High in the rugged mountains of southern Costa Rica sits Hacienda AltaGracia, the first Auberge Resort in Central America. The resort gets its wellness inspiration from the nearby Nicoya Peninsula—one of the world’s five Blue Zones, where people live the longest and healthiest lives on the planet. Remote? Yes. But only a 90-minute flight from the capital, San José, via a private plane to AltaGracia’s own airstrip or via the resort’s regularly scheduled charter from San José International Airport—or opt for a 3-to-5-hour scenic drive by private car over the mountains or along the Pacific Coast.
Fifty rustic-chic, hacienda-style casitas (many with plunge pools and each with floor-to-ceiling glass walls) dot the expansive 180-acre property. Indoor spaces flow seamlessly onto sun terraces where you can sip locally grown coffee while looking out on the San Isidro Valley and tropical rain forest. The misty Talamanca Mountains serve as a backdrop.
The Well, Manhattan’s wildly popular health-and-longevity club, was tapped to create AltaGracia’s nature-centric wellness programming. Blue Zone–inspired programs include East-meets-West healing therapies, longevity-boosting practices, expert-led coaching, and mindful movement classes—from free-flowing botanical yoga to meditative Qigong and restorative forest bathing. Rebecca Parekh, a co-founder of The Well has said, “We’re trying to create this holistic ecosystem where we’re looking at you as a whole person, not a bunch of isolated parts.”
A day at AltaGracia’s spa starts in the Casa de Agua, a hydrotherapy center with heated tepidarium, aromatherapy steam room and sauna, crystal-infused spa, and eight tranquil treatment rooms that offer many of The Well’s signature treatments. Immersive experiences include the River Bath—a riverside meditation, followed by a 60-minute natural river bath and wild bergamot–scented massage.
The resort has five standout restaurants, each inspired by the seasons and guided by the Blue Zone philosophy of eating close to nature. Much of the produce is harvested from the chefs’ organic garden. The husband-and-wife chef team also works with local growers and incorporates their ancestral cooking techniques.
In addition, AltaGracia offers a host of active adventures—climbing to the tropical forest’s high canopy, hiking to a picnic at a hidden waterfall, exploring the property on horseback, or riding out to neighboring farms (the resort has 28 stables). Bird enthusiasts can search for the elusive, resplendent quetzal in the surrounding forest (home to more than 900 bird species). Bonus: The resort’s dark sky reveals galaxies of stars—some seeming close enough to touch.
“Well-being means something different for everyone—for some it is meditation, for others it is adventure,” says Mark Wright, general manager of Hacienda AltaGracia. “At AltaGracia, we help our guests to find balance and purpose.”
From $1,550; aubergeresorts.com