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Our family of 4 (including two teens) stayed at Pura Vida during the green season and we all agreed that it was the single best vacation we've ever taken as a family. What we loved about this villa: The location (Dominical isn't touristy at all...yet the restaurants and attractions were top-rate.) The pool (and having it partly covered meant that we could swim even at mid-day). The wildlife (we saw more monkeys and toucans in our yard than we did on our tour of the national parks :) The price (we looked at many choices and I'm convinced this is the best-value villa on the southern pacific coast.) Couple this with the smart & considerate British owner (who's available to help but also allows his guests complete privacy) and we are ready to return.

Southern Hope (United States)

Property: Casa Pura Vida

Date of Stay Jun 30 2012

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Southern Hope

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The Power of Pipa Fria


If you love to rehydrate with a couple of big gulps of cold coconut water, then you’re really going to enjoy your time in Costa Rica.

By now, the coconut water craze has taken over many parts of the planet. Rather than reach for sugary sports drinks and sodas, more and more people are beginning to reap the natural benefits of a simple substance that contains few calories and lots of potassium.

Cold coconut water, or “pipa fria,” is available all over Costa Rica, from roadside vendors to people pushing carts through the sand on the beach. The coconuts that are sold are generally shaven down with a sharp machete, exposing a hay-like outer layer. This is done so the coconut takes up less space in the cooler and is easier to drink. When you purchase pipa fria, the seller will hack off the top, exposing just enough of an opening to push a straw through.

A single pipa fria in Costa Rica will cost about $1, and it will probably contain about 10 ounces of coconut water depending on the size. For comparison, a 16-ounce can of coconut water costs about $4 in a general store in California. And if you happen to be traveling in an airport and get the urge for some coconut water, you can expect to pay upwards of $10 for a medium-sized can (I’ve seen a 6-ounce can of coconut water at LAX for $8!).

There is a lot of hearsay out there regarding the benefits of coconut water, everything from itcuring cancer to it being the best possible hangover cure. While the scientific community continues to debate these claims, there are several proven advantages of drinking coconut water. First off, coconut water is an excellent source of hydration, particularly for high-motor athletes. The coconut water also aids in weight loss, is excellent for replenishing skin, facilitates digestion, reduces blood pressure, and is rich in essential electrolytes such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and sodium.

An 8-ounce serving of coconut water contains approximately 50 calories, which is minimal if you’re living an active lifestyle. It’s a pretty safe bet that if you go for a stroll along the seashore and purchase a pipa fria or two, you’ll burn off the calories before you return to your Dominical vacation villa.

If you happen to pluck a few coconuts off a tree to consume at a later time, look for the green shells as opposed to the brown shells. Green-shelled coconuts are ripe and generally contain the most amount of coconut water, whereas the brown-shelled ones are more mature and could be depleted of water.

And here’s one more cool fact about this magical, nature juice: Because it’s isotonic to human plasma, coconut water can be injected intravenously into the bloodstream during dire emergency situations to help rehydrate the body and potentially save lives.

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Jan 4 - Apr 30 2017 (PN $325) ($2,275 Weekly) (Minimum stay 5 nights) May 1 - Jun 30 2017 (PN $225...


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