BY: ZOE MELNYK
With the world slowly coming to the realization that change is necessary in order to prevent an environmental crisis, the idea of sustainable living is growing from a community of nature-loving enthusiasts to a real viable option for all societies.
We’ve seen gypsy cave communities, we’ve seen off the grid islands, and we’ve even seen celebrities get on board the eco-friendly train. Now, we can see a community brought together not only for their devotion to conserving nature, but also by the undeniable thrill of adventure.
Finca Bellavista is a sustainable tree house community in southern Costa Rica that holds a vast 600 acres of dense rain forest and an abundance of people dedicated to preserving its precious habitat.
Erica and Matt Hogan established Finca almost a decade ago in 2006, and have since developed a small community equipped with a community center, dining hall, bathhouse, campfire ring, café, and a Wi-Fi zone, and dozens of tree houses all designed to create a welcoming society.
Each building is created with the environment in mind and must pass with the FBV Environmental Review Board, meet the MINAET requirements, and attain a municipal building permit before construction can begin.
Along with the mandatory building regulations, each member of the society must follow the community guidelines displayed on Finca’s website. The guidelines include that all water will be retrieved from rainwater or springwater, all waste will go through a biodigestor, and each building in Finca will be powered by a hydroelectric turbine or through another approved energy resource.
Residents at Finca can also reap the benefits of year-round fruits and vegetables provided by the community garden. Any other needs can be found in the local town located just 2 miles from Finca. The town itself is quite small, so living carefully off the land is highly encouraged.
As for entertainment, anyone at Finca can enjoy all 600 acres of jungle, including wilderness hikes, swimming in several natural ponds and rivers, or zip lining from building to building throughout the community.
Taking part in all that Finca has to offer is not just limited to those who are looking to permanently reside in a sustainable society. While anyone is welcomed to buy a piece of land to build their own tree house masterpiece, people are also encouraged to simply visit the community.
Finca is the ideal destination to unwind from daily stresses and reconnect with nature and a night in a tree house can start as low as $100. However, do not go to Finca expecting a spa retreat. This is, after all, a place to explore nature and get back in touch with your rustic roots. Instead of a 5-star luxury hotel, think of it more as the best camping experience of your life.
Volunteering is also an option at Finca. Volunteers are needed to maintain all of the community buildings as well as to assist with the vegetation and wildlife. The minimum stay for a volunteer is one month, and there is a weekly rate of $100 for housing and other living expenses.