Costa Rica

An Evening of Exploration w/ Nosara's Healers

An Evening of Exploration w/ Nosara’s Healers

  On Friday March 17, The Harmony hosted a community gathering at the Juice Bar with yoga teachers, therapists and healers of different specialties to discuss “How we work”; an approach led by Harmony Writer in Residence, Jeff Warren. Jeff and his partner Sarah Barmak have spent a month in our unique community, and Jeff […]

Exploring the Forest Through Our Senses

Exploring the Forest Through Our Senses

An abridged audio recording of this walk is available at the end of the post.  “They say that sounds give us the story of the forest,” says Jeff. We all close our eyes and open our ears. We’re standing at the threshold of a path leading into the Costa Rican jungle, listening attentively to the six directions […]

A Nosara State of Mind

A Nosara State of Mind

I love noticing the subtle effects on my consciousness when I arrive in Nosara. Sometimes they’re not the ones I expect. This is the Nicoya Peninsula, after all, one of the world’s five Blue Zones, where life expectancy is longer than anywhere else on earth. Freshly arrived from congestion-filled cities, we want the sea and […]


A Retreat for Creativity and Craft

A Retreat for Creativity and Craft

I’ve admired the Harmony Hotel’s commitment to sustainability and tranquility, and their love affair with this sleepy town since I started coming to Nosara in 2011. One of the things I love so much about Nosara is the way this town provides for the people in it – how the heat forces a balance between […]

The Remarkable Trees of Nosara

The Remarkable Trees of Nosara

I recently wrote a short post about the great bird-watching day we recently had in Nosara—while on a hike with the deeply knowledgeable Felipe, a conservation biologist studying biodiversity in Nosara’s tropical dry forest. But birds weren’t the only fascinating part of our day: we also learned a lot about the plant species, especially trees, […]

Good "Bird Karma" in the Nosara Forest

Good “Bird Karma” in the Nosara Forest

While here in Nosara for three weeks, researching for an interactive, environmentally-engaged art project, we were lucky enough to get to hike though a nearby forest with an extremely knowledgeable conservation biologist.  Felipe López, who’s doing a biodiversity study of the area, took us through the various zones of the diverse tropical dry forest biome, […]


Postcard from Nosara

Postcard from Nosara

  The sun lights up the Pacific as surfers (and their dogs) catch the last waves of the day.  

Restoring Our Watershed

Restoring Our Watershed

Filmmaker Joe Foster of Dapp Design House traveled to Costa Rica to produce short films for One Fund Costa Rica, a nonprofit with the mission to support good people doing good work around the world. Using storytelling, crowdfunding, and networking, One Fund finds genuine organizations within a community and creates videos to secure funding, resources, […]

A Creative Gathering at the Harmony

A Creative Gathering at the Harmony

Earlier this season, a group of musicians and friends traveled to the Harmony to surf, relax, play music, and support local charities. Nosara and the HH provided a beautiful backdrop for a weekend of connection and camaraderie among this creative and fun group of people.  The highlight of the experience was an intimate nighttime beach concert played by […]


Hideaways

Hideaways

Based in Nosara, Gecko Architecture has an emphasis on sustainable design.  The Hacienda Trinidad features green roofs to create habitat for climbing plants and to keep the building cool during the heat of the day.  The home faces prevailing winds, maximizing internal air movement; with high ceilings and openings on opposite ends of the building, […]

Postcard from Costa Rica

Postcard from Costa Rica

You see movement on the ground beneath you, and when you look closer, there is a parade.  Small ants carry bits of green leaves, several times the size of the ants themselves, above their heads.  They are farmers, used to hard work.  They carry their prizes down the trunks of trees, along vines and branches, […]

Hideaways

Hideaways

An icosahedron is a three-dimensional geometrical shape with twenty faces.  Joseph Mikrut, who has a background in architecture, engineering, industrial design, web and print marketing, nutrition, detox/cleansing, herbal medicine, and business development, decided to turn this shape into a treehouse. Twenty feet off the ground, the treehouse is suspended by cables strung between four trees, […]


Video Game Developed in Costa Rica to Protect Pink River Dolphin

Video Game Developed in Costa Rica to Protect Pink River Dolphin

A new video game has been developed in Costa Rica titled Apu, el espiritu del rio, or Apu, the Spirit of the River.  This game is designed to raise awareness about threats to river species in Latin America, including the manatee and the Amazon river dolphin.  These animals are threatened by illegal fishing and habitat […]

Postcard from Costa Rica

Postcard from Costa Rica

The wind was strong when I went kayaking in Lake Arenal’s warm waters beneath the Arenal Volcano.  A large, dreamlike, lone tree with orange blossoms stood on the lakeshore.  With my kayak nestled between the wind and a marshy island, I was surprised to hear the familiar call of the Red-winged Blackbird.  I saw Great […]

Hideaways

Hideaways

A wall completely lined with books may be a dream of mine, but there is more to this house than its perfection as a writer’s hideaway.  The Casa Kiké by Gianni Botsford Architects features locally-sourced timber for the wooden structure as well as locally-sourced corrugated steel sheeting for the roof and siding.  The architects note […]


Postcard from Costa Rica

Postcard from Costa Rica

Here is the perfect place to rest after a day of travel.  The surrounding trees are filled with butterflies and birdsong; the Heliconia flowers attract hummingbirds.  From the hammock, it may be hard to concentrate on the book you brought, because the sunlight shining through the leaves shimmers and captures your attention.  The forest around […]

Hideaways

Hideaways

Does an environmentally friendly resort make you think of pig waste?  Probably not, but the Lapa Rios Eco Lodge uses pig poo bio-gas to power their kitchen.  In addition to that, the resort, which was originally established as a nature reserve, uses energy from solar panels, recycles 80% of its kitchen waste (either composting food […]

Postcard from Costa Rica

Postcard from Costa Rica

There’s nothing I love more than a fiddlehead, perfectly curled with potential and about to unfurl into full-leafed beauty.  Maybe I have a special place in my heart for ferns.  They blanket the forest floor in my woods at home and my father used to dig one or two up and bring them home and […]


Hideaways

Hideaways

Benjamin Garcia Saxe, designer of the bamboo-ring house, worked with Laura Morelli and students during a workshop at Universidad Veritas in San Jose, Costa Rica, to design and build a project with limited resources and with the goal of creating a space and eliciting human emotions.  Wanting to convey light, space, and movement, the team placed […]

From Water Bottles to Roof Tiles

From Water Bottles to Roof Tiles

Donald Thomson and his wife Terry-Lee, who have lived in Costa Rica since 1990, began organizing a volunteer beach-cleaning initiative to clean up the massive amounts of plastic that washed up on the beaches of Playa Pochote.  After watching children jumping on the plastic bottles to flatten them, Thomson had an idea: to recycle plastic […]

Postcard from Costa Rica

Postcard from Costa Rica

At the fruit stand, I was in heaven.  I ate mango: sun-warmed, sweet, juicy, a piece of the sun and earth.  With sticky fingers, I tried guayaba, tough, seemingly unripe, and filled with small, hard seeds.  The caimito, a fruit I had never seen before, was three consecutive experiences.  First: soft and sweet, tender; second: […]


Hideaways

Hideaways

A design and construction firm called Bamboo Groove builds homes from insulated shipping containers and bamboo.  This design gives Intermodel Steel Building Units (ISBUs) a second life.  These container houses are built to insulate from the heat and provide natural ventilation for cooling.  Guadua bamboo, one of the fastest growing bamboos, is harvested locally in […]

Postcard from Costa Rica

Postcard from Costa Rica

I found several beautiful green feathers littered on the forest floor before I found the Emerald Toucanet (Aulacorhynchus prasinus) camouflaged amidst the green leaves of the canopy.  Smaller than the colorful Keel-billed Toucans we saw flying over an open field, these birds still have impressive beaks, used to pick fruit and capture invertebrates such as […]

Hideaways

Hideaways

Tim and Robin O’Hara of Rancho Mastatal, an environmental learning and sustainable living center, used Robin’s design to build their home out of cob, wattle and daub, lime plasters, bamboo, locally milled wood, and recycled fence posts.  A cob house is made from subsoil, water, and fibrous organic material such as straw.  Sourced from local […]