I am sitting typing this with a huge screened laptop I have been able to borrow, in the open air clubhouse which over looks the gorgeous emerald green tiled pool (that is completely chemical free too!) where I can hear and see the waves crashing on the sand. The water is only about 40 meters from me.
It’s the most perfect blue sky day and with the soft breeze flowing over me, it’s safe to feel like I am in paradise!
I arrived here yesterday afternoon with a day that consisted of 2 Nature Air flights and two private transfers (cars that take you to the Plane and to the location)
Flying with Nature Air, Costa Rica’s (and the world’s) only Carbon Neutral airline which is a highly enjoyable way to travel!
The planes are so cute to look at, they are mostly white with colourful flowers on them and are renowned for being on time and super safe and quick.
I had to fly from Quepos to San Jose then San Jose to Tambor with the last flight being the most beautiful as we flew over the ocean. Both flights took 25 minutes each.
Latitude 10, is about 1 hours drive from Tambor aiport.
Again, it is surreal being in a new place, not too far from the last one but with the scenery so quite different.
This time, I am somewhere that is very dry. The roads were dusty, rocky and reminded me of back home in Queensland The fields were a lot drier and looked like they could do with a lot of rain.
On the Nicoya Penninsula, it is a much drier climate compared to the rest of Costa Rica.
It’s just amazing how there are so many micro climates in such a small area. The bio-diversity of Costa Rica is just incredible.
I feel like its a Nature Lover’s Disneyland which so much to see and do! I love how you can travel so easily and quickly and be somewhere totally different in the space of a few short hours. This is why Costa Rica is much loved. You can spend a week here and see so many different places, rather than needing to tour a country for several weeks or months and spend a boat load of cash to see it all.
I have been looking forward to coming to Latitude 10 a lot because I loved how intimate the setting is and that its right on the beach, making it feel very exclusive and private.
It is a small hideaway, tucked not too far from the beach and surrounded by lush jungle which has many monkeys in the trees.
I was so excited to see that as soon as I arrived there was a family of Titi monkeys above the clubhouse so I was able to get a good look at them. Oh my! so so cute! There were baby ones as well and all looked as if they were having a great time swinging from tree to tree. These monkeys are said to never come out of the trees and don’t touch the ground. They stay in the trees for all of their lives!
I arrived at Latitude 10 and met the manager Silvana who is just lovely and last night we spent a few hours chatting about Sustainable hotels. Silvana told me that Latitude 10 has actually won a few prestigious awards for it’s green efforts! Travel Leisure and Conde Nast gave them the awards no less!
You know, I have been living in a bit of a bubble throughout my trip. I have stayed at such great places that all practice true sustainability and do not do what they call ‘green washing’ This is a term that is used for companies (hotels) that say they are green for the marketing purposes, rather than truly carry out proper sustainable practices.
Silvana told me stories about hotels that say they are green when in fact they have caused some major damage to the wildlife and landscape! Some developers have been so sneaky that they come in at night and mow down trees! It has become such a problem in the area of the Osa Penninsula (where I am going this Saturday), that many animal species are trapped in an area and now cannot move because the forest has been chopped down!
view from shower
Also, what is disappointing to hear is that where I am right now, Santa Teresa is not known for employing locals. So lots of the cafes, restuarants and shops are full of foreigners, who are taking jobs away from the locals. Not cool is it!
Latitude 10 however, employ an entirely local staff, from the management, to the chef, to the cleaners and the grounds men (who also help to keep the beach out in front super tidy and clean).
They also have a program in place that looks after the local school who does not get any assistance from the government. The school and it’s children, suffer from the lack of building materials, school supplies and uniforms.
Latitude 10, and the help of guests, donate money to buy things and are in charge of what is actually purchased so they can give the school things, in order of importance. This I think is great! Rather than just giving money to someone else, they are able to work out what the school really needs. And guests are guaranteed that the money really does go where they are told too.
The accommodation at Latitude 10 is just stunning!
There are five casitas (villas) that you can choose from. I have been put up in their main villa called and it is tucked away to the right of the main club house where we have breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails.
The design of the villas were built to let as much light and air in as possible and is really ‘open air living’. There are wooden folded doors that are opened during the day to let the breeze flow through and at night, the turn down service includes the staff closing everything up, letting the blinds drop and candles and incense are lit in the room, creating a very romantic soft glow.
The main feature of the sleeping area is of course the bed! It’s a huge four poster carved wooden bed and has a very elegant mosquito net that makes the room look even more romantic, whilst keeping bugs at bay.
I have already had one night here and I must say it was super comfortable. I didnt see any pesky bugs try and get in and the netting makes you feel very protected and I feel adds to a good nights sleep. Listening to the waves crashing not to far away, also makes sleep much easier!
I woke up super early today and pulled the blinds up to the let the light in.
The room also has a hammock on the veranda which is perfect for an afternoon with a really good book (there is a bookcase here in case you have forgotten to bring a book).
To the right of the villa there is a sitting area with a very comfortable couch and the room is decorated with wood carvings and vases.
It really is stunning and I think has an Indian Maharaja theme to it.
The bed and the sitting area is gorgeous in itself, but another amazing feature of this hotel is the outdoor bathrooms!
Both the toilet, the basin and mirror and shower are completely outside! So when you are on the toilet, you can look up into the jungle and same when you have a shower!
It is absolutely amazing! At first you might think wow, who else can see me, but they have designed them so that its completely private. Although, if there happens to be a monkey up above, they can see you but that’s about it!
You may feel a little bit unnerved at first but thats because we are used to going into bathrooms with walls and roofs that we can shut!
Once you get used to it, you will absolutely love it. Being here has given me some great ideas for my dream house one day.
Some people may find this open living space quite confronting but when one comes to Costa Rica, you have to be a bit more open minded that being immersed in nature is totally what this country is all about!
Latitude 10 is a super romantic place, so couples would absolutely love this. For really active people who like a bit of action, then I don’t think you would really enjoy it here but for people that just want tor relax, then you will love it here!
The staff are so lovely as well, and after a few days stay, you will know them all really well and may even be sad to leave them.
What I am realising more and more is that the staff really make your trip enjoyable. And, when you know that they are happy working where they are, then it shows through in their work.
Many hotels abuse the staff in that they work them too hard and pay them next to nothing. Costa Rica, is not perfect in that everyone is treated well – it’s got it’s good side and down side too. I just want to encourage everyone to choose truly sustainable and green hotels (of which there are many!) as it helps the locals and the surrounding environment so much.
We have so much power with where we spend our money, so don’t give more money to the expensive chains that make so much profit and pay people hardly anything!
And, staying in a green hotel or resort makes you feel that it’s ok to relax and do nothing as you are helping people live better lives!
Included in the nightly rate is a delicious breakfast where a menu is offered.
I had their fruit salad with a bit of raw honey and it was absolutely delicious. Beautifully cut into cubes and presented in a one sided sloped white bowl. There is a menu as well that has the traditional Gallo Pinto (rice and beans) which you can have with eggs or without.
There was also pancakes and tortillas, french toast and a few other things.
I chose the fruit salad as I feel that is the best way to start the day.
Dinner is not served here every night but they offer a dinner menu about 3 times a week. Guests can get other restaurants food delivered here, or you walk up the beach to visit another hotel. Santa Teresa town is about 10 minutes in a taxi from here and costs US $20 there and back.
On top of the clubhouse there is a treatment room where they offer guests massages such as remedial and hot stone massages. I want to get one but I don’t think the staff are here at the moment.
One of the massueses is so good that she also happens to have a client that is a supermodel (can’t mention names sorry!) who lives near by. Hmmm, maybe I don’t want a massage now, if she has been massaging a super models butt, then I don’t want her looking at mine!
A yoga teacher is available for private lessons as well if you put in a request. But, if you prefer to do your own yoga, then there are plenty of places to put your mat down and do a few asanas. I think where the bathroom is, is ideal because it has a stone floor and looks up into the jungle!
Latitude 10 is a very quiet place, with only 5 villas, you get plenty of time on your own and you don’t have to worry about wearing any makeup or that kind of stuff.
You can also get our laundry done here so for a traveler like me who has been carrying the same stuff around for weeks, it is a godsend! I gave the ladies a whole pile of stuff 2 hours ago and I just saw that its already been done and on the way back to my villa, ready to be worn (and made dirty again!).
The beach out the front of the resort is like no other I have ever seen. It is stunningly beautiful. The reason why it’s different is that there are large rocky areas. Beautiful to look at and a photographers dream, but, not for swimmers.
It is not safe to swim just off this beach due to the rocks, but about 15 minutes walk to the right or the left, the beaches become rock free and are perfect for swimming and surfing.
The rocks here at low tide, create gorgeous pools to sit in so you still can get in the ocean and faff about but I think these rock pools actually add something extra special to the experience here.
I saw the sunset last night and it was breathtaking!
Santa Teresa is known for its magnificent sunsets and I am looking forward to another one tonight!
There are many tours to do nearby as well, you can go and visit the local national park and do things like Ziplining, kayaking, boat trips plus many more!
I have actually really enjoyed doing not a whole lot! I have been reading, lying on the beach, exploring the rocks, swimming in the pool and watching the sun set!
I have two more nights here and I know I will be sad to leave! I really like quiet places where you can just chill out, relax and enjoy being so close to nature!
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