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!