An Interview With Writer, Jane Moyano
Interviews | Costa Rica | 22.02.24

An Interview With Writer, Jade Moyano

I’m from Brazil but I’ve been moving around the world from an early age. At 15 I moved to New York, at 27 I moved to Nicaragua then to Los Angeles and Indonesia from there.

I have an appetite for adventure and anything that can expand my mind in new directions. I came to Costa Rica in March 2020 looking to hunker down and wait out the pandemic, but I ended up investing in land and staying here! Costa Rica has held me in a way no other place has, so I have developed a certain respect for it this past year.

Surfing in South America

You’ve been exploring Costa Rica for a while now. Which are your favourite areas and where is next on your list?

The Pacific coast is special to me because it was where I got my first taste for this country. I love Santa Teresa, Montezuma, Mal País, Nosara, and all the beaches in between. Here is where you’ll find the most creative communities, the best waves, yoga studios, and health conscious
restaurants. The Osa Peninsula is really special too, very rugged and raw. There, you can feel at one with nature, see less people, and even spot the occasional jaguar. One place I haven’t been yet is the Caribbean coast. I have heard great things about Puerto Viejo.

You’ve just been on a surf trip to Nicaragua. We’d love to hear about some of your Nica highlights.

Surfing is fairly new to me so any crowded lineup feels very intimidating. In Nicaragua, I didn’t encounter that. There are so many beaches totally empty and waves perfect for learning, you can have the ocean to yourself and choose a break that suits your level. That kind of surf diversity is hard to come by. I loved surfing Beginners Bay in Popoyo and staying at Malibu
Popoyo, a new boutique hotel with the most wonderful staff who are always ready to take you on a million adventures. A bit further north, in the sleepy fishing village of El Transito is Mandla, a stunning new boutique retreat venue. There, I had some of the best meals I have had in all of Central America. We caught our own fish and chef Katie Hunt cooked it 6 different ways. We ended our days floating in the tide pools and watching the sunset with cocktails in hand. It was fabulous. It’s important to note the surf season in Nica is from March to October so I didn’t really score in the wave department, but that opened up space for other types of adventures like dirt biking in the jungle and visiting local villages.

Nayara Tented Camp

Imagine you’re designing a friend’s 2-week honeymoon. Where might you send them?

I would start at Nayara Tented Camp in Arenal National Park. Staying in luxury tents on a cliff facing the rainforest sounds like a dream to me. The best thing to do in Costa Rica is to connect with nature, so I highly recommend an outdoor-indoor experience, where you’d spend most of your time in nature. There, they’d discover the waterfalls of La Fortuna and Tenorio National Park. La Fortuna’s hot springs are also a must visit. Then, I’d send them kayaking in the Arenal Lake or rafting down Penas Blancas River. After a week in the jungle, it’d be time to hit the beach! Casas Capitan in Santa Teresa are a stunning welcome to the pacific coast, and the town of Santa Teresa is full of delicious restaurants and nightlife.

Can you teach us some useful local slang?

“Pura Vida”, which means good life, and good energy, in Costa Rica, is something you will hear everywhere you go. If someone asks how you are, you can say Pura Vida. You can also say Pura Vida instead of hello or goodbye. “Tuanis” and “a cachete” is another way to say awesome, or cool.

Jade Moyano | Interview

How do you feel Costa Rica’s hotels score on sustainability? Any standout examples to highlight?

Costa Rica is one of the only countries in the world with a sustainability certification program for accommodations, so I feel the hotels here score high in that department. It is common for hotels to be completely plastic-free, use solar panels, and have their own recycling and composting program. This is standard. Cala Luna is an eco-boutique hotel in Tamarindo, not too far from where I live, that is installing one of the largest solar panel projects in the hotel industry in Central America to operate as sustainably as possible. They’re on the path to reach carbon neutrality and 100% solar power by this year. In addition, building regulations in the country prevent over development of beachfronts and help maintain construction standards that disrupt the environment as little as possible. This is one thing I love about Costa Rica – you will not see a beach dotted with high-rise hotels and resorts. That doesn’t exist here.

In terms of food and drink, what shouldn’t we leave Costa Rica without trying?

Patacones con queso! Fried plantains with fresh cheese is my favorite, and you can find it anywhere from gourmet restaurants to local “sodas”. Also, fresh seafood is everywhere, don’t miss out on the local ceviches, whole fish dishes, and of course gallo pinto.

Costa Rica | Plan South America

What are the best local souvenirs to take home?

Coffee! Costa Rican coffee is world-famous. Also, pottery. There are entire villages in Costa Rica devoted to pottery making. One that comes to mind is Guatil in Guanacaste, which keeps the same ancient traditions used from generation to generation by the Chorotegan Indians. The pots, plates, and vases are so uniquely Costa Rican. If you can’t go to Guaitul, the Guaitil Pottery Studio in Tamarindo sells them.

What has been your most memorable experience thus far in Costa Rica?

Learning to surf is something I will never forget. Not every beach destination is conducive to learning. In Nosara, you get some of the best conditions in the world for learning to surf, from soft waves to sandy bottoms and sprawling beaches where you rarely feel like another surfer is too close to you. I caught my first green wave in Costa Rica, bought my first motorcycle, rode over a suspension bridge on two wheels for the first time, and purchased my first plot of land. It’s all pretty unforgettable.

Luna Zorro
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