Firstly, the big travel news of the week, which I feel I must cover briefly.
As you may have heard, on Tuesday the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 for all air passengers, including U.S. citizens, arriving from a foreign country. The order becomes effective on Tuesday, January 26 :
- All inbound passengers, regardless of citizenship status, must get tested no more than 3 days before their flight to the U.S. departs.
- If a passenger has tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months, they do not have to get tested again but can travel instead with documentation of her positive viral test results and a letter from their healthcare provider or a public health official that states they has been cleared for travel.
There are several nuances still to be published including that the CDC will grant waivers based on CDC’s determination that a foreign country lacks available COVID-19 testing capacity.
I am lucky enough to be traveling this week with a small group of Top Producers from our host agency network and we are in our own bubble in order to make this possible and of course safe. It's my first time back to the country in 5 years and the vibe for me remains that Costa Rica is as much a frame of mind as a destination. Pura Vida literally means pure or simple life and Costa Ricans as a nation fully embrace this philosophy. Pura Vida is used to say hello, goodbye, and a few other things in between. As the world leader in eco-friendly and sustainable tourism I am thrilled to highlight just a few properties and adventures over the next 2 ezines.
Top 5 - Pura Vida
1. El Silencio Lodge & Spa
When you arrive at El Silencio your whole demeanor changes. This Virtuoso and Relais & Chateaux property ticks so many boxes it's an immediate boost to your spirit.
To describe it as an intimate, luxury boutique, eco and adventure lodge with true privacy and yet suitable for families still leaves a lot out.
It's chillier up here in the cloud forest than I thought it would be, but there are log fires and blankets everywhere which is the physical manifestation of the warmth you feel from this place. You don't even need to leave the property to experience horseback riding, a hike to 3 amazing waterfalls, zip-lining, cookery classes and a wonderful spa.
2. Dining at El Silencio
The Belgian head chef here, Quentin, has previously garnered a Michelin star, and with Costa Rica gaining traction as a foodie destination, the very high quality dining experience was another surprise to me. Eggs are fresh daily from the chickens they keep, there is a mini trout farm and a whole host of organic produce is sourced from the on-site greenhouse and gardens. The dish above of assorted sashimi with a salmon roe sorbet was one of the best appetizers I have ever tasted.
3. Nayara Springs Villa
Bear in mind that I am in a mid-category room at this stunning resort and the brand new Tented Suite area is yet another step up.
I have a gorgeous oversized private plunge pool, and my room wins the award for most shower heads in one room ever.
Add to the oversized bathroom, a sleek, four-poster bed, plus indoor and outdoor sitting areas.
4. Frog Scouting (below)
After dark at Nayara Springs, we joined a frog scouting tour where we saw diminutive red-eyed tree frogs and blue-jean frogs simply walking around the resort. This place is a botanist and gardener’s paradise. The trails are teeming with tropical plants and exotic flowers, from heliconias and orchids to cacao and plantain trees and the on-site team of private guides enhanced our experience beyond belief.
The video will say it all.
Just click on the photo of my slightly nervous pre-flight face.
I love travel and I love travel planning just as much. It took me a very long time to align my career with my undeniable passion for exploring, but now I and the team are here for you. Your personal travel tailors - award reservation and luxury custom itinerary experts.
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