Our home is one of the top-rated in Costa Rica. Guests enjoy splendid views and privacy yet are close to many attractions and amenities. Experience an "authentic" Tico experience in a picturesque and friendly village just 7 km from Arenal Volcano.
3 metre x 4 metre splash pool-1.5 metres deep is perfect for cooling off after a day of eco-adventure
Our 'Castle in The Clouds' is just seven km from Volcano Arenal, perched 700m above sea-level overlooking the volcano, rainforest, pastures and Lake Arenal. Wake to the sound of howler monkeys, toucans and parrots and enjoy your first cup of locally-grown coffee on our enormous 25 sq. m. covered deck. At night, watch the lava flows or count the stars overhead. Our home features a splash pool to cool off after a busy day of eco-adventuring. You can walk to many attractions in the village, including several quaint local restaurants. The home features casual dining indoor or out, hot water throughout, and stunning views from every room. It is completely equipped with a full-sized fridge with ice-maker, gas stove, microwave and blender and includes twice-weekly cleaning service (more often optional on request). An optional personal laundry service is also available. Active or passive, this is the perfect home base for your Arenal vacation!
In the last few months, we've been busy landscaping our property. We now feature a paved driveway, a separate covered Gazebo (perfect for al fresco dining) and the yard has been completely enclosed with a custom-made 5' stone and wrought-iron fence. You'll enjoy our garden paradise yard featuring a variety of local and tropical plants designed to maximize your Costa Rica experience.
Now-Book Local Tours and Attractions: Tomas and Hannah, owners of La Gavilana ((website hidden)), our on-site hosts can now book many local tours and attractions for you on your arrival, saving you the hassle of running around. From zip-line tours, hot springs, spas and volcano hikes to a horseback ride to a real eco-farm or a two day hike through pristine rainforest, you can be as busy or as relaxed as you like, but you'll never run out of things to do in the area. Just ask Tomas when you arrive and he'll be happy to make recommendations and reservations for you.
Guests enjoy full use of the house, pool and gardens. Laundry service is available for a small extra charge. The kitchen is fully equipped including full stove and microwave, all the pots, pans and utensils, coffee maker and blender. All linens are included.
Interaction with Guests
We have property hosts, Hannah and Tomas, located just down the street. They will welcome you and answer any questions but give you complete privacy.
El Castillo is an authentic Tico village. The horses and cattle will pass your door each day. The locals are very friendly and will happily stop and chat. There are a couple of small groceries in the village and several restaurants, but walk up the mountain road a bit and you will be in the jungle with spectacular views in all directions.
There is no transit in the village. You will need to rent a 4x4 for travel in Costa Rica unless you are visiting resorts. All the best and most beautiful places are well off the beaten path. Driving is safe and convenient and well worth it.
No smoking allowed inside the house. $200 damage deposit is refunded at the end of your stay assuming everything is in order. A 4 wheel drive vehicle is highly recommended as the roads are steep and rough.
We couldn't have had a better time staying in El Castillo! The house was great for our needs however our biggest issue was probably not renting a car. The hill the house sits on provided a ton of exercise walking down into town, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who doesn't love some good exercise. Coming to El Castillo from Playa Flamingo we weren't sure what to expect. After getting there we simply fell in love with the town, the people, and the views. I don't think you can have a more picturesque place to stay. Would definitely recommend this place to anyone looking to stay near Arenal. There is so much to do from horseback riding, amazing hikes, hot springs, zip lining, great food, and white water rafting all pretty close. Thanks for a trip we will never forget!
Our stay began by meeting Hannah and Tomas at La Gavilana near the rental property. They were very welcoming, and Tomas proceeded to showing us the house as well as providing many tips for nearby activities and restaurants. The house itself was a gem! Huge kitchen, well stocked, amazing volcano and lake view (once the clouds clear if you`re lucky like we were). Didn`t use the TV, wifi worked well. We were 4 people, so with the 2 bedrooms we were very comfortable. Nice surprise that each bedroom has its own walk in bathroom. Hot water doesn`t last long, but you`re in Costa Rica so no need for long hot showers here. Landscaped yard and dip pool are a nice touch. We will definitely recommend it to our friends and colleagues and consider staying there again in the future. The locals in El Castillo are all super friendly and welcoming Ticos. Definitely a 4x4 SUV is recommended to get to the house, as it really is the last house up the mountain in El Castillo, the road is very rough, good adventure! There are a couple small markets in El Castillo, but limited selection, so best to stock up on food in La Fortuna on your way in. We booked horseback riding with Lelander, it was just my girlfriend and myself, best horseback ride ever, including a short hike to a stunning waterfall. Started off it was raining, then the clouds cleared, sun came out and the volcano came into full view, breathtaking! Make sure you pack sunscreen. We didn`t since it was raining, but then weather can change quickly there, and that burned us, literally! It is higher altitutude here, so sun is quite strong. The Sky ziplines are a short drive away, highly recommended, makes our ziplines in Quebec feel amateur-ish. Also recommend the free hot springs by the bridge to La Fortuna, maybe 30 minute drive from the house, make sure you bring a flashlight if you plan on staying there until after 6pm. Glad we opted for that instead of the pricey hot springs that use essentially the same volcanic water stream but in swimming pool settings. With the $ we saved there, we splurged in good food. Many solid eating options in the small El Castillo village and its surroundings, cheaper and more laid back than at La Fortuna, quality just as good if not better. I would give this place a 10/10, 20/20 it was just perfect! Thanks to John for his great communication prior to our trip, he really sets the bar high for airbnb hosts.
We had a wonderful 6 day stay at El Castillo en las Nubes. Tomas and Hanna were extrememly helpfulThe house is situated in the small village of El Castillo, at the top of a very rough and gutted road and we were glad to have rented a 4x4. We loved the locals, the cows that walked past to graze up the hill every morning, and the horses in the field below, who often visited our front gate. The yard and gardens are absolutely gorgeous and the vista below is stunning.
The interior of the house is quite comfortable, well designed and clean. On the first floor, kitchen is well appointed and easy to work. The bedrooms and en suite bathrooms on the second floor were well designed and comfortable, and the second floor porch affords an amazing view of the gardens and the volcano.
The house is a beautiful home away from home.
It really helped that directions were given both from San Jose airport and Liberia airport, as the house is not that easy to find on its own. We had a GPS so that was really helpful also. The roads off of the main road is rough terrain and it helps to have a 4x4. It is well worth it because once you arrive, it is beautiful.
The view was amazing, and as pictured, although we couldn't really see the volcano because of the clouds. Had coffee every morning on the lawn chairs by the pool, with the amazing view.
It was a great stay overall and Tomas was very helpful with everything that we required. He even cleaned the pool so we could use it the following day.
Tomas and Hannah are always eager to help. Great house! We were 5 people, it would be great if the air bed offered by the local host wasnt broken, good thing there are lots of couches in the house. Great views from the house.
This home is beautiful and exactly as pictured and described. Before our trip Joe sent a few documents that included directions from the airport and extensive information about things to do in the area. Both we're incredibly helpful. We needed far more than the three nights to really explore everything that the area had to offer. Hopefully we'll be able to return in the near future.
A few things to be aware of (all positive in my opinion and also pretty clear from the home's description):
The house is a good 30-40 minutes from the main highway and some of the main attractions (hot springs included). And the dirt road off of the main highway is rough, especially the last stretch through the small town of El Castillo. The house sits up on a hill above the town. As far as we could tell, it was the highest building on the hill. We could not imagine driving the dirt road up to the house without a 4wd vehicle. Being slightly less accessible than some of the resorts in the area was part of the appeal. It was wonderful and quiet - a perfect place to go at night after our adventures during the day. In the mornings we sat outside enjoying our coffee and the amazing views. It was paradise.
Tomas and Hannah were also wonderful, helpful hosts. We just wish we would have remembered to order some cookies and bread from their shop for our drive after checking out.
If you are looking for an escape without sacrificing the comforts of a nice clean home, this place is perfect.
John's house was a mountain hideaway with a wonderful view of the volcano and lake Arenal. With plenty of areas to watch the sun rise over the mountains (sit in the covered area just outside the bedrooms to listen the birds sing their morning sun).
The house was perfect for a family of four (in our case four adults) or could have been just as great for 2 couples sharing. One detail that did not go unnoticed is that the house was well equipped with all of the basics in the kitchen and bedrooms.
Tomas and Hannah, the property managers were very welcoming and provided some great tips of activities in the area.
We are a married gay couple from Canada and we have homes in Canada, United States and Costa Rica. We love to travel, horseback ride, garden, and explore new places.