In Costa Rica, nature is the one who holds all the cards. Let’s be clear: you’re in the minority here. The forest is here. Standing in its duality of fascination/repulsion. Listen carefully and open your eyes wide; you won’t be disappointed.
In Costa Rica, nature is the one who holds all the cards. Let’s be clear: you’re in the minority here. The forest is here. Standing in its duality of fascination/repulsion. Listen carefully and open your eyes wide; you won’t be disappointed. Even a glimpse of the stealthy passage of a gecko (a pretty spiked green lizard) will amaze you. For the rest, expect an epic concert: golden toads (Bufo periglenes), howler monkeys, armadillos, and many birds including the clay-coloured thrush — the national bird of Costa Rica commonly known as yigüirro...
For a moment, our bodies are in command. But our heads, lost in a haze of arabesques, juggle the various shades of green. Our thoughts glide through the heart of the forest as it splinters into fragments, flooding our minds with green as vast as an empire, a spritz of Vétiver cologne, an infinite stretch of velvet, an emerald stream. Our body knows that it must react now. Time to find steady footing on the stones, to take in a new aroma, to swallow it. Even our ears come out of their cages. For a little bit, they open wide, swivelling to capture the distant hint of a toucan’s song. Our eyes have lost their urban linear focus. They fly. They sparkle with pleasure. Our noses sniff the air. Our minds clear; in understanding. There’s nothing like a torrential downfall. It makes you moody with its first big drops. Then its soaks you, wet to the bone. It’s like a baptism, a baptismal fountain. A rebirth. It falls thick and brazen, drumming, smashing. You’re smiling, your ideas flowing. A strange symphony now begins. It was an enigma at the start, but now we are approaching one of our deeper truths: the whispers of sensuality and slowness becoming audible. It’s as if we are finally part of this fantastic mass.
It only takes two hours by car from Nayara Springs to reach Costa Rica’s second Relais & Châteaux, El Silencio.
But it’s still a shock to come out of a dream and return to reality. Often, we blame ourselves for having hidden away our real lives, for having set up a dam so we could feign being completely oblivious. But here, indulge yourself and stop at the first bistro by the roadside. There are tons of them in Latin America, creating an atmosphere something between American fascination (big cars, biceps...) and Latin indolence, this sweet and compassionate languor. It must be called kindness. These people welcome you with pura vida, shaking a lemonade, smiling with natural translucency. There’s not even a protective coating, a clear membrane. Rest easy, this is life. It’s so seductive here that you regularly hear tales of travellers who have fallen in love with the shores or the mountains, only to never leave again.
At El Silencio, the same pastoral melody plays as in Nayara Springs: be at one with yourself and nature, which implies not feeding into any paradoxes or contradictions. Dinner tonight will be taken from the vegetable garden, the backyard, the trout ponds. Behind the large bay windows of the dining room, appreciate the elements like the beautiful birds flying by. They bear majestic names: magnificent frigatebird, royal tern, cattle egret, willet, John crow, yellow-naped Amazon, turquoise-browed motmot, blue-gray tanager, and even Tyrannus melancholicus for the tropical kingbird. The nights that follow continue with this sense of marvellous mellowness.