Costa Rica

WHY I FELL IN LOVE WITH MONTEVERDE, COSTA RICA AT HOTEL BELMAR

Hotel Belmar

As soon as you enter Monteverde you can feel the difference of crisp-air and cooler temperatures.

Inhale deeply. Exhale fully. 

You’ve arrived at a nature lover’s paradise.

Monteverde

Ultimate relaxation awaits you between the cloud forest trees with complimentary yoga classes, an organic juice bar, and an incredible dining experience with a divine view. These luxuries are only a portion of what you can expect during a stay at family owned and community focused - Hotel Belmar

Located in the heart of Monteverde, the Belmar property offers an array of sacred spaces for you and yours - making this by far one of the most beautiful hotels that I have ever seen!

You can warm up in the jacuzzi, or head down to their garden and natural spring water lake - where along the way they have their own micro-brewery.

Sidenote: I don’t drink, but even I was intrigued by their menu of flavors! Cheers mates!

Then if you head uphill you will find their greenhouse garden where they nurture many organic herbs and plants, which they then share with you through their Farm to Table philosophy. The garden is also home to their composting efforts which are part of their highly admired sustainability efforts. 

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No matter where you may be on the property, you will undoubtedly pick up on the spiritual vibration of the hotel.

To enhance their natural essence, they offer a morning and afternoon yoga class every day along with delectable organic superfood juices such as - the Green Extreme - a mix of pineapple, orange, banana, lemongrass, spirulina, turmeric, and celery.

Can you say Power Smoothie?!

If you enjoy more of a sweeter sensation, consider their Shaman smoothie - delicious banana, cacao, chia seeds, almond milk, goji berries, maca, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Hotel_Belmar_Juice

I’m drooling just thinking about these again!

Not only did Hotel Belmar win my tastebuds over, but it also won the key to my heart. Literally, your hotel room key comes with a wooden heart (carved by their team as a cut-out of their fences). Nice touch Belmar, nice touch.

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Truly though, they also won my heart through their dedication to the environment and their community. If these aspects mean as much to you as they do to me, you are surely to appreciate the rest of what I have to share.

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Hotel Belmar is a leader in levels of sustainability. Through many of their innovative practices, they ensure countless Go Green / Conscious Living efforts such as the presence of solar panels, biodigesters, a greenhouse garden, compost, and recycling systems - just to name a few.

These practices are a genuine reflection of the Belmar family’s respect for environment and community.

To help share this love and awareness with members of their town, they host different events each month such as teaching how to compost, donation drives to collect school supplies for local children, and organizing a deforestation program where people can spend the afternoon planting trees. How sweet is all of this?! Also, the Mrs. of the Belmar family cofounded two schools in Monteverde expanding opportunities for education to the youth. 

It is details such as these that really help you to feel good about where you are staying and who you are supporting with your decision to do so. 

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In return, they go above and beyond to make sure that all of their guests needs are met!

You are welcomed at the door with a warm oil-infused towel along with fresh juice. One of their friendly staff members then gives you a brief introduction about the hotel and area. They can suggest tours which we appreciated as they led us to Curi Cancha Reserve, which we loved! Then they hand over that key to your heart... I mean, room ;) and guide you to the space you get to call home for your time of stay. They have a variety of room types each providing an incredible view! 

Inside your room you can find organic beauty products such as shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion made specifically for Belmar guests using sustainable materials and organic ingredients. Another very nice touch Belmar. 

Every detail from beginning to end of this hotel was immaculate. Monteverde became my favorite place during our stay in Costa Rica. If you are traveling to this wonderful destination, make sure to consider Hotel Belmar as your space of stay. You will be SO happy that you did! 

Pura Vida and Namaste! 

Budget Traveler's Paradise at Room 2 Board - Jaco, Costa Rica

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You wake up along the beach and can hear the waves crashing along the shore. The breeze brushes upon your sun-kissed skin as the palm trees sway. Morning yoga classes will have you finishing with a heart-felt Namaste. 

A getaway at Room2Board will certainly deliver more than you even bargain for. Listed as a hostel, it actually provides the ambiance of a hotel with the option of shared rooms for budget travelers, and private rooms for those desiring a more exclusive experience. It’s a newly constructed building which is very well maintained, with the cleanliest of rooms and bathrooms for your comfort. 

Room2Board_Jaco

The 1st floor hosts their check-in area with an in-house restaurant and bar right by the pool so you can lounge and enjoy your favorite drinks and plates. Reggae music is often flowing out of the speakers to compliment the vibe of the beach side environment and you can also make special requests for music of your choice. At night, surf videos play on their big screen projector. Even if you don't surf, these videos are entertaining to say the least.

Room2Board is a great place to connect with fellow travelers sharing stories, laughs, and great times. No exaggeration - the friendships I’ve made while staying here have lasted far beyond our time in Jaco. I stay connected to many of the people I met here still to this day.

Besides making new friends, during the day you can sign up for surf lessons, walk along the beach, relax in the pool, explore the town, or enjoy an adventure on one of their many tours by going to see a nearby waterfall, riding horses, etc. 

This is especially my favorite place to stay in Jaco because of it’s location. You’ll be right along the beach and it’s just a few minutes walk into town. Also, on the way, you have to drive along a bridge that I call Crocodile Crossing. Stop here if you can and get out to see why! Pictures don't do it justice.

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You'll know you're approaching it when you see colorful tapestries along the road. Plus, many people stop and get out here so if you see groups along a bridge, that's the spot :)

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In addition to all this fun, (and this is what I love most) when you stay at Room2Board - you are just a short walk away from a hike to a glorious sunset view point. 

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Traveling up this nearby mountain, you’re likely to cross paths with mountain-bikers, runners, and others walking and journeying to this majestic view that allows you to see Jaco in a way that can’t be done anywhere else in town.

Rumor has it that a restaurant was meant to be opened at the top, but funds ran out so now what’s left is pieces of it’s coliseum type architect. Fortunately for us, it makes for a divine space to enjoy the Pacific coast sunset. It’s about a 20 minute walk to the top view, and I consider it a MUST each time I’m in Jaco. Luckily, Room 2 Board is the closest stay to this point which makes it even more appealing to me. 

Go Green_Costa Rica

In addition to the location, the environmentalist in me loves that they have recycling options in place (super important - help save our beaches by using plastic minimally and if you do use it, please recycle!). Light sensors are throughout the hallways and bathrooms to conserve energy, vegetarian options are on the menu.. And maybe they’d even be keen to add vegan options if enough people ask ;)

They also provide a communal kitchen with all the necessary utensils for people like myself who save funds by personally cooking most meals. Both the kitchen and in-house restaurant are fun atmospheres so you’re bound to have dining experiences that you will much enjoy.

Just in case you want to venture out though, I also recommend Taco Bar or Namaste Cafe. Taco Bar offers an awesome salad / buffet and they have the option to sit on swings which I always find fun.

When the sun begins to set, if you’re not interested in a hike, just head upstairs to Room 2 Board’s third floor where you can also enjoy a great view and hammocks setup for your relaxation.

When I’m in Jaco, there is never a doubt that Room2Board is where I want to stay. Check out my video recap to see more of why. 

Pura Vida! 

The Trip that Changed my Life

CostaRica

Sometimes your intuition directs you to a place you've never been, and although it can be intimidating to find yourself in a completely new environment.. Deep within, you can feel that this journey is a part of your divine destiny. 

At least that is how it has felt for me. 

When I went on my first solo trip as a 21 year old female, my head was filled by friends and family with, "What - ifs" and, "Do you know how dangerous that can be?" 

Despite the concerns, my heart had been called on a mission: and I was going to answer it! 

Where to?

Costa Rica to experience La Pura Vida ~ 

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I had been working as an Administrative Assistant to the Pediatric Heart Transplant Program of my local Children's Hospital when I realized, I too needed to heal. 

My father passed away from cancer when I was 10 years old which was quite traumatic. Watching him undergo surgeries and chemotherapies only to deteriorate in front of our eyes was the most painful time of my life that I had not yet dedicated time towards truly transcending.

So my intuition led me to research how I could do some soul searching.

I came across a learning vacation at School of the World where I signed up initially for spanish classes.. But little did I know, that something much larger awaited me. 


Along with spanish classes, I decided to sign up for daily Yoga as well since I had heard so many great things about it.

The intention had been solidified. I respectfully resigned from my job. I was set! 

A month in Costa Rica learning spanish and Yoga! I thought, I can immerse myself in the culture and return with new insight, plus being able to finally make my family proud by speaking spanish more fluently. 


Ha, well.. Let's just say that I still struggle with my spanish :x. 

BUT, I received the greatest gift that saved and changed my life forever.. and that gift is.. 

Yoga. 

The beginning of my journey with Yoga is an expansive post for another time and space. I'll keep you posted ;)

As far as the travel experience, School of the World has an amazing team of teachers and the facility is so comforting, I felt right at home. Offering not only spanish and Yoga classes, but surf lessons and photography as well, the school attracts people of diverse backgrounds from all around the globe. 

My desire for culture and global awareness was easily exceeded.

I made friends with locals as well and have remained in close contact with the people I met along this journey years since. 

It's a deep connection that is shared when you meet people through travel. Such unique experiences that although the relationships may be short in time, are heart-warmingly fulfilling in spirit. 

Traveling alone, you learn more about yourself than you could ever imagine. You realize the strength and courage you possess, and it grows through each experience.

During my time there, I volunteered at a local preschool teaching english, helped a missionary feed the homeless, climbed mountains and watched the sunset, made life-long friendships, cried, laughed until it hurt, wandered aimlessly, donated clothes, and fell in love..

With life and with myself.

A feeling I had long lost. 

If you are considering traveling, my advice would be to research your ideal locations, keep an open mind and open heart, and if your intuition is truly calling you to this place.. Follow it! There is probably a life changing gift waiting for you there too :)

 

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PS: School of the World did not ask me to write about them, but I am personally so grateful for the experience I enjoyed there, that I feel inclined to share it with as many people as I can. If you're interested in a vacation that involves more than simply laying along the shores of a beautiful beach (although there's nothing wrong with that), I would highly recommend SOTW

It's a great way to meet and connect with new people while visiting another country. The classes are worth every penny. Plus, big bonus as a solo female traveler, I always felt safe and even at home during my time there. (I actually flew back 2 weeks later because I felt homesick once I got "home"). 

Have you been on a learning vacation before? I'd love to hear about your experience! 

Thanks for reading! Lots of Love.. Namaste <3