Being a “tourist” in your own town is probably one of the most sustainable forms of taking a vacation.
We were asked in a recent media interview about ways on how to reduce one’s carbon footprint in travel. When visiting the Cayuga Collection Hotels and Lodges in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, you can be assured that we do everything possible to keep your carbon footprint as small as possible. But depending on how far away you live and how much you have to travel to come visit us, your transportation footprint can play an important role on how sustainable your trip will be.
There are ways to mitigate this and we recommend our guests to visit the Fonafifo Website where they can offset their carbon emissions depending on where they are coming from. Visit their site prior to your travel to calculate your carbon emissions.
So, this got us thinking that in reality, the best way to vacation is as close to home as possible. Of course, we don’t want to discourage travel to exotic places like Costas Rica or Nicaragua as our business model and the well being of the rural communities where we operate depend on this. But how about being a “tourist in your own town” for a weekend and not only saving on transportation costs but also carbon emissions?
The Cayuga Collection is headquartered in San Jose Costa Rica. And we happen to have two hotels that are located in or just outside the city. One is the Hotel Grano de Oro in Downtown San Jose and the other is the Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Inn about 20 minutes north of the International Airport.
Both places are great getaways for people living in the Central Highlands and San Jose. Especially during the green season months from May through November, it is easy to get a great rate and have a mini vacation.
In the past, some of our team members have taken advantage of staying at those hotels and here are some of the highlights and recommendations (also apply from tourists from around the world).
When staying in San Jose at Grano de Oro, visit the Gold Museum or Jade Museum. They are the best museums in town. Check listings for concerts in the National Theater. It feels for a moment as if you were in Europe. Eat great food at those select restaurants located downtown: Aya Sofia, La Esquina de Buenos Aires, Lubnan or Pescatore.
In the morning, go for a stroll to San Jose’s most important city park La Sabana. You will see people going for a run, having BBQs, training their dogs, practicing baseball or just watching people. Don’t forget to stop at La Soda Tapia for breakfast, a Lorenzo sandwich or a “Churchill”.
When staying at Finca Rosa Blanca, it is hard to convince oneself this oasis of peace in the middle of nature. If you can get yourself away from the balcony or Jacuzzi tub, we recommend that you visit La Luna de Valencia for some great Spanish food and the best Paella in town.
Don’t miss the coffee tour in Rosa Blanca’s organic coffee plantation and learn about what it takes to grow not only delicious coffee, but also grow it in a responsible way. Maybe take an excursion to the nearby Poas or Barva Volcanoes.
Vacationing in your own town is a great way to disconnect in order to connect. Suggest this to a loved one for next weekend. No matter if you go as a family or you need to take a “break” from your kids and just go with your spouse. You will feel very different back at work on Monday. Maybe even consider to turn off the phone for a few hours. It might help you get the vacation feeling even more.