(a 7 minute read)

Make Villa Hermosa your home base when visiting the Arenal and La Fortuna region of Costa Rica. An amazing private guesthouse and compound!

Villa Hermosa La Fortuna Costa Rica Tropical Foliage

Villa Hermosa: Your Home Away from Home in Costa Rica

In the shadow of a volcano, in a land not so far away, you will find a place of rare beauty where heaven kissed the earth . . . .

Okay, I’ll admit my lead may sound a bit over-the-top, romantic, cheesy even, but I promise you every word is true. Villa Hermosa Guesthouse is an acre of private paradise whose name literally means “beautiful villa.” While researching accommodations for our spring break backroad trip through Costa Rica, we happened upon a location that sounded too good to be true. But the highly-detailed description of the property combined with the economical nightly rates made it an offer we could not refuse. Looking back, Jerry and I agree that Villa Hermosa was the most pleasant and memorable part of our journey through the backroads of Costa Rica.

Update: Villa Hermosa is now under new ownership, but we will leave this post live for memories and posterity.

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It is difficult to describe Villa Hermosa because it breaks the rules of standard accommodations and amenities in so many ways. The terms B&B, guesthouse, and resort do not by default describe this lovely place. For some reason, the term “compound” suits it best. When you book Villa Hermosa you don’t settle for a room, a continental breakfast, and a shared pool! You get the whole shebang!

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Villa Hermosa is the love child of Wendy Holt, a California ex-pat, and her adopted homeland Costa Rica. She purchased, envisioned, and executed a tropical refuge of her own, and now she has made this postage stamp of paradise available to you. This is why you should without fail add a stay at Villa Hermosa to your travel bucket list . . . .

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 Howard, Wendy, and Jerry. 

Remote, Yet Central Location

Just a few miles outside of La Fortuna, Costa Rica, Villa Hermosa is centrally located to many of the country’s most scenic and adventurous sites. Whitewater rafting, canyoneering, 4-wheeling, hot springs, waterfalls, the Arenal volcano, national parks, and many more adventures are within driving distance, and Wendy will be happy to book tours for you or make recommendations so you can schedule activities yourself. Although there are flights from San José to La Fortuna, we recommend renting a 4X4 vehicle equipped with GPS to enjoy the three-hour drive through backroad Costa Rica. You will also need transportation for day trips during your stay at Villa Hermosa, so be sure to plan accordingly. You can find detailed instructions regarding transportation and navigating between San José and Villa Hermosa here.

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The Villa Hermosa Guesthouse

Wendy thought of everything when she designed the guesthouse. The private master suite bedroom includes two beds, a king and a queen that comfortably sleep up to four persons. Adjoining the suite is a spacious private bathroom and shower with all expected amenities and appointments included. But what makes the guesthouse so special is the outside design. Wrapping around one corner of the guesthouse and adjoining the patio is a covered dining area, sitting area, and a fully-equipped kitchen and bar. This area opens to the pool area and the garden trails beyond. We spent most of our time at Villa Hermosa in this covered living area from coffee in the morning to nightcaps at night.

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Villa Hermosa Pool and Gardens

If you stay at a hotel or resort you will definitely have access to a pool, and you will share the water with a dozen to several hundred other sun-worshippers. At Villa Hermosa you will have your own private pool and waterfall, complete with lounge chairs, a table grouping, and umbrellas all on deck. Although the entire property is lushly landscaped, beyond the pool you will find walking trails that wind throughout the tropical gardens. You may choose to pause for a nap at the hammock house, where you can also find an unobscured view of the Arenal volcano (on a cloudless day, that is), or stop to listen for a while at the frog pond. Be sure to take your mobile device along in case you get lost (just kidding) because there is wifi available throughout the property (not kidding).

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 The gardens at Villa Hermosa. 

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 Jerry at the hammock house. 

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 This is the life! 

Villa Hermosa Breakfast

Jerry says Wendy’s breakfasts at Villa Hermosa count for at least $50 of the nightly rate, and I couldn’t agree more, because Wendy’s freshly-cooked breakfasts are not just meals, they are immersive sensory experiences. Served up outdoors on the guesthouse veranda dining table, we were fortunate to enjoy three of these breakfasts: Belgian waffles, the egg scramble, and banana pancakes, each served up with fresh fruit, Costa Rican coffee, and juice. Even the little touches that make a beautiful table, such as ethnic linens, fresh flowers, and an intriguing butter dish with a dome lid were not overlooked. Add to this the morning birdsong in the Garden of Eden . . . . I think you get my point!

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 Belgian waffles for breakfast the first morning. 

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 The egg scramble on morning two. Check out the domed butter dish. 

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 Banana pancakes for breakfast on our final day. 


The best feature of Villa Hermosa is Wendy herself. She is the reason we had such an amazing stay at her place. She was our cook, maid, concierge, social director, and hostess-with-the-mostest all rolled up in one. We left feeling not just friends, but family with this incredible woman. She opened her home to us, let her dogs Matti and Moto and Lobo love on us, invited us to the Fortuna Social Club where we met Michael Alan and D’Angelo from TravelCostaRicaNow.com, and welcomed us with warm hugs. Who can forget how the time flew during our many chats on the veranda?

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 Our last morning with wonderful Wendy. 

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 Basenjis Matti and Moto. 

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 Strike that regal pose! 

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 Jerry getting some puppy sugar from Lobo. 

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 At the Fortuna Social Club with Michael Alan and D’Angelo from TravelCostaRicaNow.com

There is so much more that could be said about Wendy Holt and Villa Hermosa, from the art and decor to the birds of every hue (see links below for my favorite bird video)! Wendy’s attention to detail has left no stone unturned in her preparation of the perfect location for your Costa Rican home-away-from-home. So much more than a place to lay your head at night, Villa Hermosa may very well be your ultimate destination . . . .

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 Until next time . . . . 

Please do not hesitate to contact us here at Backroad Planet for rates and discount information, itineraries, recommended roadtrip routes, car rental information, and other questions regarding travel to Costa Rica. Also, check out our blog post on Costa Rica’s La Paz Waterfall Gardens.

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Helpful Links

Villa Hermosa Guesthouse

Adventure Hotels of Costa Rica (10% discount)

Villa Hermosa Video from TravelCostaRicaNow.com

(Check out the colorful birds at the 2:15 mark)

Villa Hermosa: Your Home Away from Home in Costa Rica 1
Howard Blount is founder and co-owner of the travel blog BackroadPlanet.com. He has traveled internationally since boyhood and lived abroad in Mexico, Chile, and Paraguay. Now his passion is navigating the roads-less-traveled of this amazing planet in search of anything rare and remote. On the stuffy side, “Mr. Blount” has been a writer, consultant, and published author with the likes of Simon & Schuster and McGraw-Hill. Although his road trips are financed by his day job as a middle school teacher, Howard would much rather be doing anything that includes mountains, waterfalls, dachshunds, gospel choirs, books, restored classic movies on Blu-ray, HDTV, autumn, sandhill cranes, hot springs, Florida springs, rain and other gloomy weather, log cabins, cracker shacks, abandoned sites, unearthed history, genealogy, museums, documentaries, To Kill a Mockingbird, scenic and historical sites, castles, cathedrals, the Civil War, cold sheets, National and State Park Passports, quotes, the Rambos, Dionne Warwick, Steely Dan, Doobies, Diet Pepsi, Fish City Grill, anything Apple, all things British, Jesus, and lists. And on a random note, Howard is a fourth cousin once removed to Truman Capote.