About this listing
Enjoy tropical trees, plants and flowers and watching toucans, parrots, falcons, and butterflies that visit the grounds in the early morning and afternoons from hammocks and cozy chairs. Every morning the howler monkeys can be heard welcoming the day. The 1100 ft elevation ensures a more comfortable temperature, even when it's steamy at the beach. The house is not air conditioned, but ceiling fans and the house’s location allows for comfortable air movement.
The mostly-shaded deck offers a perfect place for relaxing, drinking Costa Rican coffee, reading books, and watching the jungle. The dining area consists of an oversized table overlooking the deck and green jungle beyond. The kitchen has granite countertops, an island, as well as a small table and sitting area.
Hikes can leave directly from the house. One steep trail leads down the back hillside to a small creek. Another goes down to the headwaters of the Baru River for a dip or to hike to amazing waterfalls in either direction, upstream or down.as well as the most photographed waterfall in Costa Rica, Nauyaca Falls. Other activities include hiking, surfing, kayaking, rafting, horseback riding, snorkeling, scuba diving, zip lining, going to the market, bird and wildlife watching, going to the market, as well as relaxing and soaking up the simple life.
The home sleeps six people comfortably. Two bedrooms are equipped with full sized beds and the third bedroom has two twin beds. We have two single mattresses that can be placed on the floor either in an extra room (or, by special arrangement, in the yurt). The adjacent, romantic yurt also has an awesome deck overlooking the jungle and a full size bed. Two bathrooms are located on either side of the house with hot water. There is also an sublime outdoor shower.
Children are welcome, but the house may be unsuitable for families with small toddlers or children who would climb on the deck railing.
Make use of the fully-equipped indoor kitchen by cooking up stir fries and fresh fish catch bought in Dominical. Our caretaker is available to prepare fresh vegetarian lunch or dinners to order in advance. Produce is largely organic and purchased locally at the farmers' market in San Isidro, where we buy free-range eggs, goat milk/cheese and kefir, organic brown rice, and fresh corn tortillas.
Internet available thru the pretty good local 3G phone network, and we try to maintain WiFi in the main house.
**Please look under the tab "House Rules" for additional information about visiting the area.
Strongly recommend renting a car. During non rainy months, 2WD will suffice, but 4 WD will allow much more flexibility to explore less traveled beaches and swimming holes.
Other Things to Note
In early 2014 we completed a separate yoga/dance studio with attached facilities for extra sleeping and kitchen. Please contact us if you are interested in holding an event or retreat.
-Will I need a car?
Yes, the home is in the gated community of the Valley of the Horses, situated approximately 6 miles (9.5km) from the beach –5.5 miles on a paved highway, and the last 1/2 mile on maintained gravel road into the coastal mountains. A car is recommended, though four-wheel drive is not necessary. There is a small grocery store in the village of Platanillo, about a mile away, but it would be a strenuous hike. There are also two fruit stands near the turn off for Valley of the Horses. For groceries, restaurants/bars, beaches, stores, etc. you would require transportation to the town of Dominical or San Isidro El General. Several taxi services are available. Plus, there are so many places around to explore!
- Is there someone in Costa Rica who can assist me while I am there?
Yes, once you book the home, you will be put in touch with our local caretaker, who can assist you with key handling and any questions or activity suggestions you may have.
- Where are the beaches??
The closest beach is Playa Dominical, approximately 6 miles away. This beach, however, has larger waves (it is a surfing destination) and can also have a dangerous rip tide. Although the only beach in the area with lifeguards, I would not recommend it for casual swimming, especially for children. There are two other beaches we favor, down the coast near the next town of Uvita, Playas Ballena and Ventanas. Dominicalito, just adjacent Playa Dominical, is also generally calmer, but a bit rocky.
-How far is the house from the San Jose airport?
About 3 to 3.5 hours, depending upon traffic and stops, via the new Caldera highway, or 4+ hours on the older Rt. 2 through San Isidro El General. You can also fly into Quepos via regional air, and it's a 30 minute drive down the coast.
-How will I know how to get there?
We will provide clear directions, and the home is just off a paved highway, and just a few kilometers off the Costañera Highway (34).
-Are there restaurants and shopping close by?
Dominical is a rustic surfer town and has a nice selection for casual dining. You can find Mexican, Thai, Italian, “Typical Costa Rican,” (Tipico) even a deli/bakery that serves awesome smoothies and great lunchtime sandwiches. Nearby hotels, such as Roca Verde and Rio Mar offer dining and bars. For shopping, you may wish to visit the bustling tourist town of Manuel Antonio (30 minutes drive north), which has souvenir, jewelry, and art/craft shops and many lively restaurants (I recommend a trip to Manuel Antonio, anyway, for the national park).
-What activities are in the area?
Yes, yes, yes! Activities include watching birds and butterflies, touring Manual Antonio Nation Park or Haciendo Baru near Dominical to see monkies, slothes, and birds, hiking in the Valley of the Horses, hiking in the Chirripo area (the highest peak in Costa Rica at 3,820 metres (12,533 ft), surfing (at various levels), kayaking (whitewater and sea kayaking), rafting, horseback riding, snorkeling and scuba diving at Caño, zip lining, going to the open air fruit and vegetable market in San Isidro, watching the sunset, and eating mangos from local fruit stands. There are dozens of picturesque, quiet beaches all the way up and down the Southern Pacific coast near Dominical. You could easily go to a different one each day for more than a week!
For surfers, Playa Dominical has a famous left and right beach surf break, and waves most of the year. The same conditions that attract surfers can make it treacherous for swimmers. Playa Dominical can have dangerous rip tides. There are lifeguards present, though Playa Ballena, and Playa Ventanas are more calm. Playa Dominicalito, just south of Dominical, is also known for less intense waves and currents, but is rockier. Dominical Surf Adventures has high and low tides listed on their website: (website hidden)
-Is the neighborhood quiet?
Yes, Casananda is in a gated community with other homes, but it is private. The caretaker lives in a small casita away from the main house. The noise heard is that of the jungle.
-Where do I shop for food?
A small market in Dominical has almost everything you would need. Another small market is located about 1 mile east on the main road (Hwy 34) in Plattanillo. For larger shopping, there is a bigger supermarket in Uvita, about 20 minutes down the coast, or there is a large MegaSuper in San Isidro El General, the largest nearby city about 35 minutes up into the Talamanca mountain range. They also have a large open-air market on Thursdays. Fruit and some vegetables can be gathered at fruterías. There are two fruterías close to the Vallley to the Horses junction with Hwy 34. There is also a place to buy fresh fish daily in Dominical.
-Does the home have internet and phone?
3G phones and ipads work well at the house. We bring our ipads for email and web browsing, and there is enough bandwidth for using Skype. There is consistent wifi in Dominical and at a sweet coffee spot in Plantanillo that serves a lovely fruit platter (about one mile-I'll give you details).
-What can I expect the weather to be like?
You can expect about 85+ degrees at the beach year round. The only difference in climate year round is that April/May-November is the "green," or rainy season, and December through March/April is the dry season. The temperature at the house is always a few degrees cooler because it is around 1100ft. elevation, and you get mountain breezes.
The sunrise and sunset are constant year-round at approximately 6am/6pm, because of its proximity to the equator.
-What will I need to bring?
You need not bring any household items -- all bedding, tableware, bath towels, cookware etc., are provided. Bring only your personal items, beach towels, sunscreen, binoculars, swim gear, water shoes, and a sense of adventure and/or relaxation!
Please note our cancellation policy prior to booking, and we also require a $300 security deposit, in case things are damaged or stolen. To clarify, smoking is only allowed away from buildings and not on the outdoor decks. Pets will be considered on a case-by-case basis and there will be additional fees and the security deposit may be greater. Thank you for your respect.
About the Host, Teal
I am a critical care nurse in Denver, CO. I grew up in the Green Mountains of Vermont, where my parents still reside when they are not in Costa Rica or traveling. My parents, Abbe and Jerry, dreamed of this house in Costa Rica about 12 years ago. We have brought many people over the years that have enjoyed themselves tremendously, and I decided to help my parents share the home with you!