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Tour Mel Gibson’s Tropical Estate in Costa Rica

Luxury Defined visits the paradisiacal Playa Barrigona, a spectacular private compound on Costa Rica’s serene Pacific coast

Situated amid 500 acres of privately owned jungle in a remote area of Costa Rica’s lush Nicoya Peninsula, Playa Barrigona, the private estate of Academy Award–winning actor and director Mel Gibson, could easily be mistaken for an exotic movie set. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this secluded compound is a tropical retreat unlike any other: ultra luxurious and state of the art, yet its quietude and tranquility evoke the slower pace of another time. Located on the Pacific Coast, the Nicoya Peninsula is one of Costa Rica’s best-kept secrets: here pristine beaches and a low-key atmosphere mean that residents are just as likely to encounter turtles, monkeys, and colorful tropical birds as they are other people. For those seeking a true hideaway, that kind of privacy is paradise.

Nestled in a secluded area of Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula surrounded by 500 acres of tropical forest, it boasts three villas overlooking the Pacific Ocean and its own private white-sand beach.

Costa Rica’s pristine and secluded Nicoya Peninsula is full of tropical vegetation and a wide array of wildlife.

The estate is composed of three separate villas, each with ocean views: Casa Dorada, Casa Barrigona, and the largest of the three, Casa Guanacaste.

Each structure is designed in classic Spanish style with a vibrant terracotta roof, vivid plaster walls finished in bright hues, and an elegant central courtyard paved in coral stone.

Tiles from Italy and Spain lend comfort and a sense of history to the interiors of Playa Barrigona, while native exotic hardwoods from Costa Rica frame the rooms and walkways. Carved wood door surrounds with leaf motifs bring the look of the rich botanical landscape indoors.

The spacious and light-filled interiors of the three secluded Playa Barrigona retreats have high vaulted ceilings.



Verandas with jungle and ocean views, full chef’s kitchens, outdoor areas for grilling, and many other amenities make them ideal for accommodating and entertaining guests.

Each air-conditioned villa has its own private pool. In the pool and sunning areas, handsome Costa Rican carvings give the estate a sense of place and local character.

Casa Guanacaste has seven bedrooms and eight bathrooms. While Casa Barrigona and Casa Dorada each have two bedrooms along with additional living spaces, Casa Barrigona also boasts a poolside cottage and Casa Dorada includes a loft space, providing ample private quarters for guests. A traditional carved wood house that was shipped piece by piece from Bali and reassembled at Playa Barrigona provides a tranquil, open-air retreat that offers shade from the sun and an ideal location for an outdoor repast or yoga session.

Playa Barrigona is located near two charming villages, Samara and Nosara, which offer restaurants, shopping, and historic architecture. Visitors from abroad who fly into either the San José or Liberia airport can then take a short commuter flight to the Nosara Airport or simply drive to Playa Barrigona.