About This Listing
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.
My friends and I had an amazing time at your place. It exceeded our expectations. Truly a magnificent home. The views are absolutely breathtaking.
Also, Hannah and Tomas, the property managers on site, are fantastic people. They were helpful and caring and kind.
We made memories that will last a lifetime.
Without a doubt, this is the home to stay at if visiting the Arenal area in Costa Rica.
Thank you so much for everything.
The house was as advertised. It's a beautiful home, the last one at the top of the hill overlooking the Arenal volcano & the lake. We couldn't ask for a better view!
The house was well equipped with everything you might need. You can have laundry service for $25 done on-site or $2,000 colones/kilo done off-site. They will pick up clothes at the house.
Weather was great! Nice cool weather, nice cool breeze and raining off and on during our stay. We did many walks, including down to the river. Just ask the locals, they'll tell you how to go down to the river. Everyone living in the community was nice and helpful.
Any needs/requests were not only handled quickly but always with a great disposition by Hannah & Thomas. John was also very responsive to any emails we sent his way.
We would definitely stay at this house again if the opportunity came up.
Useful information that the host makes you aware but important to point out:
1. You must drive several kilometers of unpaved roads to get to the house. This was hands down the best unpaved road we were on, this includes the 2-hour dirt road one must drive on if visiting Monteverde.
2. GPS. Bring one. You enter Points of Interest, not addresses
3. Good restaurant within the community, La Ventanita.
We had an amazing stay in El Castillo! The view is perfect and the house is just as pictured. Tomas was very helpful and responsive; he also helped us book an excursion. The house is 20 min from most activities on the west side of the volcano and about 40 min from La Fortuna. Definitely rent a 4x4 as the last 10 km from the highway is unpaved and can be quite steep. If we ever come back to the Arenal area we would love to stay here again!
Great house and overall a wonderful experience. It's in a very convenient location for access to many parks and various things to do (Sky Trek, Arenal Observatory Lodge, horseback riding, rafting, etc.). The last road leading to the house is pretty bumpy and steep so definitely suggest a 4x4 vehicle, but by no means should this be a reason to hold you back from staying here. This is a great place to enjoy all the interior of Costa Rica has to offer.
The house was awesome. Great place to stay in Arenal area that is secluded. The drive isn't bad either.
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 (phone number hidden) it was just perfect! Thanks to John for his great communication prior to our trip, he really sets the bar high for airbnb hosts.
About the Host, John
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.
Hannah Tomas create great works of art both with Tomas tinctures and hot sauces and with Hannahs paintings.El Castillo Alajuela
Simply beautiful and if you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of a howler monkey in the trees overhead.Millon - El Castillo El Castillo Alajuela
Great hiking trails, good food at the restaurant, and the closest view of the volcano.La Fortuna Alajuela
Great place for an expensive day at the hot springs. There are a number of them along the road from La Fortuna to El Castillo, but this is our favorite.