Stop dreaming, start discovering! Costa Rica awaits full of adventure. Costa Ballena is perfect for sports enthusiasts and for those who love to have fun and play. Active lifestyles are part of many of the residents’ everyday lifestyle and the weather provides the perfect environment year round to be outside. One can practice early morning yoga on the beach, improve their stability overtime with stand up paddle board in the mangroves, and surf at any one of the beaches during high tide. Join in on any one of the regular sports teams that are around, like soccer, baseball, volleyball and even basketball games. There are many water sports to enjoy like kayaking, snorkeling, diving, sport fishing, and boating. For those seeking thrill, waterfall rappelling (canyoneering) is a sport that is sure to get adrenaline pumping.Land sports include mountain biking, golfing and discovering the area on an ATV (AllTerrain Vehicle) trail. A hike in nature makes for a great day of exploration, and if you listen closely and follow the sound of rushing waters you are almost sure to finda waterfall. A stroll or brisk walk on the beach at sunset is always a great way to end the day.
Golf can be found in the Southern part of Costa Ballena, as can canopy tours, which is an exhilarating experience every time. Martial arts classes, spinning and gyms are found in Uvita. And cultural experiences are great for personal growth, visit the Boruca or interact with a ‘Tico’ or new neighbor from abroad, you’llbe sure to learn something new and forge lasting friendships. Try your hand at cooking ‘gallo pinto’ or ‘patacones’, sign up for a language exchange or put on your dancing shoes and test those new Latin moves. People who have always wanted to try their hand at painting, writing or photography find plenty of inspiration. Green thumbs have the perfect environment to expand their knowledge.
Many annual festivals are held throughout the year and provide locals with a unique opportunity to participate in world class events without having to leave the area. The festivals are an asset to the area, especially with regards to income generation for rental properties as thousands of tourists come to the area specifically for the venues. The festivals attract various types of travelers as the events themselves are quite diverse. The year starts out with Best Fest, an international music festival heldon a 2000 acre ranch that lies on one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches, Playa Ballena. This second year festival features artists from Costa Rica and the United States performing Blues, Jazz, Funk, Soul, Hip-hop, Reggae, Electronic, Bluegrass to name a few. Best Fest is a family friendly festival full of activities other than music. Attendees will enjoy sitting on the beach, playing disc golf, surfing, stand-up paddle boarding and hiking. Closely following, is this year’s first annual Craft Beer Festival, showcasing microbrewers from Costa Rica, both commercial and non-commercial. The idea is to present the visionaries who are leading the rapid expansion of the craft beer culture in Costa Rica and to provide a venue that allows amateurs and experts alike, a place and occasion to meet. There will be home brewing setups and demonstrations available, as live music and food stands. Envision, now on its fourth year running continues to draw an increasing number of worldwide festival goers to the area and is held towards the end of February. Envision’s aim is to bring people together to help initiate positive change in the world via music, art and sacred movement. A variety of activities are offered ranging from performing and visual arts, yoga, and lecture based workshops.
In March, we switch gears and head South to Palmar Sur with a cultural event, the Spheres Festival. The spheres of the Osa Canton are revered and date back to pre-Columbian times, many questions remain unanswered about why they were made, what tools were used to build them, and where the materials came from. The spheres are regarded as one of the wonders of the world, alongside such examples as Stonehenge and the Mayan Ruins. Among cultural festivals, there is also what is commonly called the Little Devils Dance which is held in Boruca, one of the seven indigenous tribes to Costa Rica. These ceremonies and rituals take place over the course of four days and re-enacts the Spaniards being chased off by the Boruca. The Spanish are represented by a bull costume and the Boruca wear their traditional devil masks, the event is always held December 30th toJanuary 2nd. The Whale’s Festival, going into its sixth year is held at the beginning of September and we celebrate the return of the humpback whales that come to the area to mate and give birth to their calves. There is also El Sabor de Ojochal that holds culinary events throughout the year; it is a non-profit organization that brings restaurateurs together in celebration of the culinary excellence found in Ojochal, Costa Rica.
And for entrepreneurs, adventure of another kind can be found. The joy and fulfilment of starting a new venture in a new country holds many rewards. Simply the prospect of being able to start a business on a shoestring, something unheard of back home is an attractive feature of the area. New challenges are ready to be taken on and the chance to achieve greater personal growth lies in the end. To be surrounded by people who not only think outside the box, but live outside the box, is amazing and inspiring. To lead the way into a future that we concretely create provides personal inspiration, develops pride in oneself, stimulates team work, sets a great example for the youth to come, and fuels passion that encourages one to overcome the challenges that may be encountered. And funny as it may be, many of those who are “retired” are busier than most as they are pursuing new activities, now that they are established, comfortable and have time to do as they please; they choose to relax and also to work towards goals they have chosen to set. Retirement can also be a time to play! Many are taking the time to pursue projects that are based on personal interest and passion, and it seems that their inspirational energy is in the air! Their enthusiasm lends itself to all those around, not only for those who are retired, but for anyone who interacts with someone who has come alive, they too, will feel passion and a revitalization in their life’s purpose. We are all adventurers on our own path and we are on our way!