Affordable home in quaint beach village, within short walking distance to a picture perfect beach, grocery store, restaurants, and surrounded by nature and wildlife. Will appeal to the off the beaten path travellers.
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 traveller, 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/6km 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.
Casa Mango is part of Casas La Selvatica Vacation Rentals. At Casas La Selvatica we offer two comfortable homes, immersed in nature and surrounded by wildlife, yet only minutes away from a lovely beach, good grocery store and restaurants. The setting is ideal for couples or families wishing for more than a hotel room within easy reach of countless low ecological impact recreational activities (wildlife watching, coral reef snorkelling and scuba diving, jungle zip-line treks, river rafting, etc.). 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 your porch. Both houses are located on the same property, minutes away from a couple of the best surfing beaches in the Caribbean. Your bilingual host on site is available to assist with information about the area, bookings for activities/tours and offer detailed attention to your comfort throughout your vacation.
Casa Mango is a self contained small one bedroom house, featuring a bedroom with double bed, fan and large walk-in closet, a bathroom with shower, a kitchen with full size stove, refrigerator and basic kitchenware, and an outdoor living area with a dining table, bench and of course, a hammock!
If you seek serenity, while enjoying the convenience of a picture perfect beach (10 min walk away) and services within a few minutes walk, this is the place for you. Within a few minutes walk you will find: a well stocked grocery/general store (you will find most basic necessities here), a few restaurants, a couple of yoga studios and a bus stop with direct service to San Jose, Limon, Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo.
Along with the accommodation, the following services are available on-site:
- personalized assistance throughout your stay provided by the host;
- Wifi internet for your devices
- bike rental ($5/day, additional bikes available at nearby grocery store)
- laundry service ($5/load - wash, dry and fold).
Rates displayed include all applicable local taxes. In order to find the cost of your stay, simply enter your dates in the booking engine and the total cost will be displayed. Note that the Airbnb system does not allow communication of specific contact information prior to a booking being made (i.e. as much as we would like to, we cannot provide you our phone number in an message, as it will be automatically crossed out by the system). The system also does not allow the inclusion of any web links in messages.
Please review the terms and conditions listed under "House Rules" and kindly let us know if you have any questions. By submitting a reservation request and payment, the renter acknowledges review and agreement to the terms listed under "House Rules".
Interaction with Guests
This is a self-contained home located on a property which hosts another vacation rental home, as well as a caretaker suite. Guests enjoy full privacy. Hosts are present at check-in, check-out and visit daily for assistance and 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 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.
A rental car is not necessary, but if preferred, an outdoor parking lot is available. Public transit is readily accessible: direct buses from San Jose, Limon, Puerto Viejo, Cahuita and Manzanillo stop 3 minutes walk from the house. Taxis are abundant in the area. Bikes are a great way to get around!
Other Things to Note
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, or by private transfer (we can arrange that for you!) or by taking a 30 minutes domestic flight into the area airport Limon, which is located 40 km north of Playa Chiquita. 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, possums 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 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!
Please review the following terms and conditions of your vacation rental for Casas la Selvatica - Casa Mango (1 bedroom, 1 bath).
In accepting these terms and conditions, you agree that your agreement is equivalent and legally binding as your handwritten signature.
1. CHECK-IN is after 3:00 P.M. and CHECK-OUT is before 11:00 A.M. If you plan to arrive or depart outside these hours, please inform us and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
2. You are renting a NON-SMOKING home; smoking is permitted outside only. Please use ashtrays located on porch. If smoking indoors has taken place during your rental, a cleaning charge of 200.00 USD will be added to your total charges.
3. PETS - Pets are allowed on the property under certain circumstances and only after prior approval obtained at the time of booking. Please discuss these circumstances with the owners before agreeing to these Terms and Conditions.
4. DAMAGE DEPOSIT - A refundable damage deposit of $100.00 is due at the time of booking and is included in the payment as calculated by the Airbnb payment system. The deposit is refundable upon host satisfaction that the home was left in the same condition as it was upon check in, provided the following conditions are met:
a. no damage is done to the house and its contents, beyond normal wear and tear
b. no charges are incurred due to collection of rent or services rendered during the stay
c. all items provided by the host (keys, cell phone if previously requested from host, flashlights, etc.) are returned in functional condition
d. no linens ot towels are lost or damaged
e. no objects have been removed from the house
f. the renter is not evicted by the owner (or representative of the owner) or the local law enforcement for disorderly or criminal activities.
If the above conditions are met, the deposit will be fully refunded to the renter within 24 hours AFTER check-out, using the same method of payment used when the deposit was paid to the owners.
5. At least one of the renters has to be of ADULT AGE at the time of check-in; you will be required to present your passport/ID at check-in.
6. Laundry service provided by caretaker is available for an extra charge ($5 per load: wash, dry and fold). When the service is needed, please inform your host or caretaker. Guests have no direct access to the laundry facilities.
7. PAYMENT - Per Airbnb policies, full payment for rental amount and refundable damage deposit is required at the time of booking. All payments are handled directly by the Airbnb payment system - the vacation home owners do not have access to your credit card information.
8. CHANGES and CANCELLATIONS - A 14 day notice is required for cancellations. In the event that a cancellation is needed, this should be initiated by the guest using the Cancellation option available in the confirmation message received from Airbnb at the time of booking. For cancellations that are made more than 14 days prior to check-in, the rental amount and damage deposit, minus a $50 processing fee will be returned to renters at the time of the cancellation request. Cancellations or changes that result in a shortened stay that are made within 14 days of the arrival date, forfeit the full reservation and damage deposit. Cancellation after check-in or early departure does not warrant any refund of rent or deposit.
9. Renters will be offered a walk through the rental unit at check-in. Any requests for upgrades or changes to the accommodations or services provided should be presented to the hosts at this time. Requests not brought up to the hosts at this time will not warrant discounts at check-out.
10. MAXIMUM OCCUPANCY/ VISITORS - Your party will be composed of up to adult guests as listed in your reservation request. All persons in your party must be registered with the host/owners. We ask that you inform us if you would like to have visitors during your stay. Your visitors (or anyone else) cannot be present on the property or enter the property for any reason unless you or the members of your party are present. Failure to adhere to this policy may result in the forfeiture of your damage deposit.
11. MINIMUM STAYS may be required during holidays or high season. If this applies to your desired vacation dates, you will be informed before your reservation will be confirmed.
12. INCLUSIVE FEES - For vacations of less than 7 days, rates include a one-time linen-towel setup. For vacations of more than 7 days, linens and towels will be changed weekly. Should you require additional towels in between the weekly changes, please inform your hosts.
13. NO DAILY MAID SERVICE - Daily maid service is not included in the rental rate, however is available at an additional rate. We suggest you bring beach towels. We do not permit towels or linens to be taken from the the vacation home.
14. RENTAL RATES are guaranteed at the time of acceptance of terms and conditions and payment of reservation deposit for the duration of your reserved vacation. Rates for additional days reserved later might be different from the rates of your initial reservation.
15. We strive to be an ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY vacation home. Please use the recycling bins provided for your recyclable items (glass, metal, tetra pak).
16. SAFETY and SECURITY: It is strongly recommended that you purchase travel insurance prior to your departure. Guests are encouraged to exercise common-sense safety procedures for the protection of self and valuables. You will be provided with a key for the gate to the property and you will be expected to keep the gate locked at all times. We provide lock-boxes for your valuables. We recommend that you bring copies of your passports to carry with you, while your original passports can be safely kept in your lock-box. Casas La Selvatica assumes no liability for lost/stolen goods or injury occurred during your vacation. Your host or the owners are your best resource for information and/or additional services. Should you require any additional services during your stay (including, but not limited to: baby-sitting, pet-sitting, etc.) we recommend that you discuss this with your host or owners of the property before contracting these services with outside providers. Please note that any person (such as service providers) will only be allowed to enter the property in your presence and/or after prior notification to the host/owners.
17. We provide complimentary wireless internet service for your devices. The speed of data transmission and overall functionality of the service varies greatly from day to day and is regulated solely by the service provider. We assume no responsibility for any loss which might occur due to the sub-optimal functioning of this service.
18. WRITTEN EXCEPTIONS - Any exceptions to the above mentioned policies must be approved in writing in advance.
By proceeding with the payment, you agree to all terms and conditions of this agreement. You understand that this agreement is equivalent with your handwritten signature.
Your vacation home owners,
Daniel & Jeff
Casas La Selvatica Vacation Rentals
Playa Chiquita, Costa Rica
Casa Mango is not the paradise it's said to be. It is beautiful and the people are amazing. But, if you're a person that stays in a minimum of a 2 star hotel anywhere there are a few things you need to think about before booking. Casa Mango is Small, damp, no windows, lots of bugs and overall not the paradise it's pictured to be. Again the staff is amazingly helpful but keep an eye on your stuff, bring a surge protector and locks. Be prepared to have bugs in everything from your clothes to your bed. Expect the "high speed internet" to be slow and only work in one corner of the bedroom. We were told this is a typical tico home and it's not for us. Again great people, accommodating and pleasant. Definitely check out Jungle Love! And don't leave your belongings in the house unattended at regular times. Make sure you lock everything! The dogs are also awesome and made the stay better for us.
We have enjoyed hosting you and your wife at Casa Mango. We firmly believe that as property owners, it is our responsibility to accurately present our property and to provide a high level of customer service, both during the pre-booking process, as well as on-site. We are glad to notice that you appreciated the customer service received and are very appreciative of you mentioning this aspect within your review.
We believe that the responsibility with researching a travel destination as part of the planning process for a trip remains with the traveller, as it should match one individual's expectations. We truly believe that vacationing in a rain-forest tropical area (with all its beauty, as well as humidity, amount of rain, wildlife, insects, etc.) is not for everyone, and we genuinely answer all questions related to the conditions in our area, when and if asked. Your pre-booking communication did not include any question, but rather a direct reservation request, which was made 3 days prior to your check-in date. We had to assume that you had obtained your information elsewhere, and that you were in fact, ready to book when the request was submitted, so we promptly accepted it and proceeded with assisting with your transportation booking and all the other aspects of your trip which were yet to be looked into. Casa Mango is presented as a more affordable alternative to our larger and more comfortable home (Casa Grande), as it was created with the goal of offering basic accommodation to guests who prefer to spend more of their budget on activities and experiences, rather than on the accommodation itself. We feel that the information provided on the main listing page is accurate and factual, and also that the photos of each room of the house offer a realistic image of the size of the house, its amenities and its surroundings. As you very well noticed, the house has windows (protected by artistically designed bars). All windows have screens, and there is a mosquito net around the bed. There will definitely be "bugs" within the house's immediate vicinity, as the house is in fact located at the edge of the rain-forest, however the window screens as well as the bed mosquito net provide a comfortable (however not absolutely 'bug-free') environment. During our extensive communication during your stay, you noted at some point that your wife does not like "bugs" - if this issue was clearly communicated prior to booking, we would have definitely advised you to perhaps consider a non-rain forest area for your vacation.
We are particularly concerned by your comments regarding the need for guests to keep an eye on their stuff, as you made no reports of missing belongings during or after your stay. We have always taken the safety of our guests and their belongings very seriously, and are proud to report that there have been no incidents of theft or otherwise missing belongings reported, ever since the house was opened for guests years ago. Obviously, should you have experienced any issues, it would have been more effective to report this to the on-site caretaker who checked in with you several times daily. Even at check-out, no mention of any issue or concern of this nature was made.
Regarding the strength of the internet signal: thank you for bringing that to our attention, as we will make sure to double check our routers. Again, if the less than satisfactory signal would have been reported to the caretaker as soon as noticed, this could have been resolved at that time and you could have enjoyed the service for the remainder of your stay.
During your pre-arrival communication, we strongly encouraged you to utilize the fact that we offer the service of an on-site caretaker, which is a tremendous service when compared with other self-catering vacation rentals in the area. Our caretaker checked-in with you at least twice daily, and so did we (remotely), and we were encouraged by the fact that you always mentioned that you are enjoying your stay, and your only complaints were in relation to aspects which we have no influence on (i.e. amount of rain, presence of "bugs" in the vicinity of the house, etc.). It is unfortunate that there appeared to be some misunderstanding of the type of accommodation you expected, and your mention of a 'hotel' further outlines that perhaps you in fact intended to book a hotel, which is something not presented in our listing description, nor within our vision for the services and product we offer.
As a lesson learned, and in order to ensure that we provide an experience which would more accurately match our guests' expectations, we have disabled last minute bookings on this site and will require more information from the guests prior to accepting their reservation requests.
We encourage any potential guest to ask any details related to the above, if needed to assist with the process of determining whether Casa Mango and the surrounding environment is an appropriate place for their desired vacation. As well, we encourage all potential guests to carefully read all the information presented under every heading on our listings, and to do further research into the area when making their travel plans.
Rodriguo was amazing, very sweet guy, helpful and kind. Casa Mango was just what we needed for our stay, thanks Daniel & Jeff
We had a nice stay at Daniel & Jeff's place in Playa Chiquita. Easy to communicate with hosts and property manager. Beautiful setting in the jungle, yet steps from the beach.
My sister and I were lucky enough to secure the beautiful Casa Mango for 3 nights, which was absolutely perfect for our stay. The casa is located in Playa Chiquita(10 minutes bike ride from Puerto Viejo) and was 5 minutes by foot to beautiful and often secluded beaches. There is a grocery store at the entrance of the driveway with all the amenities you could need and extremely helpful, friendly staff. Although we didn't get to meet Daniel and Jeff they were always contactable by email and responded promptly to any questions we had, along with providing great directions and tips for our stay. Berni and Meri were overseeing the day to day running of the casa and they were fantastic and attentive hosts who were located across the driveway in the event we needed anything . The casa was meticulously clean, I felt very safe on the property and considering it is surrounded by jungle we saw little to no bugs! The kitchen had all the basics for cooking along with a coffee machine. There was an adorable dog called Athul who was a great companion on the nights we wanted to lie outside on the hammock or read a book. I would definitely reccomend Casa Mango to anyone visiting the beautiful Carribbean side of Costa Rica! Thank you so much Daniel and Jeff + Berni and Meri! Pura Vida!
The reservation was canceled 38 days before arrival. This is an automated posting.
The area was really cool - great beaches, restaurants (def check out Jungle Love), wildlife (monkeys and sloths in the back yard). Daniel and Jeff were very attentive and helpful throughout.
We stayed in Casa Mango for three nights in November. Bottom line is that this place is fine for the price, but there are better options in the area if you want to pay just a bit more.
The house clearly hadn't been used in some time. The fridge was unplugged, the stove wasn't hooked up and the bedroom light was out when we arrived. The sink had a leak that meant we had to wipe up the kitchen floor every day.
The windows are not screened, allowing bugs in. There is a mosquito net on the bed, but we found that we woke up with a lot of bites even though we were using it. A word to the skittish: this place is in the middle of the jungle, and there are plenty of bugs around. There were two particularly large spiders (think the size of the palm of your hand) who had spun their webs on the front patio. Again, it's the jungle so to be expected and not a problem with the property itself.
The caretaker, Valo, was great, as were his dog and two cats (at least we think the cats were his).
The house is in a great location. We had a car, so it was easy to get down to Puerto Viejo and to all the beaches along the coast, which are beautiful.
We ended up leaving a day earlier than we had reserved to find a nicer place for our last night.
We don't mean to sound too negative. The fact is, the place was only $45 a night, which is a great deal. We had just hoped for a bit more judging by the prior reviews.
This host has 9 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
Our journey south was meant to be a temporary escape from the dark and rainy Canadian West Coast, in search of sunshine and warmth. After a brief search for a potential destination and keeping in mind that we desired nothing of an all inclusive resort, we quickly realized that one can have it all... in Costa Rica (Rich Coast)! As so many times before, we chose the off-beaten (email hidden)e Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica was awaiting to be discovered! What a great surprise: not only did we get some rays and experienced the vibrant culture, but it all came with the most spectacular backdrop. The surroundings were magical! Lush green rain-forest filled with beautiful flowers, and wildlife otherwise only known to us from colourful atlases. There was a positive energy which we just could not get away from. After this first impression, a spark led to a dream and the dream became a plan...With the much appreciated help and support from our friends and families our new journey started in Dec 2009! Come join us and enjoy pure living...
Jeff and Daniel