We've hosted countless travellers from around the world since 2010. We're grateful to share some of their kind words here:
If you only have 1 week in Costa Rica…spend it all here! Oh my gosh, I fell in love with this place immediately. My fiance and I stayed in Mal Pais for 4 days before arriving in Ojochal and while I enjoyed Mal Pais and everything it has to offer, this area is just so amazing! Casa Rica is gorgeous and, as everyone has said, Mac and Sharon are the best hosts. We enjoyed hanging out by the pool, drinking coffee and staring at the clouds/mountains while sitting in the gazebo, walking around and checking out all of the wildlife, etc. There is so much to do around here I really wished we had more time. We went to the Uvita waterfall which was cool, Playa Uvita and “The Whale’s Tail”, Playa Ventanas and El Castillo/Azul to watch the sunset (this is a must do – it will take your breath away). There are some really good restaurants around here too and most take cards which is nice. Save room for dessert at Exotica. They gave us some sort of ice cream sorbet with raspberry sauce and it was like nothing I have ever had before. I just can’t say enough about this place. Magical, relaxing and refreshing!
For romance, relaxation, and value for money you can’t beat Bali Rica Casitas, plus you’ll be in the gracious hands of our friends Mac and Sharon McIver. Choose your stand-alone casita with a kitchen on the garden property where toucans will be your only neighbors.
Casa Bambú at Bali Rica charms with a private Jacuzzi and a cozy jungle cabin feel. Casa Rica is a traditional Balinese structure which was shipped over piece by piece from Bali. It’s larger and even more romantic with a private plunge pool and private Balinese wooden gazebo. There’s also an on-site spa with one of the most dramatic soaking tubs in Costa Rica and a pavilion for yoga, meditation, painting, whatever.
Ojochal makes a great base for exploring nearby natural attractions including Playa Ventanas (Windows Beach), one of the most unique beaches in Costa Rica thanks to a rock formation through which the surf has worn away twin tunnels (or windows) which fill and empty dramatically (and a bit dangerously) with the tides.
See full travel review by world travellers Karen Catchpole and photographer Eric Mohl here.
Sharon and Mac’s place was absolute heaven! My husband and I stayed for 6 nights and it was the perfect place to unwind from chilly cold San Francisco. The grounds were beautifully landscaped with fruit trees and chickens running around. We used the cold plunge pool at least twice a day. We also loved the town of Ojochal. Really excellent food with lots of variety. Next time we come to Costa Rice we are coming straight to Sharon and Mac’s!
Our stay in Bali Rica was a really great experience overall! The Cabina is exactly as advertised, the grounds are beautifully landscaped and Sharon and Mac are a lovely couple. They were responsive, helpful in recommending activities, and care very much about their guest’s experience with them. Especially in comparison with most other accommodations we saw in southern Costa Rica, this place is truly unique! Pro’s: * Grounds and environment are lovely and relaxing. * Sharon and Mac are present and available for pretty much anything you need – they even give you a local cell phone to use! * Price is excellent. * The cabina has a great Asian tropical feel, the bed is comfortable, plenty of fans to keep the air moving, plentiful hot water, and a kitchen good enough to cook a very respectable Christmas dinner! * Ojochal (p. oh-ho-CHAL) definitely has the best food in southern CR, very close to fine dining experiences. Con’s: * Count on a 4-5hr drive from the airport, you need to take in to account getting lost. * Anything off the main road in CR is basically off-roading, we recommend getting a car with 4WD, you’ll have a much more comfortable drive to Bali Rica. * It is the rain forest, and insects are a part of that – it is more their home that yours. We had a problem with big black ants showing up in large numbers on our bed, which was not injuring, but uncomfortable. * The soaking pool is beautiful, but in the shade and for us it was too cold to swim in. * Most activities are on average at least 20-30 min away, which is generally fine – but we found we had to do a lot of driving, including to restaurants in Ojochal. Everything is rather spread out and it is all gravel/rock roads that are only loosely maintained. A lot people walked as reported here, but we found the distance to Ojochal to be too far and dark to walk for dinner! We certainly recommend Bali-Rica for hose who are interested in exploring this sleepy southern part of CR, it was very relaxing and we enjoyed ourselves very much!
The property was what we expected and more. The little tika was very comfortable and the property was really beautiful. Sharon made us feel totally at home. The village is very small, however, Sharon's directions were perfect and we found the property without any problems. It was a great place to call home for a week. We loved waking up in the early morning to the sounds of the jungle and the chickens roaming the yard. I loved that could use the yoga pavilion and had it all to my self each morning for my yoga routine. Sharon had great suggestions of things to do and see while staying in the area. Overall, we had a wonderful stay and would highly recommend staying with Mac and Sharon while in Ojochal.
- Diane And Vic
Our family had an incredible stay at this beautiful bed and breakfast. The grounds were impeccably maintained, and extremely private and peaceful. We were greeted by warmth and kindness from our hosts, and had everything we could want in this gorgeous sanctuary! There was such unbelievable attention to detail. The stunning waterfall close by was the absolute highlight of our vacation. Thank you so much for an unforgettable experience!
- Kim, Glenn and Jens Mowatt
Our time at Casa Bambu was a dream come true! Going to Costa Rica had been on my "bucket list" for a number of years. My husband was happy to leave the ice storm behind in Toronto and enjoy the heat and sunshine in a tropical location. He, however, was unprepared for how quickly he would fall in love with this little piece of heaven on earth. Being able to call Casa Bambu home for the week while we explored the south/central Pacific side of the country was like being in paradise. There was a symphony of sound morning, noon, and night. We had fresh fruit to eat every day and a very safe and welcoming environment to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The gourmet restaurants in the little town of Ojochal were phenomenal - whenever we chose to take a break from the delicious tico food we found nearby. My husband took hundreds of photos of the flora and fauna on the many fantastic excursions Mac and Sharon had suggested. The pictures and descriptions on the site are quite accurate, but you really don't get the full impact of the beauty of this magical location until you arrive. We got to meet with the other guests on a number of occasions and even enjoyed a wonderful evening with our hosts as they shared their experiences of living in Costa Rica. We left with a lump in our throats, sad to go, but sure to return - hopefully for a much longer stay.
We stayed in several Airbnb homes in the area and Bali Rica is a truly magical place! Be sure to catch a sunrise so you can see and hear the chorus of birds each morning! I’m not a bird-watcher but I instantly turned into one! I was so happy that I brought my grandmother’s old binoculars! The surroundings are tranquil and peaceful, We used the dipping pool and outdoor shower daily. Howler monkeys can be seen from a stream not far away and you’re nearby to many wonderful places-Playa tortuga, waterfalls, Uvita and Dominical beaches for surfing, wonderful street-side ceviche, Cano island for snorkeling, and more! Sharon couldn’t have been nicer and it was a pleasure to talk with her as she strolls by everyday with her dogs, OSA & Daisy (and Kiki, the cat) We cannot wait to go back!
"From the second we arrived at Bali Rica, we felt like we were at home. Sharon and Mac were amazing hosts, settling us in for our 3 day stay on their heavenly property. Casa Rica was even lovelier than what we imagined from the photos. Although we only spent 3 days, we could have easily spent 7. From sitting on the porch watching one of the resident hens teaching her chicks to look for food to wandering the trails full of fruit trees, flowers and jungle - the experience was totally zen. The dipping pool, the outdoor Balinese bed, and the furnishings inside the casita made it a very comfortable stay. Ojochal is the perfect home base for a trip to southern Costa Rica. If you're a foodie - this is your Mecca. Check out Exotica if you visit (my mouth is watering now!). Playa Ventanas was spectacular, never have either of us felt ocean water that hot! A quick drive to Quepos and Manuel Antonio but infinitely more beautiful - lush and so much less touristy. We were lucky enough to have dinner with Mac and Sharon and several of the volunteers working on the property one night during our stay. With Canada, the U.K., Germany and the US/Indonesia/etc represented at the table, we had some lively and enlightening conversation - a moment in time that will define our trip. Mac and Sharon - thank you for the special moments and opportunity to experience a little piece of Costa Rican living with us."
My husband and I spent the month of May in Casa Rica. May is a slow time in Costa Rica with morning sun until 1-3 PM and afternoon rain many days. The sun goes down at 6:00 PM. If you go in May consider this when planning your activities. Sharon and Mac were the perfect hosts providing any comfort requested and the information and guidance needed to find treasured spots like Sierpe and Drake Bay. The grounds keeper was so kind as to bring us fresh coconuts to drink the water and enjoy a local treat. And the cleaning lady always cut fresh tropical flowers for us. It was also so kind of Sharon and Mac to provide mobile Internet and a local mobile phone for our use making it much easier to get around and always stay connected. The property is under stated in the description. The private gated grounds are a gardener’s paradise with blooming tropical flowers, many humming birds, small geckos, hiding iguanas and birds of all colors shapes and sizes. The accommodations are modest but highly comfortable and clearly designed with taste. The kitchenette is perfect for preparing your own food. It can be pretty warm this time of year and the dipping pool was ideal for cooling off after a long hike or day out. But my favorite was the abundance of hot water in the beautiful stone shower with waterfall shower head. Ojochal is another understated gem. The town is just off the highway for easy access to the plethora of local beaches, national parks and day trip locations. If you want to experience Costa Rica with the locals in a safe and less-touristy area but not give up too many comforts Ojochal is the place. This small village boasts some amazing restaurants, a divine bakery and a wonderful relationship between the “gringos” and the local “Ticos.” People in the area are friendly and open. Within just one month we made several new local friends. Be sure to stop into Citrus or Adelante as these locations seem to be essential resources of information about markets, services not advertised like manicures and haircuts as well as what is going on in town. Maybe not for everyone but we were training for a 10K race and ran past 3 beaches on our 10K loop from the property. Ventanas is a must for its caves. During high tide the explosions of water coming through are breathtaking; during low tide you can walk into the caves and enjoy a wide beach. We also hiked quite a bit and beautiful views of the bay and beaches could also be found by just hiking directly from the property up the adjacent mountains. I highly recommend this property and location and wish Sharon and Mac the best. It is clear that this property is designed with love and we were grateful to be able to share it. We will miss you, Rica, Lesper and Daisy too!
A paradise nest great for re-centering and two of the most gracious and welcoming hosts. Not only is Casa Rica so close to great beaches like Ventanas and Uvita (where even a beginner can learn to surf), plenty of restaurants with an array of cuisines, and friendly Ticos, but Casa Rica itself is securely nestled on a beautiful property. You can enjoy the view of the humbling mountains from the gazebo bed and “veg out”, or stroll though the serene trails on the grounds and admire luscious greenery, vibrant flowers, and all kinds of insects. And let’s not forget the shower which feels so good after a day out and about or at the beach catching waves. Casa Rica is well equipped and comfortable. The Bali style of the house emits a paradise quality all on its own. Though you should always keep your wits about you when visiting a foreign country, staying at Casa Rica makes it feel much safer. We utilized the kitchen for all of our breakfasts, some of our lunches and a couple of our dinners. It helps with the budget but not necessary if you don’t feel like cooking. But if you do take advantage of the kitchen, it is certainly well equipped and there’s a store in town stocked with food supplies. Sharon and Mac are so accommodating and an absolute pleasure to meet. They are very knowledgeable and can offer great tips to enjoying all the great things Costa Rica has to offer. Most definitely book a massage with Sharon…..you’ll be so glad you did. And if you can spare, do the Bush bath. It will take any lingering worries away. If you want to take a nice jump into a waterfall bigger than nearby Uvita’s, check out Don Lulo’s horseback riding tour to Nauyaca Waterfalls. It was our favorite tour and well worth the money with a yummy breakfast and lunch included. We sincerely look forward to returning to Casa Rica and seeing Sharon and Mac. Without these three key factors, Costa Rica wouldn’t have been one of our top favorite (if not THE favorite) on our ever-growing list of places to visit.
- Catherine & Chris