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Costa Rica still winning top tourism honors.

Costa Rica nabbed 12 out of 25 spots forTop 25 Destinations in Central America in the 2012 Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice Awards.The internationally renowned travel web

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Exploring the little-known gems of Costa Rica’s national parks and reserves leads me to the very tip of Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula, to Cabo Blanco.

The Cabo Blanco Park is the clearest

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The star chef and the hotel’s Shambala Restaurant were featured in a key article in the March 2012 edition of Costa Rica’s important cuisine magazine “Sabores.” Like an artist with a blank canvas, Siles skillfully creates gourmet art fusing flavors from different cultures into delicious, fresh and healthy dishes that tantalize your taste buds. Shambala’s specialized menu is geared toward Hotel Tropico Latino’s international guests and the active, healthy lifestyle that the hotel promotes with its yoga and surf retreats and classes, and natural spa.

There is a unique mix of completely organic vegetarian dishes and high quality local meats and fish.Educated at ACAM University in Costa Rica, Siles credits his real training to working with Michelin 2-star chef Richard Neat at Park Café in the San Jose neighborhood of Sabana Norte. The British chef is owner of the exquisite fine dining restaurant, a not-to-be-missed experience when visiting San Jose. He is influences India Asia with touches from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Japan, and Costa Rica Cultures . Perhaps best known for his fish dishes, he uses locally caught fish like tuna, snapper, sea bass, Mahi Mahi and “congrio,” taken right from the Pacific Ocean by the neighborhood Santa Teresa fishermen. One of Siles’ signature plates is “Tuna Tataki,” serving seared tuna with eggplant “baba ghanoush” and tempura jumbo shrimp with a sauce of soy, ginger, mint, lemongrass, honey and oysters.


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Santa Teresa beach has become a very popular place during the past years.  As it has been mentioned several times, beautiful beaches, great surf conditions, wide variety of yoga services, tropical gardens and nice vibe make it a favorite among the off the beaten path destinations.
Santa Teresa Beach

Even though, the trip to this area is quite long, after all, truly worths the time. The options to visit Santa Teresa beach are varied, and could take from 45 minutes to 6 hours depending on the transportation used.

Santa Teresa beach is located 150 Km west of San Jose, in the Nicoya Peninsula, part of Puntarenas province. Here a list of the options available to visit this unique beach town, using San Jose as the start point:

  • Car: The fastest way to reach Santa Teresa by car is using Route 27, which will take you to Puntarenas downtown in around one hour, depending on traffic and weather conditions. At the very end of Puntarenas town you can find the Ferry Station, here you need to buy the tickets for the next ferry to Paquera and make the line to get into it. Depending on the time of the year the schedules vary, however is always advisable to plan your time base of the ferry hours. The ride in ferry is very nice and it takes around 45 minutes. After getting off the ferry, you have to follow the road down to Cobano and then head the crossroads at Playa Carmen, to the right you will reach Santa Teresa, to the left is Mal País. The total time could be around 4 hours. Here is the ferry schedule and rates.
  • Domestic Flight: The easiest and convenient way to reach Santa Teresa is by air. If this option fits your budget you can book a flight to Tambor, SANSA and Nature Air are the two airlines operating flights to the area. From Tambor, you will have to either rent a car or take a taxi, or in case you are staying in a hotel in Santa Teresa, most of them will give you the transfer service for a fee. It can take around one hour and 30 minutes total time, the flight is just half hour and the ride from Tambor could take between 45 minutes and one hour. Check on Nature Air and SANSA schedules. Airfares vary depending on the time of the year.
  • Public Transportation: Two direct buses depart from San Jose and Santa Teresa every day, one at 6 am and one at 2 pm. ¨Transportes Hnos Rodríguez¨ runs the service, which already includes in the fare the cost of the ferry ticket. The price per person is approximately $12.00. The journey takes 6 hours in total and the bus terminal is located in ¨La Coca Cola¨ in San Jose downtown. Another option using public transportation is taking buses going to Puntarenas, once in there take the ferry to Paquera and then take the bus from Cobano to Malpaís/Santa Teresa, which runs twice a day at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The bus company can be reach at ph: (506) 22217479.
  • Shuttle:  Daily shuttle services have specific departure times from San Jose to Santa Teresa beach. The rates are usually per person per way, the price is around $50.00. Interbus is one of the companies offering this service, it runs one shuttle to/from Santa Teresa at 9 am. Total time is around 4-5 hours.

As you can see, the options to reach Santa Teresa beach are wide and satisfy all tastes and budgets, giving one more reason to visit it and start enjoying a stay in one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world.

One last tip; check on this excellent lodging choice for your stay in Santa Teresa Beach: Hotel Tropico Latino.  The hotel is located right on the beach, being easily reachable with any of the above options. Facing the ocean, offering yoga classes and retreats right in front of it, a Mediterranean cuisine restaurant and very cozy rooms, this hotel combines the necessary elements for an unforgettable vacation in Santa Teresa beach.

By Maricel/Hotel Tropico Latino


Santa Teresa Costa Rica Yoga Retreat.

Last time on the article Body and Mind in balance: Yoga! I had the chance to highlight the number of benefits yoga can bring to our lives and how wonderful is to combine it with a perfect vacation in a secluded paradise beach in Costa Rica as it is Santa Teresa.

Santa Teresa beach offers the perfect settings to practice this discipline; this might be the reason why many of the resorts and hotels are getting specialized in bringing options to this kind of guests.
Yoga retreats are usually thought on behalf of the purification, healing and relaxation of the people who get immersed into it. These retreats are based on different categories of yoga, creating objectives and planning steps to follow during the days of the retreat.

Let´s take as example the two latest additions of Hotel Tropico Latino, one of hotels offering yoga retreats in Santa Teresa beach. The first one was named Tantra Vinyasa Yoga & Adventure Retreat; basing it on two types of yoga, Tantra and Vinyasa.

Tantra Yoga is India's Secret Science that seeks for the connection between the 7 chackras (energy centers) and the 5 nature elements through its postures; helping the yogi to access the infinite universal energy, taking it to the core of its frustrations, fears and anxiety, allowing the person to control and direct the energy in the energetic body through the physical body. On the other hand, the Vinyasa Yoga practice is a profound breath to body linking mechanism that helps the yogi to trust its body, creating a closer connection and leaving a feeling of strength and control in the body.

The objective is to blend the elements of these yoga types to leave a renewed sense of deep self-knowing and newfound positive thoughts to improve the weaknesses of the yogi life. This first retreat combines intensive yoga practice, surf lessons, healthy diet, spa treatments, relaxation and fun at the beach surrounded by tropical lush gardens and wildlife.

The second example is the Restorative Vinyasa Yoga & Adventure Retreat. In this case, the combination comes with Vinyasa and Restorative Yoga, along with the Chakras. Restorative yoga can be described as a supported, conscious body/mind relaxation practice, offering benefits to both body and mind. Done in sequence, a restorative yoga practice will bring your body into a deeply relaxed state allowing your mind to become quiet and reflective.

The practice of Vinyasa yoga during the mornings and Restorative yoga in the evenings mixed with the focus of a new chakra every day, during both classes; can help the yogi to receive all the benefits from the three global concepts.  The retreat combines the same activities than the first one, only changing the objectives and steps to approach the healing and relaxation the yogi is looking for.

Combining a group of elements in one place can make you live an unforgettable experience and this is exactly what a yoga retreat in Santa Teresa can give you. The practice of yoga, developing new skills on surfing, nature and wildlife surrounding you all the time, warm weather and one of the most privileged beach locations in the world, along with the feeling of positive healing energy and the once lost perfect balance of body, mind and soul. All these elements become the perfect blend for one memorable healing getaway.

By Maricel - Taken from Enchanting Costa Rica


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