December 1, 2010
A view From Villa Perezoso
Costa Rica has it all
For relaxation there are beautiful white sand beaches and luxury spas. The hotels have all the modern comforts in the most private and secluded environments. For an action vacation you can surf, hike, do rafting, canopying, diving, deepwater fishing and snorkeling. You can go with a low budget or seek the more exclusive resorts. Life is good in Costa Rica, a friendly, democratic and peaceful country. Costa Rica is the ideal tropical paradise for your vacation. Tourists can enjoy the pristine beaches and see whales and dolphins play. For Nature lovers there is a great variety of exotic wildlife and tropical plants. Butterflies and orchids, crocodiles and sharks, turtles and toucans´ are everywhere. The rainforest covering the mountains are a paradise for eco tourism. Costa Rica is ready for the Tourist Season.
November 22, 2010
Pacific Beach, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica Near Manuel Antonio National Park and Forest Reserve
Costa Rica is ready for the Tourist Season.
Life is good in Costa Rica, a friendly, democratic and peaceful country.
For action vacation you can surf, hike, do rafting, canopying, diving, deepwater fishing and snorkeling. You can go with a low budget or seek the more exclusive resorts.
For relaxation there are beautiful beaches and luxury spas. The hotels have all the modern comforts in the most private and secluded environments.
Costa Rica has it all.
Although explored by the Spanish early in the 16th century, initial attempts at colonizing Costa Rica proved unsuccessful due to a combination of factors, including: disease from mosquito-infested swamps, brutal heat, resistance by natives, and pirate raids. It was not until 1563 that a permanent settlement of Cartago was established in the cooler, fertile central highlands. The area remained a colony for some two and a half centuries.
In 1821, Costa Rica became one of several Central American provinces that jointly declared their independence from Spain. Two years later it joined the United Provinces of Central America, but this federation disintegrated in 1838, at which time Costa Rica proclaimed its sovereignty and independence.
Since the late 19th century, only two brief periods of violence have marred the country’s democratic development. Although it still maintains a large agricultural sector, Costa Rica has expanded its economy to include strong technology and tourism industries. The standard of living is relatively high. Land ownership is widespread.
August 24, 2010
One of the funniest Villa Perezoso vacation home stories
One of the funniest Villa Perezoso vacation home stories I heard was from our very first guests who stayed at the vacation home Villa. Thankfully, they were our “guinea pig” guests, friends of mine who invited their friends along to test out the vacation home Villa to make sure it was ready for prime time. Greeted upon arrival with our house specialty drink by Victor, our house manager, the gang of 9 were very happy to have finally arrived to begin their week’s stay. The evening was full of relaxation, good food, frivolity, (and tropical drinks!) as they admired the panoramic ocean and jungle views, the scenery and the sunset. Having flown on a redeye, it was early to bed for most. This is where the “fun” in a vacation home begins and how it was told to me…”In what seemed like the middle of the night, out of nowhere (but really from outside) came these thunderous sounds which catapulted everyone out of their beds scrambling to find out what on earth was happening. Running up and down stairs, bewildered, still sleepy, they all bumped into each other on the main living floor, a bit frightened, but mostly surprised by the cacophonous cries emanating from right outside the vacation home Villa…they were wondering if there was a lion or seal or perhaps a new vicious creature they had never heard of sending them warning signals . At that moment, the sun was beginning to rise and looking out beyond the decks, the images of a dozen or more bellowing monkeys came into view. Realizing that these very very loud noises were coming from the monkeys, they all looked at each other in various degrees of dress (some a lot less than others) and burst out laughing until their guts ached”…They have told this story again and again to their friends. Of course Victor now is sure to tell the guests upon their arrival about the possibility of a morning wake up call at the vacation home from our howler friends!
Some “howler” facts:
Known and named for their loud cries, their “din” can be heard up to 3 miles away. There are nine species of the howler monkeys, a New World monkey. Costa Rica is home to the common mantled howler (Alouatta palliata), called the mono congo in Costa Rica, which also inhabits parts of southern Mexico, Central and South America. What distinguishes the New World monkeys from the Old World monkeys is that they do not have a padded rump and they have large side-opening nostrils. They also have a gripping tail used to hang off trees while eating, a characteristic not found with Old World monkeys. They have thick long red, black or brown hair.
As our guests found out, howler monkeys usually vocalize at dawn and dusk and they do this by passing air through a specially-adapted “hyoid bone” in their large throats. The result is a deep, grunt-like call that resonates for miles, and the reason why they are heard long before they are seen. Apparently, these vocalizations are used to mark territory and communicate with others within the troop.
These mantled howler monkeys inhabit rainforest canopies as they search for leaves in the treetops. A troop of mono congos consist of anywhere from eight to twelve females, three or four dominant makes and a few young ones often seen riding on mom’s back.
Females breed about once every two years with their gestation period being six months and giving birth to one offspring. Males will typically breed with several females a year. Newborns ride on mom’s belly for about the first month of their existence and then can be seen riding on their backs.
Howlers are considered to be “folivores”, animals who primarily eat leaves though they also will eat flowers and fruit. They are arboreal creatures hanging out on the tops of trees—part of the reason they love to hang out at Villa Perezoso vacation home where we have the large canopy trees. They live about seven to fifteen years and are the largest of the New World monkeys.
Thankfully, howlers are protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species program which prevents the international trading of animals. Though the mantled howlers species is not threatened what is worrisome is the destruction of their natural habitat. These monkeys play an important role in the ecosystem by dispersing seeds in the rainforest (through their dung) which helps regenerate the rainforest.
I am always so happy seeing them settle into our canopy tree in the evening. It is one of my greatest morning pleasures at the vacation home is waking up to their loud calls to each other just as the sun is about to rise…it always puts a smile on my face. The Pura Vida!
July 12, 2010
One of the highlights of luxury retreats at Villa Perezoso’s guests’ stays is being able to relax and allow our very own Chef Over prepare and serve them his magnificently prepared feasts. One of the only luxury vacation villas in Manuel Antonio to have its own full time chef, guests staying at Villa Perezoso’s luxury retreats are guaranteed to be pampered by the Villa’s full staff on par with services expected from a luxury retreats five star resort.
Many of you have requested Chef Over’s OVER THE TOP guacamole recipe…here it is at last! From Villa Perezoso’s luxury retreats kitchen to yours.
The secret, as you shall see, is Salsa Lizano, which you can buy in Costa Rica or better yet, if you forgot to buy it on your recent trip, you can order some from Amazon.com.
Hint: Make sure you choose perfectly ripe avocados and fresh lemon or lime juice. You can double this recipe if for a large crowd. And…guacamole freezes beautifully; just let it sit out to thaw (save the pit!).
Villa Perezoso’s Guacamole Recipe
2 ripe avocado’s
1 T finely chopped onion (we prefer white onions)
1 T finely chopped cilantro
1-2 T fresh lemon or lime juice (start w/ 1 and taste before adding a 2nd)
1/8 t sea salt
½ T Salsa Lizano
Mash up the avocados with a fork and add remaining ingredients. If not serving right away, be sure to save the pit and place on top of the guacamole to keep it from darkening. Serve with either store bought tortilla chips or better yet, fry up some of your own from corn tortillas. Mmmmm.
June 15, 2010
Many of you ask, so what is a “perezoso”? And why did you name the Villa that? A perezoso (accent on the second to the last syllable) is the Spanish word for sloth, yes sloth! And, just as in English, in Spanish the word also means lazy or sloth-like. We first came upon these delightful fuzzy funny creatures in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. Native to South and Central America and living in the rainforest canopies, they are believed to be ancestors of anteaters and armadillos. In Manuel Antonio,Costa Rica, you can find both the two-toed and three-toed varieties hanging off the treetops of the guarumo trees. one of which can be seen from our property. When we were beginning the project, we noticed a mother and baby in the nearby tree and thought, that she would be our Villa’s namesake and so the name Villa Perezoso was conceived!
My daughter and I had the incredible opportunity to help take care of a baby who had been rescued after she had fallen from a tree and was being rehabilitated by a local wildlife preserve, Kids Saving the Rainforest of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. . Clinging to her stuffed bear (that was bigger than she was) we would gently remove her from her temporary home to take her on “walks” to help her learn to eat and climb. She clung to us fiercely and seemed intrigued and interested in the many leaves that we showed her. Her fur was surprisingly soft but her claws were powerful; she hung onto us and her teddy bear with a grip that immediately made us understand how they are able to hang and live in the canopies of the rainforest. On another occasion, while my husband and I were driving down the dirt backroad of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica to get to the beach, around one of the bends, right in front of us, moving slower that slow, was a rather large sloth crossing the road. Thankfully, the road isn’t much travelled but I “freaked out” anyway thinking that before it had time to get to the other side, a car would surely come around the corner and not see it. So I stopped the car and told my husband he had no choice but to pick it up and move it to the other side to where it was headed. Being an animal person like myself, without even questioning me, he was out of the car bending over to pick up the perezoso who was probably around 20-25 pounds. Our new found sloth turned his head nearly 180 degrees to stare at my husband as he was now suspended in the air and moved to the other side of the road to safety! We were later told that if you are in a situation and need to pick one up, never just put your hands around its belly to lift it up like a container because it could strike; always pick it up by the nape of its neck. It was quite a moment for both of us.
Whether you come to CR to be a “perezoso” or to participate in the active adventures that abound in the area, you won’t be disappointed when you visit Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. There’s something quite wonderful in observing these beautiful creatures for hours at a time from one of the sundecks as they relax and enjoy life.Great teachers for us all.
Two varieties as mentioned above which pertains to the number of claws on their front feet;
they sleep, eat, live in the rainforest canopies of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica only coming down to “earth” to
defecate just once a week. They have long furry hair, no tail and eat a vegetarian diet. Though appearing to be quite sluggish, they can defend themselves with their powerful claws. Algae which grows on the sloths fur, creates the appearance of a green hue which helps them blend into the trees. They are nocturnal creatures, most often eating at night and sleeping up to 15-20 hours a day. Slots mate and give birth in the trees and for nine months, the babies cling to their mothers and travel with them.
May 22, 2010
1. It’s the most photographed spot in all of Costa Rica!
2. Raft the Savegre river rapids with Rafiki Safari…the cleanest river in Central America..according to Wikipedia!
3. Enjoy a beach BBQ, Tico-style
4. Explore the wildlife in the rainforest of Manuel Antonio National Park.
5. Be mesmerized by the spectacular sunsets.
6. Witness pods of dolphins jumping out of the water while you catamaran alongside them.
7. Be a “perezoso” and do nothing—enjoy the sublime white sand beach at Playa Espadilla.
8. Revel in a dining extravaganza prepared by our Chef Over (must try his guacamole and tres leche cake!).
9. Sip a delectable cup of Costa Rican coffee at the famous Café Milagro.
10. Let the staff of Villa Perezoso pamper you and experience the best of Costa Rica firsthand.
March 1, 2010
Villa Perezoso..a luxury vacation villa in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Welcome to our Villa Perezoso Blog. We wanted to create this blog to share with you more about life and happenings in Manuel Antonio, along with Villa Perezoso news and photos and even on occasion to post some of our chef’s favorite recipes!
To us, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, is as close to paradise as it gets. Our dream was to someday live in a tropical haven, near the beach and somewhere not too far from “home” (California). Having traveled nearly all the continents and vacationed on many of the worlds’ best islands and tropical destinations, upon arriving in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, in November of 2003, we knew we had to live there someday.
Not only was the place magical, the views heavenly, the beaches some of the best we’ve ever encountered but the friendliness of the people of Costa Rica, with their emphasis on preserving their beautiful country, we knew when we arrived that we were hooked and that we wanted to make Costa Rica our next home.
Meanwhile however, we wanted to create a luxury vacation villa like no other to share with others this beautiful find. We found a gorgeous property with some of the best views we have encountered, bought it and started building. With Bali being another favorite destination of ours, we wanted to bring to our guests what we loved about Bali to Costa Rica–from the feeling of living outdoors, to designing a home using an assortment of natural materials, to providing for our guests the top notch service that the Balinese are so aptly known for. So we melded the worlds of Bali, with the natural beauty, wildlife of Costa Rica to create our luxury vacation villa.
Our architect, Mauricio, did a beautiful job taking our vision and in creating Villa Perezoso in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, with every room having distinctive ocean and jungle views. We travelled to Bali to have all the furniture and accessories custom built for the property and had it transported to Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. What we love most about Villa Perezoso is its uniqueness; from the views, to the monkeys, sloths and birds who frequent the property, to the wonderful staff, to the extra touches provided for our guests. The BEST part about the Villa however, is our staff. Unlike any other luxury vacation villa in Manuel Antonio, the property was built with a separate live in quarters for the house manager, Victor, who has been with us for years (we hired him at the beginning of the construction)and he is available 24/7 to meet any and all of your needs. His warm smile, contagious charm , his desire to please and his knowledge about the area and services, along with our most talented chef, Over’s cuisine, is what our guests say makes the stay perfect. And as far as our brilliant chef …he too has a wonderful personality and a great talent in the kitchen and he is part of our staff (all the other villas offer this at an extra cost). What our guests love about him (you can read more on our testimonials page on our website) is that the shopping, cooking and clean up is all taken care of by them! A true vacation experience (and his top notch, delicious food is better than most of the restaurants)! Our housekeeper manages to add her own special touches each day, delighting guests coming back “home” from the beach to sparkling room.
We also love that nature beckons right outside; I personally love the daily monkey visits and am always excited upon seeing a “perezoso” in the nearby guarumo tree (that is how we got our name, but more on that in a later blog). If I could pick out two of my
favorite things about Villa Perezoso in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, is 1) the staff and how they spoil us and our guests and 2) the views from each of the rooms (especially the bathrooms with floor to ceiling glass doors that open up allowing you to shower looking out to the vast jungle and pacific ocean. Its a slice of paradise found.
We hope you will consider a visit to our Villa Perezoso…and tell us what your favorite experience is!
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