A new resort in Costa Rica rewrites the rules of well-being
A river bed of smooth stones releases the tension from my tense muscles as icy water rushes over my bare skin, boosting my circulation. The largest spa in Central America is a few hundred meters away, but I was encouraged to lie half-naked in the invigorating waters of Costa Rica’s Calientillo River. Rays of sunlight burst through the jungle canopy, briefly warming my body, and the rhythmic chirping of a nearby tanager plunges me into a state of tranquility. When I can’t stand the cold anymore, I gently tiptoe and climb into a fire-heated hot tub built into the banks, fed by the flowing water of the river. As I slip into the wet pool, I close my eyes and think this is nature bathing in its purest sense.
I never imagined visiting Costa Rica for a spa getaway. The poster of ecotourism has always been defined by adventure: trekking to volcanic peaks, surfing distant waves, zip-lining through cloud forest canopies. But Hacienda AltaGracia, an Auberge Resorts Collection property, is redefining the wellness vacation. Part adventure and part thermal therapy, the River Bath experience exemplifies how the resort perfectly blends its 180-acre rainforest setting and partnership with cult New York spa The Well to tap into the healing powers of nature.