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Villa las Rocas is a very unique tropical home in the mountains of Panama. Situated in the Fontanella division of the beautiful Altos del Maria development, this house is perfect for nature lovers. This true tropical design was created to enhance comfort and foster a living-outside lifestyle.
Located near the Rio Maria and surrounded by lush green-space and a creek, this one acre lot provides total privacy and a peacefulness and closeness to nature that will please bird watchers and gardeners alike. Villa las Rocas is 150 meters (500 feet) from the Rio Maria Sendero (river trail) where you will find multiple waterfalls, rapids and swimming holes.
This property offers beautiful views of the river valley with Mount Picacho dominating the background.
Lot Dimensions: 4025 m2 (1 acre) plus extra usable green space all around.
Location: 359 Calle Rio Maria, Fontanella, Altos del Maria.
Lot Elevation: approximately 450 meters (1500 ft) at street level.
Average Temperatures: Daily highs from 26C to 30C (79F to 86F), nightly lows from 20C to 24C (68F to 75F)
Construction: steel-reinforced concrete with oversized footings and engineered seismic re-enforcement rings.
Finish: quality ceramic tiles on all floors inside and out.
Roofs: genuine colonial-style red clay-tiles over impermeable zinc. The bohio and guest-house front porch are covered in high-quality Palmex synthetic thatch roofing.
Pool: steel-reinforced concrete. After the pool settled several leaks were found, a common problem with concrete pools in Altos del Maria. We removed the ceramic tiles and applied 1″ of finish cement with waterproof additive, followed by 1/8″ layer of Flexcrete (a flexible and impermeable cement) and finished it all with two coats of epoxy paint.
Doors & Windows: Aluminum sliding doors and windows, tinted glass and white frames.
- Living Module: 62 m2 [667.3 ft2]
- Bedroom Module: 73.4 m2 [790.1 ft2] (1st floor) + 54 m2 [581.3 ft2](2nd floor)
- Guest House: 66.1 m2 [711.5 ft2]
- Tiled Terraces & Bohio: 153.8 m2 [1655.5 ft2]
- Pool & Jacuzzi: 73.4 m2 [790.1 ft2]
- Total Area: 482.7 m2 [5196 ft2]
Kitchen Cabinets: Handmade by a German cabinet maker with local “roble” veneers and hardwoods. Counter tops are covered with dark green Brazilian granite.
Kitchen Appliances: Frigidaire Stainless-Steel Professional Series. 1x 17 cu.ft. refrigerator, 1x 17cu.ft freezer (combined as a single built-in unit), 1 5 burner gas cooktop, 1 wall mounted 27″ wide convection oven + microwave, 1 whisper-quiet dishwasher. (Guest-house has a Frigidaire 15 cu.ft. white refrigerator, a Panasonic microwave oven and an Ariston 2-burner electric cooktop).
Bathroom Fixtures: Mostly high-quality Delta.
Air Conditioners: Top of the line Panasonic w. high-efficiency inverter technology and quiet and dehumidifier modes, (2 units of 18,000 BTUs + 2 units of 24,000 BTUs) We rarely use them, except for removing humidity in the bedrooms at some times of year.
The unique and distinctive Villa las Rocas was designed by Arq. Delfin del Busto de Roux from 8Grados Arquitectura. The concept behind the design and architecture was to emphasize a “living-outside” and “close-to-nature” tropical lifestyle. The house itself is built on a sloped lot that emphasizes the beautiful views while giving a feeling of living in a botanical garden. The main house is made up of three different modules linked by covered walkways. This means that all the rooms in the house can take advantage of the views while enabling flow-through air circulation.
Those three modules include the living module which hosts both the living-room and kitchen, the bedroom module, and the bohio module which features the BBQ and outdoor dining-room. A fourth module is actually a complete 66 m2 (711 ft2) guest house. The four modules are arranged around a stunning infinity pool and covered terrace that ties everything into a coherent design while enhancing the views and helping keep the living module cool.
The Living Module
The living module is where you will likely be spending most of your time. This module is approximately 62 m2 (667 sq. ft.) and includes a large living/media room, a beautiful kitchen, a half-bathroom, and a large walk-in pantry. The front wall of this module features large sliding glass doors that enable us to completely open up this module to the pool and the mountain views. Combined with three large windows on the back-side and the 16′ vaulted ceiling of this module, the sliding doors let the cool evening breezes flow right through so that you will likely never have to use the air conditioner.
The kitchen features beautiful and ample custom cabinets made by a German craftsman using local “roble” solid wood and veneers and are topped with “peacock-green” Brazilian granite. The quality stainless-steel appliances are from the Frigidaire Professional series and include a 34 cu.ft. built-in refrigerator/freezer combo, a high-end gas cook top with 5 burners, a whisper-quiet dishwasher and a wall-mounted 27” oven/microwave combo. The cook top is mounted atop a large island counter with enough room for four people to eat at on those few days when the weather does not allow eating in the outside dining room. A large walk-in pantry completes the kitchen and allows for the storage of plenty of food supplies in order to reduce the number of trips down to the grocery store. There is also enough space between the kitchen and living-room to place a mid-size dining-room table, but we much prefer eating outside!
Finally, a spacious half-bathroom with doors opening both to the kitchen and directly to the outside terrace allow easy access for your guests, which are likely to be plentiful with a setting like this!
The Bedroom Module
A few steps up from the main module, you will find the very distinctive bedroom module. This two story building features a large master suite on the lower level and a smaller suite on the second level. The 63 m2 (790 sq.ft.) master suite features a large bedroom with plenty of room for a king-size bed and a sitting area as well as three sets of glass doors laid-out in a half-octagon pattern and opening up to the canopy of the trees below and to a wonderful view of Mount Picacho. When the glass doors are opened, you can enjoy the flow-through breezes and the sounds of the birds in the nearby trees. On either side of the bedroom you will find steps leading to his and hers walk-through closets and to the spacious bathroom in the back. This bathroom features a large shower, a soaking tub surrounded by windows and double glass-bowl vanities set on top of a table made from solid “roble” wood. The bathroom also has a sliding glass door opening up to a private garden area in the back.
Just outside of the master suite you will find a covered stairway that leads to the upper bedroom suite. This 54 m2 (581 ft2) “junior” suite is identical to the master bedroom but features a single smaller closet and a smaller but still spacious bathroom with a glass vanity and a glass-block wall delimiting the large shower. Most of the bathroom fixtures are made by Delta and they are supplied with a commercial-grade Bosch tank less gas water heater that requires no electricity or batteries and can turn on with only half a gallon per minute of flow, so you will never run out of hot water!
Directly in front of the master-suite you will find a terrace covered in “laja” flat stones. This terrace offers plenty of shade and a wide-open view of Mount Picacho, perfect for setting up a hammock.
The Bohio Module
On the other side of the main module, right next to the pool, you will find a 7m (22 ft) diameter bohio (palapa) that shelters a high-quality stainless-steel built-in Napoleon gas BBQ and gas cook top. There is also plenty of room for some relaxing patio furniture and a teak dining-room set that sits 6 people comfortably. You can eat out here on most days and enjoy the views of the pool with its waterfall and of course, the ever-present Mount Picacho. You can also hear and see the nearby creek that flows along the west side of the lot, and during the height of the wet season, you can even hear the Rio Maria roaring down the valley below.
On the lower level of the bohio, you will find a carport, lockable storage space, laundry facilities and the pool systems.
The Pool & Terrace
Without a doubt, the most stunning feature of Villa Las Rocas is the swimming pool. This very large swimming pool has an irregular shape that hugs the covered terrace as it links the various modules together. It has a total surface area of 70 m2 (760 sq. ft.) and a 5 meter wide infinity edge with sends water cascading down a 3 meter tall wall. This waterfall is flanked by stone walls covered with flowering vines and it overlooks the driveway and provides a stunning greeting to your guests as they walk up to the house.
There is also a whirlpool tub next to the pool and it sends its water cascading down into the main pool. When you walk out of the living room through the glass doors, you immediately come up to the 3 meter wide steps inviting you to enter the pool for a relaxing swim.
The Guest House
This 66 m2 (711 sq. ft.) guest house is surprisingly spacious, bright and airy. It features a large bedroom that opens up to the living-room and kitchen below and has its own bathroom and patio doors leading to the pool terrace above. The living room with compact kitchen has a 16′ vaulted ceiling with cupola and a wall of windows opening up to the mountain views in front.
It also has a very large set of double-sliding doors leading to a nice stone terrace with a parasol and surrounded by lots of flowers and trees.
Villa las Rocas is nestled on a very large (for Altos del Maria) 1 acre (4,025 m2, 43,325 sq. ft.) lot that is sloped towards the south affording beautiful views of Mount Picacho. This lot is privileged to be surrounded by green space on all sides, there are no immediate neighbors. To the north is a large area of green-space sheltering the lot from the main road (Paseo Maria). To the west is a huge expanse of green-space that is too steep to be developed and it includes a nice ridge that shelters Villa las Rocas from about 90% of the crazy gusty winds that Altos del Maria is famous for during the months of January to March. To the south is the cul-de-sac, (this property is the only lot on this dead-end street) and on the other side of the street is green-space all the way to the Rio Maria (approx 150 meters). On the East side you will find a 50 meter band of green space that protects the creek. The seller has been actively planting a large variety of tropical trees, including jasmine, pink roble, guayacán, flamboyant, jacaranda. Also an equally large variety of tropical fruit trees including four kinds of bananas, papayas, oranges, lemons, avocados, grapefruits, mangoes, passion fruits, pineapples and coffee have been planted. There are too many kinds of flowers and vines to keep track of and over a half-dozen different kinds of palm trees! While many of these trees and plants are still young, the lot is already beginning to look like a botanical garden. The area behind the living module has a vegetable garden where they have successfully grow green beans, cucumbers, watermelons, green onions, peppers, tomatoes and lettuce. There is also a stone-covered trail that loops up and to the west of the lot, culminating at an observation platform up on the ridge that affords a commanding view of the valley.
Neighborhood: Altos Del Maria
Lot Size: 4025m2
Square Feet: 5196
Location: Altos Del Maria
- Mike Vuytowecz