reviews for: listing #286294vb - Dominical, Costa Rica rental

250-Acre Private Jungle Reserve with Ocean Views
  • bedrooms  8
  • pool  yes
  • type  Villa
  • baths  8
  • hot tub  no
  • rates (USD)  $ 475 - $ 600 / night
    $ 3,185 - $ 4,200 / week
  • sleeps  16
  • pets considered  no

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Livin la Pura Vida

Review submitted: January 16, 2014   Date of arrival: January 5, 2014

Selva Escondida was at the end, and most definitely the highlight of our Costa Rican adventure. As we made our way up the steep winding road to the entrance of the property, we were greeted by life sized mayanesque statues, a large iron gate and Vin. Vin (pronounced bean), the property manager, opened the gate and lead us through a 1/2 mile winding jungle mountain driveway, handed us the keys to the casa and left us to it. As he drove away we looked at each other in amazement realizing that we had just arrived at Shangri La.

Since we spent most of our trip doing laborious/adventurous things all around the Osa Peninsula, Selva Escondida provided a different kind of Pura Vida experience. It was one of relaxation, comfort and jungle luxury mixed together to create the ultimate existence. I cannot put into words the feeling I had waking up to the sun rising over the mountain as I looked down my toes to the ocean from our bed. Each morning we would wake up with the sun, eat fresh fruit and drink coffee on the wraparound porch and snap pic after pic of the jungle canopy and shoreline. The pool stays cool up there so it's the perfect refreshing start (middle and end) to the day.

For day trips we highly recommend going to Ballena National Park, which is only 5 minutes away. Another close excursion is to visit Dominical (16km to the north). It's a sleepy little surf town with restaurants, decent waves and a lot of local vendors selling souvenirs, clothing and other tchotchkes. While in Dominical we were lucky enough to have two whales fully breach just off of the shoreline, it was truly a magical experience. We also suggest you spend a day finding your very own secluded beach somewhere along the Costanera (generally you can find one by just turning off of the highway towards the coast at a random dirt road… keep the car within vision if you have belongings in there). Again, we spent a lot of time just relaxing at the house and living the ultimate dream.

On the property, Vin took us on a great hike to the Mirador. There is a direct short hike on a well maintained trail or you can take "the loop" around and through the jungle, which we highly recommend if you're somewhat fit. We saw howler monkeys, whiteface monkeys, toucans, geckos, praying mantis, and many other flora and fauna of the rain forest.

I've been coming to Costa Rica for ten years, and Selva Escondida is by far an inimitable experience. Thanks Jason and Annick!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 0 / 0


Awesome home!

Review submitted: April 4, 2013   Date of arrival: March 24, 2013

This home is amazing. Very beautiful in every way. Large and spacious! My kids LOVED the pool and spent every spare minute playing in it. The jungle is beautiful and we spent a lot of time observing the birds and looking for animals. When we couldn't find a monkey, Vin, the caretaker took us to one in a matter of minutes. It was just above a road on the property. Later, we saw several in a tree from the back patio. Every night, we went walking on the roads around the property for wildlife and saw several tree frogs, frogs, toads and interesting bugs.

Jason, the home owner set up an awesome horseback tour through the jungle and to Nauyaca Falls for us. It was through a local Costa Rican family (not a tourist trap). They fed us breakfast and lunch. Most of the food we ate was grown by them. Very delicous and fun swimming at the falls.

Jason also gave us the contact info for a deep sea fishing guide. He lives in Sierpe. We had the boat all to ourselves, so he offered to take us deep sea fishing, through the Mangroves, and to the beach. We also saw dolphins and sea turltes. We caught tuna, pompano and amberjack. The lunch he made us was great.

We scheduled an ATV tour through the jungle through Adventure Motorsports in Uvita (10 minutes south of Dominical). We swam at a waterfall and they fed us lunch. We loved this.

We also scheduled a snorkeling tour through Bahia Adventuras which included a 30 minutes hike at Corcovado Park and lunch. This was one of our favorite things we did even though it's an 1 1/2 boat ride.

Jason was very good at answering all my questions and giving me lots of info about restaurants and things to do in the area. For sure, go to the Jolly Roger right down the dirt road and get Troubador wings and honey BBQ wings. YUM! For sure try casado every chance you get. (standard Costa Rican food).

Vin the caretaker only speaks Spanish but is the sweetest man ever. He took us on a 45 minute hike on the property to a shelter up high that has an awesome view. Maids come 3 times a week.

The house doesn't have air conditioning, but we were fine without it and we were there when it was hot.

I would definately recommend this house. My family still misses it!

Helpful votes: 3 / 3


will definitely come back again!

Review submitted: January 18, 2013   Date of arrival: January 20, 2012

We spent our honeymoon in Costa Rica and stayed at Salva Escondida for over a week. It was the most beautiful, astonishing and relaxing experience, we enjoyed it 100%.

The property is huge, situated ideally in the middle of the jungle, on top of some mountains, with a breathtaking view over the Pacific Ocean, offering picturesque sunsets each evening. The house is very clean and tastefully furnished. The patio and pool leave nothing to desire, you could stay there for days, simply enjoying the clean water, the great view, the interesting noises of the jungle, and the fresh food and cool drinks.

Each day you can find new exciting plants and animals around the property - pecans, monkeys, frogs etc. At the same time, there are no mosquitos or undesirable vermin around the house. The air is wonderfully fresh, and your body and spirit become part of the jungle - you go to bed with the jungle, and get up when the several noises of the jungle imply that it is waking up. A wonderful and unique experience of nature!

You can book very private and personal tours (horse riding, whale watching, kayaking etc.) with the help of the property owners, and national parks are within driving distance for day trips.

We will definitely come back to this paradise!

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

Helpful votes: 0 / 0


HIdden oasis

Review submitted: January 13, 2013   Date of arrival: December 30, 2012

Amazing location. Local guide only speaks Spanish but he is very helpful as well as Jason (the owner) in helping coordinate your dream vacation. We got help with having a chef come to the house, setting up new year eve's fireworks, bonfire, local hikes, and more. We saw 2 different types of toucans and had close encounters with howler monkeys daily. Highly recommend for a jungle/beach adventure

Recommended for: adventure seekers, girls getaway, sight seeing

Helpful votes: 0 / 0


Selva Escondida - our jungle paradise!

Review submitted: November 18, 2012   Date of arrival: June 16, 2012

Stunning panoramic ocean views from this jungle paradise are worth the visit alone. Mornings began with delicious local fruits and perfect Costa Rican coffee on the balcony while we contemplated the day's possibilities. A lazy early morning trek around the property to admire the jungle landscape and maybe even get a little exercise, always delivered wonderful surprises. Our young kids squealed with delight at the occasional monkey sighting. Given the estate's perfect location, a short ride in any direction brought us new and exciting activities. Horseback riding to a take a dip under a beautiful waterfall, reef fishing (to catch that night's dinner!), shell hunting on the expansive "Whale Tail" beach and surfing the funky 70s throwback beach at Dominicale. At our own "vacation" pace, we took in much during our week's stay and still left much more untapped for our return visit(s) - including some fantastic restaurants and "local flavor" watering holes. Returning home to the estate after each adventure was as anticipated as the day's outing. An afternoon round in the pool for the kids while I read about the latest world events (yes there is high speed internet!) for me was a great finish to the day. I loved watching the occasional light afternoon tropical shower build over the ocean; providing a delightful breeze. With two families (5 adults and 4 children) in our group, we had plenty of room to stretch out and relax in wonderfully comfortable accommodations. The home is perfectly designed and situated to allow the most enjoyment of this incredible property. Did I forget to mention the fantastic massages - from a local yoga instructor - if so inclined. We took the "easier" relaxed version of this special place. For a more adventurous and physical retreat, challenging, rugged excursions are right out the front door. Maybe next time.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 2 / 2


Absolutely Perfect

Review submitted: November 13, 2012   Date of arrival: July 1, 2012

This is without a doubt the most beautiful place I have ever seen. It is in a perfect location near Dominical and Puntarenas and very close to the best beaches and surfing. It has every amenity, even relatively high speed internet. What really sets this place apart is the 250 acres of jungle and former teak plantation that comes with it. It's on an easy and private drive on the mountains overlooking La Ballena (the Whale's Tail beach), with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, plunging cliffs, and mountainous jungle. The mansion itself is perfect, with a really nice pool and multiple verandas with incredibly dynamic views. The views include the ocean pounding on the rugged Pacific coastline that sweeps to the horizon and stretches of vast, jungle covered mountains, covered with mist. But the acreage itself is something my family and I will never forget. It is noisy with wildlife. There are easy hikes around the estate or up into the jungle that my young children had no problem managing. There are also some much more challenging hikes that require real fitness and daring due to the size of the estate and the ruggedness of the terrain. It was an amazing feeling, being surrounded by an entire private jungle. There are plenty of restaurants and bars that are very close by as well. This place offers an experience that is absolutely on another level. If you're looking for a rental of this size in Costa RIca, then this is the one.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 2 / 2


Selva Escondida

Review submitted: November 4, 2012   Date of arrival: July 2, 2012

This is the BEST experience we had with Costa Rica. This is a great place if you are traveling with a large group or have children. The pool is fabulous, taking a refreshing dip morning, noon or evening. You are situated in the middle of the jungle waking up with he howler monkeys and going to bed with them. Drive to nearby beaches minutes away. Visit the farmer's market, about an hours drive, starting Thursdays to Sundays, to stock up your fridge for the week, it's a fun experience. You can buy a beet the size of your head and feed at least 10 people. On the property, take a short hike about 30-40 minutes, depending on your fitness, to El Mirador for a breath taking view of the jungle/ocean. If you're looking for a more adventurous hike, 4-5 hrs, ask Vin to guide you through the beautiful jungle. Just remember to bring lots of water. There are fresh fruit on trees such as mangos and star fruit. We will stay here again to relax and explore Costa Rica.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, families with young children, families with teenagers

Helpful votes: 2 / 2


Heaven on Earth

Review submitted: October 15, 2012   Date of arrival: September 22, 2012

Few vacation rentals actually exceed one's expectations, yet this was my experience at "Selva Escondida" (Hidden Jungle)! From the very moment you enter the secure gate and begin your journey down the tree-lined lane, you are instantly aware that you have discovered a slice of heaven on earth. No words can accurately describe the magnitude of the views from the decks and swimming pool of this house. Every direction you turn is a total delight to your senses, and at sunset, the scents from the Ylang-ylang are intoxicating. This property has everything ~ creeks, waterfalls, hiking trails, fruit trees, etc. It is truly a world unto itself. All day and evening there are cooling breezes wafting through the house, and the master bathroom has the most spectacular view imaginable. Everything you could ever need or want, this house and property have. You will cherish every moment you are there!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 2 / 2


Jungle oasis with breathtaking view of the Pacific

Review submitted: August 7, 2012   Date of arrival: July 4, 2012

Selva Escondida brings the experiences of Costa Rice jungle and ocean together. The property itself is stunning: a vast spread of raw jungle running up to the cloud forest, nourished by numerous springs and waterfalls, populated by a host of friendly jungle creatures. At the center of the property are the main house and cabins, comfortably appointed. I have never slept as deeply as I did at Selva Escondida, surrounded by the gentle sounds of the jungle at night. One day a family of Howler monkeys came down to the main house to visit us, and spent nearly an hour entertaining us from the trees surrounding the house. Other days bring toucans, green parrots, colorful frogs, stick insects and other surprises. As a photographer I found Selva Escondida to be ripe with opportunity.

One feature of Selva Escondida I enjoy are the trails cut into the jungle. The Mirador trail is a moderately challenging ascent to a lookout/temple perched on the crest of the mountain from which the views of the property and the ocean are particularly vivid. While challenging, we managed to get a group of ten, ages 2 to 70, up and back without incident. The Turbina trail leads down into a valley cut buy a stream to an ancient water turbine that once powered the property. Another day we took a guided tour of the entire property lasting more than five hours, an incredibly intense physical workout that was paid off later with poolside Pina Coladas back at the house.

The nearby beaches are stunning. Dominical, the nearest, is a first-rate surfing beach, while La Ballena (whale's tail), a dramatic beachfront that can be seen from Selva Escondida, is more suited to wave-surfing and family fun. There are several other nearby beaches, and Manuel Antonio National Park, about an hour up the coast, can be a convenient day trip for the whole family.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, families with young children, families with teenagers, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 1 / 1



Review submitted: February 21, 2012   Date of arrival: January 21, 2012

I hosted a large party in January the property is stunning. Jason and Bien (Property Manger) was overly helpful. The house is on a mountain with stunning views and the bedrooms are gorgeous, you wake up to breath taking views. LOVE the pool!!! Everything you need is in the house including IPOD doc, lol.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 2 / 2


I felt soooo lucky!! / Je me suis sentie vraiment chanceuse!!

Review submitted: August 27, 2011   Date of arrival: August 3, 2010

This private property overlooking the Pacific coast is just incredible! The jungle is surrending everywhere and you can see a wide range of tropical animals! I just can't wait to go back!!!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, pet-friendly, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 1 / 1


This place is heaven on Earth!!!!

Review submitted: July 19, 2011   Date of arrival: June 23, 2011

What an awesome home and an awesome experience. The home had everything we ever needed and more. So clean and wonderful. A great layout with room for several families. The grounds which include waterfalls, bridges and a lookout tower are incredible! We are definitely going back next year and taking our kids. Costa Rica is so reasonably priced, untouched and pristine. I cannot wait to go back!!!!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, people with disabilities, families with teenagers, girls getaway, pet-friendly, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 1 / 1


A unique Costa Rican experience

Review submitted: July 19, 2011   Date of arrival: May 28, 2011

I stayed at this house with my girlfriend and our very young little daughter of 13 months old. We had a beautiful time. Everything on the property was just right: the size of the bedrooms, the huge kitchen, and the extremely clean and functional appliances. Everything was exactly where it should have been and the decoration was simple but of very good taste. But above all, it is the location that is out of this world. Located in the middle of the jungle, on top of a valley in front of the Pacific Ocean. With your morning coffee in your hand, indulge yourself with one of the most beautiful view of the coast. Peaceful, beautiful and wild. Every time you look outside, you simply wish the young one keeps sleeping so you can keep on looking at this unique view.

I must add that the pool was one of the most refreshing one I have ever been into (without chlorine) using only fresh water from the jungle. Coming from Canada and having the chance to swim in awesome rivers and lakes every summer, I can say that this pool was simply divine. I hope you will enjoy as much as we did. We would come back anytime!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 1 / 1


Costa Rican paradise

Review submitted: June 25, 2010   Date of arrival: April 14, 2010

This place totally over-delivered. We would wake up in the morning to the sound of the jungle, and watch exotic yellow-billed toucans as we had our coffee. I thought there would be mosquitos but the property sits high above the ocean and there was a nice breeze; bugs were never a problem and we spent considerable time hanging out by the pool and eating outside on the deck. The description and photos of the property were accurate. The amenties, such as new kitchen and bathrooms were terrific and clean. The owner responded quickly via email when I had a question. I have already recommended this property to others, and told them how unique and exquisite the views and settings are. A car is needed, as you have to drive down to the beach where there are all sorts of nice restaurants, especially in the Dominical area.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, pet-friendly, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 1 / 1


Beautiful and Private

Review submitted: June 13, 2010   Date of arrival: March 6, 2009

Our family of 5 stayed at this great place for 8 days in March. We had lots of room, a pool with great views and were able to hike around the property and see lots of monkeys and other strange creatures. We woke to the howler monkeys every morning and enjoyed the many great beaches including the Whales Tail that were close by. This gated property is well manicured and very private. We will not hesitate to stay here again.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 0 / 0


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