Ben (Gourmet Gringo) spent more than 30 years in the restaurant industry, and later, added real estate developement. Starting at just 16 years old working in the kitchen of a luxury Muskoka resort in Northern Ontario, Canada, he found his love for food. While opening several successful restaurants in Canada and the southern US, Ben was invited to appear on many TV shows such as Good Morning Texas on WFAA, AZ Family TV's morning show and the popular Breakfast Television in both Toronto and Vancouver to showcase his love for good food and educating audiences across North America. Ben cooks breakfast daily at the main house at Tree of Life Cabinas, blending world fare with Latin flavors using the fresh products so readily available in Costa Rica. We hope you will join us for breakfast, available everyday with notice.
During the Day, Ben spends time with our guests that have decided to make the move to Costa Rica, helping find the perfect property, home or business. Please click on the "Real Estate" tab above if you would like more information.
Part of our adventure is making new friends, so we hope you will join us at Tree of Life Cabinas!
After several vacations to Costa Rica we (Ben & Nate) fell in love with the Costa Bellena region on the South Pacific coast. This area is lush and green all year long, even during the 'dry' season. The beaches are beautiful and easy to access, and the wildlife is abundant. We also love that the mountains come right up to the ocean, so you can escape the heat of the coast while never being far away from all the fun activities and beautiful scenery!
We knew immediately that this was the property for us, even though it was pretty 'wild' on first viewing. The first thing we noticed was a massive mango tree, easily the oldest and largest in the area. It has large, spreading branches covered in bromeliads, ferns and orchids, with an open canopy that allows the dappled sunlight to come streaming through. Plus, it produces big, juicy, delicious mangos! The locals from the nearby village have enjoyed it's fruit for many years, and we've continued this tradition of sharing the harvest. This is our Tree of Life, and we've built our home and cabinas around it.
The Tree of Life is a symbol used in nearly every society across the globe, including ancient Persia, Egypt, and China, as well as the Norse, Jewish, Christian, Aztec, Mayan and Iroquois belief systems. We named our place Tree of Life Cabinas to represent our intent to live connected with nature, chase our (sometimes crazy) dreams and make friends from all over the globe.
Nate spent many years in the hotel industry previous to opening his own event planning business. From conferences and conventions of 8,000 people to small intimate weddings, Nate's experience has made him the perfect person to welcome you and help you plan your Costa Rican adventure. He is also an avid birdwatcher and gardener, and has taken great care in planting native species and tropical ornamentals that attract local wildlife.