Casa Vida Verde truly lives up to its name. The “Green Life” is omnipresent from its green cob construction, to its siting nestled in the jungle, with minimal disruption. No clear cutting here. Casa Vida Verde is surrounded by the jungle. It is obvious the owners are passionate about the environment.
The architecture is a Gaudi inspired design that has open concept common areas. Pathways lead to common gathering spots on the property, including an open air patio next the house, which we used nightly for star gazing, a palapa and the pool area. The pool area is shaded with large sailcloth, providing a much needed escape from the intense mid-day sun. From the house we observed 3 types of monkeys, toucans, macaws, anteaters, lizards, oodles of birds, bugs and other critters!
I would best describe the house as organic chic. The bedrooms are well appointed with crisp white sheets, nice mattresses and good pillows. The bathrooms are simply beautiful with large walk-in showers. The open concept allows for animal viewing opportunities from most rooms. I sell luxury real estate, and am quite selective when choosing a rental property for my family. I chose Casa Vida Verde because it is luxuriously appointed with high quality beds and towels, walk to the beach, privately situated and has a pool. A pool is simply mandatory for my kids, as the sun is too intense to be at the beach mid-day.
The location is primo, privately nestled in the jungle and a quick walk to Matapalo Beach. No other rentals properties are in sight, providing a private oasis. The owners did very minimal clearing when constructing the house. This keeps the jungle and all its critters closely. We saw capuchin and spiders monkeys every morning while enjoying breakfast and coffee on the balcony. We saw scarlet macaws and toucans on the property as well. The property has a system of gravel paths that meander about the property, providing mini sanctuary to view all the critters. There is also a large platform at the top of the property to enjoy viewing animal and birds, or do yoga.
The caretakers, Sienne and Carlos, are truly exceptional. Carlos is fluent in English and very bright. They too care deeply for the environment and are well versed in the surrounding area. The caretakers do have a guard dog, Blackho, that lives at their house next door. Blackho quickly got to know us, and only barked if a stranger walked near. We would walk up the driveway at night and Blackho never barked at us, as he knew we belonged at the house. He just laid on his patio, next to his master’s house. This made us feel safe, as the house is completely open concept with no way to lock up at night. I never worried, because I knew Blackho would not let a stranger pass. My 7 year old son befriended Blackho, playing fetch with coconuts.
The area is quite rustic with no services to speak of. We self-catered, buying all of our groceries at the BM in Puerto Jimenez. The drive form PM is 45 minutes down a dirt road. Once you entered the “gates of Cabo Matapalo” the road turns into a what I would best describe as a river bed. A 4WD is necessary. The 1 restaurant “Martinas” is located just before the gate to Matapalo. We did dine at Lapos Rios one day. Lunch was quite good, but expensive ($125 USD).
This is a perfect vacation for those looking for an off the beaten path destination. If you are a resort type person, Cabo Matapalo is not a good match, as it is very rustic with no services. There are many animals, including bugs of unusual size, bats, birds, monkeys galore, toucans and scarlet macaws at every turn. The hiking is outstanding. I recommend packing a pair of supportive water shoes, like a Keen. They are mandatory for hiking. Also pack water bottles, camelbacks, visors, hats, lots of sunscreen, bug spray, a rash guard, and quick drying cloths. We did not check our luggage, and still only used half of our clothes. It is very hot, and very humid. Do not pack any knit cotton, as it will never dry. Pack lightweight woven materials, such as nylon, poly, thin woven cottons, etc.
There are 3 beaches in the immediate area. Playa Matapalo is the closet to the house. The other two are within walking distance, and are deeper into the gulf, and more calm. The beaches are black sand and rustic. I would pack reef shoes, as entering the water can be difficult barefoot. Be advised that there can be a strong undertow with a rising tide. Be cautious with swimming. My kids, age 7 and 9, are strong swimmers, but had difficulty getting in and out of the surf on occasion due to the reef and strong undertow.
Cabo Matapalo was a very memorable vacation destination for our family. The animal viewing was amazing. The Osa Peninsula provided an unparalleled opportunity to observe so much bio-diversity in one incredibly beautiful place. My family got to climb waterfalls, observe 3 types of monkeys, toucans, macaws, anteaters, lizards, oodles of birds, bugs and other critters. The surf was epic, and our kids got to learn to surf in 85 degree water with Pollo’s Surf School (see my review). Casa Vida Verde provided a luxurious rustic chic home for 7 nights. I am so grateful I chose this property, and will certainly rent it again.