Sloth near the Casaflex


Playa Esterillos Oeste (Puntarenas), Costa Rica

Welcome to a small paradise in Costa Rica. In this guide, you will find some information about the rental house and the attractions of the area: grocery store, restaurants, and activities. Over time, we have added some of our best addresses and travel tips.

Do not hesitate to share yours with us to make this guide a great ally!

House view


Step 1: Check availability on the VRBO calendar

Step 2: Fill the online booking form


Philosophie de bien-être des Ticos* : manière de se saluer positive et sympathique. Expression du bonheur, de l’optimisme et de la vie à fond!

*TICO or TICA (feminine); resident of Costa Rica

Pura Vida beach

Table of contents

    • The Main Building
    • The Loft
    • The Land
    • Equipment Included
    • La Sirena
    • Beaches
    • Groceries
    • Esterillos506
    • Vehicle Rental
    • Getting to the Villa
    • Transportation Services
    • Orientation in the Country
    • Liability and Collision Insurance
    • Plane Tickets and Airlines
    • Weather
    • Currency of Costa Rica
    • Cost of Living
    • Taxes, Service and Tips
    • Cash or Credit Payment
    • Wifi and Cellular Data
    • Facebook Communities and Groups
    • Exit Tax
    • Travel with Kids


Located in a quiet little fishing village on the Central Pacific Coast, Casaflex is 20 minutes from the tourist town of Jacó (pron. HA-CO) and approximately 1 hour 30 minutes from San Jose Airport – SJO (pron. SAN-HO-ZAY). The Casaflex is perched on a hill called Canada Hills, where there is a well-knit community comprising about thirty houses whose owners are Canadian, American, or Costa Rican.

At the back of Canada Hills is a primary forest that brings a nice variety of wildlife and tropical birds. You will have the chance to see scarlet macaws, toucans, reptiles, and sloths in the neighborhood! Open your ears to listen to the various species at different times of the day, and soak up the wildlife.

The photo of the sloth greeting you on the front page of this guide was taken by
a neighbor!


The main building of the Villa has 3 air-conditioned bedrooms. We ask that you leave the air conditioning only 1 hour before going to bed and turn it off when you get up in the morning, and of course, keep the doors closed. This establishment can accommodate 6 people or 2 couples with children:

-1 bedroom with a queen bed and a single bed
-1 bedroom with a queen bed
-1 small bedroom with a single bed


A second independent building of the Villa is located in the backyard, on the same ground. This one was completely renovated in 2021. It is a unit called the loft or the studio, which includes a queen bed and two single bunk beds. The loft also includes a kitchenette, a breakfast counter, a full bathroom, and a superb view of the swimming pool.


The 8, 463 square foot lot includes an in-ground swimming pool, a veranda terrace for outdoor dining, a terrace with a view of the sea (palapa) located on the roof of the loft, a charcoal BBQ area, and a shelter. Parking space for 2 vehicles. A high-speed Internet connection (100 Mbs) is accessible in both buildings, and it makes it easy to work remotely and to make it easy to work remotely and to make video conferences.


Both buildings are very well-equipped. You don’t need to bring your towels (pool/beach/shower), a washing machine is available in the main building, as well as a dryer and a clothesline. You will also have laundry soap, hand soap, basic cleaning products for the house, and a blow-dryer, with the temperature being very humid, your hair will dry faster by itself. Only bring your personal essentials (shower gel, shampoo, toothbrush, etc.). For more information on what is included for children, please see Section 5: Traveler Information.

Upon arrival, you should find basic kitchen essentials such as salt/pepper, oil, and some spices. See the Groceries’ subsection below for more information.


From the house, you have to walk approximately 500 meters to get to the beach, where you can admire La Sirena; a bronze sculpture 2 meters high. It is possible to photograph yourself with the iconic statue when the tide is low.


Esterillos Oeste beach is about 7 km round trip. It is pleasant to walk it at any time of the day, greeting the locals crossing along the road. It will take you 8 minutes by car to discover the large beach of Esterillos Este and Don Toro Beach. Take the opportunity to admire the sunset and make a fire in the sand.

The beaches of Esterillos are very popular for surfing by locals in the surrounding area. You will see a little more traffic on the weekends, often Ticos who come to practice their favorite sport and share a family barbecue under the palm trees. You can park your car, if necessary, along the beach under the almond trees and enjoy the company of the scarlet macaws which will accompany the sound of the waves well in their own way!

If you’re lucky, you might spot dolphins, manta rays, and turtles.

Attention! The sand can be extremely hot on the feet. Bring good sandals or good beach shoes.


  • SuperSol is the local grocery store located at the bottom of the hill, at the intersection of the entrance to the village and the access to the beach. You will find everything there: fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and condiments, drinks, pharmacy items, household items, etc. Attention! Buying groceries there could increase your bill by 20%, unlike supermarkets in nearby large cities.

    It is also possible to buy fresh fish very early in the morning, around 6 am, directly from the fishermen. If you keep your eyes peeled, you can see the prices on handmade posters hanging from the beachside trees near the flags.
  • Maxi Palí, the supermarket in Parrita – a very small town nearby, where you will also find a fruit and vegetable market and an ATM nearby. It takes about 25 minutes to drive there from the house, heading east.
  • Mas X Menos, the Jacó supermarket, is located at the entrance to the tourist avenue Pastor Diaz. Bring back your groceries for the week after spending the day shopping and enjoying Jacó’s beautiful beach. It takes approximately 25 minutes to drive there from the house, heading northwest.


In order to make your visit to Casaflex as pleasant as possible, we have hired a company to take care of the management and maintenance of the house. Esterillos506 offers a 24/7 service, do not hesitate to contact them if you have any problem with the house.

They are the ones who will communicate with you near your arrival date, via the WhatsApp application, to give you information about taking possession of the keys, check-in, check-out, etc.




First, it is good to know that the roads in Costa Rica are not those of Quebec. The roads are very uneven in places and maintenance is more difficult, particularly because of the heavy rains. For these reasons, it is strongly recommended to rent a 4×4 all-terrain vehicle, if not essential. This option is still considerable financially, it is also easy and accessible to move otherwise with a little organization. Just list your needs as a traveler.

If you are interested in the option of renting a car, we suggest that you have several companies tender in order to compare them with each other and to conclude everything before your departure. Rental vehicles being very limited in Costa Rica, we strongly advise you to conclude your rental as soon as possible, before your departure. You can of course shop on the sites of major rental agencies such as Economy Rent a CarHertzAvis, and Alamo.


It will take you about 2 hours to get to the villa from San Jose airport. We strongly recommend doing this day route to admire the beautiful landscapes of Costa Rica, but also as a tip from friends. The day of travel is quite long and exhausting, and if this is your first time driving home, it can be stressful. The conduct of Costa Ricans is very different from ours, the darkness adds another challenge, in addition to the lack of road indications.

In addition, there are several small things to see when you arrive at the house (different locks, alarm system code, light switch, etc.). If your flight lands at the end of the day, we suggest that you rent a room in San Jose.


In Costa Rica, ride-sharing transportation services are very popular. The banner most used by the community is that of Uber. Plus, the app is simple to use if you’re already unfamiliar with it. Use the app to submit a ride request that’s automatically sent to an Uber driver near your location in real time, notifying them of your location. Over time, we have taken note of our best drivers, we will be happy to share this list with you on request.


We also recommend having a good GPS system, since no establishment has a door number and the names of the roads are not indicated anywhere. Don’t panic, it’s quite easy to get your bearings and the locals are very lenient when you ask for directions. It is part of the Costa Rican experience, after all!

Nowadays, it is no longer necessary to rent a GPS device since several mobile applications do the job very well. The Waze application wins the gold medal for the accuracy of road maps. You can even download your routes in advance and benefit from guidance without an internet connection. The Waze app even takes road conditions into account (works, traffic jams, etc.). See also section 5 for a full list of highly recommended mobile apps.

To help you, here is a small summary table of the good information to know, as well as the contacts accumulated over time.

Contact : (broker)
WhatsApp : +506 8620 1230
Fast, and reliable service
Contact : Luc Lafontaine
Fast, and reliable service
Contact : Emily Alcaraz (car rental agent)
WhatsApp : +506 8328 0768
-Cash only
-Insurance included to be validated
Contact : Esterillos CR transfers and tours
Pablo Mora Vargas
WhatsApp : +506 8585 8331
-Local contact – Esterillos Oeste
-Airport shuttle (SUV and minivan available)
-Shuttle to the Manuel Antonio National Park
Contact : Chaves J&K Tours
WhatsApp : +506 8935 9197
-Contact from the Uber app
-Shuttle to the Manuel Antonio National Park
-Shuttle for activities (zipline, snorkeling, etc.)
Contact : Marvin Murillo
WhatsApp : +506 8423 1882
-Contact from the Uber app


The majority of credit cards offering discounts also offer attractive travel insurance. Check with your credit card provider before booking your means of transport. Getting auto insurance through your credit card or your local insurer will be much cheaper than getting insurance through a rental agency.

Attention! It is mandatory to show proof of insurance when renting a car. Make sure you have the formal document handy in your emails, as well as a hard copy. This will also be useful for you to refuse certain closures of the rental contract (insurance).

For more information, visit the Costa Rica Guide

Don Toro Beach Restaurant, Esterillos Este
Don Toro Beach Restaurant, Esterillos Este


Here is an exhaustive list of the best addresses compiled by our employees who have visited Casaflex! Don’t hesitate to share yours with us too 🙂

Esterillos Oeste

  • Los Almendros, 800 meters from the house – 10 minutes on foot.
  • Soda Margarita, 450 meters from the house – 7 minutes on foot.
  • El Patio, 500 meters from the house – 6 minutes on foot.
  • Pizza Express Esterillos, 550 meters from the house – 7 minutes on foot.
  • China Wall, 550 meters from the house – 7 minutes on foot.

Esterillos Este


Manuel Antonio

  • El Avion, 52 kilometers from the house – 1 hour and 5 minutes by car.

San Jose

  • Machu Picchu, 120 kilometers from the house – 1 hour and 50 minutes by car.



You can contact Esterillos506 so that they can suggest activity ideas or help you with reservations. You will also find some ideas for activities to do in the small village of Esterillos Oeste.


Whether it is to simply walk there, do your morning jog, explore the different sands or even observe aquatic species, the Pacific coast of Costa Rica is full of magnificent beaches with paradisiacal postcard settings. Here is a short list close to home.

Playa Esterillos Oeste – 500 meters

  • Gray sand and a slightly rocky beach
  • Locals’ favorite surf spot
  • Small streams that attract several species of birds (near La Sirena)
  • Parking and picnic area

Playa Esterillos Este – 10 km South

  • Gray sand and a slightly rocky beach
  • Locals’ favorite surf spot
  • Parking, toilets, and picnic area

Playa Bejuco – 12 km South

  • Gray sand and a slightly rocky beach
  • Locals’ favorite surf spot

Playa Palo Seco – 28 km South

  • Virgin beach hidden in abundant tropical vegetation
  • Sea Turtle Protection School (August-November)
  • Big waves and strong current
  • Not recommended for young children

Playa Manuel Antonio – 55 km South

  • White sand beach
  • Among the most beautiful beaches in the country
  • Paid access

Playa Uvita (Bahia) – 110 km South

  • Gray sand beach
  • Little waves
  • Humpback whales (July-October) and dolphins
  • Whale tail shape beach (Tombolo)
  • Parking, showers, and toilets
  • Snorkeling+

Playa Hermosa (El Coco) – 16 km North

  • Black sand and rocky beach
  • Few waves

Playa Jacó – 23 km North

  • Gray sand and a slightly rocky beach
  • Some waves
  • Very popular and touristic
  • Night life
  • Parking, showers, and toilets
  • Sun lounger rental

Playa Herradura – 32 km North

  • Beach of gray sand and shell scales
  • Some waves
  • Parking, toilets, and picnic area
  • Marina with several yachts

Playa Mantas – 40 km North

  • Gray sand and slightly rocky beach
  • Some waves
  • Parking, toilets, and picnic area
  • Monkey visit




To visit Manuel Antonio National Park, we strongly suggest that you book online in advance and go very early in the morning. We also recommend taking a guided tour if you want to see things other than monkeys. You can try your luck to have a French-speaking guide, ask for Khalua Levesque Croteau.


The Marino Ballena National Park is a sublime and protected place where you can do a multitude of activities and spend the day there. Coral reef, observation of terrestrial and aquatic fauna, snorkeling are some of the main attractions. If you are visiting between July and October, you may be lucky enough to see humpback whales. This is their reproductive cycle period. You can also observe several types of dolphins, manta rays, hammerhead sharks, parrot fish and mackerel. Camping, picnic area, showers, toilets and parking are amenities offered by the Park. You can take advantage of your visit to appreciate the attractions of the Uvita region, such as horseback riding, canyoning and waterfalls.


Carara National Park takes its name from the indigenous Huetar language, meaning “River of Lizards”. This Park is the only transition forest in the Central Pacific with a unique diversity of flora and fauna, it is an ornithological destination known throughout the world for its very diverse birdlife. With over 420 different species of birds, representing 47% of the species reported in the country, this place is considered one of the most important sites for observing birds in their natural state. Take the Laguna Meándrica trail, where you will cross the Tarcoles River and be able to observe crocodiles.

Here are the contact details of a highly appreciated guide to this Park:

Maurice Vasquez
WhatsApp : +506 8889 6061

Rainmaker Conservation Park – 38 km

The Rainmaker Conservation Park is a 1,500-acre gem located in the heart of the Quepos Biological Corridor and home to one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, where over 80% is virgin rainforest. It offers a unique opportunity to discover a magnificent reserve, both isolated and protected from the outside world, but incredibly accessible. Hiking trails, suspension bridges, canyoning, extreme wild camping in the jungle, as well as glamping, you won’t have enough of a day to admire what nature has to offer.


HIKING (See National Parks)


Brett’s board

Brett is a very friendly Texas-American expatriate in Costa Rica and his board shop is located between Villa Casaflex and SuperSol, a 4-minute walk away. It offers board rental and surf lessons on the beautiful beach of Esterillos Este.

WhatsApp : +506 8725 2989

Aloha Surf

They are located a little further in the village of Esterillos Oeste, a 12-minute walk from the Villa. They offer board rental, surf lessons as well as lounge chair rental on the beach.

WhatsApp : +506 8776 2010


National Parks are great places for snorkeling. Playa Uvita is also a great place to practice marine observation while snorkeling.


A rainforest hike including incredible rappelling down waterfalls, traversing riverbeds and diving into natural pools!


Esterillos Oeste is a fishing village, this is a unique and local experience. You will go fishing in a Panga, a 28-foot boat, with a bilingual local captain with good local knowledge. Fully licensed, licensed and equipped with high quality and safe fishing gear.

Depending on the season, you might catch the following varieties of fish: roosterfish, mahi mahi, mackerel, rooster snapper, tuna, wahoo, sailfish and blue marlin.

WhatsApp : +506 8423 8827


La Iguana is a golf course located on the majestic site of the Los Suenos Resort, 25 minutes from the house. The course is beautiful through the jungle and the beach, but quite expensive. Afternoon tee times are discounted. You can consult the following link to see the current offers:

It is possible to rent your equipment at the Pro Shop. Other golf courses are located near San Jose, a 90-minute drive away.


Mangrove Monkey Tour

Mangroves are trees or shrubs that grow mainly in tropical coastal swamps that are flooded at high tide. Mangroves usually have many tangled roots above ground and form dense thickets. It is the habitat of monkeys, snakes, frogs, raccoons, iguanas, tropical cats, sloths, and a myriad of birds. They can be the nursery for hundreds of fish, crabs, crustaceans, and other marine species as well as crocodiles.

The mangroves near the house are among the best in Costa Rica. It will take you 40 minutes by car to get there. You can take a kayak or motorboat trip. This activity is ideal for adults who love life in nature or to take an excursion, also ideal for a family who wants to see and feed the monkeys.

Several companies offer tours according to different formulas. It is advisable to shop well and do business directly with the tour operator rather than through an agent. Some companies feed the monkeys while others don’t, some companies offer pick up service from your place of stay, others offer night tours. The choice to take a guide or not is up to you, but this one is a gold mine of information if you want to perfect your knowledge.


Accessible only by boat or catamaran, Isla Tortuga is actually two small islands: Alcatraz (60 hectares) and Tolinga (120 hectares). Some tours are available from Jacó, while others depart from the Puntarenas ferry dock, approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes from the Villa. The vast majority of tours offered (if not all tours!) are full-day activities (7:30 am to 4:00 pm). Once at your destination, you will be able to do the following activities according to your wishes: jet ski, banana boat, paddleboard, kayak, snorkeling, hiking, and beach chair rental.


See crocodiles and exotic birds up close while admiring spectacular rainforest scenery from the mangrove forest. You will most likely also see huge iguanas, lizards, crabs, monkeys and raccoons. The excursion lasts approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes and the departure is at Tarcoles River, 45 minutes from the Villa.


This activity is perfect if you have young children and is only 15 minutes from the Villa. Enjoy a relaxing experience while being surrounded by exotic butterflies. Learn about the incredible life cycle of butterflies and stroll along the river trail while exploring over 70 types of fruit trees grown on the property.




What could be more romantic than watching a heavenly sunset on the beach to end the day well? In Costa Rica, the sun sets between 5 and 6 p.m. throughout the year. You can make a fire on the sand of the Esterillos beaches, in exchange for not leaving litter or damaging the surrounding nature.

The Hotel Villa Caletas offers a spectacular outdoor amphitheater on the side of a cliff that gives the impression of being on top of the world. You don’t need to stay at the hotel to enjoy this convenience, just tell the staff you’re there for the sunset and grab a tropical cocktail on the way.


It is possible to go horseback riding on the beach in Esterillos. Here are two companies that offer this service and both have good reviews, 12 minutes drive from the Villa:

The Riding Adventure
WhatsApp : +506 6080 0501

The CR Beach Barn
WhatsApp : +506 8575 0015


Studio 34 in Esterillos offers massage, facial, manicure, and pedicure treatments by appointment. They also have a hair salon.



Discover the different varieties of cocoa, as well as its ancestral history and the impact of cocoa on the world economy. Try the cocoa fruit and take part in the cocoa production process. Delight in different types of chocolate and mix it with tropical fruits. You can also experience two of Costa Rica’s agricultural products, sugar cane, and coffee.


Take advantage of your visit to Jacó to stroll along the main strip to do some shopping and bring back some handmade souvenirs from local artisans. The municipality of Jacó is well known as a center of art, the town is covered in magnificent murals. Live art evenings are held weekly and artwork is on sale at many galleries along the avenue. Some of the best places to experience art include the Green Room Cafe, Tico Pod, Morphosis Movement & Arts Studio, and Cafe Bohio Hermosa.


Here is an exhaustive list of the best travel tips compiled by our employees who have visited Casaflex! Don’t hesitate to share yours with us too 🙂


Air Canada and Air Transat both offer direct flights between YUL and SJO, depending on the time of year. It is more difficult to find affordable plane tickets during the summer period.


The dry season in Costa Rica is between December and April, while the rainy season begins in May and ends in November. The vegetation is magnificent and very different depending on the season. The temperature hovers around 30 degrees all year round, so don’t bring long clothes – it won’t be necessary!

Here is a summary of the best months to visit this magnificent country:

  • January – A good time to visit, price +
  • February – The best month, very nice weather and not too crowded
  • March – Very nice weather, price increase ++, crowded +
  • April – Beautiful weather, watch out for Semana Santa, crowded ++
  • May – Month of transition to the rainy season, rain +
  • June – Little bit crowded and fairly low prices
  • July- Veranillo : Little summer! Periodic rain, mostly sunny
  • August – Periodic rain, mostly sunny
  • September – A lot of rain ++
  • October – Rain +, a good period to visit the Caribbean Coast
  • November – Month of transition to the dry season, rain +
  • December – A good time to visit, prices go up towards the end of December


The national currency of Costa Rica is the Colon (CRC), or colones in the plural, in homage to Christopher Columbus. The US dollar (USD) is very often accepted, but traders give you change in colones, with a way of calculating the exchange rate that is rarely to your advantage. It is therefore best to have both currencies in liquidity. The exchange rate is around 500 colones for 1 US dollar, depending on the market.

Tip: Order your currency in advance on ICE International and collect it directly at the airport before your departure. It’s simple, effective, and more economical!


Unlike some countries in Central and South America, Costa Rica is not a cheap country. The average cost of living in Canada is still, on average, 83% more than in Costa Rica.

Finally, a golden rule to avoid blowing the budget: do not travel during the holiday season (Christmas), nor during Easter week (Semana Santa). At these times, 3 weeks a year, it is the very high season and the prices for accommodation, transport and activities double.


Please note that taxes of 10 to 13% apply in the hotel and restaurant sector. These taxes are sometimes included in the price, sometimes not. Restaurant service is calculated within these taxes, so tipping is not mandatory. As tourism is the main economic activity of this country, it is, all the same, courteous to leave a few colones if you are happy with the welcome and the attention that has been reserved for you.


It is very common in hotels and some restaurants and shops to pay for purchases by credit card. It is a very widespread method of payment in the country, despite bank charges which can be expensive in the long run (between 2 and 3% for each transaction).

If you have made the decision to travel by Uber, it will be important to keep some colones, or US dollars, to pay for the errands since the drivers do not take payment by credit card.


Depending on the length of your stay, the bill for your phone plan could quickly skyrocket depending on your phone company’s roaming mode (between $14 and $16 per 24-hour period). It is possible to buy a SIM card, on sale at San Jose airport for US$20, or to put your device in airplane mode and be dependent on Wi-Fi networks.

Attention! If you need to do a two-bill authentication by validating a code received by text message, you will not be able to receive it in airplane mode with a Wi-Fi network 🙁 Unfortunately, you will have to activate your data. We have compiled a small list of applications that have been very useful during our stay abroad. Do not hesitate to share yours!

WhatsAppWazeSayHiMagic SeaWeed
ou Surfline
This app is essential
when traveling to Costa Rica.
It will be useful for you to join a company,
a professional or an individual via the wifi network.
You can keep your phone in airplane mode
and use this free app.
Very precise geolocation application. It is also possible to prepare the routes in advance on the wifi network and to download them to consult them without internet data.
It is also possible to share routes with other users.
SayHi is a translation app right from your mobile device microphone. All you have to do is speak on your phone in French or English for a Spanish translation. It is also possible to write what you want to translate.These applications allow you to follow the forecast for the surf according to the place where you want to surf. 16-day forecasts are available within the app. It is also possible to get recommendations of places with photos and videos.This application allows you to pin the key places of your itinerary, and to offer you nearby amenities such as restaurants, hotels, shops, attractions, etc.


For more information and advice, feel free to join these Facebook communities. You can search on a specific topic or ask your question and someone will be happy to answer it or give you a suggestion:

Québécois au Costa Rica

Québécois amoureux du Costa Rica

CARE Esterillos

Somos Esterillos Oeste


Since 2016, the exit tax is included in most plane tickets, get informed! In the case where the exit tax is not duly stipulated in the plane ticket, it will be necessary to pay the sum of 29$ USD per person either in US dollars, in colones, or by VISA credit card (MasterCard cards are not accepted).


The Villa includes a lot of equipment for young children such as a park, a high chair, dishes, sand and pool games, as well as two bodyboards for the beach. Although Costa Rican grocery stores offer a wide selection of food, we recommend bringing your children’s favorite snacks, especially for your travel days and on the go.

To discover tips for traveling with children 0–12 years old, visit (french only). It is the reference for traveling parents, and you will find several tips of all kinds: short and long stays, transport (plane, train, boat, taxi), camping, family sports, etc. They even have an article about Costa Rica (french only)!

So, are you convinced that Costa Rica will be your next travel destination? 😀





This video contains wonderful views of Esterillos Oeste, many of which were shot by the neighbor’s drone!

This video contains images of the entrance to the village and the 7km beach of Esterillos Oeste.

This video contains beautiful surfing images in Esterillos, a low-traffic place for the practice of this sport!

Fishing in Esterillos, a local experience. The waters teem with snapper, jack, and a variety of other delicious fish.

La Sirena: a famous tourist attraction, especially at low tide.