At Casas La Selvatica we offer two comfortable homes immersed in the rain forest and surrounded by wildlife, yet only minutes away from a picture perfect beach, grocery store and restaurants. The setting is ideal for couples or families who appreciate the comfort of a home rather than a hotel room. We are located within easy reach of countless low ecological impact recreational activities.
Our property and the surrounding area are home to an incredible array of wildlife: you will most likely watch howler monkeys in their search for food, toucans or sloths right from the comfort of the patio. The homes are located minutes away from a couple of the most picturesque palm fringed beaches in the Caribbean. Your hostess will be available to assist with information about the area, bookings for activities/tours and offer detailed attention to your comfort throughout your vacation.
Accommodation: Built with natural hardwood and decorated with lively Caribbean touches, including eclectic local art and tile mosaics, Casa Grande features two bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, large outdoor dining area, bathroom with hot shower and a frog pond to watch the conservation of some endangered species of frogs.
The home has two bedrooms and two dens, comfortably accommodating up to five people in two double and one single bed. We offer the following, along with your accommodation:
- bilingual hosts (English/Spanish) available to provide information and assistance as needed;
- laundry service is included for vacations of minimum 7 days;
- wifi internet for your devices;
- lock box for secure storage of valuables;
- transportation, tours and activities booking
We would love to customize your vacation according to your needs. If you are celebrating a special occasion or would like to pleasantly surprise a loved one, we can provide additional services as required bottle of wine awaiting your arrival and/or local handmade organic chocolates, etc.) or arrange for a romantic dinner or spa package before your arrival.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What is this area like?
As most travel guides describe it, the Southern Caribbean is the right combination of picture perfect beaches, spectacular wildlife and proverbial laid-back attitude, spiced-up with a surprisingly active music and restaurant scene. The area is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering countless low ecological impact activities. This part of the country enjoys a lower level of development when compared with the Pacific Coast, and might catch by surprise unsuspecting travellers expecting all inclusive or high end resorts. While this type of accommodation options are also available, they are not prevalent, hence the true laid back attitude of locals and travellers alike.
2. How do I get there? Is a car needed?
A rental car is not necessary. You can get here from San Jose by public transit, door-to-door minivan service, driving a rental car or by private transfer (we can arrange that for you!). Most travellers choose the public transit, which is convenient, reliable and inexpensive. As a rule of thumb, if your intention is to get here on the bus, you will have to chose flights landing in San Jose no later than 2pm to catch the last bus of the day to Puerto Viejo. Similarly, if you want to leave Playa Chiquita on the day of your flight, you will have to catch a flight departing no earlier than 2pm. For flights outside these windows, you will need to spend the night in San Jose. Please inquire if you have any specific questions about transportation.
3. What is the weather like? Do the houses have air conditioning?
'The only thing that is constant is change"...this could not be more true about the weather in this part of Costa Rica. Overall, this is a tropical rainforest environment, with not so distinct dry and rainy seasons. One can expect that the average daily temperatures will be around 30C (85F) and 20C (70F) at night throughout the year. The amount of rain varies, however most precipitations come in torrential showers followed by sunshine. There is significant humidity in the air at all times.
Similar to 98% of vacation homes owners in the area, we did not find air conditioning necessary. The houses are built with air vents for natural ventilation. The average nightly temperature of 20C (70F) is comfortable for a restful sleep. For the occasional hotter evening, ceiling/wall fans are available in every room.
4. What is there to do? What activities are available?
Most travellers come here to enjoy the beaches and to explore the amazing flora and fauna of the surrounding rainforest. The area is also popular with surfers and yoga practitioners. It is a perfect spot for a romantic getaway, as well as a a very convenient location for a family vacation. Some of the most popular activities are snorkelling the coral reef, zip-line canopy tours and jungle hikes, river rafting, visiting the nearby wildlife rescue center (located within walking distance from La Selvatica) or night time turtle watching, to name only a few. On a rainy day, you can browse through our book collection, play a board game (chess, checkers and few other games are available), catch up on your emails or make travel plans using the free wi-fi inernet, or watch a DVD from the collection available at Casa Grande.
5. Do I need local currency?
The local currency is the colon (plural colones). As an easy reference, 1 USD equals approximately 500 colones. US Dollars are widely accepted in most tourist areas all over Costa Rica. From our own experience, we found that what works best is to use our credit cards to withdraw colones at ATM's. You can do this as soon as you land at San Jose airport, while waiting for your checked baggage – there are two ATM's right by the baggage carousels. It is probably safest to withdraw just enough cash for the first few days of your trip (for example the equivalent of $150-$200) and avoid carrying to much cash on you while travelling. Once on the Caribbean, you can use the ATM's in Puerto Viejo and Cahuita. You can also withdraw cash from your credit card directly from the bank tellers (you must have your original passport with you). Credit cards are increasingly more accepted by tourist businesses, however it is safe to always have some cash on hand. The next door grocery/mini-department store where you will probably shop for most food, beverage and other needs accepts all types of credit cards.
6. Are there jungle creatures around?
Our homes are located in the rainforest, in a lush environment also home to howler monkeys, toucans, sloths, lizards, frogs, snakes, spiders, bats, ants and many other neat creatures. Some of these could be watched right from the comfort of your porch! We try to blend in as much as possible with the natural environment and to be passive and respectful observers of the surrounding wildlife. We are fortunate to have a rather limited mosquito population.
7. Is La Selvatica the right place for me?
We offer two homes. Casa Grande is a good option for people who enjoy larger living areas, and also for families with children. Guests of Casa Grande enjoy a large porch, complimentary use of bicycles and laundry service (provided by our caretaker). Casa Mango is our budget, backpacking option, ideal for travellers who prefer to spend as little as possible on accommodation, while still having a comfortable sleep, private bathroom and cooking facilities. We aim to offer a good product, with an optimal comfort/cost ratio. We found that our homes are especially attractive to travellers willing to embark in an eye-opening experience of nature, wildlife, different culture and holistic relaxation. We offer two cozy self catering vacation homes in a spectacular rainforest/beach setting. We do not offer services similar to those found in high-end hotels or all inclusive resorts, nor do we intend to compete for their guests. The area is enjoyed by independent travellers and it is probably better suited to travellers not adverse to being in occasional and relative close proximity with geckos, spiders, humming birds, agoutis or any other creatures which inhabit the nearby rainforest. This area is NOT a bug-free zone.
8. Are there restaurants and shops nearby?
La Selvatica is located within 2 minutes walking distance from the main road which treks along the coast. This means we are also within few minutes walk from a couple of grocery stores, a handful of good restaurants, a couple of yoga centers and a few other shops. You can shop nearby for most basic necessities. For more choices, there are plenty of shopping options in Puerto Viejo. Another great shopping option for local produce and plenty of other goods is the Saturday market, taking place weekly in Puerto Viejo.
8. Is the area safe?
The area is at least just as safe as most places in North America or Europe. Like most other places, the Southern Caribbean and Costa Rica can be enjoyed with no worries, when common sense safety procedures are employed. Petty theft is not uncommon. The local business owners community is very active in promoting safety for tourists, and this should not be interpreted as an indication that the area is unsafe. Our property is fenced in (gates locked at night by guests). Both our houses have lock-boxes and guests are encouraged to store all valuables there, when not in use. We also advise our guests to bring a couple of passport copies to carry with them, while their original passports are safely stored in the lock-box. We have a caretaker on-site and a resident dog, for added security. Always take only the minimum with you when going to the beach, especially if you anticipate spending lots on time in the water. It is best to take a special trip to the beach for taking photos, then leave the camera in the lock-box and enjoy your worry-free day at the beach!
Tours and Activities: There are many wonderful activities to do in between the rain forest and in the sea. From guided wildlife watching, zip-lining through the tree canopies, hiking or biking to cooking, dancing and other thrilling adventures, there are activities sure to fit into your ideal tropical vacation plans.
We aim to assist you with your travel planning and make your vacation seamless. Please let us know if you would like to receive information or bookings for transportation from San Jose airport, or booking of tours and activities. We are able to offer discounted rates for activities, due to our collaboration with the local tour providers....Read more
Casa Grande: Jungle and Beach Retreat Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Limon, Costa Rica
Additional Location Information
Playa Chiquita is an idyllic beach village, ideally situated on one of the most picturesque stretches of the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica. This quaint location could not be more convenient for the travelers, whether bound for an eye opening experience of nature, wildlife, culture or just pure relaxation. The village is located on the edge of the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, a protected nature reserve which is home to numerous species of animals, birds and plants. It is also only 4 miles South of the happening town of Puerto Viejo, the epitome of a laid back Caribbean place, a melting pot of cultures and a great place for contracting tourist services.
La Selvatica and our two vacation rental homes are located within 2-3 minutes walking distance from the main road from Puerto Viejo to Manzanillo, thus providing easy access to amenities, while being in a quiet location surrounded by nature and wildlife.
The following points of interest/amenities are all located within 5-10 minutes walking distance:
- Playa Chiquita beach - a picture perfect, palm fringed beach; suitable for swimming most months of the year, due to coral reef pools
- a handful of great restaurants
- El Duende Gourmet, a well stocked grocery/min-department store where you will find most necessities, from dinner ingredients and wine, to beauty and household supplies
- a couple of yoga studios
- the bus stop: direct buses from San Jose, as well as Limon, Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo stop right in front of El Duende Gourmet.
More About This Location
Beach or lakeside relaxation, Rural retreats, Warm winter getaways, Waterfront
Nearest ferry port: Puerto Limon, 24.98 miles Nearest airport: San Jose (SJO), 140 miles Car is not necessary
Last updated on April 24, 2015
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"Great spot right in the middle of the rain forest"
Left on 02/17/2011 for a stay in December 2010 | A FlipKey verified reviewerReviewed Feb 17, 2011Stayed Dec 2010
Daniel and Jeff were great hosts. The location was off the beaten track with access to the beach, mtns., cocao plantation, wildlife rescue and many quality restaurants. In this area the people are friendly and bikes were a great way to get out to see the area, meet people, and view rain forest wildlife.
Left on 02/10/2011 for a stay in December 2010 | A FlipKey verified reviewerReviewed Feb 10, 2011Stayed Dec 2010
The house was very clean, decorated with taste and comfortable. Jeff and Daniel, the owners were very welcoming. They went out of their way to help us have a very agreable stay. They were just awesome!!!
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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