Cool aqua blues balanced against earthy brown and leaf green. Accents of glamorous turquoise, spicy persimmon, hot pink, vibrant coral and juicy chartreuse. Plus a fiery fuchsia that isn’t for the faint of heart! The color forecast for Summer 2015 is an invigorating juxtaposition of sultry shades and vibrant tropical hues. This joyful and exuberant palette immediately sent our imagination on a journey clad in festive florals, exotic animal prints and jewelry, jewelry, jewelry! To get a jump on the trend, why not head off on a real-life tropical rainforest vacation this summer? Here is where we recommend you stay, what to pack and how to accessorize.
Photo via Casa Corcovado.
Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge
Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge is an eco-hideaway located on a 170-acre private rainforest reserve in southwestern Costa Rica on the Osa Peninsula. Bordering the country’s renowned national park system, it is one of the most “biologically intense” places on earth, according to the National Geographic Society. Accessible by water only, boats leave from the town of Sierpe and take about 90 minutes through the mangrove system to reach the lodge, which Fodor’s has praised for its earth-friendliness, including hydroelectric and solar power, recycling and use of refillable bottles.
Ariel view of the Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge. Photo via the lodge's Pinterest.
Charming guest bungalows are clustered on a hilltop high above the sea and surrounded by tropical gardens and rainforest. (Even the mini-bars are charming: they’re wooden chests!) Casa Corcovado boasts a pristine 500m, palm-fringed stretch of beach, multiple pools including the secluded, spring-fed “The Forest” pool located by a small stream. The “Bar El Bosque” is surrounded by virgin rainforest and fruit trees filled with birds and monkeys – perfect for wildlife spotting and a drink of course! Their “Los Vitrales” restaurant features a menu that combines locally-available ingredients with luxe-spa flair.
The opportunities for nature-watching on foot in Costa Rica are unprecedented and the birding is un-paralled, with dense populations of tapir, jaguar and scarlet macaws. But don’t stay out late the night before. The best birding happens at first light, so plan on being ready to go around 5:30 am.
A fun and relaxing way to take in the local palm-lined beaches is on horseback. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced, there are both half and full-day tours readily available for all experience levels.
Scuba or Snorkel
Slip on a snorkel and some fins and the watery scenery could include pilot or humpback whales, dolphins, manta rays, turtles and small white-tipped sharks. Diving is also spectacular within the marine and biological reserves, with temperatures in the high 70s and low 80s all year, good visibility of up to 90 feet and waters that teem with life.
Kayak or Fish
Be sure to paddle through the mangroves, once considered worthless swamps but now known to be valuable natural nurseries to countless fish and shrimp. Alternatively, get a visceral feel for the ocean by kayaking along the coast. Sport fishing is also a good way to raise the excitement level and on the Pacific, it is common to release a dozen or more sails and even a marlin or two in a single day. In fact, it isn’t unusual to release more than 30 sailfish a day as well as giant yellow fin tuna, wahoo, cubera, roosterfish, a variety of snapper, grouper, blue runners, rainbow runners and snook.
Photo via Pinterest.
Basics for outdoor activities
1. Shirts with short- & long-sleeves: at least one of each.
2. Trousers in cotton or other light fabric. Jeans are slow to dry, so only pack a pair if you plan on going horseback riding.
3. Shorts for hiking.
4. Socks – a few pairs. Include a knee-length pair to go inside rubber boots. They’ll get wet, so bring extras.
5. Footwear – bring one pair you don’t mind getting wet, like Teva-type river/hiking sandal. Also pack a tennis shoe or flat which you should go to any lengths to keep dry!
Birds Of Costa Rica
Shimmering quetzals, gaudy macaws, comical toucans…so many beautiful birds for such a small place! This field guide comes highly recommended for being compact yet comprehensive, user-friendly and portable. And guaranteed to keep you abreast of many of the more than 820 resident and neotropical migrant species found in Costa Rica. Available here.
Binocs are a must for any birding or nature-themed trip. The rugged, well-designed 8×22 Ultrasharp Safari by Steiner was crowned Binoculars.com’s Best Compact Binocular for 2014. It’s waterproof, fogproof and has a super-fast focus. The comfortable eyecups and the fact that it folds up and is easy to stash in a cargo pocket or jacket make it a must-pack. Available here.
Pack a topper that can protect you, come rain or shine. Solumbra makes crushproof, wide-brim hats with high levels of SPF in the fabric itself for added peace of mind. Available here.
When headed anywhere tropical, bug spray is a must. We repeat: a must! We like EcoSMART’s organic formulation made with 100% food-grade ingredients that offers effective protection without dubious synthetic chemicals. Available here.
We like the effective, long-lasting protection and elegant feel of any of the La Roche-Posay Anthelios lotions & milks. Available here.
4. RESORT CHIC
All products featured available at Net-A-Porter.
The tropical waters are awash in refreshing blues, aquas and greens. Clockwise from upper left: Aqua Lotus ring, Blue Lapis Pisces Hoops, Pink Jaisel ring, and Indian Summer Flower earring. For more travel jewelry inspo, view our travel edit!
Now, tell us: how do you do tropical? Be sure to let us know with #isharya!