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PLAYA LAPA, Private Beach home, Carate, Corcovado, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Bedrooms 2
Half Baths1
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 - 6 nights


Half Baths
Minimum Stay
3 - 6 nights

About the property

House, 2 Bedrooms + Convertible bed(s), 1 1/2 Baths, outdoor shower

With wide sand beaches extending for miles in either direction, Casa Playa Lapa is a privately owned beach front residence in remote Carate, Costa Rica, only two miles from the crown jewel of the national park system, Corcovado National Park. Tucked deep in a grove of lowland palms facing the Pacific Ocean and insulated from the rest of the world by jungle on either side, Playa Lapa is arguably the most remote vacation rental in all of Costa Rica, yet fully equipped for your family's comfort and convenience.

Completed in the summer of 2007, the house is constructed of tropical hardwoods, including teak interior, purple heart (nazareno) beams and accents, and cara de tigre posts. A magnificent spiral staircase of purple heart is the central architectural feature; the furniture, which has been custom built by a local craftsman, is fabricated from zebra wood. An open-design living area, loft bedroom suite, fully screened windows on both levels, and extended roof encourage free flow of air throughout the structure, supplemented by a continuous offshore ocean breeze.

Playa Lapa is about one kilometer from the end of the road in Carate, the most distant point from San Jose on the national highway system. The beach stretches pristine and vast toward Salsipuedes Point in Corcovado National Park to the northwest, and Cabo Matapalo to the southeast.

The Pacific Ocean pounds relentlessly against a prime turtle nesting beach--giant olive Ridleys have been observed laying their eggs on the path from the beach to the house itself. The thundering surf creates a continuous and exciting background upon which the cacophony of parrots and shore birds is orchestrated. This is no casual swimming beach--the costal bathemetry of the Osa Peninsula creates a typically strong undertow and large, often overpowering waves. The magnificence of this wild surf on a vast and undeveloped beach is one of Playa Lapa's most alluring natural attractions.

A resident flock of Scarlet Macaws feeds in the almond trees at the edge of the dunes, hence the name 'Playa Lapa,' meaning 'Beach of the Scarlet Macaw.' There is a migratory path through the canopy above Playa Lapa frequented by large troops of squirrel monkeys, and white faced capuchins can be seen daily feeding in the palm trees surrounding the house. Flocks of Amazon parrots are usually observed in the early morning and again at dusk. A variety of herons and egrets are found regularly feeding in the slough on small fish and lizards, while the shy and peaceable coatimundis play at the edge of the forest, occasionally lumbering from one side of the clearing to the other just off the back deck.

Casa Playa Lapa is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream of its owners. Designed by engineer daughter, it is very comfortable, convenient, eco-friendly, and is situated in a remote part of Costa Rica that is well 'off the grid.' Power is supplied by a hybrid solar / hydroelectric alternative energy system, providing conventional 110V 60-cycle American-ready electrical power. A unique solar hot water system in the roof ensures comfortable bathing during afternoon hours, as well as an outdoor shower. We also boast broadband satellite Internet and a wireless router to enable our guests to stay in touch with friends and family. High quality cookware, glassware, flatware and linens ensure that all your needs are accommodated. Typical Spanish architectural style security grills have been installed on all the windows and doors to enhance our guest's safety. In addition, bi-fold wooden shutters on the ten windows surrounding the living room permit the exclusion of ocean mist and rain as needed.

A remote getaway, Playa Lapa is truly a unique destination in and of itself. Its proximity to Corcovado National Park, while enhancing its attraction, also ensures its preservation from the tourist development occurring in the beach communities all along Costa Rica's shoreline. For a memorable experience of intimacy with nature, plus personal comfort and convenience, there is really nothing quite like Casa Playa Lapa.

Keywords: Beach house, Casa

More Details

Property Manager
Member since: 2007
Speaks: english, spanish
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
February 22, 2017

About Helene

Joe and Helene are retired professionals, now living on their farm with their two dogs and six horses. They make hay in June, and live at Playa Lapa for four months of the year. When not making hay or basking in the tropical sun, Joe works part time on the farm and Helene manages Playa Lapa.

Helene purchased this house in 2007

Why Helene chose Costa Rica

They chose this property for its remoteness, abundance of wildlife, and lack of develment.

the house was designed by their daughter, Julie, with an emphasis on maximizing living space, excellent air flow and great views of the ocean and tropical jungle.

What makes this house unique

Some of the best fishing in the world; Playa Carate is an important turtle nesting beach; close proximity to Corcovado National park, with abundant wildlife right on the property; and of course the relaxed tropical lifestyle.

Guestbook comments from the manager

‘Macaw Beach’ is located near Carate which is at the end-of-the-line for the Osa Peninsula. It’s where the road ends and the real (jungle) life begins.

This Deluxe Oceanfront off-grid wooden home is unlike any other place you’ve been. It’s an excellent location if you are a writer, ecologist, biologist, photographer, famous, not so famous, wanted or unwanted or just darn tired of the rat race and feel a strong desire to just get away from it all. It’s a place for dreamers and yes, dreams do come true and, it’s a paradise for lovers. Spiritual? Then welcome to God’s country. A great place for meditation!
May 2012
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Puntarenas House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
  • Housekeeper Optional
Floor Area:
  • 1500 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • Beachfront ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Internet
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Wireless Internet ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , Upstairs bathroom with toilet and sink, jungle view.
    Bathroom 3 - outdoor shower , The outdoor shower has propane hot water, and jungle view.
    Bathroom - toilet , shower , Downstairs bathroom has toilet, shower, sink, jungle view.
  • Passive solar hot water available in downstairs shower as weather permits, usually between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM. Outdoor bath house for refreshing shower after swimming, and with propane hot water.
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Master Bedroom - 1 queen , Adjacent bathroom is shared with second bedroom.
    Convertible bed(s) - 1 sleep sofa /futon , 2 recliners and 2 chaise lounges suitable for youth beds
    Guest Bedroom - 1 double , Adjacent bathroom is shared with Master Bedroom.
  • A queen sized bed is located in the master bedroom, with a full screened view of the ocean. One double bed is located in the guest bedroom upstairs. These two bedrooms share a half--bath between them. There is a futon sofa that folds out to make an additional double bed downstairs. The recliners in the living room fold flat for 2 additional youth size beds; the chaise lounges on the upper deck also fold down for sleeping. A second full bath is located downstairs, and a shower house is off the East Deck.
  • Books ...
  • Games ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Balcony ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Water Sports Gear ...
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • non smoking only ...
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • whale watching
  • wildlife viewing
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • kayaking
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
Playa Lapa is located about 1hour's walk on the beach from the southern entrance to the Costa Rican National Park system's crown jewel, Corcovado National Park. Playa Lapa is also located adjacent to Pejeperrito Lagoon with excellent fishing and kayaking, as well as near the gold bearing Carate River. A cook is available to prepare meals, as well as do light housekeeping and laundry. Please note that a car is not necessary and is seldom used after arrival at Playa Lapa. A taxi can be arranged for transport between Puerto Jimenez and Playa Lapa several times, while still being a lot less expensive than renting a car.


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(23 traveler reviews)

PLAYA LAPA, Private Beach home, Carate, Corcovado, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
average rating of 4.869565 based on 24 reviews
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

FANTASTIC STAy in Paradise!

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I and our 20 year old son recently spent a fabulous week over Christmas at Playa Lapa in Carate.

If you and your family are true nature lovers wanting a remote unspoiled destination to completely unplug from the pressures and stresses of modern life, then you will be in seventh heaven. If you need air conditioning, constant entertainment, wide screen TV’s, hair dryers, a huge fridge and constant electricity look elsewhere. There is no electricity, just solar panels. We were probably over cautious with our extremely minimal use of lights in the evening as we really wanted our fans to work in the bedroom! The master bedroom was quite cool, but our son’s room did not have as much circulation and he did get bug bites at night. The description on the website is very accurate...but the pictures really do not do it justice. It is gorgeous and the approach to the house from the gate with its royal palms looks like the entry to the Garden of Eden. We did several hikes-one 18 kilometer hike to the famed Sirena Station with our own guide and saw the elusive and most friendly puma reclining in the shade, a napping tapir, a band of up to 30 coatis, collared anteater, countless birds including scarlet macaws, the Costa Rican coast guard (brown pelicans), egrets, hawks, eagles, owls, trogons, basilisks, peccaries. We also saw trees with up to a dozen scarlet macaws, sloths , magnificent scenery with a swim in a waterfall and spied the much feared Fer de Lance venomous snake-all with the expert guidance of Cristhian Jimenez, a great guide recommended by the owners. The beach outside the house is insanely beautiful, the sand is soft and velvety and the sunsets outstanding, but real swimming can only be done at low tide. Because the destination is so remote with absolutely no air pollution, the night sky is amazing!! We made our own breakfasts and cooked the occasional meal. While there is a gas stove, an outside BBQ and a medium sized fridge, I was on vacation and wanted to have meals at the neighboring eco lodges. We did not rent a car as we did not feel comfortable driving through rivers to reach Carate. We kayaked in the nearby lagoon and loved it. We heartily recommend Playa Lapa Enjoy!

  • Submitted: Jan 11, 2017
  • Stayed: Dec 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you Diane, for the lovely review!! Joe and I really enjoyed you and your family, you were ideal guests. You are the kind of people that really appreciate being up close with the wildlife, and you understood off grid living better than most! You are welcome guests anytime!! Helene and Joe
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Amazing Experience at Playa Lapa

  • 5 of 5

Our family spent 9 amazing days at play Lapa. The house is situated perfectly between the jungle and the beach. Every morning, and evening, the various types of monkeys would visit the mango trees on the property. We'd sit and watch them take one bite of the mango and toss it to the ground. The Macaws squawked at one another in the surrounding trees. We'd see as many as 30 macaws flying overhead at once.

The beach was a bit rough but swim-able at low tied. The kids played in the waves daily. We'd visit the neighboring lodges and hike though the jungle in search of howler monkeys.

The accommodation were perfect for our family. It gave us a chance to disconnect from the reality of daily job and responsibilities and focus on one another and nature. This was a wonderful experience and we are already planning our return.

  • Submitted: Jul 18, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you Leivy and Kevin for your good review!! It was a delight to help you plan this trip, and the staff certainly enjoyed having you!! We will look forward to hosting you again at Playa Lapa! Peace and monkeys!! Helene
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metro Boston, MA, USA

Playa Lapa / Carate Getaway

  • 5 of 5

Playa Lapa is the quintessential Costa Rican beach house; beautiful architecture, picture perfect gardens just a few steps to a spectacular beach with rolling surf and indeed is very secluded and private. The house itself is very comfortably furnished with a fully equipped kitchen. Power for refrigeration and lights has to be judicially managed but is very adequate so long as lights are not left on when not needed.

On arrival we were very warmly greeted by the caretaker/ biologist researcher who lives on the property. She's a delightful young woman who showed us how things worked and even supplied a couple of grocery items that we forgot to bring with us from Puerto Jiminez

In February, when we visited, it was quite warm and humid but the house is equipped with multiple fans. The house got very warm during the day but cooled off nicely late in the afternoon and evening.

The area has wonderful bird life, is close to Corcovado National Park and is also near a most interesting bird rescue and rehab facility, all of which we took advantage of and thoroughly enjoyed

We (4 adults) stayed 5 days and very much enjoyed Playa Lapa , the beach and Carate.

  • Submitted: Feb 22, 2016
  • Stayed: Feb 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Mike and Pat--how pleased I am that you enjoyed our home! And your kind words about Phoebe are greatly appreciated. We sincerely hope to see you again soon at Playa Lapa! Peace and turtles! Helene
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  • 5 of 5

Playa Lapa exceeded our expectations! Couldn't imagine a better place. Kitchen was perfect for two chefs. The setting was so romantic. Thank you Helene for making this home available. We had an amazing time in Corcovado National Park with Christian. The monkeys that visit daily are such a treat. The house is beautiful and clean. Would come back again in a heartbeat.

  • Submitted: Feb 11, 2016
  • Stayed: Apr 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you, Linda, for the lovely review!! I was so pleased to hear from you, and delighted that you enjoyed our beach home!! Joe and I are always working to keep it safe, clean, and well repaired, we have added a new stone BBQ and cozy outdoor shower for your enjoyment on your next visit!! Sincerely, Helene
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jersey city, NJ

Love Playa Lapa

  • 5 of 5

We stayed at Playa Lapa over Christmas and New Years and had a fantastic time. The place was exactly what we were looking for and Helene and Joe are great hosts. Communication was excellent and they were always available to answer questions. We love to cook and the house has a sizable kitchen that has everything you need including a large chest fridge/freezer. Getting there is a little bit of a challenge due to the rough road from Jimenez, and we would probably opt for flying to Jimenez (from SJ) and using a cab service to get to the house next time, stocking up on provisions at the BM grocery in Jimenez (most stores were open dec 24, 25 and jan 1 when we were there). Finding a good deal on a rental car is almost impossible in CR due to their hidden fees (added 70% to the reservation quote). Birding is one of our passions and Osa does not get any better. We enjoyed a number of morning kayaks (the first of which guided by Joe to show us around) in the nearby lagoon and Helene also organized a hike into Corcovado for us with Christian as our local guide. He was wonderful...full of knowledge and was great at teaching us about so many interesting things in the jungle. Shady Lane is right across the street and we walked that daily for additional bird and other wildlife / nature observation. We did yoga on the lovely wrap around porch and cooled off in the ocean during low tide. Perfect!

  • Submitted: Jan 4, 2016
  • Stayed: Dec 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Beautiful beach home

  • 5 of 5

We had a few wonderful days in Playa Lapa, with lots of birdwatching, hiking and kayaking. The house is beautifully built and very well equipped - an ideal location for all nature lovers. Our family of four thoroughly enjoyed the stay and all our activities which were greatly supported by helpful advice and organization by the owner. We hope to be back one day!!

  • Submitted: Sep 1, 2015
  • Stayed: Aug 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you, Sofia and Thomas, for you great review! We all enjoyed having you, and helping you plan you tours, and we look forward to hosting you again! Pura Vida! Helene
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Nearest Airport
1 Miles
Carate air strip
Nearest Ferry
50 Miles
Sierpe River
Nearest Motorway
20 Miles
Nearest Beach
50 Metres
Carate beach
Car: recommended

Carate is a remote community on the Pacific shore of the OSA Peninsula, within hiking distance of Corcovado National Park. Casa Playa Lapa is the only beach front rental home in Carate, just steps from the open Pacific surf. The nearby Pejeperrita lagoon, is fed by a fresh water slough between the beach and the casa. Kayaking on the lagoon is a very popular tour in Carate, with 4 kayaks available to Playa Lapa guests. Hiking trails throughout the community and beyond traverse a variety of ecosystems including the watershed, jungle and higher elevations. Pumas, dantas, jaguarundis, anteaters, coatamundis, many varieties of parrots and shore birds, frogs, reptiles and butterflies can be see on the property and surrounding community. Sea turtle nesting occurs throughout the year. Excellent nature photography, each season with its own exciting species--just sit back on one the breezy decks around the casa and enjoy the show!!


Rates & Availability

Puntarenas House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Manager accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Jun 1 2017 - Nov 30 2017
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $15 per night, per additional guest
Dec 15 2017 - Jan 1 2018
6 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $15 per night, per additional guest
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $15 per night, per additional guest

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $200
Tax Rate 13.0%

CHECH IN: 3:00 PM. CHECK OUT: 11:00 AM
Rates quoted are for 2 persons ONLY. Additional persons ((total of 6) are $15 extra per person per night. RATES INCLUDE ANY TAXES.
DAMAGE DEPOSIT 100% refundable if the house is left in the same condition as arrival. Laundry will be processed by staff. ***EXCESS laundry usage will be deducted from deposit.
CANCELLATION POLICY: 3 months or more before arrival date, refund less bank and processing fee. Less than 3 months to 1 month before arrival date, re-booking credit (less fees) will be given. Less than 30 days before arrival date, a rebooking credit will be given only if the dates can be rented to another party. No refunds for late arrivals or early departures.

Manager's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 90 days before arrival date.
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