The house is a large, indigenous style home, hand crafted of the finest hardwoods. Our tropical garden setting is just 300 meters from the beach and a 5 minute walk to the beach/town of Manzanillo. Each suite is furnished with a king size bed where you can sleep in the comfort of luxury linens and stay cool ceiling fan style. The adjoining private baths are complete with hot water and high pressure showers. Outside your bedroom door awaits a private balcony where you can enjoy conversation or lie in the hammock for an afternoon siesta.
Eat in or dine out? Choose to cook a delicious meal in your own fully equipped kitchen, grill fresh meats and seafood on our large, roof covered outdoor grill, or eat out at one of the nearby restaurants. Sitting areas in the front of the house are a great place to delight in nature and wildlife. We share our garden with sloths, monkeys, morpho butterflies, and toucans, to name a few.
The house can be rented as a whole or you can rent just one floor depending on your party's size and needs. If you decide to rent just one floor, there is a private entrance for each. Parties of 2 can rent the whole house at a discounted rate to ensure privacy.
The 2nd floor of the house is fully screened and the 1st floor bedrooms and bath are screened. The 1st floor kitchen and living areas are open air to catch a cool breeze and enhance wildlife viewing. We do have floor to ceiling mosquito netting curtains that can be pulled closed at dawn and dusk or as desired.
While we feel a car isn't necessary and we provide 4 bikes to ride to the beach or local destinations, if you have young children or people in your party who are unable to walk aproximately a quarter mile, you may wish to have a car while staying at our home. Public transport is reliable and inexpensive as well and there are many transport methods to reach our home.
Coming to Costa Rica is a very exciting experience because of the natural beauty and the fact that there is still plentiful wildlife to see. People are amazed by the grand scale of the trees, the many species of birds and butterflies, the lush tropical flowers and
local fruits, the variety of beaches, plus seeing monkeys and sloths. On the Caribbean coast we enjoy all that plus reggae music and diverse cultures living in harmony. We think you will be delighted if you choose this amazing destination for your Costa Rica vacation!
World traveler who fell in love with Costa Rica while living with a family and studying Spanish many years ago. I enjoyed learning about this peaceful country with a high literacy rate, good health care, education, and no army or history of wars. Of course living in the northern US contributed to the decision to find a tropical escape from our cold snowy winters!
Mary purchased this house in 2003
My partner Victor and I looked for homes in Puerto Viejo and couldn't find anything to meet all our wishes so we decided to take a drive to a little beach town I had visited a few years before and we saw a land for sale sign on the way into Manzanillo and decided to stop. We fell in love with the beauty of the land and sighting a tree full of toucans seemed like a sign! It was then that we came up with the idea of designing and building our own home that had the best of both jungle and beach locations.
Review submitted: December 24, 2010 Date of arrival: September 27, 2010
Guest: Padge(Arkansas, United States)
Date of Stay: 09/27/10 Review Submitted: 10/07/10
I just returned from our stay at the "La Bella Serena," and it was one of the most picturesque places I have ever seen or been to. I traveled with my girlfriend and another couple that we work with and stayed for a full week. I was a little skeptical at first, considering we went during the "rainy" season, however, the weather was absolutely beautiful throughout our entire stay...It was Sunny and warm everyday, and it only rained at night which just made for a better nights sleep as the rain hit the tin roof of the Villa...We would wake up every morning to the sound of the Howler monkeys roaring in the trees above. We experienced fantastic food at many restaurants throughout the local towns, went snorkeling, took jungle hikes to the hidden waterfalls, rented bicycles for a day, went to the Jaguar Rescue Center where we were able to play with the monkeys and hold sloths, and not to mention, enjoyed many of the beaches nearby...Manzanillo is a very small town, as well as the other close-by towns, but it was nice to not be overrun by other tourists...The beaches are absolutely beautiful, and also very "non-touristy." The locals are very nice and welcoming to everyone...Bibo is also a very nice guy that takes care of anything that you need at the place...I would definitely reccommend "La Bella Serena" to anyone that enjoys the beauty of nature and serenity...I'll also throw in that it was actually nice to not receive any phone calls or texts, b/c wifi is few and far between...This was my first trip out of the United States and its going to be hard to beat a trip like the one I just took with my friends...Two thumbs up!!!
Recommended for: Adventure seekers, sightseeing, romantic getaway.
My wife and I and our 14 yr-old daughter stayed at Bella Sirena Feb. 18-24, 2017. It's a beautiful house--larger than the pictures make it look. The upstairs is one large open room with windows almost all around, the kitchen and bathroom off to one side. The window/doors open on one side to give you a direct view of the forest/garden.
The downstairs also has one large space--completely open to the garden/forest for 180 degrees. Hammocks, rocking chairs, and a couch make it a great place to hang out. There are two moderate size bedrooms on the ground floor.
We saw monkeys and a sloth right in front of the house. Bugs were generally not bad.
The housekeeper, Yari, was helpful and available.
We rode bikes to the Manzanillo beach a few times, settling in under a large tree that served as a large natural umbrella (about 150 yards to the north/left when you first reach the beach from the road). I snorkeled on the Manzanillo beach (just in front of the fishing boats on the southern/right end of the beach) the last day. I love snorkeling and was very impressed by it. You need to have a day with calm water, but my sense is that the reef there is under-rated. Winter is generally not the best time for snorkeling here, but it was good this week.
We had some great meals (Maxi's in Manzanillo, Pura Gula in Playa Chiquita, and Koki Beach in Puerto Viejo). Don't miss kayaking up the river from the Punta Uva beach. You can rent kayaks at the beach for 5000 colones. You can only go up river about 30-45 minutes, but it is well worth it.
Unfortunately the area is not like North America where you can get a map and a hiking book and set out on your own. Most hiking requires a guide--trails are not marked. You can hike Cahuita Nat'l Park on your own. You will see animals, and LOTS of humans too. No need for hiking boots on that trail. It's sandy--our guide did it barefoot.
One thing to keep in mind, while it is theoretically possible to make it to Manzanillo in 4 hrs 15 minutes from the airport, we've never seen that happen and we've been there twice. Traffic in and around San Jose is terrible, and the route to the Caribbean coast is on a two lane highway--either slow trucks or accidents can set you way behind. I'd count on more like 6 hours.
If you love nature the trip is worth it.
La Bella Sirena was certainly unique - situated inside a rainforest in a quiet corner of Costa Rica. It reminded me of other beach communities around the world where folks get away from it all. Mary and the local housekeeper Yari were both gracious hosts.
It does bear mentioning that anyone going in December needs to be prepared for Noah's Ark rain - 12-14 hours a day on most days for us. Thus, the pack list for December should certainly include wellies. We might have made the walk to the Panamanian border but mud, rain and steep slopes stopped us in our tracks. Another walk through Cahuita was similar but more easily traversed.
The good side of the rain were the visiting animals. We saw howler monkeys, toucans, sloths and agoutis right on the property. I was surprised at the number of sloths we did see. Visits to the "Jaguar" rescue center (no jaguars but still good) and the cacao farm were educational. The local restaurants served good food, albeit not cheap.
All in all, it was an adventure to a different part of the world and probably best visited when slightly drier.
In February we spent two weeks in Costa Rica and stayed at La Bella Sirena - what a gorgeous surprise! Constructed of local hard woods with an open floor plan, this stunning house perfectly matches the rain forest environment. Two bedrooms w/bath on the main floor; one large bedroom w/bath up. Common areas w/tables/chairs/sofa/hammocks - two kitchens, washer/dryer (very nice to have!) and plenty of agua pura. More than enough room for our group of six; bikes for easy travel to beach and town. Used the outdoor grill one night for lobster – fantastico! Located near Manzanillo, end of the road before Panama, this is a wonderful retreat in a jungle locale: Howler monkeys, toucans, sloths, huge Blue Morpho butterflies; we saw them all right here. Yari, house-manager extraordinaire, knows everyone and will steer you right. People are friendly and we always felt safe. Mary provides great info about life/restaurants/money in CR, etc. What a trip! A nice find for independent, self-reliant, beings. Thanks Mary. Pura Vida! Mimi&Mick
We recently returned home from a wonderful and relaxing stay at La Bella Sirena. We travelled with three boys (two teenagers) and we could not have asked for more. The "jungle house", as we nicknamed it, is located in the middle of the jungle. During our morning coffee, we enjoyed the sights of howler monkeys, toucans, sloths and morpho blue butterflies. The home is well taken care of, spacious and lovely. Mary is a wonderful host and the house manager is absolutely fabulous. She attended to all of our needs, booked tours for us and assisted us whenever needed. She is worth her weight in gold !! The home is located very close to the Manzanillo beach--a short bike ride away. It is a lovely beach where you can snorkel the reef or hike through the wilderness refuge. Give Abel, a local guide, a call, he is terrific. The house is also located on a bus route to Puerto Viejo, Cahuita and Limon. We did not have a car so we either used the bikes or the local bus service which was easy to figure out. Thanks to Mary, we were also able to have a local person come into the home to make our meals....she was a terrific cook and really made it a vacation for my husband and I. We all loved this home. Our boys were able to have their own space on the second floor and we had down time on the first floor. It is a great property and a great location in Costa Rica. The village of Manzanillo is quiet, full of wildlife, great beaches and hiking and the local people are very friendly and helpful. I would not hesitate to recommend this property and we will certainly return to Costa Rica and La Bella Sirena.
We decided to stay a couple of days in Manzanillo on a Caribbean tour my family and I had. These were the last days of our trip, and by far the greatest.
This place is near to the Manzanillo beach, surrounded by enormous trees and exotic flora. Waking up each morning was beautiful, hearing hundreds of birds singing, even watching the rain fall was a joy.
My wife and I spent a week here and had an amazing vacation! Being a weary traveler and hardly ever traveling outside of the U.S. I had my reservations to travel to a remote area, but my worries were lifted from the second we got there. This amazing home is unlike anything we had ever experienced and was truly an unforgettable time.
The house itself is amazing. Beautiful wooden structure with charm and engineering feats that were an art in itself. With 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and 3 kitchens; this house is incredible for entertaining many or for two people to enjoy all of the space offered. No pictures will do this house and property justice, as a still photo doesn't capture the amount of open space and care that the home offers. The main floor offers a wide open area with no walls, so you feel like you are a part of this beautiful jungle at all times. This was great for coffee and a book in the mornings while relaxing in the hammock or at night when we would stay in to enjoy cocktails and listen to the many sounds of nature. Extremely clean and well maintained and everything you need to live comfortably. The staff was also extremely pleasant and helpful whenever we needed anything. A+ for them as well.
The surrounding towns and beaches were something out of a magazine. Some of the most incredible beaches were only a short bike ride away. Bikes were also provided and quickly turned into our primary means of transportation. The towns offered endless amounts of activities, whether it was a lazy day on the beach with a beer, or checking out a surf competition in Playa Cocles, to taking in the night life and checking out Reggae bands in Puerto Viejo, every day was a day you wished would not end. The towns had a Rastafarian vibe and is almost a Caribbean sub-culture of it's own. Everyone seems to have a care-free attitude and made a couple "outsiders" feel right at home. Extremely nice and pleasant people, no hassles or problems whatsoever.
I would recommend this house and vacation rental to anyone. Not one bad thing to say, and we will be coming back next year. In fact, we started to plan our return trip on the flight home. Definitely a different experience than an all-inclusive resort or a pampered trip, but I would argue that this is better. A better adventure, a better experience, and an all around better time!
If I could give this 10 stars I would! Thanks Mary, we will be back!
- Ryan & Rory
Located in the Gandoa Manzanillo wildlife refuge:
Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge located about 12 kilometers southeast of Puerto Viejo, and nearest to the small village of Manzanillo on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast is one of the most beautiful and scenic sites in the country. Fine sandy beaches, gentle waves, coral reefs near the surface of the sea all make this region a paradise for nature lovers and underwater enthusiasts.
Other Activities: Shopping, Kayaking, Boating, Wildlife viewing
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event|
Dec 15 2017 - Apr 15 2018
1 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
1 night minimum stay
PLEASE MAKE AN INQUIRY PRIOR TO HITTING THE BOOK NOW BUTTON!
Cleaning/fresh linen mid visit included in price. Guests wash own dishes.
Whole House is $175/night ..$1050wk..$2750mo
1st flr $125/nt $750 wk 2ndflr $100nt $600wk
10% discount if party of 2 rents entire house. Prices subject to increase
Deposit is 50% of total cost for stay. Extra people over 6 guests $25 per person. We are unable to return payments due to
cancellation unless we are able to rerent the property
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay.