After escaping almost a week with @estefaniacauna to the northeastern part of the country it was time to return to San Jose. Tefy had to go back to attends her wife duties while I had no plan, so we both end up going back. However, I only stay for one night to pack new clothes and left to another road trip the next day.
I know, it’s impossible for me to stay quiet lol. This time I went to the south – east part of the country with a photographer friend that I admire so much: Daniel Herrera (@dhotto). If you do not follow him and you are looking for travel photos and nature inspiration then you should follow his profile because he has some amazing photos.
Dani and I escaped to the Pérez Zeledón, land of Keylor Navas. Sure many of you have heard about Navas before but for those who do not know or have never heard of the name Navas this is one of the greatest pride of Costa Rica. Navas is the goalkeeper of the Real Madrid team born in Pérez, Zeledón Costa Rica.
During our stay in Pérez Zeledón we were staying at Hacienda AltaGracia part of the hotel chain Auberge Resorts. To be honest and a little bit ashamed we never visited this region. Dani and I are both Costaricans and had never taken the time to really stay a few days and explore this gem.
Pérez Zeledón, this is a beautiful little town in Costa Rica located in the southern region of the country whose capital is San Isidro del General. This region is known for its country life and considered the agricultural capital of the country. This area is really unexplored and not affected by tourism which makes it a hidden gem and I highly recommend to not stop seeing this regions if you plan to visit Costa Rica.
Hacienda AltaGracia is located between the hills and the exuberant mountains of Pérez Zeledón, surrounded by immaculate natural beauty which offers views of the exceptionally beautiful “Valle del General” and if you are lucky with clear skies you can spot Cerro de Chirripo like we did in the day of our departure. With around 350 hectares / 865 acres of lush land that offers abundant exploration with spectacular views.
Unlike many hotels in the country and the world Hacienda AltaGracia offers what is a “Boutique Hacienda” experience like a true Hacienda, with its exceptional home service culture which offers a purely authentic Costa Rican experience in an intimate setting of estate. Designed for those people looking for a private vacation retreat with luxurious amenities and a variety of recreational activities. It is perfect for couples or large families.
rooms or should rather say their “casitas” offer the best of a luxury country lifestyle. The design of each casita is really exceptional that Dani and I felt in love of them. They are incredibly spacious and cozy that offer more than what anything you could expect.
We stayed in a premium casita that offers a room, a living room, fireplace and a butler provided pantry with snacks and drinks. The bathroom is incredibly huge and has double vanity, large shower cabin, tub and a huge walking closet. The best of all and my favorite part of the casita is the wide panoramic terrace that offers the best views of the mountain.
Hacienda AltaGracia has 2 outdoor swimming pools with incredible views of “Valle del General” very close to where Dani and I loved to have breakfast where they had a roof terrace filled with beautiful flowers. The second pool is indoors located in the spa that has floor to ceiling glass that offers the best sunset views while you are taking a template waters bath.
In terms of food, Hacienda AltaGracia offers 4 different restaurants: Ambar, Vista Verde, El Bistro and El Grill, all with a different culinary experience from elaborately prepared kitchens to family comforts with a farm-to-fork concept. Our favorite was Ambar restaurant because the views at night are so beautiful overlooking to the valley with all the little lights from the Pérez Zeledón town as the background.
Hacienda AltaGraciaoffers a wide variety of activities to do during your stay. Dani and I wanted to do all of them but we didn’t had the enough time to do all so we decided to focused on doing the ones related to explore the nature region:
1. Horseback Riding: Horseback riding with the beautiful views of the property is definitely a must. We take a walk through the forests and rivers of Alta Gracia with a beautiful variety of flora and fauna. Followed by a picnic lunch in the middle of the forest where we enjoyed a delicious typical wrapped “casado” in banana leaf.
2. Visit the Namu Waterfall: it is undoubtedly one of the hidden gems of southern Costa Rica. Dani and I walked through the rainforest with a quite difficult but really rewarding path to see the beautiful panoramic views of this three-level waterfall. The entrance has a cost of $ 6 and the duration will depend on your physical activity but it took us about 35 minutes to descent.
3. Visit the Eco Chontales waterfall: another beautiful waterfall located in Pérez Zeledón that you should visit. The entrance is around $ 6 per person and has very well marked trails. The owners are a local family who are also the guides. It’s about 600 meters long and takes about 10 minutes to get down. From the moment you start to descend you can hear the magnificent sound of the waterfall.
I hope you enjoyed my diary of Pérez Zeledón and I hope that this little guide with photos will help you convince why you to explore this beautiful hidden side of Costa Rica. I want to thank Pam and all the staff of Hacienda AltaGracia for the incredible hospitality and making our experience and memories in Pérez Zeledón unforgettable.
White Dress: Forever 21
White Horse dress: Vintage
Black and gold sunnies: Ray Ban
Black bodysuit: Mango
Black belt: B low the belt
White swimsuit: La Reveche
Red swimsuit: KC Bikinis
Print swimsuit: Bikinis & More