Our spacious house (about 1,800 sq.ft.) is located on a beautiful 44,000 sq.ft. property on the slopes of the Turrialba Volcano. It is in a very safe, rural location, accessible by dirt road, and situated opposite the church in the village of San Antonio di Santa Cruz.
The house is ten years old with big windows and wood interiors and is located at a height of 1200 m., a few miles below the active volcano crater, which is in good view of the house. It has two bedrooms - one large master bedroom with a fireplace and a window wall facing the garden, and another double bedroom with a view of the volcano. There are two bathrooms - one huge ensuite to the master bedroom, and a guest bathroom with a fantastic shower. We have full wireless internet and cable tv. The kitchen opens up onto the living and dining space, which also has a large window overlooking the garden.
We've taken a lot of care with the garden, which has two koi ponds, a waterfall, and a lovely 'casita' with an outdoor kitchen and hammock.
We have a double car port, should you wish to rent a car (which we recommend even though there is a bus service). The town of Turrialba is about 13 km away, 30-40 minutes by bus, 20 by car.
Local tourism centres on the Turrialba volcano, Guayabo National Monument (20 minutes away from us by car, an hour and a half on foot), Juan Espino Blanco Reserve (private, ten minutes by car or 30 minutes on foot), and white-water rafting and canoeing on the Pacuare, Reventazón and Pejibaye rivers. The whole area is wonderful for mountain-biking and hiking. There are at least two spectacular waterfalls within a short distance. One is in the coffee town of Aquiares and is much visited by tourist groups, but the other (La Muralla) is close by our house on private land and must be close to 60 meters high. It´s in a beautiful spot and is not visited by tourists.
Bird-watching, or birding as the Americans say, is first-class throughout the area. I have so far identified 150 species at the house here in San Antonio, and a further 120 species in our area close by. Just outside Turrialba are the wonderful tropical botanical gardens of the CATIE University, which specialises in agronomy. CATIE's bird checklist currently stands at 371 species. You can check my birding blog at (website hidden).
The weather here in the mountains is delightfully cool year-round (between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit), so we require no air conditioning or heating. We do have a fireplace, which adds a nice touch in rainy weather.
The local people are the nicest folks you could ever wish to meet. They are country people who chiefly raise dairy cows and produce Turrialba cheese, which is famous in Costa Rica. We are located directly in the village, opposite the church and school, so we are part of the community. The village (a few hundred inhabitants at most) has three small stores that stock necessities, and a couple of bars (including a bar up the hill where you can fish your own trout!). Local food specialties are chicharrones, cajetas, Turrialba cheese, tamales and pancitos, not to mention trout and tilapia for those who like fish. The picturesque small town of Santa Cruz (pop. 4000) is two kilometers up the hill and offers a small supermarket and a few other businesses. There are several nice restaurants on the mountain road. The large town of Turrialba (pop. 40,000), offering all amenities, is 13 km downhill on a spectacular road, while the Turrialba volcano is about 20 km uphill (passing through Santa Cruz and La Pastora) on an even more spectacular one. A short drive beyond La Pastora and Pacayas is the turn-off to the Irazú Volcano, the highest in the country.
|Room type:||Entire home/apt|
|Bed type:||Real Bed|
|Extra people:||No Charge|
|Minimum Stay:||30 nights|
|Weekly Price:||$180 /week|
|Monthly Price:||$500 /month|
|Check In:||10:00 AM|
|Check Out:||3:00 PM|
|City:||San Antonio de Santa Cruz|
Paul and Ches were SO much fun!!
Their home and property are absolutely beautiful. The views from the bedroom and private balcony are filled with birds and lovely landscaping.
They were both incredibly generous with their time, knowledge and good humor.
Paul is a wealth of knowledge about the area and can help you customize your visit to include the things you enjoy, and Ches' wit was amazing.
What wonderful, funny, kind people they are. I would absolutely recommend their place to my friends and hope to meet up with them again.
Our stay with Paul was short (sadly just one night), but was a huge highlight of our trip to Costa Rica. Like others have noted, Paul is very generous and kind, has some great stories and a beautiful property in the picturesque area of San Antonio. He has an amazing knowledge of the area, of Spanish, and the birds, all of which we very much enjoyed learning about.
We highly recommend a visit to his lovely home!
Part of my journal entry:
Sometimes lady luck strikes when you least expect it. This was the case when Alicja, my wife, in her infinite capacity of being unorthodox thinker, announced one spring day of this year that she found a house for rent in Costa Rica and we're going on vacations... eh, yeah???
Why this one, I asked?.... just feels good, she said, even though she knew nothing of the owner or the area. I've learned a long time ago not to argue with her in a situation like this (yeah... I am a wise man...)
We talked with Paul on (website hidden) almost every weekend leading to our vacations in November 2012. After a thousand questions I started to worry that, for sure, we'll annoy the hell out of the old English chap eventually and he'd tell us to bugger off.. but, God bless his patience...
First of all let me tell you, it's not just that Paul is one of the nicest people I have ever met in my life or he is a wealth of knowledge about the local area but he will go out of his way to help you. Imagine our total surprise when he not only met us at the airport but also arranged with his friend Chalo to give us a ride to our hotel!
Alicja and I love to cook so having a whole house with a full kitchen was a dream! Add to this an easy access to all those exotic fruits and veggies and fresh meats and fish and you are in a chef's paradise.
Oh well, you ARE in paradise!
And in my case, add to it a fridge well stocked with cold beer, few bottles of wine and good Nicaraguan rum (Flor de Caña was my choice)...total heaven!
I will never forget my first impression of the place when we finally arrived, late evening on our first day. It was dark and rainy...
I remember how utterly and wonderfully surprised I felt when it was warm and humid and... pleasant! I was also immediately aware of the incredible and totally foreign to me sounds that came from the garden. Sounds of exotic birds and insects and moving water in the pond... those were the sounds of the tropics, sounds of the jungle...
The next morning was even more spectacular. There's a lot of birds here and they start a symphony first thing in the morning. My favourite was the song of a bird called oropendola, who was a constant guest, high in the eucalyptus tree. Every morning I would step outside with a cup of coffee and listen...
If you want to experience real tropics, adventure, meeting wonderful people and have the freedom to do anything you want, then Paul's house is the ideal base. Here, you have a true and very real chance to experience what life in Costa Rica is like… no resort can offer you that.
What a great start to an amazing trip. Paul was helpful and generous, an excellent host. He made our short stay a memorable one. The room and the grounds are beautiful, we cannot recommend it highly enough.
Be sure to ask Paul to take you to the mountain top grill where you can enjoy fresh trout. Be sure to take advantage of this little gem whether you are passing through or planning on spending time in Turrialba. Definitely worth the drive up the mountain.
Thanks Paul (we may see you on the way back to San Jose...!)
Pauls house is in a beautiful, comfortable setting along side a mountain in a small village that really gives you a good idea of what it would be like to live in costa rica. He was a very interesting person to talk with when we got in and very welcoming and accommodating. Excellent stay for so cheap! Thank you paul!!!