Teri Jampol is co-owner of Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort in the Central Highlands of Costa Rica. She sent in this guest blog to make a case that a visit to Costa Rica should include at least one “inland” destination. We totally agree.
My husband Glenn and I have lived in Costa Rica and nurtured Finca Rosa Blanca, our Coffee Plantation Resort, for close to 25 years. We came to follow a dream of living with our family in the mountains of a green peaceful country where the weather never falls below 65 degrees and never above 85 degrees on the hottest day. While discovering the joys of raising children in the tropics, we simultaneously explored the communities, coffee farms, volcanoes and mountains all around us, sometimes on horseback and many times on foot.
Our two daughters grew up at Finca Rosa Blanca and on their off times, our favorite family time was spent hiking the mountains and volcanoes just above the resort. Setting off early in the morning to take advantage of the clear skies, we would take cameras, water and snacks to sustain and contain the memories of these days. Barva Volcano is part of Braulio Carrillo National Park and is one of the least visited parks in Costa Rica where you seldom encounter other hikers. We became adept, with the help of the knowledgeable park guides, in identifying the prints of such illusive animals as the tapir, a giant hippo like mammal with hooves, the tropical mountain lion and the paca, a small long-legged rodent. The trails to the Laguna, a once active crater, now filled with crystal clear water, are bordered and surrounded by trees covered in long flowing moss, bromeliads and orchids and the exotic birds flit amongst the branches. Stopping often to catch our breath as the trail leads to a lookout above the lake at more than 9,000 feet, we revel in the quantity of the poor man’s umbrella plant, one leaf of which would keep you dry in a down pour. Eating our well deserved snacks and enjoying the clouds pouring over the mountains to sustain the high altitude forests, was probably one of the highlights of our lives in the Highlands of Costa Rica.
All of these sensations can be had while staying at Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort, only 20 minutes from the International Airport. The airport and the resort are located in the Central Valley at over 4000 feet and you will need 2 to 3 nights to enjoy our mountain paradise, feel the high altitude breezes and our perennially spring like temperatures where the volcanoes steam and the gigantic trees of the cloud forests breathe. We are neighbors to several volcanoes and the Braulio Carrillo National Park, the largest national park in the country. Poas Volcano can be experienced from a stunning viewing platform where the crater below is bubbling with active fumaroles and contains a simmering lake that is almost a mile wide and 1000 feet deep. Barva volcano, our favorite weekend destination, is dormant, but the wildlife attracted by the myriad tropical hardwood trees and the lagoon includes tapirs, big cats, sloth and trogons. No need to travel further afield than Finca Rosa Blanca for hiking in the cloud forest and on the slopes of live and sleeping volcanoes, zip lining or horseback riding all within a short drive into the mountains.
We understand that after a long hard winter and months of no down time, your fantasy vacation usually involves a BEACH. Got it! BUT, you would be missing out on the amazing adventures in the Highlands of Costa Rica where cloud forests beckon and volcanoes bubble. Rather than spend half your short vacation and go far afield to experience these mountains at places such as Monteverde and Arenal, we will help you plan your stay at Finca Rosa Blanca. In the space of 3 short days you can stand at the lip of the second largest crater in the world, hike through misty cloud forest on your way to a roaring waterfall, fly through the canopy on a zip line, raft wild white water rivers and quietly spot a resplendent quetzal in the boughs of an ancient oak tree.
Finca Rosa Blanca is part of the Cayuga Collection of Sustainable Luxury Hotels and Lodges in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.