Remarkable Places in Costa Rica

Pacuare Lodge.

Costa Rica is a remarkably beautiful country. After living here for nine years, the place retains the ability to thrill me with its natural beauty and abundant wildlife. The beaches of Santa Teresa, the Pacific views and seasonal electrical storms in Guanacaste, the pristine beauty of Drakes Bay. Or maybe our habitual haunt of Nativa just before Jaco, where a brave soul from National Geographic calculated four thousand crocodiles in the estuary and where the sky is often darkened with flocks of Red Macaws noisily swarming around the resort. So many memorable places, yet nothing prepared me for our recent trip on the Pacuare river. I often joke about the need for a "superlative police" as much of our modern vocabulary has become hyperbolic and bromide, but this part of the country might genuinely be the biblical Eden. 

The scenery was breathtaking with verdant jungle, screeching eagles, sparkling sun-lit waterfalls which poured what appeared to be a billion shimmering diamonds from on high, we were completely captivated and let the waters draw us through towering cliffs that officiously guide the river around their mighty frames. But the serenity of the river was deceptive and soon the rafting became exhilarating, with crashing waters pounding Scylla-like figures and labyrinthine rock passages through which we battled currents and rowed like madmen. We were so exhausted by the time we arrived at our destination, the occupants of our craft looked like the characters of Gericault's Raft of Medusa. 

The lodge itself is stunning. Built in sympathy and harmony with the natural environment it is quite a marvel. We were soon installed in the divine Jaguar Suite whose deck and private pool hang precariously over the river banks.
In earlier times you would have imagined that the sounds of the roaring river were the laughter and chatter of the river nymphs. Staying at the Pacuare Lodge was a profoundly emotional experience. Ultimate luxury in a primitive, unspoiled environment.
We had dinner on the lawn beneath a beautiful starry, night sky canopy, lit only by a sliver of silver moon and a roaring fire beside the river bank. The lodge has a great wine cellar as well as kitchen.
It was one of those great moments to be alive. The staff are a joy, with many of the people whom had taken us along the river during the daytime working in the restaurant in the evening, giving all an opportunity to pursue the bonds that were forged on the raging waters.
After our wonderful gustatory treat, we settled in for one of the best night's sleeps imaginable, where between the soothing dialogue of the nearby river and the finest linens on the bed there was the danger of me ending like Endymion. The return trip the next day was even more exhilarating with level three and four rapids to regale us.
It was simply the best thirty six hours I've ever spent. Tourism in Costa Rica at its absolute best!

Casa Capitan. Santa Teresa.

We've been visiting Santa Teresa for almost a decade and stayed in many homes, villas and hotels of varying quality, but absolutely nothing compares to our latest trip. Casa Capitan is genuinely Edenic, a place where you can relax and enjoy one of the best beaches in wonderful Costa Rica. The property has its own enormous sea front where we sat each evening, sipping cocktails whilst watching a golden, orb-shaped sun slip over the edge of the world. The property is a labour of love, where the main house is furnished with expertly chosen pieces, real art and fine fabrics, whilst the gardens are beautiful, perfectly kept and wholly harmonious with the surrounding area. There are excellent common areas, swimming pools and balis, creating a Buridan's Ass type dilemma as to where you wish to spend your hours. The houses are decorated by the owner with exquisite taste, where extravagantly cushioned sofa areas beguile the guests into enjoying just one more cocktail, just one more conversation before bed. At other times we simply enjoyed our own decks, ones that offered the same level of comfort, and at the end of such strenuous days we were happy to retire to our bedroom, an abode of rare refinement and luxury, where sleep was beneath excellent linens on wonderful mattresses, whilst the  bathrooms could well have been the best I've ever experienced. Utterly divine place.

Costa Rican Trails

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Nativa Resort.

We've taken a house a Nativa for the last five years and can attest to the Edenic quality of the place. On the Pacific side, an hour from San Jose, the place is stunning and so convenient to get to. Built on the edge of a National Park and looking out onto the Nicoya peninsula on one side and the crocodile inhabited Tarcoles river from another. The grounds are stunning with Macaws, eagles, and iguanas the most numerous residents. Absolutely great resort with plenty of apartments for rent.   


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