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Barry Foster

Member since: 2004
Speaks: english

Private Home, Gardens, Ocean & Rainforest View, Pool, Stream

25 Reviews
Sleeps4
Bedrooms 1
Bathrooms1
Property type house
Minimum Stay 4 - 5 nights

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Overview

Puntarenas House Rental Photos and Description

House, 1 Bedroom + Convertible bed(s), 1 Bath, (Sleeps 2-4)

Now with WiFi internet access!

Villa Helena, a privacy-lover's dream home, is nestled on a lush hillside just a half mile inland and 1000 feet above the Pacific Ocean in the midst of amazing jungle wildlife: birds of every size and description, wandering troupes of howler and white-faced monkeys, three-toed sloths, brilliantly colored tree frogs, and a great variety of tropical butterflies.

This unique one bedroom home has over a thousand square feet of tropical luxury and features a tall and airy vaulted ceiling, terra cotta floor tiles, Costa Rican native artwork, the rich and brilliant textiles and crafts of nearby Guatemala and Panama, and locally crafted furniture and fixtures.

Villa Helena is just minutes from the villages of Dominical and Uvita and several lovely, uncrowded beaches. Villa Helena offers the best of all worlds. Stay at home to enjoy the gardens which are full of fruit trees, flowers, hummingbirds and butterflies, walk the trail through the forest alongside the creek which crosses the property, laze by the pool on one of two terraces, and cook to your heart's content in the fully-equipped kitchen. You might even arrange a private massage on the balcony: birdwatch at the same time!

Villa Helena is a bird-lover's paradise and not just in our gardens. The incredible nature reserve, Hacienda Baru, is just 15 minutes away and has a bird list of over 350 species. Of course, our home isn't anywhere near the size of Hacienda Baru which stretches from the sea to the mountains. We haven't had a formal survey done but we have seen over 200 types of birds from the balcony while casually birding. Hacienda Baru and other local reserves have many wonderful guided tours available.

Or you might choose to wander into one of the nearby towns to one of the great restaurants, do some craft shopping or stock up on locally caught fish and locally harvested tropical fruit. The beaches and beach activities are plentiful and uncrowded. Take a guided walk through one of the nearby private nature reserves, visit the stunning 215 foot tall Nauyaca Waterfalls by way of horseback, venture out to Caño Island for snorkeling or out for deep sea or inshore fishing. If you are an avid hiker you can take a trip through the mountain trails to one of two great waterfalls and swimming holes. It's always fun to drop into Dominical and watch the surfers: heck, you can take a lesson right there!

In this nook of Costa Rica, the temperatures are usually in the 80s during the day and around 70 at night. The hillside location lets us take advantage of the gentle breezes which make Villa Helena so comfortable. While we love playing at the beach every day, we also love to come back to our cool paradise!

WHY CHOOSE VILLA HELENA OVER OTHER SIMILARLY SIZED HOMES IN THE AREA?? There are lots of choices in the area for places to rent but none of them has all the things that Villa Helena has to offer. The 'beachside' places are all crowded in with other rental units so you have no privacy and much of the wildlife is scared away. By law, nothing can be built right on the beaches so there is still a walk to the ocean and once you get there, the beaches with rentals right by them almost always have rocky shores where it is is difficult to get into the water! There isn't much air circulation and with the nearby standing water, many area have lots of bugs and humidity. We rarely even seen a mosquito up at Villa Helena. Also, almost all of the waterfront places are just feet off the main, noisy highway and the places have varying degrees of success with dealing with that noise. Up in our area or in other places above the coast, most of the houses are built right on the road so you contend with periodic car noises and the noise of people chatting while they walk by. Our driveway drops you well away from the road into privacy so complete, you could sunbathe or swim nude and not have any worries. You'll only very rarely hear a car going by. We know of no other rental home that includes a seasonal stream through the property which further enhances the ambiance of Villa Helena and provides another habitat for lots of unusual birds and other wildlife. We regularly have a dunk into one of the little natural pools in the clear stream.

Keywords: Villa, Home, View, Pool, Garden, Private, Internet, Privacy, tropical, paradise, private, bird watching, monkeys close at hand

More Details
Suitability:
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
Barry Foster (Owner)
Member since: 2004
Speaks: english

About Barry Foster

My husband and I stumbled across this piece of paradise by accident and are we ever glad that we did! We come from the cool Pacific Northwest where we lead pretty fast-paced lives but do enjoy gardening and bird watching. Villa Helena lets us have a totally relaxing break, full of privacy. Being at Villa Helena has really deepened our gardening and birding horizons. Every time we go down, we find a new adventure: a new horseback ride, a new guided rain forest tour, a chocolate making class, new birding guides to try, another part of a beach to explore. Every time we come down, too, there is a new restaurant to try: local cuisine, fusion, Italian, French style, Indonesian, Spanish tapa bar, sushi: all low key, casual, open air (under a high roof) restaurants.

Barry Foster purchased this house in 1995

Why Barry Foster chose Puntarenas

We knew we wanted something very private yet not totally isolated. We have great neighbors at Villa Helena but the properties are large so we don't look onto anyone and no one sees us. We thought about an ocean side location but decided to be up on the hill. This decision gave us a great view, the wonderful gentle breezes, lots more privacy and really great access to all the birds, butterflies, monkeys, sloths, etc that we get such great enjoyment from watching. From our balcony we've even watched a mother humpback whale and her baby in the ocean below. We love being close to all the services of a couple of small towns but didn't want to be right in the midst of them. This part of Costa Rica is unique in that it has great, uncrowded beaches and also has the lushness of the tropical rain forest which the more touristy areas of the north lack. This really has turned out to be Paradise.

What makes this house unique

Villa Helena really is such a wonderful experience. There are so many places to wander through the gardens and stream bed where you can sit or stand and watch all the wildlife around you and enjoy plants you might not normally see on a daily basis. We have a couple of fruit trees which are full of bromeliads, ferns and four types of native orchids. The birds and the monkeys eat most of the fruit that grows here: mangos, guava, bananas, starfruit, cashews and they'll even eat the sour oranges! That's fine because we enjoy having the animals up so close and there are great sources of local fruit so close to us. Our mature garden really sets us apart from most other rentals in the area.

Everything is so close at hand to us at Villa Helena and yet we are still very private and close to nature. We can walk to a nearby restaurant and drive a few minutes to all the services of the neighboring two small towns. The beaches are just minutes away. There are such great restaurants so close, serving local fare and all sorts of others. How do they serve such great international food in the middle of the jungle?

Reviews

5
based on 25 traveler reviews

Private Home, Gardens, Ocean & Rainforest View, Pool, Stream
average rating of 4.96 based on 25 reviews
Lincoln
5

It A week at Villa Helena

  • 5 of 5

I have to honestly say the only thing I didn't like about Villa Helena....was having to leave it! It was the most beautiful relaxing week of my life. After 26 years together my husband and I felt like newlyweds, alone in our own little world of beauty and serenity. Well serenity when the howler monkeys weren't howling, or the birds chirping or it was raining.. all of which made it seem so unreal and so wonderful. The house and the property are beautiful, relaxing and so fun to come home to after a day of adventure. For anyone who wants a secluded, wonderful place to stay while visiting Costa Rica I would recommend it. We watched the white faced monkeys make their trek past the house daily, a sloth hung out with us for quite a while as I snapped multiple pictures and listened to the night sounds, birds, monkeys and frogs nightly, music to sleep by. We can't wait to go back.

  • Submitted: Jun 26, 2016
  • Stayed: Jun 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: And this is why WE keep coming back. You caught the spirit of the place beautifully and we're so glad you had all these wonderful experiences. It's hard to convey in words in a listing just how special this place is without sounding too strained. Better that our guests also share their experiences that are hard to imagine without being there. No place quite like it, you're right! Thank you for the kind words and we'll be happy to welcome you back whenever you can. Barry
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Aurora, Colorado
5

Secluded Getaway

  • 5 of 5

We have stayed at Villa Helena 4 times in the last few years and see no reason to stay anywhere else in the Dominical area. It's very private, has great views, and is the perfect romantic getaway. The wildlife viewing is very good and you see it all with a cup of coffee in hand from the back deck. We had a sloth hanging out above the pool, saw both howler and white face monkeys, and lots of birds on our latest visit. You won't see more wildlife unless you hike the rainforest at Hacienda Baru. The villa is well equipped and very affordable too. It's a gem!

  • Submitted: Jun 1, 2016
  • Stayed: May 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Mark and Fay: Thanks very much for the kind words about our home. I think you've really nailed it as to what is so special about Villa Helena, especially the great access to wildlife viewing. I have to say, though, that as much as we love Hacienda Baru (and we go there every time we come down to Costa Rica) we never see as much wildlife as we do from the Villa Helena property. Maybe because you are looking out onto the tree tops where so much of the action is. I'm thankful that the sloth, monkeys, birds and butterflies are also so happy at Villa Helena. Barry
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5

Wonderful place to stay!

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I stayed at Villa Helena for 9 nights and can't say enough positive things about our experience. The house was the perfect size for the two of us; comfortable and well appointed with everything we needed. Originally I thought we would spend about half of our days at the ocean (I'm a beach person) but as it turned out we chose to spent almost all of our time at the house where we were totally immersed in nature and enjoyed the wonderful covered porch, hammocks, swimming pool, incredible view, plants and wildlife. We loved waking each morning to the sound of howler monkeys, then having coffee on the porch as we heard and saw the toucans and watched dozens of butterflies and birds as the sun came over the hill. On several occasions we got to watch as white faced capuchin monkeys and howler monkeys passed through the trees by the house and a few times got to see a blue morpho butterfly as it flitted in the nearby stream bed and also around the house itself. The landscaping is amazing with countless tropical flowers, plants and trees. The pool is the perfect size, the water warm and inviting and the waterfall very soothing. We cooked most of our meals at the house (with a nice variety of groceries available only a few minutes away in Uvita) and found the kitchen to have all the pans, dishes, utensils and linens that we needed. When we did venture out, we thoroughly enjoyed the nearby beautiful beaches and friendly people.

  • Submitted: May 16, 2016
  • Stayed: Mar 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: I'm so glad you had such a great time. We love sharing Villa Helena and hearing how other people enjoy the place. We ourselves continue to be blown away by the wonderful sightings of the monkeys, the birds and the butterflies, all with the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean below. You guys hit so many of the highlights of the area: congrats. We have to admit that, like you, we sometimes only leave the property for a walk on the trails or a trip to the stores, maybe a dinner out. We are beach people, too, and the beaches are great, but we sometimes have to force ourselves to leave! I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Barry
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5

Paradise? I Think Yes!!

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I came to the Villa Helena for our belated honeymoon Feb. 2016. Oh My Goodness it was the PERFECT destination for us!! Stayed for 9 days, but could have stayed forever!! The villa is beautifully decorated and well cared for. Breakfast on the private deck each morning listening to the sounds of the jungle and looking over the ocean and the foliage was beyond relaxing. The private pool after a day down on the local beaches or being on one of the many excursions available in Uvita was divine! Should you wonder what to do while there, Tom and Kristina with Jaguar Property Management were more than helpful and informative. So many to choose from, we opted for Nauyaca Falls, Cana Island Snorkeling, Canopy Zip Lining, and the Mangrove boat tour. My husband being the adventurer loved the zip lining, my favorite was the Mangrove tour. Any of the Playas in the area were beautiful! Our favorite was Playa Ventanas. Any of them, Playa Uvita, Ballenas or Pinuela and others, were all enjoyable and relaxing. Not crowded and great beaches!

Just down the road from the villa was the Jolly Roger Bar. An amazing place with amazing wings, burgers and the grilled chicken salad is to die for. Tell Eric, the bartender and Amy, the owner, their Steeler friends from Texas say 'hello'! There is live music twice a week and the atmosphere was so relaxed and welcoming!

There are no negatives here, just some 'be aware' (if your not as adventurous as me) ~ in this area of Costa Rica, when they say 'just up the road' what it really means is up the side of the mountain, on a steep narrow dirt road with many hairpin curves! However, when you reach your destination, there is not a view in comparison! Well worth the 'interesting' drive!!

One of our most memorable things is the built in 'alarm clock' we were greeted with our first morning, and every morning there after ~ the local howler monkeys. If you've never heard one, that first dark morning when they awake and make themselves known, you will never forget! After the first morning, it became expected and enjoyable to experience this part of staying right in the middle of the jungle!

To say we would recommend the Villa Helena is an UNDERSTATEMENT1! It was way beyond our expectations, and Costa Rica was a dream. We hope to be back , stay here again and see so much more of what we missed! I could write for days, or copy from the daily blog I kept, but you need to experience this amazing place for yourselves!

  • Submitted: Mar 11, 2016
  • Stayed: Feb 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Your rave review is music to my ears. Hearing guests' reactions to our little corner of Paradise is always so heartwarming and reminds us of when we saw the place for the first time. Even now, after 20 years, whenever we get there, I first race out to the balcony to look at the view, check out where the sloths are, and then make a mad dash for the pool. Ahhh. I'm glad you enjoyed doing the same things. We love the Jolly Roger for the closeness and the great, casual food and the friendliness of the people. We'll be sure to pass on your greetings to them all when we are next down. We love all the beaches, too, but have a soft spot for Playa Ventanas, too: boogie boarding and body surfing!! We'll look forward to hosting you at Villa Helena for your next trip down! Still so much more to see and do and discover for you. Cheers, Barry
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0 0
5

Private Paradise

  • 5 of 5

Villa Helena was everything we had hoped for! The home is beautiful, comfortable and well appointed, but you will want to spend all of your time on the wonderful patio over looking the ocean or in the clean, refreshing pool. The views are breathtaking. My husband and I enjoyed many sunsets floating in the pool, with toucans calling in the tree right next to us. We heard howler monkeys every morning from our bedroom and were visited by a troop of white face Capuchin monkeys three different afternoons on their way back up the mountain for the evening. They come right through the yard! The owners are very friendly and responsive and the property managers make sure you have what you need. This is our 4th trip to Costa Rica, and we have visited many different regions, but we can't wait to go back to Villa Helena!

  • Submitted: Feb 23, 2016
  • Stayed: Dec 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Those wonderful monkeys! We see them every day now, coming in for the wild figs, any guavas that may be ripening and whatever fun and games they get up to hanging out in the branches of the trees above the stream. Dianne, we're really glad you made it to Villa Helena and that you had such a great time. It's hard sometimes to put into words just how special the place is to someone who had never been there. Seeing truly is believing! Barry
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Kansas
5

Mountain meets the Ocean

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed staying at Villa Helena. We have been in different parts of Costa Rica and believe this area to be the most beautiful of all where the mountains meet the ocean and the wildlife is plentiful. The bed was comfortable and no air conditioning was needed due to the elevation. In fact, we had to use covers at night. The owners and property managers were very helpful and always responded in a timely manner to any questions we had. We hated to leave this beautiful property and thank you for sharing your piece of Paradise with us!

  • Submitted: Jul 23, 2015
  • Stayed: May 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Map

Hacienda Barú National Wildlife Refuge
"A terrific wildlife refuge with a variety of expertly guided tours including bird watching, ..."
Nearest Airport
30 Miles
Quepos, 45 kilometers
Nearest Barpub
0.5 Miles
Jolly Roger, walking distance
Nearest Golf
25 Miles
40 minutes
Nearest Motorway
2 Miles
2 miles by road to the main coast road
Nearest Restaurant
0.5 Miles
Jolly Roger or Tree of LIfe
Nearest Beach
3 Miles
Hermosa, 10 minutes by car
Car: necessary

Wildlife observation, art and craft shopping, swimming in the 85 Degree (F) ocean or in the private pool, sea kayaking, boogie boarding, beachcombing, birdwatching, rainforest canopy exploration, zip line travel through the rainforest, jungle waterfall enjoyment, natural tropical pool swimming (seasonal), rainforest trail walking right from the house, deep sea fishing

Photos

Rates & Availability

Dominical House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
USD
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
 
Green Season
May 16 2016 - Nov 30 2016
5 night minimum stay
$100
$650
$1,900
 
 
High Season
Dec 1 2016 - May 15 2017
4 night minimum stay
$150
$950
$3,500
 
 
My Standard Rate
4 night minimum stay
$150
 

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $250

$250 totally refundable security deposit. We have never had to retain any portion of the deposit: people love the house and treat it as though it were their own. Rates are based on 2 people occupying the house. If there are additional people, we charge and extra $50 per week, 4 person total maximum.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
Enter dates to see total
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Amenities

Puntarenas House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
Meals:
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1000 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • Near The Ocean ...
  • Ocean View ...
  • Rural ...
Theme:
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
General:
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Covered Parking ...
  • Internet
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
Kitchen:
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
Dining:
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
Bathrooms:
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower
  • Nice, large bathroom with large tiled shower, tiled sink area and terra cotta tile floor. There is a bright skylight plus two screened windows in the bathroom so it is a very bright, spacious, airy room. All towels and beach towels are supplied at the house.
Bedrooms:
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 4
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 king
    Convertible bed(s) - 2 twin/ single
  • King size beds (1), Sleep Sofa or Futons (1) Two convertable beds 1 meter by 2 meters, about 39 inches wide, 78 inches long. Full linen sets on site. The extra sleeping beds are set up in the living area. There is a small closet and shelves for clothes for these beds. Since nearly all the time is spent outside on the balcony, this isn't a bad way at all for a family or close friends to use the house. Nice adjustable ceiling fan. Fully screened louvered windows on two sides.
Entertainment:
  • Books ...
  • CD Player
  • Games ...
  • Music Library ...
Outside:
  • Balcony ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Water Sports Gear ...
  • 4 garden chairs
Suitability:
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
Pool / Spa:
  • Private Pool ...
Onsite Services:
  • Concierge
  • Massage
Attractions:
  • churches
  • health/beauty spa
  • recreation center
  • restaurants
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shelling
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • whale watching
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • hiking
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • rafting
  • snorkeling
  • snorkeling/diving
  • sound/bay fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • whitewater rafting
Notes:
Cd Player with dozens of CDs, all cooking utensils provided including sharp (!) knives, linens and towelsand beach towels provided, large covered balcony, hammocks, TOTAL privacy, tropical gardens, creek and creek trail on property, wildlife viewing. Great internet access with your laptop or devices. While we do not have air conditioning per se, we do have three large and very efficient ceiling fans; one in the living area, bedroom and balcony. The windows throughout the house are louvered and fully screened so the natural breezes can come right into the house but any insects get left outside. Additionally, there is a stand up fan if more directed air is needed. We find that we hardly ever even consider using the fans. For one, we spend most of our time at the house either on the balcony, in or around the pool or walking through the garden. Also, almost always there is a nice breeze either coming up the hill from the ocean or one coming down from the mountains behind us.

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