On March 17, I related the story of having to leave the first hotel in this area after dark with nowhere to go–see first post on driving on your own. It was not until I awakened the next morning, dressed, and went in search of coffee, that I realized just how lucky we were. I left my daughter and grandson asleep and ventured toward the restaurant indicated by a small sign. I had not walked far when this scene greeted my eyes.
Horses right by the beach. Perhaps these were the horses one could ride–I had just seen a sign indicating horse back riding was available. Then I walked a bit further and these scenes welcomed me.
Except for the two dogs you can see here, no one was at the beach. The tranquility amazed me.
I walked back inside the restaurant–here I am standing at its edging looking toward the beach–ordered cafe con leche and luxuriated in our incredibly good karma. This place exceeded all expectations considering our experience the previous night.
This photo was taken from the beach looking back at the restaurant. Except in colder areas like San Jose and Monteverde, I never saw or ate in any enclosed restaurants. Even the fanciest are open air like this one. Hotel Playa Negra is the only hotel near Playa Negra next to the beach. It is a quiet, peaceful place with yoga, horse back riding, surf boarding lessons–the surf here is for beginners. The restaurant serves a wide variety of food, but since I especially like the typical cuisine, it seemed perfect–more gallo pinto, platanos fritos, cafe con leche.
Rio Perdido is both the name of a hotel and a river. We stayed several days here in the middle of a reserve in the dry tropical forest (definitely not a rain forest) about 1 1/2 hours from Liberia. The hotel gets all its electricity from the Miravalles Geothermal Power Plant which we actually passed on our way to the cacao plantation (see the last two Costa Rican posts). They use their own water and do not chlorinate it. The name comes from a river which flows through the reserve. Their goal includes protection of the forest and sustainability.
Rio Perdido itself is a hot springs river.
We hiked up and down small cliffs on the river sides to get here.
This river is famous for its volcanic mud. To obtain its benefits those who wanted dug the mud from the bottom of the river and painted it on faces, arms, etc. with the provided brushes. Here one of the group paints mud on the guide’s face and neck. Some attached leaves above their ears.
I wandered on another path down river to watch for wildlife and take photos.
The reserve contains numerous hiking and bike trails some of which are as long as six or more miles. This bridge crosses the river and leads to several hiking trails. The main building in the background houses a reception area, restaurant, bar, spa and gift shop with three swimming pools. They provide bicycles for those who want to try the trails, some of which are quite long and difficult. Rooms are separate cabins scattered throughout the forest. A shuttle provides transportation from cabins to the main area for those who choose not to walk. The staff is welcoming, chatty, and creative. When the staff cleaned our room, made beds, etc, we came back to find my grandson’s stuffed sloth sitting on his pillow, reading a book. For those who want to relax, escape the world, this provides a perfect place.