A typical day of vacation in Costa Rica for our non-tennis or golf playing friends starts just like most; sunlight and crowing roosters, followed by the growls of howler monkeys off in the distance, and then chiming song birds fill your room. The morning symphony, we call it here at Pura Vida House in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
To start your morning, you’ll head out to the terrace for breakfast with the group. Plantains, gallo pinto (a typical dish of rice and beans; fuel for a day full of activity), eggs, fresh fruits and juices. All prepared by Pastora with organic food from her garden or local farmer’s markets. And of course, Costa Rican coffee.
This morning you’re off on a horseback ride with Papun, our local cowboy. He will take you through dry riverbeds around Pura Vida House in Paso Hondo (or not so dry, depending on the time of year!), pointing out all sorts of flora and fauna as you go. Papun doesn’t speak English, but don’t worry, he finds a way to teach and shows you a lot on your ride. He’s also great with experienced or inexperienced riders!
Next, it’s off to the beach, Playa Tamarindo for a surf lesson. Again, you don’t have to worry, no experience necessary! Then lunch at a local soda, a very typical type of local restaurant in Costa Rica. Everything is fresh and local, and they have great prices! A typical dish here is called a casado, or “marriage.” It’s a plate full of rice, beans, salad, a meat or vegetable, a plantain, and sometimes other surprises like an egg or cheese. We call these places, “bueno, bonito, barato,” or, “good, pretty, cheap.”
By this point you’re pretty tired out; it’s hot and you’ve been active all day. And to top it off, you’re stuffed full of typical Costa Rican fare. Off to Playa Langosta for some R&R in the shade or some reading. Here there are private lounge chairs and plenty of shade to relax during this hottest part of the day. Possibly a walk on the beach and a quick dip after. Then head over to the nearby lagoon for some late afternoon bird watching – roseate spoonbills, tiger herons, black necked stilts, and an armadillo will be today’s findings.
To end the day, you’ll head back home for a much needed shower and a glass of wine on the terrace to unwind before dinner. Pastora is back and has prepared some fresh corvina fish with salad, steamed vegetables and some rice. To drink, a typical Latin American horchata with cinnamon and milk. Everything is grown or caught within a few miles of Pura Vida House, except the rice that comes from a bit further south.
A great day has come to a close in Costa Rican paradise. But it’s time to get to sleep, tomorrow holds just as much nature and action and you’ll need your rest!