We apologize to our faithful blog viewers for the long pause and warn you, this is a long one! Brendan and I have been back in the States more or less since we returned from Mexico in late July. Much has changed since then! In regards to Los Adobes, the Puerto Escondido find, we decided it was not in our best interest to join a partnership with two Mexicans we didn’t know. Yes, many of you may have thought us crazy for ever considering it to begin with and in retrospect it was a bit ridiculous. What we learned from that experience is priceless nonetheless.
We were living in Vermont during this time of decision making and renting a small but very cute studio apartment in the tiny town of Bridgewater. Brendan enjoyed his first true rural Vermont living experience. I think it seemed even stranger to him than Nicaragua! In November, the spectacular wedding of my cousin Sarah Turner, now Sarah Lidz and her man, Jono brought us to Puerto Rico for a week. We took advantage of the trip and looked at a small lodge in El Yunque, the tropical rainforest on the east coast of the island. We thought it was a very interesting place and liked it enough to pursue the idea of buying it and went home with intentions to make something happen there. The holiday season was coming at us full force however and we found it nearly impossible to communicate with banks in Puerto Rico. As a result we found ourselves drifting from the place and lost some level of interest. Brendan returned home for the Holidays and I joined him shortly after to bring in the New Year in Washington DC.
As the excitement of the holiday’s came to an end, we found ourselves at a loss for what the next step should be. We had been using up the last bit of our savings and were pretty much tired of living out of our backpacks. It seemed it was almost time to put the guest house search off for a while and behave like most people our age, jobs, apartments etc. A frightening thought, I know! As usual, I was spending my morning browsing real estate websites when I stumbled upon what looked like an incredible bungalow lodge for sale on the Caribbean coast of Coast Rica. The place had been built that year and, according to the ad, needed to sell quickly due to family issues. So, with nothing to lose, Brendan and I decided to fly down to Costa Rica on a last ditch effort to see Tierra de Suenos.
A wise decision indeed! The flight to San Jose was quick and easy and we raced to make the last bus going to Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coast. The beginning of the drive was beautiful, up and over lush temperate mountains. The sun went down once we hit the lowlands close to the coast and we drove through miles of banana plantations in wild anticipation as we inched closer to Puerto Viejo.
As the warm evening breeze of the humid Caribbean touched our skin, we remembered some of the reasons we started this search to begin with. Sounds of reggae music poured out onto the streets and a wirey dread locked man approached us asking where we were headed. We told him Tierra de Suenos in Playa Chiquita, trying to hold back our excitement. He wasn’t sure of the place, but fetched us a cab. The drive out to Playa Chiquita is only 6 kilometers from Puerto Viejo but feels a bit longer due to the slow and bumpy dirt road. Making our way to the end of Playa Cocles, a long surf beach that that precedes Playa Chiquita, the road began to narrow and lush jungle took the place of any hotels or restaurants. This rural stretch lasted for a few minutes, then we spotted the glowing sign peeking out from the lush garden , Tierra de Suenos! The manager greeted us at the front entrance and walked us on a well lit path through the rainforest to our bungalow titled “Orchid Oasis.” We stepped into the beautiful bungalow and knew in a second this was the place!
Tierra de Suenos is made up of six 1 year old bungalows, a two bedroom owner’s house, a reception house with full kitchen and a palm roofed yoga studio. The grounds are stunning, overflowing with birds of paradise, palm trees, banana plants and a hundred others who are not yet familiar to us. There are five adorable sloths that live on the property as well as butterflies, hummingbirds, toucans and more. Each bungalow is made from beautiful hard wood, has its own deck with hammocks and adarondack chairs. They are situated close together in a U shape to maximize the amount of forest on the land. Everything in the bungalows is handcrafted, including the bedframes and mosaic showers.
Tierra de Suenos enjoys the best of all worlds. Playa Chiquita is a quiet village with three restaurants and two grocery stores as well as a community center that offers yoga and capoeira. It is a quick bike or taxi ride to the lively town of Puerto Viejo where there are bars, clubs and a variety of restaurants, but far enough away to not be bothered by all the noise . It is smack dab in the middle of all the best beaches in the area including the darling Playa Chiquita itself which is a 3 minute walk from the lodge. The area is considered the most diverse in Costa Rica with it’s mix of Afro-Caribbians, Hispanics who have moved from more urban areas and indigenous people of the area. Ex-pats from all over the world have begun to flock here as well. The most incredible aspect of all this diversity is the very mixed nature of the groups. People in general live in harmony and honor the true meaning of the Costa Rican phrase, Pura Vida.
We recently signed a buy/sell contract and plan on closing the deal on February 25th. A friend of Brendan’s from DC, John Hurley is funding the project and will be our partner in this endeavor. We will be moving down there to live and manage after close. The closing date is exactly one year and one day from the time we started this search last year. This seems to be an auspicious time of year for us! We imagine that we are going to run into countless obstacles as we learn the ins and outs of the business and plan to maintain this blog through it all.
Tierra de Suenos already has a website that we will change a bit to make more our own, but please check it out: www.tierradesueno.com For the best viewing of the photos in the upper right hand corner click on them, then click “view album”, then “slideshow”!
After The 25th, reservations are open. Come visit us and see what it’s all about!