El Silencio Lodge & Spa: Experiences in Costa Rica Catalog
An e-catalog of fun and learning experiences for the savvy Costa Rica visitor.
Live the Adventures Rivers, waterfalls, cloud forest, and traditional Costa Rican communities. El Silencio Lodge & Spa cordially invites you to enjoy the unique experiences and attractions that single out Bajos del Toro and its vicinity as signature Costa Rican destinations. www.elsilenciolodge.com Pump Up the Volume NEW Adventure Park 2-4 hours Intensity Level: High Let the deep cloud forest challenge you to a session of thrilling dares! Perfect for fit adrenaline enthusiasts. Choose either the Rappel Course or the Zip-Line Tract. Or combine both for a complete, unforgettable adventure. 08:00 am Departure. â€œWhat a way to add sizzle to our Costa Rica dream vacation!â€? -Anthony & Sandra, Denver Help the Planet! Tree Planting 15-20 minutes “Trees are the poems that Earth writes upon the sky.” Kahlil Gibran. Plant a living legacy in Costa Rica’s carbon-offsetting forests and help bring back beautiful Quetzal birds to the region. This complimentary ceremony is one of the highlights of the El Silencio Experience. “We felt blessed to have a chance to create a permanent bond with this marvelous forest. Planting a tree is a true life pleasure.” -Kelley & Al, San Francisco Trace the Forest Guided Waterfall Hike 1.5—2 hours The best way to enjoy our waterfalls! Your Eco-Concierge will take you along well-groomed paths that trace a pristine creek in a quest for soothing waterfalls. This guided experience lets you learn about fascinating cloud forest ecosystem. Please use one of our walking sticks for added safety and convenience. “The trail was generous! We felt like kids running wild in the forest, finding natural treasures, unexpected sights, and magical natural melodies.” Sonya & Andre, Wiesbaden Giddy-Up Horseback Riding 2 hours Bajos del Toro’s bucolic landscapes are best appreciated on horseback. A relaxed pace lets riders fully take in mist-covered mountain vistas, Poas volcano’s heatetched slopes, and cyan tinted streams and waterfalls. The adventure gives a serendipitous chance to meet and greet members of the local community as it traverses local farms and hidden trails. “We enjoyed riding with Vinicio through the charming Los Bajos village. Your horses are beautiful, tame, and well-cared for. Perfect to enjoy the magnificent views. It was an amazing mother-daughter bonding experience.” Kathy, New York. Learn Healing Secrets Forest Pharmacy 1 hour Follow the legacy of our own grandparents and great-grandparents, who found in forests and gardens a plethora of natural treasures to help alleviate ailments and enhance wellness. This guided experience, connects you to their ancient wisdom by paying a visit to our medicinal plant pathway. “Fascinating and rewarding! Can’t wait to start my own medicinal garden.” -Barbara, Alexandria, VA. Have a Chirpy Morning Daybreak Bird Watching 1.5 – 2 hours Departs from main building at 6:00am. El Silencio’s own trails are peppered with the area’s most exciting feathered species including minute hummingbirds and black guans. Enjoy thrilling glimpses and exciting photo ops. Perfect for everyone, from newbies to experienced birding enthusiasts. “Our Eco-Concierge, Vinicio was amazingly knowledgeable about Costa Rica’s mind-boggling feathered diversity. Can’t wait to show off our photo album!” -Ed & Sam, Tiburon Embrace the Spell Mystic Hike 1.5 hours A magical garden knot, hidden trails that let you embrace nature’s elements, and mesmerizing hummingbirds provide a singularly relaxing hiking experience. A perfect chance see El Silencio Lodge & Spa and the cloud forest from a different perspective. “What a way to let the forest guide you through a path to perfect relaxation. My favorite!” Juliana, Chicago. Steal Away a Kiss Forest Sundown Romantic Dinner 2 hours This storybook private dining experience lets nature’s gifts commune in a unique celebration of love. A suspended bridge softly drapes above the rivers’ infinite flow, inviting the couple to enter the forest as the sun seeks distant horizons. Accessed by a hidden path, an al-fresco wooden deck sets a private stage. Surrounded by torches and accent candles, an impeccably laid out table is shrouded by lush greenery and serenaded by the nearby stream. A chef will daz-zle with delicious courses, prepared and served on the spot and featuring exciting tropical flavors and textures. Perfect for honey-moons, anniversaries, or a special proposal. “If I hadn’t already proposed, this would have been it! Thank you for a marvelous dinner.” Mark, Burnsville. Be a Sommelier Apprentice Wine Tasting Experience 2 hours Let sommelier Carlos take you on a fantastic wine lover’s journey. Learn about wine’s origins, grape varieties, growing conditions, and unexpected challenges. Includes a crash course on wine-pairing, highlighted by a fun tasting session stacking up two reds and two whites against elemental flavors to illustrate the fine art of selecting the perfect wine to complement and enhance the flavor of a delicious dish. “Wine has quickly become one of our shared passions. Thank you for adding to our knowledge base of this amazing beverage. We had fun!” -Barbara & Stan, Indianapolis. Eat, Breathe, Glow! River Deck Private Lunch 2 hours An unforgettable culinary experience; overlooking the crystalline flow of the Gorrion River. Enjoy a very special menu in a mesmerizing setting. Our new river deck is beautifully laid out for a unique and private lunch to best enjoy El Silencio’s magical nature and signature cuisine. Fully attended by a personal waiter. “It was like a magical picnic for grownups!” -John & Cara, Great Falls, VA. Live Your Destination Los Bajos Cultural Experience 1.5 hours Our hometown, Los Bajos del Toro Amarillo is a thriving rural community with rich traditions, unsurpassed landscapes, and intriguing flora. This guided tour pays a visit to local orchid enthusiast, Don Martin Porras and his private garden. His collection features more than 400 orchid species, from fun shoe-shaped specimens to tiny varieties of Lilliputian beauty. A magnifying glass is provided for a unique micro-safari. Followed by a visit to the local school, church, soccer field, and a fun stop at Doña Olga’s Pulpería where you can palm fresh tortillas and buy local pastries. “The little town was delightful. Every member of the family learned a lot about Costa Rican culture. We shall surprise our friends with our new tortilla making skills!” -Jeff, Mary, Jeff & Courtney, London Celebrate Your Inner Artist Oxcart Painting 2 hours Embrace your inner artist through local culture. Learn the traditional ox-cart painting techniques from an authentic Sarchi artisan. The bold strokes and kaleidoscope-like patterns create one of Costa Rica’s most emblematic and colorful crafts. “Thank you Ronald! Our family will forever cherish the little mementos you helped us craft.” The Gorns Brew & Sample Coffee Journey 2 hours Costa Rica’s privileged climate and topography yields the world’s best and most complex coffee varieties. Learn about the fascinating history of coffee’s introduction to Costa Rica and its surprisingly far-reaching social, cultural, and economic impact. Followed by a coffee lovers’ dream tasting session featuring selected varieties including premium samples from the highlands that trim El Silencio Lodge & Spa. Become a coffee expert, understanding how altitude, the soil’s mineral content, shade level, rainfall index, and brewing method impact acidity, body, and flavor. “Not only fun, but DELICIOUS!” Becca & Dave, UK Savor Costa Rica Tasty Tico Traditions 1.5 - 2 hours Learning about your destination’s homespun culinary favorites is one of the best ways to connect with its culture. Costa Rica’s hearty home-style dishes hold little secrets that bring out the delicious flavors and nutrition of fresh ingredients. Team up with other cocineros and cocineras as you pick organic veggies and herbs from our in-property garden. Then join our Chef for a fun cooking lesson and prepare Costa Rica’s traditional meals. “We loved bonding with other guests and made new friends. Thank you for sharing your Chef’s secrets!” Jen &Todd, Denver CO Sweeten Your Vacation Half Day La Tirimbina Chocolate Tour Become a savvy chocolatier! A former cocoa bean plantation embedded in the thick tropical forest of the nearby Sarapiqui basin sets the stage for a delightful (and delicious) adventure. A guided 20 minute hike through the jungle and over a 1200 foot long hanging bridge is followed by a hands-on chocolate making session. From cracking open the cocoa fruit, to hand grinding and adding your favorite extra ingredients, the process is explained and peppered with fun historical tidbits about the “food of the gods”. Fun for kids and every adult’s inner child. “We knew money doesn’t grow on trees, now we know that chocolate does! Excellent tour. The hands-on chocolate making session was delicious. -The Muirs, Australia Sip Away Your Cares Espíritu Santo Coffee Tour Half Day Renowned for its ideal conditions for growing gourmet coffee, Naranjo County features some of the best plantations in Costa Rica. Hacienda Espíritu Santo welcomes java lovers who wish to learn about the fascinating coffee process, from bean harvesting and roasting, to brewing. With prior reservations, you can even enjoy a coffee-tasting course. May be combined with the Carts, Gardens & Shopping excursion for a full day experience for an additional cost. “You managed to turn my husband into a coffee fan! Our mornings will never be the same!” Amy, Jacksonville. Marvel at Color Carts, Gardens & Shopping Half Day The town of Sarchí is home to the colorful Costa Rican oxcart. Recognized by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage symbol, it features intricate designs and a signature “song” produced by the chime of the rotating wheel. Features tours of the Chaverri Oxcart Factory and the Else Kientzler Botanical Gardens. Includes a traditional lunch and a little shopping at Sarchi’s famous souvenir centers. May be combined with the Coffee Tour for a full day experience for an additional cost. “Costa Rica’s stunning flowers must have influenced the oxcart wheel designs. Man inspired by nature’s masterpieces.”-The Greenbergs, D.C. Shop & Cook Like a Local Mercadito & Olla de Carne Half Day Learn a little Spanish, visit a regional mercadito, and prepare the best Olla de Carne on record. Perfect for shopping and cooking enthusiasts! This fun experience starts off with a list of delicious ingredients for a traditional Costa Rican stew. A photo guide will help you undertake your mission: To find, select, and purchase the freshest produce at the community market! You will be given ₡5000 (about $10) and your Eco-Concierge will reveal pointers to make the most of your money. In the process, you will have a chance to interact with local farmers as you learn about their daily lives and culture. Back at El Silencio, participants will make a hearty Olla de Carne stew to be enjoyed at dinner. “This was our third visit to Costa Rica and our second to El Silencio. Thank you for always coming up with novel and authentic experiences. I was in heaven at the little mercado!” Lisa & Scott, Glen Ellyn. Put On Your Explorer Hat Hidden Treasure Hike Half Day Intensity Level: High The town of Toro Amarillo is embedded in a secluded region of Costa Rica’s central volcanic range. One of its rarest gifts is the Desague River, a singular body of water tinted blue within the depths of Poas volcano. Discover this natural wonder as it flows through the landscape, unraveling in a mesmerizing waterfall of sky-like tonalities. For extra-adventure, you can take a soak in a refreshing cold water natural pool.. “My partner is always on a quest for off-chart experiences. This was as perfect as perfect can get!” Terry, Sarasota. Embrace Magnificence Del Toro Waterfall Half Day Enjoy a natural masterpiece! A staggering 400 foot drop cascades onto an extinct volcanic crater. Trimmed by a broad multicolored canyon where shades of red clay blend with green moss and dense vegetation. A winding trail takes you to the very bottom to enjoy exciting close-ups of the roaring mist. â€œOne for the bucket-list! Standing right by the roaring whitewater inside a swirling cloud of mist is a moment I will never forget.â€? -Pete, Austin Soothe & Soak Arenal Volcano & Hot Springs Full Day Set in Costa Rica’s lush northern plains, Arenal Volcano is one of Costa Rica’s iconic landmarks. A magnificent example of a conical volcano, its tall and imposing symmetry is surrounded by wild vegetation and a maze of hot springs. These mineral-rich soaking pools are perfect for therapeutic relaxation. One of Costa Rica’s favorite travel experiences! “We enjoyed every minute of this adventure. The drive was a blast with fun sightseeing opportunities. Kudos to our driver/guide for his amazing service and knowledge. The relaxation from the hot springs lingers!” Lisa & Scott, Potomac. Zip & Splash Hacienda Pozo Azul Adventures Half or Full Day Hacienda Pozo Azul is an amazing eco-park immersed in the tropical rain forest of the Sarapiquí River Baisin. Set your pace and choose your favorite activities: River Rafting, Canopy Zip-Lining, Horseback Riding, Rappelling, or visiting a magical Butterfly Garden. Select one for a half-day tour or up to three activities for a full day adventure “Fun, fun, fun! Pozo Azul brought back our best Summer Camp memories. River rafting was exhilarating!” Mario & Anna, Albuquerque. Experience Catalog Experiences Min/Max Participants Age Minimum Location Easy/Moderate Eco-Discovery Planting a Tree 1/8 n/a On-Site Mystic Hike 2/8 n/a On-Site Guided Waterfall Hike 2/8 n/a On-Site Forest Pharmacy 2/8 n/a On-Site Daybreak Bird Watching 2/8 n/a On-Site Horseback Riding 2/8 10 On-Site Del Toro Waterfall Hike 2/8 8 Vicinity Arenal Volcano & Hot Springs 2/8 n/a 2 hours away Hacienda Pozo Azul Adventures 2/8 n/a 2 hours away Forest Sundown Dinner 2/4 n/a On-Site Mini Wine Tasting Session 2/8 18 On-Site River Deck Private Lunch 2/8 n/a On-Site Los Bajos Cultural Experience 2/8 n/a Vicinity Mercadito Shopping & Cooking 2/8 n/a 1 hour away Oxcart Painting 2/6 5 On-Site Coffee Journey 2/8 n/a On-Site Tasty Tico Traditions Cooking Lesson 2/8 8 On-Site Carts, Gardens & Shopping 2/8 n/a 1 hour away Regional Duo (Cart, Gardens & Shopping & Espiritu Santo Coffee Tour combined) 2/8 n/a 1 hour away La Tirimbina Chocolate Tour 2/8 n/a 1.5 hours away Espiritu Santo Coffee Tour 2/8 n/a 1 hour away Eco Adventure Park 4/6 12 On-Site Hidden Treasure Hike 2/8 n/a Vicinity Special Dining Cultural Offerings High-Intensity Adventure Enjoyment Tips Sunblock and sunglasses are highly recommended. To best enjoy hiking, horseback riding or adventure experiences, we recommend a hat, long pants, hiking shoes, a windbreaker or poncho, a change of clothes, and a swimsuit where applicable. For cultural discovery, comfy clothes and shoes plus a little cash for shopping. If you choose to participate in a remote location activity and have a propensity for motion sickness, it may be Scan & Share! If you are active on Facebook, we cordially invite you to like our page to share your experiences during your stay and to keep in touch after your return home. Our Sister Property HOTEL PUNTA ISLITA –The Authentic Experience El Silencio Lodge & Spa’s sister property, Hotel Punt Islita is set along the open-ocean coastline of Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Peninsula. Perfect for enjoying beach landscapes, friendshipbased hospitality, local art, pampered wellness, and fun eco-adventures: www.hotelpuntaislita.com