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Tree House Feel, Waterfront Eco-Home! Monkeys Galore!

Bedrooms 4
Space 2,200 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 - 7 nights


About the property

House, 4 Bedrooms 2 Baths, (Sleeps 8-10) on the waterfront, quiet, private!

Located in a tropical rainforest, and on a quiet beach, this vacation beach house offers a close relationship to rainforest flora and fauna plus beachfront privacy at its best! Monkeys visit the property daily while macaws eat almonds in the treetops at eye-level from Casa Dos Rios. The lockable house is lovingly hand-crafted by its owner, an American builder, and displays local area hardwoods. The location is one of the best in Cabo Matapalo, with Buena Esperenza Bar-Restaurant a 5 minute walk back to the main road.

Amenities include Internet Access by Wi-Fi, level front lawn leading out to the water's edge, croquet, horseshoes, fresh fruit on-site, a bar-restaurant 5 minute walk away, large living space on a 2nd level, giving a tree house feel and vantage point for nature viewing, a yoga deck, hammocks, a clear-water river nearby, great for small children to wade and play in and much more!

The four bedrooms have queen beds with posts and 'no-see-um' netting, and the house is well-ventilated with many windows and a breezeway. Great air-flow is accomplished through use of a cupola and large openings all around the house. The open-air porch downstairs houses hammocks for your relaxation, and the kitchen and living room were positioned upstairs to take advantage of the lovely view to the water and mid-tree monkey and bird habitat.

Enjoy the natural wonders just outside the windows, as there are four kinds of monkeys in the region (and sometimes in the yard!), and the wildlife includes toucans, macaws, sloths, blue morpho butterflies and iguanas to name a few. Mature trees feature fresh fruit including guava,bananas,mangos,papayas,coconut,cacao, and avacados. The beautiful landscaping of our grounds can be viewed from the house or by strolling the paths that lead to the beach just a few feet away from the house. The property is located between two rivers. The closest river provides a refreshing pool of sparkling clear gurgling water for your enjoyment after swimming and surfing.. Our Playa Carbonera is a good mid to high tide surf spot.

The casa is totally off the grid, with solar power, well water, and propane tanks for cook-stoves and hot-water heaters. Our on-demand hot water is available in sinks and showers. We have walk-in showers and deluxe linens for your comfort. The managers, Maru and Olger live on site in a manager house and are available to help make your stay comfortable. They can book tours, do some cooking, baby-sit the kids, or take you on jungle-waterfall tours. Maru provides on-site cleaning services and laundry service. The washer on site has to be used with a generator, so Maru does loads of clothes on cleaning day for a fee of $15 per large load.

Casa Dos Rios has doors and window shutters that lock. Internet service is basic and not strong enough for streaming movies, etc.

Keywords: Beachfront vacation house at a surf break, tranquility with sea view in rainforest environment. A Treehouse feel, wood structure! Now offers WiFi. beach, monkeys, macaws, toucans, sloths, fishing, sea kayak, surfing, swimming, hammocks, views, privacy, manicured lawn and restaurant in walking distance.

More Details

Melanie Norman
Member since: 2005
Premier Partner

This VRBO partner has demonstrated and is committed to fast response times, the best rates, and a great traveler experience.

Speaks: english, spanish
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
November 18, 2017

About Melanie Norman

Kim and Melanie Norman: We are people who live for happiness and adventure.

We have enjoyed being beacons of successful coupling in our community for years. We are happy people, and take much pleasure in sharing it with others. We have found that we can share our happiness though offering Casa Dos Rios for others to enjoy.

We are proud of having dreamed big: stretching ourselves and our abilities to buy and build on the fantastic property we discovered in a very special part of Costa Rica. Away from the hustle and bustle of large human populations, our little haven has become our place of sanctuary, helping us balance out the fast-lane careers that we have engaged in over the past 30 years. Kim is a builder and actually lived in Costa Rica for eight months in 2005, building our beach house rental. I have just completed 35 years in the real estate brokerage business. Now, 11 years into the vacation rental venture, we will be living in Costa Rica for the six winter months and in Arkansas for the others. We have sailboat because, looking out on Golfo Dulce from Casa Dos Rios, we know that there is so much to discover and enjoy out on those waters teeming with ocean life. We offer a tour from our 36 ft. Columbia yacht during the months of Nov. to end of April. When you send an inquiry I will be the one answering you. We love our lifestyle and we meet wonderful people from all over the world. Being a Southern Louisiana native, plus Kim being from Houston, TX, we find the climate easy to acclimate with our backgrounds.

Our interests and hobbies include: Sailing, fishing, gardening, cooking, yoga, exercise to music, water-color painting, wood crafts and traveling.

Melanie Norman purchased this house in 2003

Why Melanie Norman chose Cantón Golfito

We first went to Matapalo on the Osa Penninsula in 1998 as a couple. Kim, my husband, had visited Costa Rica with his best friend in 1990, traveling with the goal of finding the 'best fish soup'. Though the best soup turned up in Pto. Viejo, they were taken by the unspoiled Osa Penninsula and the great surfbreaks of Cabo Matapalo.

When Kim and I arrived there I was awestruck at how beautiful this coast is, and how much wildlife there is to see! All four kinds of monkeys could be seen in a given day and the sunrises were so spectacular, so many layers of contrast formed from the mountains across the Golfo Dulce and the ever-present scatterings of clouds, surf and birds.

We knew that this place was the right area for us to establish a vacation home to enjoy for ourselves and to offer for the enjoyment of guests.

Whenever our guests book our sailing tour in high season, we are excited about the opportunity to meet and enjoy our own guests, taking them to see the tropical fiord of the Golfo Dulce, snorkel a reef and enjoy my lunch meal aboard "Sorrento".

We hope that you will be one of these guests, and we intend to make this vacation one of your most wonderful and memorable ever!

What makes this house unique

At first arrival to Casa Dos Rios we marvel at how simply exquisite our environment is: the house, with its rich wood surfaces, the view of the Gulf from our balcony, the lush landscape, so meticulously maintained, the sea breeze and sound of surf, the abundance of fruit and the welcoming faces of our greeting managers!

We love the netted 4-post beds (that you zip yourself safely inside of), with reading light right over our heads, and personal fans at our feet. We love having the living area up high, (on the 2nd floor), giving a tree-house feel to the home. The big walk-in shower with rain-water spicket and a large open window (yet private) is a real pleasure to bathe in.

The hammock porch is a special place for relaxation with a book, or napping in the afternoon, enjoying a sea breeze channeling through the breeze-way design of the downstairs.

The Carbonera River to the right of our beachfront is such a gem. We might swim, boogie board, kayak or surf in the gulf in front of the house; then, go over to the cool, fresh-water river, where there is a 3 ft. deep lagoon, and rinse off the sand and salt, in the ever-moving waters that empty into the Golfo Dulce. The second river, to the left is about 1/4 mile away, and forms a deep and wide lagoon, feeding the gulf with enough fresh water to make this a very good beach-fishing site.

We also enjoy the hiking areas that are all around us. Bird-watchers hike out on the road nearby; the two largest waterfalls on the Carbonera River are a great hiking destination, reachable by walking approx. a half hour from our house; the jungle path all along the beachfronts is a way to discover the many varied beaches of Matapalo.

One of the best things about Casa Dos Rios is that we often see all four kinds of monkeys from the windows of the house. Macaws are so plentiful, we see many pairs every day and sometimes right in the trees outside the house. Wildlife in its natural habitat is still so abundant here!

Guestbook comments from the owner

Words and photos are dismal failures at describing this place. It is, of course, a spectacular setting – with helpful taxi drivers, friendly caretakers and beautiful landscaping. But what we cannot stop talking about is the house that Kim built and Melanie outfitted – perfect in every detail – so well conceived. I could go on and on but will wait to do so in person. You have created a wonder and thank you.Susan L.Kim & Melanie, This is really fantastic. The design, construction, decoration and attention to detail. You guys really did an incredible job of it and should be very proud of what you’ve accomplished here. Tim L.
Sep 2006
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Cantón Golfito House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Catering available
  • Breakfast - Booking Possible
  • Lunch - Booking Possible
  • Dinner - Booking Possible
  • Housekeeper Included
Floor Area:
  • 2200 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 10
  • pets considered
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome
Location Type:
  • Beach View ...
  • Beachfront ...
  • Mountain View ...
  • Ocean View ...
  • Oceanfront ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Fitness Room / Equipment ...
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Mobile Phone ...
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet ...
  • Catering Available ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 -
    Bathroom 2 -
  • There are two bathrooms, one on each level. The one upstairs has a large walk-in shower. The one downstairs has toilet and sink in the main bath, then shower outside, just around the corner from the bathroom. That shower has hot water and doubles as a foot-rincing, or after-beach shower. Both showers have hot and cold water.
  • 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 10
  • Queen size Beds (4) Our beds are 4-post high beds with no-see-um netting in a tent-like arrangement with zipper. Mattresses were replaced in Nov. of 2015, with thick, pillow-topped luxurious new mattresses. Light and fan is in the bed., Double Beds (1) Two cabinas are located close by on a neighboring property, and can be used by us for over-flow, to accomodate a larger group. (when available)...These each have a double bed., Child Beds (1) We have a small mattress for children, and mosquito netting for surrounding it., Baby Cribs (1) We have a Pack-N-Play if it were needed. The mattress for children can also be used for infants.
  • Books ...
  • Games ...
  • Ping Pong Table
  • Pool Table ...
  • Balcony ...
  • Boat ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Water Sports Gear ...
Onsite Services:
  • Concierge
  • Massage
  • Private Chef
  • botanical garden
  • health/beauty spa
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • horseshoes
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • shelling
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • whale watching
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • groceries
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • hiking
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling
  • snorkeling/diving
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
Linens and Towels Provided, Hammocks, Beach Chairs, Adult and Children's Games, Reading Material, Water-Color Art Supplies, Wet-Bar, Blender, Coffee-Making Equipment and yoga deck, ocean kayak. Just down the lane there is an open-air bar and restaurant serving excellent cuisine, and offering board games and social interaction. We also have horseshoe pits and croquet.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(51 traveler reviews)

96% Complete
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Tree House Feel, Waterfront Eco-Home! Monkeys Galore!
average rating of 4.9607844 based on 60 reviews

Wildlife galore!!

  • 5 of 5

Having been to Matapalo numerous times in the past we were bringing our 2 grandchildren for the 1st time. Casa Dos Rios totally fit our needs as a family of 8. Beds were extremely comfortable, the mesh netting, reading light and fan were much appreciated after a long day exploring and playing. Living and dining area were more than adequate for our large group to get together. Linens, towels and bedding were very good also. We really loved the location and the views were lovely. The memories we will share with the family and seeing the grandkids ages 3 and 5 when they had their first much anticipated sight of the monkeys will forever remain as one of the most precious times. We saw all four species everyday come right by the deck where we had our coffee. The kids would wake up with the howlers and stay up to watch the squirrels, spiders and capuchins on their daily feeding schedule. In all our visits to the Osa we have never experienced the monkeys in quite this way. the dinner waiting for us was much appreciated and savored after our long drive from San Jose. Olmer and Maru took care of all our needs and we enjoyed their company. We would love to return.

  • Submitted: May 8, 2017
  • Stayed: April 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We appreciate your review and we loved hosting your family. It is for people like you that we have built and we maintain Casa Dos Rios! Thanks for being great guests, friendly people and for choosing our CDR as your vacation destination. When you are ready to return, we will be happy to host your family again! Olger and Maru loved assisting you, also.
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Our Memory Banks Hold This Week At CDR As One of Our Best!

  • 5 of 5

We decided to broadcast an invite to our Facebook friends, to join us for one week at CDR. The people who responded and joined us (4 of them) absolutely loved their week. Between the marvels of nature seen from the windows of the house and the company of one another, all went away with great memories and intentions to return and share this place with family and friends later.

We are the owners of Casa Dos Rios, and wanted to use our own vacation rental to see what it might need and to get a sense of what our guests experience by living in our house.

We loved the experience so much that we decided to offer this again next year at the same time, so that we can get to know those who take us up on this offer, and so that we can treat ourselves to the atmosphere and rich wood surfaces, plus open-air kitchen and view that our Casa Dos Rios offers. We came away knowing what to add and how to make the next guests' stay even better in the future!

Because we care about making a vacation memorable and exquisite, we do many things like suggesting the best there is to do in the area, offer meal service, accompany our guests as guides on hikes and waterfall expeditions and have on-site managers to stand ready to assist in any way needed.

I will encourage the four guests who joined us for this week, to also write their reviews.

  • Submitted: Aug 28, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Absolutely amazing house with stunning wildlife!

  • 5 of 5

We stayed at this property as a mixed group of families. If you like wildlife, you will be absolutely amazed. We were woken by scarlet macaws and howler monkeys. Just sitting on the top balcony we saw toucans, squirrel monkeys, spider monkeys, agouti, a massive snake (boa?), scarlet macaws, caracara plus alot of additional birds we couldn't identify. The house is right in front of a nice little rocky beach which has kayaks. Melanie (the host) is absolutely amazing and helped us daily with suggestions for tours etc. She is a wonderfully inspiring woman! The house is at a remote location, so don't expect nightlife etc. However, if you are in Costa Rica for the jungle experience you will find it all here! The house itself is very comfortable, and clean and airy. Highly recommended!

  • Submitted: Aug 16, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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San Diego, Ca

Gorgeous home in paradise!

  • 5 of 5

What a magical place! If you are looking for abundant wildlife, gorgeous beach walks, and peaceful surroundings, Casa Dos Rios is the place. There were 5 of us staying at the home and there was plenty of room. The home is beautifully built with local wood throughout - the pictures hardly do it justice. There is a high ceiling with a tree trunk placed right in the middle of the home reaching all the way to the roof. Each morning we made coffee and sat on the large front deck to watch all the animals that visit the house. We saw four types of monkeys, scarlet macaws, beautiful birds, coatis, and many other animals. The home has an open air concept with no screens so be aware of this if you plan to stay here. We loved having a house that was open and had no problems with bugs or insects flying in. The beds are screened and have small fans to keep you cool at night. The house is well equipped with plenty of kitchen supplies, bed linens, and towels. They even have two kayaks that you can take out on the water in the beach in front of the house. The yard and surrounding area is immaculate and well maintained and the large deck below the house with two hammocks made for wonderful reading spots in the late afternoon.

One of our favorite parts of the trip was getting to know the caretakers, Olger and Maru.They were phenomenal hosts! The night we arrived they greeted us and showed us around the house and then Olger cooked a delicious dinner that evening so we could unpack and relax. The next day Maru took our family on a hike to a nearby waterfall where we swam in crystal clear water and had the whole swimming hole to ourselves. It was truly magical! My husband is a huge futbol fan and that night there was a Gold Cup game between the US and Costa Rica. Maru was so gracious and invited us all over to her home to watch the game. Cheering and watching the game with Maru and other locals made us feel at home and was an unexpected and wonderful way to spend the evening. The night before we left Olger brought us homemade fresh ceviche for dinner. It was honestly one of the best meals/dishes we had during our entire visit to Costa Rica! Gracias por todo, Maru and Olger!!

It was a pleasure to work with Melanie, she was timely in her responses and helpful. If you are looking for a beautiful and comfortable home that truly makes you feel like a local on the Osa, then look no further. We hope to visit again soon and we will most definitely stay at Casa Dos Rios.

  • Submitted: Aug 1, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Oh what a nice review! This truly warms my heart! Thanks for enjoying and appreciating what we have put together. It is a part of my life's purpose to facilitate the comfortable and adventurous stay by people like you! Do please come again! And meanwhile, all the best to you and your family!
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Beautiful place, well located

  • 4 of 5

We stayed for 5 nights. The place is beautiful, both the house and the surrounding property. The caretakers were friendly and welcoming. The house is well equipped in terms of kitchenware, bed linens, and towels. They were also very accommodating, providing an extra mattress for us to make us more comfortable.

The experience of watching 4 different types of monkeys jump by you on the tree tops is lovely, as well as watching the macaws. Water quality is great and I really enjoyed the outdoor shower.

The place is very safe, all you have to worry about is monkeys stealing any food you leave outside.

From the house, you get a partial view of the ocean, which is beautiful. In April, the sunrise and moonrise are perfectly aligned to watch from the window.

Some things that could be better: 1) the lack of screens on the windows allows for all kinds of nighttime bugs flying in, including giant jungle cockroaches (4 inches big, I swear). The beds do have nets around them, but it makes for really scary trips to the bathroom at night. There is also no protection from bugs flying into you or your food at dinnertime. I would definitely install screens, at least upstairs.

2) The heat in April can be intense and the house fans are relatively weak. They explain that all power is solar and there is an "energy budget", but we've stayed in other places with solar power, which have better and bigger fans.

Overall, it was a good experience. Birdwatching in the area is unbelievable, you can see up to 30 species in a couple of hours in the morning. There are gorgeous beaches close by, tours, surfing lessons, and the caretakers have all their contacts, making them very easy to book.

  • Submitted: Apr 28, 2017
  • Stayed: April 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Hi Sergio, Thanks for the review. We are grateful for families like yours who enjoy our Casa Dos Rios. We are currently having some boosters installed to make those fans operate faster. As far as the screens are concerned, the house would lose a lot of its ambiance with the addition of screens, so we opted to screen the beds like a tent, and allow our guests to experience life in a natural environment, with direct contact to the flora and fauna of that incredible environment. Most of our guests have found it novel and special to have the open-air, open window aspect. Thanks again for visiting our eco-house.
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Magical retreat in the jungle overlooking the water

  • 5 of 5

Casa dos Rios is a magical place. The house, the setting, the gardens, the animals, the birds are all fabulous. The owners and Maru and Ohair (sp?) were very responsive and lovely to work with. The place was kept immaculately clean and the linens were changed frequently. The only complaint I have is that the beach was rocky so that because of the waves, it was not a beach at which to swim. Walking to another beach, at least a 20 minute walk, was possible for the able bodied and teens and adults. I would strongly recommend the rental of a vehicle to reach the beaches and get to Puerto Jimenez. I took the Collectivo several times, and it was fun, but most of my guests, were not as adventuresome.

Understanding the limitations of the waterfront, you will find Casa dos Rios as delightful as we all did.

  • Submitted: Apr 11, 2017
  • Stayed: February 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Hi Joyce, I am reading your review and realizing that I had not responded to it, probably because I overlooked seeing the email (that you had written one) from VRBO. We appreciate your month-long stay and your positive and constructive comments. We know that our beach is ever-changing, and sometimes does not hold the sand that would normally cover those rocks out there, but we also know that it all comes back around, and ours becomes the sandy beach again, in time. Those changes are part of what make this such a magical environment, and what keep us growing and accepting in life. We really enjoyed meeting you and having you be our neighbor as we occupied the manager house for part of your stay. Please do come again. You are always welcome at Casa Dos Rios.
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Nearest Airport
11 Miles
Pto. Jimenez
Nearest Barpub
1 Miles
Buena Esparenza, Martina's Bar
Nearest Ferry
11 Miles
Pto. Jimenez
Nearest Golf
100 Miles
San Buenas Golf Course
Nearest Motorway
1 Miles
Highway 245
Nearest Restaurant
1 Miles
Buena Esparenza, Martina's
Nearest Beach
In Front of the house
Nearest Point of Interest
Buena Esparenza Bar and Restaurant
Nearest Point of Interest
Pan Dulce
Nearest Point of Interest
Carbonera River Waterfalls
Nearest Point of Interest
Playa Carbonera
Car: recommended

Birdwatching, Waterfall Tours and Rapelling, Jungle Tours,Zip-line tours, Dolphin Tours, Tours to Animal Rescue Center, Fishing, Kayak fishing, Deep-sea fishing, Horse-Back Riding, Bird-Watching Tours, Local Jungle Bar with Board Games; massage, yoga lessons, Spanish lessons, surfing lessons, river clay masks, and yoga deck, horse shoes and croquet on site. We have a sailing yacht and offer day sailing tours with snorkel gear and lunch provided.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning fee per week: $60

Rates are subject to change until reservation confirmation. Gratuity to the cleaning staff is requested and appreciated.
Daily and Weekly standard rates and Spring Break rates are quoted for the first 4 people. Add $25 per day per additional adult and $10 per night per additional child under 12 years of age. A $60 cleaning fee per week, is also required.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.

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