10 Tips for Staying at Latitude 10 – Costa Rica
by John Wilson
My wife and I were fortunate enough to win a trip to Costa Rica to a resort called Latitude 10. We had a wonderful time hanging out at the resort, relaxing and adventuring into the surrounding area. Latitude 10 describes themselves as follows:
It was designed to be small with beautifully arranged private casitas, so that guests may purchase the whole resort and enjoy with friends or families, and individual guests and couples can come knowing that they will feel like they have their own room on the beach with every amenity they could wish for, close at hand. Set on natural gardens, the whole eco-resort was created around the principles of sustainability so that you can enjoy this level of luxury while knowing the surrounding wildlife and nature is being protected. No trees were cut down to build Latitude 10 and we will be happy to show you our sustainable initiatives that guide our operations.
I would sum it up as “luxury camping.” Your casita is completely open to the elements and hidden from the other casitas. The shower and toilet are outdoors (which is pretty nice once you get used to it). They clean your room twice a day including setting up your mosquito net and lighting candles at night. There is a fridge in the room and a nice couch to relax on.
But… you are definitely outside. At night they close panels to keep the elements out, but you are still very close to nature.
Here are 10 tips for enjoying your stay at the Latitude 10 Resort:
- Fans – This is the most important tip. As soon as you book your trip, request a fan for the duration of your stay. Our trip was really divided in to two parts – the nights we slept and the nights we didn’t. Costa Rica is hot. It’s also very humid. The fans on the ceilings of the master casita we stayed in did nothing to move the air. Once we got the bed-side fan (they only have a few) it was 100 percent different.
- Itinerary and the beaches – The folks at Latitude 10 are great about staying on top of your activities during your stay. Lean on them to help you find plenty of things to do. They were always prompt at returning my emails before I went and kept us on schedule while we were there. Also, you can’t really swim on the beaches at the resort (see rocky shore pictures below). At high tide it looks harmless enough, but at low tide you can see why it is so dangerous. Make sure you talk to the Latitude 10 folks about where you can go to safely swim or surf.
- Internet Access – There is very spotty Internet access at Latitude 10. They told me they are improving it soon, but currently they share access with the resort next door. Bad Internet access is actually a bonus, allowing you to enjoy your vacation by sucking up nature, rather than surfing Facebook. If you do need the Internet, the best access in the area is at a cafe called “The Bakery” in town. Latitude 10 offers safes in the room, and my 17 inch laptop easily fit.
- Look out for flying fruit and lizards There are really funny red squirrels who hang out in the trees near the “clubhouse.” They like to take the fruit/nuts off the trees and throw them down at the people hanging around the pool. Also, were tons of lizards all over the resort and throughout Costa Rica. I ventured around the resort taking lizard photos and put a few of my favorites below.
- Order a “Pina” – One of the gentleman who worked the bar/restaurant made awesome pineapple smoothies. I had one or two a day, a great way to relax by the pool (pictured below).
- Get up early – The best pictures come of the resort and the surrounding area happen during the “golden hour” (an hour after sunrise). As the day goes on, the air becomes very steamy and sight-seeing and photography becomes much harder (not to mention that it gets very hot). If you get up early enough you may see these funny little orange and purple crabs (picture below). During the time we were there it was egg laying season. You can see in the picture all of the eggs this crab was ready to hide in the sand.
- Bring mosquito sting relief – The resort provides natural/organic bug spray and sunscreen. Unfortunately, the bug spray didn’t work too well for Amanda and she ended up spotted like a Dalmatian. Be sure to bring some sort of lotion to combat the bites you do get.
- Bring several good books – Amanda and I typically run all over the place when we are on vacation. Now that Parker is around, I’m sure we’ll spend much of our vacation time bouncing between zoos, aquariums and amusement parks (all good by me). This vacation was different. We spent the majority of our time sitting on the beach, swimming in the pool and generally relaxing. There isn’t a ton to do in the area if you don’t like surfing, so take advantage of the quiet time to kick back.
- Rent an ATV – Amanda and I had a great time driving from the resort to Santa Teresa and then around the horn to Montezuma. This is a scenic route on mostly dirt roads (all of the roads in this area of Costa Rica are dirt and poorly maintained). From Montezuma to Mal Pais you can either go back the way you came or take this very adventurous road with tons of very steep roads and treacherous drop-offs. This route is NOT for the feint of heart, but is fun if you want an adventure.
- Eat at Koji’s – This was easily the best restaurant we visited in Costa Rica and probably the best sushi I’ve ever had. Order the “Koji Roll.”
The last “tip” would be to get to know the people who work there. They are all very nice, speak clear English and can tell you all about this fascinating section of the world.
Latitude 10 was a great resort to relax – I 100 percent recommend it. Check back later for more posts about our experience in Costa Rica.
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