Lodge, promises an immersive experience. While trekking between primary and secondary old growth forests, expect to spot an array of creatures like three-toed sloths, blue morpho butterflies, and up to four species of monkey. Nighttime hikes, medicinal plant tours, and journeys to picture-perfect waterfalls are all on the menu—and of course, roomy suites offer a refuge for relaxation after a long day’s trek. Rise and shine to nature’s alarm clock, howler monkeys, then step out to enjoy the sprawling Pacific Ocean view while hummingbirds flit between bird of paradise flowers and toucans soar to and fro.
Tropical minimalist hotspot Kurà Design Villas in Uvita is modern, über-luxurious, and exclusive—this is the go-to resort for design lovers and anyone keen on crafting envy-inducing travel Instagrams. The polished, adults-only property’s six mountaintop villas put guests eye-to-eye with hawks catching the currents above the clouds. The main deck offers an unparalleled 360-degree view and gorgeous infinity pool overlooking the ocean and Marino Bellana National Park. Private suites feature floor-to-ceiling windows, great views from the shower (and bed), and giant deck hammocks ideal for mid-day naps. Add to your to-do list: a visit to Spa Sha, sampling the fresh, sustainably-caught tuna at Kura restaurant, while kicking back on an oversized pool lounger. Itching for adventure? Consider a horseback ride at nearby scenic Rancho La Merced.
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