No Limit Adventures, CR, (NLA) offers an array of bespoke experiences for clients who wish to wander off the beaten path of EcoTourism. Their expert guides create experiences that give clients an in-depth appreciation of Costa Rica’s incredible biodiversity. The pride and dedication NLA’s guides have for their country’s natural resources is one of the hallmarks that make this touring outfit so special. A trip to a Hacienda located in the foothills of the Parque Nacional Volcan Tenorio was no exception.

Having already experienced four extraordinary tours with NLA, when we booked this trip we knew we were in for a treat. Traveling from our home in the surfside town of Tamarindo, my gringo family arrived to Hacienda Montezuma ready and curious to experience life on a farm dedicated to sustainable practices.

Upon arrival we received a warm welcome from Floriana, the gracious owner/manager of Hacienda Montezuma. Dressed elegantly in blue jeans and a crisp white shirt, she was as beautiful as her name suggested. But don’t let the name fool you. Floriana is no shrinking violet but a woman of the world who carries her commitment to ecological restoration for Hacienda Montezuma very seriously. Leaving us to explore the comfortably appointed main home, she invited us to make our room selections and meet up at the main dining room where lunch would be served.

Once settled we arrived to an outdoor dining table laden with an array of dishes prepared by our chef, Gilberto, a Tico who delighted in creating all of our meals from the meats and organic produce from the ranch. Gilberto often reported to us what he had foraged for in the nearby garden. Where my eyes saw weeds, Gilberto gleefully found inspiration. Although not a permanent fixture of Hacienda Montezuma, Gilberto expresses No Limit Adventures’ commitment to providing their clientele with an experience to remember. At Hacienda Montezuma, dining was an integral part of that.

The hacienda is bordered on two of its sides by covered verandas that look out onto expansive fields dotted with grazing cows and beyond to the mountains of the Parque Nacional Volcan Tenorio. These open vistas invite one to ponder a time without cell phones and news cycles. The breeze seems to whisper, “Slow down, slow down, slow down”.

One afternoon we enjoyed our Gilberto-made lunch at a serene pond just a short walk from the house. Following a refreshing dip by all, over-sized chaise lounges commanded all manner of relaxing activities. Sketch books appeared, fishing poles emerged and dog-eared books were opened. We were getting the hang of Hacienda Montezuma and heeding the call of, “Slow down, slow down, slow down.” I was awakened from the most beautiful nap with a nudging hand holding a homemade ice cream cone. Gilberto.

We experienced several outings on the property led by HM’s resident land expert, Otto.

One was by horseback meandering through open pastures, shaded forests and babbling creeks. Cresting a ridge we viewed three volcanoes that ringed the property-part of the Guanacaste Volcanic Mountain Range.

The other was a vigorous, three-hour hike through the hacienda’s dense forest. Otto’s sense of direction and knowledge of the hidden treasures of the forest was astounding. The claw marks left by a jaguar on a tree got me to pondering how modern living protects us from the elements but also disconnects us from the vital pulse of nature.

After several days at Hacienda Montezuma the cadence of our nervous system had been gloriously altered and the message of this special place received. “Slow down, slow down, slow down”.

Lisa Bardarson is certified as a Zero Balancing practitioner and faculty member, yoga teacher and retired dancer. She has lived in Costa Rica with her family since 2017.

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