Set on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica near Playa Chiquita, Puerto Viejo, eco-friendly Aguas Claras is a gleaming white-wood, traditional Victorian-style plantation house. It’s the only really luxurious, boutique-style property on this stretch of the palm-fringed coastline, which features a unique combination of exuberant wildlife and undisturbed tropical beaches.
This dreamily romantic hotel, sheltered by verdant foliage, has a delightful open-air free-form pool and probably the best restaurant in the region although, to add variety to your stay, there are a number of small, locally run restaurants just a short bike ride away.
The building’s nostalgic design - conceived by a renowned Costa Rican artist - recalls bygone times when British colonial dominance of the Caribbean dictated architectural style, and inside you’ll find traditional artifacts and original works by local artists alongside state-of-the-art contemporary features. Guest rooms - each uniquely decorated and furnished - are situated in both the main building and individual thatched cottages which are similar in style but offer additional space and added privacy.
It’s easy just to lie back and relax there, but you may be tempted by a range of activities such as jungle hikes, cycle rides, surf lessons, canopy zips and cocoa tours. Cahuita National Park, half an hour away by car, encompasses a magnificent area of biodiversity which stretches beyond the shore line and out to sea. Sea turtles nest in the area and manta rays glide between weird and wonderfully shaped live coral. On land, sloths are common place and not just in the park - road vehicles have to stop to let them cross…