As your flight pulls into the terminal in San Jose, Costa Rica, you are immediately greeted by the lush rolling hills that surround you. An updated airport, clean and nice, welcomes you to a land of adventure. You will exchange a little cash for Colones at the airport bank, enough for tips and gas, though many places take US dollars and the exchange rate at a real bank is much better. You grab your bags and snag your rental car (In August 2010 was $392 at Budget for 7 days, 4×4 Automatic, includes supplement liability insurance and the must have GPS navigation system as many roads are in good condition but poorly marked) and then venture on your way.
You will head West on the wonderful new toll road highway that is 27, then South toward Jaco and Dominical on 34. The area is beautiful, while the waterfalls and huge rivers that line the highways are just a wonderful taste of great things to come.
You will pass through miles of palm tree groves fearful that you may have chosen poorly for your destination, but just wait . . . As you go through Dominical you begin to see the first sign of luxury condos and gorgeous black-sand beaches that quell your fears and remind you of why you came.
Through Uvita, a nice place to stop for groceries, and then past a wonderful new hospital. Only a few more kilometers up the road at mile marker 196. About a dozen yards up the road, you take a left turn into the jungle. Indicated by a small sign introducing Osa Mountain Village to the world. Not big and flashy, as to demonstrate the humbleness of the community. The road is bumpy and in some places steep, but in good condition for a back country road and as construction persists, so does road improvement. Four wheel drive makes the road a piece of cake, but it is hardly even needed accept when Mother Nature rains down on you. The only question is the green bridge over the roaring river. The bridge is intimidating enough to remind you that you are not in Kansas anymore, but strong, stable, and fortified none-the-less. Further you go. Up and up. A seemingly never ending sea of flowers, massive trees, and a view to die for.
Your arrival at Osa Mountain Village will be realized by the plots of land for home-sites with views as beautiful as heaven. Some left of the car, some right, with the canopy tour cable swing and the future site of W.I.S.E University tucked among them.
Continue to climb until you finally reach the start of things to come. A few temporary wooden structures wait at the top with the launching point of the Osa Canopy Tour just a few steps away.
You step out of the car and the first thing you realize is the perfect temperature that accompanies your day. High 70s or so, humid enough to feel good, but nowhere-near uncomfortable. Jim Gale, the wizard behind the curtain of Osa, is there to tour you around. Pointing out the master plan in a way that makes you feel already at home. As you walk around with him you see the potential that is endless. A master entrepreneur in his youth, now excited to enjoy this community with his family as a resident himself. Full of life and energy, you quickly realize he is equally full of honesty. Not there to swindle or sell, just there create unending happiness. With every idea and comment you make, his excitement grows for your involvement. Making dreams into realities, a community where the past meets the future.
Full of sustainability efforts which are second to none. Permaculture, fruit trees, tilapia ponds, and chicken coops are soon to abound the inner-circles for the potential for never needing to leave.
Steel frame construction, granite countertops, drainage systems over and above, and a highly recognized builder at the top of the game in Central America.
Dreams of late night poker tournaments at the community center, swimming up to the bar in the pool, a sunset massage, and soon a wildlife refuge full of sloths and howler monkeys to sit on your shoulders and jump on your back (truly an experience you’ll never forget) are no longer wisps but realities.
Short hikes down to 100 and 300 foot waterfalls, horseback riding through the forest, or maybe a jog through the jungle jogging trail. Flowers everywhere. Thick jungle and wonderful grass pastures. Why not get married in front of a view like none-other? Or on the nearby beach, or in front of the waterfall?
Hundreds of acres of land selected specifically by Jim to create the paradise you can become a part of. What about bugs, snakes, spiders? They are there for sure, but a little bit of smarts and they are no more of a bother to you as you are to them. A fog may roll over the hills above to remind you to respect the jungle you love so much, but it is a mist that makes Osa Mountain Village just that much more magical.
Sign up for the canopy tour if for a thrill and you will meet 2 local Ticos in Christian and Stephanie whose joy of life is almost as big as their hearts. On the tour you will swing among the monkeys and glide above the treetops. 15 platforms of fun, 13 tree-top lines, 2 massive trees to repel down, and the oh-so-famous Tarzan swing. Maybe you will be one of the lucky tours that get to swing with the wild howler monkeys once or twice per week.
And return soon, when the Superman-line will fly you from the mountain top over a thousand feet below. Over the river and through the woods, to the thrill of a lifetime you will go . . . At the base of which is the tour office and just behind sits the future site of the next great chapter in Jim Gale’s massive heart. The donation of land to create a sustainable living orphanage. Hosted and dreamed up by Christian and Stephanie, with the support of many others it will be like none other. The youth of the nation will finally have the chance they never had with opportunities and futures that can only be spawned by the true love that Christian, Stephanie, Jim, and many others have for a Costa Rican country rich in beauty. It will be an effort conducted by few, but shared by all; which is why support will always be cherished and needed.
A few more days amass. All spent on gorgeous beaches with waves and rock formations you have only seen in a fairytale. Mangrove forests as far as the eye can see. Humpback whale watching as they feed and dive through the air like a Discovery Channel special. Scarlet macaws, parrots, and toucans take flight daily in you vicinity. Wild tree frogs, iguanas and crocodiles are sites not uncommon to this native land.
Red Snapper, black-fin tuna, marlin, tilapia, and hordes of others can grace your dinner plate at home or away. Certain to be fresh and at a price accommodating to the budget. Tasty chicken, beef, and even Italian-style pizza can be found all over the country. Fruit, veggies and Pipas Fritas (cold fresh coconut juice) as fresh as you will ever find. Bananas picked off the tree that morning. Or even in the major cities, that little reminder of home such as Burger King or a run for the border soft taco. Plenty of shopping, including many for those that prefer the luxuries of life as opposed to simplicity.
To stay or go, that is the dilemma you will be faced with. Looking in the rearview mirror as you escape to what can be. Returning home to the rat-race that is life, or jump ship to the land where dreams await. No choices are easy and as they say, the only certainties in life are death and taxes. But one thing can be promised at Osa Mountain Village your life can finally be what you make of it with dreams coming true, and so much more.
Your journey ends with a simple phrase, “Pura Vida.” A “pure life” peace of mind in Costa Rica that means so much more. And a phrase that if you are one of the those lucky enough to truly understand it, then you will look forward to living it’s meaning every day at the magic that is Osa Mountain Village.
Author’s Note: I wrote this article as a reminder to myself of the amazing life we left behind us as we returned home from our visit to Osa Mountain Village. Many people may think that this is too good to be true and an impossible feat, but I promise you that it is not. Far from it in fact. It is happening right now and growing into something absolutely amazing. There are many things in life that are too good to be true, but the two things I know are not are my wife and the community of Osa Mountain Village. You may have a different experience as we are all very different with very different wants and desires and I truly believe that half of any experience is what you bring to it. Of course not everything is for everyone. But at the least a lot can be learned and I hope you enjoyed this article and consider it as a reference from someone who began as skeptical as anyone. I don’t write this as a salesman, that is not my intention, but if you would like more information on Osa Mountain Village I would be happy to help you any way I can and pass on your contact info. However, I write this as a buyer because that is what I am. I made the big no-no of buying something without seeing it first just because it felt right and for once in my life it actually was right. Osa Mountain Village is quickly becoming so much more and should be the model for business and future developments in my opinion. Every photograph in this article I took with my own camera. They are not misrepresentations are not some picture I pulled from Istock.com or someplace like that. I hope you will enjoy them as much as the description they detail.
Pura Vida my friends!
For more information about this wonderful location visit www.osamountainvillage6.homestead.com