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Mount Totumas Cloud Forest Wilderness Retreat

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Last updated: 02/13/2014
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  • Minimum stay:3 nights
  • Internet:Yes
  • Pets considered:No
  • Wheel chair accessible:No

Volcan house description

Mount Totumas Cloud Forest is 400 acres bordering La Amistad National Park. Visitors to our homestead will have 1.5 million acres of pristine cloud forest wilderness at their doorstep. La Amistad NP is Central America's largest protected mountain wilderness and on the property there are keystone species present such as Resplendent Quetzals, Three Wattled Bellbirds, Baird's Tapir, Mantled Howler Monkey, Black and Crested Guan, White-Faced Capuchin monkeys, mountain lions, ocelots and even Jaguars have been spotted in neighboring national park. We are in a remote wilderness location with a homestead that offers all the basic amenities thanks to our sustainable off the grid micro hydro power plant that taps the power of a nearby stream.

For your convenience the house has a kitchen and Wi-Fi. You will enjoy the mountain view and fresh mountain air!

Visitors will wake up to the calls of howler monkeys and have 30 km of trails at their doorstep. Horseback riding, hiking.

Access to the site requires travelling 9.8 km on a 4WD road. We provide transport from Volcan and can help you with the logistics of your trip.

There is no nearby store or town. If you are looking for an isolated wilderness experience than our homestead is just right for you. You will bring with you groceries and supplies when you visit and leave civilization behind for the duration of your visit.


Keywords: Homestead, finca, lodge, eco villa, homestead, eco lodge,

Property Type

  • 3000 sq. ft.
  • House
  • 2 story

Accommodation Type

      • Vacation Rental

      Meals

          • Guests Provide Their Own Meals

          Suitability

          • Non Smoking Only
          • Pets Not Allowed
          • Alternative Lifestyle
          • Children Welcome

          Bedrooms: 5 Bedrooms, Sleeps 14, Beds for 10-14

          Bathrooms: 3 Bathrooms

          Kitchen & Dining

          • Kitchen:

            Full kitchen with all appliances for guests to have the option of preparing their own meals. ...moreless

          • Dishes & Utensils:

            Full supply of cutlery and plates etc. for large groups. ...moreless

          • Dining Area Seats:

            8...moreless

          • Coffee Maker
          • Toaster
          • Refrigerator
          • Cooking Utensils
          • Stove

          Amenities

          • Living Room seats 0:

            Living room in homestead has wood burning stove and music for cold nights. ...moreless

          • Clothes Dryer
          • Linens Provided
          • Washing Machine
          • Towels Provided
          • Wood Stove

          Other Amenities

              • Our Homestead borders La Amistad National Park and the remoteness of this location provides visitors with an isolated wilderness experience. We are off the grid with our own micro hydro power plant providing hot water and electricity....moreless

              Entertainment

                  • Books:

                    Complete natural history library with field guides for birds, butterflies, plants, mammals of the Central American highlands. ...moreless

                  Communications

                  • Wireless Internet
                  • Internet

                  Outdoor Features

                  • Deck / Patio:

                    Hummingbird feeders on the deck attract up to 14 species of hummingbirds. ...moreless

                  • Balcony

                  Theme

                  • Away From It All
                  • Adventure

                  Location & View

                      • Mountain View

                      Car

                          • Not Necessary

                          Activities

                          • Eco Tourism
                          • Hiking
                          • Bird Watching
                          • Horseback Riding
                          • Wildlife Viewing

                          Other Activities

                              • Birdwatching, exploring virgin cloud forest habitat with abundant wildlife and unique botany. Nesting Resplendent Quetzals and Three Wattled Bellbirds on site. ...moreless
                               

                              Reviews

                              Write a review
                              • An entomologist's retreat

                                An entomologist's retreat

                                • Guest Paddy (New Zealand)
                                • Date of stay 10/12/13
                                • Review Submitted 11/07/13
                                My husband is an entomologist and was so looking forward to our stay here. He wasn't disappointed. The road in is certainly a journey on its own, but once we arrived the cabin was lovely. Mornings were glorious and in the afternoon the clouds came in and so did some rain. It was cooler than other parts of Costa Rica and Panama but refreshing. Walks were incredible, some difficulty (esp with a heart condition) but not impossible. The cabin was lovely, it is just as depicted in the photographs. Our early emails with the owner Jeffrey were without problems. He is most helpful. He does all possible to make sure you have all necessary information, & he arranged all transport for us. This a fabulous retreat, you don't need to be an entomologist to enjoy it. Go find out for yourself!

                                Recommended for: Adventure seekers, families with teenagers, sightseeing, age 55+, families with young children, tourists without a car.

                                Did you find this review helpful? Yes | No Helpful votes: 0/0

                              • Majestic Views - Relaxing Mountain Escape

                                Majestic Views - Relaxing Mountain Escape

                                • Guest Dallas C. (San Antonio, TX)
                                • Date of stay 08/08/13
                                • Review Submitted 08/20/13
                                This property is better than any photo can depict, from the accommodations to the scenery. Jeffrey and his lovely wife Alma were gracious hosts and did an excellent job of making sure we had everything we needed to be comfortable. The house was very clean, well stocked with everything we could have needed and more. Considering you have to drive an hour back to Volcan on a 4WD road if you forgot anything at the grocery store you quickly appreciate even the little things. Jeffrey took us on a beautiful hike on one of the mountain trails and we spotted Howler Monkeys, Spider Monkeys, Quetzals and other wildlife that I cannot name. The place is like none other I have ever visited and I would recommend to anyone looking for a total escape from the norm. You will not regret a decision to visit this mountain paradise. You cannot begin to list all of the

                                Recommended for: Adventure seekers, sightseeing, age 55+.

                                Owner response: Thank you Dallas and Lynn for your comments. It was fun having you both and enjoyed very much the conversations and time spent together. Hope to see you back again, take care. Jeffrey

                                Did you find this review helpful? Yes | No Helpful votes: 0/0

                              • loved mount totumas

                                loved mount totumas

                                • Guest rossana12 (Panama)
                                • Date of stay 09/22/12
                                • Review Submitted 09/28/12
                                great place, great people. very clean and comfortable, amazing natural spot, will definitely return there!

                                Recommended for: Adventure seekers, sightseeing, age 55+, romantic getaway, pet owners, families with young children.

                                Did you find this review helpful? Yes | No Helpful votes: 1/1

                              • An excellent, extraordinary nature destination!

                                An excellent, extraordinary nature destination!

                                • Guest John (New Jersey, USA)
                                • Date of stay 08/09/12
                                • Review Submitted 08/27/12
                                Just returned from a one-week stay at the new guest cabin at Mt. Totumas. The owners, Jeff and Alma, are a delightful young expatriate couple, Jeff is a passionate and experienced naturalist who has built this place pretty much with his own hands, along with the assistance of a team of local craftsmen. Alma does the cooking and is a wonderful chef and gracious hostess. The guest cabin is modern, comfortable, and beautiful to behold. The local wildlife is excellent -- we saw three species of monkey on the same day. My birdwatching friend had thrills every day. I was engaged in insect collection (dragonflies), and we found at least one species new to science during our stay. Guests need to know that a 4WD vehicle is absolutely essential to reach this place. Rent one, and be sure you know how to use it, or arrange for Jeff to pick you up in the nearby town of Volcan. An excellent destination -- beautiful, restfull, packed with tropical montane flora and fauna, and the hosts are great company. Strongly recommended.

                                Recommended for: Adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, tourists without a car.

                                Owner response: Hey John, Thanks for all those lovely comments. Much appreciated. Hope to see you back one day. Great time a conversation the day we went to Lagos de Volcan. Also that very special dinner conversation that one night!!!!

                                Did you find this review helpful? Yes | No Helpful votes: 2/2

                              • Moths, Monkeys and Resplendent Quetzals

                                Moths, Monkeys and Resplendent Quetzals

                                • Guest Mercedes (Carlsbad, California)
                                • Date of stay 05/09/12
                                • Review Submitted 05/24/12
                                Our stay at Mount Totumas was a wonderful adventure. This is an ideal getaway for ecotourists, those who enjoy nature, or those who want to research various species in this cloud forest/upper highlands environment. We were there when the owners were there, so we did not rent the entire house. We stayed in one of the bedrooms, had our own bathroom, and shared the living room, kitchen and fabulous deck that borders the cloud forest and is equipped with numerous hummingbird feeders. While we were there the feeders attracted 8 different types of hummingbirds: Violet Saberwing, Magnificent, Green Violet-Ears, Green Crowned Brilliant, Snowy Bellied, Stripe Tailed, Scintillant, and White Throated Mountain Gem. Thanks to our hosts, we recognized the calls and then saw the Respendent Quetzal (the beautiful male bird), the Three-Wattled Bell Bird, and Howler Monkeys. Lights set up at night attracted hundreds of different moth varieties, including a Rothschild's moth and a White Witch moth that measured 10.5 inches. There is a natural hot springs nearby - although it would be quite a hike. Currently, the 6 mile road in from the pavement is 4 wheel drive and I would recommend arranging appropriate transportation and not driving your low-riding rental car there. There is a beautiful, new 2-story cabin being built that will sleep 5 to 7 people which should be complete very soon. There are numerous marked trails for hiking on the property, as well as hikes into La Amistad International Park. Of our three week visit to Panama, our three days at Mount Totumas Cloud Forest was the highlight of our trip.

                                Recommended for: Adventure seekers, families with teenagers, sightseeing, age 55+, families with young children, girls getaway, tourists without a car.

                                Did you find this review helpful? Yes | No Helpful votes: 2/2

                              • Outstanding

                                Outstanding

                                • Guest acadonnelly (Austin, TX)
                                • Date of stay 06/19/11
                                • Review Submitted 09/21/11
                                I went in June for several days to Mount Totumas. It is very remote, about an hour drive up a long, rough, and definitely 4WD road. Don't think you'll go here and just pop down to the local store or restaurant, it is 1.5 hours to Volcan. But at the end of your drive you end up at a surprisingly nice lodge in the cloud forest. The lodge itself is great, they generate their own electricity and have most modern conveniences, appliances, full kitchen, comfortable beds, etc. The lodge was clean and well-maintained. I really enjoyed my stay. During the day I walked the many trails on the property looking for birds and other critters, and just enjoying the scenery and cloud forest habitat. Walking the road up is also a great way to birdwatch, and I saw a lot of species during my stay. The quetzals nesting on the property were a particular treat. I think six species of hummingbirds came to the feeders while we were there, and we saw some others while walking the trails. If you are lucky, maybe they will pull out the powerful lamps and white sheets at night so you can see what kind of insects (moths mostly) show up. That was fascinating. I would like to return, especially after they build the planned lodge out on the "point", which will be truly spectacular. I would highly recommend this to anyone if what I have described above sounds like it suits you-- if you like to be away from the hustle and bustle, enjoying nature and peace and quiet, and especially if you are into nature/birdwatching or hiking, absolutely come here. But if that sounds boring to you, and you like to be in the middle of everything, with attractions and restaurants and other stuff, this isn't your place.

                                Recommended for: Adventure seekers, families with teenagers, sightseeing, age 55+, families with young children.

                                Owner response: Hey Andrew. That about sums it up. Those that have come looking for pristine tropical wilderness and isolation have been very happy with their visits to date. The journey up the 4WD road only enhances the sense of pristine isolation. The reason of course Mount Totumas Cloud Forest has the ecological integrity that it has is exactly because there is no village nearby and being off the grid etc. Keep checking out the blog entries for completion of that cabin out on the Point!

                                Did you find this review helpful? Yes | No Helpful votes: 2/2

                              • June 2011

                                June 2011

                                • Guest mothman (Gainesville, FL, USA)
                                • Date of stay 07/05/11
                                • Review Submitted 07/05/11
                                Our June 2011 expedition to Chiriqui was at Mt. Totumas Cloudforest Lodge, an excellent place at 1900m elevation to study highland western Panama fauna and flora. Accomodations are great and a new cabin is going in for 2012. There are ample trails and easy access to Amistad National Park just north of Totumas Peak. Highl;y recommend the place for faunal studies, birdwatching, etc., in western Panama.

                                Recommended for: Adventure seekers, families with teenagers, age 55+, families with young children, tourists without a car.

                                Did you find this review helpful? Yes | No Helpful votes: 0/0

                              • Plush accomadations for the wilderness seeker

                                Plush accomadations for the wilderness seeker

                                • Guest Jim (Colorado, US)
                                • Date of stay 04/16/11
                                • Review Submitted 06/12/11
                                The Mt Totumas Retreat is not for everyone. But for those looking for an "out of the way" place, a vacation that is on the edge of a true wilderness in Panama, this is it. The countryside is that of an old farm where cattle were run and coffee grown. However, it is on the edge of the L'Amistad Natl. Park, a large contiguous wilderness extending into Costa Rica, and from the Continental Divide, almost all the way to the Carribean coast. It is also a place in Panama where you can be almost assured of seeing the Resplendant Quetzal, among other colorful and rare tropical birds. The forests are very verdant, thick, and difficult to get through without having a trail. Fortuneately, Jeffery has cut several trails through this area of the cloud forest. Renaldo, Jeffrey's caretaker, was very helpful in taking us on trails and pointing out interesting birds. We heard Howler monkeys every day. Their resounding calls echoed up and down the valleys. Several varieties of humming birds visit his feeders; violet sabrewings, magnificents, white throated mtn gems, scintillant hummingbirds, among others, were commonly seen at the feeders. It definitely takes a 4WD vehicle to get to the Wilderness Retreat. The roads go up the steep mountain valleys and can be slick when wet. Alvin who is Jeffrey's driver, can deliver you to the Retreat. He was very friendly and helpful. When leaving, he showed us his coffee farm, his home, and his prized Paso Fino horses. Jeffrey's farmhouse retreat had everything that was necessary to survive well on the edge of a wilderness. The kitchen had a cooking stove, refridgerator, sink, very adequate cabinet space. The dining area had a large table and windows looking out at the bird feeders. There was a large livng room with impressive wooded walls used for the room. The bathroom had a soaking tub. This is a cool area for Panama because of the high elevation. The terrain is mountainous, treed, and has streams running through all the valleys. Very little of civilization's hectic sounds are up here such as car noise, airplanes, and aggravating machine noises. Jeffrey has an "off the grid" hydroelectric generator, and an internet tower. Consequently, by using Scype, we were able to keep "in touch" with the outside world through our laptop computer. We also communicated with Renaldo, who speaks Spanish, by using the Google translator to ask him a question. We could get a "Si", or "No", which was helpful in communicating.

                                Recommended for: Adventure seekers, sightseeing, age 55+, tourists without a car.

                                Did you find this review helpful? Yes | No Helpful votes: 1/1

                              • A true retreat in the cloud forest

                                A true retreat in the cloud forest

                                • Guest Rita B. (Houston, TX)
                                • Date of stay 12/19/10
                                • Review Submitted 01/02/11
                                My husband and I stayed for a week at Totumas and were very comfortable at the house. The house is clean, huge, and has been refurbished and there's power and water. Great hiking along game trails and the dirt road - we saw about 70 species of birds (including quetzals, yay!), white faced capuchins, and howlers. We hiked to waterfalls, rivers, up Cerro Totumas. This is not a resort - you cook and keep the house clean while you're there, and you're dependent on Roberto (who speaks very little English) if you need a guide. This area will be the next big thing for birders. Not recommended for children/kids that need to be entertained. We'll be back!

                                Recommended for: Adventure seekers, tourists without a car.

                                Owner response: Hi Rita, Thanks for the comments. It's great there were still a few Resplendent Quetzals while you were there. A few juveniles do hang around during this time of year when most have popped over the continental divide to spend time in the Atlantic montane forests before returning to Mount Totumas toward the end of February at the start of nesting season. Come back in a few years, we should have some nice cabins finished by then! Jeffrey

                                Did you find this review helpful? Yes | No Helpful votes: 2/2

                              • Thanks for the great experience!!

                                Thanks for the great experience!!

                                • Guest Joris (Belgium)
                                • Date of stay 09/17/10
                                • Review Submitted 09/26/10
                                It was really awesome up there!!! We had the best time, probably the best in Panama yet. The environment and the atmosphere was really something. My brother and I hiked up Mt Totumas with Roberto. Was like a fairy tale! Beautiful at the top! My father didnt go up, so he spent the whole day bird watching. The next day we walked through the neighbouring valleys and saw three Quetzals. Roberto was really helpfull. He was always ready to help us out with whatever we needed. Thanks again for the opportunity of letting us share in 'your little secretive paradise'. Joris, Jan, Luc

                                Recommended for: Adventure seekers, tourists without a car.

                                Owner response: Thanks again Joris for your photos and the bird list from your dad!

                                Did you find this review helpful? Yes | No Helpful votes: 1/1

                               
                              Rental basis: Per property
                              Dates Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
                              My Standard Rate
                              3 night min stay
                              $140
                              $850

                              Additional information about rental rates

                              Fees and Rental Conditions:

                              • Property Damage Protection $89
                              • Tax Rate 7%

                              This owner accepts HomeAway payments.
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                              Calendar

                              Last updated: 02/13/2014
                              Check availability
                              23 Available
                              21 Unavailable
                              22 Today
                              23 Selected dates
                               

                              Location

                              This owner has opted not to share the exact location of their property.

                               

                              Owner info

                              Year Purchased: 2008

                              About the owner: My wife and I have a passion for wilderness preservation. I am a biologist and have 15 years experience of travel and work in Latin America and speak fluent Spanish. We see ourselves as steward to this remote wilderness and have immensely enjoyed meeting guests who have come to share this place with us. Low impact sustainable development is the vision for the property going forward. We are avid bird watchers and fascinated with the flora and fauna from the moths that circle the lights at night to the howler monkeys on the tree tops. We spend many hours hiking the property and learning about the local ecology which I am happy to share with guests when I am on site.

                              Why the Owner Chose Volcan:
                              We purchased the property due to its remote location and ecological assets. Mount Totumas Cloud Forest is 400 acres and is a mosaic of pastures, second growth forest and virgin cloud forest. The common are of the site where the homestead and cabins are located are nestled at the base of Mount Totumas with spectacular views of the surrounding national park. The temperature is spring time year round with cool mornings and afternoons that reach 75-80F degrees. Fertile volcanic soil with three perennial streams provide great conditions for gardening. It was the integrity of the ecology that drew me to this site.

                              The Unique Benefits at this House:
                              The isolated wilderness experience is pristine and can be enjoyed from the comfort of our cozy homestead. There are hiking trails that lead you into virgin forests with trees well over 100 feet high and other trails that take you to waterfalls and over pastures with spectacular scenery of the adjacent national park. Off the grid and far from any other human development provides visitors with a truly unique experience where nature is the dominant feature. We have horses and a small number of cows and grow coffee in a small coffee grove. Visitors are free to harvest any produce from our organic garden just a few feet from the home.


                              Contact us

                              Speaks: english

                               

                              Photos

                              • Old growth oak bamboo cloud forest located at the top of Mount Totumas

                                Old growth oak bamboo cloud forest located at the top of Mount Totumas

                              VRBO #305227

                              There have been  visitors to this page since the counter was last reset in .

                              This listing was first published here in 2010.

                              Date last modified - Monday, April 07, 2014

                              $140 per night (USD)
                              12

                              5 Bedroom / 3 Bathroom
                              Sleeps 14

                              View calendar: Updated 02/13/14
                              Minimum stay: 3 nights
                              Dates are unavailable
                              Please stay a bit longer. A stay of nights or more is required for these dates.
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                              +1 954 646 3449

                              Speaks: english
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