This is a house to get away and enjoy the simple and natural living style of the community of Longomai. A perfect place to read, paint, write, and relax. The beautiful mountain paths, and rivers will give the inspiration.
The house was designed under sustainability concepts for tropical climate. It is elevated of the ground and the roof is separated of the ceiling to allow a permanent ventilation and great temperature. The wood is from a plantation of the farm and was all manufacture inside the farm with local handwork.The wood was treated with natural oil and no toxic products where used during this construction, this is a healthy house! The house has a modular and efficient design, the electrical system is minimal, the water is heated with sun energy and it has a wood stove, this reduces very much the energy consumption. It also has a gas stove for your convenience. The wood construction and the low cable, metal, concrete materials reduces the radiation and makes the people feel healthy and relax in this house. This is a house recommended to those who want to scape from the city to the rural and simple living. It is also a great place for artist and writers that need a calm place to inspire their work. The house has two double beds (queen), one in each room and two single beds, but my favourite is the the hammock. Both of the queen beds have mosquito nets, we recommend to keep the bedrooms light turn off between 6 and 9 pm to avoid attracting insects to the bedrooms. There are not dangerous insects but the house is surrounded by forest and flying insects are attracted by the light and the house is very open. Turn on the exterior lights so the insects want to stay out and keep the interior light low, using the fire stove will also help.
The community is about 30 kms from the city of San Isidro, in the farm you can get basic things at the pulperías (this are the very small costarrican markets) We recommend that you come to the farm with all the food you may need for your stay. The local families offer the food service in their houses, each meal is around $4 and you pay directly to the families, food is natural, traditional and delicious.
Interaction with Guests
We use this house for holidays and the house will be just for you when you come. My sister in law Elena who lives about 80 meters from the house is in charge of the house. Elena or Edith (another neighbour) will help you organize cooking lessons, riding or walking tours, spanish lessons, etc. It is also good if you let me know a week in advance if you want to do any special tour so I can contact the local to organise before you get there.
The community of Longomai is located in a farm of 800 hectares. 400 hectares are natural reserve where you can walk, the two rivers Sonador and Convento are beautiful to enjoy, both located inside the farm. The community have different programs of organic agriculture, rural tourism, and art centre, all combined with the agriculture activities of the local families. The local families serve food for about $4 per meal. This can be organized when you arrive. Don't leave Longomai without eating a Pupusa from Elena or doña Edith !! You can also ask for traditional cooking lessons. Check their website , (website hidden) for Finca Sonador
You can also participate at the Art Center, (website hidden) Centro de Arte Longomai
Here some suggestions to do at the farm.
1.Tour to the petroglifos and Ceiba tree with Roland Spendlingwimmer. Mr. Spendlingwimmer is one of the founders of Longo Mai in Europe and Costa Rica. This is a great person to introduce you to the community and the principles of the project. He likes to show the "petroglifos" this are several rock with forms and marks done in the prehispanic period by the indigenous. Also he will show you the Ceiba tree located in the middle of the farm, the biggest tree around. Tour cost: 6,000 colones for the group. This tour needs to be programmed a week in advance.
2.Tour to the Convento trail with Maritza. Maritza is a very interesting lady who works in agriculture and has a great knowledge of the tropical forest and spices. She dedicates part of her time to collect seeds that she uses to make art crafts. The tour to the Convento trail takes you to the closest forest and the river, this is great to do and will show you how to get to the river and trail that you can also do by your self later. Maritza will explain about the agriculture of the period and the plants in the forest. This tour cost is 6,000 colones for the group, and can be organised directly at the farm.
Maritza can also teach you make chocolate from the plant of Cacao and you can also make art craft with her and just pay for the seeds you use.
3.If you want to see the upper part of the farm you may want to ride a horse, for this we recommend to go with "Peligro" (Danger is his nickname) he is another local, his nickname is just for fun. The cost of the tour is 6,000 colones for the group plus 5,000 colones for each horse. The horses are mellow but no security equipment is provided. Peligro can take you see the coffee and sugar cane plantations.
4.For cooking lessons visit doña Edith, she can show you how to process the corn to do tortillas and pupusas, with her you can also learn to do rice, beans or delicious picadillos!
Other Things to Note
If you want to eat in one of the families, we recommend doña Marta, she will serve good meals for $4. This is better to organise a week in advance.
We had a great time in Longo Mai! Everything is already summed up in the other review, and Eva gives a great description of the property and area. Highly recommend spending some time with Maritza, and going for a tour of the sugar canes. Aino and his family were lovely, and we all really enjoyed spending time with them. It can be very buggy, so as long as you are prepared for that, it'll be a great experience!
Hi Rachel, Thanks for your review. I wanted to write a review of you and your family but my time expired to do it =(. I 've been really busy and it was until two days ago I spoke to Elena about your stay. She said you where great guess, very friendly and open to the community. I also like Maritza very much, is one of my favourite persons in the town. I'm glad you had a good time, I 'm sorry about the mosquitos, this is by periods, sometimes nothing and sometimes a lot. Hope you enjoyed the rest of your trip in Costa Rica. Best regards, Eva
The Wood House in Longo Mai was absolutely our favorite part of our trip to Costa Rica. It was our first taste of the country and exactly what we were looking for. First, the house is beautiful - Eva and her husband are architects who constructed the place. It is definitely unique - a modern wood cabin that seamlessly melds the outdoors and indoors. Second, you will be in nature - tall trees are everywhere, there are corn plots out front, some banana trees in back, birds chirping, and just calm. You pass by coffee fields as well as you drive into the community. Even with the rains (we came in May), the large sliding doors in the front of the house open up so you can stay dry while still enjoying the outdoors. It was definitely a spectacular cabin atmosphere...stop and get some groceries before you reach the wood house and you'll be set! P.S. There is no wifi . You are really getting away from it all!
Eva and all of the folks at Longo Mai were extremely helpful and welcoming. Before we reached Costa Rica, Eva was very responsive and helped us plan meals with neighboring families, organize different activities, and provide us with the information we needed for our stay (ie the GPS coordinates, specific directions, etc). We learned how to make Pupusas with Elena (who also led us to the property and let us in) which were delicious! We were also able to purchase coffee made at Longo Mai with her as well. Eva helped us schedule time with Roland who led us on a hike around the property to see the giant sable tree, coffee plantations, and petroglifos. We really got a taste of how beautiful this country is and were able to learn a lot from him (he's lived in the area for 30+ years and started the community in the 80s!). We finished our stay here with breakfast at Edith's house - who made a traditional Costa Rica breakfast with gallo pinto and arepas as well as fresh pineapple. It was truly an awesome experience to stay here and meet these wonderful people. I would definitely recommend the Wood House if you're in the area or want to experience Costa Rica away from all of the tourist hype on the Pacific Coast. Thank you Eva!!