Cabo Matapalo was the final destination of our month long stay in Costa Rica. We couldn't have picked a better way to spend our final week. We were 5 to stay in Jack's home: our three girls, my wife and I. We had sufficient space and never felt overcrowded - though most of our time was spent outside and around our home. The garden was magnificent and the closest beach was two minutes from our home. The howler monkeys would wake us before dawn and the white-faced monkeys would come running onto our rooftop to look in on us from our balcony at day break and yet we always felt well rested. 6 mackaws hung out above us during the entire week.
We originally had intentions of going to Corcovado National Park, but figured the minimum 15 km trek might be too much on our young children. But we had so much to explore within our vicinity and could take endless walks through the jungle, river and waterfalls. We did not wish to leave.
Scrappy (our caretaker) and his brother Eddie were really helpful and informative. Scrappy took us on a guided tour, our first walk to the waterfalls and we climbed an 800 year old starangler ficus. Even our 7 year old twins managed the climb with Scrappy's guidance. He offered us a good rebate on the actual price of this tour. He was also available to give us surf lessons if we desired.
I strongly recommend the tree climbing tour early during the stay as it gives you an insight on where to explore on your own afterward while remaining safe - I also recommend walking past the ficus and through the river, above the falls. Ignore the "no trespassing" signs as you walk through the river as water ways and many metres beyond are public property in Costa Rica. You will eventually come across an ancient hollow strangler ficus, and if you follow the paths on the opposite side of the river from the ficus, you will eventually encounter the most breathtaking view of the ocean.
The easiest way (unless you're flying) to get to Puerto Jiminez is to ride using TRANSCOPA bus service. They have direct routes from the hospital outside Quepos or from San Jose leading to Golfito. Then it's a half hour ferry ride to Puerto Jiminez. The bus is direct, with a minimum of stops and probably faster than a private transporter - and a hell of a lot cheaper. With TRANSCOPA, you also have the advantage of being allowed to purchase your tickets several days in advance - not so with other bus services where you must show up as early as possible to secure a seat.
We rented a 4 x 4 in Puerto Jiminez, but if we were to do it again, we would probably just use a cargo taxi for our first trip to Cabo Matapalo while stocking up on groceries. We would use the bus service to get back into town when in need of more groceries. We thought we would go exploring with our car, but all we wanted to see was in Cabo Matapalo. Even taking taxis would have cost a lot less than the car.
The 20 km ride from Puerto Jiminez is about 45 minutes once familiar with this graveled holey terrain. So even if you have a car, plan every meal in advance so as to spend more time in Cabo Matapalo.
My husband and I spent four days over Christmas at Jack's house and our only lament was that our stay was not longer. We will definitely be back! The big, beautiful porch looks out over a pristine junglescape and the sea is just paces away - the sound of the stones churning as the tide rolls in and out accompanies you throughout the day. Macaws in the sky, monkeys dangling from the trees, perfect sunsets spreading over the ocean each night. Michael, the caretaker, was also very kind and helpful - next time we'll take surfing lessons from him.
Great, unique rental in Matapalo. The architecture and interior are beautiful, the balcony looks out into monkey-filled trees, and the kitchen allows for much-needed cooking at this remote spot. This area seems to be a little cooler at night than other southern coastal destinations, and the ceiling fan upstairs helps keep the bugs off (no screens on the upstairs windows). The beach is a few hundred feet away, and there is a lot of hiking and exploring to be done nearby. The property manager, Scrappy, was very helpful and friendly (ask him about the adventure tours he guides). Lots of animals, nature, and general peace here. Be warned that the road in requires four wheel drive and is an adventure in of itself.
|Check-in / front desk||Service|
|A romantic getaway||Older travelers|
|Luxury-minded travelers||Rugged travelers|
|Check-in / front desk||Service|
|A romantic getaway||Rugged travelers|