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  • Writer's pictureCosta Rica Luxury Travel Magazine

My Isla Chiquita weekend getaway.

Premium glamping accommodations, gourmet local food, and a stand-up paddling experience awaited me at this idyllic tiny island.

The word Chiquita in Spanish literally translates to small or tiny, and this is where most probably my getaway location got its name. Perched on the 74-acre Jesusita Island in Costa Rica’s Gulf of Nicoya, Isla Chiquita Glamping Hotel is the barefoot luxury experience I was looking for.

Glamping, or "glamorous camping," is a modern-day travel trend which combines the excitement of camping with the comfort and luxury of a hotel or resort, providing travelers with a unique way to experience stunning natural beauty and extraordinary scenery. Whether you're looking to relax on the beach, hike through the jungle, or just soak in the sights and sounds of nature, island glamping will for sure offer a truly unforgettable experience.

After the one-hour ferry boat ride from the port of Puntarenas to the quaint coastal town of Paquera, during which I was able to enjoy the gulf’s magnificent views from the open-air deck, the hotel’s complimentary water taxi was waiting for me for a 10-minute motorboat ride to the island. Upon arrival, friendly hotel staff provided wet rolled hand towels, and guided me to my Premium Ocean View Tent. Among the property’s glamping comfort amenities was a king bed, a day bed, lounging deck, private bathroom, plush towels, private plunge pool, and a minibar stocked with beer, wine, alkaline pure water, and snacks.

Since it was already lunch time and I was eager to try the hotel’s gourmet local cuisine, I left my bags and headed directly to Harry’s Bar & Restaurant located up on a wooden deck and overlooking the arrival dock, the beach, and the secluded bay where a couple of small luxury yachts were anchored. A frozen Margarita and a delicious Poke La Isla was just the treat I needed.

Isla Chiquita premium glamping hotel in Costa Rica, offering delicious local and international food at its restaurant and beachfront bar..
Harry’s Bar & Restaurant

After a deserved power nap, captivated by the sounds of birds and the warm breeze blowing through my tent’s 360-degree open windows, I was ready for my island adventure. Among all possible activities, such as snorkeling, hiking, birdwatching, kayaking, fishing, or taking a tour to nearby wildlife reserves and national parks, I was in the mood for my first ever stand-up paddling experience. Alejandro, the on-site water sports instructor explained all safety measures and patiently guided me through the basics of paddling techniques, body balance, and dealing with unexpected wind conditions and water currents. My yoga experience from previous years definitely helped me cope with balance, focus and mindfulness as I paddled all the way around the island, followed by pelicans, seagulls, colorful fish, and even by one small spotted eagle ray which swam along my board up until the end of my journey. This was by far the highlight of my water adventure!

Quietly watching the sunset from one of the beachfront private cabanas was a treat after my adrenaline-filled afternoon.

Once in my tent, daydreaming on the perfectly delicious Shrimp Pasta dinner that I would enjoy later that night, I immersed in my very own plunge pool to relax, chill, and unwind in this little natural paradise, drinking cold and purified water to hydrate my body and energize my soul.

Next day, after a restful and rejuvenating sleep, breakfast awaited me at the charming open-air, beachfront, and palm tree shaded Donde Tía Nora Restaurant. This spot was named after one of Costa Rica’s sport fishing pioneers, Mrs. Nora, currently 95, whose secluded little island was for more than 40 years her special getaway oasis.

Deciding what to do next was not an easy task. I could either go hiking through the island’s rainforest trails, lay under the warm summer sun on one of the comfy canopy daybeds, or book a soothing massage appointment at the Nimbu Spa, which is embedded on the island’s high grounds and offers magnificent ocean views. Well, the spa was already booked for the day, so I decided to grab my Isabel Allende novel and head to one of the beach cabanas. I was in no rush, I could improvise, I could seize the day!

In a few hours I would be taking the not-to-be-missed Bioluminescence & Sea Life expedition, an evening boating adventure to observe this natural phenomenon that makes the ocean water and rock shores sparkle in bright blue colors. Bioluminescence is the ability of an organism to emit light due to chemical reactions within, in order to attract prey, warn predators, and communicate with other individuals of the same species. It is a once-in-a-lifetime, bucket-list experience. I even heard one visitor from New York commenting to the tour guide that bioluminescence was the main reason of his trip to Costa Rica.

Overall, Isla Chiquita Glamping Hotel is a great choice for those looking for a peaceful and secluded barefoot-luxury getaway in Costa Rica. With its beautiful surroundings, comfortable accommodations, superb service, and numerous activities, it offers a truly unique and memorable sensorial experience.

In addition to its stunning natural beauty and array of activities, Isla Chiquita Glamping Hotel is also known for its commitment to sustainability. The hotel operates on renewable energy and works to minimize its impact on the environment. Organic bath products, farm-to-table dining, sustainable fishing practices, and a corporate social responsibility program for the wellbeing of neighboring communities, makes this place even more paradisaical.

Original content by Costa Rica Luxury Travel Magazine.

Written by Irene Dobles.


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