Costa Rica is of course well known for its stunning beaches, lush rainforest, exotic wildlife and towering volcanoes. But what if there was another side to Costa Rica, equally as exciting yet less discovered, an area from which to explore the country’s lesser known rural farm life?
Just such a place exists, in the unexplored rolling hills and verdant mountain tops of Perez Zeledon. Arguably the country’s agricultural capital, it is one of the last destinations unchanged by tourism within Costa Rica, a fact that is beautifully reflected in the unspoilt surroundings.
We have fallen snout over trotters for the stunning 864 acre Hacienda AltaGracia. With panoramic views over the San Isidro Valley, the country retreat has 50 beautiful casitas tucked into the hillside, spacious yet intimate with an authentic hacienda vibe. If by ‘hacienda’, you mean two whopping pools, a steamy Auberge Spa, farm-to-table restaurant, outdoor hot-tubs, and – ahem – a private airstrip.
The pièce de résistance of the hacienda is the palatial horse stable with more than 40 beasts (well tempered), ready to take you out to explore the area. An extensive list of activities located on the grounds of the estate, rooted in the heritage and culture of Southern Costa Rica, makes it tempting to stay on property. But available nearby there is also white water rafting, coffee farm tours, and bird watching excursions.
Hacienda AltaGracia may have been Costa Rica’s best kept secret but we are blowing the whistle and firing up the pig signal because this place needs to be visited and it won’t be long until it’s on everybody’s bucket list.
Victoria mans our Pig Signal for Latin America. Does that make her our Batman? Inspector Gordon? Not sure, but she leads the good fight against mediocre trip planning every day. Kapppooowww!