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Costa Rica

Tocuma Glamping: Escape to the Mountains of Cartago, Costa Rica

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Looking for a unique Costa Rican getaway that combines nature's beauty with luxurious amenities? Check out Tocuma Glamping, a hidden gem nestled in the mountains of Cartago.

View of the glamping dome as you're walking up from the parking lot.

A Luxurious Escape in the Slow Lane

As a temporary resident of Cartago, (one of my favorite slow-paced destinations!) I decided to take a staycation shortly after the holidays in January earlier this year. I had been living in Costa Rica since October, however, I hadn't done anything touristy yet. I was mostly working and didn't want to separate from Taco to do a tour. When choosing a staycation accommodation, I look for unique stays so that I'm still within the realm of creating an unforgettable experience, even if I don't do much exploring.

Tocuma Glamping offered the perfect solution – a staycation that combined the laid-back pace of Cartago with a touch of indulgence.

Outside view of the glamping dome and hot tub.

Finding Tocuma Glamping

Cartago, the old capital of Costa Rica, sits in the Cartago Province, just a short drive from San Jose. I took an Uber, so it was about 30 min from where I was staying. I will say, I had a bit of trouble figuring out which gate I needed to be dropped off at – my uber driver wasn't familiar with the location, and reaching the host was a bit tricky due to spotty service. There was this whole debacle where I was trying to walk up the road in the direction of the glamping site, and this horse was absolutely not having me and Taco walk past him.

Taco and the horse that didn't let us pass.

Nevertheless, for those seeking a secluded escape, this slightly off-the-beaten-path location adds to the charm.

Glamping Bliss in a Geodesic Dome

Tocuma Glamping caters to those who crave the serenity of nature with a touch of luxury. Imagine waking up to mountain views from the comfort of your private geodesic dome, complete with a full kitchen and a full bathroom with privacy curtains. Indulge in a daily traditional breakfast (with delicious options to choose from!), and soak in the bliss of a private hot tub – all while surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature.

A traditional Costa Rican breakfast of rice and beans, eggs, toast, plantains, natilla, and cheese.

Taking a daily walk with Taco around the property was such a treat, as well as overseeing the city of Cartago below.

Highlights of My Stay

Taco next to the hot tub outside the glamping dome.
  • Luxury Camping:  Experience the joys of camping with all the comforts of home, including air conditioning for the heat during the day, a private outdoor area with seating, swings, and hot tub, and the chance to explore the property on foot.
  • Traditional Breakfast: Every morning began with a delicious, locally-sourced breakfast. I highly recommend trying the traditional option, however you also have the option to choose French Toast, or the American option with toast and eggs.
  • Pet-Friendly:  Taco enjoyed the property as much as I did. And if you're a dog lover, you get to hang out with Max! A precious (gigantic), playful German Shepard puppy who lives on the property. I miss him.
  • Peace and Quiet (Mostly):  The privacy of the location and the tranquility of the mountains were a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle. However, be prepared for the lively nocturnal symphony – the sounds of nature at night were pretty loud! I could not tell you which animals I was hearing, but every night, it was on and poppin'.
  • Work Remotely: This was a great place to work! I had zero issues with the wifi service, and sitting on the patio with my laptop was such a treat to experience every day.

Things to Consider

  • While a car is highly recommended for getting around and exploring the area, it's not necessarily a deal breaker.  If you prefer not to drive, consider ordering groceries and meals for your stay. Cartago has services such as Rappi, Pedidos Ya, and Uber Eats.
  • This may be super specific to me, but for my chronic illness sufferers out there, I forgot my meds at home and didn't want to go through the hassle of Ubering back and dealing with Taco. I was sick for a few days from withdraws until I finally decided to just order my meds from the pharmacy, using the same services I listed for food and groceries.
  • Uhh yeah, and if you're ordering food/groceries/meds, you'll need to tell them how to get to you, so make sure you know how to give the directions in Spanish.

Beyond Relaxation: Exploring Cartago

While Tocuma Glamping is perfect for relaxation, the surrounding area offers a wealth of things to see and do. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Steeped in History: Immerse yourself in the rich history of Cartago at the captivating Cartago Ruins or explore the beautiful Lankester Botanical Gardens (Jardín Botánico Lankester).
  • Local Delights: Indulge in the delicious food and ambiance at charming cafes like Agappe.
  • Natural Wonders: Unwind in the soothing hot springs of Orosi or embark on a thrilling adventure by climbing the majestic Volcán Irazú.
  • Finca Fun: Learn about traditional Costa Rican agriculture and indulge in local flavors at a nearby finca, like Finca Quiveri.
Inside the Japanese garden at Lankester Botanical Gardens.

Conclusion

Overall, Tocuma Glamping provided a unique and unforgettable experience. It's the perfect place to unwind, reconnect with nature, and create lasting memories.

Would I recommend Tocuma Glamping? Absolutely! If you're seeking a luxurious escape in the heart of Costa Rica's mountains, Tocuma Glamping should be at the top of your list. Just be prepared for a bit of an adventure finding it, and embrace the lively sounds of the Costa Rican night!

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