Welcome to Casa Perezosa!
This was the first treehouse I got to see when arriving to Finca Bellavista, it's a day I will never forget for many reasons but mainly because my tour guide was the legendary 'Rob Acon'. Meeting Rob was an experience in itself, I had just arrived to a community in the middle of the jungle and had embarked on a tour of treehouses while listening to Rob's adventures. It suddenly became real for me, this would be my future - first stop, Casa Perezosa.
One could argue that 'Casa Paraiso' is closer or just as close to basecamp but that home is situated on the green trail and did not exist when I first arrived. Casa Perezosa was a favorite for many reasons but I believe most people who stayed there did so because it was the first home on the red trail and 30 - 40 min less hike time than some of the other homes (the jungle can be a scary place for first timers!)
As we climbed up the road leading to Casa Perezosa, Rob pointed out a gap in the jungle foliage where you could see a small part of the house, the excitement grew as we reached the base of the trail that would take us the rest of the way.
I remember thinking the house looked brand new, which really is a testament to the build and quality of the wood as it still looks quite new today. It was love at first site, I love simple yet practical designs that make sense and work in its environment.
If you fast forward to 2020 (sorry), you would not recognize the surrounding jungle canopy as it's all grown in with a lot more vegetation. I can still see a small sliver of the home through the gap Rob showed me when I first arrived in 2012 - a fond memory I have when walking past.
FUN FACT: When first arriving at Finca Bellavista, the only homes that were built (besides basecamp) were: Red trail - Casa Perezosa / Cabina Colibri / El Castillo Mastate / Casa del Mono / Casa Mariposa and Fila Tortuga Green trail: Mis Ojos (later dismantled and replaced with El Fenix) / and Casa del Tigre.
The owners and inspiration behind the build had sadly left before I arrived and had already put the home in the Finca Bellavista rental pool. Although I didn't get to meet them personally, I worked with them for several years over email and got to meet online over Skype.
Chatting with Mike and Nichole over the years, I got to learn about what they did as well as their motives for building a home in the middle of the jungle - they had actually planned to live in the home but during the process they discovered they quite enjoyed the nomad lifestyle and wanted to keep traveling. It's funny how life shows you another way of living while pursuing a different direction - trust the process!
Mike and Nichole were nearing the end of their military service and had already decided that they wanted to retire outside of the US. Searching for paradise, they created a list of 5 countries they would visit in hopes of finding their new home. Ironically, Costa Rica was the last country on the list to visit but given Nichole was in Iraq and ready to take leave, it made sense for both Mike and Nichole to meet in Costa Rica given the convenience and location.
Those of you who have already been to Costa Rica will no doubt know how warm and welcoming the experience can be. Having spent their first night in San Jose and being welcomed by the owner as if they were family, both Mike and Nichole knew they were about to embark on something special.
Not knowing where their paradise was yet, that set sail towards the coast, destination - Pavones!
Pavones isn't just another Costa Rica surfer town - this region is home to some of the best, longest waves in the world. Amy, Mj and myself have been several times and thoroughly enjoyed it - takes less than 2 hrs to get there!
Nichole and Mike immediately loved the area and I can't say I blame them. They needed to think about this important decision and as a surprise for Nichole, Mike booked a stay at Finca Bellavista for them to relax and gather their thoughts - they could drive to Pavones easily enough from the treehouse community.
Mike and Nichole stayed in Mis Ojos (translates to 'my eyes'), a treehouse on the green trail at the time but was sadly taken down in 2014. I can easily understand how they fell in love with the area, Mis Ojos overlooked the famous FBV waterfall.
I'm sure you guessed by now where this is going and needless to say, they never made it back to Pavones...a contract was entered to build 'Casa Perezosa' at Finca Bellavista.
Casa Perezosa is built from beautiful hardwoods such as teak and eucalyptus.
The area below the stairs is now a 'bodega' added a couple years ago and designed with the intention of housing a solar system and batteries should it ever want to add electricity.
I often discover packs of coatis, usually with a bunch of new born babies when visiting the home. Thanks to the 360 degree view up top, you only need to look in the direction of the noise.
(before you judge me on my next comment, remember that Amy and I don't get out much)
I appreciate a good shower and Casa Perezosa has a GREAT shower - it's not my favourite shower out of the FBV homes mind you - that one goes to Fila Tortuga but to be fair, they have a featured outdoor shower so I guess this would be my favorite indoor shower 😂
Amy and I lived in many tiny cabins that didn't have toilets, let alone a shower and the ones we did use were always cold - it's the simple things!
You probably noticed a theme with the homes at Finca Bellavista by now (trust us to rock the boat and call ours 'The Fusion Home' 🤣). Keeping in line with the theme, Mike and Nichole chose the name 'Perezosa' because they absolutely LOVE sloths and hoped to attract them - it absolutely worked as I can honestly say that Casa Perezosa is where I have seen the most consistent sightings!
While we didn't get to meet Mike and Nichole personally, we were inspired by their nomadic lifestyle (which they have been living ever since their retirement) and decided we would do something similar with 'The Fusion Van' but just like them, life decided to throw us a curveball too - thanks 2020 😅.
We are not upset mind you, it's all part of the process and we trust it. Besides, if Mike and Nichole never trusted the process, we would never have met the new owner of 'Casa Perezosa' - Josh Smalley!
I first met Josh in passing when he arrived as a guest at FBV. I formally met him when I showed him around in August 2018.
Like a lot of owners here and pretty much all residents, I assisted in a sale of the property. I've been here nearly a decade and lived on the property longer than anyone so naturally I tend to do a few property tours - I guess it's considered 'work' showing people around the jungle discovering natural springs, big giant trees, stunning waterfalls and new species 😀.
Josh was accompanied with Jaclyn Olin, together they were known as the 'Traveling Teachrz'. Here's a cool video they sent me about their time at Mt Kilimanjaro - a dream of mine and Amy's to one day conquer!
Josh had already expressed interest in 'Casa Perezosa' but also wanted some land within the community so he could one day build his own design. We had arranged to meet at basecamp and together we set off to find the dream parcel of land...
When you walk through the jungle blazing your own trails with a machete, you tend to get to know the people you're exploring with. I discovered a lot about Josh and Jaclyn and was in awe of the work they did.
Josh Smalley is an international educator, currently residing full time in Ethiopia. He also teaches literature, photography, and journalism, travels all around the world and has lived on three continents.
By this point it came at no surprise that he also dabbled in other interests such as: a novice cello player, photographer, painter, novice videographer, hiker, wildlife conservation enthusiast, novice journalist, health enthusiast, real estate investor, and writer 😮. He documents all his travels and exploration on Youtube and his website.
Ultimately, it’s his love for nature and wildlife that drew him to Costa Rica and the
Finca community in particular.
Upon his first visit he vowed to own a tree house and invest in the community. Years later, that dream finally came true...
Welcome to Josh Smalley's new pad!
One of only two homes that has a King-sized bed! (the other is Casa Paraiso).
A stunning room with 360 degree views!
Although the home doesn't benefit from electricity (yet!), it does have a fully furnished kitchen with oven/stove combo and hot running water provided via propane gas. The sofa below folds out to a full sized bed for guests.
So we found Josh's dream house, all that was left was to find the perfect parcel of land and find it we did!
Hard to illustrate (even if I had pics) but discovering the parcel with Josh and Jaclyn was awesome - I would place it's potential on having the best views here at Finca Bellavista in the Top 3.
We found a big beautiful tree planted on the ridge of the property that captured views from all sides - almost like the bedroom of Casa Perezosa!
I've added the location on the map - #57. If you find yourself exploring at FBV, be sure to check it out!
The story of how Finca Bellavista came to be is the kind of stories Josh loves to hear and wants to use to inspire more investors to make similar decisions. To save an entire rainforest and all the life within it is an important calling.
To preserve natural habitats from further human encroachment is critical to Josh.
He’s seen the opposite in so many places around the world. This is what makes the Finca so special; it’s the alternative story. It’s the story with a positive trajectory.
When asking Josh what he loved about his home here at Finca Bellavista, this is what he had to say:
"I love that Casa Perezosa is so well-located. It’s close to basecamp. It’s close to the green trail. It’s close to the red loop trail. All the while, you still have complete privacy and immersion within the forest. Among the tree houses not at base camp it’s one of the easier and fastest treks to get to Perezosa, making it more accessible to a wider range of people, young and old. This makes Perezosa and ideal option for many guests.
Another beautiful part of Perezosa is that you wake up as if you’re up in the trees. The open windows to the trees surrounding you are the perfect start to the morning. Also, having one-and-a-half bathrooms is really nice. You have access to the bathrooms throughout the night on either floor of the home; if four people stay at the home, for example, there’s a sense of privacy for both parties.
The kitchen is beautiful. It’s so lit up and bright in the mornings. The light fills the kitchen and invites you in to its space.
The deck is another beautiful spot in the home. It overlooks the rainforest and you’ll likely find yourself out in that space taking in the sights and sounds of the rainforest.
My favorite experiences at FBV are the moments of solitude in such a special place; the smells of the rainforest; the sounds of the rainforest; the feeling of full immersion into a reality devoid of wafts of people on their way to work, honking horns, jack hammers on the street, sirens, large trucks backing up, and general concrete jungle chaos. Finca Bellavista is a haven from all of this. It’s a slice of heaven.
Whenever I spot wildlife, it’s particularly exciting. I’ve traveled the world tracking, researching, and observing wildlife. When I am privileged enough to spot wildlife at my own home in the Finca, and when I realize that my existence there with them does not harm or impede their existence, I feel the highest sense of connection, beauty, and serenity.
I find that my investment in the Finca Bellavista community is an extension of my values: to show people the beauty in the world around them. My life’s motto has become this--“Life is beautiful, go see it.” Consequently, the Finca is merely an extension of who I am. This planet can be a proverbial playground; the entire planet is the impossibly- wondrous and awe-inspiring. The Finca captures the essence of this."
I think it's safe to say that Josh fits in perfectly at Finca Bellavista, Amy and I couldn't be happier to have him as a neighbor and look forward to catching up with him and his adventures next time he visits!
Given that Josh spends a lot of time away from Finca Bellavista pursuing his passions and helping other people, he has expressed interest in finding a long-term tenant to stay at his home as opposed to short term rentals. We would love to help him find a suitable tenant so please contact us if you feel like you can see yourself living at Casa Perezosa!