Monday, September 18, 2006

Paradise Found!

In case youre searching for paradise, I�ve found it here in Costa Rica. It�s called Tabacon and it�s at the base of Mt. Arenal (Volcano) in the San Carlos region of the country. It can only be described as a dream. The Oneal sisters, Francisco and I drove through the cloud forest and spent Saturday night there. It was so perfect, we all walked away thinking we had experienced some sort of tropical mirage.

Arenal is an active volcano. And by active, I mean there are consistent explosions that you can see and hear and red molten lava flows you can view from miles away. The US State department has a travel advisory for the resorts (in cluding tabacon) at the base of the hill because of their proximity to the active mountain and the lack of a proper evacuation route. The volcano erupted in a big way in 1968 and has rumbled ever since. The lava feeds hundreds of hot springs around the area and Tabacon has harnessed these waters in an incredible way. It can best be described as a lush tropical garden with streams and natural pools set deep in the rainforest. There is an entire ecosphere of tropical plants, flowers, birds and wildlife that belly right up to the waters you wade in. The steam from the waters consistently lingers just above the streams to further enhance the garden of eden feel of it all. There are waterfalls that you can sit under, thatched roof meditation studios; spring fed swimming pools with swim up bars and clear views of the volcano. I couldnt have dreamed up a more typical, tropical, rainforest, dreamy setting.

We enjoyed the hot springs (and Cuba Libre's) most all day Saturday before we checked into our rooms at the resort. Our room had huge sliding screens that perfectly framed the volcano, and as dusk set in, we could see the lava explosions at the top of the cone and watch them trail down the side of the mountain. Simultaneously, there were congo monkeys in the trees surrounding us that groaned out to each other as the night sky opened up. We were lulled to sleep with the sounds of the rainforest and intermittent rumbles from the volcano coming from outside our windows. It was an incredible experience, almost surreal. Sunday morning we hit the springs early and were almost the only ones there. I sat under a natural waterfall of 95F water as it started to rain and watched tropical birds flutter in the trees and thought to myself how perfect it all was.

If you ever find yourself in Costa Rica, there�s absolutely no question, you must visit Tabacon. Is almost too good to be true, and like most things similar, it won�t be long before everyone finds out about it. Until then, I plan on introducing it to all of my friends and family who come visit here. It�s an experience they (and I) will never forget.

Pool View of Aranal

Wading Waters 95 F

Walking Trees Meet the water

Pathways to Paradise

Phallac Flora

105 Degrees anyone?

Zen Defined

Room with a View

Tropical Ginger

1 comment:

Kelicious said...

Can't wait to see it in person!