Being a yoga instructor and a massage therapist at Playa Nicuesa is one in a life time experience... One of our Costarican yoga instructors, Nati Soto, shared with us her side of the story...
Living and working at Nicuesa Lodge changed my perspective on life. My expectations for this opportunity were really high, and no doubt I had the time of my life. The knowledge and the fun that I experienced there is owed to the awesome people I was so luck to spend the time with; guests, co-workers, and the coolest managers you could ask for.
Melo, boat captain
It has been seven weeks since a captain with a beautiful smile, Melo, picked me up for a wonderful 30 minute boat ride from Puerto Jimenez to Playa. A ride that I was able to take many other times, and to Golfito and around the gulf as well; sometimes to pick up new guests, to help with errands, to represent the lodge on recycling campaigns, or just for the fun and pleasure of being there. Those boat rides made me realize all the amazing secrets that this water holds, and the different sensations that you get just by staring at it.
Sea Snake (Pelamis platurus)
Looking calm and still like if the surface of the water was a mirror, it can suddenly be disturbed by a jump of a dolphin or many dolphins, the bright yellow skin of a sea snake only seen in the Golfo Dulce, or by a turtle trying to swim unnoticed beside your boat.
Once the boat approaches Playa Nicuesa's pier you get involved in the magical feeling of becoming part of the rainforest and the mountain. The lodge and cabins are very beautiful and cozy structures, but my favourite place of all with no doubt is the yoga deck. It is placed in between the beach and the lagoon, so that on one side you have a very strong energy from the waves striking on the shore, and on the other side you have the peaceful water moving very slowly and very wisely from the lagoon, to the river and finally into the sea.
Sunset at Yoga Deck
The yoga deck was my every day sanctuary, the place where we practice yoga and massage. Every day at least twice a day I did the most beautiful walk from the lodge to the deck on a wooden path over the lagoon, always taking the time to see all the humming birds flying around the flowers, animals walking on the side or swimming underneath the bridge. Nature fills up the platform with the purest energy.
The only problems I had to deal with, while I was there, was the fact that you needed to speak a louder during the yoga class because the macaws are being louder than you; being distracted on meditation by an ant eater sliding down of a palm tree next to you; the strength you needed to hold your body into an Asana (posture) while the rain got you; to get astonished by a big cruise ship going by while practicing balancing postures; getting lost during a massage distracted by a group of dolphins doing 360 jumps in front of you; or get your breath stolen every time a lightning strike illuminating the dark platform during a evening massage. All of these moments made me feel so small in front of that big infinity that is the ocean, but made me feel one of the pieces that completes the puzzle.
Dancing with the staff
Working here you really get to relate to the guests, we share every meal with them but you actually end up sharing more than that, lots of good talking, music, laughs, drinks and even some dancing. People come here from all over the world and for that reason I got the chance to hear stories from very different situations and very diverse points of view. I learned a lot from everybody that I spent time with. I learned a lot from Verónica, our Sustainability Coordinator. Sustainability is very strong in Nicuesa, and from her I learned the importance of it. I also learned from her and the rest of the staff a lot about the flora and fauna of the Golfo Dulce and the Osa region.
Hiking in the trails
Working at Nicuesa Lodge was a great and refreshing experience, but LIVING at Playa Nicuesa… that's a life time experience. There are so many things to do in your free time: running in the trails, swimming in the calm sea, and discovering the incredible biodiversity of the area. The food is awesome, healthy and fresh, both of the cooks are excellent!! But, the greatest of all is the people that you live with, the regular staff of the lodge, people that showed me their hearts, taught me to see live from an angle I never saw before, they laughed with me all the time and got to my very soul.
I started my journey on my first day going snorkeling with Joe, Vero and Sandra; and ended it hiking very early in the morning with Vero, one hour before leaving Nicuesa. But, in between I did so many amazing things in this magical place... I went running on the trails with Amelia, started practicing acroyoga with Sandra and Kattia, fishing with the boys, hiking to the waterfall with Cuy, tracking puma with Felipe, dancing lessons with the staff -different types of dancing: cumbia, salsa, bachata, reggaeton, and even belly dancing!
Hiking in the trails
I had so much fun jumping off the dock on low tide with everybody and jumping off the fallen palm tree at high tide, took couple of cooking lessons, swam to see the bioluminiscent planckton at night visited the Old farm house, went kayaking the river, did the loop trail, visited the wild life refuge and botanical gardenwith guests, went to cheer for my Nicuesa boys at the soccer games, watched a movie at the neighbour's, watched the stars laying at the dock, relaxed at the hammocks. I loved to hear the stories from the local staff, incredible people that have been living in this jungle since they were little.
Flying back home
This morning Juan Pablo brought me to Puerto Jiménez to take my flight back home. I already know that I'm going back being a more open person, willing to become a better human being and to give my best to the world.