About This Listing
El Rafal is a charming private home located 1.5 miles south of Montezuma. It is located 50 meters from sandy beaches and rock formations ideal for fishing, swimming, yoga, and bond fires. The home was built to USA standards to ensure your safety.
El Rafal faces the ocean and is encircled by beautiful tropical gardens on approximately 6150m2 of private property. The house is approximately 4m X 20m (750sf) not including the large patio. There is a small private beach, ideal for ocean entry, just meters from the front door. El Rafal is located in a quiet, private area, with only 2 homes nearby. Safe, off street parking is included.
El Rafal is perfect for couples traveling together and for families with children over 5 years old.
Each 3 x 4 meter bedroom has a private bathroom with toilet/sink/and shower. One bedroom is furnished with a double bed and the other bedroom is furnished with a double and 2 single bunk beds. Large windows on both sides of the room allow cross breezes to circulate and cool the space naturally. Each bedroom has a safe and fan. Both bedroom doors open to the exterior.
The bedrooms are separated by a large furnished kitchen. The kitchen has a 3 burner stove top, toaster oven, and full size refrigerator. You will find a coffee pot and blender in the kitchen. The kitchen opens onto a long 8' X 58' covered patio. The patio is perfect for outdoor dining, checking your email, playing cards or simply lounging in a hammock while creating wonderful memories with friends and family.
The 6150m2 of private property is fenced with barb wire and live tropical plants. Private parking, telephone and wifi are included. There is also a refreshing outdoor shower for use after a long day at the beach. Guests will find banana, star fruit, and 3 different types of lime trees on the property. All of which are here for your enjoyment. There is a small charcoal outdoor "tico" grill available for fresh fish and burgers...Guests will also find a large garden table available for cleaning today's catch. There is a small plant nursery.
El Rafal is located between the town of Montezuma (3 kilometers south) and the tiny fishing village of Cabuya (3 kilometers north).
Montezuma has become one of 'the top 10 places' to visit in Costa Rica. It has many shops, restaurants, sodas, and artisans. Local night life happens at Chico's Bar and the Montezuma Bar. Dining in Montezuma is diverse with more than a dozen restaurants ranging from Tico sodas' to gourmet meals with prices and flavors to suit every budget. There is an organic market on Saturday mornings in the park. Fresh organic produce and local products including souvenirs are sold as the community gathers to visit with friends and neighbors. There are several tour offices to help you arrange deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, Tortuga Island, and horseback tours. Montezuma has a canopy zip-line tour that allows you to 'fly' over rivers and waterfalls. There is a larger waterfall and swimming hole located just before you leave Montezuma. A short 20 minute hike up the river will take you to the falls.
Cabuya is a tiny fishing village where one can experience the real Costa Rica. Tourism has not made many changes here. Cabuya's cemetery is located on an uninhabited island that is accessible from the mainland only during low tide. The island is beautiful and some of the best snorkeling in the area is found in the waters off the island. Cabuya is close to the Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Preserve, which is a must see for nature lovers.
Please contact Leanne if you want her to advise or help you reserve an activity...
El Rafal is located at one of the top five destinations for fishing from shore & surfing in this area. Anglers, bring your fishing pole or learn to fish like a local with a 'carrete'. If you surf, the long left point break of Los Cedros is a favorite among tourists and locals.
Rio Las Cedros is a small river with a small waterfall that drops into a freshwater lagoon not far from El Rafal. This clear freshwater swimming hole has a rope swing that is sure to delight children and the child within you!
It is not necessary to rent a car during your stay at El Rafal. It is a 25-30 minute walk to Montezuma and a 45 minute walk to Cabuya. There are local taxis that cost $4-$6 each way to El Rafal. There is also a small bus that runs daily between Montezuma and Cabuya. It stops on the road next to El Rafal. Please be advised the bus does not run after dark. We recommend renting a 4x4 SUV or ATV so you can explore the surrounding area....there is so much to see and do....
Other Things to Note
Leanne is happy to furnish maps, directions, and local knowledge of this area. All you need to do is ask!
Please enjoy and treat the home as if it was your own. We ask that you do not smoke indoors. Pets are welcome, if well trained and approved in advance. Please do not feed the local wildlife. Especially the white face monkeys! Pura Vida!
Although this is not the easiest place to get to, it is probably the best place to stay. I think the house is nicer than the pictures indicate. It is close to the town, beaches, a nature preserve. and a beautiful butterfly garden.
Just be aware this area is hot and without breezes. The roads around Montezuma are very poor.
But, Leanne is wonderful and very helpful. So glad we were able to meet her!
Leanne was great! She was available to tend to any questions we had before and during our stay. The house was even better than the photos make it seem! We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would recommend others to stay at El Rafal! Although a good 25 minute walk from town the privacy made it worth it! And we were able to successfully hitchhike to and from town several times anyway. Will definitely stay here again!
El Rafal es un lugar de ensueño para disfrutar unos días del pacífico costarricense. Rodeado de playas maravillosas, muy cerca del pueblo de Montezuma (media hora caminando por la costa), la catarata y la reserva de Cabo Blanco. La casa es muy cómoda y completa, y el entorno tranquilo.
Leanne se encarga de que la estancia sea perfecta desde la llegada.
Our host was wonderful. Leanne welcomed us and we felt like old friends right away. She gave us just the right amount of information upon arrival and responded graciously when we asked for things that needed to be attended to. The house was as described. We were there during a very busy time (over Easter) and we preferred the area once people began to thin out a bit. That is when the location was ideal. The house is situated a little differently with the bedrooms only opening to the outside on either ends of the house. This worked for us but families with younger children might want to consider this set-up. The kitchen is equipped for basic cooking. So if you cook a lot you may want to contact Leanne and check if they have what you need. Also I advise that you shop closer to a larger town because food at the local grocery stores is outrageously priced. This house is what I would call rustic and meets the need if you want to be right out in nature. You will be up close and personal with insects, monkeys, iguanas and more. If you are visiting CR you are probably looking for an experience with nature. We were and we really enjoyed it. The house is in a great location as well. You can easily walk to Montezuma and you can access many great beaches, snorkeling spots, and waterfalls. We had a car so we ventured out even further and never had a dull moment. We did bring an extra hammock and that was a life saver as there were six of us all wanting to enjoy a swing. We had a wonderful visit and we were very sad to leave.
Leanne was great, she met us at the bus station, was super friendly and waited for us whilst we did some shopping before driving us out to the house.
The house is a simple design with two big doors opening the kitchen out onto the verandah. The bedrooms are also accessed off the verandah/patio, nothing fancy but had everything we needed. The verandah is what makes this house great, very wide with a nice table, chairs and hammock and is in effect the living room. We spent most of our stay lounging around on the verandah listening to the howler monkeys and watching iguanas walk by. It was wonderfully quiet and relaxing. A small rocky beach is right in front of the house and we found it good for cooling off and there is another sandy stretch of beach not far from the house.
Wifi was a bonus and works well with laptop and iPhones.
Fresh limes from the garden were perfect for an evening cocktail!
The house is an easy 25 minute walk into montezuma on a dirt road, we did the walk daily with no issues, apart from one day it was raining so we got a taxi for 3000 colones (approx $6USD)
We would recommend Leanne as an excellent host and recommend El Rafael to those looking for a peaceful stay in a well equipped house.
Leanne, thanks again for making us feel at home, we would definitely stay here again if in Montezuma.
I am pleased to report that the house exceeded our expectations. We were prepared for a "rustic stay" so the accommodations were fine; more spacious than expected. The long covered porch with plenty of tables and chairs was a great place to dine al fresco.
Leanne Siewert graciously met us in Montezuma, worried because we had been delayed by road improvement crews (yay! roads need it) and some hard rain. She led us to the house, opened up, explained everything very clearly in a very charming Texas accent. Her instructions included which beach to avoid due to rip currents, to use bug spray due to the possibility of dengue (reported a few towns removed from Montezuma).
The house had towels, clean sheets on the beds and even coffee next to the coffee maker. Amenities included 2 burner stove top, refrigerator with freezer, a toaster oven and an oscillating floor fan in each of the bedrooms (helpful to sleep better and to help "dry" clothes a little.
Once installed, Leanne kindly told us that if she did not hear from us during our stay she would assume we were happy BUT to definitely call her for ANY reason - whether to ask a question, to find medical assistance, or where to eat. Couldn't have asked for more! Thank you, Leanne!
As a bonus, we saw a monkey, a couple of large (2 ft long) lizards, butterflies, hummingbirds, a gang of huge and overly confident "blue jays", an opossum and small and large bats.
Leanne was a wonderful host. She set us up and left us to explore paradise. I loves El Rafal as the house is named. It is artistic and fun and relaxing. The tile and woodwork are beautiful. Life is lived on the veranda which is the main living area. The kitchen opens wide to this space. The gardens are lush and beautiful. The ocean is across the road. The beaches within walking distance were empty and inviting and calm. For me this was a perfect destination to read, enjoy nature, cook and do nothing. It is a long way from a party scene. You could bring your own party and have perfect privacy, but it's above all quiet and relaxing.
One caveat. This place is an open air house in the jungle across the street from the ocean. Expect iguanas in the yard, crabs in the kitchen at night, bats, birds and little lizards climbing the walls. The bedrooms have screened windows and mosquito netting over the beds, but we did find a scorpion in the room one night. Personally I loved the relaxing adventure of it and expect that in a tropical setting.
I hope to return to el Rafal.
About the Host, Leanne
I love meeting new people and learning new cultures. I moved to paradise eight years ago with my husband, Ron. I have been managing property in Costa Rica for 4 years. I enjoy the simple life!