Diamante Valley: Living in the Jungle of Costa Rica
Imagine howler monkeys being your alarm clock at 5am. Imagine walking through lush jungle trails being able to pick ripe exotic fruit right from the trees. Imagine immersing yourself in a valley with stunning views of jungle mountains and the Pacific Ocean with colourful plants and flowers everywhere.
Imagine falling asleep at night under a mosquito net to the peaceful sounds of all the insects, birds and other wildlife right outside your window. Imagine taking epic hikes just to get to your neighbour’s house. Imagine walking, minding your own business, and all of a sudden your feet start BURNING and stinging. You look down and see the fire ants.
Imagine seeing a scorpion in the shower. Now imagine taking refreshingly cold showers while feeling the warm tropical breeze on your face, staring out into incredible views of Costa Rican nature. Welcome to my experience living in a slice of jungle heaven located in the Diamante Valley.
Living in a Dome in Costa Rica’s Diamante Valley
Although I was certainly living in a tropical jungle this was not your typical primitive jungle experience. This is what I call; living in the jungle in STYLE. I came to this area because my very good friend, Amrita, asked me to come help her and her newborn while her partner was away. I had the lovely opportunity to stay in a very unique housing structure known as the Domes. *all Dome pictures are credited to the owner*
My favourite part of this house by far is the amazing yoga deck with breathtaking views of the entire valley. This is where I spent 80% of my time while living here. Every day I would just sit back in complete awe of the beauty surrounding me. I spent hours on this deck meditating, doing yoga, watching the amazing wildlife and connecting with nature in a very powerful way!
Every day I would wake up and go for a hike. I found myself immersed in a wide variety of colourful flowers, tropical plants and fresh fruit falling off the trees. Here is what a typical hike in the Diamante Valley looks like:
The freshest fruit
One of my absolute favourite parts of living in this remarkable area is the abundant, delicious, juicy fruit and being able to pick my own fruit right off the tree! Along with all the ripe cheap fruit you can find along the sides of the main road. To my surprise, I was here during mango season. Every time I left the house to go on a hike, I came back with a bag full of fruit!
One day, I decided to investigate a ‘hidden path’ on my normal hike through the valley. Here, I found this amazing fruit called Soursop! It was truly such an exhilarating moment to be immersed in a jungle, stumble upon such an exotic fruit and be able to pick it right off the tree!
Along that same hidden path during my hike I saw something red from afar that caught my eye. As I walked over I discovered 2 trees FULL of these brightly colored fruits with cashews on the top… the Cashew Fruit. Did you know this is where cashews come from?! I certainly didn’t, and was so amazed to learn that cashews actually come from this fruit. The cashew is wrapped up in a toxic, kidney shaped shell you can clearly see from this picture!
While living in this area I discovered several different waterfalls in and around the Valley! One of Costa Rica’s famous waterfalls, Nauyaca, is only a short 30 minute drive!
I naturally started to meet and connect with the lovely people that live in this jungle valley. I got offered another opportunity to do some work/trade as a nanny in another beautiful house with stunning views.
What started off as an Airbnb is now also used to host Transformational workshops, holistic retreats, week long events to learn about sustainability and how to live in harmony with nature along with many more community gatherings!
The owners Susannah and her partner Eric, along with their little one, are hands down some of the sweetest, most kind hearted people I have ever met. If you ever find yourself in the Diamante Valley, I highly recommend staying here to experience the pure magic of this place!
Welcome to Shala Sol. *all pictures are credited to Shala Sol*
Living in Costa Rica’s Diamante Valley: The Downsides
I was certainly living in style, surrounded by a tropical paradise while meeting beautiful community but there were plenty of times that living in this environment was uncomfortable.
The ant bites stung like crazy. I was covered in mosquito bites and having a hard time sleeping through the night because of how itchy they are while on top of that, finding more bugs in my bed. I also had multiple open wounds from itching.
Let’s be real, I had all types of bugs attacking me, I felt quite lonely at times, and missed hot showers and the convenience of living close to stores without having to hike up hills. Also, having to burn everyones “poo and pee” paper was not the most glamorous task. (In Costa Rica you do not flush toilet paper, rather you put in the garbage and burn it when living in a remote area).
However, these are what I consider very small prices to pay to live in the beautiful, exotic, truly magical place that is the Diamante Valley. There is so much more to be explored and discovered here than the small section I lived in! The adventures are far and wide!
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