Our beautiful stay at La Casona, Ponderosa Adventure Park Costa Rica
We had the good fortune to stay at La Casona at Ponderosa Adventure Park, previously knowns as Africa Mia, in Costa Rica. When we arrived, we felt as if we’d stepped into the past; a place where the animals run free and the landscape is wild.
Reminiscent of old World Costa Rica, La Casona is a grand, 6 bedroom, 6 bath ranch house set alongside a gorgeous waterfall and lush, dry tropical forest, Costa Rican jungle.
Upon entering the massive, Jurassic Park-like gates, we were greeted on each side by beautiful, wild African animals. Tall giraffes with huge, long-lashed, chocolate colored eyes meander up to the fence to say hello and reach down for a carrot, while herds of zebra, antelope and gazelle graze in the background all along the road leading up to the house.
Passing massive rocks and gorgeous foliage, we arrived at La Casona, which is set amidst a championship tennis court, swimming pool, guest house, and background jungle with waterfalls.
Inside, we were treated to a traditional “casona” style layout- with a large living area surrounded by bedrooms, each with a luxurious en-suite bath. The floor-to-ceiling library shelves leave little to be desired and grace a small reading alcove replete with comfy couches and a desk for work. Beyond the library, French doors lead into the huge, country-chic kitchen, complete with massive brick oven, an impressive wine cave, and family seating for 12 around the big dining table.
Never a dull moment, this property is the perfect spot for adventure and fun, with amazing hiking and ATV trails, stunning waterfalls, river rafting, small lakes for swimming, lush Costa Rican jungle for exploring, giant rocks for repelling, and more.
We spent the day exploring the grounds and rode everywhere on our rented ATV. Stopping for a swim in the small waterfall enhanced lake, it was a day of fun, rest, relaxation and adventure.
At day’s end, we enjoyed a wonderful meal at La Pampa Restaurant; the food was delicious and the wine list decent.
Unfortunately, as of the time of this writing, La Casona seems no longer to be available as a vacation rental; however, Ponderosa Adventure Park does host weddings, corporate events, and private parties.
And, there are a number of wonderful hotels and vacation rentals nearby; Ponderosa Adventure Park is a not to be missed activity while in the Guanacaste area.
The province of Guanacaste in northwestern Costa Rica has what remains of the country’s dry tropical forests. The province gets its name from a broad-crowned tree common in these forests, the Guanacaste, which is Costa Rica’s national tree. Guanacaste, Rincon de la Vieja, Santa Rosa and Palo Verde are among the national parks that encompass dry tropical forests. Because the vegetation is not as dense as in other parts of Costa Rica, it is easier to spot wildlife than in moister forests.