IS FINCA BELLAVISTA RIGHT FOR ME?
No, it's the jungle silly! Only us crazy people live here. This is the furthest place from a resort and you will quite possibly be just as far away from your neighbor. There are no restaurants, shops or even an office to greet you when first arriving, you are completely on your own in the middle of one of the most biologically diverse places on the planet.
That said, if you want to experience the jungle in its raw form, see something that may scare you, get hot and sweaty exploring the trails before cooling off in the rivers or under the waterfall while spotting wildlife in its natural habitat, then this is paradise. All of us that live here either came as a guest or volunteer before becoming residents, in our case, we came and never left - that was nearly a decade ago.
Think Airbnb, only in the Jungle. This venture is for explorers who love nature and appreciate privacy. With only a handful of rentals available, any guest will have almost the whole property to explore by themselves and it's a big property beaming with wildlife and adventure. Renting any of the homes gives you access to the property (except basecamp - more on that below) and trails.
Wake up to the real sounds of the jungle, let the sun shine through and tease you as the light reflects off the captivating setting you find yourself in.
Choose your own adventure or don't. Read a book, paint a picture, connect with a loved one or family. Shut out the outside world and rediscover yourself.
WHAT ABOUT COVID-19
What about it - social distancing is not an issue here 🤣. Our lives didn't change one bit (other than we grew more stuff to eat). If anything, our lifestyle choice was reinforced and while sympathetic with the world, we appreciated our everyday lives even more. Actually, truth be told, we did stop wearing pants on our morning hikes for a short period of time but we promise to put them back on now that the homes are renting again!
All the homes within the community (except basecamp and the homes there) are privately owned and each one brings its own flare and personality. Each one has its own story, you can read up on the history of the homes through the forum and I'll make things easier by adding some links:
When you rent one of the homes you are renting directly from the owner, The Fusion Home website is only a booking platform. Once payment is confirmed, you will be put in direct contact with the owner of the tree home you booked.
Each home is different and each offers different experiences - it's important that you read all the provided information and select the home best suited for your needs. Don't worry, you won't be left to find your home in the jungle with no help - we will give you a machete 😂. Jokes, it's actually easier than you would expect, there are systems in place to make the experience as safe and comfortable as possible.
MEET AND GREET
Former Finca Bellavista employee (12 years) Bryan and his wife (former owner of Tamandua) will make sure you get to your rental hassle free. Once a booking is confirmed, you will be put in touch with both or either Bryan or Jess via whatsapp and whether arriving in a 4x4 or not, they will meet you in the village of 'La Florida' just off the main road prior to the 3 km journey up the mountain that leads to our secret paradise. They will escort you up the mountain with you either following them up or in their own vehicle hitching a ride.
If bringing your own 4x4 vehicle up then you can park just outside the old basecamp entrance. Please note that this is a pedestrian community so you will be walking from here. You will need to cross a river so come in the mindset of being prepared for a lovely hike and pack accordingly 😀 - boots are vital!
Bryan and/or Jess will make sure you get to your home safely and double check everything is in good working order before leaving you to settle in. You can find out more about how to get to your rental, Bryan and Jess plus Finca Bellavista here.
THINGS TO DO:
Just because you are left on your own, doesn't mean there aren't things to do that may enhance the jungle experience. Be sure to check out 'The Fusion Forum' for tips and suggestions, as a member (its free) you can engage with other owners, residents, former volunteers, guests, and Finca Bellavista employees to help create an awesome adventure!
Night hikes with Bryan
Your meet and greet host Bryan also used to be the Finca Bellavista night hike guide.
Massages with Hannia
Former Finca Bellavista employee and masseuse, the lovely and very talented Hannia can meet you in Cabina Colibri for a prearranged massage. (Special thanks to Kathleen the owner of Cabina Colibri for letting Hannia use the space)
Put your Costa Rican cooking skills to the test! All rentals come with equipped kitchens and gas for cooking/hot water. Former Finca Bellavista employee and head gardner 'Felo' will provide you with a fresh bag of produce straight from his amazing personal gardens (they are bigger than the former Finca Bellavista gardens!).
All the options above can be booked at the time of making your reservation
Of course, there is plenty to do outside of the community, be sure to check out 'The Fusion Forum' for tips and suggestions. Bryan and Jess also offer transport services (prices better than the local taxis):
Finca a Palmar: $60.00
Finca a Uvita: $100.00
Finca a Parque Corcovado: $150.00
Finca a Drake: $150.00
Finca a Dominical: $115.00
Finca a San Isidro: $200.00
Finca a San Vito: $100.00
Finca a Golfito aeropuerto: $60.00
Finca a Canoas: $70.00
Finca a Puerto Jiménez: $100.00
Some of our favorite things to do are to birdwatch, go on long hikes with our dog MJ and play fetch/explore the river - this is pretty much a daily routine for us.
IS IT SAFE IN THE JUNGLE:
The jungle can be a scary place for most but what it really boils down to is being out of your comfort zone. Insects, spiders and snakes are part of the experience and without them the biodiversity wouldn't exist. If you are nervous about creepy crawlies then the best advice we can give you is to book a night hike with Bryan and see some of these creatures in their natural environment. Learning about these fascinating jungle critters can help relieve some of your fears. Here are some other safety tips!:
stay on the trails
wear hiking or rubber boots
use a flashlight or headlamp after dark
watch your step in the river (the rocks can be slippery)
exit the river if it starts to rain
respect the jungle
use common sense!
We've lived here nearly a decade and go on with our daily lives just like we would anywhere else in the world. We've learned a lot from our jungle friends and recognize certain sounds that may be sound scary at first but once you understand the jungle a little better, it becomes just like city sounds only much more peaceful.
The rental homes are equipped with a small first aid box and there will be residents living onsite for any emergencies - just ask Bryan and Jess to point them out when they initially take you to your home.
With all that said, the owner of the treehome can not take responsibility for anything that may happen during your explorations so guests will be required to sign a liability waiver prior to arriving (this can all be done digitally and during the time of making our reservation).
There is no internet here, or rather those that do have internet got lucky with 3/4G signal. Most of us will most likely purchase a starlink satellite once Elon Musk's service becomes available in this area (we're hoping March 2021). If you are renting the following houses then you can get a decent signal strong enough for everyday (yes, that includes Netflix and Youtube!):
In an emergency, you can pick up a signal on the higher section of the red trail (the stretch starting from The Fusion Home and continues to Tamandua) and in the old finca bellavista gardens.
(Its best to think of your rental experience as good old fashioned camping like the old days only in comfortable houses and some modern perks!)
We certainly recommend purchasing the Finca Fresh bag from Felo but understand that it good to have options. We don't have a restaurant on site but can certainly recommend a few in the area. We do most of our grocery shopping in the town of Piedras Blancas and can find the vitals (like alcohol and snacks 😂).
We are in the process of trying to create an ordering system that can provide work for a former Finca Bellavista employee, a standardised list of items available to purchase in the local village will soon be available to order off the website and delivered to your rental (including a chinese restaurant and local varied restaurant). You can stay up to date regarding any progress through 'The Fusion Forum'.
Here are a few tips and links for where you can eat and what you can purchase in the area:
Local fruit and veg/butchers (can purchase phone credit here)
Oasis restaurant (extensive menu)
Bakery (can purchase Tracopa bus tickets here)
Gas station (sells beer and alcohol)
If you don't want to drive anywhere and fancy a hike, you can walk down to Cinio's shop at the base of the hill. It's a limited selection but you can find the basics to make a decent meal. We would recommend early morning or late afternoon to do the hike, you don't want to be walking back up the 3 km hill with the sun in your back!
FINCA BELLAVISTA - THE HISTORY
Video: The former community space known as basecamp - now closed and out of bounds
Finca Bellavista is a private gated community in the southern zone of Costa Rica. While it has always been a private community, it once did flourish as a fully functional property management company. Back in the day, it wasn't uncommon to have 30 - 40 people onsite.
Sadly, you most likely found us because you discovered the original website, social media pages, contact number and emails for the former company don't go anywhere nor are they responded too.
We have asked for a note to be added to the former website to limit the damage it continues to have on the former company and community but unfortunately that is out of our control.
We don't want to go into details regarding what happened as sadly the issues still affect the community, especially the residents, former employees and owners of the private treehomes. Let's just say that Finca Bellavista's mom and dad had a divorce, a bad one. Unfortunately the former basecamp area that was originally built for the owners of the tree homes and their guests has been locked and the area is now considered private property and out of bounds. The community gardens are also now private property.
The Finca Bellavista project was first established in 2006 as an 'Ewok' concept community where land could be purchased for residential or investment purposes.
Having lived and been heavily involved in the community for nearly a decade, we have formed strong bonds with the former Finca Bellavista employees and owners of the properties within the community. We always rented our home privately through this website but after the closure of the property management company, we wanted to help where we could and hence, here we are.
It is important to note that 'The Fusion Home' website is only a booking platform and is utilizing its website in an effort to help the private tree homeowners (those that ask) and former Finca Bellavista employees (those that we can). We are in no means a property management company nor are we involved in any money transactions. If renting a home through our platform, all money (PayPal) goes to the owner of the treehome. We have encouraged all former employees assisting to open their own businesses and handle their own obligations - all money earned for their services get paid directly to them by the owners and they keep everything as advertised - no one takes any cuts from the former employees. With that said, The Fusion Home cannot take any responsibility for your stay nor can we assist you when onsite (assuming we are here and it's not an emergency). Once the reservation is confirmed, the system will put you direct communication with the owner of the home you are renting - we kindly ask that you continue communication with the owner from there on out. Reviews, comments, suggestions can be left in the owner's personal profiles, personal 'google my business' profiles or the Finca Bellavista shared Tripadvisor account.
THE PRIVATE COMMUNITY
The closure of the property management company and community spaces was of course a big blow to all residents / owners but none more so than the former employees, most of who started working at Finca Bellavista since the inception of the project.
As all the homes within the community (other the ones at base camp) are privately owned, a handful of residents and owners have gotten together to help keep the spirit of Finca Bellavista alive.
Renting privately allows some of the former employees to continue to work independently. No one knows the property better or its core systems and how they function.
For most residents, the employees are family and in many cases have worked side by side for a decade.
Ironically, the private community has never been more united as we continue to find ways to ensure that the spirit of Finca Bellavista continues to share its magic on all that walk through its gates.
Currently there 5 private homes to choose from with more on it's way. There are several rental styles that can accomodate short to long stays and options such as solar power or not, red or green trail, deep in the jungle or high up on the ridge with incredible views. Please be sure to view and research all homes prior to booking to make sure you select the one best suited for your needs, all the homes below offer 2 - 60 nights with special rates for weekly/monthly bookings:
(the homes listed above do offer a work exchange program that is still being developed and currently reviewing applications on a case by case basis - you can find out more information on their personal listings and here)
The Fusion Home (only offering 1 week rentals at this time)
As a guest on the property, you are welcome to explore the grounds and homes listed on this website but please remember that basecamp and the homes not listed on this website are private property.
We look forward to bumping into onsite and hope we have been able to assist in an awesome adventure!
Matt and Amy