We were skeptical. Could this vacation truly be as wonderful as everyone says? Not to worry - it was practically perfect in every way. Definitely one of our favorite vacations. My husband and I went there to celebrate our 50th birthdays. We had always wanted to go to Costa Rica. Usually we travel around a destination, but for the first time we decided to stay in one spot. Jorge Morera was an incredible guide and more - we now consider him a friend. He spent much of the time with us, not only driving us and interpreting, but also enjoying life - pura vida! Our first full day gave us a taste of what lay ahead - out the door at 7 am for a three hour hike of the mountain just outside, breakfast on the porch, doubles tennis with another guest and Jorge, the incredibly beautiful Langosta Beach, ziplining at El Roble's ten stage zip lines, stopping to watch monkeys, dinner of empanadas at a roadside take-away, and viewing turtles from the Galapagos Islands come on the beach and lay their eggs. A magical day. Every day was like that. Rising at 6:30 am without an alarm (who, me?), breakfast on the porch, out the door by 8:00 am, tennis clinic with Jorge, one of Costa Rica's best tennis players and a great coach, one of four or five spectacular Guanacaste beaches, lunch, sightseeing in the afternoon, back to the house for dinner, and crashing by 9:30 pm most nights. Activities included sunbathing, paddleboarding, a boat tour in a national marine park, horseback riding, visiting Rincon de la VIeja Volcano National Park, massages on the beach, dinner of lobster and steak on the beach, and visiting a waterfall you can swim up to and behind. All in just one week. And several of the most spectacular sunsets we had ever seen - we went to the Pacitic nightly to view them. Jorge asks you what you want to do before you go and tailors your itinerary to your interests. He makes all arrangements for you. He introduces you to the neighbors and townspeople. It is a truly authentic vacation in a magnificently beautiful spot. You feel part of the Pura Vida family, not just a tourist. Meals are locally sourced, organic, healthy and made by Pastora, who also cleans your room daily and does your laundry whenever you desire. Jorge and I have emailed several times since - his friendship with you does not stop once you leave the house. I truly feel blessed to have found this vacation. Don't consider it a moment later, just book it. You will have the time of your life. Pura vida!
I love to travel and frequently choose my destinations in a spur of a moment, when feeling inspired. It adds a lot of fun, adventure, and spontaneity to my life. I felt as if Pura Vida House came into my life by work of a magic wand - everything was orchestrated in the easiest and the best possible way, thanks to Jorge Morera. My intention for the trip was to spend some time on the beach, improve my Spanish, improve my tennis, and experience local culture and cuisine as an insider, rather than as a tourist, and, if possible, avoid mass-tourism - check, check, check, and check! If I can use "boutique travel" as a term for my vacation in Costa Rica - that was it. It was totally customized to my likes and has exceeded ALL my expectations thanks to Jorge Morera and his family. I was treated with Costa Rican warmth, generosity, and care and felt really privileged to get to know these people and be part of their life for 10 days. We truly became friends. I felt like a kid on a Christmas Day - rising without an alarm before dawn every day to start a new adventure. There was so much to do and so little time! Before heading to Guanacaste, I spent some time in Central Valley, practicing tennis with tennis pro Jorge and his very nice friends every day, visiting local attractions in San Jose and Alajuela, exposition of orchids, coffee plantation, volcano Poas. The trip to Guanacaste was a beautiful journey through the country with a rest break and a refreshing dip at the waterfalls Cortes - the best kept secret in the area, which my guide Jorge, of course, knew. Guanacaste is very different from Central Valley geographically as well as in its lifestyle. I loved its rich flora and fauna and its sweet local people, who really touched my heart. Having private tennis lessons at Hacienda Pinillia and then relaxing on the quiet and gorgeous Langosta beach was a treat. It is wide and safe, for children as well. I was lucky to see one of the most beautiful sunsets on the Pacific, rivaled, probably, only by the Santorini sunsets. The icing on the cake of fun and adventure was zip-lining and watching turtles hatching eggs on the beach at night. It was a long wait for the turtles under the stars but so much worth it! The pictures from my trip remind me a National Geographic photo reportage that I love to see again and again.
All in all it was a fantastic trip! The service, accommodations, and food were superb. I would recommend it to everyone who is craving unforgettable moments. I hope I will do it again, because I've been told that I have seen only about 5 percent of the country :).
Let me just say that Jorge and Stephanie were amazing guides in a beautiful country. I took my employees along for a relaxing get away and a chance to become a closer team. We got much more than expected. We enjoyed the beautiful scenery, wonderful cuisine, and time spent relaxing on the beach but what we valued most was the team building exercises put together by Jorge and Stephanie. There was never a dull moment whether it be riding the zipline, horseback riding, rappelling, or the riding on the ATV's. We even took a pottery class! There was also plenty for us to see. Costa Rica must be where all of nature decided to get together to display itself in full glory. We saw mountains, went hiking, went to several beaches and enjoyed the local festivals. The only complaint I have about this place is we had to leave eventually. I would highly recommend Pura Vida and Jorge and Stephanie to any one who is looking to take a business trip or who is planning a family get away. I will certainly be returning as soon as possible.
We had a great time on our trip to the Pura Vida house. As someone who likes to play a lot of golf, I was very happy with the entire trip. We played the Hacienda Pinilla Resort Ocean course which was in great shape and was very fun to play. It was a nice mix of fun and challenging holes, and helped make this a great vacation. Jorge and Stephanie were the icing on the cake, they are truly great hosts with great energy!
Spent a very fun week with my wife and friends of ours at the Pura Vida House with Jorge and Stephanie Morera as our hosts and guides. They were great, very friendly, and know Guanacaste well; they took us to all the popular spots, but also the places and beaches that are off the beaten path. The whole town knows them so you feel like a local. This is truly an authentic vacation, we have never experienced this before, being part of the community and being welcomed by everyone the way we were, fantastic.
Highly recommend this vacation for anyone who wishes to be immersed in the Costa Rican culture, while experiencing a bunch of fun ecotourism activities/adventures.
Thanks Jorge and Stephanie for a truly unique and unforgettable week, we all hope to come back again soon!