+ The liquid of life gushes abundantly from springs high on the unpopulated mountain behind us, then passes through two-stage filters to provide safe and delicious drinking water in all the houses.
+ All units have fully appointed kitchens including blenders and coffee-making systems; lots of dishes and cooking utensils; refrigerators and gas stoves; but we skip microwave ovens.
+ All beds are insect-and-scorpion proofed with either inverted pie-plates on top of the legs, or else hanging from ropes from above. All have organza mosquito nets which, when properly tucked in, keep out insects of all sizes. From November through June is a relatively bug-free season, and although we only use our nets in the summer rainy season, the insects sometimes are attracted to the “fresh meat” of visiting northerners. If you are sensitive, Herbal Armor insect repellent is available up north, and is one of the rare essential oil combos that really works, and has won a National Geographic award.
+ We are diligent in the pillow and mattress department to ensure comfortable sleeps. The pictured pillowcase is a local cross-stitching still made and sold by a few older local women. If you want to buy, ask us to set up a meeting for you.
+ All units have solar hot water showers (except Elemental, which is too far away from the solar collector), with either electric or on-demand-gas back-ups for the days when the sun is blocked by clouds. Back in the olden days that was almost never, but the times they are a’changin’, and Victor the predictor has gone into retirement. Read about our solar system in detail here.
+ All units have separate pee toilets, which must be flushed every time, and add odor-free and nitrogen-rich water to happy gardens. The only septic tank serves two rooms at Central, and because pee-flushings and grey-water do not enter, the volume is well within system capacity and has not given us any odiferous grief nor seeped into the bay. Septic tanks on Yelapa’s rocky hillsides do not percolate well, and jungle roots make quick mockery of drainage pipes . When you flush, there really is no ‘away.’
+ All other units use a composting pooper system. Regular toilet seats are secured above buckets where feces are released and well covered with sawdust. It will NOT smell when adequately covered – a scoop or two will do. Full buckets will be carried off by our workers, and composted in enclosed containers for two years to fully ensure non-survival of possible pathogens. The gardens love the very rich fertilizer which results.
+ All units have lock-boxes for paper and electronic valuables. (Local thievery is sometimes a problem, depending on whether the main guy has bought his way out of jail). Isabel kept everyone’s valuables in her old-refrigerator filing-system without mishap, but better safe than sorry is our way these device-ubiquitous days.
+ In late 2017 thievery reached an all-time high in Yelapa. Our Neighborhood Watch group successfully lobbied for police presence and installed strategically placed surveillance cameras. Since then thievery is rare. During spells of thievery we use trip lines along the trail. We refuse to allow young, misguided dunderheads to co-opt the freedom of this little corner of paradise.
+ All units have fans, hammocks and lounge chairs.
+ Yoga mats and accessories are available in the Pavilion, or you can take them to your house for the duration of your stay. Many mornings we offer Pilates or Yoga classes in the Pavilion. Except for the rare times that a group has reserved the Casa Central complex but not all the houses, all guests are welcome to relax in the Pavilion and lounge chairs on the adjoining patio. Sometimes we get lucky and the musicians gather and the good times roll.
+ All kitchens have containers with tight lids to store non-refrigerator food which is attractive to the tejones, raccoons, skunks, opossums, lizards and armadillos who were here long before we were, and thankfully are still at home on this jungle garden hillside.
+ As well as thriving indigenous plants, with thanks in large part to Isabel’s foresight and love of gardening, our productive fruit trees include avocado, mango, limes, orange, papaya, banana, guanabano, passion fruit, pineapple and pomegranate. Working around the many creatures who are eager to share the harvest, we are often able to grow cucumbers, tomatoes, and a variety of herbs.
+ Swimming and snorkeling are good at Playa Isabel below the property and along the shore further along, or on the other side. You are welcome to use masks and snorkels from our ever-changing collection. Snorkeling is also fabulous at Pizota, our favorite get-away town of 80 people, just a 15 minute water taxi ride down the coast. Our boat guy Sefarino also knows lots of great snorkeling spots.
+ We have 2 green kayaks for your touring pleasure, unlocked in the yard just above Playa Isabel. Paddles are stored up near Casa Central and must be returned there after use.
+ Your host Chris has been FLYING paragliders in Yelapa for two decades, and offers lessons and tandem rides. He is the guy drifting delightful piano music around the property.
+ Your hostess Beverly has studied and practiced acupressure since she was a wild young thing. Many guests cite BODYWORK as a prime motivator in their return.
+ Melaine is a fabulous and competent woman who will help with your on-site needs.
+ An antonym for amenity is aversion. Since full disclosure is the only way to go, and so all your Casa Isabel surprises will be good ones, we include as a possible aversion: scorpions, which can be found everywhere in Yelapa. [It would be a lie of omission not to fess up]. Our average number of guests stung by scorpions is less than one per year. Scorpions sting defensively if you unknowingly molest them. So the preventative measure is to LOOK wherever you put your hands, and watch were you are going. You will be fully oriented upon arrival. We are prepared with support and medicines in the rare event of a scorpion sting.
+ Other possible aversions include: army ants which sweep through a few times a year eating scorpions and insects; and possibly the many species of spiders and snakes that pass through occasionally and are natural in the jungle and are almost entirely shy and harmless unless molested. To our knowledge, there have been no unfortunate intersections with spiders or snakes at Casa Isabel. All houses throughout Yelapa share these possible aversions.
Also, land crabs emerge with the first rains and occasionally people are less than delighted at their abundance and hilarious antics. Go figure.