We travelled to Nosara, in the "Blue Zone" of Costa Rica! There are only 5 "Blue Zones" in the whole world! A "Blue Zone" is a region, where people live longer than average. Hundred years of age is nothing exceptional within the "Blue Zone". That explains why the locals say "Pura Vida!" when greeting each other. ("Pura Vida" from Spanish translates to "Pure Life".)
Which regions belong to the "Blue Zones"?
There are 5 Blue Zones in the world:
- Okinawa (Japan)
- Sardinia (Italy)
- Icaria (Greece)
- Loma Linda (California)
- Nicoya Peninsula (Costa Rica)
- Surfers who seek luxury and comfort during their stay. The beach in Nosara is one of the best for surfers, also very good for beginners. The hotel has its own surf school. It's 3 - 5 minutes walk to the beach.
- Yoga enthusiasts who want to live in peace and quiet surrounded by nature. The hotel is located in the jungle and has a yoga hall in the countryside with everything you need for yoga.
Olas Verdes is also a great choice for families with children! Christmas season is particularly enjoyable at Olas Verdes for families.
If you want to have it particularly quiet, then you should travel to this coast in the off-season between May and November. It's green, fresh and there are way less tourists. The mango season starts in March and lasts till June!
What fruits are there in Costa Rica?
Actually everything that grows in the tropics:
Peji ball (palm fruit)
Platanos (look like big bananas but taste more like sweet potatoes). After frying, they become sweet!
and much more! The selection of fruit was terrific in Costa Rica! (The month of May)
Travelling in low season?
Travelling in low season has lots of advantages you can't miss:
- Beaches where in high season tourists lie back to back like sardines, then belong only to you!
- Top sights / attractions - only (or almost) for you alone.
- Prices - up to 4 times lower! No matter how big or small your travel budget is, you will simply get 2 - 4 times more bang for your buck! This applies to flights, accommodation, activities, even food.
- Tropical countries are so charming and so green in the rainy season! Everything shines, the air is fresh and nature is blooming!
Of course I'm not saying that you should only travel during the rainy season because it will get boring with time. But you shouldn't be afraid of it and experience also.
It's more relaxing because the environment is way quieter. No parties, no noise and no screaming neighbours. Perfect for reading, studying, working, meditating, relaxing, for Ayurveda and other treatments or retreats.
Olas Verdes is the first hotel in Costa Rica to receive a Platinum LEED certificate! And the 2nd in the entire world! LEED is an international certification system for especially sustainable and ecologically constructed buildings. Many criteria were important: energy consumption, the use of sustainable and recycled building materials, the overall CO2 balance. It is very significant for the owners and the management of Olas Verdes to support the community in Nosara. That's why 90 percent of all employees come from the local community, born and raised here in the region.
Translated from Spanish, Olas Verdes means "Green Waves". A "green wave", in surfer's language, is an unbroken wave, which is particularly pleasant for surfing. Connected to this hotel, the name Olas Verdes has also another meaning - "Green Waves" stands for sustainability and a careful touch of the local flora and fauna.
Photo: It was really challenging to photograph the hotel building behind all the trees! You can hardly see any of the houses, everything is covered up in green!
The hotel is almost 100 percent incorporated into the rainforest. The roofs are built around the trees. A maximum of 5 - 6 trees were cut down for the construction of the hotel.
And more than 300 new trees planted!
"We saw the difference straight away," manager Luis told me. "Particularly with the bird population! From just a few bird species to a lot more started to nest in the region! Birds that we had never seen before, suddenly came to us. Even the parrots we didn't know lived here! We also bought plants that were endangered with extinction. We got bees for better pollination of the plants. And these plants, which were so rare before, have now spread even in the forest outside of our hotel property, and that's great!"
Photo: The roof was built around the tree stem.
Photo: This giant tree grows into the restaurant and here, as well, the roof has been lovingly built around the tree.
From time to time black monkeys sat in front of our window and beautiful green lizards climbed around. Safari directly from the sofa. Of course, that's not all that Olas Verdes has to offer in terms of animals. There are small raccoons, porcupines, many species of bats, armadillos, margays and ocelots.
Photo: The reception of Olas Verdes
Did you know? Five fascinating facts about bats
- Bats have lived on earth for over 50 million years
- Bats get quite old for their small body size - they live up to 30 years
- Bats sleep head down. This trick is to protect them from enemies
- Bats sleep for up to 5 months in winter
- Bats can eat up to a thousand mosquitoes in one night
In Olas Verdes, the rainwater is collected and used (for the laundry for example), so the total water use is very low compared to other properties of this size.
Photo: Our suite, the living room. Anna is watching monkeys in the tree just outside our window.
Photo: Another certificate for Olas Verdes
Photo: On the way to a Yoga session!
It is not only nice to live in Olas Verdes, but it is also very good to know that the people behind the project take the nature, and local flora and fauna seriously and give a lot of thought to the footprints they leave behind.
The Hotel has their own Restaurant "El Manglar" (Mangrove, translated from Spanish). In " El Manglar" daily breakfast is served. Organic ingredients, everything fresh and made with love. Here you can see the whole menu. The restaurant is popular in Nosara and has excellent reviews. Here in Google and also in Tripadvisor.
Photo: Vegetarian burritos for breakfast. The breakfast menu has 10 options, we tried all vegetarian dishes and enjoyed them all.
Photo: In the "El Manglar" restaurant. During some evenings there is a live music.
Most of the roads in Nosara are not paved and the streets are not suitable for walks in high-heels. A 4x4 car or a motorbike is the best way to drive around, especially in the rainy season. Or the sporty version, with a bike, like we did. The bicycles are included in the Olas Verdes for guests to use.
I always try to talk to the local people so I can tell you first-hand stories. This hotel was built by a family of surfers from the USA. I spoke to the owner Kerry and the manager Luis. We both learn something new every day! Luis the hotel manager told me so much about the nature in Nosara. For example, I didn't know that tropical plants are so clever! They don't grow in the dry season! No matter how much water you give them. They stay green but don't grow an inch! They stand there as if "preserved" and wait for the "right water", the rain! They don't really seem to trust us, humans. They are only growing, when the water comes from the sky and not from the jug!
How to get to Nosara by public transport?
There is a direct bus from San Jose to Nosara. Alternatively, you can drive to Puntarenas and from there take another bus to Nosara. If the bus is too boring for you, you can take a ferry to Cabo Blanco in Puntarenas. And further by bus. Plan a whole day for the route.