How would you describe Villa Mayana in a nutshell?
Villa Mayana is surrounded by 75 acres of land filled with the most beautiful streams, trees, flowers and animals. The Villa and its surroundings have a calming, peaceful atmosphere. It’s a wonderful place to relax and reflect. The sights and sounds that greet you — the monkeys, toucans and other animals, the luscious plant life and the view of the mountains, beach and ocean — it’s breath-taking.
Coming from the US, how did you end up owning Villa Mayana in Costa Rica?
I was looking for a second home in a warm climate. After much research, I decided that Costa Rica was the perfect spot. The temperatures range in the 70s and 80s almost year round. It is the most advanced country in Central America. Costa Rica offers the most diverse experience in a small area, with mountains, beaches and rain forests all in one area, and the country appreciates and nurtures its natural beauty— one third of the country is national park. It is a very different experience from a small Caribbean island. The food is locally grown, the people are very friendly, laid back and know how to enjoy life.
I spent a year looking for the right location. Every part of Costa Rica is different. Eventually I chose the area near Dominical because it offers everything that I wanted: the mountains come right to the shore, it’s very green, the beaches are fabulous, and the area has an abundance of activities and great culture.
Is there a particular place that you go to or something you do once you arrive that makes you feel that you have arrived?
Villa Mayana includes several marked hiking trails. We have established a family tradition that we all really enjoy. On our first day, we hike through the jungle to a beautiful waterfall where we can swim.
What’s so particular about the rainforest?
It is a totally natural setting, untouched by human development. Villa Mayana is surrounded by 75 acres of land filled with the most beautiful streams, trees, flowers and animals.
Three varieties of monkeys live on the property – howlers, white-faced and spider monkeys. Toucans and many other birds are on the property every day and we also have a fruit orchard where you can pick grapefruits and oranges for breakfast and limes for your Margaritas.
Please tell us about ‘Whale’s Tail Reef’ and ‘Corcovado National Park’.
The ‘Whale’s Tail Reef’ is a spit of land that during low tide connects the beach to a small island. From the air, it forms a perfect whale’s tail. It is located in Ballena (which means “whale” in Spanish) marine national park at Uvita, which is 5 mins away from the Villa. It is a great place to walk along the huge beach, swim and, during the winter, watch for whales. The water is very calm and the coral reef is a perfect spot to snorkel or scuba dive. It’s considered one of the best beaches in Costa Rica.
‘Corcovado National Park’ is about an hour and a half away. It’s the largest area of virgin tropical rain forest in Costa Rica and one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world. There are no roads or development within the park. You can take day trips there with a guide or on your own.
What is some of the typical food?
Locally caught fish, including red snapper, sea bass, shrimp and grouper is fresh, pristine and delicious. Also, tropical fruits, such as pineapple, mango, bananas, mangosteens and lychee are wonderful. Costa Rica is world renown for its coffee and hearts of palm as well. Another specialty in this area is ceviche, which is a seafood cocktail made with a variety of fish cut up and cooked by marinating it in lemon juice and spices. It is absolutely delicious and fresh-tasting. Costa Rican staples also include fried rice with seafood, chicken and/or vegetables, plantains and gallo pinto, a tasty combination of black beans and rice that is served at breakfast.
How would you like your guests to remember their stay at Villa Mayana?
I would hope that they would remember Villa Mayana as a place of perfect balance – a balance between a totally natural environment and luxurious accommodations, and exciting, unique activities and total relaxation.