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Yorkín – The discovery of the real meaning of “Pura Vida”

Lea and I are doing an internship at CRS Tours and we spent our last weekend at the Caribbean Coast. We started off on Saturday and took the bus to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. This small village has many restaurants, hotels, souvenir shops and small beaches. Right now its rainy season which is why you can find a lush green environment. At night the atmosphere is relaxed and positive. You can enjoy the sound of reggae music while drinking a delicious cocktail right at the beach.

The next morning we were picked up by our driver at 8 am and brought to Bambú which is an even smaller village than Puerto Viejo. It is located near the border of Panama at the river bank of Río Telire. From there we took a boat to Yorkín, which is the home of the Bribris. During the boat ride we enjoyed the impressive environment which consisted of a 100% pure nature. There were no people, no houses, no cars – just nature, trees and animals. We only saw one other boat that was going the other way.

Yorkín is a community isolated from the rest of the world. We enjoyed the tranquility of this place. The houses were surrounded by banana and cacao plantations. We were welcomed by the grandma of the family we were staying with. She prepared all the meals for us which were very delicious. We were served typical Costa Rican food such as “panqueque de banana”, rice with beans and chicken and mashed potatos with sausage and vegetables. We were accommodated in tents on platforms from where we had a stunning view of the area.

The programmed activities included a tour through the village where we walked by several houses, two schools, a medicinal center and the community center. Because it was so hot we went swimming in the river in a natural pool. Furthermore, we participated in the chocolate making process and enjoyed our self-made chocolate sauce with a banana from the plantation.

At night they walk around with flash lights because the electricity is turned off. We relaxed in the hammocks and watched the blinking fireflies and listened to the sound of the crickets. 

The next morning breakfast was served at 7 am and we drank freshly made hot chocolate with the chocolate paste we had made the day before. Then they showed us their medicinal plants and let us smell and try some of them. We could choose which ingredients we wanted for our tea. We chose lemon grass with ginger.

Our last activity was archery. We got a bow and an arrow made out of wood and tried to hit a banana flower. It was Lea´s first time to shoot an arrow with a bow and she hit it right away (#skills).

After lunch we took the boat back to Bambú and were picked up again by our driver who let us out directly in front of our hostel in Puerto Viejo. Then we spent another night in beautiful Puerto Viejo and had a lot of fun during the happy hour in one of the restaurants.

All in all we really enjoyed our stay at the Caribbean Coast, especially in Yorkín. The people were friendly and the food was delicious. We had an authentic experience in the Bribri village and we would love to go back one day because these people really know what “Pura Vida” is all about.