|Space||1,800 sq. ft.|
|Minimum Stay||1 - 3 nights|
If you are looking for the benefits of a modern house with a tropical flavor you have found it. This is not US tropical. It is strictly a Nicaraguan experience meant to provide the best of both worlds.Casa Roja is really a private reserve, where you get away from the city, though it is only 10 minutes away. You immerse yourself in nature, with beaches 5 minutes away and tortoise sanctuaries just down the road. Views of the ocean are everywhere. A quiet and silent retreat on almost 3 acres where the only sounds are monkeys and birds. If you want an ecological experience with all the modern necessities, then you have found it. You and the forest and a thousand plants and trees......this is what a tropical vacation is all about.
That is why I say there is NO other home like this in the San Juan area. I lived here for 5 years and not only built every comfortable and tropical feature I wanted (and I'm fussy!) but even added everything that a visitor would want. I knew I would rent it someday and wanted travelers to have an experience they would never forget. So, I created my own, and your own, private tropical “compound”, away from it all, but so close to civilization as well.
View the video - see what they mean when they say "bird's eye view". With an ocean view as well as crystal clear view of Costa Rica, your eyes will never get tired of this vista. And, if they do, or the spirit moves you, head on down to Hermosa beach, just five minutes down the road.
The house was designed in an innovative style. As the photos reveal, the bedrooms are 100% separated from the main house, While you and friends can enjoy parties or conversation on the patio, anyone in the other bedrooms can have their own privacy. And, the house is only rented to one group at a time. You will never "share" Casa Roja with anyone but your family and friends. And its location is private. I mean private. You will never hear nor see your neighbors, nor will they see you, yet there are 2-3 homes less than a quarter mile away. And, I have a 24 hour caretaker and wife, who live away from the main house and will never disturb you, yet they are there to help in any way - clean, give tours of the area, keep the pool sparking and more. You will feel alone but always have them nearby.
Hot days, jump in the teardrop shaped pool, big enough for 15, but at 4' average depth, safe for the kiddies as well. Early riser? Fix some Nicaraguan coffee, read on the patio and take a walk or jog in complete silence up the dirt road. Go 1 mile or 10. Bring water and sunblock so we don't have to send my caretaker to find you!
People email me months after they leave Casa Roja,. They still have special memories of this "Garden of Eden" .They remember the silence; the forest sounds or the monkeys howling in the distance. They remember being surrounded by plants and fruit trees and jungle. They remember that Casa Roja was not a simply a vacation rental, but rather a journey to a special place of rest, fun, and exploration. And, fully 27% of people have returned!!! Maybe you, too.
Before I give you a more detailed description of the bedrooms and bathrooms I wanted to explain a few things about myself and the house. I love antiques. I love to travel. I love old Persian and Turkish carpets. OLD, 100 years plus. I love collecting ''artifacts'', as my friends call them, of my travels and I collect old maps, again 100-300 years old. So, you will pick up on this part of me throughout the house and rooms and even outdoors. You'll be in a home that is not sterile or ''made to rent''. It's ME and it always will be.
And, part of your adventure down here is to experience a beautiful country, wonderful people, great climate, wildlife, enchanting fun city - in a rich environment that I call home. That is what you will find here. I live here because of the magic of this home and location. You will understand that after only a few days. If you are seeking peace and serenity, you have found it.
As I am writing this description of my house, I just had what I call a “ National Geographic Moment”, a flock of toucans has just touched down on my papaya trees. Black and red and green....very exciting! But those are surprises that happen regularly – 20 monkeys on a tree in front, 4 guinea hens walking by and more…
If you need an affordable 4 wheel drive car that seats 7, just ask. I know the best and cheapest place to rent one. Need a cook for authentic Nicaraguan meals; all easily arranged so you can just relax. Need a gourmet cook who will whip up any sort of meal you want (owner and chef at three well known restaurants) - no problem!!
Since this is Nicaragua, where sleeping arrangements differ widely let me give you a breakdown of the sleeping situation. When I read that you have 4 adults and 6 children, I try to figure out the best configuration. Then I find out that 3 of the children are tots and do not need - nor do parents want them, to have their own separate bedroom - so here are the multiple options to suit a gathering of friends (with a maximum of 8, please!) By the way, all bedrooms are fully screened, with curtains.
The master suite - apart from all other buildings - has a queen bed with night tables, chest of drawers and small desk for writing. The room can easily take another double bed or queen. So, toddlers, welcome. Large bathroom has huge quarried tile tub, shower - hot water even! - two granite sinks and full width mirror. Overhead fans and lights as well as bedside lamp provide a comfortable ambience.
The two-bedroom suite is a detached casita with bedrooms on each side of a centrally accessed bathroom. One queen bed in one room, with room for another bed and then two doubles in the other room. Both rooms have drawers for clothes and either a desk or table. Again overhead lights and fans make life comfortable. Outside one bedroom french doors open to a private patio with a hammock for sleeping or reading or both. The bathroom has a three-sided glass shower with textured tile walls. A marble sink, toilet and tiled surfaces throughout complete the room.
In addition, many people enjoy sleeping in the house in a secluded office - study. With Japanese "wall" panels you have complete privacy. We add some beds and you can wake up and be the first to the coffee! Others sleep in the two-story rancho in beds or matrimonial traditional luxury hammocks. There, you experience the sounds of the jungle and the fresh air breezes as you drift to sleep.....So at Casa Roja, you have a wide variety of sleeping accommodations for the numbers and mixes of guests who stay here.
I recently up graded the decor with a few more pictures, old maps and antique Persian and Turkish tribal rugs. You will be surrounded by the history of the Ottoman Empire and Frederick the Great! There are pre-Columbian pieces, Indonesian statues, head-hunting warrior boats from Papua new Guinea and local Nica art throughout. My museum.
The main house has a full kitchen with granite and marble countertops throughout. Wooden cabinets with glass windows reveal all the dishes and rum and wine glasses you'll need. Fridge is normal size and can fit all you can eat and drink! It's modern and energy efficient, just remember to open and close quickly to preserve the electricity. If that's not enough, I'll rent an ice chest. Modern gas stove and broiler. Plates, silverware and some old Bali and Solomon Island carvings to keep you company.
The den/office is large, People use it for email (yes, wi-fi) or writing and the living room is open with sofa and 2 comfy chairs, large hand carved floor tiles with wood accent and majestic 25 foot ceiling. The living room table is a 100 year old colonial door turned sideways and legs attached. Me and my antiques. If you are a Beatles fan, there is the large Anthology Book about my favorite group, but the house is littered with all sorts of reading material, from cops and robbers to history to non fiction to you name it. Zen to People Magazine and whatever else guests have left behind. Every group leaves more and I never know what I'll find each visit.
The ceiling in the main house is all palm fronds, 26 feet high, (other casitas are brick tiles) beautiful, airy, gorgeous wooden beams and yes, 100% waterproof, with a large sliding glass door to the patio, say no more. The patio is where 75% of your waking life will be!! Views, sunsets, drinks, monkey howls, drinks, music, dancing, drinks, BBQ's on gas or charcoal grill and then, yes, relax and have a drink. Got the picture?
And now, with my many fruit trees blooming, if you need some fresh oranges, mandarins, lemons and soon, mangos - just talk to Luis, my caretaker, with the biggest smile and warmest heart - and he'll be glad to get you whatever fruit you need. Lately, he's been the local juice man.
A recent guest said It best "It was hard to leave this beautiful home. The location of the house was perfect; close to town for groceries or activities, but just far enough so that every time we came home we felt as if we were very far away “from it all”. . Afternoons we enjoyed reading, relaxing, swimming and partaking in the local Nicaraguan Rum. After dinner, a glass of wine or a Nica Libre, music and lightening shows over Costa Rica were a spectacular end to the day. We have rented houses through VRBO from South Africa to several countries in Central America and highly recommend Fred’s “magical spot” and hope to someday return"
Last thing. One night around 10 PM, after a warm day, turn out all the lights in the house. Go out to the brick patio and lie down, feel the warmth from the sun on the bricks, and then gaze at the star strewn sky above. There, you will see the Milky Way Galaxy the way you have never seen it before. After being mesmerized by the silent beauty, you wake up with a start - and suddenly realize it is 4 AM and you are still outside with only the croaking frogs as your company...
See you soon
Everyone tells me I have re-invented myself and it's just not fair. Well, they could do the same, I say. After 50 years, half in CT and half in San Francisco, I followed a life long dream and moved to this charming third world country to begin life again.
I have spent most of my life in sales and entrepreneurial oriented work. Worked with small businesses as a consultant to help them grow with control and profitably. Worked with hundreds of companies and help them with their HR issues so they could focus on their core work.
After years of satisfying work I came down here for a holiday and, well, look what happened. Bought this land on an impulse built a house and then, 6 months later, on a wild impulse a friend convinces me to buy another huge parcel and become a 'green sustainable' developer. Huh? Yes, this is the third half (figure that one out?) of my life as owner of El Encanto del Sur (see website), and I love it here. I am in Nicaragua several months a year with Luis - my gardener who has been here for more than three years and who can fix anything! He lives away, near the driveway so you have 100% privacy.
That's the short story - I travelled all over the world, You'll find me on Tuesday nights at Open Mike, singing some oldies (Runaway, Secret Agent man) with my neighbor up the road, Brian and if I'm in town, you can always bribe me with a beer and I'll show you the real secret spots up here.
But, if you have an adventurous bone in your body, and I assume so, otherwise you wouldn't be headed this way, you will not regret it - if you want to have the most relaxing and unforgettable experience, with just you and nature as company, you will have it here.
Fred Goldfarb purchased this house in 2008
I didn't really choose to buy a vacation rental here. I chose to build my house here, and live out the dream of a lifetime. I have and still do. This was not meant to be a rental concept and the house was never 'set up' that way. Rental houses are often nice but without some of the character that sets a 'home' apart from a 'rental'. This home reflects who I am and what I like - rather than being an investment. For example, it is 100% solar. Some people steer clear from solar because they are worried it won't work or they will be inconvenienced. Well, you won't be inconvenienced at all. I believe in sustainability, saving energy, giving back, and so live the values I believe in. This house and area resonate of living within these values. And, when you are here, amidst the peace and tranquillity - yet so close to the fun and entertainment of San Juan - you feel like you too will share these values.
Nicaragua is a beautiful yet poor country. It needs help, employment, clean water, schools and I live here to help the local people as much as i can while enjoying my occupation and lifestyle. I have a non profit, fundaciontierra, (EARTH Fund - look up under fundaciontierra) that helps and works with the communities in many ways.
Nicaragua is now becoming quietly discovered and now this area as well. More people have seen the benefit of traveling to unique and adventurous areas, modern, but in a different world completely. Cows can be your neighbors. An oxen cart may walk by. Here you may dream of setting up an organic garden......sometimes in certain areas, but this neighborhood especially, you will feel that you have been transported to a different time and place....that's what I love.
A good friend and plant lover lives down the road. You might find him buried in 1000 tropical plants - stop on over, he's always glad to share some tall stories with you. And, he is a realtor, if you want a tour...you too, may be captivated by the charm.....
The gate swings open. You drive down a 400 ft. driveway lined by palm trees. A resort? When you arrive at the house, after a long flight, the first thing you'll do is walk out to the patio - directly in front of you - and say "wow". Yes, "wow". When you look around and then fully comprehend the detached layout of the house, you will then fully understand and smile; " Ah, this is what he meant by privacy". Sit down in one of the rocking chairs and feel the stress melt away, and, you realize you want a drink. (doesn't matter what time it is, it is always afternoon somewhere in the world) Later, hop down to Playa Hermosa just a few minutes away.. Jump in the pool. The location, the tranquility.....
Many other homes have great views, pools, close to town and more. But my concept has struck a chord. Casa Roja as it all and then some: the views, being closer to the best beaches and its in a stunning locale - and has peace and quiet. I loved it 9 years ago and love it now.
I find that many of my guests are the ones to discover unique characteristics. it seems that once every few months, I'll get an email from some guests who saw something completely different. Sometimes its a Blue Morphus butterfly, other times its the return of the sloth, the peaceful stroll down the path, more toucans, Godzilla (well, monkeys anyway) and it goes on and on.
Come on down and discover some benefits of your own. We're all different so I'll let you discover some of your own. Will it be the grinding stone from 1200?? It doesn't really matter. It's your vacation. You can't go wrong
(Fred here - a short guest comment upon arrival, many long hours and airports later. Put a smile on my face this morning.....)
Oh my gosh Fred! This place is incredible. We are blown away. 36 hours later we made it to paradise. You are amazing this home is just so beautiful. Just had a dip in the pool and now putting our very weary heads to bed. Luis is so nice. We feel welcome here and again its just so special here. You have done wonderful work. Thank you for this wonderful paradise! We are feeling very blessed. We almost didn't survive the airlines fiasco but now it is well worth it!!
P.S. Pasco, Yeddi (sp?) and Indy are hanging with us. We already love them
Fred was extremely helpful and took a lot of time to provide us with great info and suggestions on where to eat and what sights to see. We felt very safe and secure in his home and in Nicaragua. A beautiful country with wonderful and kind people.
Casa Roja is really beautiful, situated in the rain forest overlooking the ocean and mountains. The gardens are are gorgeous, everything is well maintained. It is a sacred space away from the hustle and bustle of San Juan. Hermosa beach is lovely and you have everything you need on the beach. Maria was very helpful in getting us a car and driver. Felix our driver was exceptional and we liked him so much we had him drive us several times through out our vacation.
Luis the caretaker is the true gem of the place, Casa Roja would cease to exist with out him. He is always available to assist and he lovingly looks after the guests and home. He has such a kind and joyfyl sprit.
It was an unforgettable experience and we hope to return in the near future.
Where do I start?
In researching a family trip to Nicaragua several years ago I started a VBRO conversation with Fred that has ultimately led us to make two fantastic trips to this beautiful part of the world, both times staying his wonderful retreat.
Set high in the hills overlooking the Costa Rica/Nicaragua coast line and surrounded by lush vegetation, howler monkeys and other exotic animals, Casa Roja really is a very special place. It is isolated enough so that you are away from the crowds but still only a 15 minute drive (on a paved road) into SJDS for everything you need. Louis lives on-site to provide any assistance you need while Fred always makes himself available by phone/email for anything that rudimentary Spanish and flayling hand gestures can't communicate. Both are wonderful people.
Both of our visits have been for two week durations at the start of August (2013 and 2015). We have three kids (all under 12) and we spent our days on excursions like zip lining, fishing expeditions, climbing and of-course endless visits to the many surf beaches just down the road. In the evening we ate out in SJDS in one of the many very inexpensive restaurants ('King Curry' is spectacular even if it doesn't look like much). In between times we simply lay around the pool reading books and enjoying the cool breeze.
Casa Roja is not 'luxurious' in the traditional sense of the word but then again very few things in Nicaragua are. It is however a wonderful base for a family holiday you will never forget. We will definitely be back.
If you are scrolling through VRBO looking for the perfect place to stay, you have just found it. There are many wonderful houses but the thing that sets this house apart is that there is love and happy spirits that are woven into the house right along with the wood and the plaster. Fred, the owner, is kind and thoughtful and is always there to answer questions or help you with any logistics you might have. His caretaker Louis, has a smile that reaches into his eyes, and you know if anything were to happen, he will make it ok. Worried about how you will get to the house from the airport? Worry no more. Fred has a wonderful and trusted friend and associate named Maria. She can take care of all your transportation needs, all it takes is a couple of emails. Really it is that easy. The trees with the red flowers…well Louis and Fred planted those from seed. Yes, it is that kind of place. It is a house that at first you can’t believe you get to stay in such a beautiful house and 24 hours later when you pull up the driveway - you say out loud, whew, so good to be home.
It is actually a jungle paradise compound, three houses behind the gate, one with the master bedroom, one with two bedrooms and a bath and then the main house with living space and the kitchen. It is a fantastic set up if you travel with night owls and early birds like I do.
Everything you need to cook at home is there for you. We liked to leave in the mornings, find the days adventure, stop by the market and come home for cocktails by the pool while the sun sets over costa rica and pull out the maps and plan for the next adventure. For dinner I would cook up platters of grilled chicken or fish or shrimp and warm tortillas, avocados and cold Tonas. Our group has night owls and early birds, with the kitchen/ living room in the main house and the bedrooms set away a bit in smaller casitas, it is the perfect solution for everyone. Make your coffee, turn on some music, wash some dishes, you won't disturb anyone.
We had our collective breath taken away and were been humbled over and over by the kindness and beauty of the Nicaraguan people.
I look at my photos and sigh. I wish there was a way I could go back, next month or next week. So from the four of us, we can’t recommend this house, these kind and generous people enough. I hope you send Fred an email. He can answer your questions and make great suggestions. You will be so glad that you did.
Thank you, thank you, Fred for sharing this magical place with us. To start, we set up our logistics with Fred's friend Maria. I would not use anybody else. The driver Sergio, was right there waiting with a sign at the second door. Customs by the way was very friendly and quick to get through 25min. I suggest a flight that arrives middle of the day. We had 6 adults and 2 children 2 and 8mths. Great ride from Managua to Casa Rojas approx. 2hrs with stops. Driver will stop if you ask. Everything went super smooth.
Arriving at the house was WOW!! You are in the jungle, far enough out of town for peace and quiet and close enough easy trip in to San Juan del Sur. Luis and kids greeted us at arrival what a great guy!! Gracias por todo Luis, abrasos!! Maria had our rental vehicle there and ready to go. You walk into house and straight to the back to admire the most awesome view you could think of. Whatever Fred told you multiply by 10. Everything is perfectly situated. Time just slowed down. We had monkeys in the trees, parrots and Indi. We never hurried to do anything because it was layback. We cooked some meals, drank many Tonas(great beer) and a few bottles of Flor de Cana Anejo dark rum. Town was great super friendly, ,visited the place by the beach nice for a drink but better food elsewhere. In town we recommend La Lancha and a taco place just down the road from there. Playa El Coco was nice to hang out, Hermosa and Maderas where our favorites. Rancho Tere close to house was awesome for food also.
So much to say it's hard to put into words. I just want to say this was an unforgettable trip, from talking with Fred, Luis and Maria, it was AWESOME!!! Can't wait to go back. Thank you.
This is a fantastic place to stay and decompress! Excellent location, great help from the property manager Luis, and Maria was great help with transportation. Very safe place and country overall, helps to know some spanish, but not necessary. Great food, very inexpensive in every way. Beautiful beaches and country. Granada and Ometeppe island were awesome!
Our entire family came to Casa Roja for a week and it was wonderful. The views were amazing and we loved the almost-constant breeze. Our children range in ages from 5 to 27 and they all had a great time. The pool was perfect and we spent many hours there and on the back porch. Between all of us we zip lined, surfed, went snorkeling, took a sailboat cruise, visited several beaches, and enjoyed San Juan. Luis was always happy to help us out when we had questions or needs and we rented an suv and a truck from Maria for the week. I think this was our favorite family vacation ever and none of us were ready to go home at the end of the week. We loved having the dogs around and enjoyed seeing monkeys in the trees. We really could not have asked for a more perfect vacation and truly hope to go back to Casa Roja in the future! Thank you, Fred, for sharing your piece of paradise!
You are only about 10 minutes to San Juan. You drive on the new paved road (only took 20 years to get it done) which goes directly to my turnoff. Beautiful drive to house and if you venture south you can see the turtles laying eggs, Coco beach with its long white sandy beach, go horseback riding at my good friend Blue at Rancho Chilamate. Perfect location, close but so far away. Day trips to Granada or Masaya market are recommended.
Let me give you more information about the beaches and the surfing in general.
Playa Hermosa: five minutes to entrance, A mile long sandy bottom beach. Great for swimming, relaxing swimming. Surfing info: Multiple peaks with left and right breaks. Works best on a mid to high incoming tide.
Playa San Juan del Sur: Nice view from restaurants, marginal for swimming
Playa Remanso. 10 minutes from house. Nice beach to relax, considered by many to be a good “beginners wave” but it can hold a large swell depending on swell size and direction. Best known for its left point break but there are rights to be had on the north end if you’re patient – including some long rides when conditions are right.
Playa Yankee Recommended for technically advanced surfers only. A hard fast wedge that you’ll either love or fear. Much less frequented. Best at medium to high tide. Will hold up to overhead waves. $4 entrance fee.
Playa Coco . 15 minutes away but often a favorite for swimming and strolling on one the the most beautiful, long, white sand beach
Playa Maderas . Lots of people/surfers.The most consistently clean break in the region but also the most crowded beach. Suitable for all levels of surfing on most days. Approximately 15 minutes from town.
Again, the book, Insiders Guide to SJDS, is invaluable and I'm happy to provide you the link to buy it. The rental websites prefer not to have competing information so I can't provide it here. Just ask!
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event|
Dec 15 2017 - Jan 1 2018
1 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
|Notes: Rates are based on 7 guests; add $25 per night, per additional guest|
|Refundable damage deposit||$300|
There are two methods for payment. Using Paypal or Homeaway. They both accept credit cards, or with Paypal, you can pay from your account directly.
For groups more than 8 there is a $25/day fee for the extra person/s only. For three days, the fee is $225.00/night
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay.