Escaping to Paradise it is a natural instinct for those living in the Northern hemisphere, especially during those dreadful long cold winters.
Natural beauty, lush forests, palms for miles and waves for the brave: this is what Costa Rica has to offer.
This winter, right at the end of the rainy season, we took a trip from our hub in New York to visit the very acclaimed Trip Advisor best hotel in 2019: Tulemar in Quepos, on the Pacific side.
Arriving in San Jose’ at the airport, where alas not much can be found, we were greeted by our private Tulemar driver, sent from the resort to rescue us from the noise of the Capital and take us to the area of Manuel Antonio, home of Tulemar and also of one of the most amazing natural parks and ecosystems.
Within 3 hours drive through the only “national carrettera” (in Costa Rica there is one national highway that runs throughout the country connecting relevant cities and towns like a major aorta), we reached the lusher and tourist-friendly Quepos region.
The green surrounding, the infinite beaches and lush rainforests are definitely some of the reasons why this area needs to be on your bucket list.
But this is not just it, as you may not yet know that Tulemar, on top of being gracefully built within the ecosystem with his private jungle bungalows and villas, it is also home of something fantastic: the Sloth Institute since 2015.
TSI is a non-profit organization with the mission to enhance the well-being and conservation of wild and captive sloths through research and education. They are also dedicated to collaborating with other sloth rehabilitation and release programs.
Tulemar hosts some of the species in its lush and peaceful protected environment and offers educational walks to guests and other visitors upon reservation. We took the tour and it was quite fascinating. The rescued sloths, roam freely (but not fast so to speak) in fact around the property, and some were visible even as a guest at one of the Café’ within the property, on our first night there, almost as magically they knew we had come all the way from another country to write about them.
The area of Quepos/Manuel Antonio is actually a real treat for nature lovers. The park of Manuel Antonio, which is a few km from the resort also offers magnificent VIP tours for those who care about knowing more about the ecosystems as well as the behavior of the animals who reside in the park. We took a 2 hours walk through the park with a specialized guide and it was worth it all the way!
Tulemar is one of a kind resort with 4 pools, a private beach, private villas as well as cozy bungalows, all immersed in a Jurassic Park like environment for the nature lovers with a taste for luxurious pampering and adventure.
The service at Tulemar falls within the rhythm of the place and the Pura Vida style, everything is as it should be when on vacation, by a friendly staff smoothly coordinating shuttle rides to the beach and back or delivery for room service in those lazy mornings where watching palm trees for capuchin monkeys sipping delicious coffee by a private pool is on the top to dos.
We highly recommend organizing a tour of the property with your own personal concierge as assigned to each guest upon arrival (yes a personal concierge for your stay, isn’t that marvelous!), and that you spend your mornings either at the private lovely bay that is one of the gems on-site or at one of the pools when you are not exploring the park of Manuel Antonio. For the more adventurous types, there is a little hiking trail on both sides of the bay that leads down to the wonderfully secluded beach.
Costa Rica tips/should know:
- Do take it slow, time is perceived quite differently than our busy capitals from which you may travel from
- US Dollars are also accepted at store and restaurants, ask first
- Do bring an umbrella if you are traveling during or around rainy season ( May to Mid November)
- “Pura Vida” means Thank you, hello, how are you, you are welcome…
- Do steer clear of rivers and estuaries, as in Costa Rica crocs like to hang out there
- Rent a car and explore whenever possible.
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