shake and salsa

For a deeper immersion into Costa Rican culture, guests at Nayara Springs can learn to make a Guaro Sour, the traditional cocktail of Costa Rica, to prepare a popular dish like Ceviche Con Patacones, or to dance the Salsa or Cha Cha Cha. Nayara Springs, the newly opened luxury hotel at the foot of the Arenal volcano, is responding to the growing demand for experiential travel, where guests explore and experience the destination and take home a new skill.

Says Nayara general manager Freddy Obando: "Sitting by the pool is a favourite pastime for our guests, but there is so much more here. These hands-on programs impart local flavour, give people something new they can take home, while they also build a relationship with our staff, the instructors."

On a dawn bird watching walk, expert Andre Solis trains his binoculars on tanagers, flycatchers, and parrots and points out hummingbirds as they hover around the lush shrubs and flowers that fill Nayara's tropical gardens. After a day of zip lining through the rainforest, or canyoning down a waterfall, visitors can slow the pace and learn how to cook a Costa Rican dish, or shake up a Tico cocktail (Tico is colloquial for a Costa Rica native). Then as the sun sets, strut their stuff with Merengue and Salsa lessons from Latin dance instructor Laura Rodriguez Arce.

After an early start with a yoga or Pilates class in the open-air yoga pavilion, guests can book one of Nayara Springs' exclusive experiences. Go deep into the rainforest, get closer to nature, or sign up for adrenaline thrills with a private guide and transportation.

On the Frio River nature safari, you float silently on the water while spotting monkeys, sloths, iguanas, exotic bird species, turtles and caimans. Through a special arrangement, local Costa Rican farmers prepare a lunch of traditional snacks and offer an opportunity to practice some Spanish. Buen provecho!

Walking the trails of the Children's Eternal Rainforest - 20,000 protected hectares of tropical rainforest - the largest private reserve in Costa Rica, you'll be in the company of 700 species of animals while you hike to a volcanic lake surrounded by lush woodlands.

The Centaura Horseback Riding experience is another exclusive tour for Nayara Springs' guests. In one-on-one sessions or in groups of up to 10 people, experienced guides select the right horse for each person and take them cantering across small rivers, plantations and forest. Thrill-seekers can dial it up with an adrenaline-filled gallop through the rainforest.

After experiencing these custom tours, guests return to their comfortable villas and enjoy the pura vida, soaking in their spring-fed private plunge pools or relaxing on the private deck with views of the Arenal volcano.

For more information on Nayara Springs' exclusive offerings and tours, visit www.nayarasprings.com.

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