Pura Vida is the unofficial slogan of Costa Rica. In simple terms, it means pure life. In more profound terms, it represents living a peaceful life with appreciation for family, friends, and the environment. You can get a glimpse of this lifestyle for yourself at Hacienda Moravia de Chirripo. This family owned, eco friendly Hacienda sits in the lush Moravia Valley in the eastern part of Costa Rica on approximately 1200 hectares and it embodies pura vida.
The simple, yet beautiful, yellow wooden siding on the main house contrasts beautifully with the lush, colorful landscaping. The hacienda’s low profile, two story design overlooks the valley below, but doesn’t dominate the hillside. Several buildings sit relatively close to the main house and make up the various guest rooms and the pool house. The feel of the hacienda is comfortable and rustic, making it a very good place to relax. A large porch on the second floor of the main house is just outside of the guest rooms and gives protection from the rain and hot weather with use of wide overhangs. Hammocks, sofas, tables, and chairs create an indoor/outdoor space that’s perfect for lounging in the evenings after dinner or on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Since the property sits at almost 4000 ft above sea level, it’s slightly cooler than the lower lying areas of the country. This means that if you go during the spring, you’ll need to bring layers of clothing because it will be cool in the mornings, typically warming up in the afternoons and cooling down again in the evenings. Taking a walk around the property during in the early morning hours in the spring allows you to catch the fog blanketing the valley and the hillside as the sun comes up. The dew drops delicately decorate spiderwebs making them look like they’ve been spun out of silk. As you walk down into the valley you can watch the horses graze in the morning sun. On a clear day, you can see the Irazu Volcano in the distance.
The guest rooms at the hacienda consist of 12 rooms ranging from double occupancy to four person rooms. The rooms keeps the feel of the property: simple and rustic. Six of the rooms have private bathrooms and 4 have shared bathrooms. The showers are a little tricky because they may not be what you’re used to seeing. You can’t just turn on the hot water, there is a heating element at the shower head that needs to be turned on. Make sure that you get instructions for getting the hot water to work, unless you prefer taking cold showers.
The hacienda has a light footprint on the surrounding environment and 680 hectares of its property is a nature reserve. You’ll be able to experience hiking, horseback riding, bird watching, and spending time with the people of the Cabecar indigenous group that inhabit the nearby reservation. They make up the 2nd largest indigenous population in Costa Rica and are very welcoming of people who want to learn about their culture.
There are no televisions in the rooms at the hacienda, but there is wifi. You’ll spend so much time exploring, talking to your family and fellow guests that you won’t miss TV. During the warmer summer months, you can also enjoy a swim in the pool.
Meals at the hacienda are a real treat, as everything is made fresh, sourced onsite or locally. Fresh squeezed fruit juices every morning, eggs, fruit, bread; nothing from a can or box here. They raise their own meat, cultivate their own fish ponds with Talapia, fresh veggies, rice beans, tortillas and the list goes on. Costa Rica has some of the best coffee in the world and you’ll definitely enjoy it.
Finding Pura Vida
Pura Vida is not only a phrase for the people of Costa Rica, it’s a way of life. Leaving your busy life behind, if only temporarily, can rejuvenate the mind, the body and the spirit. Being able to experience the simple, uncomplicated life as a local at this unique eco friendly hacienda is unforgettable.
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