|Space||3,000 sq. ft.|
|Minimum Stay||3 - 4 nights|
This recently constructed (2012) spacious 3 bedroom/4 bathroom home is located on 2 private acres adjacent to Arenal Volcano State Park. Each bedroom has its own terrace overlooking the old Ceiba Tree and views of Arenal Volcano and Lake. The open layout allows cool mountain breezes to flow through the home. Enjoy leisure activity in our bar/game room and cool off in our swimming pool or relax in the hot tub with direct views of the last active face of the volcano. Ideal for groups/families (sleeps 6-12 people). Enjoy meals cooked by our personal chef (available on request) or prepare your own culinary creation in our fully equipped gourmet kitchen. Cleaning service provided on alternate days. Laundry service available on request.
Located within minutes of El Castillo, Sky Trek Zip-Line Canopy Tours, Kayaking and ATV rentals. Horseback tours to the waterfalls or fishing tours on the lake or Rio Frio can be arranged. Massage therapy is available at the Blue Lagoon Spa just 500 meters up the hill. Hot Springs and La Fortuna are just 30 minutes away. An escape from the daily stress of work for a week in paradise will rejuvenate your soul and reconnect you with what life is meant to be.
The property is adjacent to virgin cloud forest. Explore miles of hiking trails through the rain forest that lead down to the nearby Rio Piedras Negras. Howler monkeys, toucans, wild turkeys, parrots, coati mundis (aka pizotes), tayras and more can be regularly spotted from the house and in the vicinity.
WiFi broadband internet access is included. Tune in internet radio from anywhere in the world or watch DVDs and Netflix on a 42' HDTV.
From left to right: Jim, Wes, Josie, Robin. Our family first visited Costa Rica in 2010 and fell in love with the Arenal area. Two years later, we spent our first week in the new house. We're in NJ most of the year. Jim is a marketing manager for an electronics company, Robin is an accountant. Wes is a senior in HS and Josie is a sophomore at URI.
Jim Florance purchased this house in 2012
You'll hear many stories about people that visit Costa Rica and experience an epiphany or an awakening. That's what happened to us. We began searching for land in Aug 2010 and found the Old Ceiba Tree lot. A year after beginning construction, the house is nearly finished. There is an energy that one can feel when you are there; it's indescribable but undeniable. Once you experience it, you'll be going back over and over.
We designed the home to bring the outdoors and indoors together. There are floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors that open to lake and volacano views. The cool mountain breezes flow thoughout the home. The temperatures average about 75°F year round so no airconditioning is necessary. We get our pure crystal clear soft water from a mountain spring ('naciente') that is about 6km in the virgin cloud forest. At night the temperates typically drop about 10° and in December and January you might even need to put a fleece on to stay warm. Being on the edge of the Monteverde Cloud Forest, we get a lot of rain but if you wait an hour the weather will change and when the sun pops out be careful because you can get a sunburn even when the sky is overcast (ask Josie). Each room has a terrace facing the lake/volcano side of the house. We love to enjoy the unbelievable cooking of Emilce, the former owner of a restaurant in Fortuna (Vaca Muca). She has the ability to take just about anything that's in the refrigerator and turn it into a meal that you'll never forget. Our favorite is 'pescado al ajillo' (corbineta or tilapia filet sauteed in fresh garlic) served with home fries, mixed vegetables (be sure to ask for chaote, cauliflower and carrots) and 'patacas' (plantain chips). Be prepared to rise early to the sounds of howler monkeys that frequently spend the night in our guarumo tree (a favorite hangout for all kinds of monkeys and birds) or the cacaphony of our flock of loras (red-lored parrots) that reside in the remaining branches of the 500 year old giant Ceiba tree that has unfortunately reached the end of it's life but still stands majestically on the west edge of our property. It's a local landmark that can actually be seen in satellite photos. We have a hiking trail that connects to the Linda Vista Hotel that winds past the Ceiba and down through the forest. Another trail has been cut farther up the hill that leads all the way down to the river for a refreshing dip.
What an incredible place to see Costa Rica! The accommodation were great, the views were fantastic. Great recommendation to utilize the personal cook, food was amazing. Local restaurants were great too. Roads were exactly how the owner described so we were not surprised. High recommend this part of Costa Rica
If you are going to Costa Rica, you obviously have a sense of adventure. So while you are visiting, I highly suggest you get out of the La Fortuna rat race and experience the beauty of La Ceiba...where the view is unparalleled, the stars are countless and Arenal is in your back yard. My family of 4 (2 teenagers) very much enjoyed out 3 night stay in this beautiful house. Clean, comfortable and with all the amenities you need after your day of excursions. Jim was reachable and helpful per-trip, and Allan was a wealth of knowledge and very accessible during our stay. Having Emilce and Luis come to cook dinner and breakfast was a real cultural treat. The drive up the dirt road is a bit bouncy, but very doable and nothing you wont experience in other areas of CR. Top things from our stay: Emilce's Huevos Rancheros in the morning, listening to howler monkeys, hummingbirds everywhere, the very animated white horse, and a perfect thunder storm rolling down Lake Arenal. Don't miss out!
This is a must stay place for anyone considering the Arenal area. All previous reviews regarding Jim, Emilce, Luis, Allen, Fabricio are spot on. This is an awesome team of owner, expats, and ticos that truly take care of this property and the guests. We traveled with 6 total (4 kids ages 7-12) and the property is perfect for family. We have traveled a lot and used VRBO extensively and this is one of the best most memorable properties we have stayed at. The directions that Jim provides are easy and exact (a luxury in Costa Rica). The kitchen is equipped and ready for most uses. Internet access was available and good. Netflix on the TV was a nice to have for a night or two. The board games was even better to provide entertainment and calm. The beds are comfortable and spacious. The bathrooms are really nice. The floor plan, decks and landscaping are well thought out and designed for relaxation and the comforts of home. The pool and hot tub are clean, working and a sweet bonus. Waking up to the howler monkeys, parrots and hummingbirds became a peaceful way to start the day. The best zip lining I've ever experienced is less than 10 mins away at Sky Adventures. We used Wave for our ATV/Rafting expeditions and they were awesome with the kids. La Familia de Chifa (in La Fortuna) was the best meal we had. Emilce and Luis prepared the second best meal of the week at the house. It was her garlic fish. Yummy! We highly recommend eating at The Phoenix (say Hi to Juan and his family). TripAdvisor is highly used and very accurate. We hope to return someday and continue to explore this amazing place.
Our only suggestions would be a slight update in the kitchen with cookware and some basic condiments (spices, oils, vinegar, etc.) included. We were recommended to Adobe rental and got a very nice 7 passenger Hyundai with the wifi hot spot (a must have) yet their local customer service was less than desirable. I will use them again in the future as they are better than the alternative it was just frustrating with a personal referral that they were not exceptional. Keep this place fresh and replace the old or dated items and this will remain a perfect place for any family or small group traveling to the #1 tourist spot in Costa Rica. Well done Jim and Thanks.
Wow what a great house, view, people and food! We were in Costa Rica for 10 days and unfortunately only at Jim's house for 4 of our of trip. We arrived to the house just before sunset to find incredible lake and volcano views. The pictures in the listing just don't do it justice! We had 6 people which was perfect for the space. While we were there we had Emilce and Luis cook for us and wow it is a MUST! We all said it was some of our favorite meals we had during the trip. There was so much food cooked for us on our first night, we had dinner leftovers for the next night! We also received breakfast from them the day we left and I can't say enough good things about that meal. They speak no English at all but we were still able to figure out with hand motions how we would like our eggs cooked - they are the absolute sweetest people. Alan helped us when we arrived, booked a zip-line adventure for us and gave us information about an awesome volcano hike we otherwise wouldn't have known about. We ate dinner right up the road at the Phoenix and the people there were also incredible. We had the whole restaurant to ourselves - don't miss out on the Caipirinha's :) Overall we had a blast and wished we were there longer. The house was as described if not more beautiful! The gardens, pool, hot tub and bar area made for beautiful mornings and fun nights! A lot of people in reviews below complained about the bugs in the house. Yes, it's more than you're used to but you're in the jungle and it's really not bad at all! Learn to love them, name them and I promise you'll miss them when you're sitting at your desk at work in a week. Thanks Jim, Alan, Emilce and Luis for a great trip!
We enjoyed our time at this lovely home. We didn't end up using the pool because it was a bit cool outside in the evenings when we were at the house but the jacuzzi was wonderful.
Alan greeted us and gave us the tour of the house and answered our questions. He suggested dinner at the restaurant just up the hill. It was good.
The first night we had a beautiful sunset over the lake but the volcano wasn't visible. The next morning, the volcano was visible and the birds were active.
We had the cook make breakfast for us the first morning. It was quite good. When they found out our adult son had been sick the previous few days, the went and picked an herb in the yard and made a tea for him to drink. They didn't speak any English and we didn't speak much Spanish, but somehow we communicated enough.
The last morning we stayed at the house, I walked up the road just to the crest of the first hill. I discovered an avocado tree with a lot of parrots happily making noises and enjoying the avocados. That was a real treat. We saw other birds but not nearly as many as we were able to hear singing all around the house.
The house was clean and well cared for. I would recommend this to other families.
This was our third trip to Costa Rica and we convinced two sets of neighbors to travel with us this time. Our plane was an hour late and immigration took about an hour to go through, so we arrived 2 hours late. Allan gave us directions via phone as it was raining and dark. He was waiting at the gate with flashlight in hand. There is a covered area at the entry that fits 2 cars to keep you out of the rain. Emilce and Luis cooked us an amazing meal of garlic corvina with plentiful sides. We immediately felt relaxed and welcomed.
Suggested excursions: guided hike with Anthony Arce at Sky Trek (we saw howlers, eyelash pit vipers, toucans, and many other birds, flowers, plants, etc.- super knowledgeable young man); horse back / waterfall hike just up the road at Parrot Hill (Eduardo, the owners son, was an outstanding guide; horses are great; hike is moderate; snack after was super fresh and yummy); Cerro Chato is a really HARD hike (you have been warned); Mundo Aventuro ziplining (those that went said it was excellent); local hot springs (do not go on weekend!).
Restaurants: hire Emilce and Luis (don't miss the huevos rancheros, and chicken piccata!); La Ventanito (at the end of the road in El Castillo- Kelly is terrific source of info.and the food is inexpensive and delicious, cold beer! Closed Sunday- very sorry we couldn't have another burrito.); Chef Benedict's Steak House (DO NOT miss this! Across from larger market in El Castillo. The BEST ceviche, excellent steak and shrimp with rice. Top quality).
The home: Amazing views! Tons of birds and landscaping is beautiful. We enjoyed every afternoon pool and hot tubing. The house is very comfortable and was large enough to accommodate our party of 6 adults. The owner, Jim, was very easy to deal with and responded very fast to emails. We had an issue with a fan not working and he had it fixed the next day. Allan, a neighbor, is simply a great guy that was there to answer any questions, arrange excursions, recommend restaurants, organize meals, tell great stories...
I am in love with El Castillo and the people we met! I look forward to returning.
Arenal Volcano Park, Zip Line Canopy Tours, ATV rentals, Hot Springs, Horseback Riding, Serpentarium, Butterfly Conservatory, Swimming Pool, Hot Tub, Table Tennis, Kayaking, Bird watching, Hiking, Near Jardin Escondido (Pizza John's)
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event|
Easter week 2017
Apr 8 2017 - Apr 16 2017
4 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
|Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add $25 per night, per additional guest|
|Refundable damage deposit||$300|
Rates based on 6 persons occupancy. Add $25/pp per night for over 6 persons.
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay.