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“Perfect Place to Stay near Corcovado National...”
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Excellent
7 reviews
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Overview
Holiday Rental House -
2 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, Sleeps 7
Carate, Corcovado National Park, Osa Peninsula, Province of Puntarenas

Reviews from our community

Excellent - based on 7 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
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English first
Kerry I
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Perfect Place to Stay near Corcovado National Park! A Jewel in the Jungle!”
Reviewed 9 April 2017 for a stay in March 2017
1
person found this review helpful

Casa Playa Lapa was nothing short of perfect for us on our 25th anniversary celebration trip! We had so many places to choose from and are so happy we chose Carate, Costa Rica!! Corcovado National Park is walking distance away as is several ecolodges to grab some drinks at the bar, a meal and some company. We were picked up in Puerto Jimenez by Andi, our super awesome and licensed cab driver recommended by Helene, the owner of Playa Lapa. He was so friendly and knowledgable. He took us to the grocery store where we did our best buying beer, wine, rum and yes, some food too! He then drove us to Playa Lapa on a well kept but pretty rough road at times through cattle lands, jungle and other amazing scenery. He stopped to show us wildlife and take photos. Crossing three rivers to get to Carate was all part of the everyday for Andi but for us it was so fun and quite the adventure!! The driveway into Playa Lapa was breath taking. The first view of the house was jaw dropping! Manuel, the care taker was there to greet us as was english speaking Laura, who lives nearby to show us the ropes and where everything was located. We settled in and went to the beach less than 100 meters behind the house. OMG! It was a sight! The lagoon, very close by was gorgeous too! So much wildlife right there. Lapa means Macaw and they were everywhere! We went to Corcovado and Cabo Matapalo with Cristhian, our guide recommended by Helene. He was the best guide ever!! Even the other guides looked up to him! We went to Ave Azul, kayaked the lagoon twice and took 4 night time walks around the area. We had most dinners at Lookout Inn and Laguna Vista (call ahead if you want to eat at these lodges!!) We walked Shady Lane and saw an incredible amount of monkeys, birds, butterflies-amazing!! We never saw a puma but we heard one growling at us from nearby. So cool!! Playa Lapa is the perfect location if you want to get away from it all but still have some amenities nearby. We felt safe and cared for by Helene and her staff and her recommended guide, Cristhian (see our review of him). We recommend dressing for hot weather, bring bug repellant for the chiggers and ticks in Corcovado, hat and sunscreen for sure! Bring cash, no need for local currency, dollars are fine. Everyone we met were very honest about the prices. Credit cards or Paypal accepted at some nearby ecolodges. Make sure Helene knows your interests so she can recommend things to do. Tip well, they deserve it!! Life here is difficult for the locals and even the collectivo driver, which we used twice works so hard! Playa Lapa is not luxury but almost. It does not have A/C but doesn't need it. The breezes are almost constant. We took outdoor showers to cool off or went for a walk around the shady property. It was everything we wanted and more than we needed. Thank you Helene, Casa Playa Lapa is a jewel in the jungle!

Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
10 Apr 2017
Dear Kerry, I am blown away by your wonderful review! You have
caught the rhythm of Playa Lapa for sure! The staff loved you, the guides feedback was great, and you were fun for me to help arrange your tours. Please come back soon!
Peace and Turtles,
Helene
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
carefree...
Montreal
Level 6 Contributor
93 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 607 helpful votes
“Fantastic Stay at Playa Papa in Carate”
Reviewed 12 January 2017 for a stay in December 2016
6
people found this review helpful

My husband and I and our 20 year old son recently spent a fabulous week over Christmas at Playa Lapa in Carate.
If you and your family are true nature lovers wanting a remote unspoiled destination to completely unplug from the pressures and stresses of modern life, then you will be in seventh heaven. If you need air conditioning, constant entertainment, wide screen TV’s, hair dryers, a huge fridge and constant electricity look elsewhere. There is no electricity, just solar panels. We were probably over cautious with our extremely minimal use of lights in the evening as we really wanted our fans to work in the bedroom! The master bedroom was quite cool, but our son’s room did not have as much circulation and he did get bug bites at night. If you have your heart set on being in Carate-the most remote destination in the Osa Peninsula, then you will be very happy. The description on the website is very accurate...but the pictures really do not do it justice. It is gorgeous and the approach to the house from the gate with its royal palms looks like the entry to the Garden of Eden. We did several hikes-one 18 kilometer hike to the famed Sirena Station with our own amazing guide, Nito of Surcos Tours and saw the elusive and most friendly puma reclining in the shade, a napping tapir, a band of up to 30 coatis, collared anteater, countless birds including scarlet macaws, the Costa Rican coast guard (brown pelicans), egrets, hawks, eagles, owls, trogons, basilisks, peccaries. We also saw trees with up to a dozen scarlet macaws, sloths , magnificent scenery with a swim in a waterfall and spied the much feared Fer de Lance venomous snake-all with the expert guidance of Cristhian Jimenez, also a great guide recommended by the owners, Helene and Joe Hauser. The beach outside the house is insanely beautiful, the sand is soft and velvety and the sunsets outstanding, but real swimming can only be done at low tide. Bring the tide tables. At high tide, it is only safe to go up to your ankles and splash yourself with water as the current and rip tides are ferocious. There are no rocks in the water. All three of us are lifeguards so we know what we are talking about! Be prepared and you will enjoy it. Because the destination is so remote with absolutely no air pollution, the night sky is amazing!! We made our own breakfasts and cooked the occasional meal. While there is a gas stove, an outside BBQ and a medium sized fridge, I was on vacation and wanted to have meals at the neighboring eco lodges. We ate at the Lookout Lodge (only a 15 minute walk along the beach and they will drive you back after dinner for a small fee), Luna Lodge (they will drive you both ways for a fee-impossibly far to walk) and ate lunch twice at the Laguna Vista enjoying the fabulous view and enjoying their beautiful infinity pool. That way we got the best of everything. We did not rent a car as we did not feel comfortable driving through rivers to reach Carate. This was a good decision. Thank goodness they did repave the road from Puerto Jimenez to Carate. It really is quite smooth now. Helene will find you a good taxi driver both ways. It is over a 90 minute drive from Puerto Jimenez to Carate so we did buy a Styrofoam container at the BM store and lined it with ice to keep our meat and perishables fresh during transport to Playa Lapa. Upon arrival we put the ice in the fridge and it did last us a week. Helene and Joe have thoughtfully provided covers for all of your perishables and we enjoyed scrumptious watermelon, pineapples, mangos, papaya. We kayaked in the nearby lagoon and loved it. Playa Lapa is a nature lover’s dream come true. We heartily recommend it. Enjoy!

Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
657heathe...
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“PERFECT!!”
Reviewed 3 January 2016 for a stay in December 2015
1
person found this review helpful

We stayed at Playa Lapa over Christmas and New Years and had a fantastic time. The place was exactly what we were looking for and Helene and Joe are great hosts. Communication was excellent and they were always available to answer questions. We love to cook and the house has a sizeable kitchen that has everything you need including a large chest fridge/freezer. Getting there is a little bit of a challenge due to the rough road from Jimenez, and we would probably opt for flying to Jimenez (from SJ) and using a cab service to get to the house next time, stocking up on provisions at the BM grocery in Jimenez (most stores were open dec 24, 25 and jan 1 when we were there). Finding a good deal on a rental car is almost impossible in CR due to their hidden fees (added 60-70% to the cost for reservation). Birding is one of our passions and Osa does not get any better. We enjoyed a number of morning kayaks (the first of which guided by Joe to show us around) in the nearby lagoon and Helene also organized a hike into Corcovado for us with Christian as our local guide. He was wonderful...full of knowledge and was great at teaching us about so many interesting things in the jungle. Shady Lane is right across the street and we walked that daily for additional bird and other wildlife / nature observation. We did yoga on the lovely wrap around porch and cooled off in the ocean during low tide. There was always plenty of energy for us...but we used very little. Loved the outside shower. So hot outside...cool shower = yeah!! Perfect!

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Access to birding in many locations. Independence to make our own meals.
Liked least: Nothing to report
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Your age range 35-49
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
3 Jan 2016
Dear Rune and Heather,
Thank you so kindly for your lovely review! You were such nice guests, we really enjoyed hosting you!
Playa Lapa was designed for folks like you (like us!) who love the ocean, the wildlife and the rainforest up close, but want privacy from the rest of the world, and enough space and time to relax!
We hope to see you again at Playa Lapa in the future, and wish you all the best!
Helene and Joe
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
swelshmos...
Calgary
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Wonderful stay at Playa Lapa”
Reviewed 6 April 2015 for a stay in March 2015
1
person found this review helpful

Our family of 4 had a wonderful stay for a few nights at Playa Lapa. We loved the setting with the crashing waves, great wild life viewing and helpful hosts. The vast stretch of private beach was thoroughly enjoyed. We played in the warm waves during low tide. Walking along the deserted beach was wonderful. We had a great time in the kayaks on the lagoon. The property was beautiful and really nicely maintained by Manuel. We enjoyed picking and eating the delicious fruit and herbs on the property that Phoebe showed us. Phoebe was fabulous with her tips on hikes, and good spots for wildlife spotting. Her dog was also a big hit with our family very sweet! Living off of the solar power worked well, we always had enough power in the evenings. The wifi was down while we were there but we were fine with that.
The deck and hammock were thoroughly enjoyed, a great spot to sit and listen to the wild life and relax.
We would definitely return to this wonderful place. We did a trip to the bird sanctuary which Helene had recommended and we were really glad that we did, very informative and enjoyable.
Thanks Helene, Phoebe an Manuel for sharing this wonderful place with us! We hope to return.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Private beautiful location
Liked least: Leaving the sounds of the crashing surf
Travelling group: Teenagers
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
9 Apr 2015
Manager response:
Thank you so kindly, Shannon and Rob, for you wonderful review!! It was our pleasure to have you at Playa Lapa--my staff really enjoyed you, I had a good time helping you plan, and we are all glad to be a part of a memorable vacation. You guys were great!! And we want you to come back!!
Pura Vida!!!
Helene
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RobertEmi...
Montreal, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Unforgettable stay at unique, secluded and beautiful Playa Lapa!”
Reviewed 2 April 2015 for a stay in February 2015
1
person found this review helpful

After visiting many lodges in the Osa Peninsula, my spouse and I definitely think Playa Lapa was the best place to stay with our two adult children. We enjoyed two wonderful weeks at this unique and exotic location. Arriving at Playa Lapa we instantly fell in love with the location by the ocean and the beautiful casa crafted with exotic local woods. Compared to the accommodations at the nearby lodges, we found it quite luxurious. We cooked all our meals on the gas stove. There is a large refrigerator and fully equipped kitchen with lots of counter top space to prepare food. The beds are very comfortable. My spouse and I slept in the master bedroom on the big queen bed, my daughter in the guest bedroom and my son on the futon sofa in the living room that folds out into a double bed. We liked that the house is fully screened to keep biting insects out and the steady breezes flowing, which made sleeping at night comfortable. Lots of small fans are provided to keep cool if needed. Our kids appreciated having wifi internet. It was sunny almost every day, so there was plenty of hot water available in the afternoon (we preferred cold showers) and battery power in the evening to keep a few lights going. Four kayaks are supplied for use in the nearby lagoon which abounds with birds. Playa Lapa is a naturalist's dream! The sheer diversity of plants and animals is amazing. The sandy beaches stretch for miles in each direction and are deserted. We enjoyed boogie boarding and swimming in the warm Pacific, at low tide we felt safe in the ocean. Close by lies Corcovado National Park where we hiked all day with our excellent guide Cristhian. Helene, the owner, was amazing! She patiently answered all our questions, was invaluable in coordinating with the guides to arrange our tours and made us feel welcomed at Playa Lapa. We especially liked the privacy of being on our own with the security of having Manuel (the caretaker) and Phoebe (a turtle biologist) nearby. We considered them part of our family, they were always so helpful and very discrete. Manuel alerted us to interesting wildlife sightings, especially the baby turtles hatching on the beach in front of the property. Phoebe is such a warm and wonderful person! She was indispensable in arranging our visits to Finca Exotica and Luna Lodge where we were warmly greeted by Monica, Lana and her mother before walking their amazing trails. She communicated with our guides, sometimes changing the dates of our tours to a time better suited to observe the animals or catch fish. She herself is a great guide, sharing her infectious passion for the animals and plants of the Osa. She gave us stems from her aloe vera plant and showed us how to cut and use it on our skin to relieve bites and heat rash. We understand why Helene treasures her! We also did a lagoon kayak and night turtle tour with her. We highly recommend Playa Lapa for an unforgettable and fantastic family vacation in the jungle!!

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Proximity to ocean and jungle, especially Corcovado National Park
Liked least: The bumpy gravel road from Puerto Jimenez to Playa Lapa, but that is part of the adventure.
Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
2 Apr 2015
Thank you so kindly, Robert, for you lovely review!! Having spent 12 full days at Playa Lapa, and a professional biologist yourself, certainly increases the credibility of your words. We are so pleased that you enjoyed our beach home and appreciated our own love of the jungle, the ocean and the amazing wildlife! We look forward to hosting you again soon at Playa Lapa!
Pura Vida!
Helene
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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