Discover your inner zen on a luxury retreat as you rejuvenate along rainforest nature trails, refresh on Manuel Antonio beaches and revive both body and mind.
In the modern world, we’re often subjected to an overload of stimuli - from the glare of electronic devices to the cacophony of noises on busy streets and the breakneck paces of hectic home and work lives. We’re overstimulated and overstimulation creates stress. Simple proximity to water flips that switch. The brain gets a break and eases into a slightly meditative mode where we’re more calm, focused and aware.
From Roman baths to traditional Chinese medicine and ancient Indian Ayurveda, water has long been central to creating balance and harmony in the body. Whether you’re staying in an oceanfront accommodation with a gentle sea breeze or spending time on the sand, you can achieve this state just by being close to the ocean. The mind enters a mode of soft attention, where it's aware of sensory engagement with the water, but not overwhelmed by it.
While it may feel so, a massage is not simply indulgent pampering - there is some serious stress relief in those healing hands. A body that has experienced stress becomes tense with high levels of cortisol, the hormone that causes sleeplessness, headaches and digestive problems. Massages lower cortisol levels to improve your mood and bring out long-lasting feelings of relaxation.
And all natural is the way to go. Instead of using oils that allow chemicals to seep into your system, enjoy natural local ingredients. Costa Rica’s climate makes it perfect for sourcing massage essentials like aloe, coconut oil and seaweed for rejuvenating wraps. Let the stress melt away with the healing properties of fresh mint, rosemary and detoxifying volcanic clay.
Research has proven what we all instinctively know - a walk in nature lowers both blood pressure and that dreaded cortisol. Studies have also shown that time immersed in nature reduces “rumination,” the tendency to dwell on the negative aspects of our lives. Over time, rumination can lead to depression, but a woodland walk turns the brain away from the negativity loop and toward a more positive state of mental well being.
So get out and stroll through a rainforest. Let the dense greenery and calming wildlife sounds that envelop you make worries feel a world away - because they are. Amid the soothing sounds of a serene stream, the calls of exotic birds and the rustling of the rainforest canopy, the rest of the planet’s problems don’t penetrate your inspiring nature getaway.
A balanced diet begets a balanced mind, so choose from a healthy selection of fruits, carbs and even something sweet for the soul during your stay. About ten percent of Costa Rica’s land produces agriculture, ensuring that there’s always a bounty of fresh fare to make healthy eating easy and delicious. Savor regional mangoes, papayas, pineapples and passion fruits. Discover local favorites like the palm-tree-fruit pejibaye, the gourd-like chayote and picadillo, a puree of vegetables with a small mix of meat. Tico’s enjoy their lunches and dinners casado-style - with a small healthy salad, rice, beans and a lean protein such as chicken or fish.
Travel can be stressful and hurried travel can be doubly so. Relax, settle in and enjoy your surroundings without thinking about where you’re off to next. Weekend getaways are fine for places that are close to home, but if you’re journeying to Costa Rica you’ll want to make the most of your trip. If you can, stay in this incredibly relaxing place for a week or more, soak in sufficient zen and bring the calming essence of your tropical vacation back to your everyday life.