Content produced in partnership with Capitán Suizo

What does “pura vida” mean? In its most basic form, the Costa Rican greeting means “pure life,” but the phrase extends well beyond literal translation. It's a cultural mindset that embodies the carefree spirit and optimistic attitude of the tiny Latin American nation, and Costa Rica is a place people come for a breath of fresh air. Visitors come from all over to reset, get back to the basics, and remember what matters. Nowhere embodies this better than hotel Capitán Suizo.

It’s an authentic Costa Rican experience from the moment you step into the open-air lobby. Surrounded by lush tropical trees and local vegetation, an overwhelming sense of serenity overcomes you. Everything is green, alive; organic gardens and nature paths attract birds, howler monkeys, iguanas, geckos, armadillos, skunks, anteaters, and raccoons. It’s like the scene out of Sleeping Beauty when the forest animals flock to Aurora, a magnetic connection between the property, the land and the guests — a Disney movie reincarnated.

If you’re familiar with Tamarindo, you know that the central area can get busy, especially by Costa Rican standards. But people don’t come to Costa Rica for city life, right? Capitán’s location just a few minutes from town is ideal if you need anything but far enough away so that it feels like a nature retreat.

With a laid-back vibe permeating the air and friendly staff catering to your every whim, it’s easy to want to spend the day lounging around, but the beach seductively beckons. With its gentle waves and soft sand, Playa Tamarindo is one of the most beautiful stretches of sand on the Pacific Coast, unintimidating for even the most water weary. It's perfect for any age swimmer to go for a dip, practice their surf skills, or, with free access to boogie boards, ease into water sports. And when it feels like you have the turquoise water all to yourself? All the better.

When you’re ready to refuel, it’s only a few steps to the beachfront restaurant. In the morning, a hearty Costa Rican breakfast buffet awaits: gallo pinto, eggs, bread, fresh fruit, juices, and that perfect cup of locally brewed coffee. Sit, sip, and savor, taking in the sights and smells and easing yourself into the day. The restaurant offers daily romantic candle light dinners on the beach and barbecues on Fridays with folkloric dance shows to set the mood. Every Wednesday and Friday night dinner is accompanied by live marimba music.

It’s not a true vacation without at least one spa treatment, whether that be an invigorating skin exfoliation or a coconut milk facial. If your muscles are aching, beachfront or garden massages can be arranged to nurse you back to health as the sounds of nature and the salty ocean breeze renews your soul. This is living.