WHERE THE WILD THINGS ROAM
Disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with nature. Adventure with friends or loved ones. Enjoy a solo mission. A journey of epic proportions awaits within the magical backdrop of the Finca Bellavista treehouse community. Offering an unparalleled rainforest immersion and a truly unique experience, memories made at the finca last a lifetime. This is the ‘real’ Costa Rica.
History of Finca Bellavista...
The Finca Bellavista community concept was founded in 2006 by founders Erica Andrews and Mateo Hogan following a chance site visit. At the time, the 62-acre property was being marketed for sale as a timber harvest site. Both felt compelled to find a better fate for this enchanted land, which had a draw that neither has been able to explain ever since.
Erica Andrews - The dreamer
As neither had the financial means to purchase the land, they brainstormed ways to finance the purchase, and create a different method that would ultimately take the land out of the realm of possibility of being clear cut. Erica brought up the idea of creating a treehouse village within these trees, and envisioned something resembling the Ewok village in Return of the Jedi
With a dreamer and doer at the helm, the vision of the community began to develop
Mateo Hogan - The doer
Erica and Mateo wanted to create a rustic, comfortable home where humans could co-exist alongside the animals and special inhabitants of the rainforest. Creating this rainforest immersion experience was in step with the existing traits of the property, and amplified the qualities that Mother Nature had already bestowed. With a decade of hard work, determination, sacrifice, and the support of Team FBV, the Finca Bellavista dream has developed into a reality. Since then, Finca Bellavista has become an off-grid paradise where people can live in the treetops and enjoy a life less ordinary.
The community now encompasses close to 600 acres, including an entire peninsula of rainforest mountain, frontage on two whitewater rivers, big trees, organic gardens, and lots of Costa Rican wildlife. A handful of dedicated employees, owners and friends have contributed their time, energy, and creativity in to making ‘the finca’ what it is today.
Finca Bellavista is situated in the mountainous south Pacific coastal region of Costa Rica, called the Southern Zone. Markedly rustic and rural, this area is renowned as one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth. At an elevation of 650 to 1400 feet, the finca lies within the AMISTOSA wildlife migration corridor that connects the Talamanca mountains and the Osa Peninsula.
The 500-plus acres that comprise the finca contains secondary growth rainforest, and has become an interface zone between heavily cultivated lowlands and wilder forested highlands. Many portions of Finca Bellavista have been cleared at some point in history – whether for lumber, to create pasture for animals, or to grow crops – and is in various stages of regrowth.
Finca Bellavista’s ‘base camp’ is a reclaimed gravel pit (hence its flatness). After its life as a gravel pit, the indigenous community of Bellavista relocated on site, complete with a school, a soccer field, and a handful of families living and working the land. Bellavista’s school burned down, and the families relocated to surrounding pueblos. Signs of the past are everywhere – from old cacao and gmelina plantations to remains of old houses.
Finca Bellavista’s ‘red trail’ was historically used as a logging road. When the lands comprising Finca Bellavista were purchased, a muddy, eroded, canyon-like trail cut through the center of the property. Homogenous forests exist where trees were planted to harvest – species like gmelina, teak and amarillon. On the northwestern edges of the finca, there are some primary trees – several were in various stages of being cut down and were abandoned during the milling process.
Finca Bellavista’s Community Guidelines and reforesting activities promote the regeneration of these lands, and improve the connectivity of the AMISTOSA.
"To provide an opportunity for ecologically minded individuals to reside within the treetops of a unique rainforest ecosystem while promoting the conservation of species and the natural enviroment"
Finca Bellavista is named after Rio Bellavista, which flows through the middle of the community, and for the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding vistas, vibe, and bountiful flora and fauna present in our special home.
Discover the homes spread out and located on either the red or green trail.
Homes at Finca Bellavista...
meet the crew:
Most of the staff at Finca Bellavista have been working there since the inception of the community back in 2006. Without these amazing individuals FBV would not exist. They are one of the big factors in why we both ended up making Finca Bellavista our home and they are our family.
office - reception
Yari arrived at Finca Bellavista shortly before we did (she started the same time as Yessenia), we have been very privileged getting to know Yari and her immediate family over the years - especially her daughter 'Briana'.
Yari handles things, period. She barely spoke any English when we first met and is now teaching it! Yari started out assisting in the kitchen with meal prep and preparing the homes at Finca Bellavista. You can now find Yari managing the office and she is most likely the first person to greet you if you arrive as a guest. Yari is one of three supervisors at Finca Bellavista and heads up her own department.
Food production and water systems
Freddy Zuniga Altamirano A.K.A 'FELO'
Felo is ultimately in charge of the gardens as well as ensuring our gravity fed water systems are working efficiently so you don’t run out of water.
The Finca would be a very different place without Felo, he has been here since the beginning and has been an integral part of the whole operation. He will be around to assist you in the garden for a tour, a ‘Finca Fresh’ bag or any produce available that you would like to purchase.
Amy still to this day assists Felo in the garden!
Felo's passion for gardening shines through in the produce he produces and he has become quite the local celebrity. If you are volunteering at Finca Bellavista then we highly recommend signing up for some additional duties with him. We are constantly learning from him and would not of been able to set up are own gardens without him.
Tony Suarez Gonzalez a.k.a 'papa tony'
Tony is Felo's right hand man and proved himself to be equally as valuable to the community. He is one of the hardest workers we know and always eager to impress.
You will find Tony in the gardens and he shares the same responsibilities as Felo while covering each others days off.
Tony's sister Yesse joined the community a few years prior and he is lucky to have an older sister onsite to look after him.
housekeeping and kitchen
Yesse loves working at the Finca and started the same time as Yari (almost 10 years ago). Never one to shy from a conversation, even if it's not in Spanish and always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need.
Yesse has picked up basic English working with volunteers (and lessons from Amy) and can be found either preparing the houses, assisting in the kitchen and even sanding/varnishing the odd table.
Weakness: Snickers and blue eyed babies
Evelyn (Maria) Matarrita A.K.A 'EVY'
Evy is one of the most down to earth 'Ticas' we have ever met. Always pleasant and a joy to be around, never a dull moment with a very infectious laugh - seriously, we can hear her laugh all the way from basecamp from inside our home 🤣.
Evy is a jack of all trades and can be found assisting
in the kitchen as well as helping prepare the houses for incoming guests.
Evy is famously known for her banana chocolate pancakes served at breakfast!
OK, so no one really calls Hannia 'Mama Hannia' but they should! She is the perfect example of a loving Tica mom that cares for the whole community (plus we know her step daughter 'Edith' and Edith's grand daughter 'Keisha Alana' very well as well as her own daughters - she's a great mom!).
Hannia is also famously known for her massages -
I mean really famously known. She has a dedicated place of tranquility situated right above the river where guests enjoy an amazing natural care-free experience.
Hannia is also an amazing cook and also assists with house prep.
maintenance and tours
Adrian does it all, seriously. I don't think anyone knows as much about the inner workings of Finca Bellavista more than he does. He is a fantastic problem solver and will always lend a helping hand (even if that means staying over if the job is not finished).
Adrian is one of three superstar supervisors who help keep the wheels turning. When not at FBV, Adrian is attending night classes to further his education and loves practicing his Spanish with guests and volunteers of the community - be sure to say hi!
Bryan is the 3rd and final supervisor at Finca Bellavista. He is a joy to be around and is quite the jokester but can also be found on the receiving end
- this makes working with him and the rest of the crew, super fun and entertaining. You can always rely on Bryan to put a smile on your face.
Bryan is also FBV's production assistant when the media is in town and can often be found showing off his charm and good looks in front of the camera. He has earned the name 'tractor' from his work colleagues because he is constantly working out and putting on muscle.
Want to know more about our community? Become a member (it's free and easy to sign up) and meet previous guests of Finca Bellavista. You can also chat directly with owners of several incredible homes built here, and discover discounts and deals for their houses and for The Fusion Home.
Considering volunteering? Discover insights from previous volunteers and ask questions prior to your trip. Want to know all the best spots within and outside of Finca Bellavista, find out more inside!
Both of us started our adventure as volunteers and we can honestly say hands down that it was the best decision of our lives so far. Don't make excuses not to do the things you want to, you only have one life. Being content is great, being without fear and knowing you are truly happy is living. We are so grateful to have the opportunity to pursue our dreams here - Pura vida.
Did you know?
You can purchase and build your own Treehouse or Fusion Home at Finca Bellavista
You can volunteer at Finca Bellavista - thats exactly what we did too, click here for more details