Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

You’ve been stuck inside, staring at the same walls day after day. Fresh air means running outside to grab lunch. Exercise, if at all, has been limited to a treadmill. It’s time to trade the buzz of your cell phone and the glow of your computer screen for the calls of howler monkeys and a starry sky. Your commute will be walking down a path to the beach. And your dinner will caught daily. Destination: Santa Teresa.

Photo: Latitude 10
Photo: Latitude 10

On the south tip of Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula, you’ll find Latitude 10, the exact opposite of what you’ve been cooped up in. There are no windows–or even locks–on the almond-wood casitas. Just open-sky bathrooms, and a porch with a hammock and ocean views. Coconuts filled with sand and tea lights are lit at night. Yoga classes begin when the sun rises in the morning. Breakfast burritos and Costa Rican coffee provide an energy boost for the day’s activities. This is not an idle vacation.

Santa Teresa was originally a sleepy Pacific fishing village. Then surfers discovered the swells and miles of deserted beaches. As the roads improved, people began exploring the dramatic landscape where the mountains seem to tumble into the ocean. Learn how to surf. Or stand up paddle board. Sea kayak in the Curu Wildlife Reserve. Go deep-sea fishing for wahoo and tuna. Snorkel at Isla Tortuga. Exhausted yet? Go horseback riding on Playa Carmen. Hike the Montezuma waterfalls. And zip line through the Malpais canopy.

Photo: Latitude 10
Photo: Latitude 10

By the time you return to Latitude 10, your muscles will ache for a holistic massage. Have an Imperial beer by the pool as the sun starts to go down. Mahi-mahi is being prepared. Make plans for the next day. Maybe explore Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve. Go boogie boarding. Or have a picnic on Playa Hermosa, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It’s going to be very difficult to return home. No wonder there are so many expats here. Hmmm…

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