Recapping our Cordillera Ranch Signature Vacation
In November, fourteen Club members along with two Club staff members visited beautiful Costa Rica and the Los Sueños Resort and Marina. Costa Rica is a wonderful vacation destination with its temperate climate and strong tourism industry, and the country prides itself on promoting their Pura Vida way of life.
With a relatively short flight from Houston or Dallas, the country is easy to travel to and from. Upon arrival in the country’s capital of San Jose, you are quickly reminded that although it’s the oldest democracy in Central America, it’s still a third world developing country. The infrastructure of the country is far behind what us Texans are accustomed to and there is little to no traffic enforcement on the roads.
From San Jose, we traveled west to the central Pacific coast near Jaco, crossing over a few crocodile-filled rivers along the way. After checking into the Los Sueños Resort, our week of golf, fishing and adventure began. On our first evening, we dined on fresh seafood in the small beach city of Jaco, just a 15-minute drive from the resort.
Day 2 began with a round of golf in the morning on the La Iguana course and a tour along a mangrove river where white-faced monkeys called home. The afternoon brought a pretty good storm to the area that downsized our group considerably! The small group of six who ventured into the rain forest on 4-wheelers had a true adventure in the rain, climbing several thousand feet into the rain and cloud forest high above the ocean. The excursion was highlighted with a stop at a small restaurant in the mountains run by a few local ladies that made some of the best food and coffee we have ever tasted!
Our third day had one group offshore fishing all day in search of marlin, dorado (mahi mahi) and yellowfin tuna. For several of our members who had never been offshore fishing, this was a true experience. The group landed over a dozen dorado along with some yellowfin tuna, wahoo and bonito. Although the group didn’t land any marlin that day, we brought our fresh catch to a local sushi chef at Bambu Sushi in Los Sueños who prepared what many of our members said was the best dinner they had ever eaten!
The other half of the group enjoyed an all-day adventure at Tortuga Island in the Gulf of Nicoya. A high point of their trip was seeing hundreds of spinner dolphins along the way from a catamaran. Some of the group decided to do an adventurous hike into the island interior while others relaxed on the white sand beaches.
The fourth day of the trip began in the rain forest for an aerial tram tour and zip line ride down the mountain. The biodiversity of Costa Rica on this morning tour was emphasized as we wandered through amazing protected land that will forever remain a haven for the thousands of creatures that call Costa Rica home. In the afternoon, some members enjoyed another round of golf while others chose to relax at the resort. That evening we visited one of the most beautiful places we saw on our trip: Villa Caletas is a hotel and special event venue with a few restaurants that are perched high on an oceanside mountain with incredible views.
On the final full day of our trip, most of the group ventured back out to fish. This was the second day we fished with Maverick Sport Fishing, the premier sport fishing operation in Los Sueños that operates a first-class fleet of sportfishing boats and targets bill fish and other pelagic species off the central Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The morning was highlighted by both chartered boats hooking and fighting a blue marlin. Our final dinner together was back in Jaco at a Texas steakhouse named Hartley’s. The owner was pleasantly surprised to meet our large Texas-based group and we had a great dinner to close out our trip.
On the morning of our departure, half of the group woke early to visit Hacienda Alsacia, the only coffee farm owned by Starbucks. At the 600-acre farm, a tour detailed the entire coffee-growing operation and production process, from seed to sip. Then everyone returned to San Jose for our departing flights.
The group really enjoyed themselves and there were many more couples that had an interest in this trip so it will definitely be something we offer again! Pura Vida!!
Shane Reynolds is the Outdoor Recreation Director and Outfitter at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 210.616.6051.