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The Units: There are 3 separate Units: The Main House, the Guest House and Caretakers’ House: • The Main House: It has a large deck with a small swimming pool, 2 outside (but undercover) tables that can be used for any of the meals (these tables can be put together for larger groups). Inside there is general area with living room and dinning room on one side and a kitchen area with a long and high bar type table with stools. There is also a full bathroom and a food and supplies walk in closet. On the second floor there are 3 rooms. 2 of these rooms are a type of loft overlooking the downstairs area; they have 2 separate Queen Size beds (2.00x1.50m). Although we count these Queen Size beds for 1 person, a couple or 2 children can sleep in them. There is a master bedroom with a King Size bed (2.00x2.00m), a private full bathroom and a closet. In front of the master bedroom there is a balcony overlooking the ocean. • The Guest House: The guest house has a room upstairs and one downstairs. The downstairs room has a small deck in front overlooking the ocean; the bedroom has King Size bed (2.00x2.00m), a Single Size bed (1.00x1.90m) and a full private bathroom. The room upstairs is a very large room with 2 balconies (one overlooking the ocean and the other one the pool) and a private full bathroom. It has 2 single size beds (1.00x1.90m), set together forming a King Size bed that can be separated. It also has 2 additional Single Size beds (1.00x1.90m).
Notes: You can select to use any room you want but once selected, please do not change rooms because the maintenance people would have to clean and wash after them also (There is no washing machine and all the washing has to be done by hand). There are a few extra mattresses in case of need.
2. The House: • Water: The water in the house comes from a natural spring and can be used as drinking water (we do so). • Hot Water for the Shower or Sink: The Main House as well as the Guest House, have a gas heated hot water supply. If somebody else took a long shower before you, let the tank heat the water for about 10 Min. so that you have a full hot tank for your own use. • Electricity: We now have electricity in the house. There is a power plant runed by diesel just in case the electricity goes out. • Radio/CD: We have an AM/FM Radio / CD. We normally have a small selection of CD’s but you are welcome to bring your own (remember to pack them as you leave). We are in the process of adapting the AM/FM Radio /CD for an IPOD hook-up . • Refrigerator: The house is equiped with a standar refrigerator and we have two big coolers that can be used to store all source of supplies in good condition. You can ask the caretaker for help to buy the ice. The nearest place is in Uvita. • Telephone: We have recently installed a telephone line (the number is 2786 5590). • Cooking: All the cooking is done with gas. We have a large kitchen with 4 burners a grill and an oven. • Garbage: For environmental reasons, we have 2 separate garbage deposits. One for Paper and Plastics and the other for Organic Matter. Glass and Metal cans will be handled separately also. • Pool: The water in the pool comes also from the spring with a small continuous flow. We treat it with a metal ionization system by ChlorFree (non-chlorine) to maintain it at healthy levels for everybody’s use. • Candles: Due to the flammable construction materials used in building the house we do not allow any candles in the rooms. You can use candles at the outdoor tables and areas where they can be supervised at all times. • Torches: Out on the Deck we have torches that are lit at sundown. The caretaker will blow them off when they are retiring (For security purposes we do not want to leave them during the night without supervision).
3. Services: We have a couple that take care of the maintenance and cleaning of the house and can also cook for you. They have their own house (next to the main house) and generally come early in the morning (around 7:00AM) to clean the main house and prepare breakfast. They also will show up to help with lunch (around 12:00PM) and late afternoon (5:00PM) to light the outside torches and help with serving drinks and dinner preparation. If you need them at any other time, just call them. • Cooking: The caretakers wife can cook for you (following your instructions) or you can use them to assist you. If you like to try some of our local food, they can prepare rice and beans and fresh hand made tortillas (you will have to remember to purchase the corn flower for tortillas and the rice and beans). • The Grill: Anytime you want to use the outside Grill, you can ask the caretaker and he will look for the wood and prepare it for you. • Cleaning: The caretakers will maintain the house and clean all the rooms and bathrooms. • Linen and Towels: Both are included with the house. In regards to the towels, please use them in the House or Deck areas only (do not take them to the beach, washing is done by hand and it is very difficult to take the sand out of them). If you are going to need towels for the beach, please bring your own. • Rooms and Beds: After your breakfast, the caretakers will clean your rooms and make up your beds. If you want this done at other times you need to tell them. • Washing: If you need anything to be washed, the caretakers will do it for a small gratuity. • Drinks and beverages: The caretakers have a general idea how to prepare drinks and beverages but you have to show them how to prepare certain drinks. Depending on the season and availability, they can bring you coconut juice from nearby trees. • Supplies: Bathroom soap and toiled paper are included with the house. You should bring whatever goods you are going to consume. In the San Jose area you can find a larger variety of goods but there are different areas close to the house where you can buy most of your needs. • Additional help: If you need additional help, either of the caretakers can arrange it for you. The hourly rate should be close to $2.00. • Tipping: This is strictly based on your opinion and how you were treated, but in general terms, our friends leave a tip of $15-20.00 per couple after spending a long weekend in our house. For a week or longer stay we suggest a larger amount per couple.
* Approximate Monthly rates, actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay
Additional information about rental rates
50% in advance to make reservation
50% to complete total payment upon arrival
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• The Beach: Ballena is the only national marine park in Costa Rica. To the south of our house the beach tends to have a wider sand area and to the north, climbing over the hill through a small path you gain access to a very nice beach called Playa de Arco with beautiful views and totally isolated.
• The small Islands in front of the beach (Ballena – in front and Tres Hermanas – to the left): There are many bird species that live on the island. If you go snorkeling (best during low tide) you can see the different fish and coral species that were a factor in selecting the site to be a national park.
• Isla del Caño: About a 1.5 hour boat ride will take you to small island with great fishing area and nice beaches.
• Delta: A few miles to the south of Ballena lies the largest delta in America on the Pacific side (about 50 Km wide). You can rent a boat and see the mangrove wildlife and can go as far as you want into the different channels and parts of it. Going south towards the delta, you pass along a beach called Playa Ventanas. This beach has natural windows/ holes in the rocks interesting to see. If you go by car, just go south on the road, pass Ventanas and the entrance towards Ojochal, about 1 km after the bridge you will be able to see the north side of the delta.
• Colonial/banana plantation houses in Palmar Sur: Airport area (front and particularly behind or back road).
• Pre-Columbian rock spheres: In Palmar Sur. You can see them in the park (in front of the airport) and further south (on the road to Sierpe).
• Corcovado National Park: To the south, at the Peninsula de Osa, you can find the Corcovado National Park. About 1.5 hours by boat. There are very nice beaches in that area and you could visit the park, have lunch in Bahía Drake (Drake’s Bay) or any of the small hotels in the area.
• Horseback Riding or Hiking: You can ride on the beach or go to the mountains at the back of the house. The caretakers can arrange for that and be your guide. You can also visit the waterfalls close to Uvita or the largest ones close to Tinamastes del Baru, between San Isidro and Dominical – there is a tour on horseback that you could schedule on the way from San Isidro to Dominical.
• Sightseeing: The caretakers can take you hiking in the mountains (you can shorten the time by driving part of the way) and there are different small roads that you can access by car with incredible views. If you visit the Dominical area, there are various small roads that go parallel to the coastal road but on the upper part of the mountains. This is a very nice drive to do on an afternoon before the sunset.
• Waterfalls: There are several waterfalls in the area that the caretakers can guide you to.
• Fishing, sailing, boating, kayaking, and water skiing: The caretakers can direct you to the right people in Bahía to contract for these services. You can also find these services in Dominical.
• Scuba Diving and Snorkeling: There is a nice shop in the Ventanas small strip mall (about 5 min. south of Ballena, behind the Gas Station). They rent equipment and give lessons also.
• Surfing: Dominical is a very nice surfing beach but be careful if you are a beginner. There are at least two surf shops in the village and you can inquire about their services. There are other beaches and particular spots between Dominical and Ballena; - one of them is Dominicalito and the beach south of it. Have in mind that most of the areas are better during high tide. Depending on the day and tides, you can do some surfing and have some fun just in front of the house (and better about 200m south of the house on our beach) but there are great places in the areas explained above.
• Ultra-Light Planes: In Uvita/Bahia you can schedule a ride on the Ultra-Light Planes. This will give you a good idea of the area from the air.