Casa Roja is located at the northern tip of the undeveloped Osa Peninsula, near Corcovado National Park and Caño Island National Park. The house sits atop a hill overlooking the confluence of the Sierpe River and the Pacific Ocean. There are no roads and the property is only accessible by boat.
Casa Roja was created with large groups in mind and can accommodate up to 8-10 guests, depending on ages and sleeping preferences. There is a queen bed and cot in the ocean-front bedroom, a king bed and futon in the bay-view bedroom, and three single beds in the loft. The couch in the living room is also very comfortable, and it’s wonderful to wake up to the sunrise over the river and ocean.
The minimum stay at Casa Roja is 5 nights, simply because there are so many activities available to guests, and it takes us a lot of time to prepare for guests and maintain the property.
The easiest way to get to Casa Roja from the airport is by modern shuttle van, which we can book for you, to the town of Sierpe. The cost for this service is usually $300-350 and paid directly to the shuttle company. When you arrive in Sierpe, you will be greeted by our caretaker Argenis, your private guide and boat captain for the week, who will take you on a one-hour boat ride down the Sierpe River to Casa Roja. At that point everything you need will be provided for you during your stay.
If I want to spend my first night in San Jose, Costa Rica, next to the airport, where should I stay?
The Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express are next to each other, 5 minutes from the airport by shuttle. Both hotels use the same shuttle van that runs 24 hours a day at 15-minute intervals. Check out our Casa Roja Planning and Arrival Guide for more information on hotels.
There are so many details to share with you that we prepared the Casa Roja Boca Guide to describe some of the activities and adventures that can be part of your Casa Roja experience (such as hiking, swimming, fishing, kayaking, wildlife watching, and of course relaxing – just to name a few!). You can also find additional information in the Casa Roja Planning and Arrival Guide.
Casa Roja is located in a remote roadless area of the Osa Peninsula and therefore can only be accessed on foot or by boat. Once you arrive in Sierpe, you will have access to a private boat and nature guide, Argenis, who lives on the Casa Roja property. He can take you on all of the local tours, including nearshore dolphin and whale watching, near-shore fishing, mangrove tours, night tours, and crocodile tours, just to name a few. With a private guide and boat, and the freedom to explore the Osa Peninsula at your leisure, you can consider your entire stay at Casa Roja a week-long “tour.”
Practice the “less is more” mindset when you pack; you do not need a change of clothes for each day. Focus on practical, effective clothes that will keep you dry and comfortable. Modern breathable fabrics are highly recommended over cotton, and a long-sleeve shirt is invaluable, especially for protection from the sun. We have laundry facilities and will wash clothes for you as needed, so you can pack light!
Casa Roja is well stocked so you can travel light. The house has the essentials for your vacation, including toiletries like shampoo and conditioner, skin lotion, coconut oil, and aloe-vera, as well as insect repellent and sunscreen. There are several pairs of binoculars, a spotting scope, waterproof backpacks, reusable water bottles, field guides, board games for kids, a Bluetooth speaker and unlimited wifi, rain jackets, ponchos, rubber boots for jungle hikes, surf boards, boogie boards, snorkel gear, fishing rods and tackle for river, mangrove, and ocean fishing (both spin and fly gear), kayaks, and more.
Our staff can provide lunch and dinner services, or we can supply food for guests to cook themselves. We will discuss your dietary preferences when you make your booking to ensure your experience at Casa Roja is both memorable and delicious. Whether you’re craving a hearty breakfast in the morning, a tropical fruit smoothie mid-day, or a barbeque in the evening, Casa Roja is equipped with all the culinary amenities to make your stay enjoyable.
Casa Roja is a remote off-grid property, but some members of our group are worried about “roughing-it” in the jungle. What amenities can we expect at Casa Roja?
It’s true, Casa Roja is located in a roadless, protected area, 45 minutes downstream from the nearest town. However, the home was recently restored, so everything is new and solar powered. Our modern appliances include several refrigerators, wine cooler, ice maker, hot water, laundry facilities, water filtration system, and unlimited broadband wifi throughout the property. There is no air-conditioning, but ocean breezes help cool the rooms, and there are ceiling fans throughout the house.
The Osa Peninsula is one of the best places for wildlife viewing in the world. With any luck, you may see capuchin and howler monkeys, crocodiles, sloths, anteaters, coatis, agoutis, peccaries, poison dart frogs, butterflies, iguanas, macaws, toucans, whales, dolphins, turtles, and many other exotic animals. You might even spot a number of wildlife visitors without even leaving the house!
Humpback whales from the Southern Hemisphere visit the region from July to November, and those from the Northern Hemisphere visit from December to April. It is possible to see whales throughout the year, and we have even had several whale sightings from the Casa Roja living room.
While local tours of the river, mangrove, and nearshore ocean can be arranged with Argenis, your private nature guide for the week, trips to Caño Island and Corcovado require a larger boat and seafaring captain, and we contract these tours with local companies for you. You pay them directly at the end of the day and we do not receive anything from them in exchange. The tours are private and include boat, captain, first mate, nature guide, park passes, and lunch.
The cost is usually around $750 per group but can vary a little with season and number of guests. We strive to get the best rates for you, and we work with several companies that regularly provide outstanding tours to our guests. Please let us know in advance (at least 30 days in advance of your visit during the busy season) if you are interested in visiting either park so that we can make arrangements for you.
Yes! Some of the best diving spots on the mainland of Costa Rica are around Caño Island, a beautiful Biological Reserve, where you can spot colorful reef fish, whitetip reef sharks, large schools of barracuda, jacks, groupers, and snappers, among others. You can also find some of the healthiest coral reefs of the region, mixed with basaltic rocky formations. The best time to dive Caño Island is in the dry season (December to April), but you can also find good conditions until June. Caño Island generally offers great visibility during the dry season, and there are sheltered dive spots for beginners as well as adrenaline-inducing pinnacles or deeper areas for advanced divers.
If you are a snorkeler, we can also arrange a snorkeling tour to Caño Island, but diving the island offers a more intimate experience, as the island can have some surge that reduces visibility underwater. You are required to wear a life jacket to keep you at the surface while snorkeling, and the reefs with most of the colorful life occur a little deeper.
If you want to dive or snorkel at Caño Island during your stay at Casa Roja, please let us know in advance so that we can arrange your underwater experience.
If we don’t want to go to Caño Island, is there anywhere else to go snorkeling along the Osa Peninsula?
If you don’t want to travel all the way to Caño Island just to snorkel, consider having Argenis take you to Playa San Josecito, a remote beach and cove suitable for snorkeling, especially for kids. It is south of Drake Bay and only reachable by boat.
So do we! The fishing opportunities around the boca are enough to keep even an experienced fisher busy for weeks. All the necessary equipment is provided for you at Casa Roja. Argenis will gladly show you the right technique and point out some good spots to cast a line from the beach, or take you in the boat to fish upriver or out on the ocean. It’s quite rewarding to catch your own dinner, and nearly all of the fish caught in the area make excellent table fare.