Green CornerAt Hacienda Pinilla part of our mission is to preserve the nature that surrounds us.
HACIENDA PINILLA: MUCH MORE THAN A REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT
By Lady Ann Umaña, Journalist
Before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in 1523, the Chorotega, Nahua and Aztec indigenous groups lived in Guanacaste. Three-hundred years later, the residents of Nicoya, Santa Cruz and Cañas decided to secede from Nicaragua and join Costa Rica.
Guanacaste measures 3,915 square miles (10,140 square kilometers) in area and ranges from sea level to 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) in altitude. The province is divided into 11 cantons (counties) and 47 districts. The region's residents occupy their time with a variety of activities, including cattle farming, beekeeping, aquaculture, fishing, and the cultivation of rice, sugarcane, grains, fruits, salt, cotton, sorghum and vegetables.
The most important economic activity in Guanacaste is tourism. The province boasts some of the best beaches in Costa Rica and many microclimates due to its varying terrain. It is home to volcanic mountain ranges, extensive plains, and towering mountains with elevations that reach up to 3,280 feet above sea level. Three of the country's most beautiful national parks, the pride of Costa Rica and world, are found in Guanacaste.
The population of Guanacaste honors its ancestral roots by retaining many of their ancient indigenous customs, which is apparent in the region's cuisine. Corn remains one of the staples of local dishes, and is a part of traditional drinks, tortillas, breads, and main courses. The Guanacastecan lifestyle is conservative. Families still supplement part of their nourishment necessities from their own backyards, where they plant corn, raise hens, pigs and cows, and cultivate tubers and fruits.
Town festivals, which honor the patron saints of each district, are one of the main sources of recreation. Over the course of several days, street vendors sell typical food and drink, and residents enjoy Guanacaste-style bullfights. During every day of the festival, tunes from regional music groups play out of car trunks, perusing the streets as early as 5:00 a.m. and bringing joy to the neighborhood despite the early hour.
The Nicoya Peninsula, in the province of Guanacaste, is one of five Blue Zones around the world. It shares this honor with Sardinia (Italy), Okinawa (Japan), Loma Linda (California) and Icaria (Greece). In these regions, residents report the longest lives in the world, and enjoy very good health. Scientists believe that diet, exercise and water, which is full of minerals, may contribute to long lifespans in these regions.
It was with this province that Hooper Cordon Pattillo fell in love. Affectionately referred to as Don Pattillo by the employees of Hacienda Pinilla, over 30 years ago he proposed the development of a project that would stand out from the rest thanks to its respect for and preservation of the environment. His vision detailed high quality construction, as well as products and services that would grant visitors and property owners the opportunity to enjoy life without ever stepping foot outside the Hacienda.
Today, Hacienda Pinilla boasts a hotel, villas, houses, three restaurants, a Beach Club, tennis court, golf course, pro shop, a spa, a health clinic, and a road system that connects each of these areas, as well as conservation areas that serve to protect the native flora and fauna. The Hacienda's white-sand beaches are ideal for observing some of the most beautiful sunsets in Costa Rica. Water sport aficionados will find one of the best locations to indulge. There is also a stable, home to horses and the starting point for horseback riding tours and riding lessons. Young people who participate in folkloric dancing troupes also work here, and their dance exhibitions are one of the most satisfying events at Hacienda Pinilla.