A spectacular vacation home that floats above the canopy of the rainforest is now available to rent, offering deserted beaches, jungle hikes and must-try local cuisine in the surroundings of Puntarenas, Costa Rica.
The House to Rent:
Set within 1.5 acres of lush Costa Rican jungle, the spectacular Casa Flotanta floats above a canopy of trees and vegetation. In the main pavilion there are 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and an open plan living room and kitchen. Tree house-like flying walkways lead to two more bedroom pavilions. At the heart of the house is a 24m long corridor of bamboo that along with open walls fills the structure with fresh air. No matter where you are in the building, you can’t escape the staggering views – of the ocean in one direction and the jungle in all others.
“The Gooden-Nahome family wanted to create a home on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica and they found an incredible site overlooking the ocean. The biggest challenge we encountered was that their plot of land was predominantly comprised of a very steep slope, and the view of the ocean could only be seen from the upper-mid portion of the site. We saw this as an opportunity rather than a constraint and immediately considered an architectural response that was appropriate for these conditions.
Originally, we explored possibilities of creating large retaining walls and cutting back the soil in order to place the house, a technique typically employed for nearby buildings. Ultimately, we decided to do the exact opposite and therefore allow the slope, the earth, the vegetation, water, and animals to flow underneath the house.
We essentially lifted the house up into the air on a series of piloti which gives the impression that it is floating above the hillside. By doing this we saved the immense cost of creating soil retention walls around the site. This common sense solution allowed us to create a very delicate intervention, one that allows the terrain to breathe whilst providing spectacular views out towards the ocean from the key location on the site.”
- Architect Benjamin Garcia-Saxe
Decorator Dante Medri outfitted Casa Flotanta in a simple beach house style that revolves around comfort – think acres of polished wood furniture, showers fashioned from bamboo, tree trunk sculptures and masses of plush linen cushions.
Best Local Beaches
To catch the best waves of the area, head to Dominical, an off the beaten track beach popular with surfers that locals do not like to share directions to.
For a beach scene with music and cocktails, Playa Jaco is the buzziest with a mix of tourists and locals.
By far the most breathtaking spot is the Manuel Antonio National Park (manuelantoniopark.com), where the rainforest ends only where the sand begins!
Best Local Restaurants:
The simple El Shrimp Shack (www.elshrimpshack.com) in Puntarenas town is considered to be the most authentic – if rustic – place in town for locally caught shrimps and seafood. But don’t expect tablecloths!
For something more upscale, the open-air Brisa Azul restaurant at the Lapa Rios Eco Lodge (www.laparios.com) is – like Casa Flotanta – perched above the trees of the jungle with spectacular views.
Take a half an hour drive inland towards to Crara Narional Park to enjoy a lunch overlooking the Pura Vida waterfalls (the tallest in the country) and miles of pristine coastline. Seating is limited so reservations are essential (www.puravidagarden.com).
Be sure to try the traditional breakfast of gallo pinto - rice mixed with black beans, served with natilla sour cream, scrambled eggs and fried plantain.
Other specialities from the region include pozol (a delicious corn soup), chorreadas (pancakes) and the arroz con leche dessert (rice cooked in milk and sugar with cinnamon).
What to Do:
If you’re bored of the beach then head into the jungle. Odyssey Tours (http://www.odysseytourscr.com) can arrange ziplining across the canopy of the rainforest or bird watching hikes.
World-class scuba diving can be arranged at nearby Isla Tortuga (www.calypsocruises.com).
When to Go:
The dry season is December to April but don’t ignore the “green season” of May to mid-November. You can expect it to rain everyday but at the same time each day and only for an hour or so – making it easy to plan around. The rainforest, naturally, is particularly lush during this time.
How to Get There:
From the Costa Rican capital of San Jose, it is a 2-hour drive to Casa Flotanta. Helicopter transfers can be arranged and there is also a private airstrip nearby.
Casa Flotanta, Playa Hermosa, Nicoya Peninsula Mal País, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
+506 2640 0698