Tag Archives: Las Villas de San Buenas

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Will Viharo at the 2017 San Buenas Writer’s Retreat

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Will Viharo

Will viharo b&w

The dates for our premier retreat are January 29-February 4, 2017, and we at The Writer’s Retreat of San Buenas couldn’t be more pleased that Will Viharo is going to be our first guest author and instructor.

Will ‘the Thrill’ Viharo is a noted “gonzo pulp” fiction author, freelance writer, and B movie impresario. For many years he was best known as the producer, programmer and host of the long-running live “cult movie cabaret” called “Thrillville,” which he hosted for many years around the Bay Area and beyond as “Will the Thrill,” along with his wife, Monica “Tiki Goddess” Cortes-Viharo.

Now he has returned to his roots full-time as a freelance writer and pulp fiction author, contributing regular columns about vintage pop culture and the craft of writing to several publications.

His published bibliography includes the retrospective anthology series The Thrillville Pulp Fiction Collection featuring all of his standalone novels to date (A Mermaid Drowns in the Midnight Lounge, Freaks That Carry Your Luggage Up to the Room, Lavender Blonde, Down a Dark Alley, and Chumpy Walnut); as well as the definitive omnibus The Vic Valentine Classic Case Files: Fate Is My Pimp, Romance Takes a Rain Check, I Lost My Heart in Hollywood, and Diary of a Dick. All are now available via his own imprint, Thrillville Press.

Gutter Books reissued the first Vic Valentine novel, Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me in 2013. It was originally published by Wild Card Press in 1995, and has been optioned for a film by Christian Slater. In December 2015, Gutter published the most recent entry in the series, Hard-boiled Heart.

Additionally, Will has written two sci-fi collaborations with Scott Fulks, It Came From Hangar 18 and The Space Needler’s Intergalactic Bar Guide.

For each day of this retreat, Mr. Viharo – now a resident of Seattle, WA – will lead a socially casual but intently focused group session wherein he will constructively critique participants’ writing, provide experiential insights into the “cut-throat” business of publishing (both independent and traditional), and share creative techniques of self-discovery to help aspiring authors achieve their full artistic potential.

Praise for Will Viharo from his peers:

“No human being has absorbed more pulp culture and its seamy sexploitation underbelly than Will Viharo. Thankfully, his warped synapses and calloused, compulsive fingertips are able to repurpose it all and blow it back onto the page–desperate, demented, delirious, D-cupped … and many other D words as well.” —Eddie Muller, Czar of Noir

“Besides the great style, plot, and characters, what I love so much about Will Viharo’s work is his willingness to really go there in his depictions of sex and violence. The dude’s not shy. At all.” – Mike Monson, author/publisher, All Due Respect Books

“Will Viharo has to be the most Chandleresque author I know that’s not actively trying to rip off the legend’s style or paradigm in his fiction. Viharo’s narrative voice is thunderous and commanding. One of the best kept secrets in contemporary hardboiled fiction.”

-Benoit Lelievre, Dead End Follies

“Will Viharo writes not just neo-noir but neon noir, his Vic Valentine novels brilliant paeans to Chandler, Hammett, and other aspects of pop culture that Viharo clearly loves, from old B-movies to Frank Sinatra. But his roots are only a backdrop for Viharo’s modernization of the detective genre. Vic Valentine is a detective who falls hard for his dreams, knowing full well that he shouldn’t.  For Valentine it seems that the greatest defeat would be to give in to the idea that he cannot win. In Will Viharo’s fast paced, witty and wise Vic Valentine novels, there is always hope, however hardboiled it may be.”–Rob Pierce, author of Uncle Dust  and Vern in the Heat

 “In a cookie-cutter literary world chock-full of imitation and repetition, Will Viharo carves out a thoroughly original ride…Think David Lynch and Raymond Chandler catching a matinee together as the world falls apart. Sexy, smart, surreal. Can’t recommend enough.” –Joe Clifford, author of Lamentation, December Boys, and Junkie Love, on A Mermaid Drowns in the Midnight Lounge 

Visit Will’s website

 

 


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If You Love Somebody, Bring Them to Paradise

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Dusk san buenas dusk2 san buenas full moon san buenas Mountain san buenasI’m lonely in paradise.

Naively, I thought 3 months in Costa Rica would be like Hemingway’s ‘A Movable Feast’ or like any of the Beat Generation writers living in Mexico City or Morocco. Instead it was like ‘Walden’ by Henry David Thoreau.

I’ve spent an incredible amount of time alone in communication with nature. Often I awake at sunrise or moments before, and always, without fail, I make sure I am outside during sunset.

I’ve never been an outdoorsy person and yet I love Costa Rica’s countryside. Everything is so beautiful here, the mountains, the jungles and the sky, sometimes I swear when I look up, the clouds are perfect, perfect sizes and perfect shapes, during the day when they’re white and puffy and at sunset when they reflect gold and pink.

Strangely, I grew up in Florida drinking orange juice and ice tea and yet, the best ice tea and orange juice I’ve ever had is in Costa Rica. Their milk shakes are great, too as is their ice cream. Coffee here is potent and delicious and their chocolate rivals the best in the world.

Like the quest of the Transcendentalist, I’ve ‘found myself’ in this beauty and solitude. I’m happy, and see my life with a newfound clarity. I’ve accepted every aspect of my past, happy with my present and have renewed enthusiasm for my future.

While here, I’ve meditated, I’ve prayed and I’ve written a novel. I’ve also lost weight and genuinely look the best I’ve looked in years.

Life is transformative in Las Villas de San Buenas de Osa and whatever it is that you are seeking, you will find in its natural beauty and pace of life. And I want you to come here and have the same experiences I have in regards to ‘finding yourself’ and being one with the world around you. (If that’s what you’re seeking.) (You can come here if you simply want to relax and have good time, too.)

However, there’s something I’ve lacked down here that I don’t want anyone to suffer from. Lack of companionship. All this beauty would be enhanced if I was here with somebody I love.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had a great time here and have enjoyed my solitude but there have beenezekiel tyrus headphone so many moments that would’ve romantic with the right company.

A few nights ago, we had a full moon that hung over the villa, just a few clouds in the sky, even the dark, stone-filled dirt roads that are generally black as midnight by 7, were now illuminated by grey light bright enough to not use my flashlight, a necessity in a part of the country where there are very few street lights and the jungle’s protected by the government.

It felt like I was walking through a black & white movie. You can see everything clearly but it’s all dark and grey.

Walking into the beautiful night I thought first of Erskine Caldwell who once wrote, “At night, I saw how beautiful the day could never be,” and I thought about love.

I would’ve done anything to share that night with somebody I love.

To share the sunsets, the sunrise, the perfect clouds, the coffee, the chocolate, the food, the nearby beaches, the waterfall, and the multiple swimming pools here in the villas, with somebody you love, would make my here as romantic as it would be perfect.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy and think this time here has been exactly what the doctor ordered and I know you can have the same great, enriched, transformative experience that I have.

However, you can do one better than me by simply bringing somebody with you whom you love. And loves you back. Be it a spouse or a lover.

Come here alone, -I’m having a great time, or bring somebody you love and hold hands while walking during the full moon and pretend you’re in a black and white movie and kiss. Lay in the fresh cut fields pointing out which cloud is most perfect, admire the other’s skin when the sun sets, and open the bedroom windows, pull the curtains aside and snuggle when the sun rises.

My name is Ezekiel Tyrus. I am the gatekeeper to paradise. Contact me. Come down here. You’ll have an amazing time. Bring somebody you love and make it romantic.


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Meet our Customers

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Las Villas de San Buenas has a diverse set of owners from around the world (eight countries and counting). Come join us in paradise!! More information here

Customers San Buenas

Our customers come from around the world and have a variety of backgrounds.


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Lapa Photographed at Casa Lapa

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The photograph below was taken by Nick Halverson in May 2015 from the backyard of Casa Lapa using a Nikon D5000 with a Nikkor 18-140 mm lens. It is of a scarlet macaw (or a lapa as they are known in Costa Rica).

There were four lapas eating the ripening almonds from the almond tree in the early morning. If you look closely at the photo you can see that this one has the almond between its beak. We planted those trees approximately three years ago and we now regularly have lapas flying in and eating.

Costa Rica lapa san buenas

Lapa (scarlet macaw) enjoying an almond behind Casa Lapas, Las Villas de San Buenas. (c) Nick Halverson


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Las Villas de San Buenas to Plant 2,000 trees in Partnership Agreement

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Las Villas de San Buenas to Plant 2,000 Trees

Las Villas de San Buenas recently purchased 2,000 trees from a non-profit division of Sembrada Agua logo2ICE (electricity provider) called Sembrada Agua. This project connects high schools and local communities to organizations looking to repopulate damage done decades ago by cattle farmers whom cleared some of the jungles in Costa Rica. The goal of Sembrada Agua is to plant one million trees by 2030 – and we wanted to do our part in helping out.

“We are committed to designing and planning our development in an eco-friendly manner and integrating native trees into the landscapes,” explained Hanz Cruz, General Manager of Las Villas de San Buenas.

Sembrado Agua ICE 1

Some of the 2,000 trees that have been delivered to Las Villas de San Buenas.

Las Villas de San Buenas will be spending the next month planting these trees. When we purchased the land that is now Las Villas de San Buenas there were thousands of gmelina trees that had been planted in the 1960s by local farmers. Gmelina is a non-indigenous, invasive species that chokes out the native trees. After several years, and approximately $85,000, we successfully cleared out the majority of the gmelina trees. We are now actively replanting the same area with fourteen tree species that are native to the Osa Peninsula, which will help bring the land back to its more natural state from 100 years ago.

“We will be planting a variety of fruit trees, hard woods and ornamental trees which will show our owners the beautiful mix of the wonderful bio-diversity found in this region of Costa Rica,” said Las Villas de San Buenas CEO Nick Halverson.

 


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Donation to LILA Non-Profit Organization

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LILA Lakes International Language AcademyDonation to LILA Non-profit

For the 5th year in a row, Las Villas de San Buenas donated a week of Casa Lapas to Lakes International Language Academy (LILA) foundation. Casa Lapas generated over $2,500 for the non-profit organization with 100% of the funds going directly to LILA.

LILA Parents Jeanine Halverson and Annie Moorman enjoying the evening.

LILA Parents Jeanine Halverson and Annie Moorman enjoying the evening.

Mr. Chuck Phillips from Forest Lake, Minnesota, had the winning bid. Mr. Phillips owns a karate dojo and is looking forward to visiting Las Villas de San Buenas with his family later in 2015.

The funds will be used to further educate a classroom for an entire year with a licensed teacher from outside the USA who will bring their own experience, and language skills, into the classroom.

LILA 2015

Over 150 people attended the fund raiser.

Las Villas de San Buenas CEO Nick Halverson said, “We are proud to continue our commitment to helping LILA, and their International Baccalaureate program, which not only educates students in immersion learning (Spanish and Mandarin Chinese at LILA) but also provides students learning from a global perspective.”

The LILA fund raiser had over 150 in attendance, including Miguel Ramos, from

LILA Miguel Ramos Minnesota Twins

Minnesota Twins’ Miguel Ramos donating a banner for LILA

Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Minnesota Twins’ front office who donated a banner to be hung in LILA’s office and also facilitate several game-ticket packages that were used for a silent auction. The function was attended primarily by parents of students at LILA and several local business owners.

Las Villas de San Buenas is proud to have customers from eight countries (and counting) who speak at least six languages, and continues to attract customers from around the world.

Mr. Halverson stated at the event, “Costa Rica and in particular, Las Villas de San IMG_7536Buenas, appeals to people from around the world due to its amazing wildlife, the spectacular views throughout the property and its diverse customer base. Add to that the world-class amenities nearby and it’s understandable why we continue to attract customers from around the globe.”

 


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Costa Rica is the Happiest Country in the World…again

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Costa Rica is the Happiest Country in the World

Costa Rica has once again been judged to be the “Happiest Country in the World” by the Happy Planet Index. The rankings are based on the following three components, and each is given a traffic-light score

based on thresholds for good (green), middling (amber) and bad (red) performance. – See more

1) Life expectancy

female surfer playa dominical smile

Costa Rica once again is named the Happiest Country in the World. 

2) Experienced well-being

3) Ecological Footprint

These scores are combined to an expanded six-colour traffic light for the overall HPI score, where, to achieve bright green – the best of the six colours, a country would have to perform well on all three individual components.

The Top 10 Happiest Countries are:

  1. Costa Rica
  2. Vietnam
  3. Columbia
  4. Belize
  5. El Salvador

As one can see, interestingly, four of the top five happiest places are in Central or South America. By way of comparison, the USA ranked 105th, Canada ranked 65th and France 50th.

For more information, and a full ranking of 151 countries, please visit their website here.

Everyone here at Las Villas de San Buenas, and the town of San Buenaventura, understands the happiness lifestyle. People of Costa Rica tend to be more relaxed and proud of what they have – not envious and jealous of others who have “more”. Although many Costa Ricans may not have a lot of “stuff”, what many Costa Ricans do have more of than other countries is a commitment to family and friendship.

This focus and commitment to family and friends is why Costa Rica continues to be a destination for people from around the world (and why we have had customers from eight countries!).


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We made a terrific choice!

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We made a terrific choice!

The Madrigal family from San Jose, Costa Rica, recently spent a week in Las Villas de San Buenas. After their stay they wrote the following review of their stay.

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We decided to go south Costa Rica for our year end vacation. We’re from San Jose and we all decided to skip the road to Guanacaste as this time of the year is hectic.

We rented this house for the final week of December and first days of January and we really had a great time here. First of all the road is in in great condition. Directions to the house are also really easy to follow. We were a group of 7 people, 3 couples and a friend. The house has 3 bedrooms, all with their private bathroom. Hot water of course and even a Jacuzzi in the master suite.Costa Rica home rental
Kitchen is in perfect condition, large refrigerator, dishwasher, stove and microwave. Laundry room with washer and dryer. Living room with Sky TV and all others with a DVD player.

The gardens and pool area are exceptional, the ocean view is amazing and we really spent our days there! With a cool breeze and birds singing everywhere.
The property is located in San Buenaventura town, close to beaches, national parks and waterfalls

Now, we really didn’t find any cons, however I must say that the house is listed for 8 people and the house has only 3 bedrooms with 3 beds (for 6 people comfortably accommodated). The other two must sleep in mattresses in the floor so you have to make some room for them in the bedrooms. Not a big issue for us.
Booking process was excellent and Nick the owner, replied every single email in no time.
If you’re thinking for a vacation in south Costa Rica, this is a great choice, you’ll have a wonderful time here!


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Casa Cusinga Video

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Casa Cusinga Video

Casa Cusinga is one of our newest homes built in Las Villas de San Buenas. The home is located on the edge of the jungle, fifty-feet above a year-round-flowing creek. The home’s modern design, and 16 foot ceilings, provide all-day breezes and fresh air. The proximity to the jungle and the creek are a perfect backdrop to the outdoor, private, Jacuzzi.

If you’re interested in renting this home during your visit to Las Villas de San Buenas and/or your visit to the Osa region, contact us today!

 


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High Speed Internet Now Available

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High Speed Internet Now Available!

It took several years, and lots of meetings and negotiations, but Las Villas de San Buenas now has DSL high-speed internet available!

Internet San Buenas costa rica

ICE installing the internet and phone lines to Las Villas de San Buenas

We have always wanted to be able to offer this to our full-time

customers and our vacation renters, however, the fiber optic network never extended close enough to our entrance to make this a reality. Due to the small population of San Buenaventura (population ~ 400), neither ICE or CableTica were originally interested in connecting the town. However, the nearby elementary school was recently connected and given our proximity to the school we were able to extend the telephony network to our property. The speeds are great!

For those who enjoy streaming movies on Netflix you will be happy to know that Netflix Costa Rica has been available for over three years. In fact, Netflix Costa Rica has its own Facebook page! If you already have a Netflix account outside of Costa Rica it will probably not work in Costa Rica. You will need to sign up for an additional account with Netflix. However, for the price of an netflix costa rica logoinexpensive meal, you will have access to 10,000s of movies, documentaries and specials.


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