Thursday, 20 December 2012

Going LIVE with Trip Advisor & Holiday Lettings...

As 'el verano' (summertime) gets going in sunny Costa Rica, Pura Vida Ecolodge would like to invite you to have a look at our new profile on the Trip Advisor & Holiday Lettings site. I'm sure by now that you are all only too familiar with the platforms, so I'll leave you browse away...

Be sure to take advantage of our special PROMO PRICES for the rest of December and the beginning of the 2013 season while they are still on offer! Costa Rica in the summer season especially boasts some of the most fantastic (and empty) beaches that one can find - and a day trip to Cano Island offers some WORLD CLASS scuba diving...

The jungle villa sleeps up to 6 people, but the majority of our guests are groups of 2 and 4... Almost all of our guests in December & January are coming to Costa Rica for the first time on honeymoon!

Happy Holidays & Pura Vida!

Fishing for snapper at the mouth of the Rio Terraba at the end of the 'Green Season'

Scuba diving at La Isal de Cano, just off the coast of Costa Rica - A great day out from Pura Vida Ecolodge!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Tour launches... as Summer begins at Pura Vida Ecolodge

...Pura Vida Ecolodge is very pleased to announce that we are currently working with a great group of local 'adventurists' and 'adrenalin junkies' tailor-making some excellent tours and activities on te doorstep of the Pura Vida Ecolodge Reserve. Recent partners include Kayaking, Diving at Isla de Cano, Avionetas in Uvita, Canyoning and of course rafting and Canopy Tours just before Palmar.

A more extensive guide to what is available in the area, including tour locations, lengths, details and prices will all be included on the very new and VERY NEARLY COMPLETE  website, but in the meantime enjoy a cheeky peak at some highlight promo photos...

 Much MUCH MUCH MORE to come... at

Coming soon (dedos cruzados!)

Friday, 30 November 2012

A Rainforest left standing is worth so much more...

A short 'news clip' explaining the importance of keeping things GREEN.

Our first jungle villa at Pura Vida Ecolodge maybe entering its first 'high season', but right from the beginning the very backbone of our philosophy has been to maintain the harmony and equilibrium that is unique to the South Pacific zone of Costa Rica...

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Costa Rica - A country where organic is just as important as stylish...

"...If we lose the battle against tropical deforestation, we lose the battle against climate change. Please join us in trying to save the rainforests - for the sake of our children and grandchildren..." (Prince of Wales - The Prince's Rainforest Project)

The Prince's Rainforest Project was launched at a WWF event in October 2007. Since then it has focused on two very specific aims. The first, to identify appropriate incentives to encourage rainforest nations to slow their deforestation rates. The second, to raise awareness of the link between rainforests and climate change.

As the maps above illustrate, Costa Rica is one of the few examples that managed to 'buck the trend' of global deforestation. Starting in the 1990's after almost two decades of having one of the highest rates of deforestation (when forest cover dropped to just 21% in 1987 - compared to 75% 50 years earlier) the government (backed by the people) luckily stepped in and launched a sweeping new policy to save the remaining forest and to encourage new planting. Today, forest cover has increased to 51%  proving that with the right policies in place and attractive incentives, deforestation can not only be halted but can indeed be reversed altogether. For more information please click on the link below, where you can download a fascinating online booklet -

At Pura Vida Ecolodge, ever since the beginning, one of our 'backbone' philosophies has been to try to take care of the environment just as much as our guests. We realized early on that there is a great bunch of people that want to travel in style without feeling guilty. Luckily Costa Rica provided us the perfect platform as it's a country where organic is just as important as stylish and the government plans to be the world’s first carbon-neutral country by 2021.

"...Leave the brashness and bling of resorts and hotels behind for a more natural, understated approach - and everyone benefits...

View of Pura Vida Ecolodge from the roadside above - showing the original 'palapa style' roof, the lush green valley, the flowing river Terraba and of course, the stunning Pacific ocean views... (Taken mid August 2012 around 10am)   

Pura Vida Ecolodge is a very special Jungle Villa: it has been specially designed to exist symbiotically with the surrounding forest, jungle and wildlife, the reserve's fruit trees and colourful plants are maintained using filtered greywater and instead of bringing in bottled water to give to our guests, we rely on the pure fresh flowing water of one of the many mountain streams in the area. The style, finishes and colours of the interior decor compliment the vibrant surroundings: airy open-plan living spaces which provide guests with ample comfort and luxury at the same time as feeling natural and organic - in a nutshell - Eco-Luxury.

The westward facing corner of the Jungle Villa's 'wrap around teak deck' where guests can enjoy dramatic view of both the Pacific Ocean, el Rio Terraba and the Pura Vida Ecolodge jungle reserve.

The Southwest view (from the front balcony) looking over the valley towards the Osa Peninsula and Panama (on the left) and the mouth of the Rio Terraba, the Pacific Ocean (and the Isla de Cano) on the right

Abundant foliage, plants, fruit trees and colours attract a wide variety of birds and wildlife to the retreat

Take advantage of our introductory PROMO prices (via AirBnb - link below) for the coming high season - beginning this December! Pura Vida!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Children are very welcome at the Jungle Villa!

I must confess, originally at the beginning of the 'conceptualization stage' all those many months ago, the first Jungle Villa at the PuraVidaEcolodge Reserve was indeed going to be exclusively for couples,  in fact we even NEARLY went as far to make it a 'NO CHILDREN' kind of retreat...But the truth is that after a lot of thought and consideration, we realized this really went against the ethos of what PuraVidaEcolodge is really about.

While it's all about relaxation and getting back to nature, it's also about fun, adventure and the overall Pura Vida Experience (hopefully by now, you've got this clear to mean 'pure life') - which with the combination of the Jungle Villa's location, its facilities and amenities and of course the fantastic adventures both on the reserve and on our doorstep surely EVERYONE is entitled to their piece of paradise!

Whether it's the kids first 'tropical' holiday abroad or whether it's the once in a lifetime trip that you've had planned ever since you were a kid yourself - PuraVidaEcolodge's Jungle Villa Experience is for you! Friends, families, couples and kids!

As soon as we decided that young families and indeed KIDS would be some of our special guests at the Jungle Villa, special efforts have been made (on all levels) to make the decks, terraces and pool areas as 'child-friendly' as possible. US (and European) regulation verandas have been stylishly incorporated into the balcony designs which are both safe and don't interfere with the guests enjoyment of the incredible and natural surroundings... 

But fear not, it's definitely not just about the 'younguns' as there are plenty of touches, finishes, furnishings and details for the dare I say it, older and more sophisticated ones among you... At the latter stages of completion especially, huge efforts were made with the interiors and materials so as to have the perfect combination between stylish and rustic, eco & luxury, sustainable yet contemporary, minimal yet homely...

Here are just a few of the final touches...

Both of the bedroom suites come with hand-made yoga mats, a perfect way to start the day on one of the private decks or  terraces.

There are a plethora of towels, sheets, blankets, throws, cushions and pillows all around the Jungle Villa, so guests don't need to worry about being comfortable, dry and warm throughout their stay

While most of our guests choose to wake with the animals and the morning sunshine, we appreciate that some of our guests enjoy a good lie-in, so we have dressed all of the bedroom windows with rustic and organic fabrics such as cotton, linen and hemp.

The walk-in 'rain' showers in both bathrooms are large and spacious, finished in antique chrome and are directly connected to the solar panel giving guests fresh hot water 24/7

Both en-suite bathrooms come equiped with perlato natural stone wash basins with the water faucets uniquely designed using organically treated bamboo

The kitchen units are designed with a rustic & weathered finish, which combined with bamboo handles and linen towels adds a real authenticity to the Jungle Villa 

An eclectic array of ornaments, bowls, carvings and appliances help to make the Jungle Villa feel very warm and homely

For more info on rates, reservations and availability please visit our profile on Airbnb:

Friday, 5 October 2012

Discovering the 1st waterfall on the PuraVidaEcolodge Reserve

Having recently returned from Costa Rica and our retreat, I wanted to share a couple of photographs of one of the waterfalls on the PuraVidaEcolodge Reserve. 

...When the construction of the Jungle Villa begun last December (can't believe almost a year has gone by already) a couple of local 'ticos' and I started to 'carve out' some nature trials around the reserve. With the Jungle Villa literally hanging over the jungle canopy itself, right from Day 1 of construction we could clearly hear fresh flowing water in the distance.

All those months ago, machetes in hand, we started to cut our way through the rain forest, roughly planning where the first 'nature trail' was going to lead. After a few minutes of winding through the jungle, ducking under heavy branches and hopping over ravines, the sound of water begun to get stronger. We were near... Fluorescent frogs hopping around our ankles, colourful butterflies floating around the surprisingly cool air (its probably a very pleasant 10 degrees cooler in the shade of the rain forest) and then the howler monkeys singing in the background, this is what jungle living was all about. We continued forward, turning one last corner...we had arrived.

The first waterfall on the PuraVidaEcolodge Reserve is like a split level 'catarata' with two small plunge pools. This particular photo was taken as the rainy season was about to really get underway.

In those first few weeks at the end of last year, we spent many days carving out the first nature trail. Because of the gradient of the terrain, it was necessary to put in quite a few steps, therefore making access really easy, whatever your age ;) We even put in a couple of 'puentecitos' (bridges) so you can either hop across the ravines or take the slightly more sensible 'engineered option'. Once at the waterfall, while just 3-5 minutes away from the Jungle Villa (depending on how many times you have stopped just to look at the plethora of colourful creatures you're bound to find 'en el camino' (en route) you'll see that you are really in the depths of the reserve...all that 'urban madness' and stress a long long way away...

Hopefully you can get a sense of the scale of the reserves first waterfall. I'd say its around 5 metres high, perfect for showering under! And if you're keen to continue the adventure, you can head 'upstream' to find the next one...

The water is both cold and extremely fresh, and  we think you;ll find that the nature trail with its intense 'Jungle Experience' really compliments the 'Eco-Luxury' of PuraVidaEcolodge's Jungle Villa. In fact, it's a larger waterfall about  2km's upstream where PuraVidaEcolodge's water supply comes from...Que rico!

Back from the waterfall, just one more short 'hike' up the hill and back to that book in the hammock, sun-bathing on one of the terrace's bean-bags or perhaps another dip in the infinity plunge pool...This is the life...Pura Vida!

My special thanks to all of you that helped make this dream and vision come true...

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Our very first online review...

Now that PuraVidaEcolodge's doors are officially open and the guests are starting to arrive, 'pocito a poco' our little Jungle Villa is starting to build a reputation... Just in time for the fast approaching 'High Season'.

Check out below, our first online 'review' - recently posted on Air BnB.

...Having just come back from what can only be called a 'Pura Vida Experience' in Costa Rica and being completely new to the 'Air BnB' community, I thought I should do my part and write my first 'review'

As the guidebooks say, Costa Rica really is the Switzerland of Central America because of its comfortable lifestyle, peaceful democracy and overwhelming natural beauty. I was lucky enough to book a reasonably long stay at PuraVidaEcolodge - it was a half-work/half-play kind of trip. The Jungle Villa where I stayed prides itself on the new & unique concept of 'Eco-Luxury'...I think the place has only been open a few weeks, but it has the perfect location for those of you that want to escape the 'urban jungle' and live for a few days right on top of a real one! Half the house hangs over the jungle canopy while the other half is orientated towards the Pacific Ocean, westerly facing, catching some spectacular sunsets...Inside, it's both quirky and comfortable, spacious and the designer obviously likes bamboo and other local stones and natural finishes. Beautiful indoor rain showers (with solar powered hot water) were a winner and the place has clearly been designed so that wherever you are, you have splendid panoramic ocean or jungle views.

Costa Rica has a 'Disneylike' cast of creatures – ranging from howler monkeys to toucans, and every colour butterfly you can dream of – and given the location of the retreat, all these and more are relatively easy to spot. Having a 4by4 was a must and gave us the opportunity to get off the beaten track and experience some real hidden local treats. Playa Tortuga, just a few km's up the coast is one of the best beaches I've ever seen - I swear it felt like I was the first person to discover it! As a surfer, the waves are prime, the surrounding beauty is staggering and the very chilled pace of life, seductive.

The concierge service were great, helping us with local tours and we had a great day trip to Cano Island, diving in the morning and eating on the boat and whale spotting all afternoon. We also visited Corcovado National Park AND Manuel Antonio.... Very special places indeed.

What else is on tap I hear you ask? The question is what isn’t? For the more active travelers amongst you can surf, hike, horse-ride and spot wildlife for starters. The incredibly varied topography means you can cruise the cloud forest one day, visit an active volcano the next, and finish relaxing on a hot sandy beach or indeed back at the Jungle Villa with a cold beer in the infinity plunge pool, watching the sun go down.

Adrenaline junkies have a myriad ways to make mothers worry – among them zipping through canopy lines hundreds of meters long, plunging to the depths of the Pacific Ocean where the reef sharks reside or riding the rough surf of Playa Ventanas, deep sea fishing or even catch a round of Golf at the Zona Sur's new San Buenas. In a nutshell, choice and variety name the game.

I think we probably spent half the time just taking it easy at the PuraVidaEcolodge 'reserve'...Personally I started my days watching the sunrise and doing some yoga, followed by breakfast  on the jungle terrace watching the wonderful world slowly coming to life. At 8am an overflowing fruit basket would arrive (organized by the 'concierge' service), if only I could start all my days like this...I want to go back ;)

'Pura Vida' indeed...Highly recommended! (Henry Vargas, New York)

Sunset colours...

Friday, 28 September 2012

8 Months later and the Jungle Villa ready!!!

The concept since Day 1 was to nestle our 'Eco-Luxury' Jungle Villa right on the edge of the canopy, while at the same time offering guests magnificent panoramic valley, ocean and sunset views...

After a very very busy August at the PuraVidaEcolodge site, with all hands on deck, between the team we successfully managed to add all the tweaks and touches that make the Jungle Villa the special retreat that it really is. With all the construction work finished back in May, the last few weeks have been dedicated to finishing the interiors, unpacking the furniture, 'dressing' the entire villa from head-to-toe, starting (and finishing) the landscape architecture and generally preparing the house for the 'official' promo photo shoot and our very lucky first guests...

So many of you have asked us for a sneak peak at the final promo photos and while we are still patiently awaiting the launch of our new look website (in the next few days 'they say') I thought, being Friday afternoon, why not upload a few so that you can dream away the weekend...

Just to eradicate any doubt, after what was possibly the longest 8 months of my (our) lives, our dream is indeed finished. Pura Vida Ecolodge's 2-bedroom Jungle Villa is indeed fully furnished, finished and awaiting couples, friends, small groups and families to embrace and enjoy the Pura Vida experience...

In the next few days we will be launching our profiles on Trip Avisor (of course) as well as smaller, more 'boutique' platforms such as EcoLuxury, Kiwi List, RicaRent and even keep your eyes peeled for updates & emails, if you haven't 'Liked' our Facebook Page, now is definitely the time to do so...and in the meantime, sit back and enjoy just a handful of PuraVidaEcolodge's Jungle Villa promo photos...

For bookings and enquiries please don't hesitate to get in touch via email:
Just a few days more and you will be able to book online!

Thanks to all involved, its been a roller-coaster of a year but between us we've done it! The seed was sown a long time ago but to finish the dream it took two heads, two souls and atleast two wheelbarrows of faith and patience...Gracias Piccon!

Extended thanks to follow...

The contemporary and spacious master bedroom offers guests stunning ocean views, a sun-deck and yoga terrace as well as a delightful en-suite bathroom

As with the Jungle 'guest' suite, the room can be set up as either a King or twin depending on guest's party and needs

The spacious bathroom, finished in perlato, stucco and bamboo has a huge walk-in rain shower (solar heated of course) perfect at any time of day to really freshen up

The 'Jungle orientated wing' of PuraVidaEcolodge complete with an incredible infinity 'plunge pool' and even views of the Rio Terraba flowing into the Pacific Ocean

No better way to 'laze away; the afternoon on the side deck, whether it be on a lounger, bean-bag or floating in the plunge pool

Looking out the master bedroom towards the front deck

Impressive valley and Ocean views from the Jungle Villa's front deck

The location of our Jungle Villa really does speak for itself

PuraVidaEcolodge - A Retreat - A Lifestyle - An Experience

Infinity plunge pool quite dramatically overhanging the jungle canopy

With the multiple bamboo & teak sliding panels, we have managed to break 'design' boundaries in terms of what's inside and what's outside...

The infinity plunge pool - maybe not large enough to do your olympic training in but plenty big enough for escaping the tropical heat and the location...need we say more!

The open-plan 'living space at the Jungle Villa is surrounded by wide teak decks, overlooking both the Jungle canopy and offering guests very special Pacific Ocean views. The kitchen is fully equiped with a dining space for 6

The huge L-shaped sofa provides guests with yet another option of where to 'relax' and truly unwind - looking directly towards the ocean with fantastic sunset views

The 'Jungle View' guest suite is again designed for either a couple (with king size bed) or can be set up as a twin, depending on the guests needs. With its private terrace and en-suite bathroom, it offers guests a lot of privacy and of course 'eco-luxury' second to none.

The Jungle Suite hangs right over the Jungle canopy itself, offering guests fantastic views across PuraVidaEcolodge's nature reserve

The guest suite has ample space with an adjacent en-suite bathroom, wardrobe and even a writing desk

The combination of the location, decor, design and of course the orthopedic 'sleep on nature' matress will guarantee a real 'Pura Vida' experience

And whether its just after getting back from the beach or first thing in the morning, a powerful (solar heated) 'rain shower' as you look at the monkeys swinging in the jungle canopy is again an experience in itself

As an impressive 'sheet lightening storm' (typical of the rainy season months) lights up the skyline, solar powered lamps illuminate the entrance to the Jungle Villa.

As the tropical sun warms the plunge pool up by day, with the comfortable outdoor temperatures PuraVidaEcolodge's location offers, its a perfect place to 'chillax'  as evening sets in.

Likewise, the wrap-around veranda and multiple level decks provide the perfect place to watch the tropical storms, characteristic of the evenings during the wetter 'green season' 

As we come back up from trekking around the PuraVidaEcolodge Reserve and a quick bathe in the waterfall (you'll have to wait a little bit longer for these photos!) the sun starts to illuminate the front of the Jungle Villa...