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Villa Heliconia from outside

Private Villa in Horse Ranch Outside of La Fortuna [#323570] | View Property

La Fortuna
Villa, 2 Bedrooms, 2 Baths (Sleeps 7)
$100 - $180/nt US Dollars
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Traveler Reviews (69)

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  • Perfect blend of tranquility and activity

    Perfect blend of tranquility and activity

    • Guest Chris H.
    • Date of stay 02/06/14
    • Review Submitted 03/08/14
    We had high expectations after reading prior reviews, and we were not dissapointed. The property itself is beautiful and you can see the pride that Esteban, Monica and the whole crew take in everything from the villas to the landscaping. They recommended and arranged some great activities. Danny, our friendly local guide was a wealth of info during our ATV trip to the Hot Springs (and pointed out some local wildlife) and the Balsa River Whitewater Rafting trip was quite exhilarating. Balance this with some great quiet time lounging at the villa and birdwatching with Gitana (the family Dachshund ambassador) and we couldn't have asked for more. We will look forward to our next trip to Costa Rica and will be sure to keep this location on our itinerary. Thanks for everything. Chris and Kathi

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

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  • Best place in Costa Rica!!!

    Best place in Costa Rica!!!

    • Guest Josee (Montreal, canada)
    • Date of stay 01/03/14
    • Review Submitted 01/06/14
    We have stayed at the Villa Horses Ranch 3 days and it was a fantastic ! Esteban was very helpful to recomend what is the best to do and good restaurants far away from the tourist trapp! The Villa was perfect, very private, clean and in good conditions. It was very peaceful,quiet and You feel safety! atv's tour to the hot springs was absolutly amazing and the horses ride to! Dany, our private guide was very relax and took time to explain everything we wanted to know. It was the best part of our vacation, best weather and great views! We will recommend this place without hesitation! Thank you ! Thank you

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

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  • AMAZING!! You MUST stay here!

    AMAZING!! You MUST stay here!

    • Guest Marjorie A.
    • Date of stay 12/08/13
    • Review Submitted 12/20/13
    My fiance and I stayed here for our first 3 nights in Costa Rica. Esteban was incredibly helpful in arranging our rental car (at a great price!) , giving directions and offered valuable advise for our entire trip. We wanted to experience TRUE Costa Rica and not stay in a tourist trap area...which is why we chose the ranch. Our villa was GORGEOUS and extremely private. Beautiful tile and woodwork...super comfy bedding and beautifully decorated with all the comforts of home. The ranch offers horseback riding and quads...we chose the quads. Danny our guide was incredible and well educated in the local floral & fauna. We rode for hours through sugar cane fields and jungle terain... ended up at very private hot springs for a quick dip & drink and then rode back to the ranch by moonlight. Esteban also lined up white water rafting in La Fortuna...AWESOME experience and we had the time of our lives! This is a great place to stay if you just want to relax in the privacy of the villa or take part in the nearby area activities. We felt completely at home and didn't want to leave! We continued our trip up to the Gulf de Pappagayo and stayed in a large resort and we definitely LOVED our private villa the best of all the places we stayed. We can't wait to go back!

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

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  • Absolutely Beautiful!!!!

    Absolutely Beautiful!!!!

    • Guest AJ (Edmonds)
    • Date of stay 11/29/13
    • Review Submitted 12/17/13
    Our stay was just perfect here. The villa is kept in pristine condition and is furnished beautifully with all the comforts of home. It was so amazing to wake up each morning to the peaceful countryside and seeing the beautiful grounds, horses and wildlife. We went with every activity Estaban recommended- ATV's, Hot Springs, River rafting- this was by far our favorite place during our 3 week trip. We also ate where Estaban recommended and it was fabulous. His family made us feel very welcome and his staff is amazing. If you have him book everything for you it makes everything so simple. I would love to come back and spend a month here sometime.

    Recommended for: Adventure seekers, families with young children.

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

  • Amazing house and views!

    Amazing house and views!

    • Guest Adriana T.
    • Date of stay 11/28/13
    • Review Submitted 12/09/13
    My friends and I (ages 27 - 32) stayed at Esteban's property for a total of 2 nights and wished we would have stayed longer! From the moment we arrived Esteban was friendly and helpful and showed us to the home. Esteban was onsite which was great and he was helpful in offering us restaurant recommendations and attractions. We rented the property that had 3 separate buildings and it was perfect for us (there was 6 of us traveling together). The property was in great condition, beautifully kept, gated, and the views amazing! There was a young lady who cleaned everyday for us and she did a great job! The home also had an alarm system which we accidentally set off one night and Esteban's workers were there within a minute to check up on us. While at the property we took advantage of the pool, the hot tub, and the horse tours. The horses were tame and the ride was amazing, I'd highly recommend horse tours to anyone staying at Esteban's property. While in the area we also visited the hanging bridges, which were OK but not as exciting as I had expected...I was hoping to see lots of wildlife and we saw literally one bird! Anyway, the stay in the area was great and only about a 40 minute drive to La Fortuna. We enjoyed how green and beautiful everything was, the property has tons of beautiful trees, flowers, plants, and fruit trees...it was simply stunning. I'd definitely visit again for the horses, ATVs, and hot springs!!

    Recommended for: Adventure seekers, people with disabilities, age 55+, families with teenagers, families with young children, girls getaway, romantic getaway, sightseeing.

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  • This was the best part of our trip!

    This was the best part of our trip!

    • Guest Carolyn B.
    • Date of stay 11/24/13
    • Review Submitted 11/30/13
    Esteban and Monica's farm is simply wonderful. We headed here from La Paz, and followed the GPS instructions without an issue (you do need to follow the GPS and not any google printed maps). We had a wonderful vacation throughout Costa Rica (La Paz, here, Arenal, and Los Suenos) and our family all agreed that the stay at Esteban's was our favorite. He and his wife are so welcoming. We traveled with our 2 children (ages 11 and 8) and always felt safe and comfortable. We did an ATV tour to the local hot spring and a 2 hour horseback ride. Both activities take you on paths through the local countryside and villages - it is something you will never forget. Simply fantastic!

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  • Changed my life!

    Changed my life!

    • Guest Desiree (West palm beach florida)
    • Date of stay 10/08/13
    • Review Submitted 10/24/13
    This ranch was absolutely unbelievable! Words can not describe its remarkable beauty. We stayed for 4 nights and I honestly teared up when we left. I was at complete peace for the first time in years. I am a huge animal lover and went to visit the horses and hogs every morning. My visits made me forget about all my troubles. Then, to top it all off the owner's dog Gitana put me right at home. She came to say hello every night after we were done exploring. The villas were a dream, roomy, nicely decorated! Extra comfy beds. The view was amazing! Esteban, the owner of the ranch booked our rental car which took the burden off of me. He also had the answers for all my questions. As for our guide, Jonathan he was very knowledgable. He took us on a crazy ATV ride through the mountains and sugar cane fields. What a great adventure!!!! I highly recommend this ranch to anyone!

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

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

  • Words cannot describe this experience and pictures don't do it justice

    Words cannot describe this experience and pictures don't do it justice

    • Guest Maria (San Diego, Ca, USA)
    • Date of stay 07/12/13
    • Review Submitted 07/20/13
    Let me preface review by saying that I don't usually write reviews and yet I fill compelled to share my words, although I know the uniqueness of this experience will be hard to convey in writing. We stayed here for 5 days in July and are already planning our return visit. Bearing in mind we travel globally with our 2 small children a few times a year and to date have never returned to the same place twice, this is our exception and we simply cannot wait to return. The villa sits on 3000+ acres of farm land, but its not just any farm land, its located on the world famous Centaura riding facilty [google centaura costa rica] and is fabulously rural, private, and safe - our 4 and 6 yr old could run free in the fields without us having to worry about their safety. We have horses at our home and generally do not like to ride when we are abroad as usually the horses are not as well cared for, underfed, and unhappy. However this was not the case here - I have never seen such well mannered, well cared for horses as I saw here. I completely understand why CNN listed Centaura as one of the top 20 places in the world to ride. With over 40 horses to choose from, there really is something for every type of rider. We ended up riding the horses ever day. The way the ride's are structured is that they customize them to what you want to do, see and how long you want to ride for. I thought this customization would result in us paying a fortune, but surprisingly, considering the training that has gone into these horses and the effort put into this facility, the price was completely reasonable. The ranch goes above and beyond in helping align horse with rider. They paired my 6 year old with a great steady and trustworthy horse, and helped pony my 4 year old with his short attention span, on a ride down to the local restaurant....I personally have ridden extensively, and tried out several great horses, one was a wonderful peruvian with such a good heart and an enormous engine. He couldn't wait to show me all he could do, yet patiently allowed me to hold him back when needed. Such a well mannered, talented horse - a glowing e.g of the quality at this ranch. The villa was immaculate, with everything you could need in a holiday home. As we run our business needing the internet, we were delighted to find high speed wifi in the villa that allowed us to conduct business via wifi. The hosts Esteban and Monica are amazingly genuine people and give Costa Rica a great name.

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

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

  • Great stay

    Great stay

    • Guest Christie J. (Geneseo, NY)
    • Date of stay 07/01/13
    • Review Submitted 08/07/13
    Upon our arrival it was tricky because there are 3 entrances to the property and our gate code was incorrect and it took us forever bouncing back and forth from gate to gate imputing codes, until finally we gave up and walked up the driveway. Use the second driveway. Our first two nights were in the home located next to the pool. This was my favorite of the two homes but you must like the outdoors because the bedrooms were the only enclosed rooms. The other two nights we spent was at a home located on top of a hill and boy was that a hike up because we enjoyed being down at the stables and pool. This home consisted of three separate buildings and we had a 15 and 10 year old and didn't feel comfortable sleeping 2 buildings away so we slept in their building (room). There was plenty of room to do so (3 beds in that bedroom with a bathroom), so it wasn't a problem. Maids were wonderful. We chose to do the four wheeler ride and horseback riding during out stay. Both were great rides and my son didn't want to come back from the horse back riding but I wanted to be done so they let him continue on without us with one of their guides, Jonathan was great with us. Everyone was extremely good to us. I really enjoyed hanging with Estaban's extended family, they welcomed us right in. They really made sure that our trip was great. Thanks for everything.

    Recommended for: Adventure seekers, families with teenagers, sightseeing.

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

  • Exceptional Experience / Beautiful Villa and Location

    Exceptional Experience / Beautiful Villa and Location

    • Guest Jeanette D.
    • Date of stay 05/27/13
    • Review Submitted 06/18/13
    Our stay at Estaban's ranch villa was truly exceptional and exceeded all our expectations! Esteban was extremely helpful from our first conversation and provided great local insight into making our vacation into an unforgettable family memory. He assisted us in making our car reservations and all the arrangements for sight-seeing and excursions in the area. We took advantage of the horseback riding and ATV tour offered right on property. Jonathon was our guide for both excursions and really made the day an unforgettable experience, especially for our 12 year old triplets. He was such a great sport and even agreed to continue our ATV ride in the torrential rain until we reached the beautiful local hot springs. We stayed in the villa made up of three buildings…the main house in the middle with a kitchen and living area was a perfect gathering spot and the bedrooms were separate buildings on either side. Truly perfect as my husband and I felt like we had our own private bungalow and the kids enjoyed having a spot they could call their own. We all enjoyed the rocking chairs and hammocks and our daily visit from the family dachshund, Gypsy. The villa and property were immaculate and we could not have asked for a better experience. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and definitely hope to return again.

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

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  • Animal lover

    Animal lover

    • Guest Tica Chica (St. Louis, Missouri)
    • Date of stay 05/25/13
    • Review Submitted 06/23/13
    Our stay with Esteban was the highlight of our month in Costa Rica. Sadly we only stayed two nights, but next time we'll spend a week. Esteban, his staff, and his adorable dachshund, Gitana, were the best of hosts. The view from the upper house was amazing and the kitchen and bedrooms were very luxurious. It was a little out of the way, which was part of the charm. Esteban's horses were just beautiful and I can't wait to come back for a ride the next time we stay. The pool was lovely too. Esteban and his wife are a perfect example of the generous people of Costa Rica. I will never forget their kindness in sharing their family's beautiful life with us.

    Recommended for: Adventure seekers, families with teenagers, families with young children, romantic getaway.

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  • AWESOME VILLA

    AWESOME VILLA

    • Guest wallpaper guy (Magnolia, TX USA)
    • Date of stay 05/21/13
    • Review Submitted 06/17/13
    I really can't say enough good things about our stay here. The villa was spectacular. The view was awesome. Very clean and toally equipped with everything you would need. They make you feel welcome and right at home. Jonathan was the best horseback riding guide you could ask for. I highly recommend the ATV excursion to the hot springs. AWESOME experience.

    Recommended for: Adventure seekers, families with teenagers, romantic getaway, sightseeing.

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  • Memories of A Lifetime

    Memories of A Lifetime

    • Guest Sharon (United States)
    • Date of stay 05/09/13
    • Review Submitted 07/21/13
    We choose this location for the first week of our three-week trip in Costa Rica. It was a great place in a wonderful setting. Then we met Estaban who played a vital role in making the entire trip an experience our family will remember for a lifetime. We traveled with kids, 20 and18 years old. We like adventure, quality and privacy. The accommodations and setting was perfect, peaceful and very comfortable. Modestly elegant with every thing we needed to make our stay a wonderful experience. We chose active days in the surrounding area and quiet evenings back at the ranch. It was about a 20 minute drive to the town of Arenal. The setting is a horse ranch and one of our favorite parts was morning coffee in the hammock on the porch watching the sunrise over the mountains and the horses paying in the pasture. Nature came alive with all of the sights and sounds. Birds and butterflies are way better than a noisy city. Estaban lives on the ranch and was available for recommendations on local tour operators. The first one was a 10 out of 10 and from there we trusted his recommendations which led us to incredible experiences we could not have envisioned, both in the local area and in the other parts of Costa Rica. He is a kind and classy individual whose passion for his country is only matched by his knowledge and sincere desire for us to enjoy our time there. We went white water rafting, crayoning, zip lining and exploring nature in the rich ecological environment. We loved the day we stayed on the ranch the entire day. My wife grew up riding horses so her standards are high. We spent the morning riding Estaban’s horses in the surrounding area. We rode through creeks, crossed rivers, full on galloped in open pastures and saw some spectacular sights. After a wonderful lunch and a siesta, we headed on Estaban’s modern and powerful ATV’s. We traveled in the back country over hills and through valleys which we would never have experienced on our own or in a traditional tourist event. We climbed mountains and visited Hot Spring. The trip back at night down the mountain provided some incredible sights. Estaban’s recommendations of where else to visit over the following two weeks led to two of the best locations we have visited in the world. I hope you and you family is fortunate enough to stay here and get to know Costa Rica’s best ambassador.

    Recommended for: Adventure seekers, families with teenagers, families with young children, romantic getaway, sightseeing.

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

  • Beautiful setting

    Beautiful setting

    • Guest Stefanie and Claus (Germany)
    • Date of stay 04/25/13
    • Review Submitted 06/10/13
    We enjoyed our stay at the ranch, very beautiful landscape and nicely designed villa. Upon our request we were served a very good breakfast in our villa. Having a car is advisable. Restaurants are in next village about 5 minutes away.

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

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  • Amazing Place to Visit

    Amazing Place to Visit

    • Guest Allison H. (Nordman, Idaho)
    • Date of stay 03/23/13
    • Review Submitted 04/09/13
    This was our family's second visit to the Ranch. We didn't think we could top last year but with Estaban's assistance it was another amazing visit. This property is about so much more than the villa which is wonderful. Staying on the ranch is about experiencing Costa Rica with people who live there and love it! Esteban arranged everything for us. We were picked up at the airport and transported to the ranch. Our driver even stopped at a grocery store on the way! Our rental car was delivered to the villa and it was a very relaxing transaction. This year our adventures included a horseback ride (best horses I have ever ridden), river rafting, a visit to a special private frog farm and an ATV adventure to a local hot springs. Our bi-lingual guide Jonathon was like family by the end of the week and we enjoyed his company very much. Our three children (11 year old triplets) love the freedom and fun that staying on the ranch offers them. The villa is very comfortable and beautiful. Very nice to return to after a day of adventuring. The pool is large and very nice. If you want to experience something very special and unique in Costa Rica this wonderful place is where you need to be. I wish we could give it a 10 star rating. Thanks for everything Esteban! We will return soon.

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

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  • “Pure Pura Vida!”

    “Pure Pura Vida!”

    • Guest Mike (Ingleside ON Canada)
    • Date of stay 03/20/13
    • Review Submitted 03/29/13
    Luck was on our side when we found Esteban’s property. The ranch – WOW!!!! The home we stayed in was spacious and luxurious. Decorated throughout with beautiful art, furniture was authentic Costa Rican, beautiful flower arrangements throughout, spacious bathroom with a sunken tub surrounded by windows, a large bedroom with a comfy bed and the kitchen had everything you could possibly need including the daily cleaning service. The ranch is so peaceful; we enjoyed the view watching the horses while swinging in the hammock. The maintenance of this property is unbelievable - the grounds were immaculate, the flowers beautiful, the stables extremely clean and the pool sparkled in the sun along with the Jacuzzi! Jonathan (our private tour guide) took us out for a ride on the ATV’s through the mountains which showed us overwhelming views. We had a few pit stops – one to swim in a river to cool down and then ending the night to relax in the beautiful hot springs which was a fantastic experience. The best part of our stay was the hot air balloon ride that we took on our 5th wedding anniversary. We were very nervous but Esteban was an awesome operator/owner that went out of his way to make us feel safe. Unfortunately for us there was only a 3 night opening at the Ranch during our 2 weeks in Costa Rica. Esteban was a blessing as he went above and beyond reserving all of our other accommodations and booking our rental vehicle. He truely made our vacation extremely exceptional sending us on some great adventures, not touristy at all and sending us to locations that were completely gorgeous. If we could say anything about Esteban, he is an honest, trustworthy person who really cares about others. He is for sure a great ambassador for Costa Rica. We have stayed in many 5 star hotels and this is more than a 5 star in our opinion!!! We will definitely stay here again!!! Thank you Esteban, Monica and staff for the wonderful experience.

    Recommended for: Adventure seekers, people with disabilities, families with young children, girls getaway, tourists without a car, romantic getaway, sightseeing.

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

  • Exceeded High Expectations

    Exceeded High Expectations

    • Guest Family of Four (Connecticut, US)
    • Date of stay 02/14/13
    • Review Submitted 02/26/13
    This wonderful property exceeded our expectations and very likely spoiled me for any other vacation home. The other five star reviews are all accurate and express the loveliness of this farm far better than I can, so I will just add a few highlights for us: - So very private. We stayed in the villa that is a bit further away from the pool. It was like being in our own little world. Not worrying about disturbing others, and not being disturbed, was simply wonderful. - Great attention to detail. Everything about the property was lovely, from the furnishings to the fresh flowers to the sheets to the dishes in the kitchen. And the daily cleaning service was unexpected but very welcome. It's evident that Esteban and his family take great pride in this property. - Services/activities available, but no pressure. We're pretty independent, never go on organized tours, and have always researched and booked activities on our own in the past. We did go horseback riding at the farm, and I would highly recommend this. It was us (two parents, two children, 8 and 11) and two guides. My daughter and I have some riding experience, my husband and son had none. We were all on great horses, and the ride was incredible. Not to be missed. We also visited hot springs, went on a marvelous hikes (including over hanging bridges), and did a canopy tour (ziplining) on our own. Whatever your preference, you cannot go wrong. - Arrangements we did make through Esteban went so smoothly. He arranged our travel from the airport, and for our rental car to meet us at the property the following morning. For some reason I had great anxiety over this in advance of our trip, but everything went so smoothly and I'm so glad I trusted him. The driver who met us at the airport (Norman) was great, and his van was new and clean. We felt very much in good hands. And our car arrived promptly the following morning, just as promised. Again these are details, but all of these details combined to make a wonderful trip. Very much recommend this property!!

    Recommended for: Adventure seekers, families with teenagers, families with young children, romantic getaway, sightseeing.

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  • True Flavor of Costa Rica !

    True Flavor of Costa Rica !

    • Guest Jeff (Rochester, MN)
    • Date of stay 02/13/13
    • Review Submitted 03/05/13
    The villa was very comfortable for my family of 5. It was impeccably clean. The spacious kitchen and large bathrooms sure beat a hotel room. It had a safe secluded feel. Relaxing on the porch listening to the birds and taking in the view was a real treat. The farm is centrally located to local attactions and town. But the best part was the owner Esteban. His expert local knowledge was priceless! We showed up with a general idea of things we wanted to do and see. He was able to take those ideas and add several suggestions to customize our experience. In no time he had us set up with the best outfitters in the area. He even programed my GPS every morning for our daily adventure. With Esteban's guidance we were truely immersed into the Costa Rican culture. Our boys (ages 13 to 17) aren't sure which they liked best the long atv ride through rivers and over hilltops to a hot spring or the Class V raft trip! My wife and I though the hiking was tremendous with turquoise blue waterfalls and unusual wildlife. We felt that we were in good hands at all times. We loved our stay and highly recommend the rental unit!

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

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  • Wonderful experience

    Wonderful experience

    • Guest Ken (Cincinnati)
    • Date of stay 02/06/13
    • Review Submitted 02/20/13
    Our stay at Estabon's horse ranch villa was wonderful. The house is beautiful & the staff were very friendly and accommodating. Estabon & his wife were great hosts. Estabon was very helpful in providing advice & arrangements for sight-seeing and excursions. Their dachshund (whom we re-named La Hermosa) was our special guest a couple of evenings; she was also a delight. We could not have asked for a better experience. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and wish to return again.

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

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  • Great memories and a perfect host!!

    Great memories and a perfect host!!

    • Guest Ron and Sue ( California)
    • Date of stay 02/01/13
    • Review Submitted 02/20/13
    My wife and I stayed in the Heliconia Villa for 5 nights. It was a memorable stay. We travel a lot, and I have to say that Centaura Farm is one of the nicest places we have ever stayed. The kitchen in the Villa was incredibly well stocked, and we had daily maid service. There was a swimming pool and hot tub very nearby. Esteban really was the perfect host. He was always available to offer suggestions for activities, and he was incredibly attentive to our needs in every way. Esteban suggested a local hot springs and a restaurant, which were both great. We used to have our own horses, and so it was a lot of fun to go to the stables every day to say hello to Esteban's friendly and healthy horses. Jonathan took us out for a 3 hour private ride, and it really was a highlight of our vacation in Costa Rica. Every day, we relaxed on the porch looking at the beautiful vistas while Esteban's horses grazed in our backyard. I would highly recommend Centaura to anyone who wants a really special place to stay. Costa Rica is a wonderful country with so many things to do and places to visit. All of the nice things that the other reviewers have said about Esteban and Centaura Farm are all really true. Treat yourself.

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

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

  • Home away from home!

    Home away from home!

    • Guest Wayne & Melanie (Texas)
    • Date of stay 01/18/13
    • Review Submitted 02/13/13
    This is the second year we've stayed at Esteban's horse ranch in Platanar. It's just such a wonderfully quiet and relaxing place. It has all of the comforts of being at home except it is in the beautiful country of Costa Rica. The villa is great, but what's even better is that Esteban will help you plan activities according to your likes. Last year we went horse back riding and took a trip on the hot air balloon which was AMAZING!!!!!! This year we went on an ATV tour which showed us some breathtaking views and then we ended the day at a very private hot springs. Esteban also sent us on some great road trips that were off the beaten path, not touristy at all and of course absolutely beautiful. I'm sure when we return we will make this one of our stops!

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

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  • Tico hospitality

    Tico hospitality

    • Guest Bill76 (Hesperia, ca usa)
    • Date of stay 01/13/13
    • Review Submitted 02/12/13
    What a great stay at Estebans ranch. The Villas were perfect for two couples...Plush bedrooms on either side of the kitchen, entertainment Villa in the middle. Could not ask for a better set up. Wake up in the AM to Toucans...walk out the door and pick fresh grapefruit for breakfast. Daily maid service...we felt like royalty. The horse and ATV adventures were a great Tico experience. Jonathan was a great guide with a wonderful personal connection that could only be called tico "Pura Vida". Esteban was there for all questions and arraigned awesome local activities. If you are looking for a "Tico" experience, I would highly recommend staying at Estebans Ranch.

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

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  • Beautiful and peaceful...the perfect getaway!

    Beautiful and peaceful...the perfect getaway!

    • Guest Relaxed (Georgetown, DE)
    • Date of stay 01/08/13
    • Review Submitted 01/24/13
    My family (me, wife and two daughters 8 and 16) stayed at Esteban and Monica's villa for 5 days. Our time there was wonderful and exceeded our expectations. We arrived with no schedule and were simply looking for a place to unwind and relax and we could not have picked a better place. We stayed in the newer villa which sits on a hill over looking the Platanar Volcano. The villa is very nice with comfortable and modern amenities. The kitchen is well stocked with dishes and cooking utensils and nice appliances. We especially loved the views from our bedroom in the morning. We were able to pick delicious grapefruit, star fruit, oranges and other fruits from the trees just outside our door. The location is great. Very secluded and quiet. The tourist town of La Fortuna and Volcan Arenal are an easy 20-30 minutes drive. There is also a nice grocery store 10 minutes away. My oldest daughter is an equine enthusiast and loved to walk down to the stables and spend time getting acquainted with the horses. We had an incredible time riding horses through pineapple plantations and sugar cane fields as well as through streams and rivers. Our guide, Jonathan was great. He was very knowledgeable of the area and made the experience very enjoyable. I had never been on a horse prior to this trip but Jonathan paired me with a great horse and within minutes I felt confident and comfortable. Esteban was also super helpful before and during our trip. He was always quick to respond to my emails and went above and beyond. If you are renting a vehicle have Esteban make the arrangements for you (he will save you money). We would highly recommend this property. Pura Vida!

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

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  • Exceeded all expectations!!!!

    Exceeded all expectations!!!!

    • Guest Angie (Racine, Wisconsin)
    • Date of stay 01/08/13
    • Review Submitted 01/24/13
    Where to begin....there are simply so many good things to say about this property, location, and the owner and his family. We are a family of 4, my husband and I and two boys, ages 11 and 3. We noticed right away upon arrival that the pictures do not do this property and location justice. This is a well-built, clean, modern, spacious, private, and attractive house. The views off the open-air kitchen and balcony include horses and a water buffalo, Tonka, at pasture. On the horizon, we saw mountains and a volcano. Not to mention all the tropical plants and trees. To us, it was truly a paradise. My kids fell in love with the farm dachsund, Jitana, who made it a point to greet us on our first night. Both bedrooms have ceiling fans and air conditioning, although I never felt the need to use the air, the weather was always so breezy and pleasant. Two nice ladies cleaned the house every day for us as well, so everything stayed very clean. The pool was clean and the temperature was right and it was only steps from our front door. We went swimming at least once a day. The kids loved it! We also did almost every other imaginable thing. We went horseback riding through villages and pastures, crossed rivers and rode through sugar cane fields, up and down mountains and on dirt roads. We visited the Venado caves. We rode ATV's to the thermal hot springs. We visited La Paz Waterfall gardens which is a combo zoo and nature preserve with three breathtaking waterfalls. My husband and my older son went rapelling and zip-lining. Aside from the rapelling, all of this was done with my 3 year old. The best part is that Esteban arranged all of it. All we had to do is tell him what we wanted to do and he told us where to go and that was it. All of these activities were top-notch experiences. I have no hesitation saying this as we went horseback riding in another part of Costa Rica after our stay here and I can say, without a doubt, that Esteban's horses are THE BEST!!! We never had a problem asking Esteban for anything. Our guide, Jonathan, was also wonderful. He was friendly and informative. Ready to provide us with information and answer any questions we had and I had a lot. This experience exceeded all of our expectations. No hotel or manager-run property can beat staying here. It is obvious in every way that the owners care about this place and the people that stay here. We felt so well taken care of. Would I stay here again? In a heartbeat (and hopefully soon)!!!

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

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  • Exceeded all expectations!!!!

    Exceeded all expectations!!!!

    • Guest Angie (Racine, Wisconsin)
    • Date of stay 01/08/13
    • Review Submitted 01/24/13
    Where to begin....there are simply so many good things to say about this property, location, and the owner, Esteban, and his family. We are a family of 4, my husband and I and two boys, ages 11 and 3. We noticed right away upon arrival that the pictures do not do this property and location justice. This is a well-built, clean, modern, spacious, private, and attractive house. The views off the open-air kitchen and balcony include horses and a water buffalo, Tonka, at pasture. On the horizon, we saw mountains and a volcano. Not to mention all the tropical plants and trees. To us, it was truly a paradise. My kids fell in love with the farm dachsund, Jitana, who made it a point to greet us on our first night. Both bedrooms have ceiling fans and air conditioning, although I never felt the need to use the air, the weather was always so breezy and pleasant. Two nice ladies cleaned the house every day for us as well, so everything stayed very clean. The pool was clean and the temperature was right and it was only steps from our front door. We went swimming at least once a day. The kids loved it! We also did almost every other imaginable thing. We went horseback riding through villages and pastures, crossed rivers and rode through sugar cane fields, up and down mountains and on dirt roads. We visited the Venado caves. We rode ATV's to the thermal hot springs. We visited La Paz Waterfall gardens which is a combo zoo and nature preserve with three breathtaking waterfalls. My husband and my older son went rapelling and zip-lining. Aside from the rapelling, all of this was done with my 3 year old. The best part is that Esteban arranged all of it. All we had to do is tell him what we wanted to do and he told us where to go and that was it. All of these activities were top-notch experiences. I have no hesitation saying this as we went horseback riding in another part of Costa Rica after our stay here and I can say, without a doubt, that Esteban's horses are THE BEST!!! We never had a problem asking Esteban for anything. Our guide, Jonathan, was also wonderful. He was friendly and informative. Ready to provide us with information and answer any questions we had and I had a lot! This experience exceeded all of our expectations. No hotel or manager-run property can beat staying here. It is obvious in every way that the owners care about this place and the people that stay here. We felt so well taken care of. Would I stay here again? In a heartbeat (and hopefully soon)!!

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

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  • You are in good hands

    You are in good hands

    • Guest Luli (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
    • Date of stay 01/03/13
    • Review Submitted 01/23/13
    We traveled in costa rica for a month with 3 kids ages 2,6,10 Befor coming we got recommendations from friend about the place. I called Esteban to make a reservation and found myself talking to him for an hour getting tips on how to build the right trip for us, other houses and hotels, car rental etc. When we got there he recommended activities and places that are a little off the tourist grid like local hot springs which were great. We got a chance to stay in both of his rental houses. Everything on that farm is well kept in the houses (kitchen, bathrooms, bedsheets) and outside (horses, pool). Everybody was very welcoming and helpful. And a last word about the guide that esteban set us for the river tour. Roger was so knowledgeable. He sets an atmosphere of quiet trust. The kids loved him right away. Hope to come back one day

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

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  • A little disappointing

    A little disappointing

    • Guest Jennifer S. (Nova Scotia)
    • Date of stay 12/23/12
    • Review Submitted 12/28/12
    We arrived to an perfectly beautiful house. The owners very friendly and there to meet us. It wasn't long before we realized we had no hot water at the sink and the fridge didn't work. We pointed this out to Esteban who stated that he would watch the fridge and if (since it was the holiday) it wasn't working he would bring the one up from the stable. Well we never saw him again, the fridge wasn't fixed and the replacement never arrived. We had a fantastic day riding on Christmas day, the best riding tour ever! Our guides Johnathan and Antoni but we arrived back at the villa to a rotten chicken that was to be our dinner and had to go out at 6 in the evening to a store for another. Estebans lack of concern did not go unnoticed.

    Recommended for: Adventure seekers

    Owner response: Jennifer, I am not the kind of person who gives excuses and I take full responsibility for whatever happens in our property. However, I do not think your review is entirely fair. Regarding the hot water in the kitchen, when you arrived we were changing the water heater and It took no longer than 30 minutes after your arrival to replace it and have it in working order. We are proud (my wife and I) to run a very neat operation and we try to take care of every detail as good as we can. All our previous reviews are a clear sign of that. Regarding the refrigerator, you checked into our property on Dec 23 and on Dec 24 we heard about the problems with the refrigerator. I immediately went to your villa, disconnected it, worked with the settings and asked you to watch it until the next morning (Dec 25). Christmas morning it was determined the refrigerator was broken and I told you I would look for a solution including either trying to locate a new one on Christmas day or getting another one from the farm. I made my best effort to locate a new refrigerator going to several towns but unfortunately most stores were closed. Unfortunately, the other refrigerator at the farm was not available. You are correct that I failed to advise you of the situation and I apologize for the inconvenience and frustration this caused you. What I do not find fair is you talking about my lack of concern. Above and beyond the house rental, I spent a great deal of time before your arrival helping you out on activities, reservations and logistics. In addition I provided you with my personal GPS since the car rental company you chose to use failed to give you one. We also helped you with a transfer for your boys to get to La Fortuna on a prebooked adventure at 6:45 AM as well as another transfer for the boys at 5:30 AM for a prebooked rafting trip (for free, no charge) because you did not want to get up that early. Yes I failed on bringing or replacing your refrigerator on Dec 25th (Christmas day) but I do not understand why you generalize and talk about my total lack of concern. It is not fair. It is indeed a beautiful property, our people do magnificent work cleaning the villa every day for you, the grounds are manicured, the best of bedding, towels, etc; but your comments make it look like what appears to be beautiful (first impression) soon turns into a headache and that is not true. We love what we do and we care! Esteban Elizondo Owner

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  • Beautiful Home and Location/ Wonderful Host

    Beautiful Home and Location/ Wonderful Host

    • Guest Terri (Cameron, NC)
    • Date of stay 12/19/12
    • Review Submitted 02/26/13
    I have so much to say about our wonderful experience, it is hard to know where to start. Esteban was wonderful and helpful from the first conversation I had with him on the phone. From our first discussion until the last email after our stay he was always very quick to respond. Esteban not only provided a beautiful home for our family for 5 nights, but he also arranged our transfer from the airport and our rental car drop off at the house get w/ a GPS. There are many excursions you can do with Esteban and never have to leave his farm. Our family rode his horses and did an ATV tour. Jonathon was our guide for the horses and ATV, and wonderful. He took great care in our safety and wanting us to have a great time. Just to give you an idea of how much Esteban cares about your stay. The day we rode the horses my oldest daughter did not have such a good time because her horse was being lazy and didn't really want to walk, much less run. Esteban was informed and the next morning Jonathon was at our door and asked if we would like to go riding again at no additional charge and my husband and girls did. During our ATVing my machine started malfunctioning. Jonathon made a phone call and in 15 mins Esteban was there with a new machine. I really recommend the ATV tour. The views are amazing and your destination is to the hot springs for you to stay as long as you'd like. The other tour we took was water rafting and Esteban made those arrangements for us and programmed our GPS to get there. We stayed in the house that was made up of 3 buildings. The main house (kit, liv/din, 1/2 bath) in the middle, the bedroom houses on either side of the main. So parents if you have older children and want your privacy as a couple this is the place for you. You'll have housekeeping everyday, they will even do your laundry. I'd like to note to anyone wanting to come to Costa Rica, if you freak out over ants, bugs, lizards, lots of things in nature Costa Rica is not the place for you. Our first night ants decided to lay their larva under a dresser it was a huge headache, ants where everywhere. This of course is no fault of Esteban, but these things do happen here. On the day we left Esteban took the time, about 20-30 mins to program our GPS and get us to our next location. Because I was having some worries about our next home he was very quick to offer any help, if we needed it. You "WILL NOT REGRET" your stay here. The biggest plus for our family was Esteban!! PROFESSIONALISM!!!

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

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  • Amazing host, accommodations and activities!

    Amazing host, accommodations and activities!

    • Guest CCB (Thousand Oaks, CA USA)
    • Date of stay 12/05/12
    • Review Submitted 12/13/12
    We stayed at the other villa which is 3 separate buildings (Villa Frutales- 2 bedrooms and main living area) on the farm. It was amazing views, clean, safe, and comfortable. Esteban arranged private tours with his guides that made the trip even more memorable. We did a day of horseback riding riding with 3 guides on private property with river crossings, views of sugar canes and pineapple plantations, hills, and cow pastures. The horses were very easy to ride for beginners like us and Juan Carlos, our guide gave us a great crash course on horses and proper riding. Esteban also sent 2 of his guides with us caving. He arranged white water rafting. And he personally took us on a crazy adventurous ATV tour on his property where you get absolutely muddy and dirty. We got to jump into a river and end the day at a beautiful and empty hot springs. To top it off, we ended our trip with a hot air balloon ride which was absolutely amazing with the "best pilot in 16 countries," our host Esteban. We had an incredible time and will highly recommend the farm and Centaura tours. We can't wait to return and have Esteban plan a more adventurous vacation for next time.

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

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  • Over The Top Riding Experience!

    Over The Top Riding Experience!

    • Guest whitebearcottage (Birdsboro, Pa.)
    • Date of stay 11/30/12
    • Review Submitted 12/08/12
    WOW! What can I say after an experience like our stay at this place. I read all the other reviews and they are 100% true. This was our 1st trip to Costa Rica and thanks to Esteban and his wonderful staff it was a trip we will never forget! Esteban interviews you to find out what your interest are and then plans a trip that is tailored to you. Just put yourself in his hands give him a call and let him make all the arrangements and suggestions. We drove ourselves from the coast and he even planned our rout and itinerary for our trip back to San Jose. The road from the cloud forest to Sarci is the drive of a lifetime. The church in Zarcero with its topiary gardens was otherworldly. I could go on and on.. Thanks Esteban! Next time will be a longer stay for sure. You are an ambassador for Costa Rica!

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

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  • Bob and Jan - the Gypsies

    Bob and Jan - the Gypsies

    • Guest Hikers (Poplar Bluff, Missouri)
    • Date of stay 11/28/12
    • Review Submitted 12/07/12
    We were so pleased with the villa and with our host, Esteban. One of our goals was to relax and there is not a more perfect place to do so. It was a short drive to Fortuna and Arenal Volcano. We enjoyed Ecotermales - hot springs - in very beautiful surroundings and also a traditional meal at La Choza de Laurel. The highlight of the week would have to be the Hot Air Balloon ride with Esteban, our pilot! It was wonderful and amazing to see Costa Rica from the sky. The landing in the farmer's field, along with meeting the farmer's family added to a wonderful experience. The Termales Del Bosque was another fantastic hot springs. Our afternoon horse back ride couldn't have been more fun, with our 3 guides. The local La Hacienda was a great restaurant. We would not have found all these places without the help of our host, Esteban. The property was exactly as described and pictured, very clean with daily housekeeping. There is a wonderful swimming pool just a few steps from the villa, and we enjoyed it when the sun came out. We highly recommend this property!

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

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  • Great stay at the Ranch!!

    Great stay at the Ranch!!

    • Guest GV (ottawa)
    • Date of stay 11/20/12
    • Review Submitted 12/06/12
    We had a wonderful stay at Esteban's ranch. In fact the moment we got there we immediately regretted we were only staying two nights!! Esteban was there to welcome us and is very friendly and speaks perfect English. He allows you to roam free on his spectacular ranch, pet his horses, eat grapefruits off the trees and plenty more!! The place was neat and tidy and Esteban was very good to provide feedback about places to go and things to do. His ranch is a little bit of a drive from the volcano and more in the country but that was what we loved about it. Very private and quiet and peaceful. Any place you want to visit or see will be less than half an hour. I also recommend taking Esteban up on his horse tour as its quite a thrill to gallop with him and his horses and get a tour of his spectacular ranch!! Highly recommended!

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

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  • Wonderful property!!

    Wonderful property!!

    • Guest K. (United States)
    • Date of stay 10/18/12
    • Review Submitted 12/11/12
    This was the first trip to Costa Rica for our group of 6 women (ranging in ages from 29-70). We stayed in the newer set of villas. We all had plenty of space, the beds were very comfortable, and the property was just gorgeous!! You really need to rent a car if you stay here, (just have them bring it to the house once you get there) and unless you know your way around Costa Rica you ABSOLUTELY need to hire a driver to get you to this property from the airport. Esteban was an amazing host!! We took Esteban's recommendations and did pretty much everything...hiking volcanos and waterfalls, hot air ballooning, hot springs, white water rafting, horseback riding, and zip lining. Due to our groups variety of ages and abilities, we did not all do everything, but we all enjoyed everything that we did!! One word of advice: do not overestimate your physical fitness...remember these guys are out hiking every day so a "normal" hike to them was challenging even to the younger and fitter members of our group...and be sure to bring comfortable shoes!! We had David as our tour guide for most of our adventures, and we all just adored him...he is very friendly and knowledgeable and made each of our outings exceptionally enjoyable. Top things: Arenal zip lining...fun and thrilling (but felt very safe), with great instructors. Hanging Bridges hike (also at Arenal Volcano)...stunning views, cool wildlife, great waterfalls. And we all LOVED the local hot springs by far the best...many different temp pools, and it was the least expensive, but by far the best one (and least touristy). There were only three minor issues that we ran across during our stay: 1. While we were there the washer and dryer were not available, so to get laundry done you had to tip extra to the housekeepers. 2. There is no air conditioning in the center building where the kitchen/living/dining room is. It does get very hot and stuffy especially when you are cooking at night, but if you open up the doors you will be host to a myriad of bugs. and 3. The walk to the pool/hot tub is down a VERY steep and slippery path, or a LONG walk around part of the property so they are not very convenient to these villas (versus being directly across from the single villa). None of these issues was a big deal, but just things to be aware of. We all highly recommend Esteban and this property..it was an amazing vacation and much fun was had by all!! Pura vida indeed!!

    Recommended for: Adventure seekers, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sightseeing.

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  • Great place

    Great place

    • Guest Josh (Colorado)
    • Date of stay 07/22/12
    • Review Submitted 07/30/12
    We had a great time at the ranch. Esteban was a lot of help setting everything up for us an making sure we were taken care of, would recommend and return again.

    Recommended for: Adventure seekers, tourists without a car, romantic getaway, sightseeing.

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  • OUTSTANDING

    OUTSTANDING

    • Guest Diana (Phoenix, AZ)
    • Date of stay 07/10/12
    • Review Submitted 07/23/12
    This villa was amazing. It was beautiful both inside and out. It was surrounded by fantastic views. The villa had top quality amenities, beds, linens, and cleaning services. Esteban was very helpful. He scheduled our rafting and canopy tours. He provided us with valuable information on where to go and what to do. The villa was centrally located near Arenal. We would definitely recommend this villa to anyone planning a trip to Costa Rica and looking to stay near the Arenal Volcano.

    Recommended for: Adventure seekers, age 55+, families with teenagers, romantic getaway, sightseeing.

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  • Highly Recommended! Beautiful property and fabulous Costa Rican hospitality!

    Highly Recommended! Beautiful property and fabulous Costa Rican hospitality!

    • Guest Marilyn (Boulder, Colorado)
    • Date of stay 07/08/12
    • Review Submitted 08/26/12
    My family (my husband and 2 sons ages 20 and 16) and I had an amazing introduction to Costa Rica at Centaura Farm! Esteban was so helpful and welcoming. He arranged a driver to pick us up from San Jose (what a relief after an over-night flight!), set up our rental car, and spent time with us finding out what our interests are so that he could arrange activities for us. In 3 days we packed in so many fun adventures and still managed to feel relaxed! We all loved the ATV ride through the fields to the beautiful hot springs lead by our guide Michael, and the exciting ride on Esteban's gorgeous, well-cared for horses with our guides Jonathan and Michael. (Just a little side note: I have been in a lot of barns and tack rooms, and nothing prepared me for how immaculate this barn was - wow! These animals are really well cared for!) We hiked near the volcano on the hanging bridges, sped down the side of the volcano on zip-line after zip-line, and had our fantastic guide Jonathan take us to the poisonous frog farm. After all these activities we knew we would be able to come back to our beautiful, well-appointed villa and kick back in the hammocks or swim in the pool, and enjoy the amazing view of the farm and the mountains in the background. We loved having the horses and the water buffalo close by, and the family dog Gitana was always happy to greet us! Everyone at Centaura farm was so nice and happy to help us! I cannot say enough how great it was to have Esteban help us plan our vacation before and during our visit. He was such a wonderful host! All his suggestions were right on, and he absolutely follows through on everything he says. Our only regrets were that our visit was so short and that we didn't get to meet his wife Monica and their kids! And we would have loved to have gone up in the hot air balloon - we want to return!! Hope to see you in Snowmass!

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

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  • Incredible Place/Memorable Experiences

    Incredible Place/Memorable Experiences

    • Guest Michele (New York City)
    • Date of stay 06/30/12
    • Review Submitted 07/22/12
    Words cannot describe what warm memories my family has of this villa and ranch. As others have said, the villa is better than the pictures capture, with high-end appointments, large bedrooms, excellent kitchen appliances, impeccable maid service and spectacular views (if you choose, there are floor to ceiling views of the volcanoes even from the huge tub in the fantastic master bath). I have stayed in many luxury villas before, and I was very happy with this villa. It is perfect for two couples or a family of five. You don't feel as if you're on a working ranch when inside either, or when swimming in the pool only steps from the villa's front door; but the ranch is absolutely beautiful in any event with beautiful plantings, palms and citrus trees, and rolling meadows. If you have kids, run, don't walk to rent this place. Our 9-year-old boys adored the stables. They were able to run around freely on the property, help feed the horses and pet the pigs. The ranch staff was fabulous with them. Esteban and Monica's fabulous son, Andres, was also a wonderful host. You could not meet a more fabulous family. I recommend that you let Esteban help with your itinerary. I'm a skeptical sort, but Esteban made excellent recommendations for activities, e.g., white water rafting and ziplining. Most importantly, he kept us out of the tourist trap operations around the Arenal Volcano and steered us toward activities that were perfect for us. Finally, you can enjoy this villa whether you ride horses or not, but I have to add that we had an amazing day of horseback riding, better than any riding I've done in the States. The horses were impeccably trained. The ride took us through rivers and forests, and we got to see sloths, birds and huge chameleons. With a guide, plus Monica and Andres to make sure our family of four was safe, we were able to gallop to our hearts content (despite this being my childrens' first riding experience). Fantastic. We'll never forget it, and the price for the riding was very reasonable. Thank you, Esteban, Monica, Andres, and your fabulous staff. We will definitely be back.

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

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  • Fabulous Start to our Trip with 3 school age kids

    Fabulous Start to our Trip with 3 school age kids

    • Guest Rebecca and family (Vancouver, BC, CANADA)
    • Date of stay 06/24/12
    • Review Submitted 07/30/12
    We spent 5 days here before heading to the Pacific Coast and LOVED IT! Esteban was extremely helpful before and during our visit, the villa was perfect for our family of 5 and our adventures in the area were unforgettable. The villa is first class but also let us experience life in the wild as we cooked with geckos above our heads and watched amazing lightening storms from the hammock. The kids loved the pool, especially at night with fruit bats whirring above our heads. We went white water river rafting, swam at a waterfall, hiked near the volcano, enjoyed the town of La Fortuna and spent a day trail riding on Estaban's beautiful horses. We would definitely recommend staying here and hope to visit again someday.

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

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  • A Great Place to Stay - Pura Vida!!

    A Great Place to Stay - Pura Vida!!

    • Guest John & Jen (Northern NJ)
    • Date of stay 04/28/12
    • Review Submitted 07/26/12
    Pura vida, WoW! This place was everything we read about and more. My wife and I and our 3 young boys (ages 7, 5 and 2) stayed at Esteban and Monica’s ranch from April 28 to May 5 th , 2012. This was by far the best vacation we ever had and we all left with a lifetime of fond memories of extraordinary hospitality, spectacular accommodations, and breathtaking activities. Esteban was extremely helpful in arranging our activities. During our stay, we enjoyed hiking through the rainforest and hanging bridges, horseback riding thru rivers and sugar cane fields, bathing in volcanic hot springs, zip lining down the side of a volcano, journeying into the crater of a 700 year old dormant volcano (Rio Celeste); exploring million year old caves, and flying in a hot air balloon where we descended upon the rain forest to survey howler monkeys and ascended into the heavens to touch a cloud (an experience our 5 and 7 year old will treasure forever) A special shout out to our guide Donald who was extremely knowledgeable and amazing with our kids. Yes, we were able to do all this even with a 2 year old. Esteban arranged for one of his staff to watch our 2 year old son during some of these activities (i.e. horseback riding, zip lines and the hot air balloon ride). The villa was spectacular and perfect for a family of 5. The layout was like a garden of Eden. Our sons slept in the one bedroom and my wife and I in the other; a well equipped open kitchen and balcony overlooked a beautiful pasture where we laid on hammocks and watched the horses and water buffalo roam; we enjoyed walks down to the immaculate stables just below the villa to feed the horses and 2 pigs and swam in the pool and hot-tub right behind our villa. My 5 and 7 year old sons even befriended Esteban’s son, and they now want to learn Spanish. Our 2 year old son misses Etana, the family dog that often visited our villa. It was the perfect vacation! Muchas gracias Esteban, Monica and the wonderful staff.

    Recommended for: Adventure seekers, families with young children.

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  • Pura Vida

    Pura Vida

    • Guest Nathalia and Jack (Denver, Colorado)
    • Date of stay 04/16/12
    • Review Submitted 05/03/12
    The description and photos do not give justice to this amazing place! My husband and I and another couple came to Cost Rica for a wedding but wanted to see as much of the country as possible a few days prior to the beach wedding. After extensive searching on VRBO, I came across this listing. We actually stayed in the new villa with three separate buildings, a center living room, kitchen and dining area with two separate buildings (one on either side of main building), each a master bedroom suite. Esteban and Monica were gracious and most helpful in arranging all the adventure anyone could ask for. The horseback riding was the best ever! I have never seen such beautiful stables and amazing horses. We rode with freedom and yet with expert guidance through the acreage on La Centaura's property. My husband and I did the Rainforest rapelling (an adventure we will never forget!) while our friends went white water rafting, we all did an ATV ride to the most beautiful hot springs rarely visited by tourists due to it's secluded location. Sadly we were rained out of the rain forest trek...yes, rained out! but were able to spend the day in an ECO center with a very knowledgable guide,Donald, arranged by Esteban. We also went ziplining and were guided to restaurants and other sites in the Arenal area by our host, Esteban. The only adventure we could not squeeze in was the hot air balloon ride. Hopefully we will see Esteban in Snowmass when he comes to Colorado. We will just have to miss any volcanic sites! La Centaura was truly the highlight of our 11 day trip and the BEST that Costa Rica has to offer, in our opinion. If you are traveling to CR....do NOT miss this home or the Arenal, La Fortuna area. Oh...and after we arrived, Esteban provided us with a GPS system which is absolutly something you should not be without if you are driving!

    Recommended for: Adventure seekers, age 55+, girls getaway, romantic getaway, sightseeing.

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  • Beautiful Private Villa With Great Views

    Beautiful Private Villa With Great Views

    • Guest Doug H. (Goshen, IN)
    • Date of stay 03/30/12
    • Review Submitted 04/14/12
    As other reviews have said, the pictures do not do this place justice. Our villa consisted of three separate buildings. Two of the buildings were bedrooms with separate living areas and a bathroom. The third building was a living area with a big screen TV, stereo system, kitchen, living area, and dining area. The bedrooms are air conditioned while the living area relies on opening up the doors and windows to allow a breeze through. The kitchen is well done but has no dishwasher. Not to worry, though, because the housekeeper who cleaned each of the units daily also washed all of the dishes. This villa was very well done with high end appointments. The villa has a great view looking out on the horse ranch and the outlying hills. There are hammocks on the front porch of the two bedroom units, and we used these to lay out with the beautiful view and read a book. You will love having Esteban to help. He is very hospitable. We had no cell phone that would work in Costa Rica, so he immediately gave us a cell phone to use and told us to call him at any time. He gave us advice on activities based upon our interests, and he booked for us hot air ballooning, whitewater rafting, canyoning, and hot springs. All of his recommendations were excellent. The only downside to this villa is its distance from restaurants and activities. The restaurants in the area are largely traditional Costa Rican food very reasonably priced, and while we enjoyed doing that, we also found ourselves driving to Fortuna for other restaurant options. It took about 30 minutes to get to Fortuna, which is also where the activity companies originated from. But the plus side to this is that you get more of the Costa Rican experience, you have privacy, and you really feel like you are getting away from it all. Lastly, Esteban took care of renting our vehicle for us. He made arrangements for a transport to pick us up at the airport because we were arriving late. The next morning, Alamo was at our villa with our Toyota Rav 4. We had no GPS, so Esteban loaned us his, which was a huge help in getting around. Without a GPS, it is very difficult to get around. I read maps well, but road markings are not good and it is easy to get lost. When we left to go to Quepos, he loaned us the GPS for the rest of the trip and Alamo sent it back to Fortuna for him to pick up. I highly recommend this villa. You won't regret it!

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

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  • Experience Costa Rica at it's best!

    Experience Costa Rica at it's best!

    • Guest Kdavis (Denver, co)
    • Date of stay 03/26/12
    • Review Submitted 04/06/12
    Our stay at Esteban & Monica's beautiful farm made for one of the best vacations we have ever had. Our family, including my mother and two daughters 8 & 11 had the most amazing 5 days at the farm. The Villas are beautiful, impeccably clean and the view is outstanding. Esteban and his entire staff were so gracious and welcoming and made sure our stay was as enjoyable as possible. He arranged all of our activities, programed our GPS each day and provided the best adventures we could have asked for. We rode ATVs to the hot springs with his wonderful guides Michael and Donald, went to the ECOglide zip line (highly recommend) and hiked at the beautiful Rio Celeste with Donald. Donald was the best guide for our famliy. He took great care of us and made sure we did and saw everything we wanted to. Including a sloth way up in the trees as we were driving 60 down the road home from our hike! We only wished that we could have had a few more days at the farm; 5 was not enough for us. We highly recommend that you stay with Esteban and Monica for a true Costa Rican experience. No need to worry about anything. They will take excellent care of you and your family and make sure your vacation is one of a life time. We hope to return again and again. Esteban-Thank you so very much for everything you did for us! We miss the farm very much and the peacefulness of Plaza Plantanar. We also miss Hetana and seeing her sweet face each day! The beach was fun but I wish we would have spent more time at the farm. We look forward to seeing you in Sept. in Snowmass! The girls say hello and muchas gracias! Pura Vida!!

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

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  • Pura Vida!

    Pura Vida!

    • Guest Maryana (Edmonton, Canada)
    • Date of stay 03/23/12
    • Review Submitted 04/08/12
    Not only was our stay on the horse ranch breathtaking and relaxing, it was a great central jumping off point for all of our adventure activities with close restaurants near by for dinner too. It is a short drive from the farm to La Fortuna (about 25mins). It was completely secluded and we felt 100% safe. Esteban was so helpful in helping us to plan our activities and excursions. We went to places that only locals knew about and that were mostly free of charge :). He also helped us before the trip (for advice and local knowledge) as well as helping us map out our route for our drive to the west coast. The grounds and villas were cleaned and maintained everyday and the property was a gem. It was a great find. We definitely will be returning to this villa next time we come to Costa Rica. It was just Pura Vida! I would recommend this villa to any families that want a safe and clean 'home base' for all of your excursions in La Fortuna and surrounding areas. It was fabulous! Thanks Esteban!

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

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  • Pura Vida!

    Pura Vida!

    • Guest Maryana (Edmonton, Canada)
    • Date of stay 03/23/12
    • Review Submitted 04/08/12
    Not only was our stay on the horse ranch breathtaking and relaxing, it was a great central jumping off point for all of our adventure activities with close restaurants near by for dinner too. It is a short drive from the farm to La Fortuna (about 25mins). It was completely secluded and we felt 100% safe. Esteban was so helpful in helping us to plan our activities and excursions. We went to places that only locals knew about and that were mostly free of charge :). He also helped us before the trip (for advice and local knowledge) as well as helping us map out our route for our drive to the west coast. The grounds and villas were cleaned and maintained everyday and the property was a gem. It was a great find. We definitely will be returning to this villa next time we come to Costa Rica. It was just Pura Vida! I would recommend this villa to any families that want a safe and clean 'home base' for all of your excursions in La Fortuna and surrounding areas. It was fabulous! Thanks Esteban!

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

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  • Fantastic experience

    Fantastic experience

    • Guest Lynn (Maryville, Tennessee)
    • Date of stay 03/10/12
    • Review Submitted 03/17/12
    Our stay at this villa was perfect in every way. The villa is private, tasteful and spacious. Fresh flowers were awaiting our arrival, and maid service was provided daily. There is a pool and a hot tub for your use. The view is beautiful and relaxing. This home is just far enough away from town to allow you to relax after full days of activities. The closest town, La Fortuna, is a tourist town and not very pretty. There is no reason to stay there as you can easily drive into town or elsewhere to take advantage of the activities and sights offered in this region. I traveled with two children, ages 12 and 14, and can easily describe this as a trip of a lifetime. We all highly recommend canyoneering down a waterfall, and white water rafting. We were also fortunate to be able to ride some of the horses on the property and ride ATVs to a local hot spring. So many good memories were made, and all thanks to the charming owners. The owners asked us what we wanted to do and made all of the arrangements. He gave us a GPS to be sure we did not get lost, and visited us in the evening to be sure we had a good time and to confirm our plans for the next day. When I expressed concern about being able to drive to the airport (the roads in Costa Rica are not well marked) he arranged for a driver. Every need was anticipated and graciously met. There is no doubt that we will visit this country and this villa again - none of us wanted to leave!

    Recommended for: Adventure seekers, families with teenagers, girls getaway.

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  • Exceeded all or our Expectations!

    Exceeded all or our Expectations!

    • Guest tvmailhot (Olive Branch, MS (Memphis, TN area))
    • Date of stay 03/08/12
    • Review Submitted 03/25/12
    I cannot say enough nice, positive and encouraging accolades when it comes to not only the villa itself but the owners Esteban and Monica. Esteban arranged for almost every detail of our visit in the La Fortuna area. From the moment I contacted Esteban to get details of his property 3 months prior until the day we left, he went above in beyond to ensure our visit was everything and more than we expected. Esteban spent almost an hour on the phone with me the very FIRST time I contacted him regarding the Centaura Farm and Villa. His view was very objective and informative allowing me to make the best decision for our family. Not only was he beneficial in recommendations for La Fortuna, he actually helped me select the second phase of our vacation on the pacific coast. Without Esteban’s advice, guidance and expertise, I would have NEVER been able to plan such an amazing trip for myself, Husband and our 7 year old daughter. Beyond initial logistical planning advice, Esteban was basically advised and planned EVERY ONE of our adventures in the La Fortuna and surrounding area. We road ATV’s to the Thermal Hot Springs with a very capable staff member of Esteban’s, Michael. Guided us to the best location for visiting a cloud forest, rain forest and canopy tours. In addition, Esteban arranged for and scheduled additional Hot Spring visits at EcoTermeles and EcoGlide Zipline for a wonderful full day of fun with our daughter. Our final day, Monica and Pedro, guided us through the lovely Costa Rican country on horseback. What an amazing way to experience such a beautiful country! We feel in love with the country and will definitely be back. Esteban - No puedo agradecerles lo suficiente por su ayuda generosa hospitalidad y paciencia como lo habíamos planeado y con experiencia de La Fortuna, Costa Rica. Gracias por lo mucho y esperamos verlos de nuevo algún día. Do NOT hesitate to book this amazing villa and experience! It will be one you will never forget and cherish for a lifetime.

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

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  • Magical

    Magical

    • Guest Katherine M. (Santa Fe, NM)
    • Date of stay 02/26/12
    • Review Submitted 03/13/12
    Our family can't even begin to describe the amazing experience we had here at the farm. When we first decided to come to Costa Rica we couldn't decide if we wanted to go inland at all or just do a classic beach vacation. By the end of our time at Esteban's, our son cried "I don't want to leave, I don't want to go to the beach". With 3 middle age children (8,9 and 12) we were concerned that it might be too tranquil of a setting and not enough to do. How wrong we were. We could have easily spent weeks at this place and been content and enchanted with adventures at our fingertips. Esteban and Monica run a first class operation. The home is beautiful, modern, impeccably kept and was the perfect resting spot for our family when we weren't out on an adventure. And Esteban was always willing and available to help us determine which adventures we wanted to take. We rode horses, hiked to waterfalls, went to hot springs, ziplined through the canopy top in the rain (an experience non of us will ever forget!) and enjoyed the pool in our downtime. There were so many other activities we simply didn't have time to take advantage of which is why we will definitely be back and why we will again choose this magical farm to stay!

    Recommended for: Adventure seekers, families with teenagers, families with young children, girls getaway, romantic getaway, sightseeing.

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  • Great place to stay in the La Fortuna area.

    Great place to stay in the La Fortuna area.

    • Guest Camille & Gina (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada)
    • Date of stay 01/23/12
    • Review Submitted 04/25/12
    We had a great stay at Esteban and Monica's farm. We stayed in the new villa, which consists of 3 buildings, two of which each contain a bedroom/bathroom/sitting area/front porch and the center building contains the kitchen/dining/living area as well as a half-bath. The buidlings are very well maintained and were cleaned very well each day. We loved waking early, putting on some awesom Costa Rican cofffee and sitting looking out over the mist-filled valley, with only the sounds of the parrots in the big trees overhead and the occasional horse or rooster. We would watch the hummingbirds dart around the in the citrus trees and the rest of the lush tropical vegetation. We also enjoyed making some great meals in the well-appointed kitchen. The king bed in the master bedroom building was extremely comfortable and the bathroom had a large shower. The pool and hot tub were great, although they are a bit of a walk from the new villa or a very short drive. We did not get the chance to spend a lot of time with Monica and Esteban, but they were very helpful and friendly and seem like a great family. Esteban also helped us with some suggestion for places to go and even arranged our car rental for the entire trip. We agree with the rest of the positive reviews and only wish we could have stayed longer. Thanks again Esteban and Monica

    Recommended for: Adventure seekers, families with young children, romantic getaway, sightseeing.

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  • Private, Quiet and Quality!!!!

    Private, Quiet and Quality!!!!

    • Guest Wayne & Melanie (Texas)
    • Date of stay 01/19/12
    • Review Submitted 01/31/12
    If you are looking for a quiet, off the beaten path place to stay that is still close to many major attractions then look no more. My husband and I stayed here 4 nights and wished we would have booked longer. The furnishings are quality and the area is absolutely perfect. If you're looking for a non-touristy area....this is it!!!! Esteban helped us plan our activities and even loaned us his GPS and mapped out a route for a breathtaking drive one day. Make sure you do the hot air balloon ride too.....once in a lifetime experience with undescribable beauty.

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

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  • An Amazing and Seamless Introduction to a Beautiful Country

    An Amazing and Seamless Introduction to a Beautiful Country

    • Guest FlyGirl (Brooklyn, NY)
    • Date of stay 01/11/12
    • Review Submitted 03/21/12
    I would come back here in a heartbeat. We were 2 couples in our late 20's, early 30's and we had never traveled together before and the house, location and Esteban's great suggestions made for a fabulous and memorable trip. The house is just off the main road and up an unpaved rocky path. When we rolled up around midnight,Esteban, the proprietor, was waiting our arrival. We felt bad for keeping him up, but kudos for a warm welcome. The house/compound is unbelievably gorgeous. The compound we stayed at consisted of 3 very new and detached casitas with huge sliding glass patio doors perched on top of a seclude hill. There were a couple of houses in the back of the compound but the shrubbery and landscaping made me forget they existed. To the left was a master bedroom w/ a sitting room and a bathroom, the middle consisted of a kitchen/living/half bath area with cable tv, wireless internet & to the right was another bedroom with a queen and two twins and it's own bathroom w. shower (my husband and I stayed in this one). The beds were comfy and the kitchen w. new appliances had everything we needed. The only downside is the master bedroom didn't have any hot water in their bathroom and the cable/internet was out. However, the inconviences were quickly remedied. There were chests of drawers in our bedroom but a hanging closet would've been nice. Every morning I would make breakfast with the sun streaming in through the glass doors and I would have a breathtaking view of humming birds flitting around the citrus trees and the lush vegetation of the farm fields and hills in the distance. I felt so lucky to have this opportunity especially since we live in the concrete jungle of New York City. As much as we loved staying at the villa, there were places to be explored. Admittedly, before we left for Costa Rica and I was asking about an itinerary, my travelmate said, "Don't worry, Esteban knows what to do." This statement worried me, but after meeting him I knew that we were in good hands. He asked us our interests. My husband and I are adventures and our travelmates were not so much. Yet he made these awesome suggestions that pleased both our traveling styles. Through him we seamlessly arranged hot springs, hiking, horseback riding, rafting & the awe-inspiring hot air balloon ride. He even lent us a cell phone and a GPS. More importantly, he hooked us up with a great guide, Donald and recommended a fabulous restaurant whos Tres Leches Cake I still dream about.

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