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

Bedrooms 4
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 - 7 nights

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Minimum Stay
3 - 7 nights


Puntarenas House Rental Photos and Description

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
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome
  • pets considered

Melanie Norman
Member since: 2005
Speaks: english, spanish
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
December 8, 2016
Call Owner

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 Costa Rica

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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Exceptional! 5/5 -
(43 traveler reviews)

Tree House Feel, Waterfront Eco-Home! Monkeys Galore!
average rating of 4.976744 based on 52 reviews

Unfaltering Hospitality!

  • 4 of 5

Melanie and Kim,

Thank you again for sharing your beautiful home with me and mike and showing us how to be Osapiens for the past 10 days. Between the hurricane and the boa, it will be a vacation to remember. But even more memorable will be your unfaltering hospitality. What a treat to get to know you, Kim, and the family of Casa Dos Rios.

We love the hotel in Alejuela...thank you for the arrangement.


Terrie & Mike

  • Submitted: Dec 2, 2016
  • Stayed: Nov 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Westchester, NY, USA

Beautiful house and gorgeous setting

  • 5 of 5

We loved the house and the view from the balcony. Beautiful woodwork throughout. The main room is larger than it looks in the photos. We did not see mosquitoes. We had Melanie cook a meal for us and it was delicious. The yoga classes were a real plus. We enjoyed watching the monkeys from the balcony.

We took a number of tours and enjoyed the wildlife. We did not rent a car, which limited us a bit. There are no groceries other than the one in Puerto Jimenez, 40 minutes away on a very bumpy road...NONE. For hiking you can walk twenty minutes to the resort Lapo Rios. We took a 2.5 hour waterfall hike there and enjoyed it. You can also just walk up the river from the main road and get to the same waterfall--if you are sure-footed. I did it and it was beautiful. Any water--river or beach-- is public property. 10 meters either side for rivers, I think 50 meters from high tide for the beaches.

I'd suggest that any tours you arrange you are clear with the guide exactly what you have in mind. We took the boat tour to the wildlife refuge, and found out halfway through the tour that we weren't going to the refuge because it was closed. Yes, there were other great things on the boat tour--I just wish he had told me and we might have rearranged it. Similarly, let the nature tour guide know if you want a forest hike or bird watching--two very different things. We also did a kayak tour of the mangrove swamp (Aventures Tropicales )and it was great.

  • Submitted: Feb 23, 2016
  • Stayed: Feb 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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An excellent adventure, a wonderful stay!!! Highly Recommend!!!

  • 5 of 5

If you are looking to stay anywhere in the Osa Peninsula, then you are truly looking for an adventure. Getting here is half the adventure. Landing in Puerto Jimenez and renting a car was very easy, but you must be okay with dirt roads. Case Dos Rios is about a thirty minute drive on a dirt road with one very small water crossing. The drive was beautiful, with many bird sightings and other local wildlife.

The property itself is on a very private and secluded path right up to the ocean. The house is gorgeous, very nice wood work throughout, and completely off the grid. The appliances are delightfully rustic and minimal. It was like having a beautiful cabin in the jungle. Except this one has a large deck with a great ocean view. The beds were more comfortable than I thought, each fully netted and with individual fans to keep cool at night. We were never uncomfortable on any of the nights.

Each day brought new and different wildlife at our doorstep. We experienced all varieties of wildlife to include four species of monkeys, Macaws, Green Parrots, Green Sea Turtle, various frogs, and insects. I loved sitting on the deck looking out on the ocean with my family and simply watching the red Macaws fly by and the monkeys that would pass through the trees.

The best part of the house were the hosts, Melanie and Kim. They reside in a house a short walk away and were a terrific resource. They are very gracious people and worked very hard to ensure we had a great stay. They setup many of our activities, each one being fantastic.

I highly recommend this property if you are going to the Osa as we really enjoyed the stay!

  • Submitted: Jan 31, 2016
  • Stayed: Jan 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks so much for your great review. We always work hard to leave people with impressions like those you wrote! We hope to be welcoming you back to Casa Dos Rios some day! Have a good winter and thanks for choosing our accommodation. Warm regards, Melanie and Kim Norman
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Loved Casa Dos Rios

  • 5 of 5

This was an amazing vacation. We have traveled all over the world, and we have never seen a place that was as gorgeous and untouched as this location.

The house was beautiful - exquisite design and construction by the owner - with extraordinary attention to detail. The woodwork is gorgeous. And it contained everything we needed or wanted for a wonderful stay. The floorplan was arranged beautifully - laid out well, large spaces, comfortable for just about any type of group I could think of.

We were a group of four people, but the house could easily fit up to 10 comfortably. The hosts were amazing. They helped us book tours and discover incredible adventures in the area - both on land and on sea. Their hospitality and friendliness made us feel like we were with family (good family!). They answered all questions quickly and treated us warmly.

We were amazed at the wildlife in the area - scarlet macaws, pelicans, toucans, 4 different types of monkeys up in the trees, a pesote, iguanas, and so much more.

The water in the gulf and in the ocean nearby was absolutely beautiful. Sometimes, we went swimming right in front of the house, sometimes on a beautiful beach nearby, sometimes in the natural pools under the waterfalls. And I even learned how to paddleboard, which was amazing.

We went in a boat with a great local guide (Josh) to hang out with dolphins (dozens of them), check out the mangrove waterways, snorkel on the reefs, and discover so many more beautiful aspects of this incredible environment.

We also took a rainforest tour with another local guide who took us into untouched primal forest to see so many more incredible sights than I can list here. The vegetation in the area was astounding. Every time you turn around there's something else that amazes you.

We were there in mid-December, which was great; but we could see that it would be just as amazing several other times of the year. We loved it.

  • Submitted: Dec 22, 2015
  • Stayed: Dec 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Boston MA

So many good things to say I ran out of space!!

  • 5 of 5

We will definitely be coming back.

My husband and I have wanted to go to Costa Rica for a while and we both wanted different things. I wanted water front and beachy relaxing vacation while he wanted adventure and rainforest. So once we found this house we knew it was perfect. I don't even know where to start. From booking to helping plan things to any information we needed, everyone was there to help. We came for a week but we're in Costa Rica for ten days, breaking up the long drive which really wasn't bad given the amazing scenery. We traveled with a one and Five year old who were in awe over everything. Everyone in every town we stopped in was so friendly I never once felt uncomfortable. But the house, wow. When we pulled in we were all in shock. The pictures don't do it justice. It really is as amazing as it seems. The house itself was so clean and had everything you needed, you instantly relaxed. The upstairs shower was amazing. We showered while monkeys played in the trees and all the birds. The yard was beautiful and the view was incredible. Waking up to the beautiful sunrise and the sounds of the jungle meeting the waves, insane. We really didn't know what to expect for the kids safety and once we got there, we were not worried. Brian was so friendly and so helpful he deserves a raise haha. He really made the trip so much better by being around and helping us with everything. He was so knowledgable about the entire country and would stop in to show us monkeys and herbs, fruit and all the beautiful flowers. I can't express enough how friendly everyone is, they are always willing to help you or even just talk. Brian helped us set up, zip lining, boat tour, fishing tours, hiking to waterfalls, even just going for a drive. He even helped us with the hotels we were staying at on the way home and where to stop along the way. If anyone wants to contact me, feel free I will gladly give you insight on this amazing house. The only things I wasn't too sure on were the bugs, which ended up being truly fine..yes they are loud but nothing that will bite, unlike the US with the ridiculous mosquitos. The ants were a problem if you sat still on the open dirt like my one year old but on the grass they didn't bother you. The ocean was rocky, bring water shoes. We went to a few beaches and they are all the same. The water is very warm so the tidal pools were actually hot. The rivers were very refreshing and how cool it was to swim with monkeys in the trees!

  • Submitted: Oct 8, 2015
  • Stayed: Sep 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Talkers, Thanks so much for your review. It really helps future guests to know what to expect and helps us to know if we are doing our job and providing a great home and experience for our guests. We do care and we are so happy to know when our guests have had an excellent time. We welcome you back any time you are ready and the house is available. Warm regards, Melanie and Kim Norman
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San Diego, CA

A Great Jungle Experience

  • 5 of 5

We have visited Costa Rica many times and one of our favorite areas of the country is Cabo Matapalo.

We go to Costa Rica for the wildlife and rainforest and it never lets us down in this region. We stayed 4 nights in this house last month with our family and really loved so much about it.

The sunrises were worth waking up for (and the howler monkeys can help with that :). We saw all 4 types of monkeys from the property or within feet away (capuchin (white face), spider, squirrel and howler. The scarlet mccaws are there daily as they feed on the almond trees just next door. The view of the ocean is fantastic and if you are a good surfer, can surf right out front. Rocky beach so bring water shoes. Brian the house manager gave our sons a surf lesson at Playa pan Dulce, the next beach down about twenty minutes which is alot better beach for family swimming. The creek just a couple of minutes walk down the beach had a nice little wading pool area to sit, realx and cool down also....we really enjoyed that spot. We were celebrating a birthday and heard that Brian made a great coconut flan, so we asked him to make that instead of a b-day cake and it was the best flan we ever had! We shopped at the big supermarket in the town 35 minutes away (Puerto Jimenez) and did all of our own cooking. The kitchen is well stocked with pots/pans etc. so that was nice. It is a Really hot area so be prepared for the heat! There are little fans in each bed so that helped alot and I talked to Melanie about possible adding a couple of other fans in the living/dining area that I think would help. There is a ceiling fan that they are going to work on too to spin faster and generate more of a breeze. We love just hanging out on the balcony and watching the monkey activity! On the last day the monkey tried to invade the house but we kept them at bay :) It is a nice open air house, but they do have the big shutters you can close up to keep any monkey business out :)!

We really loved this house and as everyone says, Melanie was a Huge help in the planning and offering a very detailed great information packet about the area, things to do, where to shop and eat and more which was very useful to us.

Thanks Melanie and Brian for everything!


  • Submitted: Aug 31, 2015
  • Stayed: Aug 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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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

Puntarenas House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
Christmas and New Years
Dec 20 2016 - Jan 3 2017
7 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add $50 per night, per additional guest
High Season
Jan 4 2017 - Aug 31 2017
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $25 per night, per additional guest
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $25 per night, per additional guest

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.
Enter dates for accurate pricing
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Puntarenas 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.
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 ...
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome
  • pets considered
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.

Learn more about this vacation rental at the owner's website:

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