Manuel Antonio beach

Costa Rica is known for it’s lush jungle, beautiful beaches, and abundance of wildlife. There is a saying in Costa Rica, “Pura vida,” loosely translated meaning “the good life.” Well, upon my arrival at the Arenas Del Mar Beach Front Resort in Manuel Antonio, I had an instant understand of what this saying really means.

arenas del mar(The view from the balcony)

Besides the lush tropical surroundings, breathtaking oceanic views, and incredibly delicious sustainable food, I enjoyed the simple pleasures of sloths and iguanas hanging out in the surrounding areas, and falling asleep to the sound of the ocean waves crashing on the shore…no meditation track needed! The staff offered impeccable service and was very attentive to your needs.

I was also thrilled to learn that their restaurants offered many gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options. I even had the opportunity to chat with a guest gluten-free pastry chef who was staying there at the time. (Always nice meeting fellow foodies abroad!)

The produce at the Arenas del Mar restaurant was mostly local, and all from sustainable sources which I was pleasantly surprised to learn. It’s rare to come across hotels that are so caring about the environment and food sources. Some of my favourite dishes I enjoyed were their quesadillas, tofu skewers, and an appetizer of zucchini rolls stuffed with sweet potato and avocado puree. (Really just to die for!)

arenas del mar(Arenas Del Mar)

Manuel Antonio is a great area to enjoy leisure days at the beach, and if your up for some (easy) jungle trekking, you can head into Manuel Antonio National Park to see the abundance of wildlife. You may even be lucky (or un-lucky) enough to spot some Monkey’s trying to steal your lunch of your there around noon!

sloth(A sloth hanging in the treetops)

Be sure to stop by Manuel Antonio on your trip to Costa Rica to really experience the Pura Vida! If your looking for a wellness and fitness experience on your travels, Arenas Del Mar will be hosting a wellness retreat this coming fall, hosted by the shorter approach & green spot. See below for details:

Pura Vida Luxury Wellness Retreat

Inspired by the lifestyle in this Central American paradise, Michele Shorter, founder and owner of The Shorter Approach, has partnered with GreenSpot.Travel to offer Pura Vida Luxury Wellness Retreat: The Shorter Approach Does Costa Rica from Oct. 8 to 15, 2016. The week-long experience will include goal-setting, cardio and strength training, and nutrition planning mixed with activities like coffee plantation tours, cooking classes, hikes up a nearby volcano, and salsa dancing with locals every day.
People of all fitness levels and experience have the chance to join Shorter on the Costa Rica retreat, which includes experiences at two Cayuga Collection properties: Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort in the Central Valley near the capital city of San Jose and Arenas Del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort along the Pacific Coast near Manuel Antonio National Park.
“In today’s connected world, it is more important than ever to take time for self-care, to move our bodies, breathe in the sweet air, and savor our surroundings,” says Shorter. “The Shorter Approach is all about integrating what makes you feel good into your daily life. We’re going to work together to create a plan you can follow after you leave Costa Rica and equip you with the tools you need to nourish your body and mind every day, no matter where you are.”
During Pura Vida, Shorter will guide participants through the week with a fun, action-packed agenda created to help them get flexible, strong, and energized, set goals and create a focused plan while in the tropical sun-soaked destination.

A selection of wellness retreat activities includes:

  • Fitness and goal-setting discussion and guidance

  • Nutrition planning and recommendations

  • Cardio and strength training

  • Sunset yoga

  • Salsa lessons

  • Volcano hike and wildlife viewing

  • Hiking tour of Manuel Antonio National Park

  • A tour of the organic coffee plantation at Finca Rosa Blanca

  • Wildlife viewing

  • Cooking demonstrations

Arenas del mar(Beachfront at Arenas Del Mar)