The city of San Jose, Costa Rica fades into the background.  The Man and our driver chat happily about the Costa Rican triumvirate—the church, the bar, and the soccer field.  I gaze out the window watching buildings and homes turn into farms and then into deep forest.

Costa Rica Countryside

We wind our way over mountains, into ravines—each town we passed getting smaller and smaller.  I soak up the backroads of Costa Rica—breathing in the fresh air and imagining myself living in the homes we pass…..

Our driver stops to allow us to marvel at an unexpected waterfall from the recent rains. I am glad we hired a driver because we would have been hopelessly lost!!

Costa Rica Waterfall

Our destination in the cloud forest, El Silencio Lodge in Bajos del Toro, welcomes us with open arms.  We meet our Eco Concierge, in the lobby.  It is rainly season and the cloud forest has a slight chill in the air, but the fire in the lobby is welcoming.  El Silencio is one of our Virtuoso Preferred hotels and I was anxious to get a first-hand look at this gem.  The property operates in a sustainable manner – with onsite gardens, greenhouses, orchards and chickens to supply their guests with fresh, exquisite local food (and we love our food!!).

We were a smidge early, so The Man and I enjoyed lunch on the covered riverside verandah with a glass or two of wine (we are on vacation after all).

El Silencio

The food was a delightful fusion of Costa Rican cuisine—fruit, beans, rice, and fish—each course elegantly presented. The rain began to slowly drip down creating a symphony of sounds on the roof, in the river with tree frogs singing in three-part harmony.

El Silencio Fruit Cup

Our room was ready.  The Man and I were escorted down a soft dirt road and up a hill to our suite.  My heart was blessed with a heart drawn on our bed in teeny tiny orchids.  What a wonderful touch for a honeymoon!  Each delicate orchid was unique and colorful.

El Silencio Honeymoon

El Silencio Room

Our fridge was stocked with snacks for our stay and the private outdoor whirlpool tub beckoned us to take a dip.  Our suite had a front porch overlooking the misty mountain and I envisioned a giant Ent holding watch over the valley.

El Silencio Mist

The rain increased in earnest as the Man sat in the rocker….rock…..rock….rock….  I journal for a while, turn on my ipod to disco and dance around the room (I wonder if the sloths have ever heard the Bee Gees?)….The Man looks at me, laughs, and says, “Tranquillo, babe, Tranquillo.”  I sit in the rocking chair and rock like a madwoman.  The rain had ruined my plans, I wanted to hike and explore….to be Grizzley Adams and talk to forest animals….rock…rock….rock….  The Man had found his place of tranquility—I just wasn’t quite there, yet. I was still in big city mode…..

El Silencio Room Porch

As the rain subsided, the butterflies came out of hiding, drinking the nectar of the bush in front of our deck.  A kitty cat came out of nowhere and jumped in my lap and began to purr as I rocked in my chair.  The river was full and melodious and darkness fell across the valley.

The Man and I dressed for dinner and I put on my hiking boots under my dress to make the walk to the main building.  I suddenly felt like a kid at camp—only this is quite a camp!!  We made our way down the softly lit road – listening to the forest and breathing in the clean air, holding hands.  We stopped by the gurgling river and kissed—I exhaled and said to my new husband…..”Yes, tranquillo.”

We walked into the main building and our table was set by the fire away from the other diners—a honeymoon treat.  We felt like two people in our own private hideaway as we toasted to our honeymoon and to El Silencio, to the magic of nature, and to Tranquillo.

El Silencio Wine by the Fire


Next:  Rappelling Down Waterfalls near Arenal