Why Costa Rica is the Perfect Getaway
As the weather grows colder, days grow shorter, and holidays start to heat up, I've found myself thinking more and more about some of the warmer places I've been, and none of them have been more enticing to go back to than Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica.
Full of pristine beaches, jungles, waterfall treks, national parks, amazing Caribbean food, sloth & jaguar sanctuaries, it's really one of those off the beaten path places you can't quite imagine until you go there. Granted, the Caribbean is full of serene locations, but with Costa Rica being such an up and coming destination, I really feel like there's no better time to go here than the next couple years.
Luckily, for VoyEdge, we have an "In" into this amazing seaside town, and it all has to do with one of my best friends in the world 'cutaway' from his finance job in Portland, ME a few years ago because he had an opportunity to purchase a decrepit, decaying hostel jungle lodge on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica about 5 years ago. He had just graduated college, had about $5,000 in savings and took a loan out (some from his parents, another one from a bank) to purchase what I thought was basically a bunch of wood cobbled together on a hill in a small town of 5,000 people. I remember him telling us he had purchased a hostel and had big plans to turn it into a destination, and I distinctly remembering making an empty promise to go and visit him when it was all done.
At the time, I thought it was a damn risky move, but our friends were all cheering him on from the get-go. "You do you, bro!" And without learning a lick of Spanish (other than his highschool courses) our good friend moved from a steady job, nice apartment, and newly minted Bachelor's degree, to a small seaside town called Puerto Viejo in Costa Rica to build his dream.
"Live the life you've always imagined living."
Fast forward a couple years, 'Cashew Hill Jungle Lodge' went from a semi-rundown hostel to a bustling yoga, fitness, all-natural cafe with more rooms, fresh wood, paint, and everything else you could imagine. It truly was a destination, and with our good friend, Andrew having learned Spanish after living down there, he, along with the help of other locals, they really made, 'Cashew Hill' come to life.
Looking at it now, the place is SO different than when I first saw it, complete with a yoga platform that can fit 40 people and overlooks the Caribbean from its hillside location. The entire compound is fenced and locked in, and truly is a 'jungle lodge,' complete with an outdoor cafe, set right in the midst of a rainforest overlooking the town of Puerto Viejo.
It almost couldn't get any better, but it does....
There is so much to do in Puerto Viejo, and with being able to book just about any sort of Caribbean adventure you want (zip-lining, white water rafting, surf lessons, animal sanctuaries, jungle treks, waterfall hikes, national park excursions, ATV'ing, car rentals, Volcano hikes and more) this is definitely the place to be.
Long story short, I remember going down about a year ago now, and just having the time of my life. With the warm weather, semi-cool nights, amazing food, outdoor adventures and wildlife excursions, I never felt out of place, always felt relaxes, and never even wanted to sign onto the WiFi down there. There's just something about being outdoors, in warm weather, and having a solid place like Cashew Hill to keep you focused on the important things in life. And that's definitely maintaining a healthy lifestyle, connecting with those around you, and discovering a world that may not be familiar (or comfortable, at first) to you.
If you're into serene, off the beaten path places, I'd HIGHLY encourage you to get down to Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. Whether with us, or on your own. It's just one of those magical places, with incredible sunsets, people food, and literally the perfect activities for you to relax and enjoy yourself. One thing's for sure, Puerto Viejo will stay with you for a very long time, trust me with that one.
You can check out our upcoming tours and dates to our Costa Rica tour here , or email me personally and I'd be happy to hook you up with the best way, and time to get down to our good friends at Cashew Hill Jungle Lodge.