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

Bedrooms 2
Half Baths2
Space 1,500 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 - 5 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 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 a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 15, 2018

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 Cantón Golfito

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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Cantón Golfito House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
  • Housekeeper Optional
Floor Area:
  • 1500 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 3:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • Min. age of primary renter: 5 ...
  • Children welcome ...
  • Parties/events not allowed ...
  • Pets not allowed ...
  • Non smoking only ...
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
  • 2 Half Baths
  • 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 2 - toilet , Downstairs bathroom has toilet, sink, jungle view.
  • 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 ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • photography
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • whale watching
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • groceries
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • kayaking
  • sound/bay fishing
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
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 -
(30 traveler reviews)

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PLAYA LAPA, Private Beach home, Carate, Corcovado, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
average rating of 4.866667 based on 31 reviews


  • 5 of 5

My sister and I went to Costa Rica for a birding and nature adventure. We luckily found Playa Lapa and we loved it! Helene helped us plan our time there and answered all of our questions. She arranged for a driver, Andi, to pick us up at the airport, take us to the grocery and then drive us to the house. He was great and even showed us a Potoo bird on the way to the house. Helene arranged tours for us and they were perfect. Our guide, Cristhian, took us on a kayaking tour one day and then we hiked into Corcovado National Park with him another day on a 12 mile round trip. He was amazing and even tracked down a Tapir for us. We went on a birding tour with Melvin and he was very knowledgeable and fantastic at spotting birds.

We enjoyed all of our tours but could have just stayed at Playa Lapa since birds and monkeys came right into our backyard. The Scarlet Macaws and Capuchin Monkeys came daily and I got some great pictures. We spent a lot of time on the lovely porch enjoying beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and nature all around us. We were thrilled to awaken to the sounds of the howler monkeys and birds every morning. We watched baby Ridley and Green sea turtles being released right behind the house. The lagoon was a short walk and we kayaked there several times and it was beautiful. It was awe inspiring watching the sunsets on the beach.

The house had everything we needed. We had considered going to eat at one of the lodges but did not want to leave the beauty of Playa Lapa so we cooked our own food that we bought in Puerto Jimenez. We took cool showers and never needed to heat water. Laura answered all of our questions and our caretaker, Manuel, was very nice and worked hard. It was comforting to know he was always there.

Every day we felt like we were in paradise! We were not ready to leave Playa Lapa and wished we had more time there. We highly recommend this house to nature lovers.

  • Submitted: Feb 26, 2018
  • Stayed: February 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you Amy, for the lovely review!! The staff and I are always grateful to get such a nice commendation! Playa lapa is indeed a paradise for bird and animal lovers! So happy you were pleased, and you and Susie are welcome to return any time!! Peace and turtles! Helene
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  • 4 of 5

The setting was magical. The home was comfortable and spacious. We enjoyed the 'off grid' experience, putting ourselves to bed when the sun set, and rising early to see the wildlife in the area. Laura and Manuel were always available and so friendly and helpful. Cristhian provided a wonderful experience in Corcovado. Anita's cooking was perfect!!

We were concerned about how sleep would be in the heat and humidity, but the small fans took care of that and we had no problems at all.

The hammocks on the decks made the perfect place for an afternoon siesta in the ocean breeze.

All in all it was just what we hoped for!

Pura vida!

  • Submitted: Jan 31, 2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Lovely Stay

  • 5 of 5

This is a lovely house on a big plot. It's right by the beach and there are walks in the jungle close by. Lots of wildlife and birds to see. We used the kayaks too in the lagoon. Well equipped kitchen with plenty of cookware, plates and glasses and a fridge. Manuel and Laura were around if we needed any help. We had a really relaxing week here.

  • Submitted: Jan 13, 2018
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you, Alison, for your nice review. I am pleased that you enjoyed your stay, and look forward to hosting you again in April. It says a lot to have happy guests return so soon! Pura Vida, Helene
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I Could Live Here

  • 5 of 5

There are many times I've said "I could live here" knowing I'll never do it. After a week a Playa Lapa, I came pretty close to not leaving. If you are looking for the near off-grid experience in the wilds of Costa Rica, Playa Lapa is a definite "YES". Everything from the wonderful owner who helped with many aspects of getting to/from the home and set us up with gracious on-site assistance who will assist with your needs. You are right on the beach. They have four kayaks free to use when ever you want, which we used daily (we found out most other hotels charge on a per use basis). The site groundskeeper even showed me how to fish like the locals. Nearby trails abound. Corcovado is just a short walk up the road. Some of our best wildlife viewing was from the front porch. We did without a car for the week, which worked out fine because we really didn't have to much desire to go anywhere we couldn't walk or get to with the "collectivo".

Keep in mind going near off-grid on the Osa amounts to glorified camping but if you're going to do it, go in style at the Playa Lapa.

  • Submitted: Aug 14, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Martin, You and your family were among the guests who were a perfect fit for Playa Lapa-- you described it so well! It is a very unique destination, living on the beach, with all the animals-- it takes a bit of pluck, and you guys were great!! Thank you so much! You are welcome back any time!! Peace and turtles, Helene
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Fantastic Adventure

  • 5 of 5

From the beginning & throughout our vacation Helene was extremely helpful in planning our special adventure.

From the verandah we frequently saw Scarlet macaws, capuchin monkeys, hawks, even ant eaters and a jaguarundi!


We flew into San Jose then drove the rental vehicle easily in one day to Playa Lapa. The roads were very good all the way to Puerto Jimenez where we stopped for our groceries, then the last 40 km to Playa Lapa was an "adventure" but easily doable in the daylight with no pressure for time.

Our first impression when driving down the driveway and up to the house was that of excitement and awe. The beautiful home and lg private yard was well-maintained for our jungle vacation. It was extremely hot and humid but running the fans made it bearable. We were after all very prepared to take the jungle at face value.There are a fair number of gringos in the area, and English speaking locals . Helene was always on the ball with easy communication through WhatsApp .

Wi-Fi at the house worked just fine so we could easily communicate back home via email, Facebook, and especially WhatsApp.

There are a couple of close establishments that offer restaurant service which was nice from time to time over our two week vacation . Groceries were bought in Puerto Jimenez, however they were just establishing a nearby mini super market the week we arrived, so some groceries, beverages, and toiletries could be purchased there as well for very Comparable rates. As a new booking Guest I would recommend checking with Helene to see if the mini super is up and running. The refrigerator is essentially a large bar fridge with a small upper freezer, but it is very doable to have a good portion of your food for a week in there. We would also advise bringing some dry goods such as nuts and protein bars. We easily froze about 3 L of water per person every night so we could have plenty of cold water on our daily hikes and activities.

Cristhian was our guide and we took many of the tours on Helene's webpage. We are not super fit type people but managed everything well being that we are prepared adventure seekers.

Things We discovered:

The 3.5km hike into the Corcovado park could actually be done up to the border of the park without purchasing the park pass and guide, we saw just as much in that section as in the park.

If you are wanting to watch for hatching baby turtles or mothers laying their nests it's best not to come during full moon.

  • Submitted: Jun 13, 2017
  • Stayed: April 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Cindy and Frank, this has been such and adventure for me as well! Your energy was exceptional, and your sense of adventure was like a couple of kids!! You saw things that most guests miss, And adapted well to the culture. My staff enjoyed serving you, and I enjoyed working out the details over the months leading up to your trip! It feels like I have know you guys for years; you are welcome back anytime, how about August or September when the Olive Ridleys are nesting? Peace and turtles! Helene
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Northern Virginia

Playa Lapa es la Pura Vida! Amazing property, location and people!!

  • 5 of 5

We loved Playa Lapa! The beach is steps away and was absolutely beautiful! The nearby lagoon was full of wildlife and so much fun to kayak. Shady Lane right across the street had an abundance of monkeys, birds and butterflies. So amazing! The house was comfortable and had everything we needed. Manuel took good care of us and Helene was very responsive. Laura, who greeted us and showed us around was very charming and helpful as well. We loved our guide, Christian! He was the best! Our trip to Corcovado and Cabo Matapalo were unforgetable! Patrick and his birds were very interesting at Ave Azul as well. You must go to Carate and stay at Playa Lapa and visit nearby lodges for dinner and drinks. So fun and we met so many people. Con mucho gusto!!

  • Submitted: Apr 4, 2017
  • Stayed: March 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Kerry and John, Thank you for your great review! I am so pleased that you enjoyed Playa Lapa, and I appreciated your kindness to me personally, and to my staff. We hope to see you again soon! Peace and turtles, 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 stream 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

Taxes and fees are additional

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 ((max 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 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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