The Perfect Retreat: El Silencio Lodge in Costa Rica
Upon arriving at El Silencio Lodge & Spa, Bruce and I just knew that we weren’t going to be ready to leave just 2 nights later.
Nestled in the mountain jungle about an hour and a half from the airport, this little eco-resort was the perfect salvo to a long flight and a treacherous mountain road from the airport. El Silencio came highly recommended by a friend we were visiting in San Jose, and we instantly fell in love with the location and misty mountain vibes.
We pulled up to the main lodge late in the afternoon, and were welcomed by the hotel staff with a cool and sweet Costa Rican iced tea, and given an overview of the grounds — then, brought up to our cabin suite, boasting gorgeous views of the mountains, a swinging porch sofa, and a hidden patio jacuzzi (!!). Our bags were already in the suite, along with a handwritten welcome note, and a pico de gallo + guacamole appetizer that was so good I drank the juices from the bowl when we gobbled up the root veggie chips and dip.
The staff had preemptively heated up the jacuzzi for us, so we get settled in, ogled at the warm decor, and hopped into the tub to let the water draw out all the stress from a day of travel and wrapping up work emails!
Sidenote: to say that I was “stressed” leading up to this trip was a vast understatement. I recently accepted a full-time job that I’ve beec really excited about, but learning how to balance a few of my long-time freelance clients alongside a day job has been a struggle to say the least. So up until the plane landed, I was desperately trying to finish photo edits and design projects — and I knew that if I didn’t wrap them up, I’d never stop thinking about them. But sure enough, upon landing in Costa Rica, I was able to close my laptop and turn off my work brain for a few precious days! So climbing into a jacuzzi was exactly what I needed to just relax, just in time to really kick off our first international vacation together since early 2019.
One of the things that really drew me to El Silencio was the variety of activities they offer, from guided hikes, night jungle tours, cooking lessons, and fly fishing, to name a few. We were only staying for a couple of nights, but we met a few other travelers who were there for several days, and thrilled to take on some of the activities we didn’t have time for — but in the meantime, we opted for hiking on our own to the 3 waterfalls exclusive to El Silencio’s property. It took us about an hour total, and we considered it to be a pretty easy hike — more like a walk through the jungle with minimal climbing! On the way, we checked out the on-site greenhouse, as well as the chicken coop and trout pond. I’ve been to tropical places before, but nothing quite like a true rainforest. It rained most of the time we were there, but being able to see the mists work their way through the mountains and even some areas on the trail itself was nothing short of magical.
After lunch in the lodge, we joined another couple for horseback riding around the property, which was a gorgeous way to see some of the grounds. I am not much of a horseback rider, and happened to get a sassy horse named Cacao that was mostly focused on snacking on foliage on his own terms. We figured out a recipe for compromise eventually, to Cacao’s dismay.
When it came to the meals, everything we ate was nothing short of delicious, but breakfast was always our favorite meal of each day! Between flavorful chorizo, veggie, and eggs, to the typical Costa Rican breakfast of rice and beans, eggs, and sausage, we found ourselves salivating over the next breakfast we would be enjoying the the all-glass walled lodge with it’s beautiful views of the jungle and river.
Long story short, we’re still thinking about the most magical days we spent at El Silencio, and we are just dying to get back to explore even more of their gorgeous property!
Special thanks to El Silencio Lodge & Spa, which gifted a two night stay! I can’t wait to return, and to explore more of the Relais Chateaux Properties. Follow them on Instagram at @elsilenciolodge and @relaischateaux.