This week is Semana Santa (AKA Spring Break or Easter) which means a lot of businesses will be closed and everyone is heading to the beach. So for the first few days, a few friends and I decided to avoid the crowds where we live and took off to the mountains to La Carolina Lodge, near Tenorio Volcano.
The Tenorio area is most famous for its blue river, Rio Celeste. But while we were less than 30 minutes from the Park, for various reasons (one of which I’ll write about in another post), we decided just to stay at the Lodge and experience the wonder of this beautiful paradise.
At La Carolina, there are 170 acres of open land and forest to explore and enjoy. They have no internet service and no cell service (except for in a few random places like out in the middle of a field that I found while horseback riding). The lodge itself is made up of a main ranch house as well as several private cabins. There is a river running next to the property and a small pond area that you can enjoy (although the water is quite cold). They have a man-made hot tub, made from large rocks, that they empty and fill up every day. The hot tub is heated by a wood burning stove (all wood used on the property comes from either fallen trees or a nearby teak farm’s scraps). Meals are prepared in the open air kitchen and served family style. All food is typical Costa Rican. And in the evenings, no electricity is used. Candles are lit on the dinner tables and around the property.
All activities at the hotel, including horseback riding, are included with the rates. The horses are well taken care of, well-fed and super gentle. It was a beautiful ride through plantations, open fields and jungle areas. They also have a lake that you can visit and many hiking areas around the property.
But probably the most fun I had was photographing the birds. The staff places fruit out in one of the open areas next to the dining area and I was amazed at all that I saw in less than 48 hours. Everything from colorful tanagers to toucans and oropendolas visited and hung out in the nearby trees.
Albeit only 2.5 hours away, the weather in Tenorio is different from where I live in Guanacaste. They experience the Caribbean climate patterns and so their wet season is often December – February. While we were there, we had foggy mornings and sunny afternoons. It was refreshing to have cooler temperatures after several days of hot and dry air in Tamarindo.
My friends have been coming to La Carolina for over 10 years, at least annually if not more often, and that says a lot about the owners, the ranch and the experience. I will definitely return, probably sooner than later. On our way home, we stopped at Lola’s in Avellanas for a delicious meal and the perfect ending to this little mini-vacation.
Enjoy the slideshow…