An intimate escape in the wildnerness : Kasiiya Papagayo, Costa Rica

Anush and I just got back from an incredible escape in the wilderness in Costa Rica. This was our first time visiting the country and we chose to explore the Pacific Northwest side of the country this time around. We stayed in this bucket list property that we both had been itching to visit for the longest time – Kasiiya Papagayo. Kasiiya is a luxury sustainable eco retreat located in a private peninsula in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. It is set within a pristine tropical jungle and has two unspoiled beaches. In fact this is one of the world’s last few remaining dry tropical rain forests. Its biodiversity is nothing short of incredible!

With just 9 luxury tented suites in this 123 acre sanctuary, Kasiiya truly felt like an off the beaten path kinda escape in nature with the best of both – the jungle and the beach. And the best part – it is so close from the US, with direct flights to Liberia, Costa Rica. From California it was just a 5 hour direct flight! It makes the most beautiful place from a couples getaway, honeymoon, special occasion or even an intimate family vacation.

Zero Impact Build

What really drew me to Kasiiya aside from its phenomenal remote location is its commitment to sustainability. The whole property is proud to be a zero impact build and was built to be literally one with nature while keeping in mind to preserve the flora and fauna of the destination. It was build to not withstand the generations, but rather to evolve and adapt with changes in nature.

No trees were cut down, no nails or concrete were used and in fact the whole property can be disassembled and picked up, without leaving a trace that a 5 star retreat once existed in the area.

Designed to leave no trace on the surrounding biosphere, Kasiiya Papagayo was not built to withstand the decades but rather to adapt and exist among nature. Kasiiya is located in one of the world’s few remaining dry tropical forest and is committed to annual restoration projects.

The 9-tent retreat is dedicated to protecting and preserving the fauna and flora of the property while leaving a positive impact on the surrounding peoples and places. Kasiiya’s innovative sustainability initiatives lay the groundwork of achieving a zero-impact eco lodge brought to life by renowned architecture firm AW². Each structure throughout the property is environmentally friendly, constructed solely from natural materials, without the use of concrete or nails, with tents resting on timber platforms, and powered by solar energy and , while guests enjoy treated rainwater drawn fresh from an onsite well and navigate the rugged landscape by way of electric vehicles and naturalist guides.

 

Luxury Tented Suites

Kasiiya has a total of 9 luxury suites – 7 of these are beach facing with private access to the beach, while 2 of them are cliffside with sweeping views of the property. We stayed in one of the beachside suites called “The Floating Bird”.

The spacious suites include a king size bed, lounge space, closet, bathroom with an indoor and outdoor shower, as well as a private terrace with lounge chairs.

Beautiful bathtub and outdoor shower area

I love how the whole approach of the room felt luxe while still making us feel like we were glamping in the wild. My favorite part of the room – our stunning outdoor deck! We loved waking up to the sound of the birds and falling asleep to the sounds of the waves lapping the shore.

Beaches 

Kasiiya has 2 beautiful beaches – Playa Laguna is the main beach in front of the beach facing suites and main reception area. It is calm, swimmable and perfect for water activities such as snorkeling and paddle boarding. This was my favorite part of the resort! I mean – just look how pretty it is! We often had the whole beach to ourselves.

Playa Laguna is a paradise – rain or shine!

The other beach – Portugese beach is more raw and wild, a whole other vibe that I loved. While not swimmable, this rustic beach was the perfect spot for a private beach picnic. This is one of the additional activities that Kasiiya provides if you are interested. The whole setup is so utterly romantic – with a view to die for, a delicious picnic spread and the occasional surprise of howler monkeys chanting away in the backdrop, this was an unforgettable experience!

Untouched raw Portugese beach!

Activities

Kasiiya is a Swahili word which means to “go at your own pace”. So whether you choose to have an activity filled vacation or “just do nothing but relax” kind of vacation, the team will make sure you have it your way.

Bird watching hike

 

So many avenues to relax

Views from our nature hike to the top of the mountain

Many activities are included and complimentary to all guests, while additional activities can also be added at an extra price. Kasiiya’s in-house team of three naturalist guides lead guests on complementary jungle treks around the 123-acre property for hiking, naturalistic walks, bird watching, and wildlife observation or into the ocean for snorkeling, stand-up paddling, and kayaking. The lead guide, Diego, offers stargazing after dinner identifying and explaining the stars and planets visible in the property’s telescope. We loved going on nature hikes everyday with one of the guides there. We learnt so much about this biodiverse ecosystem while also getting an amazing workout in and enjoying some epic views.

Private couples beach picnic on Portugese Beach

Additional activities on property include movement exercises and jungle workouts with a trainer, tree climbing, canopy zip line or relaxing on one of two private beaches, while off property excursions can be arranged for horseback riding, ATV tours, sailing, surfing, deep sea fishing, sunset catamaran sails and more.

One of the additional off property excursions we opted for was a day trip to Sensoria. Sensoria is a private reserve in the neighboring province, right next to Rincon de la Vieja park and in the same rainforest as it. This part of Costa Rica was so different from Guanacaste with its lush, tall, green rainforest, active volcanoes, waterfalls, thermal pools and more.

Buenos Aires falls, Sensoria

During the Land of Senses hike, prepare for bright blue water springs, deliciously warm thermal pools, rushing waterfalls and the chance to see some of Costa Rica’s famed wildlife, naturally protected in this private wildlife sanctuary at the skirts of Rincón de la Vieja Volcano. We absolutely loved this day excursion and I highly recommend adding it to your itinerary! It takes a whole day cos its a 2.5 hour drive away from the property, but it was well worth it. Here are some photos from our excursion :

Blue waterfalls, Sensoria

Obsessed with the lush greenery in the rainforest at Sensoria!

Getting drenched in the tropical rains of the rainforest!

Magical rainforest canopy

Wildlife spotting at Sensoria

Dining

The Kasiiya grounds include a beach cabana, sunset deck, library, spa cabin and fitness area. Meals are enjoyed together at the restaurant overlooking the beach or at the hilltop Chefs Table and feature flavors inspired by South American cuisine.

The main restaurant or the Beach Cabana is by the beach and they served us breakfast and lunch here everyday.

Breakfast and lunch at the Beach Cabana

Vibes on vibes and delicious food!

The BEST homemade coconut and mango sorbet and coconut water on a hot afternoon.

The second restaurant is perched on a fantastic cliffside location between the 2 bays of the property. This is where they usually host sundowners to enjoy the beautiful sunset view, shortly followed by dinner. When I saw this location on the first night, my jaw dropped to the floor – it was simply so stunning.

at the Sunset lounge. Despite being overcast, this place is absolutely breathtaking!

Food wise where do I even start! Wow the food here really really stood out to us’ every single meal blew us away.

Recently Kasiiya underwent a massive culinary reinvention. They brought in renowned culinary consultant Florence Cane and French Michelin star chef Yoric Tieche to reimagine and redesign the culinary identity of Kasiiya, in collaboration with their inhouse chef and team of cooks.

In line with Kasiiya’s mission to train and employee Costa Ricans, Kasiiya’s resident chef learned from highly acclaimed consultants to bring Kasiiya’s F&B program to a more elevated level. The new menus celebrate the region’s flavors and seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms and encourage responsible and sustainable farming practices with fine-dining French culinary technique. Inspired by the lifetime experiences of the communities in the neighboring blue zone, Kasiiya’s culinary program has adapted the primitive style of cuisine known as ‘Crudo & Fuego’ (translated literally as ‘Raw and Fire’). Dishes connect the guest with nature by incorporating raw ingredients, shown to improve the microbiome, energy, skin, and digestion, with foods cooked over fire. The attention to detail in the flavors, impeccable presentation and overall dining details is noteworthy, making this one of our most memorable culinary experiences!

Spa and Wellness

Kasiiya is also big on the wellness front. There were many Couples’ wellness/spa treatments to choose from. We opted for the couples massage and it was so rejuvenating. The spa is also set deep within the wildnerness, so the location added a whole other dimension to the wellness aspect.

We opted for a couples massage on one of the days and it was absolutely amazing!

Couples massage

Kasiiya’s on-site healer, Yamuna, is renowned for his healing therapies such as opening of chakras, aura cleansing, and reiki. Using natural elements from Costa Rica’s lush ecosystem, Yamuna creates powerful treatments to heal and revitalize both body and soul. Spa treatments take place amid the jungle and incorporate local volcanic stones, medicinal plants and herbs, oils and mud. The on-site healer will help guests “pause” and enhance their connection with nature through local techniques and rituals. Yamuna also educated guests on the power of Costa Rica’s natural antidotes, ingredients and the active lifestyle celebrated in the nearby Blue Zone.

Overall we had such an incredible stay at Kasiiya! I am already dreaming of the day we will be back !

Thanks for stopping by!

Jyo

 

This stay was in partnership with Kasiiya Papagayo but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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