Rent or buy a luxury villa at Costa Elena to enjoy pristine landscapes, dynamic wildlife and endless adventures in Costa Rica.
By Ashley Ryan
With volcanoes covered in thick layers of clouds, lush rainforests, vibrant wildlife, rushing waterfalls and plenty of adventures to be had, Costa Rica is a dream destination for those looking to embrace the beauty of the natural world.
Situated between Nicaragua and Panama in Central America, Costa Rica is a small country—much smaller than the state of California even—but still has a lot to offer. Those who want a laid-back adventure where they’re immersed in the land should head straight for Guanacaste in the north.
And while you can find some stunning, all-inclusive resorts at which to relax, you can’t beat the luxurious privacy of Costa Elena. This master-planned community offers everything from individual villas and a secluded Ocean Club to amenities at the neighboring Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica, ensuring you have all that you need for a vacation to remember.
Villas With a View
At Costa Elena, every villa has a view, ensuring that you can see beautiful blue bays, rugged islands, and each and every sunset from nearly any room in the house.
Built atop and around the secluded hills outside of La Cruz, Costa Elena comprises 3,000 untouched acres that are bordered by the Guanacaste Conservation Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The villas are stunning works of art, crafted in a tropical modern design with natural or sustainable materials and fully furnished with everything from furniture, linens and towels to cooking and dining implements.
Most of these homes have four or five bedrooms, including a spacious master bedroom and a standalone bungalow, as well as a sweeping living area with floor-to-ceiling windows that provide the ultimate views as well as comfortable seating, an expansive dining room and a sleek, modern kitchen. The bathrooms feature built-in rain showers plus views to the outdoors that immerse you in the natural environment.
Venture outside and you’ll find that each home has a heated pool—perfect for relaxing, fitness or playing with the whole family. No matter the weather or what your schedule looks like, you’ll likely spend a lot of time here, looking out over the ocean as you splash around. Lounge chairs or coverings complete the patio while mood lighting ensures you can even take a dip once you’ve returned from a day out of the house.
Sustainability is of utmost importance at Costa Elena, especially given the pristine nature of the land before it was developed and the owners’ desire to keep things natural. As such, the appliances are all eco-friendly while each house is also equipped with solar panels. The resort also has a minimalist infrastructure to protect the local landscape, natural materials, its own recycling center and a dark sky policy to protect nesting sea turtles in the area.
The resort villas are available to rent for the duration of your vacation through Inspirato, but they’re also available to purchase for those who hope to return to this piece of paradise. Currently, the Las Mareas section of Costa Elena houses the Bay Villas (which have sold out), the Sunset Villas and undeveloped homesites. An additional section called Punta Clara is also in the works, though building has not yet started here. Homesites currently start at $350,000 while villas are running at $2.95 million and up.
Costa Elena is being developed by Pellas Development Group, headed by Carlos Pellas Chamorro, a businessman from Nicaragua who became the first billionaire from his home country roughly a decade ago.
While one of the main draws of Costa Elena is the privacy, the resort has still managed to provide a sense of community, largely thanks to the on-site Ocean Club. Exclusive to residents and guests of Costa Elena, you’ll never have trouble finding a place to sit, whether you’re lounging in the sunshine next to the infinity pool or unwinding on the plush daybeds inside each shaded cabana. With high-speed Wi-Fi available here, the cabanas are also a popular spot for work-from-home guests who need to stay connected but still want to enjoy the beauty of the Ocean Club.
You’re more than welcome to cook at your villa—in fact, housekeepers can also prepare meals or deliver groceries—but there are a variety of other dining options as well. A new pool bar now offers bites like fresh ceviche and sips like frozen passion fruit-rum cocktails at the Ocean Club itself, and a grill is expected to expand offerings even further when it opens this fall. Those staying at Costa Elena are also able to enjoy up to three meals a day from the neighboring Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica, either on-site or delivered to the villa.
Dining at Dreams, you’ll have options, from Mexican cuisine at El Patio and sushi at Himitsu to Oceana’s seafood delights and Portofino’s Italian fare. Guests can also take advantage of the many lagoon-style swimming pools and spa treatments at the resort.
Being immersed in nature as you are at Costa Elena, there is much to do and see without ever leaving the property. The white sand beach, El Jobo, is just steps from the Ocean Club. Guests can also visit The Boardwalk for a rustic stroll through the mangroves while El Caminito al Mar (or “Little Trail to the Sea”) offers a path for walking or biking that connects to Dreams.
While you’re exploring the area, you’re sure to spot wildlife as it’s all around. Catch sight of gray foxes, iguanas, raccoons, rabbits and deer in addition to a vast variety of birds and butterflies. But the main attraction, of course, is the wild monkeys that call the area home. Guanacaste is home to three species: mischievous capuchins, vocal howlers and social spider monkeys. You’re sure to spot at least a few of these guys in the tropical dry forest around Costa Elena before you head home.
Inspirato, the rental company overseeing Costa Elena’s villas, also provides concierge service during the day to ensure you have anything you desire, from board games to wellness products like sunscreen. You can also call the concierge to arrange transport on the resort’s shuttle bus, which operates continuously throughout the day to escort guests to and from local beaches, nearby restaurants and throughout the Costa Elena community.
Anyone looking to get off-property and experience what Costa Rica has to offer can do so with the help of Costa Elena staff. One activity that simply can’t be missed is the Snorkeling and Sunset Tour hosted by the family-owned North Pacific Adventures. Leaving right from El Jobo beach, head out to sea to view the Costa Elena property from a different angle. While snorkeling, you might see colorful fish, sea stars, puffer fish or other marine animals and your guide will provide fresh fruit once you get back aboard the boat. Head back as you watch the sunset—and maybe spot dolphins frolicking along the way.
You can also book a private tour group that will drive you over to the Rincón de la Vieja volcano. Plan a few experiences at Buena Vista del Rincon to make the most of your day, as this exciting eco-adventure park has much to offer. Hike to a waterfall, explore hanging bridges, go horseback riding, fly through the air on a zip line, slip down a water slide, bike around or relax in warm, natural volcanic waters. This unique spot also presents different cultural experiences, such as pottery workshops, food tastings, coffee tours and sugar cane demonstrations.
If you’d prefer to skip the adventure side of things but still want to venture off-property, consider having dinner at Restaurante La Copaleña. Private taxis or the resort shuttle can safely escort you to your meal and take you back to your villa after. Start with a classic cocktail, like a pina colada, margarita or cosmopolitan, then delve into the delicious local seafood on the menu. From garlic lobster to grilled octopus, seafood soup or breaded shrimp, there are endless options to enjoy. The menu also includes steak, pork and chicken dishes as well as pastas and a number of tasty appetizers to share. In the end, you’ll leave with a full belly and a smile as you make your way back to your cozy villa for a night of restful sleep in paradise.