A Week in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica

The Perfect Place to Hang our Hats!

Most years of my adult life our family has converged on my brother’s house to celebrate Christmas. He is well equipped to host us. He has a gracious wife, cute kiddos (teenagers now!) and ample floor space. Last year while we stared out at the grey Oregon sky after the flurry of gift unwrapping and cookie munching had subsided the notion of Destination Christmas took ahold of us. Mom volunteered to sponsor the trip. Thanks, Mom!!! A few location ideas were volleyed and vetoed before we settled on Costa Rica. Fun in the sun was what we were after. We found it in Puerto Viejo!

I operated as the de facto travel agent and made a number of executive decisions. Most important was the lodging! I chose well. A handful of years ago my favorite online radio station, Radio Paradise, was running a fundraising campaign where contributors were entered into a drawing for a week’s stay at a super cute lodge in the Costa Rican jungle. I didn’t win the drawing but the seed was planted way back then and finally came to flower this past Christmas season. I reserved us two cabins at the Cashew Hill Jungle Lodge in Puerto Viejo.  My husband and I as well as my parents stayed at the Playa Negra cottage and my brother’s family and our Crazy Auntie Barbara (CAB) stayed at the Todo Bien cottage. These cottages were about as far from each other as you could get there but the grounds are not so huge that we were burdened by the distance.   

The view out the window of the Playa Negra cabin.

The cottages are super breezy and open with hammocks and fans. It was easy to take it easy… sometimes too easy! We could have lounged the whole week away if we weren’t careful.

Vacationing hard at Cashew Hill!

A definite highlight for me was the morning when I awoke to a flock of parrots in the palm tree outside my window. I have a huge soft spot for parrots and was happy as a clam to sip coffee and stalk the birds in the trees. They were really loud and really playful.

A red-lored parrot keeping an eye on me…

The gardens were also pretty great. They were full of all the typical tropical foliage plants and a variety of garden edibles that served the restaurant on site. A couple standouts were the Peruvian peppers that may be the hottest I have ever eaten in a homemade fresh tropical fruit salsa while standing barefoot looking at the Caribbean Sea and some amazing Aristolochia flowers that were blooming by the reception desk.

Due to bright blue cast on my right wrist, I didn’t partake of any of the yoga classes being offered at the lodge but I really enjoyed the wafts of incense drifting by from time to time and the crossing paths with blissed-out yogis. If/when I ever return I will be om-ing my way through my stay.

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