Q TRAVEL (Hola.com) There is nothing better when traveling to a place than listening to the advice of the natives. Because yes, we receive information through guides, the Internet or opinions of other travelers, but it is impossible to visit all the corners that they suggest.
So this time we are left with four places that “Ticos” enjoy outside the traditional routes.
Nosara and Ostonial, Surf, Yoga and Turtles
The Nicoya Peninsula, in the province of Guanacaste, is a paradise to enjoy the beach, surfing and wildlife of Costa Rica. Guiones is the main beach in the town of Nosara, 7 kilometers of bright white sand that borders Garza and Pelada where we can indulge in the bath, a nap with the sound of the waves after having one of the famous local smoothies or ride the waves on a surfboard, with good schools for more or less experienced.
10 kilometers from the beach is the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge, the territory of the Lora, Baula and Verde turtles. Here they arrive each year to spawn between 1,000 and 200,000 of these species, depending on the season, being the second most important arrival in the world.
The greatest influx takes place during the winter (from July to November), but it is in the months of September and October when the beach appears invaded by turtles. Therefore, access to the refuge can only be done with accredited guides.
Where do we stay?
In this environment is Nammbú Beachfront Bungalows (nammbu.com), a family hotel located on the paradisiacal Carrillo beach, with its cabins in the middle of nature, where the conservation of the natural environment is taken care of and you can learn about the flora and fauna of the tropical rainforest of Costa Rica.
Looking for Quetzal in Dota
You arrive at Dota, 2 and a half hours from San José, the capital of Costa Rica to see in its cloud forest the exotic beauty of the quetzal, one of the most striking birds in the world, especially between the months of April and May, its breeding season, as its main food grows here: the avocado tree.
But in this Costa Rican corner you also come to fish and taste the trout of the Savegre River and to get lost on the trails of Los Quetzales National Park, where the birds that give it its name live, but also tanagers, trogons and hummingbirds.
Where do we stay?
A good choice for accommodation is the Trogón Lodge hotel (trogonlodge.com), in the small town of San Gerardo de Dota, surrounded by greenery, dazzling flowers and century-old oak trees and exquisite cuisine, including fresh and organic food. The environment is perfect to relax.
Rio Celeste and Caño Negro Refuge
Legend has it that once God finished painting the sky, he washed his brushes in the Rio Celeste (Celeste River), one of the natural wonders of Costa Rica. But geology has another more scientific theory and explains that this particular color is due to the union of the waters of two rivers with different mineral contents coming from the slopes of the Tenorio volcano.
Protected as a national park, a 7-kilometer trail shows its main attractions: dyeing, hot springs, fumaroles and a spectacular waterfall.
Less than two hours from the Rio Celeste is the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge, of global importance as a wetland protection area in the north of the country. And also of wild species, many of them in danger of extinction or unique, such as the prehistoric gaspar fish, which is considered a living fossil. During the dry season, the refuge offers food to thousands of aquatic birds that come to this wetland. The ingestion of mollusks causes some of them to change the color of their plumage for more pinkish tones.
Where do we stay?
Surrounded by lush tropical forest are the 26 bungalows of the Río Celeste Hideaway hotel (riocelestehideaway.com), a beautiful tropical architecture in the middle of the jungle where you can enjoy the natural wonders of the country and at the same time the best local hospitality.
Turrialba, Adventure, Rural Tourism and Culture
The white waters of some rivers in Costa Rica invite you to experience adventures aboard an inflatable boat, such as the Reventazón or the Pacuare River, famous all over the world for its rafting descents. Between Cartago and Limón, this last river encourages a journey through its 30 kilometers of rapids surrounded by nature.
After the experience, towards the interior, we will travel to Turrialba, the original town of the Cabécares indigenous people, to learn about their culture, their ancestral songs and dances, the figures of national poetry, the rondallas, the wood art of Corralón de Santa Teresita and other artisan trades: basketry, cheese making and the work of trapicheros, saddlers, mask makers …, in addition to its many festivals and fairs.
Where do we stay?
In this environment, the Quelitales hotel (hotelquelitales.com) is a good base to stay during your stay in Costa Rica, an ecological accommodation with elegant suites fused with tropical vegetation. Caring for the environment is one of its maxims, which is translated into handcrafted and biodegradable toiletries and the local coffee served to guests, from a sustainable plantation.
Its gardens are home to hundreds of birds, which can even be seen from the balcony of the room. And if you want to get out of it, mountain trails where you can get lost with the guided tours offered from the hotel.
This article was orignally published in Spanish in Hola.com and translated and adapted by QCR