Posted November 17, 2013
By STEPHANIE PARRA
RINCON DE LA VIEJA, Costa Rica — Nestled deep within the mountains and lush forests of Costa Rica lays the Borinquen Mountain Resort and Spa.
The resort, tucked in Rincon de La Vieja National park, offers a peek into Costa Rican jungle life. The lush fauna surrounds the entire resort area – plants like birds of paradise greet guests through the windows of the airy restaurant located on the site.
Rincon de la Vieja National Park is located within the Costa Rican interior –
about a four-hour drive away from San Jose – or 250 kilometers away.
Inside the park sits the active Volcan Rincon de la Vieja, which is one of the five volcanoes in the Cordillera de Guanacaste (Guanacaste Mountain Range). The highest peak within the park stands tall at 1,916 meters above sea level – nearly five times as a high as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, which stands at 324 meters.
Out of the five volcanoes in the range, Rincon de la Vieja’s Volcano is the easily reached. Still, it is remote enough that it has remained a pristine natural environment. In addition, the entire national park (also known as the Guanacaste Conversation Area) is a member of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. The World Heritage Sites, listed by UNESCO, are places of special or physical significance.
For Costa Rican native Christian Gonzalez, the area is of special significance.
“I really admire the landscape, the area and the environment,” he said, in an interview conducted in Spanish. “I love how I could take a walk around the premises near the Borinquen Mountain Resort and Spa and still see such an abundance of wild life and fauna.”
ACCOMMODATIONS AT BORINQUEN
The resort is comprised of small, rustic-like villas and bungalows. Each of the villas or bungalows is equipped with a private balcony and breath-taking mountain views.
In addition, each unit is air-conditioned, fully furnished and chicly decorated to appeal to all tastes. And, despite the aloof location of the resort, each of the units include a private restroom, hairdryers, satellite TV, a minibar and coffeemaker – all meant to keep you in sync with reality if you so desire.
For newlyweds Anna and Michael Smith, 31 and 35, originally from Toronto, Canada, the resort offered the perfect getaway.
“I really am enjoying my stay here,” Anna said. “I love how the bungalows are sufficiently distant from each other, but still relatively close. At night, we are not afraid to be staying in the middle of a national park in such a remote location of the world.”
In addition to the 39 rooms (the total amount of rooms located on the site), the Mountain Resort and Spa features an outdoor swimming pool and four restaurants. The restaurants serve both international and domestic dishes.
A snack bar and a swim-up bar are also on the premises, easy for guests to grab a mid-afternoon snack or cool drink.
Maria Rodriguez, 24, has stayed at the resort a total of three times with her family and friends. During her most recent stay in early September, Maria discovered the snack bar.
“Before, whenever I wanted to eat, I had to go to the town or go sit at a restaurant,” she said, in Spanish. “Now, with this snack bar I just discovered by the pool area, I can go grab something to eat when I am hungry, which happens often.”
ACTIVITIES AT BORINQUEN
Also located at the Borinquen Mountain Resort and Spa is the Anahuac Spa, which offers massage rooms that overlook the nearby river and forests. The spa, decorated with a Zen-inspired motif, is also situated near one of the main fumaroles on the premises. Fumarole, which in Latin means “smoke” are openings in the earth’s crust that are often situated near volcanoes and emit steam and gases including carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen chloride and hydrogen sulfide.
In the meantime, the name “Anahuac” derives from the Costa Rican native Bri-bri language and means “surrounded by water.”
Most massage rooms, as mentioned, overlook views of the river and forest, giving guests an original nature soundtrack while they enjoy their massage.
Pablo Velazquez, 45, spoke of his experience with the spa fondly.
“The massage was phenomenal,” he said in Spanish. “It is extremely natural and I will recommend it to all my friends back home in Mexico.”
The spa’s menu includes an ample list of original and classic-style massages. Couple and children massages are also available for those traveling together or with families.
In addition to the spa, guests can take a mud bath with the excess of volcanic mud on the premises, and later wash it off with at the thermal spring water pools. Natural steam rooms are also available for those who would like to open their pores before applying the mud from the mud bath pools.
For guests who simply want to enjoy nature in its most primal state, eco-tours are available. The Certification for Sustainable Tourism Program (CST) is a program designed by the Costa Rican tourism board. It was designed with the purpose of urging national companies to become more involved with environmental conservation.
The Borinquen Mountain Resort and Spa implemented its own set of guidelines in order to better carry out the national policies. The policy at the resort, named Green Hope, is “a set of guidelines made to help carry out sustainable practices and usage of resources,” according to the resort’s website.
As a result of these policies, the resort offers a great hiking area, filled with native organisms including birds, butterflies and lizards.
For vacationer Kelly Hayworth, 51, the resort is simply a place that helps soothe the mind and renew the body.
“I am a huge fan of this resort,” she said. “I found it online while Googling resorts in Costa Rica, and I cannot be more happy with my experiences at this resort.”
If You Go
- The Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR) is located approximately 20 miles away from the resort. Daniel Oduber International Airport is in Liberia, Costa Rica. It is not Costa Rica’s main airport, but is closest to the locations described in this story.
- Ziplining and canopy tours are available within the resort. For more information on activities, visit borinquenresort.com/index.php?page=activities.
- All staff members are trained to be environmentally friendly. Only environmentally friendly products and practices are used at the hotel. Biodegradable products are encouraged.
- The spa is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- The last appointment for the spa must be scheduled for 5 p.m.
- To make reservations to the spa, appointments may be made at the reception desk at the hotel or at the spa desk.
- Spa guests are required to arrive 10 minutes prior to the scheduled appointment time.
- For more information on the resort, borinquenresort.com or borinquenresort.com/index.php?page=contact.
- For more information on eco-tourism, visit borinquenresort.com/index.php?page=eco.