In the northern jungle reserves of Costa Rica, overlooking an expansive valley, distant volcanoes, and Nicaragua Lake, Origins Lodge sits on a mountainside surrounded by lush green rainforest. The grounds contain over 45 hectares, 70% of which is a combination of primary rainforest, the most biologically diverse, and secondary rainforest.
The central pool, restaurant, and library area provides the main gathering point at Origins Lodge, where couples, families, or solo travelers can enjoy fresh cuisine – much of which comes from the on-site organic gardens and local farmers – while listening to the sounds of the wildlife, watching the clouds approach or the exotic birds feed. Reigniting pre-hispanic cooking traditions, the chef’s team creates a daily menu drawing inspiration from indigenous cultures, local herbs and plants, and European expertise. Don’t miss an opportunity to take a cooking class with one of the expert chefs.
Each of the beautifully designed, circular lodges provide guests with both privacy and spectacular views of the grounds and the valley below. Bathed in light from all sides, in addition to the circular skylight at the apex of the conical roof, opened and closed via a sun-printed, mirrored disk. The spacious bathroom incorporates bamboo, wood, and rock to ground you in nature, choose to rinse off inside or al fresco in the open air, stone-walled shower. Lodges are equipped with everything you may need from the standard amenities, none of which were wrapped in plastic at this eco-friendly resort, to useful items for the climate and terrain such as a flashlight, raincoat and umbrellas, insect repellant, binoculars, and a handy, laminated species guide which was useful for spotting the multitude of colorful bird species while relaxing in the wood-fire heated hot tub or lounging on the swinging day-bed.
The impressive yoga shala, enclaved in jungle greenery, creates a tranquil ambiance with an awe-inspiring view. Allow sounds of the wind rustling through the trees and a variety of birdsongs to accompany your practice and lull you into your post-yoga savasana meditation.
Hiking or horseback riding through the jungle leads you to stunning waterfalls, thousand-year-old trees, and a plethora of insect life – including the bullet ant, given its name due to the intensely painful sting, likened to the pain of a bullet! Luckily these ants were far more focused on their journey up and down their tree, aptly named ‘the supermarket of the forest’ as its leaves and bark provide food for any and all species that come across it.
Our guide expertly called to the white-faced monkeys that roam the area and sure enough, they came swinging over. One gave us a fright as it fell from a high branch and hit the ground, we gasped and headed towards it, only to see it scamper right back up the tree, seemingly unfazed. Our mission was to see a sloth, we finally achieved our goal on our last afternoon as a mother with her baby moved slowly and steadily from branch to branch high up in the treetops.
During our nighttime hike, we were introduced to a multitude of amphibian life, including giant toads and the colorful red-eyed tree frog, as much an icon of Costa Rica as the sloth. I was handed some ylang-ylang flowers from one of the trees as our guide explained that these trees were planted strategically to catch the wind and therefore, naturally fragrance the guest lodges and terraces.
Laka Tii Spa Suite
An impressive view of the valley awaits guests as they enter the Laka Tii Spa Suite, which is beautifully set up to receive individuals or couples for a variety of massages and body treatments. A Jacuzzi sits upon the spacious wooden deck alongside lounge chairs for guests to take in the view. A small herbal-scented steam room is also incorporated into the spa experiences. The signature spa journey draws inspiration from the natural landscape and includes an organic Costa Rican chocolate and coffee exfoliation to soften and prepare the skin before a volcanic clay mud wrap infuses the body with minerals. Large leaves, collected from the jungle just outside, are used to wrap the body while a scalp massage and pressure point facial massage soothe the mind. The treatment concludes with a hydrating cream massage leaving the skin soft and nourished.
By Sara Jones