We booked for one night, extended for another week and stayed for 2weeks in the end. It is a wonderful place with all you wish to see around the house and everything else you can ask Eric, a tourguide with all the diplomas and all the knowledge you can have. Born and raised in Carate and grown up in these surroundings he knows where the animals come through and what tree is growing where. It was one of the best experiences to have him around and going for exploring the Corcovado with him.
Susanna trusted him fully as she could go and see snakes in trees she could never have gone for without his accompaniment and she could take the canoo in the lagoon knowing the crocodiles are there. I highly recommend to book him for tours it is guaranteed to be an adventure.
Sitting on the terrace you can see the Macows and coatis and with some luck Ozelot. One has been spotted walking through the garden. In the night the tapir walks through. Blue morphoes every morning and clans of monkeys passing by the kitchen window. So staying for a day home for cooking can be quite adventurous too.
Justin's home is truly worth the 2 hour drive from Puerto Jimenez. The road IS very bumpy and we had to cross 3 rivers or so, which can be intimidating (make sure you have a 4x4). However, once you make it, you are welcomed by Erick who is an outstanding guide and a super nice guy. He took us on a day hike to Corcovado, where we saw all 4 species of monkeys and many more animals! The house itself has everything you need (fans, mosquito nets, comfy beds/ pillows) to be comfortable during your stay. The showers are also insanely big and nice, with hot water! I would 100% recommend staying at Scarlet House. Justin is dedicated to timely and clear communication and making sure everything goes smoothly even in Osa!
A very nice property that feels like it's in the jungle. Located a few minutes drive from the beach. The host/guide/caretaker Gary was great. Very helpful and attentive to our needs and wants. The kitchen was adequately equipped and a washer/spinner on site helped a lot.
Animal sightings several times around the house during our stay.
I would recommend this place to friends.
To all the other reviews that tell of this remarkable, perfect place to stay in Carate, I say DITTO! What an experience! We were kind of fortunate to have Justins house be our first stay in Costa Rica for our first ever visit to this wonderful country. The Osa Peninsula is a magical haven in a crazy world that you should by any means try to experience. Justins house is completely off the grid like everything in this southern part of the peninsula and well worth the long, bumpy, dusty journey from Puerto Jimenez to get there. The house is very nicely done with everything you need and very comfortable. Absolutely gorgeous property, dont miss the walk up the road of this property above the house to see the views!! Well worth the effort to get up early to see sunrise or must see sunsets. The house is just across the street from the Pacific shore and while you know it is not beachview house it is close enough to hear waves crashing in the background that mixes in nicely with jungle sounds to create a wonderful ambiance. The walk to the beautiful otherworldly beach is only a few minutes easy walk from the house. Stand in the kitchen in the morning and watch the monkeys right in front of you jumping between trees while Macaws and other exotic creatures are all around. Do not miss this. Gary the caretaker and guide is priceless. He has lived in this area all his life and the passion, knowledge, skill, humility and helpfulness of this man is a joy to experience. We took a tour with him into Corcovado park and also a sunrise kayak trip in the lagoon. Highly recommend both as an absolute must! Gary is the BOMBDOTCOM!
Wow. Just wow... Where to begin... Okay so this was our second time coming to the Osa Peninsula so we knew what to expect (crazy dirt roads --rent that 4WD, dense jungle, amazing Flora and fauna, beautiful black sand beaches). However, this time was different, this time was a bit more special, because we were bringing our four tween and teenage sons with us. This was our first international family vacation and we couldn't have picked a better spot than Justin's Scarlet House.
Overall the trip took us an entire day, from the flights to a drive that took about eight hours from San Jose to Justin's house. And it was Worth. Every. Single. Second!! We would do that trip 10 times over if we had to.
We arrived at Scarlet House a bit later than we had intended. We made a few stops to eat and get groceries, but I was in contact with Justin the whole time and he let the Caretaker, Gary, know when we would be arriving.
We got we got to the Scarlett house at about 9 p.m. and we were greeted by Gary. Gary helped us get situated in our new "home for the next few days". It was already late so we didn't get to really talk to him much. He showed us around the house and was very welcoming.
It was already very dark out when we arrived and we couldn't really see much of the surrounding grounds. However, the house itself was absolutely immaculate. There were so many little touches that were really thoughtful such as the fresh coconuts sitting in the fridge waiting for us to drink them, the shampoos and body washes in the showers, the bamboo rayon sheets that felt like silk, the fans in every room, the bottles of water that were left in the fridge for us, the list goes on...
The beds were super comfortable, and the bathrooms.. oh my, they were heavenly!! Rainfall showerheads in each bathroom along with lit scented candles made each bathroom feel like a spa... None of us could wait to take a hot shower after that 24hr trip we'd just taken and getting an opportunity to do so in our mini spas made it all the better! Each bathroom was equipped with fluffy towels, washcloths, shampoo, body wash, and even some feminine products just in case!
The kitchen was also very well equipped. We had everything we needed to cook all of our meals. Pots, pans, a Costa Rican coffee maker, cups, wine glasses, mugs, utensils, a full sized refrigerator, and gas stove... You name it, they had it. It really was an absolute pleasure cooking in that kitchen. The island provided enough space for meal prep as well as a space for all of us to sit and eat. I loved being able to cook my food and do the dishes as I looked out the window watching the hummingbirds, parakeets, and monkeys make their daily passes in the backyard throughout the day.
While we were there, a lovely woman with a kind spirit, Marbela, came to clean up the house. She was a pleasure! I happened be home when she came as I was a bit under the weather (As an aside-- this house has a spectacular medicine cabinet right outside the door!! I made myself many teas with the treasures in Justin's yard that cleared me right up, but I digress...), and she washed the sheets and cleaned up the bathrooms and kitchen, as well as the common areas for us. I had no idea she would be doing this during our stay and it was very welcome. I did my best to keep the home clean, but with 4 nature loving children who take after their father, there was always something to be done and having Marbela come really eased that load for us!!
Now, on to our stay... Let me just say this... Gary was an integral part of our vacation. He was absolutely wonderful in every single way. We all loved him. The first morning after arriving we had a small issue with one of the toilets so I sent him a msg on WhatsApp and 5 minutes later he was at the house... 2 minutes after that the issue was resolved! As a matter of fact, any time we needed anything, he was ready, willing, and able to help.
I should also mention the fact that Justin did a wonderful job of keeping in touch with me as well! Even though Justin wasn't there he was in contact with Gary to make sure all was going well. He would also reach out to me throughout our stay to make sure we had everything we needed. He even reached out to me when he heard I wasn't feeling well to make sure that I was okay!
With repect to the excursions-- As Gary is also a tour guide, we thought it would be great to do all of our tours with him. When Gary came over the first morning we set our schedule for all of the different activities we would be doing throughout the week. Gary gave us ample information and helped us make sure we were prepared for all of the tours. We went horseback riding, took a tour of Corcovado, kayaking on the lagoon at sunset, gold panning, hiked through the primary forest, and we went on a night hike. All of the tours were AMAZING!!!
Gary was full of information and he was happy to tell us about all the animals that we encountered. He made sure he answered all of the kids questions, and boy were there many! He would even stop on the way to some of our tours to show us different animals he came across as we were en route. He spotted so many animals from afar that we were all really impressed. About 8 out of 10 times I couldn't see the animals unless I looked through his scope so how he was able to see them is beyond me! Just a testament to his ability as a guide! He's great!!! Gary even took us to a community soccer game where the kids and my husband got to play with the locals at the field by the school.
Over the course of just a couple of days, after spending so much time with Gary we adopted him into the family. Gary became the 7th seat at our table. He was just such a joy to be around. His laugh is infectious and his smile is very warm and kind. Gary has a good soul and we were so happy to get to spend the time that we did with him. He was super with the boys, many afternoons they would be playing volleyball in front of the house together as the sun set and night settled in. In the evenings he and my husband would sit on the steps outside talking about fishing and the beauty of the Osa. All the while we would be laughing and making jokes, he really made the Scarlet house feel like home. On our last night there we all went to the beach where the kids surfed with Gary. Afterwards we had a bonfire and makeshift s'mores on chocolate chip cookies and oreos! It was a beautiful last night in the Osa and we were glad to get to spend it with Gary.
We were fortunate enough to have 8 WONDERFUL days with Gary in this amazing place and when the time came to leave we were all very sad to have to do so. Also, we didn't get to meet Justin and his wife. It would have been a pleasure to do so, but we know this would not be our last time visiting and perhaps the next time will offer us that opportunity.
It's now two days later and the kids are still talking about Gary and the Osa. My husband and I are already trying to figure out when we can go back!!
Long story short, if you're looking for MAGNIFICENT vacation Book. This. House and do all of your tours with Gary. I promise, you will make memories here to last a lifetime!
The Scarlet House with all of its amenities and support from Justin and Gary was really world-class. We were in contact with Justin along our trip from San Jose, which was delayed due to a cancelled flight. We felt safe having folks making sure we were ok.
We loaded up with food at the great grocery store in Port Jeminez for our long stay. This is one thing we can't emphasize more. Make sure you get enough food and drinks for your stay because you don't want to have to drive out just because you get hungry. But in case you do run low on food there are the local resorts that are happy to serve meals and let you use their pools.
Gary is such an amazing person it's difficult to know where to start about his contribution to our trip. He is the most gracious, generous and caring person we met on our trip. He is a passionate naturalist from Carate who enjoys explaining the jungle and it's intricate workings that it's like living out a national geographic show. Gary enhanced the trip to such a large degree we want to go back to this house again.
The jungle around the house is as alive as you can get anywhere. There is no glass in the windows. They are all screened meaning you literally feel as if you are living with the jungle creatures, but there is a good separation so you can sleep safely.
Overall we don't have anything poor to say about our experience at the Scarlet House. Thank you Justin and Gary!
Justin and Gary are two one of a kind super hosts! If you want to stay in a self contained home rather than a lodge, please do not look any further - you won't find anything better. Both are super responsive, helpful and warm hearted. We would recommend anyone to stay with them. Also if you are looking for tours or advice there is no need to even leave the house. Gary is the best guide in town and awesome with kids. We wish them all the best for their future plans!