About this listing
The natural wood cabin is spacious, private, and set in paradise. Perfect for couples looking for privacy, sole adventurers, and groups or families looking to get down on a farm. The best stop between San Jose and the Caribbean Coast.
Mountain top working farm with year round cool climate, views and water falls. Stay in our rustic farm house, hike our 50 acres and learn about living a sustainable life as you tour our projects.
Our farm consists of a hardwood and plantain plantation, lots of various fruit trees, orchid collection and forest, chickens, hogs, and tilapias.
We are rustic, meets clean. Not luxury but very comfortable with all essentials. Our farm is off the grid, and powered by hydro-electric energy. We have wireless internet. Temperature rarely reaches much above 85F in the day and 65F on the coldest nights so no need for AC or Heating here.
Visitors see amazing things here. Brilliantly starry nights and full moons, world class bird watching, an orchid exhibition with over 100 specimen. The pure life.
Our host Mari has over 15 years of experience preparing gourmet traditional dishes and prepares lunch and dinner daily for guests included in the nightly price. The house has a private kitchen stocked with home grown produce. Guests are on their own to whip up coffee and breakfasts. Hosts live in a small guest house behind the main farm house and can take you on private waterfall, swimming hole, and jungle tours.
Guests have access to mountain hiking trails, swimming holes, tilapia pond, water falls, and a yoga/dance/music/relax space.
In the house, a guests have access to a private kitchen and refridgerator, wrap-around porch, and flat screen television with Netflix.
Interaction with Guests
First off, we help guests get acquainted with the home area, which covers about 5 acres.
Each day, we offer to guide the guests to explore something special in the surrounding 45 acres of rain-forest. That could include trips to private swimming holes, waterfalls, and intense jungle hikes.
We also serve our guests lunch and dinner daily in private picturesque settings.
If guests have questions, or need anything, we are here to help.
Our neighborhood is safe and private. Our closest neighbors are 1km away, and we look out for each other. You will not find other tourists around, in fact, you won't find too many people around. It's safe to say the animals in our town outnumber the people, and we're OK with that.
We are centrally located between San Jose and the Caribbean towns of Tortuguerro, Limon, Puerto Viejo and Cahuita. You can be in SJ in two hours or on the beach in two and a half. But once on the mountain, many guests don't think to leave till it's time to go. The town of Guapiles is down below and we often arrange guest pickups at the bus terminal because you will need a 4x4 to dive up here.
Other Things to Note
Looking for an off-road adventure? The roads here are rocky (and rock!). We cater to those with a love for the road. Like the saying goes, if it happens on two wheels, it's cools with us. Unless you are biking or taking your motorcycle up here, you will need a 4x4. Sorry, that economy compact car might not make it up here without making you liable on that damage-insurance policy. Heck, it might be worth it though ;)
Be prepared to have a 4x4 vehicle to arrive or ask hosts to set you up with a taxi.
-If you have any medical allergies such as severe reactions to bee stings, please bring your proper medications
If you're looking for a true "off the grid" experience in Costa Rica, this place delivers. Set atop the mountains above Guapiles, this farm and the surrounding land is a perfect place for relaxing as well as exploring. Regarding the lodging itself, the house is clean, spacious, and has all the basic amenities that one would need, including running, potable water, flushing toilets, electricity, and wifi. The hosts are extraordinarily hospitable and will fulfill any request you have. This IS a farm, so there are roosters, dogs, cats, and pigs on the premise. If you're curious about eco-farming, Barrett is more than willing to show you the projects he's working on, which we found to be quite fascinating. It's a terrific way to see how an eco farm becomes established and to learn about the challenges and problem solving involved in living in such a remote environment. Mari cooks 2 meals per day for guests, which is a huge plus. You can usually find her starting to prepare things early in the day and you can tell that she puts all her talent, care, and love into her cooking. The fare includes tilapia, chicken, pork, and fresh fruits and vegetables. We felt that we ate more healthfully at Barrett's during our stay than we had in years, as the portions are satisfying but not overindulgent and the food is all freshly prepared. All meals are accompanied by porch views of the Costa Rica jungle. Do watch out for the cats and dogs that try to "join" you for dinner, though we'd be lying if we said we didn't oblige them now and then. However, the highlight of staying at this farm is the property. The stream on the property is a perfect place for a challenging hike to gorgeous views of waterfalls, jungle wildlife, and the occasional big cat if you're lucky. Barrett is a wonderful tour guide and will equip you with hiking boots so you can fully embrace the jungle atmosphere. If you so desire, Barrett's neighbor across the road has a lovely lagoon that he opens to guests which features an 8-10 foot deep swimming hole underneath a roaring, majestic waterfall. Overall, we had a wonderful time staying with Barrett and his family in this jungle hideaway. Barrett and Mari were terrific hosts and were willing to give us as much privacy as we wanted, but were also willing to hang out with us if we felt like chatting. We would recommend bringing books and other forms of entertainment, especially if you are going in the rainy season. The hikes are terrific, but can be taxing, so don't be surprised if you don't have to go a great distance to get a workout. Also, don't be afraid to repeat hiking routes, as they seem to change by the hour in terms of flora and fauna sighting. We would also recommend purchasing beverages, snacks, and other items you may need at the store in Guapiles before going up...
Barrett and Mariluz's mountain cabin is a unique place to escape the world around you and be one with the jungle. Staying with them is like joining an expat-Costa Rican family and shows you what it takes and truly means to live off the land. They were very respectful of space but were available to answer any questions about Costa Rica and share their life experiences. Mariluz's cooking is some of the best we had in Costa Rica, with generous portions of food grown and raised right on their grounds. Mariluz's brother took my wife and I on a jungle walk that was one of the most amazing experiences we had in Costa Rica. Although there was a language barrier, he took the time to show us the diverse flora and fauna and helping us climb through the tougher parts of the jungle. The walk ended at a beautiful waterfall and swimming hole. If you're making the trek from the Pacific to Caribbean coast, I highly recommend stopping here for a couple of nights to truly escape!
As others have mentioned, be prepared to have a 4-wheel drive and be confident in your driving skills. We drove around the entire country in 2 weeks and the road to their house was the most challenging drive we encountered. With that said, luckily once you make it to the top there is no need to leave until you're ready to move on to your next destination.
We look forward to visiting again on our next trip to Costa Rica to see how their farm has grown and enjoy more of Mariluz's cooking!
Like the other reviews..Barrett & Mari are good hosts. Our group consisted of, myself, my mother, my college age daughter & her friend. Barrett goes out of his way to accommodate his guests, he took the girls on a few different hikes and even helped my mom along on a hike. Unfortunately, I had a stomach bug so I didn't feel up to the hiking but Barrett made me a tea with plants from their farm that helped tremendously. The property is beautiful. Keep in mind this is not a hotel/resort and it is in the jungle. If you are looking for amenities this is not it, but if you are looking to experience natural Costa Rica you will find it with Barrett & Mari. The accommodations are simple and clean, there are bugs & there is dirt since you are in the jungle. You will be woken by the roosters when the sun comes up(5ish) but if your like us, it was perfect, as we were up with the sun our entire trip. I slept like a rock every night. "THE ROAD", yes, it is rocky, steep and takes 40-45min to travel but it is WAY better than driving in San Jose(we were lost in the city for 2hours) You will definitely want a 4x4 and I would recommend arriving before dark. I also recommend stopping at the store to purchase snacks, drinks, etc. before you head up the mountain. My only regrets are not being able to eat all of the yummy food that everyone else devoured and missing out on the hikes.
Based on the already glowing reviews, deciding to stay with Barrett and Mari was a no-brainer.
We realized early on that renting a car would be a hassle for us. Barrett immediately recommended a local driver, who met us right outside of baggage claim and gave us a fun and informative ride to Guapiles. There, Barrett met us in a 4x4 and up the rocky road we went.
The property is absolutely gorgeous and has so much to offer. Not only do you have an entire cabin to yourself, but you also have access to swimming holes, waterfalls, dense jungle, a huge orchid collection, and a host of loving animals. We’d spend the mornings cooking farm fresh eggs, drinking Costa Rican coffee, and enjoying quiet time at “El Rancho,” a spacious pagoda just steps away from our front door. Our days were full of adventures on and around the property, whether that be exploring an ancient Mayan trench or diving into a private, pristine swimming hole.
It’s already been said but it can’t be said enough. Mari’s food is incredible! Fresh tilapia, roast pork, stuffed chicken, yum, yum, yummmm! The fridge is also stocked with soda and beer for an extra treat. Barrett was even kind enough to grab some wine for us while in town on an errand.
Our only advice…Make sure to pack that bug spray and anti-itch cream! But, overall, tremendous stay! A great way to see what it’s like to live off-the-grid pura vida style.
If you visit Costa Rica and don’t stay here, you’re really missing out. Barrett & Mari are two of the nicest people I’ve met, and it was a privilege to stay with them. They’ll give you as much privacy as you want and are really good at letting you relax / explore the property at your leisure…but if you’re interested in learning about farm life or off-the-grid setups, Barrett is happy to answer questions and let you accompany him on his daily tasks. Mari’s food (two meals a day) is fantastic and I’ll echo the sentiments of another reviewer…it was definitely the best dining I experienced in Costa Rica. Knowing that the bulk of the food is from the very property on which you’re staying is an added bonus.
The property is beautiful: remote, pristine and the closest to a full-on escape from the modern world that I’ve found. You’ve got free reign to explore pretty much all of it. There is an abundance of wildlife and you have access to trails and wilderness that are barely explored...in all my adventuring I never saw another person. For lodgings you have the entire front farmhouse to yourself — it’s a large room with a huge comfortable bed, a basic kitchen setup and easy access to a bathroom. There’s even a nice little cat that sleeps at the foot of your bed.
If you’re looking for a spot that’s just a base as you drive/check out the more touristy side of Costa Rica, this place probably isn’t for you. But if you want an experience that is truly unique and are aiming to relax while seeing a part of the country you certainly wouldn’t get to check out otherwise, I can’t imagine a better stay than this. It was the highlight of my Costa Rica visit and I’m already looking forward to when I can go back.
Barrett and Mari were very generous, attentive, and friendly hosts. The food prepared was amazing and their land beautiful. Their home is remote with nothing but nature creating the soundtrack. With that said, be prepared to travel about an hour on a very rocky road to their home. While only 10km from main road, it feels like 100. A proper vehicle is a must! The home is basic and a little empty feeling, but all necessities were provided. We definitely recommend the farm house to those looking for something a little more genuine off the beaten path.
My wife and I had an incredible experience at Barrett and Mari's property. They are two incredibly nice, open, and laid back people (with an adorable daughter) that helped make our stay very memorable. Mari's cooking (all food from the farm) was the best we had on our trip and Barrett's hikes showing us all his property had to offer - from dense jungle to beautiful, isolated waterfalls to the clearest swimming holes we have ever seen - made it a truly memorable experience. We couldn't recommend their place more and we plan to go back.
About the Host, Barrett + Mariluz
We are a PURA VIDA family that believes in making a positive difference in the world.
Caring and Sharing is at the center of our lives daily. Our dream home in the mountains of Costa Rica is a labor of love that we hope inspires our visitors.
Come visit us, learn what it means to live "off-the-grid" and have a truly unique experience on your trip to Costa Rica