Last month, during a trip to the Colombian Amazon, I slept in a treehouse – actually a simple one-room cabin entered by a trap-door in the floor – built half-way up a giant mahogany tree in the midst of the rainforest. The lodge, Tanimboca, was almost a kilometer away, and being alone at night with nothing but the buzzing and chirrups of insects, and the presence of myriad nocturnal creatures was fantastic.

In the middle of the night, some large mammal jumped onto the bough near my cabin, shaking the tree. All was then silent and all I could see as I peered out into the pitch black was the flickering of fireflies. I was thrilled at the thought that an ocelot or other big cat was prowling in hunt of prey just feet from where I slept. Maybe, unseen, it was peering in at me.

Want to sleep in a treehouse in Costa Rica?

Easily done.

When it comes to hotels in Costa Rica, I thought I’d seen it all. Then I learned about Lapa’s Nest Costa Rica Treehouse, on the Osa Peninsula.

This sensational place is the creation of architect Michael Cranford and Rebecca Amelia (aka Blondie) , who built themselves a dream tree house high in a 70-meter-tall guanacaste tree.

A small spider monkey sits on the jungle floor.

Photo © EricGevaert.

In the foothills above the hamlet of Barrio Bonito, 13-km north of Puerto Jiménez, the six-level, 950-square-foot, four-bedroom, two-bathroom treehouse was built entirely of naturally fallen hardwood timber, and doesn’t even touch the tree. It wraps around it, and is flexible (ie. it moves). Amazing!

You even get a living room, kitchenette, WiFi (most of the time), plus TV, and wonderful 360-degree ocean views.

No Robinson Crusoe experience, this: you get to enjoy luxurious Egyptian cotton sheets, making (says Michael) “Swiss Family Robinson’s treehouse look like the slums.”

Down below, a rainforest garden spa is shared with villa rental units in the same rainforest reserve, which has trails (treehouse guests get a private naturalist guide (plus maid). Leave the door open and you might find an iguana plodding in.

Reservations are required; no walk-ins allowed!

Want to literally live with the monkeys? This is it!