El Alma Soul Retreat – Costa Rica
Wake to the melody of exotic bird-song. Stroll onto the floating deck, hovering magically over the gardens. Sip fresh local coffee or juices while gazing across the Pacific. Then while away your days at El Alma Soul Retreat around the pool, on secluded beaches or with a round golf next door. Whether it’s a soul, yoga or tango retreat – or you come for the incredible setting alone – this hilltop hideaway is ideal for recharging batteries.
El alma is Spanish for ‘the soul’ – and this luxury villa is all about re-connecting with yours by de-connecting from the world. There is WiFi, but you won’t find a television. Instead, you’re invited to discover pura vida through massages, walks, or simply absorbing the tropical views. Inside this is a serene, designer escape. Expect open spaces, a soothing palette of neutral earth tones and bespoke artisan furniture such as Balinese wood screens.
El Alma puts you on a hillside on the Península Papagayo, arguably Costa Rica’s pride and joy. Most of it is untamed national parkland, bursting with wildlife. From the air, the contrast between emerald rainforest canopies and sapphire seas is a hint at the paradise beneath. Think picturesque bays, quiet beaches, manicured fairways and scuba diving with rays and turtles.
Whether you book the entire villa or one of the three luxury rooms, you’ll feel at peace at El Alma. A blissful blend of beach house, tree house and art gallery, every furnishing and ornament has been chosen with care. Wood and stone breathe warmth and life, while open spaces and glass walls fill rooms with sunshine and Pacific breezes. Each bathroom offers spa-like relaxation and interiors. While private terraces connect you with nature. Try a yoga or meditation class and for the ultimate in relaxation, follow it up with an in room massage.
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All trails lead to waterfalls, misty crater lakes or jungle-fringed, deserted beaches. Explored by horseback, foot or kayak, Costa Rica is a tropical choose-your-own-adventure land.
Rainforest hikes and brisk high-altitude trails, rushing white-water rapids and world-class surfing: Costa Rica offers a dizzying suite of outdoor adventures in every shape and size – from the squeal-inducing rush of a canopy zip line to a sun-dazed afternoon at the beach. National parks allow visitors to glimpse life in the tropical rainforest and cloud forest, simmering volcanoes offer otherworldly vistas, and reliable surf breaks are suited to beginners and experts alike. Can’t decide? Don’t worry, you won’t have to. Given the country’s diminutive size, it’s possible to plan a relatively short trip that includes it all.
The Pure Life
And then there are the people. Costa Ricans, or Ticos as they prefer to call themselves, are proud of their little slice of paradise, welcoming guests to sink into the easygoing rhythms of the pura vida (pure life). The greeting, farewell, catchy motto and enduring mantra gets to the heart of Costa Rica’s appeal – its simple yet profound ability to let people relax and enjoy their time. With the highest quality of life in Central America, all the perfect waves, perfect sunsets and perfect beaches seem like the pura vida indeed.
The Peaceful Soul of Central America
As the eco- and adventure-tourism capital of Central America, Costa Rica has a worthy place in the cubicle daydreams of travelers around the world. With world-class infrastructure, visionary sustainability initiatives and no standing army since 1948 (when the country redirected its defense funds toward education, healthcare and the environment), Costa Rica is a peaceful green jewel of the region. Taking into account that more than a fourth of the land enjoys some form of environmental protection and there’s greater biodiversity here than in the USA and Europe combined, it’s a place that earns the superlatives.
The Wild Life
Such wildlife abounds in Costa Rica as to seem almost cartoonish: keel-billed toucans ogle you from treetops and scarlet macaws raucously announce their flight paths. A keen eye will discern a sloth on a branch or the eyes and snout of a caiman breaking the surface of a mangrove swamp, while alert ears will catch rustling leaves signaling a troop of white-faced capuchins or the haunting call of a howler monkey. Blue morpho butterflies flit amid orchid-festooned trees, while colorful tropical fish, sharks, rays, dolphins and whales thrive offshore – all as if in a conservationist’s dream.