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Modern House with Pool - as seen in 'Easy Living' magazine

Bedrooms 1
Half Baths1
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 nights


Half Baths
Minimum Stay
3 nights

About the property

House, 2 Bedrooms, 1.5 Baths, (Sleeps 4)

The lovely two-bedroom Casa Roja (Red House) on the 150 acre Finca Estrella is one of only four modern holiday homes in this area of outstanding natural beauty. Our neighbors are all wonderful local Ticos (Costa Ricans) so if you want to absorb the real Costa Rican culture, this is the place to stay. Plus we are only minutes from the beach and the local surf break!

Read 'A Friend Laughs' by Jo Freeman for the funny and true story of our beginnings. Essential reading for anyone who has dreamt of changing their life. Available from Amazon.

Casa Roja is best suited for a couple, a family with older children or two couples. This is because the second bedroom (blue bedroom which has a sink) is accessed from outside, down the spiral staircase, so the house isn't suitable for younger children. The laundry is also downstairs and has a toilet and sink.

On the balcony and roof terrace you are surrounded by verdant rainforest teeming with endangered squirrel monkeys, sloths, toucans, scarlet macaws, many different hummingbirds, armadillos, white-faced monkeys, and thousands of iridescent butterflies. The stars from the roof terrace at night are amazing and make sure you keep a look out whilst you are showering in the outdoor shower, a sloth is often spotted in a neighboring tree.

Inside the house are orthopedic mattresses, granite countertops in the kitchen, and stunning locally-carved wooden doors with rainforest designs. In the garden there is a huge mango tree and a variety of citrus trees. There are numerous walks for all abilites starting from the finca. You can also mountain bike and horse ride here.

The house includes use of the gorgeous 18m swimming pool with children’s pool and barbeque area, waterfall, separate washroom and amazing outdoor shower and our horse is at your disposal - others can be rented for $20 a day from our neighbours. The trek to the beautiful black sand beach at Pilon is a 'must do'. Watch the local surfers on the almost unknown left break, stand-up paddleboard or gawp at the kite-surfers on a breezy afternoon or you may be lucky enough to see the local fishermen in the water with their lines catching your dinner. Fish and jumbo shrimp are often available from them to buy and make a fantastic meal, look for the signs on the beach road or ask them.

Talking of food, there are two sodas (small restaurants) at nearby Pilon selling cheap Tico-style food and a bar which serves food and another new soda 10 minutes away in Conte. Pavones, with its world famous left-hand surf break 8km (20-25 minutes)away, has some nice restaurants which include an Israeli vegetarian (great power bars and broccoli quiche!), Italian and the Mediterranean La Manta that shows surf videos and new and old movies.

There are a couple of pulperias (small stores selling basic items) minutes away, a supermarket 10 minutes away and a man in a truck drives to your door every Monday with fresh fruit and vegetables. Pineapples, mangoes, watermelons, papayas, cashews, a wonderful type of lychee, coconuts, guavas, ice cream beans, oranges, lemons, and grapefruit can all be picked at the finca depending on the time of year. Come and see what you can find!

A 4x4 rental car is advisable and absolutely necessary in the height of the rainy season. Solid Car Rental are based near the airport in Golfito or 4x4rentacar are a good cheap option in San Jose if you want to drive down. Other companies will deliver a car to Golfito Airport for you.

Keywords: Luxury Rainforest House

More Details

Jo Freeman
Member since: 2008
Speaks: english, spanish
Response time:
Within a few days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
January 2, 2017


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(10 traveler reviews)

Modern House with Pool - as seen in 'Easy Living' magazine
average rating of 5.0 based on 10 reviews
Cincinnati, OH

Favorite Spot in Costa Rica

  • 5 of 5

This was our third trip to Casa Amarilla and I always leave hoping there will be many more to come. This time we only stayed for a week. In the past we'd stayed for a month. I wish we could stay for a year! We absolutely love it here. Pavones is an amazing area that is still sort of a best kept secret. On the drive from SJO to Finca Estrella you pass through the bustling touristy towns of Jaco, Hermosa, and Manuel Antonio where you sometimes see more American's than Ticos. As you drive further south everything becomes a little calmer. The beaches are beautiful. We love Pilon because we are almost always the only people there and it is a short drive down the hill. My husband even made the journey by foot two years ago. I definitely recommend a 4WD vehicle for getting around. Each year that we've stayed we've seen monkeys, toucans, and macaws all from the deck. Nature is all around you here. You see from your bedroom windows what others pay for tour guides to see. And if you don't notice it on your own Freddy is always there to help point things out. I could go on and on about the incredible kindness of the people who work on Finca Estrella for pages and pages. Freddy is the most easy going and helpful person. My children talk about Grace all the time. We were happy to go on an excursion to a waterfall with her husband Enrique who is a phenomenal tour guide. The minute we get home from this place I start looking for flights back.

  • Submitted: Mar 12, 2015
  • Stayed: Feb 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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1 0


  • 5 of 5

When we came up the little dirt road leading to casa roja, we did anything else than expect such an splended, neat and well built finca. We felt comfortable from the first second. The pool area just toped that impression Freddy was super cool, dropped by every now and then to chat and look if we need anything. Very good guy!!!

The 2 nights felt flying by in such an awesome place and we regret to not have taken more time. Very recommendable place!!!

  • Submitted: Dec 26, 2014
  • Stayed: Dec 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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0 0
Canterbury Kent

Amazing Rainforest Retreat!

  • 5 of 5

I stayed here for over 2 months. I stayed at Casa Amarilla which is the largest of all the houses (of 3) and from the moment I stepped through the door, I felt like I was in paradise! If you havn't read Jo's book 'A Friend Laughs' (available on Amazon), you really should before you come. Putting faces to names in the book is really fun, and the descriptions of the rainforest etc are spot on! I bought a Machete to hack through the Rainforest with, and felt just like Tarzan, its amazing!

White Faced and Squirrel monkeys are in the trees right outside the house, sloths, toucans, vultures etc... I even saw a Boa Constrictor that Freddy had caught attacking his chickens, they are very large!

Its so peacefull here, as it is right in the Rainforest with amazing views of the Ocean. I would definately recomend a car (or do as I did and rent a Quad Bike, much easier to get around on), as it is a good 10 minute drive to the Beach, but that is not really a bad thing because otherwise you would not be in such an amazingly relaxing, safe place.

Freddy, Enrique, Grace, Margharita and everyone else who lives/works on the finca are amazing, really friendly, invite you around for dinner and took me on a local horse ride with about 60 people! they really are friends for life!

When you come, remember to bring lots of mosquito spray if your as white as a sheet like me, they love sweet skin! A short drive away (along roads with amazing views), you will find Pavones, and Puerto Pilon which are lovely beaches for you to surf. pavones has the Second longest Left Break Wave in the world, but I was a beginner so only learnt in Puerto Pilon (by all the fishermans huts that I bought Lobster for $10 for 2KG's from Macho Pulpo).

Once you arrive, you will never want to leave! The drive there and back (if you choose not to fly from San Jose to Golfito) is amazing, I would recomend it, tis a long drive but you go up through the mountains (take the mountain route, not the new highway route) and you will experience about 7 different tropical climates in one trip!

Don't come here if you are expecting an Ibiza/CanCun style nightlife scene, this really is a serene place to come and get away from life's woes! Go to La Manta bar at Pavones if you want a drink/disco every friday/saturday and say British James sent you!!!


  • Submitted: Jul 11, 2012
  • Stayed: Apr 2012
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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3 0
Cincinnati, OH

The Real Costa Rica Experience

  • 5 of 5

I stayed with my two daughters (1 and 3) for a month at Finca Estrella. Jo and Crispin have built beautiful houses with amazing views! On our previous trip to Costa Rica we had stayed by Arenal and Playa Flamingo. Both of these areas were heavily populated with tourists and this time we wanted something more authentic. We definitely got it! There was no need to drive to a national park when we had the beautiful grounds to walk around. We saw monkeys, macaws, and toucans while eating on the porch of Casa Madera. We enjoyed the beaches of Pilon, Zancuda, and Pavones, which were all a short drive from the Finca. When we didn't want to drive the pool was practically right outside our door. Most of all we enjoyed the INCREDIBLE hospitality of Jo and Crispin and their staff Freddy, Enrique, and Grace. Freddy was there to greet us and promptly answer any question we had. Enrique took us on amazing adventures. We hiked to the most beautiful waterfall and were able to ride horses to the beach. Grace somehow managed to keep the place spotless despite my two children. I have never felt so welcome someplace and never been so sad to leave. Staying here was an experience that I won't soon forget. My daughters had a wonderful time. I don't think they will ever look at a zoo the same after all the animals we saw right outside our door! I hope we will be returning soon.

  • Submitted: Mar 9, 2012
  • Stayed: Jan 2012
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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2 0

Amazing Stay at Finca Estrella!!

  • 5 of 5

We stayed 4 months at Finca Estrella and had the most incredible time! Getting to know the wonderful and inviting Finca Estrella crew and neighbors was one of the best parts. The pool is the perfect setting to relax and take in the the all beauty of the nature that surrounds you. We had squirrel monkeys visit right out on the deck almost every morning and more toucans than we could count! We watched some of the most beautiful red sky sunsets, setting over the sweeping views of the Osa Peninsula. The horseback riding trips Freddy arranged for us were great fun and very memorable experiences. We would highly recommend Finca Estrella for a tranquil yet adventurous get away! Pura Vida!

  • Submitted: Nov 16, 2011
  • Stayed: Jul 2011
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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2 0
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Unforgettable three months at Casa Roja

  • 5 of 5

It took us a long time to find that good place, considering that we had to budget our vacation on retiree funds. The moment we came across the description of Casa Roja on the VRBO, we knew we could stop our search. This was it! We also found a lot of valuable information regarding living in Costa Rica from the book published by Jo. We read it prior to our trip to Costa Rica and found it to be very helpful. My wife and I had some idea what to expect upon arrival at Finca Estrella; however, our personal impression of the place was much better than what we had anticipated. Casa Roja is a very comfortably and fashionably furnished home. We could see the tropical forests from all angles of the house. The balconies offered close-up views of monkeys, tropical birds, and colorful butterflies. We watched breath taking sunsets in the evenings and brilliant stars, free of city lights at nights. We could easily see the ocean and bay from the house, however getting to the beach on foot was not so easy. Renting a car in Costa Rica is more expensive than in North America. We were fortunate we did not need public buses; our hosts Jo and Crispin took us to grocery shops and the beach in their jeep. Local residents were extremely friendly and helpful. We got invited to dinners and birthday parties at their homes. We had an opportunity to experience local culture, customs and cuisine first hand. In the past we had rented out rooms for tourists at our home on the Baltic Sea. We experienced how difficult it is to please people. We were therefore doubly amazed by the level of personal care and attention to detail at Finca Estrealla. We are glad we had an opportunity to spend three unforgettable months in a paradise nestled in hills full of serene nature and peaceful people. We hope this winter we will again visit Finca Estrella and see our friends.

  • Submitted: Aug 3, 2010
  • Stayed: Dec 2009
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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5 1


Nearest Beach
2 Miles
Pilon 10 minutes, Pavones 20 minutes
Car: recommended

The bay of Pavones is one of the few truly unspoiled corners of paradise left in Costa Rica where endangered monkeys lunch in fruit trees at the side of the road, scarlet macaws squawk overhead and giant dazzling blue butterflies flap by.

The beaches are wild and stunning and the warm waters are fantastic for surfing and boogie boarding. Or, if you fancy something different, follow dolphins watching silvery fish jumping in the waves while you stand-up paddleboard in the perfect water at Pilon. If you prefer to stay on the sand then there are a myriad of beautiful seeds to find, kitesurfers to admire, seabirds by the dozen. Pick up fish for the grill on the way home from the fishermen, most likely your only companions on the endless stretch of perfect sand. Local fishermen will happily oblige if you want to join them in their boats to catch some mackerel, sea bass, snook (robalo), dorado (mahi-mahi) or red snapper. For the more adventurous, sportfishing can be arranged with Zancudo Lodge or the marinas of Golfito. Boat trips can also be arranged for visits to the Osa Peninsula, the Orchid Gardens, Wild Animal Refuge, Zipline Canopy Tours or Kayaking in the Rio Coto (River) - whales, dolphins and turtles are often spotted from the boats. You can ever waterski!

Trek with Freddy and Enrique around the extensive finca or to the local waterfalls, walk or take the horses, and lunch in the cool shade on mossy logs before taking a plunge or even clamber up the rocks to stand under the refreshing torrent. The 'pozo' - swimming hole - at the Cuervito River is a must on a hot day. Jump off rocks or fallen logs and relax in perfect surroundings listening to your jungle 'music'.

On 'rest' days, the hammocks by the beautiful 18m swimming pool will be waiting for you. Swing serenely listening to the toucans, the buzzing of hummingbirds' wings, the parrots' chatter and Freddy or Enrique will gently nudge you when the monkeys/sloths/anything else you would like to see is around.

The water spouts from passing whales have been spotted from the finca - the gulf teems with sealife so always keep a lookout when you are driving along the beach road towards Pavones.

There are local 'sodas' for eating out and 'pulperias' for groceries. The laid back nearby surfer town of Pavones has a surf shop, restaurants and a supermarket plus the most amazing beachfront yoga studio!


Rates & Availability

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Additional information about rental rates

Discounts available for longer stays. Rate information valid for up to 4 people

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
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Puntarenas House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
  • Housekeeper Included
Location Type:
  • Ocean View ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Air Conditioning
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Parking Off Street
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower
    Bathroom 1 - toilet , outdoor shower , Indoor toilet and sink in laundry
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 4
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen , A glassblock half wall separates the bedroom and lounge area
    Blue bedroom - 1 queen , Also has a sink
  • Books
  • Balcony ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill
  • 4 garden chairs
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • non smoking only
  • not suitable for children ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Communal Pool ...
Onsite Services:
  • Massage
  • Staff
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • walking
  • whale watching
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • groceries
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • fishing
  • hiking
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • sound/bay fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
We have a horse that guests can use and our wonderful neighbours also rent theirs for a small fee for bird/butterfly/wildlife watching around the finca or treks to the local beach or waterfall. Grace, our cleaner and great friend, can paint the most amazing flowers or butterflies (or snowmen!) on your nails if you would like to return home with a bit of paradise.... The barbeque/grill in the rancho at the pool is great for entertaining or pool parties.

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