The Finca Bellavista treehouse community is an intriguing place. As such, a common collection of questions usually arise from visitors and guests. The majority of these questions are addressed below. Happy reading!
About the Community
Finca Bellavista is an off-grid, sustainable treehouse community in the Costa Rican rainforest.
Finca Bellavista is located within the Southern Zone (on the Pacific Coast side of Costa Rica) in the Piedras Blancas area of the Osa region. Our community is 3 kilometers east of the InterAmericana highway (4×4 required), between the cities of Palmar Norte and Rio Claro. Exact directions are sent upon reservation. Please see our Getting Here section for travel tips.
The Finca Bellavista concept was founded in 2006 by Erica Andrews and Mateo Hogan. They stumbled upon a 62-acre remote property that was being sold as a timber harvest site, were enchanted by it, then felt compelled to create a better fate for it. That night they brainstormed ways to finance the property, and Erica brought up a concept to save the trees by creating a treehouse village within them. Kind of like the Ewok village in Return of the Jedi. Read more at History.
Aside from being a whimsical and beautiful lifestyle concept, treehouses made the most sense in the rugged, mountainous rainforest environment present. In addition, the arboreal nature of the community allows for the terrestrial migration of animals, and the continued growth and re-connectivity of secondary growth forest. The community is structured like a typical ‘subdivision’, whereby individuals can purchase a parcel of land to manifest a home that is built within community and municipal guidelines, that also sustains the arboreal nature of the Finca Bellavista vision.
Each year, there are additions to the community. Our current count is 9 truly arboreal treehouses, and 8 stilt-built cabinas. Several of these are available to rent on the Treehouses page.
Joining the Community
Yes. Citizens and non-citizens have the same ownership rights in Costa Rica. More information is at Real Estate.
Treehouses are like snowflakes, no two are alike! Building costs depend on the location, access, materials quality, desired finishes and a variety of other elements. There is more information at Real Estate.
Our drinking water is collected from mountain springs. Rainwater catchment can be used for toilets and garden irrigation.
We currently utilize solar power in our community center and in private homes. Future community plans include hydroelectric assets.
Each home has a biodigestor that is similar to a septic system, and breaks down waste anaerobically.
Finca Bellavista grows a variety of foods in its gardens, which are available for purchase upon check-in or in our community center meals. We focus on getting regional goods for the remainder of our food needs. More information about Finca Bellavista’s farm-to-table element can be found in Amenities.
Planning a Visit
Finca Bellavista is in a micro-climate that typically experiences a ‘dry’ season mid-December through mid-April. (It feels hotter during these months, and it can still rain.) The ‘green’ season is May through November, with afternoon showers being normal, though not every day. A typical year-round day of weather at the finca boasts clear, sunny mornings, usually in to the afternoon shower timeframe. Year-round daytime temperatures of 75-90F/20-32 C and nighttime temperatures of 60-70F/15-20C can be expected.
Anytime of year is lovely. It will be hotter, drier, busier, and is usually more expensive to travel and schedule a visit during high season (mid-December to mid-April). Most of our residents and frequent visitors prefer the ‘green’ season to high season. Finca Bellavista is closed annually for maintenance during the month of October.
Due to our remote, off-grid location, we do not have a hard telephone landline. Please visit our Contact page for assistance.
Of course. Children usually self regulate within the rainforest environment. How a child adapts to the environment is usually dependent upon how the parents adapt to watching them explore the rainforest!
This depends on how much you plan on doing while on site. Upon making a reservation, links to purchase Finca Credit and a list of prices for available services will be send to you.
The exact amount is dependent upon the market price of fuel and other factors. The current rate is between $50-$70 depending on the size of vehicle and number of people..
There are a variety of options explained in detail in the Getting Here page.
Aside from the varying state of the roads accessing Finca Bellavista and the confusion and stress of nighttime travel, navigating the trails to access rentals is confusing and unpleasant for your guest experience.
The majority of travelers will not need special or additional immunizations to enter Costa Rica. Many travelers opt to receive Hepatitis vaccinations prior to traveling to Costa Rica; however, malaria and other precautions common to tropical countries are not necessary. Please check with the Centers for Disease Control for any current warnings or recommendations.
Once You Arrive
No! If it was, we wouldn’t live here. If you aren’t accustomed to nature and the outdoors, the new sounds and sights can be overwhelming and usually take a short period of time to adapt to. There is nothing inherently dangerous about the rainforest or being here.
The bugs occasionally become a nuisance around the full and new moons. There is no standing water, as the river that flows through the finca always runs. The bugs in the rainforest are not nearly as bad as the beach, but wearing light pants at night can prevent bites. Some people are more susceptible to bites than others, so bring bug spray and appropriate clothing if you are one of these people.
Boots are a good idea for a variety of reasons – insects, animals, stubbing toes, etc. and are necessary for safety and comfort. If you do not feel like traveling with boots, you are free to borrow a pair from our community wall. There is no guarantee of size or sock availability. Rubber boots are available for less than $20 in most hardware stores (ferreterias) throughout Costa Rica.
There is a paid WIFI hotspot at the community base camp. The only rental with direct WIFI access inside is Casa Estrella.
Guest pets are not allowed in the rentals.
No. But shuttle service to the nearest trailhead can be arranged when staffing and resources allow.
Each house is individually owned at Finca Bellavista. Reservations are non-transferrable between house to house. See more on Policies.
Because Finca Bellavista is a community of conservation, we do not feed wildlife to attract animals for guest viewing. Animal migrations are dependent on seasonal factors like rainfall and availability of food/forage. Guests typically see a wide variety of bird species, monkeys, koatis, agoutis, lizards, sloths and other creatures.
We accept both, but prefer USD.
Seeing snakes is not as common as most guests think. In general, they stray once a human comes in to sight and are not typically aggressive or interested in being close to humans. If you wear boots, carry a flashlight at night, and don’t stick your hands where they don’t belong, you will rule out 99.9% of any possibility of making contact with a snake. There are clinics within 15 minutes of the finca that have antivenin, worst-case scenario.
Yes. Each home has filtered springwater to enjoy.
There are a variety of options and styles of beach within 2 hours of the finca. Playa Blanca to the west (1 hour drive), Puerto Jimenez/Matapalo to the west (1.5 hour drive), Golfito to the southwest (45 minute drive plus short boat ride), Pavones to the south (2 hour drive) and Uvita/Costa Ballena to the north (1.5 hour drive). The routes to/from each of these beaches vary considerably. If you want to spend days at the beach, a car rental or taxi is best, though a bus is possible. Our Activities page can help you determine how best to spend your on-site and off-site time.