Get ready to be impressed with this one of a kind, self sustainable farm privately tucked away on 271 acres in the Talamanca Mountains at an elevation over 800 meters above sea level. This property has got it all – it currently operates as a hospitality business and a working coffee farm that is completely “off the grid”. The area is wild, raw and beautiful yet conveniently located only 15 minutes outside of a quaint town. The region’s most popular organic farmer’s market is held here and the beaches of Dominical and the city of San Isidro are approximately 45 minutes away. With a perfect mountain climate, a gorgeous rainforest setting and excellent views of the ocean and valley below, the American Eagle Outfitters clothing company specifically chose this location for a catalog photoshoot.
The property itself is a prime destination. Guests and visitors are offered guided birding tours, waterfall tours, coffee plantation tours, primary rainforest tours, waterslide tours, take quick hikes to the property’s private swimming hole or take an educational river tour to learn about the property’s eco-friendly hydro electric system. On top of all of that, the property is completely self sustainable with a natural fresh water source, Tilapia ponds, a 1,291 sq. ft. horse stable and organic gardens where you and your guests can enjoy a healthy, low impact lifestyle in the Costa Rican mountains.
The 4 bed / 6 bath main lodge includes 10,763 sq. ft. of construction with comfortable living spaces, a large kitchen, a bar, covered patio, a huge pool and beautifully landscaped gardens. Each of the suites include ensuite bathrooms and private outdoor terraces with fantastic ocean and jungle views. The upstairs northern suite includes a sitting area, a fireplace, and a marble lined shower with fantastic views. The second and third upstairs suites feature big ocean, pool and jungle views with spacious outside lounge areas separated by a privacy wall. Here guests enjoy the sound of the neighboring river while watching wildlife in the rainforest canopy at eye level. The downstairs suite is privately separated from the common areas. This room is wheelchair accessible and features a comfortable seating area plus a wrap-around terrace with panoramic ocean and jungle views.
Three additional cabinas with rental potential are situated on the edge of the jungle, just uphill from the main lodge. They total 2,260 sq. ft. of construction and were built completely from local hardwood. They offer comfortable lounge areas, private bathrooms with showers that open to the sights and sounds of the rainforest. Covered wooden decks overlook the jungle, past rolling valleys and out to the Pacific Ocean. Finally, a separate 1,076 sq. ft. home is included for an owner or a property manager to use. This comfortable 1 bedroom / 1 bath residence offers privacy, a full kitchen, a spacious living room and landscaped grounds. All of the structures on the property were built in 2008 and the hospitality business was opened to the public in 2009.
The property includes a 100% sustainable, Arábica coffee farm located in Costa Rica’s “Brunca” Coffee Region which produces one of the finest coffees in the world. The steep terrain above the South Pacific slopes gives the area it’s unique humid micro climate. The coffee is grown with the utmost care for the environment in small plantations surrounded by primary rainforest. This allows for the highest level of biodiversity imaginable. Natural tree species are planted throughout the plantations to provide shade and wildlife habitat. Over 140 species of birds have been identified on this farm. The trees also provide natural fertilizer from the decaying leaves as well as preventing erosion.
The focus is on quality, not quantity. The delicious coffee produced here is sold in gift shops, local restaurants and supermarkets. The cherries are handpicked to ensure only the ripe ones with the optimal sugar content are used. The beans are always peeled the same day as they are picked for optimum freshness. An eco-friendly product is created by using a low water consumption peeling process powered by the property’s hydro electric source and followed by a solar drying process at the 645 sq. ft. coffee “beneficio” processing facility. The coffee pickers are all local residents and are paid by the hour at the same rate as the lodge staff and other farm workers, ensuring the pickers receive a fair wage.
The Nature Lodge generates all of it’s electricity from a micro hydroelectric system powered by the Magnolia River. The micro-hydro plant is a 12 kW, AC direct run-of-river system manufactured by Canyon Hydro in Deming Washington. Water from the river initially flows into a concrete “transfer” box connected to the the micro hydroelectric system. This transfer box allows air bubbles to escape, thereby ensuring maximum water pressure flowing into the system. Water flowing into an 8” steel pipe creates the pressure required to turn the Pelton wheel in the turbine, which in turn drives the generator. Water exits the turbine and cleanly returns to the river. Excess water from the transfer box flows over a weir and back into the river. There is also a gate in the weir that can divert all of the water back into the river when maintenance is required.
Maintenance is minimal other than checking a filtering grate to clear it of any leaves or other debris and greasing the main bearings once a month. The system is reliable but occasionally the water intake gets plugged during flood conditions. During these times, a gasoline back-up is used until the water flow dies down. The system is designed to handle 80 liters per second, but during the dry season, the flow drops off. During January, the system typically produces 6 kW and during the driest months of February and March, in the 3 to 4 kW range. This is enough power to run the lights (all LED or fluorescent), fridges, tv’s etc. but no hair dryers or clothes dryers. During the dry season, the pool pump is put on a timer to shut it down for a few hours during the morning and evening. If needed, the electricity generating capacity could be increased by moving the water intake upstream to gain more water pressure.
The whole system cost about $50,000 (US) – $30,000 for the turbine / generator and around $20,000 for shipping, import duties, piping, electric cables, powerhouse, installation, etc… The monthly maintenance cost is almost nothing. In the 7 years that the system has been running, one drive belt ($700) and a set of bearings ($300) were replaced ($700). Approximately $15 per month is spent on grease for the bearings. With zero electric bills, the savings are estimated to be over $500 per month.
This clean, renewable power source generates all of the electricity for lights, fans, cooking, refrigerating, freezing, filtering and heating of the pool, charging computers and cell phones, internet, televisions, the UV filter used to purify the drinking water and the machinery used to process the home grown coffee. Keeping the river clean is important it is used as a source of water for drinking, for the pool, for the fish ponds, for washing and for watering the garden during the dry season. The micro-hydro system is not only environmentally friendly, it makes good economic sense.
The coffee farm, the hospitality business, the tour business, the private residence and everything else is selling “turn key ready”. The scope of this property is very large so we encourage you to contact us for additional details. This truly is a one of a kind offering that must be seen in person to truly appreciate. For qualified buyers, we will arrange a private tour and provide an in depth analysis of the wonderful opportunities this property has to offer.