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Pura Vida at the Finca Cañas Castilla

Pura Vida at the Finca Cañas Castilla

Although we initially thought that “Pura Vida” was a Costa Rica advertising slogan, it really is an expression that Costa Ricans use to greet, thank and, surely, many other occasions that we still do not know..

But it is also much more than that. They are two words that define the attitude of a country. And although, sometimes, they do not fit with the harsh reality (I remember now the drunks of Playa del Coco, for example) on many other occasions, Costa Rica shows you precisely this: Pura Vida.

And so was our entrance to this great little country. After a pretty chaotic departure from Nicaragua at Finca Cañas Castilla, a wave of optimism and fresh air awaited us thanks to its exuberant nature and fantastic reception: an unbeatable welcome to Costa Rica..

Cañas Castilla is located in the Department of Guanacaste, a few kilometers from the border with Nicaragua. More specifically, this farm that has cabins, camping area, restaurant and farm, is located on the banks of the Sapoa River. The surrounding scenario is brimming with life ... Pura Vida. The nice couple of Swiss who run the place have taken advantage of the richness of the environment and have thought of everything: the common areas consist of a small balcony overlooking the river, a small library and a lot of information about the fauna and flora of the zone. In addition, they have prepared some routes of several kilometers around the farm with trees marked to learn about the species of the area.

Pura Vida at the Finca Cañas Castilla

But you don't have to go far to observe all kinds of exotic and wonderful creatures. Right next to the reception, in a hole on top of an old log, lives a shy anteater. A few meters away, lazy sleeps, a one-year-old baby that fell from a tree when she was a baby and that this Swiss couple takes care and feeds with admirable love and dedication. In the river, a few meters away, fish and fiddle a couple of otters and, from time to time, the crocodiles cross the river Sapoa, imposing some respect.

But those who really make themselves noticed are the monkeys. Spider monkeys of all sizes of a large family jump from tree to tree throughout the farm and the surrounding hills. From time to time, they fiddle and provoke dogs, who are irritated by their presence. The deafening "screams" of the howler monkeys rumble through the thickness of the forests along the river, silencing the songs of toucans and trogons.

On the farm we were also lucky to meet a fantastic couple of American travelers who started their trip in California: Paula and John (, We hope to see you again soon. During the last night on the farm, neither of our two vehicles liked howler monkeys who came to sleep on the huge branches of the trees under which we were camped. The next morning, to their howls, we all had to wash the feces and urine that had been thrown at us from the top of the treetops.

Pura Vida at the Finca Cañas Castilla

Practical data

The Cañas Castilla farm is 2 km east of the Pan-American Highway, in Sonzapote, Guanacaste. Camping costs US $ 10 per vehicle, with electricity, water and excellent bathrooms and showers (cold). We stayed 5 days and we would have loved to stay longer. It is important to bring enough food to cook because there are no stores near the farm.

The best camping place of the trip so far. Highly recommended!!!

Source: Xino Xano, Viajando por América